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The Chicago Cubs' scored one run in 13 innings during their N

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ational League Wild Card Game loss to the Colorado Rockies Carlos Correa Jersey , but they won't be pursuing a generational, 26-year-old talent to bolster their offense this offseason."Not going to happen," manager Joe Maddon said when he was asked if the Cubs would sign Bryce Harper, per Jesse Rogers of ESPN.This comes after Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (h/t Tony Andracki of NBC Sports Chicago) reported that "the Cubs would love a shot at Harper, though ownership approval continues to appear unlikely, sources say."Andracki noted president of baseball operations Theo Epstein has discussed the budget issues he has been working under throughout the offseason as the team appears to be well on its way to surpassing the $206 million luxury-tax threshold for the 2019 campaign because of previous contracts.Still, the Cubs are in the middle of a competitive, win-now window, having reached the 2015 and 2017 National League Championship Series and winning the 2016 World Series. There is an offensive core in place with Kris Bryant, Javier Baez Dallas Keuchel Jersey , Anthony Rizzo and Willson Contreras, among others, but the runs disappeared down the stretch.The scored one run in three of their final four games in 2018, and the concerns were magnified by the fact that they lost the National League Central in a one-game tiebreaker to the Milwaukee Brewers.Harper seems like the type of player a big-market team looking for offense would be willing to pay the luxury-tax penalty for to maximize its legitimate chances of winning a World Series given his age and the fact that he already has a National League MVP, NL Rookie of the Year, Silver Slugger and six All-Star Games on his resume.However, it appears the front office isn't willing to commit a long-term deal to that type of star power.Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported the Philadelphia Phillies are the "clear-cut favorite" to sign Harper at this point following a meeting with him in his hometown of Las Vegas on Saturday. MESA, Ariz. (AP) — Jerry Blevins didn’t know many of his new Oakland Athletics teammates yet the left-handed reliever said he has felt right at home returning to the team with which he broke into the big leagues back in 2007.The 35-year-old Blevins rejoined Oakland when he signed a minor league contract earlier this month. The A’s have a talented bullpen but right now Ryan Buchter is the only left-handed option currently on the 40-man roster.“I’ve always had a soft spot for Blev,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. “He was a guy I had to send up and down for a while, which is difficult to do , and he’s made a nice career for himself. He has a really good understanding of what he needs to do and is impactful in the clubhouse, too. He’s a smart guy and gets it. It’s nice to have as many of those guys in your clubhouse as you can have.”Blevins has pitched the last four seasons with the Mets but he’s kept an eye on his former team.“It’s like your first love kind of thing,” Blevins said. “You always keep an eye on them, check up on them on Facebook, that kind of thing.”He celebrated his return by posting a handwritten note to Oakland fans on Twitter: “Oakland! Back to where my big league career began. It’s difficult to describe how it feels to return. I’m coming home. That’s it. To the familiar faces by the bullpen and tunnel, right field and left field, I’ll see you soon. I can’t wait to start Chapter 2 of my A’s story. Let’s make it a World Series story.”Blevins compiled a 13-6 record with a 3.30 ERA from 2007 to 2013 with the Athletics. But he’s coming off a rough season with the Mets in which he had a 4.85 ERA over 42 2/3 innings in 64 games.“Up and down, inconsistent,” Blevins said when asked to describe last year. “I never had a clear role. I started slow, got hot Lance McCullers Jersey , got cold, didn’t get traded. Just inconsistent and that’s out of character for me. I just want to get back to knowing what you get when you put me on the mound. That’s been my entire goal this offseason. I feel great.”Oakland’s bullpen, which compiled a 3.35 ERA, second-lowest in the league last season, was one of the reasons the team won 97 games and secured an American League Wild Card spot.“This is a great team and you’ve got a lot of young talent, some good leadership,” Blevins said. “I’m just trying to fit in and do my part. I don’t want to try to lead. I’m just going to fit in. That’s been the gist of what I want to do. I just want to be a left-handed pitcher and contribute as much as I can to a great team moving forward already.”

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