It looks like the Top 2 free agent starting pitchers are going to be off the market before the winter meetings even start. Earlier in the week Price signed a 7 year deal worth $217 million to pitch for the Boston Red Sox. Then last night news broke that Zack Greinke will sign a 6 year deal worth $206 million to pitch for the Arizona Diamondbacks. It had more or less been decided that when Greinke made a decision on who to play for he would either return to the Los Angeles Dodgers or sign with the San Francisco Giants. The Diamondbacks where able to sneak in last minute and make Greinke the offer he liked. Like all the deals top pitchers get in free agency it’s a lot of years and a lot of money for a pitcher, but that’s the going rate and you have to pay this price if you want to add this type of pitching. At first the big pitching signing on Friday was the Chicago Cubs signing John Lackey to a 2 year deal worth $32 million, but then the Greinke news broke and that deal took center stage.
Now the question has to be do these signings make Boston and Arizona contenders to win the World Series. The Red Sox finished 2015 78-84 and in last place in the American League East. The Diamondbacks where 79-83 in 2015, but that was good enough for 3rd place in the National League West. Boston finished 15 games out of 1st place while Arizona was 13 games of of 1st. While both Price and Greinke will be the “Ace” of their new pitching staffs will there new teams be able to put together a good enough 2 through 5 spots in the starting rotation to contend. The Red Sox went into last season without a real #1 starter and it showed. Price fills that role and he’ll pitch with Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, Joe Kelly, Clay Bucholtz or maybe Eduardo Rodriquez and Henry Owens in some form of a pitching rotation. Will the Red Sox look to trade a veteran starter to make room for one of their younger starters or will the pair of 22 year old (Owens & Rodriguez) start the season in the minors. Greinke joins a much younger starting rotation in Arizona. Rubby De La Rosa led the Diamondbacks in wins last season with 14; so he looks to slot in behind Greinke in the rotation. Patrick Corbin made 16 starts in 2015 after returning from Tommy John surgery; so he’ll be ready for 2016. Then we’ll have to see if Arizona fills the rotation with Chase Anderson, Robbie Ray or Archie Bradley, but there where some reports that the Diamondbacks may still be looking to sign another free agent for the starting rotation.
You have to think that other teams will start to scramble and try to get a pitcher signed. I mentioned Lackey got a deal with the Cubs and there have been multiple reports that Jeff Samardzija was offered a deal worth $90-$100 million, but the team that made the offer was never disclosed. Starting pitchers like Johnny Cueto; who turned the Diamondbacks offer of 6 years $120 million down, Mike Leake and Scott Kazmir should be very popular at the winter meetings this week. Wei-Yin Cheng has been kind of an under the radar player, but with the Top 2 pitchers now off the market his name should start to come in play as well. There is still a decent amount of quality starting pitching on the free agent market and this week should give us an indication of where some of these pitchers are headed.
Hey; we finally got a great finish to a Thursday Night football game. The Green Bay Packers beat the Detroit Lions 27-23 on a 61-yard hail mary from Aaron Rodgers to Richard Rodgers with no time on the clock. Now we’ve all seen the highlights by now and everyone knows that the Packers shouldn’t of even gotten the play that won the game for them. The play before the game winner the Packers completed a short pass and then the laterals started as this looked like Green Bay’s last chance. The football ended up in Aaron Rodgers hands and there didn’t appear to be anyone behind him to pitch the football to and he was tackled high around the head area. When you look at the play going full speed it appears that Rodgers is taken down by his facemask and a penalty flag was thrown. When the play was looked at in slow motion you can clearly see that Rodgers facemask was never grabbed, but just brushed by the Detroit player. Of course penalties aren’t reviewable and the Packers got 1 last offensive play with no time on the clock and that play was Rodgers to Rodgers for the 61-yard game winner. Now the referee is at fault for missing the call and he’s getting his share of abuse for it you can’t tell me at full speed you didn’t think it was a facemask. While this call stinks for the Lions and there fans it may actual save the Packers season as it allowed them to stay in control of there playoff hopes.
Fantasy wise Rodgers was 24 of 36 for 237 yards with 2 touchdowns and an interception. Rodgers was also the Packers leading rusher on the night running 4 times for 27 yards and a touchdown. Matthew Stafford was 23 of 35 for 220 yards and 1 touchdowns. Stafford also ran the football 2 times for 22 yards.
There wasn’t much to the Green Bay running game on the night. John Crockett carried the football 5 times for 22 yards. James Starks had 9 carries for 15 yards, but added 5 catches for 45 yards while Eddie Lacy had 5 carries for 4 yards. Lacy also had 1 reception, but it went for -4 yards Detroit’s Ameer Abdullah had the most success running the football. He had 13 carries for 67 yards in the game. Joique Bell had 8 carries for 5 yards along with 2 catches for 25 yardrs and Theo Riddick got 1 carry for 4 yards while catching 5 passes for 27 yards.
Richard Rodgers had a big night in the Packers passing game. Rodgers caught 8 passes for 146 yards and that 1 touchdown. Randall Cobb had 4 catches for 29 yards and 1 rushing attempt for -1 yards. DaVonte Adams caught 4 passes for 21 yards, but did have a touchdown. James Jones had 1 catch 19 yards and Jared Abbrederis also had 1 catch for 16 yards. Golden tate led the Lions with 8 catches for 63 yards and he also had a rushing attempt that went for -3 yards. Calvin Johnson caught 3 passes for 44 yards and a touchdown. T.J. Jones caught 2 passes for 37 yards while Eric Ebron also caught 2 passes for 9 yards, but had a touchdown. Corey Fuller also had 1 catch for 15 yards.
Jake Ryan led the Packers in tackles with 10 while Julius Peppers, Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix and Micah Hyde all recorded a sack. Isa Abdul-Quddus was the Lions leading tackler with 11 while Devin Taylor had 2 sacks and Ezekiel Ansah added a sack as well.
It wasn’t the best of fantasy games, but if you had a guy who found his way into the end zone that always helps your team. Hopefully Richard Rodgers was in your starting line up.
You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast on BlogTalkRadio.com
You can also follow me on Twitter @Burketime