From Comcast SportsNetSANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) -- Former AL MVP Miguel Tejada has reached a minor league deal with the Kansas City Royals and says he is ready to return to the majors.The 38-year-old infielder got a one-year contract that will be worth 1.1 million if he makes the big leagues. There is an additional 400,000 in performance bonuses.The six-time All-Star last played in the majors in 2011 with San Francisco, hitting .239 with four home runs and 26 RBIs in 91 games."I'm very pleased with this. The contract with the Royals is a done deal," Tejada told The Associated Press. " I'm going to try to help this team and their younger players. I'm so happy because this is what I was aiming for, a chance to get back to the majors."Tejada played 36 games in Triple-A for Baltimore last season, batting .259 with no homers and 18 RBIs. He was released from his minor league deal on June 25 at his own request when he didn't see an opportunity to play for the Orioles in the near future.Tejada has been playing for the Aguilas Cibaenas in the Dominican Republic Winter League. He says he lost 15 pounds during the summer."I believe I can be valuable for Kansas City in different facets. They haven't told me what specific role they have in mind for me, but what is important is that I'm healthy and I know that I can help," he said.Tejada spent 15 seasons in the majors and was the 2002 AL MVP with Oakland. He is a career .285 hitter with 304 homers and 1,282 RBIs with the A's, Orioles, Houston, San Diego and the Giants.
The Celtics met with Al Horford Friday and it appears they’re trying to get him to sign before their meeting on Saturday with Kevin Durant.
Multiple outlets have already suggested that theory, but Basketball Insiders’ Alex Kennedy tweeted late Friday that’s actually what the Celtics are attempting to do. It's similar to what the Suns tried last summer by signing Tyson Chandler and then bringing him to their meeting with LaMarcus Aldridge. They almost did have Aldridge signed, but he changed his mind over the 48 hours between his meeting and his decision.
Unfortunately for the Celtics, it sounds like Horford wants to take the weekend before deciding, according to The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Sources: Free agent Al Horford held four meetings today -- including Houston, Washington -- and plans to make a decision over weekend.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) July 2, 2016
If the Celtics are able to get Horford agree to a max contract Friday, it’d likely be a huge boost to their chances of signing Durant. But they might have to wait a bit.
BOSTON – The Boston Celtics are poised to do the seemingly unthinkable: acquire an elite free agent in their prime.
The Celtics are meeting with four-time all-star Al Horford tonight and as one league executive told CSNNE.com, Boston has emerged as a front-runner for his services after the Atlanta Hawks came to terms on a three-year, $70.5 million deal with Dwight Howard.
And the Celtics will come armed with a four-year, $113 million max-salary offer for the 30-year-old Horford as well.
In addition to the Celtics, Horford is also reportedly considering signing with the Houston Rockets.
Acquiring Horford would bolster the Celtics’ franchise on multiple levels. For starters, he would provide an upgrade roster-wise to a team whose progress has leveled out the last couple of seasons with first-round playoff exits.
Adding Horford greatly enhances the Celtics’ chances at making a playoff run that extends beyond just the first round. Adding Horford also provides the first real tangible sign that the days of Boston being perceived as no man’s land when it comes to free agents are in the past.
In addition, Horford’s leadership on the floor and inside the locker room can only strengthen a culture that’s deeply rooted in accountability.
But as the Celtics approach their recruitment of Horford with cautious optimism, they know all too well that they can’t afford to take anything involved in wooing him for granted.
While the Rockets may appear to be a team that Boston doesn’t have to worry too much about when it comes to Horford, there is one wild card franchise out there: Oklahoma City.
They’re the odds-on favorite to re-sign Kevin Durant, and adding a player like Horford to the roster could only strengthen their chances of keeping him long-term.
Oklahoma City has explored possible trade opportunities centered around Enes Kanter, which could go far in freeing up space to pursue Horford.
And as one of the six teams that Durant will meet with this weekend, the Celtics are well aware of the minefield that awaits them in trying to secure Horford as well as their top target, Durant.
The fact that Boston is on the short list for the top two free agents out there (Durant and Horford), speaks volumes as to how far this franchise has come from a perception standpoint in the eyes of the league’s best players.
Both Horford and Durant have talked in glowing terms about the Celtics franchise, head coach Brad Stevens and the players.
And the Celtics have made no secret about wanting both to eventually become Celtics, something that now stands as a legit possibility with Boston well in the mix for both players.
A. Sherrod Blakely can be followed on Twitter: @SherrodbCSN
The Bruins made a number of signings official on the first day of NHL free agency on Friday along with the big prize in hard-hitting, productive center David Backes.
Backup goaltender Anton Khudobin signed a two-year deal worth $1.2 million per season to return as a goaltending tandem with Tuukka Rask as they were back in a highly successful 2012-13 NHL season.
Hustling, grinding fourth line forward Riley Nash was signed to a two-year, $1.8 million contract with the Bruins as well, and had nine goals and 22 points in 64 games for the Carolina Hurricanes last season in an energy forward role. In his five-year NHL career, Nash has played in 242 games, amassing 31 goals and 50 assists for 81 points with 69 penalty minutes, including a career-high 10 goals a couple of years ago with the Hurricanes.
The 36-year-old John-Michael Liles signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Bruins after arriving from Carolina at the NHL trade deadline last spring. Liles appeared in 17 games and notched six assists along with a minus-6 rating for the Bruins in 2015-16 after being acquired for Anthony Camara, a 2016 third-round pick and a 2017 fifth-round pick on February 29, 2016. Prior to joining up with Boston, the 5-foot-10, 185-pound Liles played in all 64 games for Carolina, recording six goals and nine assists for 15 points with 16 penalty minutes.
“We went out to identify a primary target in David Backes as a center, right wing candidate. He provides depth and balance to our lineup, as did Riley Nash. And Anton Khudobin addressed an area that we seemed to have chased for a little while and possibly with Malcolm’s [Subban] injury we needed to address that for the next couple of seasons. John-Michael Liles is a player that we acquired last year that really added a lot to the mobility and the transition game and we’re excited about bringing him back,” said Bruins GM Don Sweeney. “Tim Schaller was a local boy at Providence College that we went out and identified another size, strength, left-shot, penalty kill and continued to add depth. Tyler Randell emerged last year was on our roster all year long, contributed and was a real hard-nosed player, sticks up for his teammates, was able to contribute goals, albeit not necessarily in the lineup every night, bringing balance. And Tommy Cross and the leadership qualities he brings to Providence for younger players to continue to develop.
“He found himself playing in NHL games, acquainted himself very well, just a real quality person across the board. So I think the overall philosophy of today and going into the free agent period was to address some needs and we did that. But we’ve created what I think is a real internal competition for our younger players to step up and emerge around what I think we’ve added to the core group of our players. They should be excited about this opportunity.”
Tommy Cross, Tyler Randell and Tim Schaller all signed one-year, two-way deals with the Bruins for an NHL value of $600,000, but are all expected to play the bulk of the season at the AHL level barring anything unexpected.
Joe Haggerty can be followed on Twitter: @HacksWithHaggs