AROUND THE HORN
Indians sell reliever Adam Cimber
CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Indians sold side-arm reliever Adam Cimber to the Marlins on Monday for $100,000, and Miami designated right-hander Jose Urena for assignment.
Urena, the Marlins’ opening day starter in 2018 and 2019, spent six seasons with the Marlins and had been with them longer than any other active player. He went 0-3 with a 5.40 ERA in five starts last season, when he had a $3.75 million salary and earned $1,388,889 in prorated pay. He had been projected for a salary of about $4 million for 2021.
Cimber went 0-1 with a 3.97 ERA in 14 games this past season for Cleveland, which acquired the right-hander in 2018 from the San Diego Padres in the deal that brought All-Star closer Brad Hand to the Indians.
The 30-year-old Cimber went 6-7 with a 4.30 ERA in 110 appearances with the Indians over 2 1/2 seasons. He was 6-3 in 2019, when he pitched in 68 games.
San Diego selected him in the ninth round of 2013 amateur draft. He pitched in 42 games for the Padres in 2018 before he was traded to Cleveland.
Wolverines go virtual
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh says team meetings that were scheduled to be done in person will be conducted virtually on Monday after an increased number of presumptive positive COVID-19 tests.
Harbaugh says the decision was made “out of an abundance of caution,” by medical professionals, athletic department staff, athletic trainers and doctors.
The Wolverines (2-4) are scheduled to play Maryland (2-2) on Saturday at Michigan Stadium, where they are 0-3 this season.
The Terrapins, who had two games canceled due to a coronavirus outbreak within the program, played for the first time in three weeks on Saturday and lost 27-11 to then-No. 12 Indiana.
Minnesota-Northwestern called off
Minnesota has canceled its game against Northwestern on Saturday, the second straight football cancellation for the Gophers because of a spike in their COVID-19 cases.
The decision was made by university officials Monday in consultation with the Big Ten. Since Nov. 19, Minnesota has had 47 positive cases, including 21 players and 26 staff members. Seven of those cases were reported on Monday.
The Gophers paused all team-related activities six days ago. They canceled their game at Wisconsin last week.
Northwestern leads the Big Ten West Division at 5-1.
Burrow to have knee surgery this week
CINCINNATI (AP) — Cincinnati Bengals rookie quarterback Joe Burrow is expected to have surgery on his injured left knee this week, coach Zac Taylor said Monday.
Burrow’s season ended Nov. 22 when he was sandwiched between two Washington pass-rushers and his leg was bent severely. The structural damage in his knee requires surgery and extensive rehabilitation.
“I just know that it’s the middle of week sometime,” Taylor said without discussing any more details of the procedure.
Taylor said he expects Burrow to be ready to play again at some point next season.
“He’s just ready to get this process going and get healthy for next year,” said friend Sam Hubbard, a Bengals defensive end. “He’s about as positive and upbeat as you could be with the circumstances and the injury.”
Burrow led LSU to the 2019 national championship and won the Heisman Trophy. He was the top overall draft pick by Cincinnati.
He threw for 2,668 yards and 13 TDs and five interceptions in his rookie year.
NBA camps set to open
For the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat, it was the shortest offseason ever. For the eight teams that haven’t played since March, the offseason dragged for longer than most seasons last. And for all 30 clubs, questions are far more prevalent than answers these days.
Ready or not, the NBA is back.
Training camps open around the league Tuesday, though on-court sessions will be limited to individual workouts and only for those players who have gotten three negative coronavirus test results back in the last few days. Mandatory “group training activities,” another way to describe what would otherwise be called practice, will begin in some cities Friday and for most clubs Sunday, the league said.
“I feel like a kid getting excited for the first day of school again,” Atlanta guard Trae Young tweeted.
As is the case with school, there will be tests in NBA camps. Lots of them.
Players and coaches will be tested for coronavirus daily around the league, and a positive test at this point would likely derail someone for most of camp and probably into the preseason. The rules are so strict that clubs cannot even hold a team dinner on the eve of training camp; the NBA isn’t allowing those to take place until at least Dec. 11, or the start of Phase 4 in the league’s five-phase plan for health and safety.
“We’re all going to have to be very nimble, first of all keeping guys safe and healthy,” Utah general manager Justin Panik said Monday. “We’ll get an idea of the schedule, how travel is, how the pandemic affects us. … No one in the NBA, other than a three-month bubble, has ever gone through what we’re about to go through.”
Preseason is less than two weeks away, starting Dec. 11. The regular season starts on Dec. 22, three weeks from Tuesday. A schedule for the first half of the shortened 72-game regular season could be known in the coming days, and many teams are still deciding if they can begin the season with fans in their arenas or not. The NBA champion Lakers have already said they aren’t having fans in their building to start the season; Charlotte and Oklahoma City announced Monday that they will begin their home schedules the same way.
“This is going to be a challenging season for us,” Phoenix general manager James Jones said. “We’re going to do everything in our power to make sure that we try to stay COVID-free and try to stay healthy. With 72 games in a condensed season and more or increased back-to-backs means that we’ll have to manage our time appropriately.”
For nine coaches — Tom Thibodeau in New York, Steve Nash in Brooklyn, Billy Donovan in Chicago, Doc Rivers in Philadelphia, Nate Bjorkgren in Indiana, Stan Van Gundy in New Orleans, Stephen Silas in Houston, Mark Daigneault in Oklahoma City and Tyronn Lue with the Los Angeles Clippers — this week marks the formal start of their on-court tenures with their clubs.
It’ll also be the first training camp as head coach for J.B. Bickerstaff in Cleveland; he took over as coach of the Cavaliers in February.