Archive for the ‘baseball’ Category

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: January 15, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

What do you think of the way that Major League Baseball is handling the sign stealing situation?

The Houston Astros where fined $5 million dollars which is the maximum fine a team can be accessed. The Astros also have to forfeit their 1st and 2nd round draft picks in the 2020 and 20201 draft. General Manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch where also given one year suspensions without pay as part of Houston’s penalty.

In the wake of these penalties where announced Astros owner Jim Crane decided to fired Luhrow and Hinch. With spring training about a month away it outs the Astros in an odd position. Remember they fired their assistant general manager Brandon Taubman after an odd outburst at some female reporters. Taubman is also on MLB’s ineligible list; so he is unable to move into the general managers role if that’s the way the Astros choose to go.

With the Astros investigation wrapped up MLB will move on to the Boston Red Sox and their use of technology to steal signs.

The Red Sox have already made a preemptive and removed Alex Cora as their manager. Cora was the Astros bench coach in 2017 when the Astros where accused of stealing signs. He was hired by the Red Sox after Houston won the World Series in 2017 and led the Red Sox to the a World Series win in 2018. In Houston Cora appears to be the coach who put all of the sign stealing systems in place. Now there hasn’t been any reports on what his involvement with the Red Sox sign stealing system was, but as the old saying goes where there’s smoke there’s fire.

With Cora being involved in both of these sign stealing situation and the fact that Hinch got a year suspension; what should Cora get? Would Major League Baseball go as far as suspending him for multiple years?

Now the Red Sox parted way with Dave Dombrowski who had the job title of President of Baseball Operations which included handling general manager duties. To this point I haven’t heard anything on if Dombrowski will face sanctions like Luhnow did, but you have to think that’s a possibility. Dombrowski isn’t currently working for a major league team, but any type of penalty might prevent a team from hiring him.

I have to say that I’m pretty much in agreement with the penalties that where handed down to the Astros. I think the only thing that I would’ve liked to have seen Major League Baseball do was take away some of the teams international pool money along with the other penalties they where accessed.

The most difficult decision Major League Baseball has to make is what if anything happens to Carlos Beltran. There have been and there appears that no players will be penalized for the sign stealing scandal and while Beltran is currently the manager of the New York Mets he was a player and according to reports the leader of the sign stealing system.

This leads to the questions. Should Beltran be penalized? Should the Mets fire Beltran? Who they just hired November 1st and hasn’t managed a game for them.

The other thing that may be of some interest especially to Los Angeles Dodgers fans. Don’t forget that the Astros beat the Dodgers in the 2017 World Series and the Red Sox beat the Dodgers in the 2018 World Series. Could he Dodgers have been back to back World Series winners if not for the teams they where playing stealing signs?

I’m not sure if there’s an actual way to take away a World Series title from a team, but maybe they could add an asterisk next to the teams name in history and let the fans decide for themselves.

Then there comes the question of the American League Most Valuable Player award. In 2017 Jose Altuve of the Astros won the award and then in 2018 Mookie Betts of the Red Sox won the award. Was it easier for them to hit because they knew what pitches where coming? Now Major League Baseball didn’t strip either Ryan Braun or Jason Giambi of the MVP awards they won after it was learned that they where both use performance enhancing drugs. So there is a bit of a history here.

Just for the record in 2017 Aaron Judge of the Yankees finished 2nd to Altuve in the MVP voting and then in 2018 it was Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels who finished 2nd to Betts in the MVP voting.

In some other baseball news earlier in the week Miguel Sano signed a 3 year $30 million dollar extension to stay with the Minnesota Twins. With this signing it appeared that the Twins might be out of the race to sign Josh Donaldson. Anybody who thought that was wrong as yesterday the Twins inked Donaldson to a 4 year $92 million dollar deal with a 5th year option.

Donaldson’s deal is the largest free agent signing in Twins history and it’s the second largest contract the franchise has ever handed out. The largest contract in Twins history was Joe Mauer’s 8 year $184 million dollar deal he signed in 2011.

With the signing of Donaldson and Nelson Cruz locked in as the DH it appears as though Sano will make the move across the diamond and play 1st base for the Twins this season.

Donaldson was what was being describe as the last “big name” free agent on the markets, but there still are some quality players still available in free agency. The two hot names now seem to be outfielders Nicholas Castellanos and Marcel Ozuna, but don’t forget that Yasil Puig is also still a free agent. It will be interesting to see where these three free agents end up along with the remainder of the available players still out there.

Remember to listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you do miss the live broadcast of the podcast just head o over to TuneIn.com and you can listen at your leisure.

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Christmas

Posted: December 25, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

I know I’ve mentioned this a time or two here; so as you know I live in the Chicago suburbs. And with the Bears, Bulls and Blackhawks struggling the talk has continued to be about baseball. Now everyone seems to be very down on the Cubs, but on the other side of town there’s a lot of buzz about the White Sox. Now this isn’t the first time there has been this kind of reaction to a White Sox off season.

In 2015 the White Sox signed Adam LaRoche to be the DH of what looked like an already potent line up. Jeff Samardzija was added to the starting rotation and the White Sox added David Robertson as the closer and Zach Duke as the main set up guy out of the bullpen.

All of these moves led to the White Sox being crowned the winners of the off season which made them a trendy pick to win the AL Central and there where even some Chicagoans that had them going to the World Series.

What ended up happening is they still play the game on the field as the White Sox went 76-86. They ended up in 4th place in the AL Central 19 games back of the division winning Kansas City Royals. The White Sox never spent one day in 1st place in 2015.

Now this off season the White Sox made a big move early signing the top catcher on the free agent market Yasmani Grandal to a 4 year $73 million dollar contract. Jose Abreu accepted the qualifying offer of $17.8 million dollars to stay with the White Sox. James McCann had a career year for the White Sox in 2019 and they where able to bring him back on a 1 year $5.4 million dollar deal.

After those signings there was talk that the White Sox needed at add an outfield bat and pitching help. The White Sox sent one of their what seems to be many prospects outfielder Steele Walker to the Texas Rangers for Nomar Mazara. I’m not sure why, but there seemed to be some complaining about this trade; I guess because you’re not allowed to trade a prospect. Even with that garbage Mazara is a proven run producer and should hit 20 or more home runs.

As far as pitching goes; the White Sox actually offered more money to Zach Wheeler and Steven Strasburg, but they both chose to sign somewhere else. I had hoped that the White Sox would make a big move and bring in Madison Bumgarner and while I heard there was some interest on the White Sox part it didn’t seem like they where even close to getting him signed. As the top pitching free agents slowly started signing with teams it looked like the White Sox where going to miss out. They did managed to sign Gio Gonzalez to a 2 year $5 million dollar contract and it looked like he was going to be the veteran pitcher they where going to add to their rotation. Little did we know the White Sox weren’t done. They went out and added former Cy Young award winner Dallas Keuchel to the starting rotation. Keuchel signed a 3 year $55.5 million dollar deal that has a vesting option that could make his contract a 4 year $74 million dollar deal.

Is Keuchel the top of the rotation starter that the White Sox needed to add to their young arms. Keuchel signed late last season and made 19 starts for the Atlanta Braves. He went 8-8 with an ERA of 3.75. Keuchel made 2 playoff starts for Atlanta, but pitched just 8 innings. Keuchel didn’t get a decision in either of his playoff starts and posted an ERA of 4.50.

Keuchel has stayed relatively healthy throughout his career; so he should make 30 plus starts for the White Sox. He’ll be at the top of a rotation that includes up and coming starters Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez. Giolito is coming off the best of his two full major league seasons. Can Keuchel be the leader of this rotation and help Giolito take that next step? Lopez has been show potential and seems to just need a veteran who’s been through it to give him some guidance. Can Keuchel fill that role?

No there are reports out there that the White Sox aren’t done. They’ve been linked very closely to free agent 1st baseman Edwin Encarnacion. With Abreu already signed you’d have to think that if this signing happens Encarnacion would primarily be used as a DH. If signed Encarnacion would add another legitimate power threat to the White Sox line up. Last season Encarnacion was limited to just 109 games due to injury, but still hit 34 home runs. Those 34 home runs would’ve led the White Sox last season. Will have to see how this scenario plays out, but Encarnacion isn’t the only remaining free agent the White Sox have been linked to.

Nicholas Castellanos is the other free agent who’s name seems to keep being associated with the White Sox. Castellanos was dealt to the White Sox crosstown rival last season and played very well for them. In 51 games with the Cubs Castellanos hit .321 with 16 home runs and 36 RBI’s and was probably the Cubs biggest offensive threat down the stretch. The question I have is where would the White Sox play Castellanos? He played very good defense for the Cubs in rightfield after being traded, but isn’t known for his defense. The White Sox have already added Mazara who’s a better defensive rightfielder than Castellanos. Of course the White Sox do have the DH position open; so that could be an option. I’m not sure if Castellanos would be used as a full time DH as he has played 3rd base, left and right field in his career. I’m sure there’s also a chance that either Castellanos, Mazara or even Grandel could play some 1st base and give Abreu a day off. This is another free agent will have to keep our eye on and see if the White Sox make this move.

If you’re in the White Sox front office are you leaning towards signing Encarnacion or Castellanos?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the podcast live just head on over to TuneIn.com and you can listen any time you want.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Burketime and have a Merry Christmas.

 

How was your week

Posted: December 21, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

I’m not surprised that Josh Donaldson seems to have four teams that are very interested in his services. Going into the off season there where multiple looking for a 3rd baseman and Donaldson along with Anthony Rendon where the top free agents at that position. Once Rendon signed with the Los Angeles Angels that left just Donaldson out there for these teams looking to add a top 3rd baseman. Now obviously only one of those teams will sign Donaldson; so which one will it be?

The four teams that are in on Donaldson right now are the Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves, Washington Nationals and Minnesota Twins. Now the Twins and the Nationals have offered four year contracts to Donaldson while the Braves and the Dodgers have only been willing to go to three years on a deal.

This led me to an interesting question. If you’re a National League team how comfortable are you going to be with a 37, 38 year old 3rd baseman?

Now I know that there is a lot of discussion about the designated hitter becoming league wide in the next CBA, but if that doesn’t happen could a four year deal with Donaldson get a team into trouble the final couple of years of that deal? To be fair to Donaldson he has been relatively injury free throughout his career. He played in 155 games for the Braves last season and with the exception of the 2018 season Donaldson has always played 113 games or more since becoming a starter.

So you’ve made yourself comfortable with giving Donaldson a four year deal. Then the question becomes; how much is he going to be paid? Most of the reports out there have Donaldson landing a contract that would pay him between $90 and $100 million dollars on a four year deal.

Donaldson is coming off of a season where he hit 37 home runs and drove in 94 RBI’s. Even though he’s never won a Gold Glove Donaldson has always been looked at as a god defensive 3rd baseman. He made 13 errors last season and had a fielding percentage of .969. Donaldson was 3rd among all of 3rd baseman in assists last season with 304 and he was 2nd among 3rd baseman in double plays last season with 38; so his defense is solid.

Donaldson did post a lower than normal batting average last season .259, but he had a slugging percentage of .521 and a On Base + Slugging Percentage of .900 and he did walk 100 times. How do you feel these numbers will translate over the next four years?

Once Donaldson does sign that will leave three teams possibly in the market for a 3rd baseman. Remember the Dodgers do still have Justin Turner who has said that he’d move across the diamond to 1st bas of the Dodgers acquired another 3rd baseman, but what about the other teams.

There does seem to be a lot of talk about the Colorado Rockies being interested in trading Nolan Arenado. That might seem a little odd as Arenado is just in the 2nd year of a 7-year $260 million dollar contract, but the rumor has been out there for about a week now.

The Texas Rangers seem to be the team that is in pursuit of Arenado. The Rangers have been looking for a franchise type player to build their team around as they open that new stadium and while they missed out on signing Rendon landing Arenado would fit that bill nicely. I doubt the Rockies would deal Arenado to the Dodgers, but with the minor league system the Dodgers have you can never say never. I’m sure the Twins, Nationals and Braves would also have some interest in Arenado if they miss out on Donaldson.

The other big name 3rd baseman who’s name has come up in trade talks this off season is Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs. The big question with Bryant is how many years of control would a team have on him. Right now he has two years of control, but he has a service grievance against Major League Baseball and if he wins that grievance he’ll have just one year of arbitration left. That could affect the type of package a team might offer the Cubs for Bryant.

The team that has been the most closely linked to a Bryant trade have been the Philadelphia Phillies. If Philadelphia would make that move for Bryant that would still leave three of Donaldson’s four suitors looking for a 3rd baseman.

Once Donaldson makes his decision and signs with a team where would the teams that miss out on him look at to fill their spot at 3rd base? There are some options that teams could turn to and while they’re not in the same category as a Donaldson, Bryant or Arenado they could do the job for a season while those teams try to figure out that position.

Asdrubal Cabrera has a solid season first with the Rangers and then with the Nationals. He hit .260 with 18 home runs and 91 RBI’s last season. Todd Frazier had a bit of a bounce back season in 2019. He hit 21 home runs with 67 RBI’s and his batting average was .251 which is the best it’s been since 2015. Starlin Castro started 42 games at 3rd base last season and played in 45 games at that position last season. Castro hit 22 home runs and had 86 RBI’s while hitting .270 on a bad Miami Marlins team. Maybe one of these teams that miss out on a 3rd baseman might look at Castro to make the move there full time.

Those are three possible options for a team if they don’t end up signing Donaldson and they’re not in the dealings for Arenado or Bryant and while these wouldn’t be long term solutions at 3rd base these players are good enough to help a team win some games.

What do you see the teams that miss out on Donaldson end up doing? Do you think they’ll look into or make a trade for Bryant or Arenado? Will they sign one of the remaining free agents? Or is at all possible that they would just turn the position over to one of the young players in their own organization? I guess this will all start to play out once Donaldson signs.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the podcast live just head on over to TuneIn.com and you can listen when you want to.

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Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: December 18, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Well here is still quite a bit of activity in the baseball free agent marker as Madison Bumgarner ended up being the next top free agent to sign. It’s not surprise that Bumgarner got a sizeable deal 5 years for $85 million dollars, but it was a bit of a surprise that it was the Arizona Diamondbacks that signed him. There where no rumors or anything linking Bumgarner and the Diamondbacks, but they got the deal done.

Bumgarner’s contract is set up very interestingly. He’ll be paid just $6 million dollars next season. His salary jumps to $19 million dollars in 2021. In 2022 and 2023 he’ll be paid $23 million dollars. Then in the final year of his contract his salary drops down to $14 million dollars. Now in the three middle years of his contract $5 million dollars of his salary from each of those years will be deferred. That money will then be paid out to Bumgarner in the years 2025, 2026 and 2027.

There have been some rumors that Bumgarner took less money to sign with the Diamondbacks, but that hasn’t been confirmed. His name had been associated with teams like the Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves and Chicago White Sox, but we don’t know if he received any type of offers from these teams.

It seems that the addition of Bumgarner would give the Diamondbacks a really solid big three in their starting rotation. You’d have to figure to would be Bumgarner, Robbie Ray and Luke Weaver in some order, but there are still reports out their that Arizona is still interested in trading Ray.

I’m not sure how much sense it makes for Arizona to bring in a pitcher like Bumgarner and then turn around and trade away Ray. The Diamondbacks do have veteran starter Mike Leake along with Merrill Kelly, Zac Gallen and the two pitchers they acquired from the Houston Astros in the Zack Greinke deal Jon Duplantier and Corbin Martin to fill out the starting rotation if Ray is dealt.

It is possible that Ray could be use to bring back an outfielder that Arizona seems to need unless they’re going to give Yasmany Tomas a chance. Tomas is in the final year of his 6 year $68.5 million dollar deal; so this is the last chance for the Diamondbacks to get anything out of him. Tomas has spent the better part of the last three seasons in the minors, but don’t forget that he did hit 31 home runs in 2016.

Will have to wait and see what the Diamondbacks do with Ray and how their outfield shuffles out.

The Milwaukee Brewers made a couple of signings this past week and I think the best way to describe them is they where very Brewers like signings.

First Milwaukee signed outfielder Avisail Garcia to a 2 year $20 million dollar deal. Then the Brewers added 1st baseman/3rd baseman Ryon Healy to  1 year deal. The terms of Healy’s deal haven’t been disclosed yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a minor league deal with an invite to spring training.

With the signing of Garcia and the fact that Milwaukee hasn’t made any real effort to bring back free agent Eric Thames appears to mean that Ryan Braun will be moving to 1st base. There was talk of this happening last season and it didn’t, but with these moves it appears as though it’s almost a certainty this season.

Right now Healy would be the Brewers starting 3rd baseman unless they think that either Lucas Erceg or Blake Allemand might be ready to play full time at the major league level. There’s also a possibility that Milwaukee will bring in another veteran free agent to platoon with Healy at 3rd base.

The Brewers have been very busy in this early off season. Not only have they added Garcia and Healy, but they’ve also added two starting pitchers. Milwaukee has added left hander Brett Anderson to the starting rotation. They’ve also signed Josh Lindblom who’s been pitching in the Korean league the last couple of seasons. Lindblom should also find a spot in the Brewers starting rotation.

These are the kind of interesting under the radar type of moves that help keep the Brewers in the hunt for a playoff spot. Will have to see how these signing workout and if they add anyone else.

As far as big names go it seems that Josh Donaldson is the only one left on the free agent market.

There where reports a few days ago that the Los Angeles Dodgers where out on Donaldson, but yesterday anther report came out that the Dodgers are still interested in signing him. The Washington Nationals have made it clear that they’re interesting in signing Donaldson. National general manager Mike Rizzo came out yesterday and confirmed all these reports. There are also some reports that the Minnesota Twins would be interested in bringing Donaldson on board. Also the team that Donaldson played with last season the Atlanta Braves would also like to have him back.

It seems like the biggest question with signing Donaldson is how many years to give him. There are reports that Donaldson is looking for a 4 year contract. Donaldson just turned 34 years old earlier this month; so teams have to decide how they think Donaldson will be as a 38 year old.

Where do you think Donaldson will end up? and how many years do you think he’ll sign for?

Even with a loss last night the Los Angeles Lakers are still the top team in the Western Conference. At 24-4 the question was posed to LeBron James about the hot new term in the NBA load management and James had some interesting answers. James said “if I’m healthy I play” he added “I mean, that should be the approach. I mean unless we’re getting to like late in the season and we’ve clinched and we can’t get any better or any worse, it could benefit from that, but why wouldn’t I play if I’m healthy? It doesn’t make any sense to me, personally. “I mean, I don’t know how many games I got left in my career. I don’t know how many kids that may show up to a game and they’re there to come see me play and if I sit out, then what? That’s my obligation.”

James has played in all 28 of the Lakers game this season and is averaging 34.7 minutes per game. Now as the season goes on it wouldn’t be a surprise to see James sit out the 4th quarter of blow out games. It’s just common sense for the Lakers to want and James to be healthy for the playoffs, but it is nice to hear an NBA player that actually seems like he wants to play.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the podcast live just head on over to TuneIn.com and you can listen whenever you want.

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Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: December 11, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

What a difference a year makes when it come to the baseball free agent market.

Last off season everything was Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. When will they sign, who will they sign with and how much will they sign for. This went on and on and on all through the off season. Machado and Harper dominated all of the off season of the off season news and it was the lead story on every show that discuss baseball. It was a gigantic dog and pony show, but we waited and waited to see who they’d sign with. When the winter meetings came around last year there was a lot of talk that this would be the time that something would get done and there would be something to report. Well as you know they where way, way off on that. In the end Machado signed with the San Diego Padres on February 21st while Harper didn’t sign with the Philadelphia Phillies until March 2nd.

Headed into this off season the two big free agents where pitchers, Steven Strasburg and Gerrit Cole. Just like last season there was a lot of talks about which teams would be in on trying to sign them and just how much either would end up getting. It seems as though everybody was getting ready to settle in for the long haul like last season. Well surprise it didn’t take that long.

On December 9th Strasburg officially re-signed with the Washington Nationals. Strasburg got a 7-year deal worth $245,000 million dollars. Strasburg’s salary is $35 million dollars a season, but there is some deferred money in his contract; so he’ll actually make $23,571,482 million dollars a season. There’s a total of $80 million dollars in deferred money in Strasburg’s contract which will be paid out from 2027 to 2029. The contract has a full no-trade clause, along with bonuses for winning the Silver Slugger and Gold Glove set at $100,000 each. There’s also a $100,000 for making the All-Star team. As far as Cy Young and MVP Strasburg will receive $500,000 for winning either award, $250,000 for finishing 2nd, $150,000 for finishing 3rd, $100,000 for finishing 4th and $75,000 for finishing 5th.

With Strasburg off of the board that left Cole out there as the top pitcher. Remember Zach Wheeler has already signed with the Philadelphia Phillies; so two of the top three rated free agent pitcher had been signed.

Well it didn’t take all that long for Cole to find a new team. Yesterday Cole agreed to a record setting 9-year $324 million dollar deal with the New York Yankees. This is the largest deal ever for a pitcher and the second best payday in the history of free agency. Since the deal was just agreed to there aren’t a lot of details available on it just yet. We do know that Cole will be paid $36 million dollars a season.

I have to tell you I always get a good laugh when I hear some expert on television start saying that so and so is going to sign with this team because it’s close to where he grew up. Well both Strasburg and Cole grew up in California. Strasburg was born in San Diego California and went to college at San Diego State Cole was born in Newport Beach California and went to college at the University of California. Most of the experts had Cole going back out west to either the Los Angeles Angels or the Los Angeles Dodgers with the possibility that the San Diego Padres could be an option. I believe that most of those same experts thought Washington was the front runner to bring Strasburg back, but there where a few that thought he’d land in San Diego with the Padres. You can throw Wheeler into this mix as well as the experts had him headed to Atlanta because he was born in Smyrna Georgia.

Now I’m sure there are some players out there who’d like to play closer to where they grew up, but it’s no where close to as many as they talked about this off season. In not sure why they didn’t factor winning into the equation more that where someone grew up, played high school or college baseball at. Maybe they’ll be smarter looking at the free agent market next off season.

With Strasburg, Cole and Wheeler off of the free agent market it looks like Madison Bumgarner is the top free agent pitcher now. There have been some reports that the Dodgers have shifted their focus to signing Bumgarner. There is also a rumor that the Chicago White Sox have interest in him.

After Bumgarner is signed it appears that teams will look at Dallas Keuchel and Hyun-Jin Ryu to strengthen their starting rotations.

While the starting pitchers are finding big money and new teams in some cases the free agent market for the top position players hasn’t real heated up yet.

Anthony Rendon is considered the top position player on the free agent market and he’s been linked to quite a few teams. I did find it interesting that the Angels sent Zack Cozart to the San Francisco Giants in a trade yesterday. That opens up a spot at 3rd base for the Angels and you have to think that they’ll take a serious run at Rendon or possibly Josh Donaldson to fill to spot.

Most teams like the Angels seem to be focusing on Rendon, but once he signs look for those teams to quickly switch their focus to getting Donaldson. After that there seems to be a lot of interest in Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs have said that they’re open to trading a star player and with a Rookie of the Year and MVP award on his resume Bryant fits that profile. Reports are the Phillies have kicked the tires on a deal for Bryant.

The problem right now in trading for Bryant is teams don’t know how long he’ll be under their control. Bryant currently has a grievance against the Cubs and Major League Baseball about his service time. If you remember Bryant like a lot of top young players in today’s game was kept at Triple-A for enough time to push his arbitration clock back a season. So it’s unknown right now if Bryant has one or two years left of arbitration. Teams may wait for that to be cleared up before they make a trade for him.

I’m happy to see the free agent market moving like it is and I hope it keeps going.

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Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: November 27, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

The Detroit Lions will be hosting a Thanksgiving day game tomorrow like they have for many, many years and at 3-7-1 it’s a not make or break type of game. There has however been some interest in the Lions quarterback situation for tomorrow’s game against the 5-6 Chicago Bears.

If healthy Matthew Stafford would no doubt be the Lions starting quarterback, but he’s been out the last 3 weeks with what’s being reported as broken bones in his back. The Lions haven’t placed Stafford on injured reserve and seem to be taking his injury week by week.

Jeff Driskell has started the last 3 games for the Lions at quarterback. Detroit is 0-3 with Driskell as their starting quarterback and he’s coming off of a 3 interception game last Sunday. It’s being reported that Driskell is suffering from a hamstring injury and his availability for tomorrow’s game is unclear.

Now if Driskell has to miss tomorrow’s game the Lions will turn to 3rd string quarterback David Blough. Blough is an undrafted rookie out of Purdue University who has yet to take a snap in an NFL regular season game.

Now as soon as this news broke and I’m sure you can guess this there where quite a few media members who wanted to know why the Lions didn’t go out and sign Colin Kaepernick.

Detroit was actually one of the six teams that stayed with the Kaepernick tryout and drove to that high school to watch him; so they at least wanted to see what he looked like in his workout.

Of course this opens the door to a ton of reasons why the Lions didn’t try to sign Kaepernick. It’s possible they didn’t like what they saw at his tryout even though reports are he looked good. Maybe there was something they saw that they didn’t think fit with what they do. Also remember that Blough has been with the Lions all season and even though he hasn’t played he’s been at the meetings and practices; so he should have a grasp of their offense. Kaepernick would be coming into a brand new system that he would know nothing about and have two or three days at most to be ready to play his first game in almost three full seasons.

It seems like every time a team passes on signing Kaepernick they’re indicted for passing up on him, but if you look at what could be the reasons the Lions didn’t bring him in it makes some sense. I’m also under the impression that Driskell is going to end up starting at quarterback tomorrow; so there would be no need to sign anyone.

The only real question about that might be out there about why the Lions didn’t take a look at Kaepernick is the fact that they wanted to sign Josh Johnson. Now Johnson did play in four games for the Washington Redskins last season and he started three of those games; so he’s not coming off of long term inactivity like Kaepernick is. It would be interesting to know why the Lions would look at Johnson first instead of Kaepernick, but of course there’s no way to find that out.

Now even though the Lions where very interested in signing Johnson he had already signed a deal with the XFL and they where unwilling to release him so he could sign with Detroit.

I am a little surprised that the XFL wouldn’t release Johnson from his contract. The XFL and the NFL aren’t going head to head and it seems as though they could’ve released Johnson and then just resigned him after the NFL season ended.

The XFL season starts in February; so if a player signed with a team that made a deep playoff run it could hurt his preparation for the upcoming XFL season, but the Lions aren’t even going to make the playoffs; so Johnson would be free to return to the XFL at the end of the NFL’s regular season.

I haven’t seen any quotes from Johnson on the situation, but by not being allowed to sign with Detroit he’s missing out on a chance to make more money than he will in the XFL. You have to wonder if this might affect players signing with the XFL in the future.

It appears as though the Atlanta Braves had a plan going into this off season and they’re making the moves they want happen early.

Yesterday they added another free agent when they signed catcher Travis d’Arnaud to a two year $16 million dollar deal.

d’Arnaud was a big time prospect when the New York Mets brought him up in 2013, but things never really clicked for him. He suffered a multitude of injuries when he was with the Mets and after playing in just 10 games for them last season he was released. He signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers, but played just 1 game in the majors for them before he was purchased by the Tampa Bay Rays.

I’m not sure what goes on in Tampa Bay, but d’Arnaud like so many players seem to have found himself in a Rays uniform and had his best season. He played in 92 games and tied his career high in home runs with 16. He also posted his second best season in RBI’s with 67 and batting average at .263. Of course the big question will be; can he put up similar numbers with the Braves?

d’Arnaud will share catching duties in Atlanta with Tyler Flowers, but I’m under the impression that d’Arnaud was signed to be the #1 catcher and Flowers will just spell him when needed. d’Arnaud has never caught more than 103 games in a season; so it makes a lot of sense for the Braves to have Flowers on the roster just in case.

There where three other catcher signed yesterday as well. The Arizona Diamondbacks signed Stephen Vogt while the Houston Astros signed Dustin Garneau. Mike Zunino also signed a one year deal to stay with Tampa Bay. Counting Flowers who’s contract was re-worked by the Braves there have been six catchers signed already this off season.

With d’Arnaud signing yesterday and Yasmani Grandal singing last week with the Chicago White Sox there aren’t really any top tier catchers left on the free agent market. There are quite a few veteran catchers available on the free agent market, but none of them are truly #1 type of catchers.

If your favorite team was looking for a catcher this off season they’re going to have to explore the trade market to get something done.

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How was your week

Posted: November 23, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, hockey, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

The New York Yankees finally made the decision to part ways with Jacoby Ellsbury. After seven seasons with the Boston Red Sox the Yankees brought Ellsbury to New York with a 7 year $153 million dollar contract. Unfortunately the Yankees never got much of a return out of Ellsbury.

After four seasons with the Yankees Ellsbury ran into some injury issues that cost him the last two seasons. Now the Yankees did pay him $21,142,857 both of those seasons he was out.

Now the Yankees owe Ellsbury on more year at $21,142,857 and there is also a $5 million dollar by buy attached to his contract. The Yankees have come out and said that they are going to contest the final year of Ellsbury’s contract in hopes of not having to pay him.

The Yankees are claiming that Ellsbury received medical treatment for his injuries from a Health Care Provider who is not affiliated with the team. The team must also authorized permission for this type of treatment.

The MLBPA released a statement on this situation backing Ellsbury. “The Players Association will vigorously defend any action taken against Jacoby or his contract and is investigating potential contract violations by his employer”.

From the Yankees point of view it’s understandable that they’d like to get out of that final year of his contract along with the buy out, but I’m not sure if they’re going to have a leg to stand on in this case, but you never know what’s still going to come out in this case. I guess will have to wait and see how this all ends up playing out.

I corresponding moves the Yankees also designated 1st baseman Greg Bird and left handed pitcher Nelson Cortes Jr. for assignment.

Bird made a big splash for the Yankees in 2015. He hit 11 home runs in 46 games for New York and it looked like he could possibly be a long term solution for the Yankees at 1st base, but that didn’t happen.

Bird played just 17 games in the Arizona Fall League in 2016 and he never played more than 82 games in a season after that. He also never hit better than .199 for the Yankees. Bird managed to play in just 10 games last season before his season was ended by injuries.

It appears as though Ellsbury is going to attempt to play in 2020 if there’s a team willing to take a chance on him. As of now it’s unclear if Bird will try to play next season.

After the Atlanta Braves made the first signing of free agency bringing in closer Will Smith and re-signing set up man Chris Martin. The next team to make their mark in free agency was the Chicago White Sox.

First the White Sox agreed to a four year $73 million dollar deal with catcher Yasmani Grandal. He was considered the best free agent catcher and one of the top hitters available this off season.

Grandal took a chance last off season signing a one year deal with the Milwaukee Brewers and it appears to have paid off for him.

Grandal had a career high in home runs with 28 and RBI’s with 77 while hitting .246. He also played in a career high 153 games catching in 137 games that covered 1095 2/3rd innings. Grandal just turned 31 earlier this month and I’m not sure if he’ll be able to catch as many games this coming season for the White Sox. Of course being that he’s now with an American League team he’ll be able to keep his bat in the line up as a Designated Hitter.

The White Sox also announced this week that they have signed 1st baseman Jose Abreu to a three year $50 million dollar contract extension. Earlier this off season Abreu accepted the White Sox qualifying offer of $17.8 million dollars in hopes that an extension could be worked out.

Under his new contract Abreu will be paid a salary of $11 million dollars for the 2020 season with a $5 million dollar signing bonus. In 2021 Abreu will make $16 million dollars and in the final year of his contract Abreu’s salary jumps to $18 million dollars. $4 million dollars of Abreu’s 2022 salary will be deferred.

Abreu has spent all six of his major league seasons with the White Sox. Last season Abreu led the American League in RBI’s with 123 and has been a productive bat in the White Sox line up since joining them out of Cuba.

It seems like the consensus was that the White Sox needed to add a bat this off season and most experts thought they’d add an outfielder, Grandal is definitely the bat they needed and keeping Abreu should give the White Sox a solid line up.

Honestly I was in the other camp on what I thought the White Sox should add as I thought they needed a top of the rotation starter and who knows it’s still very, very early in free agency; so maybe they still will.

So we’ve had a couple of early free agent signings. Will this trend continue? Or will the free agent market slow down like we’ve seen the last few seasons?

I’d be interested to know who you think the next team might be to step up and get a player signed and which player do you think will be the one that gets signed. There’s always a lot of talk about who’s going where, but who will it actually be?

We had the first head coaching change of the NHL season as the Toronto Maple Leafs fired Mike Babcock after the team started 9-10-4. Sheldon Keefe is taking Babcock’s place behind the Maple Leafs bench. Keefe had been coaching Toronto AHL’s team the Marlies.

Technically, Babcock has only been relieved of his duties as coach and is still under contract with the Maple Leafs. That eight-year, $50 million dollar contract was the biggest deal ever given to an NHL coach and there are still three more seasons on it. Babcock will likely be allowed to pursue other opportunities, but compensation for coaches or executives is no longer a part of the CBA.

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Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: November 20, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Well Colin Kaepernick finally had his workout or tryout or whatever you want to call it this past Saturday and of course there was quite a bit of controversy that came along with it.

The NFL had Kaepernick’s workout scheduled to take place at the Atlanta Falcons facility and 25 teams where expected to attend. Kaepernick and his representatives had other ideas as they moved the workout 60 miles away to a high school.

There reasoning for this apparently was they wanted to tape the workout themselves and the NFL wasn’t going to allow them to tape it. Now I can understand that there is quite a bit of distrust between these two parties, but did Kaepernick and his group really think the NFL would edit is workout tape to make him look bad. There where going to be 25 teams there; would they all agree to what the NFL was going to say or alter about his workout?

The other complaint that Kaepernick and his group had was who he’d be throwing to. It seemed as though the NFL was just going to bring in more or less any available former receivers they could get. Kaepernick and his group wanted him to throw to receivers that he was use to working with. I don’t think this would’ve made much of a difference, but anything to complain about; I guess.

From all reports Kaepernick looked good in the workout. He showed good mobility and good arm strength during the workout, but with the late move of his workout the number of teams he ended up working out for dropped from 25 to 6.

As of now Kaepernick hasn’t been signed by an NFL team and I’d be surprised if he is. Right now there’s no real reason for a team to bring in what you have to remember is a back up quarterback unless there’s some kind of long term injury. I think if he’s going to be signed it will be in the off season when a team will have an easier time letting him adjust to their offense.

Now in my honest opinion I don’t think that Kaepernick is planning on signing with any NFL team. I just don’t think that he wants to play in the NFL. It seemed like this workout was more of a way for him to get his name back at the top of the news cycle and now if he’s not signed he can continue to play the role of the player who was black balled.

There was also a rumor out there that this was all doe for a Nike commercial. Now this rumor quickly came and went, but would you be surprised if you saw clips of this Kaepernick’s workout in a Nike commercial?

People seem to forget that we’re taking about a quarterback that just lost his starting job and that’s always going to make people wonder if that hadn’t happened would Kaepernick have went down this road.

I want to remind you that we’re taking about a guy who’d be a back up quarterback if he’s ever signed. It’s not like Kaepernick is going to sign with a team and take them to a Super Bowl championship. He’s a back up quarterback and it’s going to be difficult for a team to sign a back up quarterback that craves the spotlight.

Don’t get me wrong Kaepernick does have talent and would be one of the better back up quarterbacks in the NFL, but at 33 years old; he’ll turn that on November 3rd you have to wonder if he’s worth the gamble.

While teams look high and low for back up quarterbacks and that includes contacting former players who are now ESPN analysts, but will one of them take a chance on Kaepernick. So far the answer is no, but with this workout getting his name back into the mainstream media will have to see if it generates a buzz.

Would you like to see you favorite NFL team sign Colin Kaepernick?

With the exception of trying to re-sign Josh Donaldson everyone seems to think that the Atlanta Braves needed to address their bullpen this off season. It appears that the Braves where thinking the same thing as they’ve made their second signing of a reliever in two weeks.

Last week the Braves announced the signing of Will Smith to a 3 year $40 million dollar deal. Smith was the San Francisco Giants closer last season. He appeared in 63 games and posted a 6-0 record with an ERA of 2.76 while recording 34 saves.

Yesterday the Braves announced the signing of relief pitcher Chris Martin to a 2 year $14 million dollar deal. The Braves acquired Martin from the Texas Rangers on July 30th of last season for Kolby Allard a 22 year old left handed pitching prospect. Martin was solid with the Rangers, but had some struggles with Atlanta. He appeared in 38 games for the Rangers going 0-2 with an ERA of 3.08 and picking up 4 saves. For the Braves he appeared in 20 games going 1-1, but his ERA was a run higher at 4.08.

The Braves have also brought back veteran set up man Darren O’Day. Atlanta gave O’Day a 1 year $2.25 million dollar deal early in the signing period. O’Day is 37 years and spent 7 of his 12 major league seasons with the Baltimore Orioles. O’Day pitched in just 8 games for the Braves last season due to injury, but has good career numbers as a set up guy.

With these three signing and the additions of Shane Greene and Mark Melancon at last seasons trade deadline the Braves bullpen has a whole new look coming into spring training. With only a couple of bullpen spots open and a host of young pitching prospects it will be interesting to see how and who Atlanta fills out their bullpen with.

What do you think of the Braves early signings?

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How was your week

Posted: November 16, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

This week Major League Baseball handed out it’s awards for the regular season and while they rarely get all of these award winners right I don’t have to many issues with who won this season. I do have issues with how some of the voting went; so that’s where we’re headed.

Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels beat out Alex Bregman of the Houston Astros for American League MVP. Now it’s no surprise Trout won since he is the best player in the game of baseball, but I don’t know if that makes him the most valuable.

Now there are 30 “writers” who voted for American League MVP and they voted for 10 players apiece; so in total 300 votes for AL MVP where cast. First off I think that anyone who votes for a starting pitcher is coping out. While there are some great pitchers in today’s game they don’t have an affect on enough games to be considered an MVP. I believe there where some voters who filled their ballots with more than one pitcher and those voters should probably be replaced.

Now in baseball today with all of the analytics and sabermetrics it’s become that the home run is king. Now neither home run leader was a serious candidate for MVP, but the National League home run leader Pete Alonso was voted NL Rookie of the Year and managed to finish 7th in voting for MVP. Oddly in the American League the home run leader Jorge Soler got one 10th place vote for MVP and I just don’t understand that at all.

Soler played on all 162 games this season for the Kansas City Royals and while I understand that the Royals where just 59-103 last season Trout won the MVP award and the Angels finished under .500 at 72-90. Soler hit an American League leading 48 home runs while finishing 2nd in RBI’s with 117 while hitting a respectable .265 In no way shape and or form be I believe that Soler should’ve won the AL MVP award, but with the numbers he put up he should’ve received way, way more than one 10th place vote.

Now I’m not sure what these writers do to get a vote these awards, but I’d like to give props to Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press for being the only voter smart enough to put Soler on his ballot. I’m not sure what the other voters where looking at or thinking about when they filled out their ballots, but they did a huge disservice to Soler.

If I would’ve had a vote my ballot would’ve looked like this. I would’ve had Bregman #1 with Trout at #2. D.J. LeMahieu would’ve been 3rd on my ballot with Marcus Semien 4th. Matt Chapman would be 5th on my ballot with Soler rolling in at 6th for me. Xander Bogaerts comes in 7th for me with Nelson Cruz 8th. My ballot would’ve wrapped up with Rafael Devers in 9th and Michael Brantley in the 10th and final spot on my ballot.

That’s what I would’ve turned in for AL MVP. What would your ballot for AL MVP look like?

While it’s understandable that most if not all of the talk about the NFL is focused on the horrible actions of Myles Garrett of the Cleveland Browns at the end of the Thursday night game. We discussed this a little on Friday’s Sports Time Radio podcast and I believe that the NFL is handling the situation correctly and I don’t really want to get into it much more.

I’d be interested to know if you think the NFL has handled this situation correctly. Where the suspensions enough? Should there have been more suspensions? Or should those suspensions have been longer? Please let me know what you think in the comments.

What came out of the game football wise was Browns got a much, much needed win. Cleveland improved their record to 4-6 and with the remaining schedule they have there’s an outside chance that they’ll actually be able to find themselves in the playoffs.

The Browns have three home and three road games remaining on their schedule and they should be favorite to win four or maybe even five of these games.

Next week the Browns host the Miami Dolphins which is a very winnable game even though the Dolphins have put together a two game wining streak. Cleveland then travels to Pittsburgh for a rematch with the Steelers. Cleveland was the favorite this past Thursday night, but that game was in Cleveland; so they might come into Pittsburgh as an underdog, but they’ll have a chance to win this game. The Browns return home to host the winless Cincinnati Bengals. This should be a win. Then Cleveland heads out to Arizona for their only non-division game left on the schedule as they face the Cardinals. Looking at this game you’d have to think that Cleveland should get a win here, but the Cardinals have played better than expected and sometimes that east to west travel affects a team. For the sake of our argument let’s say the Browns pull this one out. In Week 17 the Browns have their toughest game remaining on their schedule as they host the AFC North leading Baltimore Ravens. Cleveland may really need a win here, but I’m not sure they’ll be able to pull off the upset here unless the Ravens don’t have anything left to play for. The one big advantage the Browns have with their schedule is the fact that if they have a must win to get into the playoffs type of situation in the final week of the season they’re playing the Bengals again. The game is in Cincinnati, but eve being at home shouldn’t help the Bengals here as they should be in full tank mode.

If Cleveland goes 4-2 in there remaining games they’ll finish 8-8 and I don’t think that’s going to be good enough to get one of the AFC wild card spots. I think the Browns are going to have to find a way to go 5-1 or even 6-0 down the stretch to get themselves into the playoffs. They have the schedule to do it, but this team has been a mess more or less all season. Can they get it together over these final 6 games and claim a playoff spot?

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Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: November 13, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

I was very surprised yesterday when they announced that Rocco Baldelli of the Minnesota Twins had won the American League Manager of the Year award. It’s not that Baldelli wasn’t a deserving candidate or that the Twins didn’t have a good enough season for him to win. I just honestly thought that with everything the New York Yankees went through injury wise that their manager Aaron Boone would win this award.

The race was very tight between Baldelli and Boone as both of them received  1st place votes. Baldelli also picked up 13 2nd place votes while Boone received just 9 2nd place votes. To round out their voting Baldelli got 2 3rd place votes while Boone got 4.

The third finalist was Kevin Cash of the Tampa Bay Rays, but he ended up a distant 3rd in the voting, Cash received 3 1st place, 3 2nd place and 9 3rd place votes.

As for the rest of the managers receiving votes. Bob Melvin of the Oakland A’s finished 4th getting 3 2nd and 10 3rd place votes. A.J. Hinch of the Houston Astros was 5th getting 1 1st, 1 2nd and 4 3rd place votes while Terry Francona of the Cleveland Indians got 1 3rd place vote.

While the voting in the American League was close it was even closer in the race for National League Manager of the Year. Of course after looking at the vote totals I still have some questions.

As it turned out Mike Shildt of the St. Louis Cardinals beat out Craig Counsell of the Milwaukee Brewers by 7 points. Shildt picked up 10 1st place votes while Counsell actually got more 1st place votes receiving 13. Shildt made up ground on the ballots by receiving 14 2nd place votes while Counsell got 6. Shildt got 3 3rd place votes to Counsell’s 5 to round out the voting.

The third finalist in the National League was Atlanta Braves manager Brian Snitker who won this award last season. He received 3 1st, 6 2nd and 12 3rd place votes this season to finish in 3rd place.

Dave Roberts of the Los Angeles Dodgers grabbed 4th place getting 4 1st, 1 2nd and 1 3rd place vote. Dave Martinez of the Washington Nationals received 3 2nd place and 6 3rd place votes while Tory Lovullo of the Arizona Diamondbacks picked up 2 3rd place votes.

I have to tell you I’m very confused by how the National League voting went. I understand that post season performance doesn’t count in voting for these awards, but even considering that was there a manager who did a better job than Dave Martinez did last season? At one point last season the Nationals where 19-31 and I was one of the people who was saying that Martinez should be fired. Under Martinez the Nationals made a complete turn around finishing 93-69 and grabbing a wild card spot.

Now Shildt did a nice job of dealing with the injuries the Cardinals had this season; guiding them to the National League Central title. Counsell got another good season out of a Brewers team that never seems to spend a lot of money or make big deadline deals. Both of these managers did a good job last season, but neither of them brought their team back from the position that Martinez brought the Nationals back from.

Then to kind of add to it I had just figured Martinez would finish a strong 4th in the balloting. I was shocked when I looked at the voting results to find out he finished 5th and didn’t even receive a 1st place vote. I would be very interested to know what qualifications these voters used to choose a manager of the year.

Tonight Major League Baseball will announce the winner of the Cy Young awards. In the American League the final three are Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander of the Houston Astros along with Charlie Morton of the Tampa Bay Rays. The National League finalist are Hyun-Jin Ryu of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals and Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets.

deGrom is looking to go back to back as he won this award last season. Scherzer is looking to pick up his third National League Cy Young and fourth overall. He won back to back in 2016 & 2017 in the NL and picked up the American League Cy Young in 2013 when he was a member of the Detroit Tigers. Ryu is looking to win his first Cy Young and if he does he’ll be the first Dodgers pitcher to win since Clayton Kershaw won back to back in 2013 & 2014.

Verlander is looking to become a second time Cy Young award winner as he picked up his first one in 2011 when he was with the Detroit Tigers. Cole and Morton are looking to become first time Cy Young winners.

Who are you picking to win?

While I believe most of us where asleep the San Francisco Giants hired a new manager. After being fired by the Philadelphia Phillies after two seasons Gabe Kapler is now the new manager of the Giants.

In his two seasons with the Phillies Kapler went 161-163. Philadelphia was 80-82 in his first season and finished in 3rd place. Last season the Phillies went 81-81 and finished in 4th place under Kapler.

It was admittedly a disappointing season for Philadelphia last year as the brought in big money free agent Bryce Harper; so it wasn’t a big shock when they decided to move on from Kapler. Joe Girardi was hired to replace Kapler in Philadelphia.

Kapler will be replacing a sure fire Hall of Famer in the Giants dugout. Bruce Bochy managed the Giants from 2007 until last season when he retired. Now Bochy overall record may be just a little under .500 at 1052-1054 what’s more important is he won three World Series titles while managing in San Francisco.

It appears that the Giants would like to try and rebuild under President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi and newly hired General Manager Scott Harris; so Kapler’s record may not end up being very good to start.

What should help Kapler weather a rebuild in San Francisco is his history with Zaidi. Kapler was the Dodgers Director of Player Development while Zaidi was part of their front office; so they’ve worked together before and hopefully have similar ideas on how the Giants will go about their business.

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