It's official: Rams taking offers for 2nd overall pick

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It's official: Rams taking offers for 2nd overall pick

From Comcast SportsNet
The St. Louis Rams are willing to trade the second overall pick of the April draft. Chief operating officer Kevin Demoff said Tuesday that the team would make a deal under the right circumstances, but has not made any commitments despite a report late Monday that a trade had already been decided. He said new coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead went to the NFL combine with an open mind. "I think coach Fisher and Les have been upfront that we will listen to offers for the 2nd pick," Demoff said in an email to The Associated Press. "I didn't see anything in the report that differed from their statements." Quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III are expected to go 1-2 in the draft, with Indianapolis holding the top pick. The Rams need plenty of help but are set at quarterback with Sam Bradford, the first overall pick in 2010. Among a group of perhaps 50 or 60 players that the Rams are believed to have interviewed at the combine are Southern California offensive tackle Matt Kalil and Oklahoma wide receiver Justin Blackmon, a pair who would fill obvious holes. While the Colts are widely expected to take Luck as the eventual heir to Peyton Manning, it is Griffin who has sparked the speculation. Last year's Heisman Trophy winner from Baylor is seen as a good fit with a number of teams, increasing the likelihood of the Rams dealing the second pick in a bid to stock up. But the draft is still two months away and free agency has not begun. Fisher, hired in January, has consistently maintained he has a high regard for Bradford and believes he can become a star. Fisher dismissed last season's performance to a large extent because of injuries to Bradford and his offensive line, plus a time shortage getting accustomed to offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels' system because of the lockout. Bradford missed six games with a high left ankle sprain playing behind an injury riddled line. Tackles Rodger Saffold and Jason Smith, and guard Jacob Bell ended the season on injured reserve. The defense also needs help after threatening the franchise record for yards allowed. Fisher and Snead were hired after the Rams' 2-14 season tied for the NFL's worst. They were just 10-38 in three seasons under coach Steve Spagnuolo, who was fired along with general manager Billy Devaney. McDaniels is also gone.

Cubs can't complete another miracle comeback against Giants bullpen

Cubs can't complete another miracle comeback against Giants bullpen

Hours before the first pitch was even thrown in Cubs-Giants Monday night, the managers of both teams fielded questions on the miraculous comeback that occurred the last time these two teams squared off.

But the Cubs offense couldn't complete another epic comeback against the San Francisco bullpen Monday, dropping a 6-4 contest in front of 36,204 fans at Wrigley Field.

Two hundred, twenty three days after the Cubs scored four runs in the ninth inning to eliminate the Giants in the National League Division Series, they put a four-spot on the board in the eighth inning.

But the Giants had built a six-run lead and called upon Hunter Strickland (who was on the mound for the final runs of that Game 4) to induce a rally-killing double play ball from Willson Contreras.

The Cubs had done nothing against Ty Blach for seven innings before Jason Heyward led off the eighth with a single. Javy Baez followed with a homer, pinch-hitter Ian Happ tripled and Ben Zobrist drilled another blast into the right-field bleachers.

Pinch-hitter Jon Jay then singled and after Kris Bryant flied out, Anthony Rizzo was plunked, putting two on and one out for Contreras.

Mark Melancon —  the big-money closer recently activated off the disabled list who was signed to help stabilize the back end of the Giants bullpen — pitched a scoreless ninth to preserve the San Francisco victory.

John Lackey had a rough outing for the Cubs, allowing five runs on seven hits and a pair of walks in five innings. He also hit two batters and gave up two home runs — including a solo shot by Joe Panik to lead off the game.

White Sox prospect Yoan Moncada's trip to Chicago much ado about nothing

White Sox prospect Yoan Moncada's trip to Chicago much ado about nothing

PHOENIX -- Yoan Moncada’s routine checkup with team doctors drew some extra attention when baseball’s top prospect made it known he was in Chicago.

The White Sox Triple-A second baseman took a selfie and noted he was in Chicago, Illinois early Monday which sent some fans into a frenzy. General manager Rick Hahn said Monday that Moncada was only there to have his sore left thumb examined. Hahn said the thumb that landed Moncada on the seven-day disabled list last week has been determined to be fine.

“He’s been playing with it,” Hahn said. “It goes back a few weeks. It started getting a little more swollen and aggravated him a little more. He wanted to keep playing and didn’t want to go on the DL. But we decided to take a little time here, get it 100 percent, before he gets back out there.”

Moncada is hitting .331/.401/.504 with six home runs and 15 RBIs in 157 plate appearances this season. He also has stolen 10 bases.