A’s sign reliever John Axford

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UPDATE: It’s a done deal.

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Oakland’s bullpen overhaul continues, as Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the A’s “are close to signing” free agent right-hander John Axford.

Axford has closing experience, including leading the league with 46 saves for the Brewers in 2011, but he’d likely slot into a middle relief role after the A’s signed Ryan Madson and traded for Liam Hendriks to join Sean Doolittle in the late innings.

Axford spent this past season in Colorado, saving 25 games with a 4.20 ERA and 62/32 K/BB ratio in 56 innings. He’s always thrown hard and missed plenty of bats, but Axford’s effectiveness often depends on managing his shaky control. He walked more than five batters per nine innings in 2014 and 2015.

Mike Tirico to host NBC Sports’ new daily sports talk show ‘Lunch Talk Live’

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NBC Sports’ new daily sports talk show, Lunch Talk Live, debuts this Monday, April 6, at Noon ET on NBCSN, featuring host Mike Tirico joined by special guests, including current and former athletes, NBC Sports’ lineup of on-air commentators, and other prominent voices and figures within sports and media.

Lunch Talk Live focuses on the current state of the sports world and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, providing guests with a platform to discuss the state of sports, voice their personal stories and detail how they are adapting their daily lives during this challenging time.

“In these challenging times, we are all missing sports and the people who make sports memories,” said Tirico. “Hopefully, we can bring a midday connection with some of them to help fill the void.”

Sam Flood, NBC Sports Executive Producer & President of Production, said, “We’re excited to bring viewers fresh programming every day with unique, topical conversations from prominent individuals in all corners of sports. This will be a daily lunch date to share sports and stories we miss during these unique times.”

The hour-long show will air weekdays at Noon ET on NBCSN and stream on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app. Select content and interviews will additionally be hosted on NBC Sports’ YouTube channel and social media platforms.

Tirico will host Lunch Talk Live episodes remotely, beginning this Monday.