We had our first few waiver wire deals in Major League Baseball yesterday. It started with the Atlanta Braves sending 3rd baseman Chris Johnson the the Cleveland Indians for outfields Nick Swisher, Michael Bourn and cash considerations. There had been reports out for a while now that the Braves were interested in moving Johnson. Johnson is signed through 2017 with a $10 million dollar option for 2015. Bourn who played for Atlanta in 2011 and 12 is signed for 2016 at $14 million with a $12 million dollar option for 2017. Swisher is signed through 2015 as well for $15 million with a $14 million dollar vesting option for 2017 if he 550 plate appearances in 2016 and passes a physical. The next deal saw the Boston Red Sox send Mike Napoli and cash to the Texas Rangers for a player to be named later or cash considerations. Napoli will also be returning to a team he has played for before. Napoli was with the Rangers for the 2011 and 12 seasons. Napoli is in the last year of his contract and it’s being reported that the Rangers will be responsible for paying $1.5 million of his $16 million dollar 2015 salary. The New York Mets picked up some bullpen help as they acquired left-handed reliever Eric O’Flaherty and cash considerations from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for a player to be named later. O’Flaherty had been designated for Assignment by Oakland over the weekend; so they had 10 days to trade, release him or have him accept a minor league assignment. In a corresponding move left handed reliever Alex Torres has been designated for assignment by the Mets to clear space for O’Flaherty on the 40-man and 25-man rosters. With these three deals getting the waiver period started will see if we get some more deals over the weekend.
So which division leader is going to get caught before the season ends? The New York Yankees (3 1/2), the New York Mets (2 1/2), the Kansas City Royals (9 1/2), the St. Louis Cardinals (6), the Houston Astros (1 1/2) or the Los Angeles Dodgers (3). Now the Mets may be the obvious choice, but it may be the other New York team that is in the most danger of losing their division lead. The Toronto Blue Jays have been closing the gap on the Yankees. With the acquisitions of Troy Tulowirzki and David Price the Blue Jays 9-1 over their last 10 games and are currently on a 6 game winning streak. Over that same 10 game stretch the Yankees are 5-5. Last night (Friday) these two teams started a 3 game series in New York. The Blue Jays got the win on Game 1; 2-1, but it took 10 innings. All 3 runs were scored on solo home runs. Josh Donaldson hit his 30th home run on the Top of the 1st inning to give the Blue Jays a 1-0, but it didn’t last long as Mark Teixeira tied the game at 1-1 with his 30th home run. The game stayed 1-1 until the Top of the 10th inning when Jose Bautista hit his 25th home run of the season off of Yankees reliever Branden Pinder to give the Blue Jays a 2-1 lead. Roberto Osuna pitched the Bottom of the 10th for Toronto to pick up his 9th save while Brett Cecil got the win to move his record to 3-4. Pinder took the loss in his first decision of the season; so he’s 0-1. Both teams had 8 hits apiece in the game. Bautista was the only Blue Jays player with 2 hits in the game while Teixeira, Jacoby Ellsbury and Didi Gregorius all had 2 hits apiece for the Yankees. R. A. Dickey started the game for Toronto while Nathan Eovaidi made the start for the Yankees. Dickey pitched 7 innings giving up 1 run on 6 hits while striking out 3 and walking 2; he also threw a wild pitch. Eovaildi pitched 6 inning giving up 1 run on 5 hits while also striking out 3 and walking 2. Game 2 of the series is set for Saturday afternoon in New York and David Price is starting for the Blue Jays while the Yankees are going with Ivan Nova on the mound. Price was dominant on his Blue Jays debut; striking out 11 and retiring the last 15 batters he faced. Nova has made 7 starts for the Yankees since returning from Tommy John surgery and has an E.R.A. of 3.10. Look for Brian McCann to be a key factor in the Yankees line up against Price as he is a career .563 hitter against him with 3 home runs and 7 RBI’s. Jacoby Ellsbury also has good career numbers against Price hitting .370 in 46 career at bats. Both Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista average over .300 against Nova. Encarnacion at .364 and Bautista at .333 and each have 1 home run off Nova. The Blue Jays (589) and Yankees (529) are the Nos. 1 and 2 teams atop the Major League leaderboard in runs scored; so will we see more than a 2-1 game like last nights?
On the Sunday Sports Time Radio podcasts Mr. Fantasy and I have tried to pick the best line up for Fanduel and sadly haven’t done very well. Now we’re going to continue to try and find ways to help you win money during the remainder of the season on Fanduel, but we’re also going to start taking a look at the upcoming football season. Our drafts will be held over Labor Day weekend; so we’re starting to get ready for them. If you’re interested in being in either of our league; they’re free and we run them through Yahoo. Both leagues are 20 team leagues; one is a traditional snake league style draft and the other league is an auction league. Again they are both free and if you’re interested in playing please e-mail us SportsTimeRadio@Hotmail.com and we’ll send you the link to sign up. One league has 5 spots left and the other has 8 spots left. Feel free to play in one or both leagues with us. Just please be a serious fantasy football player who’ll stay through the season even if your team struggles.
I was looking at the pre-season rankings for tight ends and they have Rob Gronkowski as the #6 rated player overall. I have to tell you I don;t think I would draft a tight end that high and in one of our leagues we start 2 tight ends a week. While there’s a bit of a drop off from Gronkowski to Jimmy Graham and then even a bigger drop off from Graham to the #3 ranked tight end Travis Kelce; I’m not sure if taking a tight end at #6 is the best choice. There’s also the issue of if there’s a Tom Brady suspension. How much will that affect Gronkowski’s numbers? be it for the 4 games that’s in place right now or even 1 or 2 games if it’s brought down in court. Now I won;t be surprised at all when Gronkowski comes off the draft board in the Top 10 and while he’s a great player and the best at his position can you win your league taking a tight end that high?
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