Tagged with "Trades"
Sports Friday with Hal: Red Sox Free Agency
Category: FEATURED
Tags: Red Sox Boston MLB Baseball Free Agency Trades

Greetings from deep in the heart of Red Sox Nation. I know the Gab has covered the Jon Lester / Red Sox free agency debacle well yesterday with O.H. and Lanz helping keep the East Coast Bias alive and well.

 

Just my two cents here: The Red Sox strung along their fans and stayed on the back-page by staying in the Lester negotiations with no intention of signing him. They had to make what looked like an attempt, but they had two opportunities earlier and passed on them both. In spring training they failed to make a reasonable offer and insulted Lester and his agent with an extreme low-ball offer. If they wanted him at all costs, he would have been signed before opening day.

 

Second, if they wanted to give him a real offer they would never had traded him to Oakland. If they had kept him, they would have had an exclusive window to negotiate and sign him. They passed on that as well unloading him for a player that did not fit their philosophy and was always intended to be traded (Yoenis Cespedes). After the season, the Red Sox made enough of an offer to look interested without doing what it would take to keep Lester.

 

In fact, I kind of feel like Lester should be upset at himself for letting himself be used by the Red Sox front office. The Red Sox slapped Lester across the face with a low-market offer. The Red Sox traded him. Lester--in a point missed by many yahoos on social media and calling in to the sports talk radio stations--has every right to go out in a free market--after playing for years at a below market level--to make as much money as he can for himself.

 

How many of us have left a job for another that pays better? Or allows us to be in what we think is a better situation? Or go to work for someone we are familiar with or more comfortable with? Did anyone slam us on social media or the radio? Would we be insulted if someone said that we weren’t loyal? That we were selfish? (I know what I’d say to them!)

 

So the Red Sox let out a collective breath that Lester did not take the deal they offered that they did not want him to take and just offered to appease the fanbase, then immediately got down to doing exactly what they planned on all along: Rebuild the pitching staff with talented young hurlers who have upside. They did it, and they gave up NOTHING to get three quality starters.

 

With chips leftover from their house-cleaning when they dumped over $200 million in bad contracts on the Dodgers, they sent the two future middle relievers they got from Los Angeles to the Arizona Diamondbacks. In exchange for ground-ball tossin’, best pickoff move in baseball dealin’, big upside lefty Wade Miley the Red Sox gave away Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster. De La Rosa and Webster are not frontline starters, but can contribute in a weak bullpen or be a fringe starter on a bad team (hello, Arizona).

 

The Red Sox then swung a deal with the Tigers for young starter Rick Porcello who is still only 26 years old and has...upside. Porcello pitched over 200 innings, won 15 games, and had an ERA under 3.50. All the Red Sox gave up was Cespedes (who was NEVER anything but trade bait with his sub-.300 on base percentage), another future middle reliever/fringe fifth starter Alex Wilson, and a 19-year old prospect who has already had Tommy John surgery and has not pitched a game above rookie league (sub single-A) yet.

 

Finally, the Red Sox got “the one who got away” back by signing former farmhand Justin Masterson back after he blossomed in Cleveland. Yes, Masterson was injured last year and cost himself some money, but for less than $10 million on a one-year deal, the Red Sox got a pitcher they know well and who was the number one starter for a team that made the playoffs back in 2013. Masterson is another ground-ball machine who should enjoy the long infield grass and Gold Glove second baseman (and underrated Pablo Sandoval at third base) of Fenway Park like Miley will as well.

 

Somehow, the Red Sox are one big starting pitcher (James Shields? Trade for Cole Hamels? Trade for Jordan Zimmerman or Doug Fister?) from finishing a complete rotation rebuild and finishing the off-season with strong depth and affordable pieces. With Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez and a return to health for Dustin Pedroia, the lineup should be back to its usual on-base percentage and slugging ways. Now they can focus on filling in the bullpen.

 

Finally, they did not sacrifice a single top prospect: catchers Christian Vazquez and Blake Swihart, shortstops Xander Bogaerts and Deven Marrero, second baseman/outfielder Mookie Betts, outfielders Manuel Margot and Rusney Castillo (is the 27-year old CUban considered a “prospect”?), starting pichers Henry Owens, Matt Barnes, Anthony Ranaudo, Edwin Escobar and Eduardo Rodriguez.

 

The Sox still have their farm system, did not overpay for starting pitchers over 30 (yet!), and have a deep staff and punch in the lineup. I never thought Lester was coming back to Boston, so the work done so far is a good start for the Red Sox so far.

 

* * *


 

Sports Friday with Hal: Trade Deadline Doozies
Category: FEATURED
Tags: MLB baseball trade deadline trades football NFL NFL Notes

Happy Friday!

 

MLB Trading day, so here’s my quick breakdown from deadline day:

 

Tigers acquire David Price in three-team deal with Mariners (who receive Austin Jackson) and Rays (who receive Drew Smyly, Nick Franklin, and Willy Adames)

I love these three team deals in major league baseball--they are far too infrequent.  Good pickup by the Tigers, obviously. With great starting pitching to begin with, adding Price makes the Tigers the favorites to represent the A.L. in the World Series this fall. Price is a legitimate ace and the Tigers can afford to lock him up this offseason. The Rays get a middle infielder and a cheaper starter in Smyly who they control for four years. The Mariners upgrade with Jackson for Franklin.  But the Tigers are the big winners.

 

Marlins and Astros agree to six-player swap, with Miami receiving Jarred Cosart, Enrique Hernandez, and Austin Wates in exchange for Colin Moran, Jake Marisnick, Francis Martes, and a 2015 compensation draft pick.

The trading of compensation picks is new, and I think it is fantastic. Cosart is the centerpiece of the trade and is 24 and has pitched fairly well for the Astros to date. Miami gives up Marisnick who is 23 and has speed and power potential in centerfield. Moran is 21 and a top prospect at third base.

 

Braves acquire James Russell and Emilio Bonifacio from Cubs in exchange for Victor Caratini and cash

Caratini is decent prospect at catcher but only 20 and in single-A. Bonifacio is a journeyman but fills a need in Atlanta down the stretch. Russell is just a lefty reliever. Braves may have sacrificed too much. Nice move by Theo Epstein grabbing Caratini.

 

Yankees acquire Martin Prado from Diamondbacks in exchange for Peter O’Brien

The Yankees seem to believe they can still make the playoffs. Maybe they can. But they are not winning any World Series’ anytime soon. Prado cash for Arizona and O’Brien is a slugging prospect. Prado is good, but not great. He can help immediately in right field--and New York can afford him--but he cost them one of their few top hitting prospects. To upgrade over Ichiro Suzuki, though, is necessary.

 

Yankees acquire Stephen Drew from Red Sox in exchange for Kelly Johnson and cash

At least this deal was trash-for-trash. Both are terrible hitters this year but Drew will be playing out of position as the Yankees are trying to win now while handcuffing the team by playing defensive liability Derek Jeter at shortstop every night. It would be a shock for Johnson to get a single at bat in Boston.

 

Nationals acquire Asdrubal Cabrera from Indians in exchange for Zach Walters

Nice grab by the Nationals getting a legitimate middle infielder to help staunch the loss of Ryan Zimmerman’s bat. Washington is losing ground to Atlanta and this deal helps right now. Cabrera is a rental for now, but Washington could use their negotiating window after the season to lock him up. Cleveland has Francisco Lindor ready to step in at shortstop next year. Walters is a decent prospect who needs a bit more seasoning but has potential to be a regular with some pop. Cleveland already is rebuilding having dealt Justin Masterson already, so getting anything for Cabrera is a win.

 

Orioles acquire Andrew Miller from Red Sox in exchange for Eduardo Rodriguez

The Orioles paid a steep price for a power lefty arm in the bullpen. Rodriguez is a top pitching prospect at double-A and is only 21 and is a hard-throwing lefty starter. BaseballProspectus.com says this about Rodriguez:

 

The Venezuelan lefty has a good feel for pitching, with a smooth arm action and a quick delivery to home. His fastball generally sits in the 91-93 velocity band, although he can gas it up to 94-95 in short spurts. The fastball does not have a ton of movement, but there is mild arm-side run and some life. His slider is more of the sweeping variety and not a true strikeout offering, but he shows command and enough tilt for it to play solid-average at the major-league level. His changeup has really been the enigma this season, as at times he has not been able to consistently feel the pitch. It can be too firm, and when the change is coming in at 84-86 it does not provide the differential necessary to offset the fastball. The overall arsenal is good, but it is not the great that many evaluators look for in a top prospect.

 

All in all, he is still a prospect worth trading for with Miller a free agent at the end of the year. He needs work and the Red Sox have been boasting about their investments in minor league coaches and developers of the pitching staff for years and now is the time to back their talk.

 

Mariners acquire Chris Denorfia from Padres in exchange for Abraham Almonte and Stephen Kohlscheen

Poor Seattle Mariners fans: no Matt Kemp but they get... Chris Denorfia. Ugh. Denorfia has...well no power and not much speed. But replacing Endy Chavez is a win right there. Almontes is a failed prospect and Kohlscheen is...well, he is very tall.

 

Athletics acquire Jon Lester, Jonny Gomes, and cash from Red Sox in exchange for Yoenis Cespedes and a 2015 compensation draft pick

I cannot believe Lester was traded by the Red Sox. Everything that was right about the franchise was summed up in this kid. Only 30, he is a legitimate ace in the postseason, a durable, tough kid who is a lefty and throws 95 MPH and battles on the mound...exactly what the A’s needed. This is their year and they are grabbing it. Cespedes is a power hitter who has only a year left on his contract but a much better pickup rather than trading for Matt Kemp. Cespedes is 28 but has superb power, winning the last two Home Run Derbies. If the Sox made up their mind to trade Lester, then at least there is a player that can help immediately coming back in the trade. Still, it just seems strange with Lester no longer in Boston.

 

Cardinals acquire John Lackey and Corey Littrell from Red Sox in exchange for Joe Kelly and Allen Craig

The Lackey move is strange. He is on the books for the major league minimum after an odd clause of his contract kicked in (extended for a year at MLB minimum if Tommy John surgery). Lackey is never going to pitch for that amount of money. Of course, St. Louis can extend him easily and he steps in as a veteran with postseason success who can strikeout guys and give a team a lot of quality innings. Kelly is 26 and a legitimate starting pitcher. He can be a rotation piece for years to come. I love Allen Craig. The Cardinals have Oscar Taveras who needs to play everyday (where do they get all these prospects!) and will not miss him. But he has legit Fenway power and is signed long-term at a reasonable price. Stick him in left field, and the team is set with 20-30 home runs and 30-40 doubles and a professional bat through 2018.

 

Brewers acquire Gerardo Parra from Diamondbacks in exchange for Mitch Haniger and Anthony Banda

Go Brewers. A Gold-Glove outfielder to backup at all three spots is a solid player for the roster. Haniger is a double-A mid-level prospect and Banda is 20 and in single-A. Arizona stockpiles some kids while Milwaukee should get a good pickup to help try to hold off the Cardinals and Pirates in the NL Central.

 

Twins acquire Tommy Milone from Athletics in exchange for Sam Fuld

Oakland grabbed Fuld, who they waived earlier this year, to add to the outfield depth. Milone is the winner of the deal as the lefty goes from 7th or 8th starter in Oakland to a regular front-line starter in Minnesota getting the ball every five days from here on out.

 

* * *

 

NFL NOTES:

 

Injury Breakdown:

Ravens fourth-round draft pick defensive end Brent Urban tore his ACL. He was expected to be a part of the line rotation and now is out for the year. Last week cornerback Aaron Ross tore his Achilles during the conditioning test and was lost for the season. Ross was expected to be the third cornerback in Baltimore and the Ravens now have lost two valuable depth players so far this offseason.

 

Colts guard Donald Thomas--who missed 14 games last year after tearing a biceps tendon and right quadriceps re-tore it at camp and is out for the season. He was signed to a four-year $14 million contract from New England two years ago and now is likely done in Indy. The Colts also lost running back Vick Ballard who tore his Achilles earlier. It is sink-or-swim with running back Trent Richardson. The Colts had better hope he was worth the first round draft pick! Defensive lineman Fili Moala tore his ACL earlier at OTAs. Seriously, that is bad luck already in Indy.

 

The 49ers planned to have running back Frank Gore split time with Kendall Hunter this season. Put those plans on hold. Hunter tore his ACL and Gore’s fantasy football value just jumped as he will again be expected to lug the ball 250 or so times in 2014.

 

The Cowboys’ second-round draft pick defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence--who was to replace DeMarcus Ware-- is now out for two to three months with a broken foot. He misses valuable learning time and even if he returns will take time to get up to speed during the season. Dallas now turns to...ugh, Jeremy Mincey. Wow, quite the step down from Ware.

 

The World Champs were not safe from the injury bug this week. Tight end Anthony McCoy--who missed all of last year with a torn Achilles in training camp-- tore his Achilles in training camp on his other foot. Ouch. McCoy was a backup role but depth behind Zach Miller would have been nice. Maybe this works out for Jermichael Finley and he goes to Seattle.

 

On Thursday, Kansas City Chiefs star safety Eric Berry was carted off the field. Fortunately, it was not serious. It blew up social media for a bit, but fortunately it seems to be a minor injury and nothing serious. The Chiefs definitely dodged a bullet yesterday.

 

* * *

 

A WEEK OF VACATION AND A RAISE:

Must be nice to be Marshawn Lynch. $1.5 million raise and no fines for sitting at home. NIce deal if you can get it.

 

*

 

SAFETY INSURANCE:

Kansas City added former Patriots safety Steve Gregory to compete at safety next to Eric Berry. Gregory should compete with Husain Abdullah for the starting job and gets a chance after sitting on the sidelines all offseason. Gregory is a decent free safety who struggled playing near the line of scrimmage. If anything, it at least helps their depth.

 

* * *

 

Alright, time to call it a day.  Have a great weekend, all! Preseason football starts next week!!!

Q-o-t-D 7/31/14 Tags: MLB Red Sox Trades
Are the Red Sox making moves for the future, or to get back in the hunt now, or both?

more than pumping tires
Category: NHL
Tags: florida vancouver goalies trades

should be interesting. In case you missed the breaking news today, Roberto Luongo is going home. The Vancouver Canucks finally moved the Canadian Olympian after all of the drama last season as Luongo and minor-league forward Steve Anthony will head south to Sunrise, Florida in exchange for goaltender Jacob Markstrom and center Shawn Matthias. If you're thinking one step ahead, we're thinking the same way because Luongo will join Tim Thomas as the netminders for the Panthers - the same man who he had a war of words with during the 2011 Stanley Cup Final.

I can tell you this: Luongo's contract probably ensures that Thomas will not be a Panther next season. And considering their bodies of work this season, Luongo will probably get a pile of time in the blue paint that Thomas probably thought he was getting. Both men are competitors and have a lot of pride, so you know that one of these two Cats will be a little unhappy with the amount of games he plays down the stretch.

Luongo was asked today by TSN 1050 in Vancouver about being teammates with man who beat him in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. Luongo took it in stride, laughing, and replied, "I don't know, we'll see how it goes when I get there."

Luongo, for what it's worth, gets to go home where he spends the off-season. He returns to the team that traded him to Vancouver in 2006, and will most likely be expected to carry this team as far as he can. While he is older and a little wiser than his last time in a Panthers jersey, Luongo sounds like he's ready to move on after the last couple of years of drama in Vancouver.

"I was not expecting it," Luongo told reporters shortly after the trade. "Go figure, right? I'm happy for myself and my family and a little bit sad to be leaving Vancouver. All in all it was a great run. There was a lot of stuff that happened in between but I have nothing but good things to say about the fans that were really supportive especially towards the end. This organization brought my game to another level. It's all positive stuff."

I expected Roberto Luongo to deliver a classy exit speech at last year's NHL Entry Draft, but it was Cory Schneider who was traded. Luongo appeared to be the starter once again, but the Canucks seemed to be working Eddie Lack into the blue paint more often, including the Winter Classic this past weekend. Luongo was saying all the right things about not getting the start in the highly-anticipated game, but you know he had to have been disappointed.

With Markstrom and Lack, the Canucks have a pair of young Swedish goalies who they should be able to start building around nicely. Markstrom is 24 and Lack is 26, so both are entering their primes as hockey players. Matthias will be a nice addition to the third-line in Vancouver, and is versatile enough that he can be moved around to fit into the Canucks' lineup.

It will be interesting to watch the two veteran goalies in Florida, though. These two highly-competitive men won't give an inch in their battle to earn and keep their ice-time. While both men will put on a happy face and say nice things about each other, the fires that burn within Luongo and Thomas will burn hot as they compete down the stretch.
should be interesting. In case you missed the breaking news today, Roberto Luongo is going home. The Vancouver Canucks finally moved the Canadian Olympian after all of the drama last season as Luongo and minor-league forward Steve Anthony will head south to Sunrise, Florida in exchange for goaltender Jacob Markstrom and center Shawn Matthias. If you're thinking one step ahead, we're thinking the same way because Luongo will join Tim Thomas as the netminders for the Panthers - the same man who he had a war of words with during the 2011 Stanley Cup Final.

I can tell you this: Luongo's contract probably ensures that Thomas will not be a Panther next season. And considering their bodies of work this season, Luongo will probably get a pile of time in the blue paint that Thomas probably thought he was getting. Both men are competitors and have a lot of pride, so you know that one of these two Cats will be a little unhappy with the amount of games he plays down the stretch.

Luongo was asked today by TSN 1050 in Vancouver about being teammates with man who beat him in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. Luongo took it in stride, laughing, and replied, "I don't know, we'll see how it goes when I get there."

Luongo, for what it's worth, gets to go home where he spends the off-season. He returns to the team that traded him to Vancouver in 2006, and will most likely be expected to carry this team as far as he can. While he is older and a little wiser than his last time in a Panthers jersey, Luongo sounds like he's ready to move on after the last couple of years of drama in Vancouver.

"I was not expecting it," Luongo told reporters shortly after the trade. "Go figure, right? I'm happy for myself and my family and a little bit sad to be leaving Vancouver. All in all it was a great run. There was a lot of stuff that happened in between but I have nothing but good things to say about the fans that were really supportive especially towards the end. This organization brought my game to another level. It's all positive stuff."

I expected Roberto Luongo to deliver a classy exit speech at last year's NHL Entry Draft, but it was Cory Schneider who was traded. Luongo appeared to be the starter once again, but the Canucks seemed to be working Eddie Lack into the blue paint more often, including the Winter Classic this past weekend. Luongo was saying all the right things about not getting the start in the highly-anticipated game, but you know he had to have been disappointed.

With Markstrom and Lack, the Canucks have a pair of young Swedish goalies who they should be able to start building around nicely. Markstrom is 24 and Lack is 26, so both are entering their primes as hockey players. Matthias will be a nice addition to the third-line in Vancouver, and is versatile enough that he can be moved around to fit into the Canucks' lineup.

It will be interesting to watch the two veteran goalies in Florida, though. These two highly-competitive men won't give an inch in their battle to earn and keep their ice-time. While both men will put on a happy face and say nice things about each other, the fires that burn within Luongo and Thomas will burn hot as they compete down the stretch.
 

Sports Friday with Hal: February Sports
Category: FEATURED
Tags: Baseball Spring Training NBA Trades

Happy Friday! What a great day for sports: the NFL Combine is underway, MLB Spring Training has kicked off, it was the NBA trade deadline yesterday, and the Olympics are in full swing.  

 

OK, so the NBA trade deadline was a dud...the Combine is a bunch of guys in their underwear getting measured and poked (sounds like a dream my wife started telling me about and then decided better of it)...spring training is not yet into big storylines...and the USA-Canada hockey game (the only important part of the Olympics) is underway today.

 

FAST BALLS:

So the Red Sox lost starting pitcher Ryan Dempster who walked away from $13+ million dollars.  Now that is the kind of integrity that you just do not see these days (Yes, I am looking at A-Rod when I type this!). The Sox leaped quickly into free agency and signed…

.

.

.

Chris Capuano? (that’s a typo, right?)

 

The 35 year old lefty was decent in 2012 (not great...and in retrospect, as a National League West pitcher the 3.72 ERA that year is much less impressive) and injured a couple times last year. While he is a decent long reliever to keep around to eat innings in garbage time, I hate the thought of him having to start multiple times.  As long as he stays in the bullpen he is ok and not going to hurt the team too much.

 

Whatever. Baseball is back!  That is all that matters.

 

BIG ROUND BALLS:

The trade deadline for the Boston Celtics was supposed to be salary dump city on the way to suckapalooza and more ping-pong balls. Hardly inspiring and exciting, but no one bit on under-productive and overpaid Brandon Bass, Jeff Green and his big money contract, Gerald Wallace and his insane unmovable contract, or paid a king’s ransom for Rajon Rondo. In a way, they remain a better, more competitive team.

 

Philadelphia sent Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen to Indiana for Danny Granger.  That was it for big names.  Granger would be a big deal four years ago if traded, but today he is a salary dump.  Yup, that was the big trade of the day.  Check out these other deals that included players you may have heard of (possibly...maybe...OK maybe not):

 

The Cavaliers sent Earl Clark and two second round draft picks to Philadelphia for Spencer Hawes.  Hawes gives Cleveland...hmmm. What exactly? Size? Sure, we can go with that. Philadelphia gets...well, the draft picks.   

 

Milwaukee trades guards Luke Ridnour and Gary Neal to Charlotte for Ramon Sessions and Jeff (who?) Adrien. Charlotte gets two shooters for Sessions and Milwaukee gets playing time for the youngsters.  Not a bad deal. Younger and cheaper is good.

 

The Sacramento Kings sent guard Marcus Thornton to the Brooklyn Nets for decrepit shooting guard Jason Terry and Reggie Evans. Sacramento gets an excuse to play the talented Ben McLemore and Brooklyn gets a reclamation project only 26 years-old.

 

Miami trades Roger Mason to Sacramento for a second round pick. Miami had an open spot for a veteran wanting to come for a chance at a ring after a buyout. Sacramento gets...I don’t know…the last pick of the draft? Why?

 

Golden State sent MarShon Brooks and Kent Bazemore to the Los Angeles Lakers for Steve Blake. Goldens State has Blake to come off the bench with Jordan Crawford and the Lakers...well, what the heck is going on? Where was the suckapalooza? Boo. Boo I say!

 

A three team trade: Washington gets point guard Andre Miller, Philadelphia gets two more second round picks and Eric Maynor and Denver gets Jan Vesely. Miller is old and...well, cheap. Denver makes out because they get rid of Miller. The 76ers get to own the second round.

There were more trades (another second round pick for Philadelphia!) but those guys were less well known than these other guys… NBA Fever: Catch it!

 

* * *

 

OK, that’s all I have for this week. Have a great weekend!

 
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