THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP)The Los Angeles Rams have claimed quarterback Baker Mayfield off waivers.
The Rams made the move to add Mayfield, the No. 1 pick in the 2018 draft by Cleveland. Mayfield was released by the Panthers on Monday at his request after seven disappointing games with Carolina.
After league-wide speculation about Mayfield joining the contending San Francisco 49ers or Baltimore Ravens, Mayfield instead will join the injury-plagued Rams (3-9). Los Angeles has lost six straight games during what’s shaping up as the worst season in NFL history for a defending Super Bowl champion.
The Rams also need help at quarterback: Matthew Stafford is almost certainly out for the season with a bruised spinal cord, and backups John Wolford and Bryce Perkins have been fairly ineffective while playing three of the past four games. Wolford passed for 178 yards with no touchdowns in last Sunday’s loss to Seattle.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee owner Amy Adams Strunk fired general manager Jon Robinson in the midst of his seventh season with the Titans off to a 7-5 start.
The Titans announced Strunk’s decision in a statement. Ryan Cowden, the vice president of player personnel, will handle player personnel for the rest of this season. The Titans plan to start searching for a new general manager soon with a full search at the end of the season.
Strunk said she thinks the Titans have made ”significant progress” but she believes ”there is more to be done and higher aspirations to be met.”
A native of Union City, Tennessee, Robinson was hired as general manager in January 2016. He posted a winning record in each of his seasons as GM, including earning the AFC’s No. 1 seed in 2021 with a 12-5 record despite setting an NFL record using 91 players in a non-strike season.
SAN DIEGO (AP) – The Pittsburgh Pirates won baseball’s first draft lottery and will get the first pick of eligible amateur players in July.
The Washington Nationals will select second after finishing last season with the worst record in the majors at 55-107. The Detroit Tigers will choose third.
The Minnesota Twins also were big winners, moving up from 13th in the pre-draft order based on their 2022 record to fifth when the ping pong balls were plucked at baseball’s winter meetings.
Oakland was a significant loser, falling from the second-worst record to the No. 6 draft pick.
The Nationals, Athletics and Pirates entered the lottery with the best chance for the No. 1 pick at 16.5% for each team.
SAN DIEGO (AP) – Outfielder Masataka Yoshida will be able to negotiate with Major League Baseball teams starting Wednesday under the posting system with the Japanese big leagues.
A member of Japan’s Olympic team last year, Yoshida will be posted at 8 a.m. EST on Wednesday and MLB teams have until 5 p.m. EST on Jan. 20 to reach an agreement, the commissioner’s office said Tuesday.
The 29-year-old hit .335 with 21 homers and 88 RBIs in 119 games this year for the Orix Buffaloes of Japan’s Pacific League. A left-handed batter, he has a .327 average with 133 homers and 467 RBIs over seven seasons in the Japanese majors.
Yoshida hit .350 with two RBIs as Japan won last year’s Olympic gold medal.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Jim Leonhard, who served as Wisconsin’s interim coach for the last seven games of the regular season, says he won’t be back with the Badgers next season.
Leonhard tweeted that he would work as Wisconsin’s defensive coordinator for its Dec. 27 Guaranteed Rate Bowl matchup with Oklahoma State but wouldn’t be part of new coach Luke Fickell’s staff next season.
”It has been an honor to coach these young men and thank you to all the fans who supported us along the way,” Leonhard tweeted. ”On Wisconsin!”
Leonhard had served as Wisconsin’s defensive coordinator before getting promoted to interim coach after the Oct. 2 firing of Paul Chryst. Leonhard posted a 4-3 record and said he hoped to keep the job beyond this season.
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) – Novak Djokovic will open his 2023 campaign in Adelaide as he prepares for a shot at a 10th Australian Open crown a year after having his visa revoked on the eve of his title defense.
The 21-time major winner has been granted a visa by the Australian government and has been listed to play at the Adelaide International, which starts Jan. 1.
Serbia isn’t contesting the inaugural United Cup team competition, leaving Djokovic free to play regular warmup tournaments head of the Jan. 16-29 Australian Open.
He’ll be joined in the men’s draw at Adelaide by Russians Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev, Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada and Andy Murray.
Ons Jabeur, Aryna Sabalenka will headline the women’s draw.
DENVER (AP) – The injury-riddled Colorado Avalanche will be without leading scorer Nathan MacKinnon for about a month after he suffered an upper-body injury on Monday night in a loss to Philadelphia.
The team announced the news on social media.
MacKinnon has eight goals and 26 assists for a team-best 34 points this season for the defending Stanley Cup champions. He joins a long list of banged-up players, including Valeri Nichushkin, Evan Rodrigues, Bowen Byram, Kurtis MacDermid, Josh Manson, Darren Helm and captain Gabriel Landeskog. Forward Artturi Lehkonen missed the game in Philadelphia on Monday.
The 27-year-old MacKinnon signed an eight-year extension in August. He was coming off a postseason in which he tied for the league lead with 13 goals, helping the Avalanche raise their third Stanley Cup in franchise history.
STORRS, Conn. (AP) – Sixth-ranked UConn’s top scorer, Azzi Fudd, is expected to be out three to six weeks because of a right knee injury she suffered during her team’s weekend loss to No. 5 Notre Dame, a university athletic spokesperson said.
The sophomore guard was injured in the first half of the game Sunday when a teammate collided into her. She returned midway through the second period to play four hobbled minutes, but sat the rest of the way.
Fudd entered the game averaging 24.0 points but finished scoreless on two shots over 13 minutes in the team’s first loss of the season.
The athletic spokesperson didn’t specify the type of knee injury Fudd sustained.