Mauer denies report of a negotiation deadline

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Yesterday Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan reported that Joe Mauer had imposed an Opening Day deadline on extension talks with the Twins. Mauer’s response? Wha?!

“I’m not going to react to every story/rumor that comes out or comment
on any negotiations. As far as that report, I don’t know where that
came from . . . I’ve always said it will happen when it needs to happen and I truly
believe that. I’m not
the kind of guy that, you know, says by this date we need to have
something done.”

Hard to say how this stuff happens. My guess: either Passan or his source — described as “a source close to the American League Most Valuable Player” — confused Mauer’s understandable desire or reasonable expectation to have something done before Opening Day with a demand that something be done then. This sort of thing happens when you’re essentially playing a game of telephone, which is more or less what all rumor reporting is.

Regardless, no one has denied last week’s report that the Twins are going to go all out to re-sign Mauer, likely before Christmas. With the new stadium and the MVP and his local boy status and all of that, it’s a no-brainer.

Braves sign former football player Sanders Commings

GLENDALE, AZ - AUGUST 15:  Cornerback Sanders Commings #26 of the Kansas City Chiefs on the sidelines during the pre-season NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on August 15, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
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The Braves have signed former football player and current outfielder Sanders Commings, an Augusta, Georgia native, to a minor league contract, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.

Commings, 26, was a defensive back who played for the University of Georgia before being selected by the Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2013 draft. He appeared in two games in the 2013 season.

Commings also played baseball for Westside High School and was selected by the Diamondbacks in the 37th round of the 2008 draft. He chose to attend the University of Georgia instead. When football didn’t pan out, Commings started training with Jerry Hairston, Jr. Hairston said he was “blown away” when he saw Commings hit for the first time.

Obviously, Commings’ path to success as a professional baseball player will be long, but it’s a no-risk flier for the Braves. The club has past experience with football players, including Deion Sanders and Brian Jordan.

The next task for the Braves will be to acquire Ryan Goins from the Blue Jays. That way, players will look at the lineup card each day to see if it’s Commings or Goins.

Justin Verlander: “I’d like to see the AL and NL have the same rules… I vote NL rules.”

SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 10:  Starting pitcher Justin Verlander #35 of the Detroit Tigers pitches against the Seattle Mariners in the first inning at Safeco Field on August 10, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
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On Thursday afternoon, Rays pitcher Chris Archer asked his Twitter followers, “Lots swirling around what needs to be changed about the game of baseball. What do y’all want to see changed, if anything, & why?”

Tigers ace Justin Verlander responded:

To that, Archer said:

For what it’s worth, Verlander hasn’t been much of a hitter. In 47 career plate appearances, he has three singles and no extra-base hits. And if the AL did get rid of the DH rule, the Tigers would have nowhere to put Victor Martinez. Verlander, though, would have an easier time pitching to opposing pitchers rather than their DH’s.