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MLB rumors: Yankees showing interest in Freddie Freeman; Braves sign veteran catcher Manny Piña

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As we count down the days until the CBA expires, there’s still some action on the MLB rumor mill. We’ll get to that in a second. 

First, there was a big signing that happened Monday morning. Left-handed starter Eduardo Rodríguez inked a five-year, $77 million deal with the Tigers as the club looks to turn the corner and put the rebuild in the rearview mirror. 

As for the rumors of the day, let’s get to it. 

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Yankees showing interest in Freeman

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The most obvious conclusion to Freddie Freeman‘s free agency is him re-signing with the Braves, possibly for the rest of his career. With him hitting free agency before signing an extension, however, the Braves are certainly risking another team swooping in and grabbing Freeman. We’ve heard about the Dodgers being a possibility, and now the Yankees have been thrown into the mix. Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports that the Yankees met with Freeman’s representatives recently. 

Of course, Heyman also reports that Anthony Rizzo (free agent) or Matt Olson (via trade) are probably more realistic options for the Yankees, as the Braves remain the favorites for Freeman. 

Still, it’s at least interesting to see the teams outside Atlanta peeking in on Freeman. His lefty bat in Yankee Stadium would be a huge plus in that lineup, too. 

Correa and Tigers continue to look like a fit

The Tigers landing Rodríguez on a relatively hefty deal this early in the offseason shows how serious they are about spending money to supplement their young, in-house talent. They need a shortstop and current manager A.J. Hinch was the Astros‘ manager for the first five years of Carlos Correa‘s career. Tigers general manager Alex Avila has publicly said that, yes, shortstop is a need, too. 

This doesn’t necessarily mean the Tigers are favorites for Correa or anything, but they absolutely seem like a great fit. Sure enough, Robert Murray of Fansided reports that the Tigers met this Correa’s representatives at the general manager meetings last week. 

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Correa recently declined the Astros’ qualifying offer. Speaking of, here’s our updated QO tracker

Carp expected to post Suzuki soon

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Hiroshima Toyo Carp of Japan’s NPB are expected to announce this week they’ll be submitting outfielder Seiya Suzuki to the posting system. Suzuki is expected to draw a lot of interest from MLB teams, to the extent that CBS Sports ranked him as the 15th-best free agent available this winter:

Seiya Suzuki is expected to be submitted through the posting system by the Hiroshima Carp once the Japan Series concludes in late November. He’s a five-time All-Star in Nippon Professional Baseball with a career .315/.415/.571 slash line who boasts a well-rounded game. In addition to posting above-average exit velocities, he’s walked more than he’s struck out in two of the past three years. (In 2020, the exception, he finished with one fewer walk than strikeout.) Suzuki also has a high-grade arm that should allow him to make an impact on defense. The one blemish in his game is that he’s not a particularly skilled basestealer. Teams will gladly overlook that.

Once Suzuki is officially posted — likely after the Japan Series ends in late November — teams will have 30 days to reach an agreement with him. From there, the Carp will receive a financial payout based on the sum of his contract. 

Braves sign Piña 

The Braves announced on Tuesday night they had signed veteran catcher Manny Piña to a two-year contract worth $8 million that includes a club option for the 2023 season.

Piña, who had originally made CBS Sports’ top-50 free-agent rankings, is a good defender with a tolerable bat. He’s expected to serve as Travis d’Arnaud‘s backup.

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How to watch Appalachian State vs. James Madison: NCAA Football live stream info, TV channel, time, game odds

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Who’s Playing

James Madison @ Appalachian State

Current Records: James Madison 2-0; Appalachian State 2-1

What to Know

The James Madison Dukes watched the action from their couches last weekend, but are set to take to the field. James Madison and the Appalachian State Mountaineers will face off in a Sun Belt battle at 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday at Kidd Brewer Stadium. The odds don’t look promising for the Dukes, but the bigger the opponent is, the harder they fall.

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A well-balanced attack led James Madison over the Norfolk State Spartans every single quarter on their way to victory two weeks ago. James Madison claimed a resounding 63-7 win over Norfolk State at home. The game was pretty much decided by the half, when the score had already reached 35 to nothing.

Meanwhile, Appalachian State didn’t have too much breathing room in their contest with the Troy Trojans last week, but they still walked away with a 32-28 victory. Appalachian State QB Chase Brice was slinging it as he passed for two TDs and 279 yards on 34 attempts. Near the top of the highlight reel was Brice’s 53-yard TD bomb to WR Christan Horn in the fourth quarter.

Their wins bumped the Dukes to 2-0 and the Mountaineers to 2-1. Watch the matchup and check back on CBS Sports to find out who keeps up the positive energy and who hits a stumbling block.

How To Watch

  • When: Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Where: Kidd Brewer Stadium — Boone, North Carolina
  • TV: ESPN Plus
  • Online streaming: fuboTV (Try for free. Regional restrictions may apply.)
  • Follow: CBS Sports App
  • Ticket Cost: $40.99

Odds

The Mountaineers are a solid 6.5-point favorite against the Dukes, according to the latest college football odds.

The oddsmakers had a good feel for the line for this one, as the game opened with the Mountaineers as a 7.5-point favorite.

Over/Under: -111

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Series History

This is the first time these teams have played each other within the last seven years.



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UTSA vs. Texas Southern: How to watch NCAA Football online, TV channel, live stream info, game time

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Who’s Playing

Texas Southern @ UTSA

Current Records: Texas Southern 1-2; UTSA 1-2

What to Know

The Texas Southern Tigers will take on the UTSA Roadrunners at 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday at Alamodome. Texas Southern isn’t favored, but they just beat the odds in their last game, so don’t count them out.

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The Tigers kept a clean sheet against the Southern University Jaguars last week and took the matchup 24 to nothing. The squad ran away with 21 points in the first half and mostly just sat on those in the second to pick up the victory.

Meanwhile, it was all tied up 17-17 at halftime, but UTSA was not quite the Texas Longhorns’ equal in the second half when they met last week. The Roadrunners suffered a grim 41-20 defeat to the Longhorns. This contest was a close 17-17 at the break, but unfortunately for UTSA it sure didn’t stay that way. A silver lining for them was the play of RB Brenden Brady, who threw one touchdown in addition to punching in one rushing touchdown.

Texas Southern’s win lifted them to 1-2 while UTSA’s loss dropped them down to 1-2. We’ll find out if the Tigers can add another positive mark to their record or if UTSA can shake off the defeat and take the spring out of Texas Southern’s step.

How To Watch

  • When: Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Where: Alamodome — San Antonio, Texas
  • TV: STADIUM
  • Follow: CBS Sports App
  • Ticket Cost: $69.00

Odds

The Roadrunners are a big 42-point favorite against the Tigers, according to the latest college football odds.

Bettors have moved against the Roadrunners slightly, as the game opened with the Roadrunners as a 44-point favorite.

Over/Under: -110

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Series History

This is the first time these teams have played each other within the last seven years.



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North Carolina vs. Notre Dame live stream info, TV channel: How to watch NCAA Football on TV, stream online

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Who’s Playing

Notre Dame @ North Carolina

Current Records: Notre Dame 1-2; North Carolina 3-0

What to Know

The North Carolina Tar Heels will be returning home after a two-game road trip. They will take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday at Kenan Memorial Stadium after a week off. UNC is expected to win — but not by much — so they will need to come into the game prepared for a fight.

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The Tar Heels beat the Georgia State Panthers 35-28 two weeks ago. Among those leading the charge for UNC was RB Omarion Hampton, who rushed for two TDs and 110 yards on 16 carries. Hampton put himself on the highlight reel with a 58-yard TD scramble in the third quarter.

Meanwhile, Notre Dame netted a 24-17 victory over the California Golden Bears last week. RB Audric Estime and RB Chris Tyree were among the main playmakers for Notre Dame as the former punched in one rushing touchdown and the latter snatched one receiving TD.

Notre Dame’s defense was a presence as well, as it embarrassed California’s offensive line to sack QB Jack Plummer six times for a total loss of 47 yards. It was a group effort with four guys contributing.

The wins brought the Tar Heels up to 3-0 and the Fighting Irish to 1-2. A pair of stats to keep an eye on: UNC enters the matchup with 310 passing yards per game on average, good for 21st best in the nation. But Notre Dame comes into the contest boasting the 34th fewest passing yards allowed per game in the nation at 184. These opposing strengths should make for an exciting matchup.

How To Watch

  • When: Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Where: Kenan Memorial Stadium — Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • TV: ABC
  • Online streaming: fuboTV (Try for free. Regional restrictions may apply.)
  • Follow: CBS Sports App
  • Ticket Cost: $110.00

Odds

The Tar Heels are a slight 2.5-point favorite against the Fighting Irish, according to the latest college football odds.

The line on this game has moved quite a bit since it opened, as it started out with the Fighting Irish as a 1.5-point favorite.

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Over/Under: -110

See college football picks for every single game, including this one, from SportsLine’s advanced computer model. Get picks now.

Series History

Notre Dame have won all of the games they’ve played against North Carolina in the last eight years.

  • Oct 30, 2021 – Notre Dame 44 vs. North Carolina 34
  • Nov 27, 2020 – Notre Dame 31 vs. North Carolina 17
  • Oct 07, 2017 – Notre Dame 33 vs. North Carolina 10



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