Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks went out and got themselves an early Christmas present trading for Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo. The full deal went like this; Boston traded Rajon Rondo and Forward Dwight Powell to Dallas for Guard Jameer Nelson, Forward Jae Crowder, Forward-Center Brandan Wright, a 2015 first-round draft pick and a 2016 second-round draft pick. While this deal may give the Mavericks the best starting five in the NBA it doesn’t guarantee them anything in the tough Western conference. Rondo was entering his 9th season with the Celtics and is coming off of two injury shortened seasons. He played 38 games in the 2012-13 season and then 30 games in the 2013-14 season. Rondo was playing a little under 32 minutes per game for the Celtics this season and has looked like he’s past his injuries. The knock on Rondo has been his shooting. In 22 games this season Rondo is shooting 44% from the field, 25% from behind the three point line and just 33% from the free throw line. Rondo has always been a good rebounder for a guard and some experts believe that he’s the best rebounding point guard in the NBA. Rondo is averaging 7 1/2 rebounds per game along with handing out an average of 10.8 assists per game; which is leading the NBA right now. Rondo is added to the Mavericks starting line up of Dirk Nowitzki, Monta Ellis, Tyson Chandler and Chandler Parsons. While that will be an impressive starting line up with Wright going to New York in the deal the bench has been weaken especially when it comes to big men. Does Charlie Villanueva become the first big man off of the Mavericks bench with Wright being traded? While dealing for Rondo is the kind of move that will make Dallas one of the favorites to come out of the Western conference if they can’t find a solid big man coming off the bench they might not get to the end of the rainbow and win that NBA title.
The wheeling and dealing continues in Major League Baseball with the San Diego Padres being the team that grabbed center stage. The Padres went out and got themselves a new starting outfield as the Matt Kemp trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Will Myers trade with the Tampa Bay Rays where finalized and then making a trade with the Atlanta Braves to acquire Justin Upton. The final deal has Justin Upton and right-handed pitcher Aaron Northcraft going to the Padres for left-hander Max Fried, second baseman/shortstop Jace Peterson, third baseman Dustin Peterson, outfielder Mallex Smith, and international bonus compensation. The Padres then went out and made a deal with the Oakland A’s as catcher Derek Norris, right-hander Seth Streich and an international signing slot are on the way to San Diego. with right-handers Jesse Hahn and R.J. Alvarez going to Oakland. The Padres still weren’t done making deals as they had ab extra catcher in the roster; so they sent catcher Ryan Hanigan to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for third baseman Will Middlebrooks. It looks like the Padres aren’t done dealing as they have a glut of outfielders on the roster right now. Besides Upton, Myers and Kemp they have Will Venable, Seth Smith, Cameron Maybin and the oft injured Carlos Quentin on the roster. It’s possible that one of these players ends up at 1st base as Myers and I believe Venable have played some 1st base at the major league level. We had Billy Brost on Sports Time Radio yesterday (Friday) from Friars On Base and he wrote an article suggesting that Quentin might be the best choice to try to move to 1st base. With his injury history Quentin doesn’t have a whole lot o value on the trade market, but a move to 1st base might help him stay healthy and get another bat in the Padres line up. The Padres may also have some starting pitching to deal as well. With Andrew Cashner, Tyson Ross, Ian Kennedy, Odrisamer Despaigne, Robbie Erlin, the recently signed Brandon Morrow and the resigned Josh Johnson looking like candidates for the rotation. There’s even a chance that the Padres trade closer Joaquin Benoit as they have the hard throwing Kevin Quackenbush possibly ready to take over the closer role. You’ll need to keep an eye on San Diego and see what their next move is.
Not to be out done, the Miami Marlins kept their off-season activity going as they made a pair of deals. In the first deal the Marlins traded right-handed pitcher Nathan Eovaldi, 1st baseman Garrett Jones and right-handed pitcher Domingo German to New York Yankees for right-handed pitcher David Phelps and Martin Prado. With Prado’s ability to play all over the diamond it looked like Miami might use him as a super utility type of player. That wasn’t the case as Prado will be the Marlins everyday 3rd baseman as last season 3rd baseman Casey McGehee was traded to the World Series champion San Francisco Giants for young righties Kendry Flores and Luis Castillo. McGehee will replace Pablo Sandoval at 3rd base for the Giants. As most of you know by now Sandoval signed with the Boston Red Sox earlier in free agency. McGehee was the National League Comeback Player of the Year last season for the Marlins.
There where also some minor transactions made that will affect your favorite team. A couple of veteran players were released by their teams as the Oakland A’s released infielder Nick Punto and the Dodgers released relief pitcher Brian Wilson. The Kansas City Royals traded 2nd baseman Johnny Giavotella to Los Angeles Angels for right-handed pitcher Brian Broderick. The Chicago Cubs have signed Jon Lester’s personal catcher David Ross to a two-year, $5 million contract. They look like minor moves for teams right now, but you never know how it will affect a team or where some of these guys will end up.
Both mine and Dan the Man’s fantasy hockey teams are off to good starts in the Sports Time Radio league. Dan’s team is the #1 ranked team overall for the season and I am ranked 6th out of the 18 teams. Vladimir Tarasenko the St. Louis Blues right-winger has been a big surprise and is the #1 ranked forward/defenseman in our league right now. Tarasenko was rated as the 157th player starting the season, but with 20 goals, 17 assists and a plus/minus rating of +19 he’s moved to the top of the rankings. Tarasenko is actually the #2 overall ranked player in our league, but the top offensive one. The #1 overall ranked player in the Sports Time Radio league is Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne. Rinne has 20 wins against 6 losses with a Goals Against Average of 1.76, a Save Percentage of .937 and three shutouts so far this season. Sadly neither Dan or I have either of these players, but are teams are doing well just the same.
So how was your week?