Cubs add veteran former All-Star Joe Nathan, coming off Tommy John

Cervelli, 30, is a career .284/.360/.382 (103 OPS+) hitter across parts of nine big-league seasons. Cervelli also grades out as a plus pitch-framer and skilled handler of pitchers.

In November of 2014, the Pirates acquired him from the Yankees in exchange for Justin Wilson. With New York, Cervelli had been a backup, but the Pirates tabbed him to replace Russell Wilson as their starting catcher. Cervelli responded by providing value with the bat and behind the plate over the course of 130 games and more than 1,000 innings at catcher as the Pirates barged to 98 wins in the regular season.

Cervelli’s extension continues a trend for Pirates GM Neal Huntington when it comes to locking up his best position payers …

Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz continued his excellent swan song season by crushing his 513th career home run on Saturday. It wasn’t a cheap one, either.

The man they call Big Papi moves past Hall of Famers Ernie Banks and Eddie Mathews with that shot, which was his 10th of the season.

Next up? Oh, just a few greats named Frank Thomas, Ted Williams and Willie McCovey. Here’s the section of the all-time home run leaderboard that could realistically be reached by Ortiz this season:
17. Mickey Mantle, 536
18. Jimmie Foxx, 534
19. Willie McCovey, 521
19. Ted Williams, 521
19. Frank Thomas, 521

AFC West

I can’t help but think of my pal and colleague Amy Trask as I write this one. Beware the Raiders, baby. They will win. And win a lot. A year ago they were my team on the rise and one I believed would become a legit force in the AFC. This year, especially given the departures in Denver, I believe they can truly compete to host a playoff game or two. I like the additions to the secondary and the front seven is no joke and they have one of the best offensive lines in football at a time when no one can block or pass protect anymore. This is a big team and a fast team and the quarterback is ice cold when he needs to be.

The rise of the Raiders is for real.

Denver still looks like a playoff team, but Paxton Lynch will take his lumps early. There is a lot to like about the roster too, but that Justin Houston injury could be a season-changer. The Chargers can’t possibly be as bad as they were a year ago, though they are once again a lame-duck team with a lot of overriding issues about their future. I still have big concerns about the offensive line and the ability to stay balanced on offense. The gap from first to worst will close considerably in this division, and I believe in the Raiders.

“We are excited to get this deal done with Delanie,” GM Jon Robinson said in a statement released by the team. “He’s an integral part of this offense, and he has bought into our philosophy of what Titan football is about. We are looking forward to his continued impact both on the field and in the community in the future.”

Walker was easily the top receiving option for the Titans in 2015, helping to ease in rookie Marcus Mariota by catching 94 passes for more than 1,000 yards and six touchdowns.

He had some circus catches in there as well, but he’s a reliable target on a team without a lot of reliable targets.

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Reggie Wayne picks a QB other than Luck or Manning as hardest passer

Congratulations are in order for Curtis Painter. On Tuesday, Reggie Wayne gave him an unofficial award that pertains to playing quarterback.

When Wayne was asked about who threw the hardest passes, he didn't name Andrew Luck or Peyton Manning (before his arm stopped functioning like a normal arm last year). He also didn't name Tom Brady, who threw to Wayne this past summer during Patriots training camp. Instead, Wayne chose Curtis Painter.

It's 2016, and we're talking about Curtis Painter.

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