1st Down: The Seattle Mariners look like they are going to be ending a long, long postseason drought at present, but they are not sitting on their laurels, with a deal for Cincinnati Reds pitcher Luis Castillo being announced late Friday night by the club. Concerned by many to be the best arm available before the trade deadline, the Mariners landed their man for four minor league prospects. Castillo is just 4-4 on the year so far, but his ERA is under 3.00 despite being on a poor team. He will be under contract until the end of 2023 as well, so it’s not a super short rental agreement like many we see this time of year.
2nd Down: James Harden’s move to Philadelphia is under further investigation, according to sources familiar with the NBA. In fact, it appears that the 76ers are being looked into potential tampering on all three summer signings they made: Harden, PJ Tucker, and Danuel House according to the reports out there. Harden and his team are accused of having a ‘handshake’ deal prior to the league’s allowable contact time, and it appears that the others might be in a similar spot. The Bulls and Heat each had second-round picks taken from them last year for this sort of infraction, so there is precedent there.
3rd Down: The San Diego Padres are in a playoff-contending position, and it looks as if they will be keeping one of the players that has helped them there for the foreseeable future. Reports state that the Fathers are close to finishing a deal with Joe Musgrove that will run five years and net him $100 million. If it does indeed get across the line, he’d be the first pitcher for the team to have gotten a deal in the triple millions. He is currently 8-3 and had his first All-Star appearance earlier this month. He would have been a free agent after this season, so this is a big move intended to keep them contenders for quite some time.
4th Down: Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff has had a rough few weeks at the helm, and it seems he just can’t escape headlines at the moment. On Friday, he stated that he believed the College Football Playoff would be expanded as soon as 2025, stating that he was “really confident” that it would take place sooner rather than later. While he has optimism, most in the realm of college football don’t believe anything will change prior to 2026. Even if it does, there are certainly issues to iron out, such as how many teams would make the playoff, how many spots are automatically given to conference champions, and how it would work with bowl games. Many are talking about a 16-team playoff field, but that would represent a large jump from the four we have now, and it might be a bit too much.