Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: January 10, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

We’re just a little over a month away from pitchers and catchers reporting to start spring training and we’re still waiting for any of the big name free agent to sign, especially a starting pitcher.

Now there are three starting pitchers drawing the most interest are Yu Darvish, Jake Arrieta and Alex Cobb. Darvish has actually sat down and met with a couple of teams, but I don’t believe he’s been offered a contract. The Chicago Cubs offered Cobb a 3 year deal worth $42 million dollars, but he turned the offer down. As for Arrieta, there’s been little or no mention of him talking to any teams.  If he’s having meetings it’s being kept under wraps.

Darvish has not put any demands out there for teams to meet but Cobb and Arrieta have. Cobb has said that he wants $20 million dollars a season or will accept a deal of 4 years at $70 million dollars as long as all of the money is guaranteed. While Arrieta has made it clear that he wants a contract that totals at least $200 million dollars.

As we get closer and closer to spring training you have to wonder how far these pitchers will take their demands. Would Cobb or Arrieta be willing to sit out the start of the season if they can’t get the contract they’re looking for?  On the other side, will a contender who might feel they’re one starting pitcher away, break down and give in to the demands of one of these starters.

You have to think that when one of these starters finally sign with a team, the other two may follow suit very quickly.  The one issue that might possibly hang up any of these pitchers getting contract offers is how serious are the Pittsburgh Pirates are about trading Gerrit Cole.

Cole is a 27 year old top of the rotation starter that a team would have control of until 2020. Cole made 33 starts and logged 203 innings which is difficult to find these days. You have to think that a team would rather deal a few of their top prospects to get a pitcher like Cole than lock up a Darvish, Arrieta or Cobb to long term contracts for big money. If the Pirates are actually serious about trading Cole a move like that will hold up the free agent pitching market even more than it has been.

The only free agent movement we’ve had in the last few days was the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim agreeing to terms with veteran catcher Rene Rivera on a 1 year contract.

Rivera will get $2.8 million dollars on his deal with the Angels and be added to their mix of catchers. Martin Maldonado won the Gold Glove last season and you have to figure he’s the starter behind the plate. You have to think that Rivera was brought in to back up Maldonado, but the Angels also have Curt Casali who spent four seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays. Los Angeles also has young catchers Juan Graterol and Carlos Perez.

It’s not much free agent movement, but it is something for baseball fans, if you’re a Rene Rivera fan.

We didn’t get off to a blazing start with our picks for the playoffs. Schaumburg Stu, Mr. Fantasy and I went 2-2 for the Wild Card week while Dan the Man ended up going 1-3. I guess will see how we do in the Divisional round of the playoffs this week.

The Oakland Raiders finally made it official and named Jon Gruden as their head coach. Not that we didn’t know that Gruden would be the Raiders next coach now for about a week, but the team finally made the announcement.

While it was no surprise that the Raiders hired Gruden it was a bit of a surprise that the Chicago Bears where the next team to name a new head coach. The Bears named Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy as their head coach.

Nagy is 39 years old and has been part of Andy Reid’s coaching staff since 2009. Nagy started with the Philadelphia Eagles as an Interim coach in 2009. In 2010 he was promoted to a coaches assistant and then in 2011 he was promoted again to offensive quality coach. When Reid took over the Kansas City Chiefs in 2013 Nagy went with him and was named Quarterback’s coach. In 2016 Nagy was named the Chiefs offensive coordinator, but Reid continued to call plays for the Chiefs until the final 5 games of the 2017 season.

Nagy never played in the NFL, but did play 6 seasons in the Arena Football League. The Eagles actually did try to sign Nagy as  back up quarterback in 2009 when Kevin Kolb got hurt, but the NFL disapproved his contract and the Eagles never made another attempt to re-sign him and just kept him on as a coach.

Alex Smith is coming off of his best season in the NFL and the Bears are hoping that Nagy will be ale to develop their young quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.  It’s being reported that Nagy will handle play calling duties for the Bears offense; so he’ll be working directly with Trubisky.

There haven’t been any announcements on who will be joining Nagy’s coaching staff, but the Bears have made it very clear that they want to bring defensive coordinator Vic Fangio back.

Fangio interviewed for the Bears head coaching position and has drawn interest from quite a few other teams as a defensive coordinator.

If he does indeed return to the Bears, Fangio will once again lead a defensive unit that ranked just 24th in points allowed but 14th in defensive DVOA, an indication the club was better on a play-by-play basis than overall.

With the Raiders and the Bears finding new head coaches there are still four teams looking for head coaches. The Detroit Lions, New York Giants, Arizona Cardinals and the Indianapolis Colts still have head coaching openings.

Depending on who these teams are looking at to fill their vacancies will be the deciding factor on how long it takes them to name a new coach. While coaches on playoff teams can be interviewed for open positions they can’t be named as that teams new head coach until the team they’re coaching for is knocked out of the playoffs. Of course with the way things get leaked I’m sure will know if a team is planning on hiring a coach from a playoff team.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live in BlogTalkRadio.com, but the podcast is also available for you to listen to any time you want at TuneIn.com

Don’t forget that you can find me on Twitter @Burketime

 

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