THE MMQB's Peter King wrote 49ers Chief Strategy Officer & Exec VP/Football Operations Paraag Marathe looks "smart" for making QB Jimmy Garappolo's five-year, $137.5M contract a "front-loaded deal" ahead of a season where the club has $100M in cap room. Making the first year of the deal worth $37M in cap costs means that over the next four years, the average cap hit will be $22.6M. Barring a "crumbling of the cap number in future years, that means the Niners after this season (when they can most afford it) will never devote" more than 12% of their salary cap to the starting QB from '19-22. Considering that the "typical franchise quarterback" eats up closer to 15% of the cap, Garappolo's deal is a "forward-looking move by Marathe" (SI.com, 2/11).
LINGERING QUESTIONS: In St. Paul, Brian Murphy noted the Twins "want a resolution" to MLB's investigation of 3B Miguel Sano over sexual harassment claims before Spring Training, but the team is "unlikely to get it until later this month at the earliest." A source said that the club is "not expected to learn the fate" of Sano before the club’s first full-squad workout on Feb. 19. Twins manager Paul Molitor said, “It’s a little bit frustrating. ... I think that puts a lot of pressure on him going into camp and having to face questions" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 2/10).
WHALE WATCHING: In Raleigh, Luke DeCock noted Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy sent a letter to Hurricanes Owner Tom Dundon "inviting him to bring the team to Hartford for a regular-season game" or an outdoor game at UConn's Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field. But if the Hurricanes "ever go back to Hartford, it’ll be for a preseason game that will be, in all honesty, a chance to hoover some money out of the pockets of long-suffering Whalers fans." Hartford "would be lucky to get that." It is "easy to understand how Dundon’s willingness to embrace the team’s heritage as the Whalers and sell all kinds of green-and-white merchandise ... would lead Gov. Malloy to think that the Hurricanes would be interested in going further." But that is "not going to happen" (NEWSOBSERVER.com, 2/9).