Mission accomplished: Tommy Hunter helps Phillies land Jake Arrieta

The option prices would increase to $28 million if he is among the top five in Cy Young Award voting in 2018 or 2019, and to $30 million if he is among the top three in either year.

Arrieta will join Aaron Nola atop the Phillies’ rotation on a team that finished last in the NL East. Jerad Eickhoff and Vince Velasquez are expected to be in the rotation, and Nick Pivetta is the leading candidate for the fifth spot. The team has a slew of young pitchers who could fill in.

Veteran point guard Tony Parker leaned back against a grease board in the postgame locker room and let out an uneasy laugh.

Been winning for a lot of years, he said. Since I’ve been in the league, I’ve made eight conference finals, five NBA Finals. We’ve been winning a lot. But this year, there’s been a lot of injuries. We just have to find a way to try to qualify for the playoffs.

Not an easy proposition for the Spurs, who find themselves now out of the postseason picture and out of the top eight in the Western Conference standings this late in the season for the first time since before they drafted Tim Duncan (1997), with matchups on tap at home Tuesday against the Orlando Magic, followed by a trio of minefields in the New Orleans Pelicans, Minnesota Timberwolves and the Golden State Warriors. It’s expected that by the time the Spurs host the Pelicans on Thursday they’ll have Leonard back in the lineup.

DeSclafani also suffered a strained left oblique before the 2016 season and was sidelined until June. The right-hander finished that season with a 9-5 record with a 3.28 ERA. He missed all of last season with a sprained elbow.

The Reds were counting on DeSclafani, Homer Bailey and left-hander Brandon Finnegan to recover from injuries and anchor a rotation that struggled without them last year. Instead, they’re heading toward Opening Day with questions about two of them.

Finnegan was removed from his appearance on Sunday after only two batters because of a sore forearm. It’s unclear how long he’ll be limited. Finnegan was limited to four starts last season because of back and shoulder injuries.

DeSclafani won’t be allowed to do any baseball activities until the injured muscle is healed, which makes it unlikely that he’ll be ready to start the season.

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The Cavaliers looked like they just couldn’t keep up and that isn’t the norm for a James-led team.

Tommy Suggs, longtime South Carolina color analyst and former Gamecocks QB: It’s just like a running back. You can stop a great running back four times, and the fifth time, he breaks it for 60 yards. And Clowney was the same way.

Jeffery: He didn’t even run straight. The quickest way to the ball is always a straight path. His path was actually about two or three yards to his left. Then he got back up and still hit the running back as he was getting the ball. You have to understand how fast you have to be to do that.

They’re not quite at full health yet with Thomas still being out and Tristan Thompson still recovering, but those two aren’t going to completely solve these issues.

Does this mean the Celtics are far and above the Cavaliers? Definitely not. We should still give the benefit of the doubt to James and company because, quite simply, they have one of the best players in the world and maybe this season’s MVP.

But this game shows us the gap isn’t as far apart as we may have thought it was and it’s closing with every game the Celtics play. Watch out, Cleveland.

Opponent winning percentage: .504; 15th-hardest. The Rams finished first in scoring after finishing last in 2016, becoming just the second team to complete that turnaround according to the Elias Sports Bureau (the first was the 1965 49ers). What makes that even more impressive is the Rams played a group of opponents who finished the season above .500.

Opponent winning percentage: .461; sixth-easiest. The Eagles matched a franchise record with 13 wins and finished fourth in FPI. Playing the sixth-easiest schedule might have helped. The Eagles went 9-0 against teams who finished .500 or worse.

Next season, they’ll likely be terrible again and the Celtics will be rewarded with their unprotected first-round pick.

As part of the trade with the 76ers, the Celtics received the rights to the Lakers’ 2018 first-round pick, so long as it falls between picks No. 2-5. Otherwise, the 76ers keep it.

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