Derrick Rose is a member of the New York Knicks. Now I’m not sure if Knicks fans should take Rose’s last interview as confidence in his new team or if he needs to be drug tested. Rose implied that the Knicks are a “super team” in the same class as the Golden State Warriors. Rose never specifically says who has put the Knicks in that class and uses terms like “some people” and “they’re” when mentioning who has the Knicks in that class. Golden State set a record for regular season wins with 73. The Warriors went to the NBA Finals for the second season in a row. After winning the NBA title in 2014-15 season they did lose last seasons finals to the Cleveland Cavaliers. So what did the Warriors do to try and help ensure a trip back to the NBA Finals. They signed the top free agent on the market Kevin Durant. Last season the Knicks won 32 games and didn’t qualify for the playoffs in the Eastern Conference. Now besides Rose the Knicks have added Brandon Jennings to back up Rose, Joakim Noah and Courtney Lee in free agency. Rose, Noah and Lee should join Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis in the Knicks starting line up. While it looks like a solid starting line up for the Knicks and Jennings can score off the bench I think Rose may have put up too high of expectations for his new team. If the Knicks are going to get anywhere close to the “super team” rose has said they would be, he’ll have to stay healthy and play close to the form that won him the NBA MVP award in 2010-11. Rose played in and started 66 games for the Chicago Bulls last season. Those where the most games he’s played in since his MVP season. Rose’s scoring average fell to 16.4 points per game last season. Rose has never been a great shooter especially from behind the 3-point line. 29.3% last season and for his career he’s shot 30.2% from behind the 3-point line. Are the Knicks a super team? I’m not so sold on that, but they should improve on the 32 win team they where last season and may find their way into the Eastern Conference playoffs next season. Derrick Rose Stats
It’s that time in the baseball season where everyone is trading everyone to everybody. Outside of the talk there was actually a trade this week as the Seattle Mariners and the Chicago Cubs came to an agreement on a 4-player deal. The Mariners sent left handed pitcher Mike Montgomery and and minor league right hander Jordan Pries to the Cubs for minor league 1st baseman Dan Vogelbach and and right handed minor league pitcher Paul Blackburn.
Montgomery will give the Cubs some immediate help out of the bullpen. Montgomery has appeared in 32 games for the Mariners; 2 of them being starts. He has and ERA of 2.34 on the season. Lefties are hitting just .164 against Montgomery this season. Pries is a 26 year old pitcher who was pitching in Triple-A for the Mariners before the trade. He was 2-1 with an ERA of 3.85 in 7 games. Pries has spent 6 seasons in the minors and is 40-24 with an ERA of 4.41. He’s appeared in 109 career games with 93 of those as a starting pitcher.
Vogelbach was moved up to Triple-A for the Cubs. He got just 32 at bats there and was hitting just.125. Vogelbach has spent 6 seasons in the minors. He is a career .281 hitter and has 60 home runs. Vogelbach was blocked at 1st base with the Cubs by Anthony Rizzo; so turning him into a solid bullpen piece was a smart move. Reports have also said that Vogelbach is a below average defender. Now in the American League he’ll be able to spend time as a DH. Blackburn was one of the top rated pitchers in the Cubs organization. Blackburn is 22 years old and has been pitching in Double-A for the Cubs. He’s made 18 starts and is 6-4 with a 3.17 ERA. Over 102 1/3rd innings Blackburn has 72 strikeouts to 26 walks.
This looks like a deal that could benefit both teams. The Cubs needed bullpen help especially left handed bullpen help. Montgomery should supply that for the Cubs and down the road there’s a chance he could move into the starting rotation, but right now his value is in the bullpen for a World Series contender. The Mariners find themselves 4 1/2 games out of the wild card and the A.L. West lead. While it’s a reasonable total and the Mariners could move up they have to jump 4 teams to get a wild card spot and that’s a lot even with 66 games left in the season. Being that the Mariners got prospects you just never know, but Vogelbach has hit at every level and will get a shot in the majors with Seattle. Blackburn is young and has good numbers, but you just never know as a pitcher. We might have to wait and see how this deal turns out for Seattle.
The Toronto Maple Leafs signed the #1 overall pick in the draft Austin Matthews to a 3-year entry level contract. Matthews 18-year old from Scottsdale, Arizona, immediately became the face of the Maple Leafs’ franchise when they selected him first in last month’s draft. Matthews deal includes the maximum entry level salary of $925,000 per year plus potential bonuses that could add up to an average annual value of $3,775,000. Matthews says he will spend most of the summer at home in Arizona, preparing for the season and the World Cup of Hockey, where he will play for the North American under-23 team in September. The Leafs also signed 23- year old forward Josh Leivo to a two-year contract. Leivo was a third round pick in the 2011 draft. The Maple Leafs are coming off a season where they won 29 games and accumulated 69 points. The 18-year old Matthews and the 23-year old Leivo are part of Toronto’s youth movement as they try to rebuild their team. Will it be enough to get the Maple Leafs into the playoffs or are they still a year away from making there?
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