The Cubs on Tuesday announced that they signed veteran reliever Joe Nathan to a major-league contract for 2016. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Nathan, 41, is working his way back from Tommy John surgery, which he underwent in April of last year.
Across parts of 15 big-league season, Nathan has pitched to a 2.89 ERA (150 ERA+) and 2.84 K/BB ratio in 777 games, 748 of which have been relief appearances. Nathan’s 377 career saves put him eighth on the all-time list.
The Seahawks and Cardinals remain the best in the NFC West.
The Seahawks don’t have that Super Bowl hangover anymore, with the horrible way they lost that game, and they don’t have Marshawn Lynch or Kam Chancellordrama this year, either. They seem recharged and hungry and they ran the ball better without Beast Mode a year ago than they did with him.
Things have a way of swinging wildly from one extreme to the other in this division. No one seems to stay good for long. Chip Kelly tore through it for one season and then couldn’t really win again. The Redskins won last year while still being in rebuilding mode and the Giants spent money like mid-200os Dan Snyder trying to get relevant again.
Which brings me to the Dallas Cowboys. This is another team where 2015 strikes me as an anomaly — all of the key injuries, the inept quarterback play, the drama every week. That won’t happen again. Are they flawed? Hell yeah. They have no pass rush and I have no idea why they used their first two draft picks the way they did. But a healthy Tony Romo and Dez Bryant is enough to shift the paradigm in this topsy-turvy division yet again, and I believe they will do just that. Those two can carry a team, and Rod Marinelli will find some fits on defense. Ten wins will get it done.
With a healthy Dez Bryant and Tony Romo, the Cowboys are the team to beat in the NFC East
I’m not buying the Eagles’ 2016 quarterback room — though Carson Wentz in 2017 could change all of that. The Redskins could also be a better team for the future yet actually win fewer games in 2016. I have also yet to see a team splurge like the Giants did and it actually pay off in the standings. Too much of a team game.
As for McDonough, when the 2016 NFL season kicks off, he’ll become just the fifth play-by-play man in the 46-year history of Monday Night Football.
McDonough will be following in the footsteps of Keith Jackson (1970), Frank Gifford (1971-85), Al Michaels (1986-2005) and Tirico, who got the job when Monday Night Football made the move from ABC to ESPN in 2006.
The rest of ESPN’s Monday night team will look familiar in 2016: Jon Gruden will be joining McDonough in the booth. The MNF broadcast will also include sideline reporter Lisa Salters.