Giants bring back Scutaro for $ 20 million over 3 years

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Updated 06 December 2012
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Giants bring back Scutaro for $ 20 million over 3 years

SAN FRANCISCO: Second baseman Marco Scutaro is staying in San Francisco, right where he wanted to be.
The NL championship series MVP agreed to a $20 million, three-year contract with the Giants late Tuesday. Vice president of baseball operations Bobby Evans said only a physical was left to finalize the deal.
“He was a priority from Day One,” Evans said. “He was a key part of our 2012 success and served as a tremendous veteran presence.” Earlier in the evening, Scutaro had been weighing a two-year contract offer that included a vesting option — but he was seeking a three-year deal to remain with the World Series champions. The Giants and Scutaro’s representatives met Tuesday at the winter meetings in Nashville, Tennessee In other moves, the Giants exercised 2014 contract options on manager Bruce Bochy and GM Brian Sabean.
The 37-year-old Scutaro batted .362 with three homers and 44 RBIs in 61 regular-season games with the Giants after he was acquired in a July 27 trade with Colorado. He frequently said how much he enjoyed playing for San Francisco and that he hoped he would return.
The Giants suddenly have quite a familiar roster returning after making two big moves in as many days to keep their own free agents. On Monday, center fielder Angel Pagan agreed to a $ 40 million, four-year contract.
Left-handed reliever Jeremy Affeldt received an $18 million, three-year contract on Nov. 14.
Retaining Affeldt, Pagan and Scutaro were among the top priorities for Sabean and Evans this offseason.
Giants CEO Larry Baer considered it a productive winter meetings — and offseason so far — for his busy club after already re-signing Affeldt last month. Winning the World Series for the second time in three seasons put San Francisco behind on its offseason plan again, though everyone in the front office would say that’s a great problem to have.
“Culture is important, and Marco is a wonderful influence with our players, especially the Latin players,” Baer said.
The 31-year-old Pagan batted .288 with eight home runs, 56 RBIs and a San Francisco-best 15 triples in his first season with the Giants. Pagan said late in the season and again after the World Series parade that he hoped to return, but wanted to test free agency and sought some job security in the form of a multiyear deal.
Victorino, Red Sox agree
to $39 million, 3-year deal
In Nashville, Tennessee, the fast-moving Boston Red Sox made their second splashy move of the winter meetings, agreeing Tuesday to a $39 million, three-year contract with free-agent outfielder Shane Victorino.
A day after giving Mike Napoli a $39 million, three-year deal, the Red Sox made Victorino their fourth free-agent addition of the offseason following agreements with outfielder Jonny Gomes and catcher David Ross.
Nicknamed The Flyin’ Hawaiian, Victorino tweeted earlier Tuesday that he planned to spend the day in Maui on a snorkeling trip aboard the Alii Nui catamaran.
“Just agreed to join the Boston (at)RedSox in the middle of paradise,” he tweeted later on. “(hash)BLESSED!!! Can’t wait to get to Boston!”
Victorino would earn $ 13 million annually. The deal is subject to a physical, as is Boston’s agreement with Napoli.
“Added another great addition to our team!” Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester tweeted.
Victorino hit a combined .255 with 11 home runs and 55 RBIs last season for Philadelphia and the Los Angeles Dodgers, who acquired him in late July. He also stole a career-high 39 bases.
A two-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner, Victorino turned 32 on Friday. He also had been pursued by the Cleveland Indians, who offered a $44 million, four-year contract.
Victorino played mostly center field for the Phillies and shifted to left with the Dodgers. He likely would play right field for the Red Sox but could shift to center if Jacoby Ellsbury is traded or leaves as a free agent after next season.
“It’s probably the toughest right field in baseball to play, just in terms of the space to cover,” new Boston manager John Farrell said earlier in the day. “So that range comes into play. And yet you try to combine the best range available along with offensive production. It might not be your prototypical right fielder where it’s a power bat because we do value the defense in that area. That’s not to exclude anyone, but defense takes a high priority, in that position at Fenway particularly.”
Boston finished last in the AL East and is trying to boost its offense. Napoli, an All-Star catcher with Texas this year, appears likely to shift his primary position.
“We see him as a first baseman primarily, but with the ability to catch,” Farrell said. “We would have him catch in spring training early on, but then certainly make sure that we’ve got enough reps at first base for not only him to feel comfortable there, but for us as well.”


Liverpool's Andrew Robertson ready for Roma Champions League test

Updated 23 April 2018
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Liverpool's Andrew Robertson ready for Roma Champions League test

  • Young Scottish star was very impressive during Liverpool's 5-1 aggregate destruction of Man City in last-eight clash.
  • Robertson refuses to take Roma lightly after their shock victory over Barcelona in the last round.

LIVERPOOL: With a desire stoked in the stands of Parkhead, Andrew Robertson is now fired up to fulfil a childhood dream.
While following the fortunes of Celtic, the defender’s first Champions League final memory was when Zinedine Zidane volleyed Real Madrid to success in 2002 as the contest was staged in Robertson’s home city of Glasgow. He was just eight years old.
While Robertson was deemed too small to play for his boyhood idols, released at 15 with a future uncertain, he has grown to prove his worth on Europe’s biggest club stage with Liverpool.
Now, with a semifinal encounter against AS Roma after beating Premier League champions Manchester City in the last eight, he wants to emulate those Reds heroes who lifted the trophy five times before.
“I was a big Celtic fan growing up and my heroes were Henrik Larsson and Co,” Robertson told Arab News ahead of tonight’s first-leg clash 
at Anfield.
“But these heroes who have won the European Cup and Champions League for Liverpool, you have to look up to them — and we want to emulate them and hopefully get a winner’s medal too.
“The club’s won it five times and the history of the club has always been this, the Champions League, where the fans create a special atmosphere and the club challenges for the trophy. It would be unbelievable to be a part of that history.
“This is the highlight for me so far and an incredible feeling, but it just makes you hungry for more. I don’t want it to end.
“As a kid, you sit back and watch how great it would be to play in this competition, let alone in the final.
“I always used to go to Celtic and we didn’t progress very far in the Champions League, but the occasions at Parkhead were always unbelievable.
“The fans at Celtic are incredible, world renowned, but Anfield was unbelievable against Man City and we have another chance for them to create that same atmosphere and hopefully we can put in another great performance.”
Having beaten Pep Guardiola’s City so convincingly, 5-1 over two gripping games, Liverpool will start favorites against Roma.
That is despite the Italians upsetting Barcelona in the previous round with an epic 3-0 win in the second leg after a 4-1 loss at the Nou Camp.
But Robertson will take nothing for granted against a Roma side who last reached the final in 1984 where they were beaten by Liverpool in a penalty shootout at their Stadio Olimpico home.
“Barca are an unbelievable team,” added the Scotland left-back, 24. “But let’s not kid ourselves. For Roma to score three goals against Barcelona, that’s special.
“They’ve been unbelievable this season too in the Champions League and deserve to be in the semifinals. It will definitely not be an easy game.
“But once you get to the semis, the fear of who you are playing has gone because you know how good the teams are.
“It’s like you look forward to the possibility of playing in the final, that’s what drives you forward. We will have fire in our bellies because we are so close to getting there.”
Jurgen Klopp’s men will no doubt be looking to Mohamed Salah to conjure more magic against the club he left in the summer for £36.9 million ($51.5 million).
But Robertson insisted Liverpool are no one-man team and the Egyptian, crowned PFA Player of the Year on Sunday night after scoring 41 goals in an unforgettable campaign, epitomizes a team united and ambitious in their quest for glory.
“He’s just unbelievable,” said Robertson of the frontman.
“In the first half (of the second leg) against Man City we struggled to get him in the game and he wasn’t quite at it. But the second half he was different class and pops up with a goal to help us win it. That’s what he does.
“His goals have been incredible and long may that continue. He’s a great guy, so humble, and for someone who has done so much this season he’s so down to Earth.
“That’s credit to our squad because we don’t let anyone get ahead of themselves.
“Mo is no different, he’s a lovely person and stands for what we are as a team.”

 

HEART OF GOLD

Five years ago Andrew Robertson was playing in the fourth tier of Scottish football with Queen’s Park and earning extra money by selling concert tickets in the corporate offices at Hampden Park.
Last summer he suffered relegation from the Premier League with Hull City before Liverpool signed him for £10 million ($13.9 million).
In a career fraught with setbacks and hardships, he has been grateful, supporting foodbanks that help those in need.
“It’s all about giving something back to the less fortunate,” said Robertson.
“I’m in a fortunate position where I do a job I love and get paid well and it’s nice to give something back, especially in my hometown. I’ll always do that.
“It’s been a great journey for me in my career, and I’ve enjoyed every minute. But I don’t forget where I came from. Maybe it is rare, but a lot more people are doing it now and I hope even more will.”