The Bears and Cardinals became the first two teams to start their offseason programs on Tuesday and it looks like guard Earl Watford will be joining one of those programs soon.
Unlike his first four seasons, he won’t be spending the offseason in Arizona. Watford tweeted out “GSH” on Tuesday and it’s apparently not a coincidence that he went with the initials of Bears founder George S. Halas a day after visiting the Bears.
Wilmer Flores (R), 3 percent, New York Mets at Washington Nationals (LHP Gio Gonzalez): The Mets haven’t faced a starting southpaw yet, but the expectation is for Flores to man first base. The 26-year-old infielder could be a regular but for now is relegated to the lesser side of a platoon with Adrian Gonzalez. Flores looks to continue his production versus left-handers, tallying an impressive 1.093 OPS in 2016 and .862 last season.
Niklas was a second-round pick by the Cardinals in 2014 — Matthews was also a second-rounder that year — and saw his most playing time in 2017 by starting 11 times in Arizona. Niklas only caught 11 passes in 15 overall appearances, which did little to change the view that his greatest utility at the NFL level comes as a blocker.
The Wolves and Spurs can move up or down — or even miss the playoffs! — but the most likely outcome for each is to finish either fifth or sixth. Exactly how that plays out — and how the seedings above them play out — is especially intriguing when we look at how our rating system views Portland and Utah.
For the Wolves, the most likely playoff opponent is the Jazz, third in our RPM-based power rankings. Meanwhile, the Spurs might face the Blazers in a series that appears to be a potential upset, given Portland’s likely status as a relatively weak No. 3 seed.
Jorge Alfaro (R), 5 percent, Philadelphia Phillies vs. Miami Marlins (LHP Dillon Peters): Alfaro’s prospect star has dimmed a bit, but the Phillies are still giving him first dibs on the regular gig, with fellow prospect Andrew Knapp looming. Alfaro has some pop but struggles with contact. Peters was impressive in his first effort but isn’t dominant, giving Alfaro a chance to improve upon his seven whiffs in nine at bats pace.