A's trade for a bat for the stretch run

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A's trade for a bat for the stretch run

From Comcast SportsNet
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- The Oakland Athletics landed their veteran shortstop in Stephen Drew. Current shortstop Cliff Pennington and the rest of the A's players found out by ballpark announcement late in the game. The A's acquired Drew from the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday in exchange for minor league infielder Sean Jamieson. The trade, announced by Oakland before the seventh inning of Monday night's game with the Minnesota Twins, reunites Drew with former D-backs manager Bob Melvin -- in his first full season as A's skipper. "It'll be refreshing and a new start," Drew said. "It's a good feeling to go over there and still be competing (for the postseason)." Drew is expected to join Oakland in time to play the middle game of the series against the Twins on Tuesday. He recently returned after being sidelined for nearly a year with a fractured right ankle. He sat out 137 games in all. The 29-year-old Drew is batting .193 with two home runs and 12 RBIs in 40 games since coming back June 26. "Coming back, I've been hitting the ball well but haven't been finding any holes," he said. Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers said last month it was "highly unlikely" the team would trade Drew this season, saying he hadn't received an offer for either Drew or Justin Upton that would improve the Arizona club. A's GM Billy Beane must have changed his mind. "We must be very persuasive," Oakland assistant GM David Forst said, noting the A's will see how the remainder of the season goes with Drew before making any decisions about his status with the club for 2013. "It was more than likely he would have tested free agency so we probably would have only had his services for another six weeks," Towers said. "I have no doubt in my mind that he'll make the A's a much better ballclub." Oakland, a surprise playoff contender this season with a cast of moving parts and new faces, had been looking for a consistent regular in the middle of the infield given the struggles and injuries of Pennington and Adam Rosales. Pennington is hitting .198 with three home runs and 18 RBIs in 92 games. That includes batting 6 for 29 (.207) in 10 games since returning from the disabled list Aug. 7 after missing time with elbow tendinitis -- his first career DL stint. "He plays the same position, so I guess we'll see what happens," Pennington said. "I was sitting there in the dugout and they announced it. I have no idea what those guys (in the front office) think. I'm going to try to pretend I do." During the 2007 postseason playing for Melvin and the NL West champions, Drew batted .387 with two home runs and four RBIs in seven games, including .294 (5 for 17) against the Colorado Rockies in the NL championship series. "I do know Stephen and he's a good player," Melvin said, preferring to wait until Tuesday to elaborate on the move. "He'll be a good fit here." Drew is coming off the severe ankle injury and has a 10 million mutual option for next season. If the option is not picked up, Drew receives a 1.35 million buyout. "I think he's probably recovered better than I thought," Towers said. "We have a lot of middle infielders and it's tough to spread the reps and at bats among three middle infielders." The A's will make corresponding moves to their 40-man and 25-man rosters upon Drew's arrival. He is currently in an 0-for-15 stretch and is batting .069 (2 for 29) over his past nine games. Drew homered in consecutive games Aug. 5-7. Second baseman Jemile Weeks said the announcement was "surprising to everybody." "He's a good player, so if he comes along and jumps in and fits in and helps us win, we're all for it," Weeks said. "I guess they're trying to make a push, they're trying to improve what they feel they need to improve. They're trying to head in a certain direction. Obviously they have that vision in their heads and that's what they're trying to show right now." The 23-year-old Jamieson, Oakland's 17th-round draft pick out of Canisius College in 2011, was batting .234 with 10 home runs, 49 RBIs and 25 stolen bases in 118 games for Single-A Burlington.

Blake Griffin opts out of Clippers contract, becoming free agent

Blake Griffin opts out of Clippers contract, becoming free agent

According to multiple reports, Blake Griffin has opted out of his contract with the Clippers, making him a free agent. 

Griffin is considered one of the top free agents in a class that will also include Utah’s Gordon Hayward. The Celtics have been reported as possible suitors for both players. 

The first overall pick in the 2009 draft, the 28-year-old Griffin is a five-time All-Star, though injuries have limited him over the last three seasons. 

Over 61 games, the 6-foot-10 power forward averaged 21.6 points, 8.1 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game last season. Between numerous injuries and a suspension for hitting a member of the Clippers’ equipment staff, Griffin was limited to just 31 games in the 2015-16 season. 

Adrian Wojnarowski said recently that Boston’s reception for Clippers teammate Paul Pierce made a very strong impression on Griffin. Though there might not necessarily be a connection between the two, Griffin said on Barstool Sports’ “Pardon My Take” that Boston is on his Mt. Rushmore of NBA cities. 

Tatum's sick final workout seals the deal for Celtics

Tatum's sick final workout seals the deal for Celtics

BOSTON -- Jayson Tatum was excited about working out for the Boston Celtics. 

But he knew that, health-wise, he wouldn’t be at his best. 

TATUM SPEAKS

 
He could have easily pulled out like others had, or just told the Celts in advance so they could take it into account when they were deciding on who to take with the No. 3 pick. 
 
Instead, he kept it to himself until after his workout, focused on doing what the best in the NBA do on a nightly basis -- finding a way to play their best when at their worst physically. 
 
“I wasn’t feeling well, but you can’t make excuses,” Tatum said during an interview with CSN’s Kyle Draper and A. Sherrod Blakely. “There can be times in the future where there’s a game or playoff game where you’re not feeling well. Nobody is going to care. You have to produce.”
 
Did. He. Ever. 
 
The workout didn’t just go well.  It ranked among the best Danny Ainge had seen, which made the decision for Boston to select the 6-foot-9 forward from Duke with the No. 3 pick an easy call. 
 
Ainge, Boston’s president of basketball operations, had an eye on Tatum all season and acknowledged he had high expectations for him to perform at during his workout in Boston. 
 
“He was better than I actually thought,” Ainge said during the CelticsTalk Podcast with Kyle Draper and A. Sherrod Blakely. “Which was hard to do, because we thought highly of him before.”
 
During the workout, Ainge saw a young man who had worked on improving his perimeter shooting to the point where it was actually one of his stronger qualities. 
 
 “As I watched him play earlier in his life  . . . what he lacked was his range shooting,” Ainge said. “He was a very good mid-range player and good passer off the dribble. But the range shooting, what he showed us in the workout here was very impressive. We had two workouts with him. And in both of them, he was one of the best shooters in this whole draft at any position, and one of the best shooters we’ve had in here for any draft.”
 
Making Tatum’s workout all that more impressive was it came with him far from at his best health-wise, something the Celtics didn’t learn of until afterwards. 
 
“He wanted to be here from the very beginning, even before we got the number one pick,” Ainge said. “He wanted to be here. He came in here and showed it. He came on his workout and was sick. He was on antibiotics, nose was dripping and he didn’t complain. And he still played and played well. That was impressive, how much he showed, how much he wanted to be here.”
 
Tatum said his mindset coming into his workout was simple.
 
“I knew the draft pick was on the line,” Tatum said. “I had to really perform and I think I did really well.”