Eagle lands on James Paxton’s shoulder during national anthem

Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images
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Doug Pederson wasn’t the only Eagle stealing the pre-game spotlight on Thursday. An eagle mistook Mariners starter James Paxton for its handler, landing on the left-hander’s non-throwing shoulder during the national anthem prior to Thursday afternoon’s game in Minnesota against the Twins.

Paxton didn’t seemed fazed at all by the eagle. As of this writing, he’s tossed a pair of scoreless innings against the Twins.

Coincidentally, Paxton appeared in a commercial for the Mariners before the season in which he seemed to have an affinity for birds — provided they aren’t Blue Jays or Orioles.

Dodgers sign OF Jason Heyward to minor league deal

Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
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LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Dodgers signed outfielder Jason Heyward to a minor league deal and invited him to spring training.

The 33-year-old was released by the Chicago Cubs earlier this offseason.

Heyward, who was injured at times last season, put up the worst offensive numbers of his career, batting .204 and with 10 RBIs and one home run in 137 plate appearances. However, he’s a valuable defender in the outfield.

The deal reunites Heyward with first baseman Freddie Freeman. They came up through the Atlanta Braves system and have remained friends ever since.

Heyward was a leader in the Cubs’ clubhouse, helping them win the 2016 World Series.