Archive for the ‘baseball’ Category

How was your week

Posted: November 9, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

There was an interesting rumor involving the Chicago Cubs that started up yesterday. While I could see it possible happening the aftermath that was talked about made no sense at all to me. Let’s go through it and see what you think.

There are many teams including some that will be contenders next season that need a front line catcher. The biggest free agent name on the catching market is Yasmani Grandal and there has been some mention of Travis d’Arnaud. Other than that there are some solid veteran catchers on the free agent market, but not the knock your socks off kind of payer teams are looking for.

This brings us to the Cubs who have apparently been receiving calls on their starting catcher Willson Contreras and it seems as though they might be interested in moving him. After a rough 2018 Contreras bounced back in 2019 and established himself as one of the top catchers in baseball; so it’s understandable why teams would be interested in acquiring him. How ever why would the Cubs be interested in dealing him?

Well the Cubs have one of the worst minor league systems in baseball and they could strengthen that by trading Contreras for multiple prospects. Contreras is also an arbitration eligible player along with the likes of Kris Bryant and Javier Baez. There’s just no way the Cubs would be able to retain all three of these players when they reach free agency at close to the same time; so a deal makes sense.

Now the part of this rumor that didn’t make any sense to me at all. It was reported that if the Cubs traded Contreras they’d jump into the market to try and sign Grandal. So the Cubs are going to trade a 27 year old catcher who’d make less money for a 31 year old veteran catcher who’s going to want a multi-year contract at right around $20 million dollars a year. This almost seems counter productive on a team that has more important needs than a catcher even if Contreras is traded. Don’t forget the Cubs have Victor Caratini who came through their minor league system as a catching prospect and has produced when given playing time. Caratini is 25 years old and a switch hitter. Why wouldn’t they turn the starting catching job over to him and just sign a veteran to back him up?

In all honesty I thought that the Cubs would dangle Caratini in front of teams this off season and see what they might be able to get for him in a deal, but it looks like it might be Contreras that they’re going to end up doing that with.

If you had the Cubs catching situation what would you do? Do you trade Contreras? If you did deal Contreras; would you try to sign Grandal? Or would you just allow Caratini to be the full time catcher?

Major League Baseball is going to start handing out their year end awards this week. Now I don’t have to big of an issues with the players and managers that where nominated expect in one category; American League Rookie of the Year.

Now it seems as though just about everyone in the media or I should say on MLB Network had given the Rookie of the year award to Yordan Alvarez of the Houston Astros after he had only spent about a week in the majors; so I fully expect him to win the award. What I can’t figure out is how they came up with the other two finalist.

Alvarez is one of the finalist for the award along with Brandon Lowe of the Tampa Bay Rays and John Means of the Baltimore Orioles.

I’m not going to jump up and down and complain to much about Means being nominated. He did go 12-11 with a 3.60 ERA over 31 games 27 of which where starts and he threw 155 innings for one of the worst teams in baseball. Even though I’m not so sure he should’ve been a finalist I can see him making the top 3.

Lowe on the other hand is a completely different story. He only played in 82 games due to injury. Alvarez only played in 87 games, but he was a latter minor league call up; Lowe was hurt. Lowe hit .270 with 17 home runs, 51 RBI’s and an OPS of .850. Now those are solid rookie numbers, but nowhere near good enough to be a finalist for Rookie of the Year.

Now who should’ve gotten Lowe’s spot in the final three. How about Eloy Jimenez of the Chicago White Sox. Jimenez played in 122 games and led all American League rookies on home runs with 31 and RBI’s with 79. I’m completely lost on how Jimenez didn’t get enough votes to be a Rookie of the Year finalist.

Maybe you’re not in on Jimenez; so how about Vlad Guerrero Jr. I’m not sure if Vlad Jr. had the type of season people where expecting him to have and that may have hurt him in the voting, but overall he had a better year than Lowe. Guerrero played in 123 games which was the most for an AL rookie. He hit .272 with 15 home runs and 69 RBI’s. I’m under the impression people thought they’d see more power out of Guerrero, but even without the big power numbers he had a good rookie year and could’ve been a finalist.

Am I completely wrong here? Do you think Lowe belongs as a finalist? Or is there someone else besides Jimenez or Guerrero that you thought should’ve been a Rookie of the Year finalist?

The other award I’m a little confused by is National League Manager of the Year. The Nominees are Brian Snitker of the Atlanta Braves, Craig Counsell of the Milwaukee Brewers and Mike Shildt of the St. Louis Cardinals.

I can understand these three managers being the finalist, but Snitker did win this award last season; so did the Braves improve that much that he deserves to be nominated again? They won the NL East last season and where 90-72. The Braves won the NL East again this season and where 97-65. Is a seven game improvement in your teams won-loss record make you a Manager of the Year candidate?

Obviously the third finalist should’ve been Dave Martinez of the Washington Nationals. Now playoff performance doesn’t count, but even discounting that the Nationals won the World Series where they came from to accomplish that should’ve been enough to make Martinez a finalist for Manager of the Year, but probably should’ve made him the winner.

On June 1st the Nationals had as many losses as the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers went on to loss more games than any other team in baseball this season at 114. The Nationals straighten things out and ended up losing 69 games. They finished 4 games behind the Braves in the NL East and ended up being a wild card team.

How is Martinez not a finalist for NL Manager of the Year?

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

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your Week

Posted: November 2, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Now that the baseball season is over I was afraid that I was going to have to sit through all of the pundits sitting around a desk talking about which players where going to opt out of their deals and hit the free agent market. Well then luckily I found out that players with opt out clauses in their contracts have to make a decision on if they’ll opt out or not by tis Monday November 4th. I figured we’d beat everyone out the punch and go through the players with opt out clauses and see what we think they going to do.

The hot name right now who has an opt out clause is Stephen Strasburg of the Washington Nationals. Strasburg just had his best regular season going 18-6 in 33 starts and pitching 209 innings. He followed that up by going 5-0 in the post season including going 2-0 in the World Series and being named MVP. Strasburg has four years left on his deal with the Nationals and it’s for $100 million dollars, but at 31 years old and being a client of Scott Boras you have to think that he’s going to opt out and become a free agent.

Before the post season all of the opt out talk seemed to be about J.D. Martinez of the Boston Red Sox. Martinez has three years left on his deal with the Red Sox at $62.5 million dollars. He’s scheduled to make $23.75 million dollars this season, but then his salary drops to $19.35 million dollars for the final two years of his deal. Martinez is 32 years old and is another Scott Boras client. I’m not sure that if Martinez opt out he’ll get a better deal than what he has right now, but Boras likes to take his players into free agency; so I’d expect Martinez to exercise his opt out clause.

New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman can opt out of his deal that has two years left at $30 million dollars. Chapman will turn 32 years old before next season and his numbers did improve in 2019. Now he has already said that if the Yankees don’t offer him a contract extension he’ll opt out of his deal and enter free agency. Once he opts out the question becomes; what’s a 32 year old closer worth? Chapman has been one of the best closers in the game since the Cincinnati Reds moved him into the bullpen in 2012. You do have to wonder how long he’ll be able to remain a top closer. I’d expect Chapman to opt out and go into free agency.

The other big time closer who could’ve opted out of his deal was Kenley Jansen of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Jansen had a bit of a down year in 2019, but he’s still a top closer and those aren’t easy to find. Luckily for the Dodgers Jansen announced that he won’t be opting out of his deal. By staying with the Dodgers Jansen will make $38 million dollars over the final two years of his contract. He’ll make $18 million dollars next season and then $20 million dollars in 2021.

The Chicago Cubs signed Yu Darvish to a 6 year $126 million dollar deal in the off season before the 2018 season. Unfortunately for the Cubs and Darvish he has had two rough seasons for them. With four years and $81 million dollars left on his deal Darvish could’ve opted out. Instead Darvish has decided to stay with the Cubs and not opt out. Now the Cubs will have to hope he can bounce back.

Another Cubs player who can opt out is outfielder Jason Heyward. He signed an 8 year $184 million dollar deal with the Cubs before the 2016 season and has been a bit of an enigma since joining the Cubs. Heyward has four years and $96 million dollars left on his deal and I doubt that he would get anywhere close to that kind of an offer if he chooses to opt out; so I expect him to stay with the Cubs.

Well that looks like all of our opt out candidates. I’m guessing that will see three of these players opt out and two stay with their team. We already know what Jansen is doing; so I’m not counting him in this.

What do you think? Which players do you see opting out and which do you see staying with there teams?

Teams will also have to make some other important decisions by  Monday November 4th. Teams will have to decide if they want to extend the qualifying offer to any of their free agent players. This year the qualifying offer is $17.8 million dollars.

The other decisions the teams will have to make by Monday will be to either pick up an option on a player or buy him out.

A couple of examples from the now world champion Nationals. Ryan Zimmerman has an $18 million dollar option with the team for next season or they can buy him out and allow him to become a free agent for $2 million dollars. Adam Eaton has a option with the Nationals for $9.5 million dollars for next season or the club can buy him out for $1.5 million dollars and allow him to become a free agent. The Nationals also have to make a decision on catcher Yan Gomes. He has an option for $9 million dollars for next season or the club can buy him out for $1 million dollars and he’d become a free agent.

Just about every team has a player or players with option that they’ll have to decide if they’re going to pick up or not. These decisions will make a big impact on the free agent market as to who’s available.

Now some of these decisions have already been made by teams. The Cleveland Indians bought out long time 2nd baseman Jason Kipnis for $2.5 million dollars instead of paying him $16.5 million dollars for next season. The New York Yankees also decided to buy out 1st baseman/DH Edwin Encarnacion for $5 million dollars instead of paying him $20 million for next season.

Now even though these players where bought out by their current teams there’s no rule that says they can’t resign with them for less money. I’m not sure if that’s what will happen with Kipnis and Encarnacion, but that will be the case with some of the players that get bought out.

As the MLB off season gets going will have more and more to talk about; so we’re just getting started.

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

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Burketime

 

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: October 30, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, post season, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Even after a controversial call the Washington Nationals where able to pick up a 7-2 win over the Houston Astros in a must win Game 6 for them. Of course with the win the Nationals force what a lot of people think is the best thing in sports a winner take all Game 7 tonight.

The Nationals took a quick 1-0 lead in the top of the 1st. Trea Turner led off the game with an infield single and was moved up to 2nd base on an Adam Eaton sacrifice bunt. Anthony Rendon single to centerfield to drive to drive Turner home and give the Astros an early lead.

The Astros came right back in the bottom of the 1st inning and put up 2 runs of their own.

George Springer started the inning with a double and moved up to 3rd on a Steven Strasburg wild pitch. Jose Altuve drove him home with sacrifice fly to leftfield. After a strikeout for the second out of the inning Alex Bregman homered to leftfield to give the Astros a 2-0 lead.

At the time no one knew that these would be the only 2 runs that the Astros would score in the game as Strasburg held them in check. Justin Verlander was able to keep the Nationals bats silent until the top of the 5th.

With one out Eaton homered down the rightfield line to tie the game at 2-2. Verlender recorded a second out before Juan Soto touched him for another solo home run to rightfield giving the Astros a 3-2 lead.

Brad Peacock entered the game for the Astros and worked a 1,2,3 6th inning. Peacock started the 7th inning and gave up a single to Yan Gomes. Turner then hit a soft ground ball back to the mound, but the throw carried Houston’s 1st baseman Yuli Gurriel into the baseline and while it didn’t appear that Turner had ventured out of his running lane he was called out for batter interference and Gomes was sent back to 1st base. There was  long delay as the play was reviewed; so the Astros made a pitching change as Will Harris came in from the bullpen. Harris got the first batter he faced out, but Rendon hit his a home run to leftfield to give the Nationals a 5-2 lead.

Chris Devenski came out of the bullpen to start the 9th inning for the Astros and quickly got two outs. Turner doubled and then Eaton was hit by a pitch. Rendon was up next and sure enough he came through and drove Turner and Eaton in with a double to rightfield. That made it 7-2 heading into the bottom of the 9th.

Strasburg actually came out to start the bottom of the 9th for the Nationals, but after getting the first batter out on a line drive back to him he was removed from the game for Sean Doolittle. After getting the first batter he faced on a line out to leftfield. Carlos Correa doubled to keep any hope Astros fans had alive, but they didn’t last long. Doolittle got Robinson Chrinos to pop out to 2nd base for the final out of the game.

While Rendon was clearly Washington’s hero at the plate going 3 for 4 with a double a home run and 5 RBI’s. Strasburg was clearly a huge factor on the mound. He pitched 8 1/3rd innings giving up 2 runs on 5 hits while walking 2 and striking out 7. Strasburg threw 104 pitches and improved his record to 2-0 in this World Series.

Verlander was solid for the Astros in his start. He pitched 5 innings, but it took him 93 pitches to get through those 5 innings. He gave up 3 runs on 5 hits while walking 3 and striking out 3. When Verlander exited the game the Astros where only down one run at 3-2. Ryan Pressly was the only Houston reliever who didn’t give up a run. Peacock gave up a run in his 1 1/3rd inning, Harris gave up a run in his 2/3rds of an inning and Devenski gave up 2 runs in his inning of work.

So we’ve got Game 7 tonight in Houston. Before this series many people might’ve thought that Houston have home field advantage was a good thing, but for the first time in any playoff series the road team has won every game. Now when I said any series it includes all the sports that play seven game series. It’s an unbelievable to think about how many times you’ve heard an announcer say that a team is playing for a win to help secure home field advantage only to have this happen. Can the Astros break this odd road team winning streak tonight? and capture the World Series title or do the Nationals have one more road win stored up for tonight’s game?

You’d have to guess that there won’t be any major changes in either teams batting order; so the only real difference to look at is who’s starting on the mound.

Max Scherzer gets the start for the Nationals tonight. Scherzer was scratched from his start in Game 4 with a stiff neck. Scherzer has pitched in 5 post season games starting 4 of them. He’s thrown 25 innings and is 3-0 with a 2.16 ERA. Scherzer got the win in Game 1 of this series throwing 5 innings giving up 2 runs on 5 hits while striking out 7 and walking 3.

The Astros will turn to Zack Greinke to start Game 7 for them. Greinke got a no-decision in his only World Series start. He lasted just 4 2/3rd innings. He gave up 1 run on 7 hits while walking 3 and striking out 6. Greinke is 0-2 in his 4 post season starts and has an ERA of 5.30 over a span of 18 2/3rd innings. Greinke has struck out 22 hitters while walking 5 this post season.

Looking at the starting pithing match up you’d think that the Nationals have a big advantage, but you never know. Greinke has made 15 career post season starts; so he has experience and he is a former Cy Young award winner. Scherzer has actually made 21 post season appearances with 17 of those being starts and he is a multiple time Cy Young award winner.

Well it’s down to one game and as they say all hands are on deck. So who do you have winning tonight? I have to stick with the Astros since they where my pick to win it all when we made are pre-season predictions.

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

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: October 19, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, post season, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

The New York Yankees picked up a 4-1 win over the Houston Astros in Game 5 of the American League Championship series last night. The win by the Yankees allows the series to continue, but they are still just won game away from elimination. The Astros hold a three games to two lead in the series.

Game 5 saw the Yankees send out James Paxson as their starting pitcher while the Astros countered with Justin Verlander. Both of these pitchers started game 2 of this series, but neither was around for the decision as the Astros on that game 3-2 in 11 innings. Paxson was looking to bounce back from an outing where he lasted 2 1/3rd innings. Verlander was solid in Game 2 going 6 2/3rds for Houston.

Game 5 played out a little differently for these two pitchers and it can only be described as odd or maybe weird, but definitely different.

George Springer led off the game with a single. Springer advanced to 2nd base in what was ruled a passed ball on Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez. Jose Altuve grounded out for the first out of the inning with Springer moving over to 3rd base. Michael Brantley drew a walk to out runners on 1st and 3rd for Alex Bregman. The first pitch that Paxson threw to Bregman went to the backstop as a wild pitch allowing Springer to score giving the Astros a 1-0 lead; Brantley to move up to 2nd base. Bregman ended up lining out to leftfield. Yuli Gurriel made the final out of the inning for the Astros by lining out to centerfield; so the Astros took that 1-0 lead into the bottom of the 1st inning.

Houston’s lead didn’t last long as D.J. LeMahieu hit the second pitch he saw from Verlander into the rightfield bleacher to tie the game at 1-1. Aaron Judge followed tat with a single and after a Gleybar Torres double the Yankees had 2nd and 3rd with just o outs. Giancarlo Stanton was returning to the Yankees line up and battling a quad strain; he struck out for the 1st out of the inning. Aaron Hicks was up next for the Yankees. Hicks had also just recently returned from injury. Hicks after two quick strikes Hicks managed to work the count full. He then hit the 6th pitch of his at bat which was a hanging slider from Verlander off the rightfield foul pole for a three-run home run to give the Yankees a 4-1 lead. Gary Sanchez struck out and Didi Gregorius popped out to end the inning.

I’m sure after reading this you’ve realized that the score was 4-1 after the 1st inning and that the final score of the game was 4-1. Yes you are correct about that. It was the first time in post season history that both teams have scored in the 1st inning and then failed to score again in the game.

Both pitchers settled down after that 1st inning and Verlander actually only gave up one more hit in the game, but still took the loss. Verlander ending up pitching 7 innings. He gave up 4 runs on 5 hits while he struck out 9 throwing 105 pitches. Paxson greatly improved on his Game 2 start as he pitched 6 innings giving up just the 1 run on 4 hits while walking 4 and striking out 9 in getting the win. Paxton’s pitch count ended up at 112 pitches.

After Paxson Tommy Kahnle pitched 1/3rd of an inning allowing a hit and a walk. Zach Britton was next out of the Yankees bullpen. Britton went 1 2/3rds striking out 2 batters before giving way to the Yankees Closer Arlodis Chapman who picked up the save pitching the final inning of the game. Chaman threw just 9 pitches 7 of which where strikes and recorded 1 strikeout as he recorded the save.

The Astros just needed one pitcher out of their bullpen. Brad Peacock came into the game to pitch a 1,2,3 bottom of the 8th. Peacock recorded 1 strikeout in his inning of work.

With the rain out earlier in the week both teams will have to fly to Houston and get ready for Game 6 tonight. With the Game 4 rain out you would’ve thought we would see a rematch of Game 3 starting pitchers which was Gerrit Cole for the Astros and Luis Severino for the Yankees, but it doesn’t appear that’s what we’re going to get.

Neither team has said who will be making the start for them; so we still make get that Cole/Severino rematch, but there are multiple report that both teas are considering making Game 6 a bullpen game. I believe that both Cole and Severino would be on regular rest, but there was also talk of these two teams making Game 4 of the series a bullpen game; so maybe will see that tonight.

The Astros bullpen has thrown 15 inning so far this series while the Yankees bullpen has thrown 23 1/3rd innings this series. The Astros have Wade Miley in their bullpen who hasn’t pitched in this series, but the Yankees could counter that with J.A. Happ who’s only worked 2/3rds of an inning in the series. Miley and Happ have started games in the post season and they would give their teams a chance to get multiple innings out of a pitcher without trying to stretch them out. You have to wonder if the Yankees hadn’t lost C.C. Sabathia to injury in Game 4 of this series if he would’ve been able to give them multiple innings and helped in this game.

Sabathia dislocated his shoulder and was replaced on the Yankees ALCS roster, Sadly that move means that if the Yankees manage to comeback and win this series Sabathia if healthy would not be eligible to pitch in the World Series. It looks like this injury has end the future Hall of Famers career. Sabathia announced that 2019 would be his last season.

So what do you see happening tonight? With Houston returning home; do they close out the series tonight? Or do the Yankees have enough in them to turn this into a 7 game series? I guess will get those answers tonight.

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

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: October 16, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, football, post season, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

On this past Friday edition of the Sports Time Radio podcast I said that I thought the St. Louis Cardinals needed to win Game 1 of their National League Championship Series against the Washington Nationals. I felt that if the Cardinals didn’t win Game 1 there would be a very good chance that they’d get swept.

Well Game 1 ended up being won by the Nationals 2-0 and the rest of the series went as I said and with last nights 7-4 Washington victory the Cardinals where swept out of the playoffs.

There’s an old baseball adage that says good pitching will beat good hitting and the Nationals used very good pitching to lock down their first ever trip to the World Series.

Patrick Corbin made the starts for the Nationals last night and while he wasn’t as dominant as the other Washington starters where in this series he got the job done. Corbin pitched 5 innings giving 4 runs on 4 hits while walking 3 and striking out 12. Even though Corbin gave up those 4 runs the Nationals had already posted the 7 runs they needed to win this game.

Washington scored all of there runs in the first inning off of Cardinals starter Dakota Hudson. Officially Hudson pitched just 1/3rd of an inning. He was charged with 7 runs; 4 of which where earned on 5 hits and 1 walk.

As the Nationals head to their first World Series a major contributor to their offense was 36 year old veteran Howie Kendrick who was name MVP of the NLCS. Kendrick is in his 14th season, but just like the Nationals he’ll be making his first trip to the World Series. Kendrick went 5 for 15 in the series against the Cardinals with 4 doubles and 4 RBI’s. Kendrick’s big game was Game 3 when he went 3 of 4 with 3 RBI’s. All 3 of Kendrick’s hits in that game where doubles. Kendrick became the fourth player in LCS history to have three doubles in a game.

With the Nationals locked into a World Series spot the question becomes; who will they play?

Last night the Houston Astros took a two games to one lead on the New York Yankees with a 4-1 win in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series.

Gerrit Cole made the start for the Astros and while he wasn’t as dominating as he was against the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League Division Series; he made it through 7 innings without giving up any runs. Cole threw 112 pitches in his seven inning outing. He gave up 4 hits while walking 5 and striking out 7. Cole picked up the win for the Astros.

Luis Severino made the start for the Yankees and pitched 4 2/3rds innings. Severino gave up 2 runs on 5 hits while walking 3 and striking out 6. Severino ended up throwing 97 pitches in his outing.

Both starters had to sit through a 16 minute delay as there was a change in home plate umpires.

Jeff Nelson was behind the plate for Game 3, but after getting hit by a foul tip off the bat of Yuli Gurriel in the 3rd inning and then in the 4th inning another foul tip this time off the bat of Martin Maldonado caught Nelson; he exited the game after the 4th inning with a concussion.

Houston was leading 2-0 when the delay occurred as Kerwin Danely who was umpiring at 2nd base went back to the umpires locker room to change into his gear to work behind home plate.

Mark Carlson went from 3rd base to 2nd base while Marvin Hudson came in from leftfield to umpire 3rd base. There are 6-man umpiring crews in the post season instead of the 4-man crews that work regular season games. The two extra umpires are positioned down the left and right field lines.

Since there was a delay and it was the Yankees that where in the field Severino was given additional time to warm up.

Game 4 is scheduled to be played tonight in New York, but there has been a lot of talk about what the weather will be like tonight as there is rain in the forecast. If the game does end up being rained out tonight it would just be pushed back one day to tomorrow and it would eliminate the off day the teams would have.

I’m not sure if this is because of the weather or if the teams have or had another season for doing it, but either team has announced their starter for Game 4. I guess if it is played tonight will have to wait and see who each team goes with.

There aren’t a ton of trades made in the NFL during the regular season. It’s not only tough to switch teams, but then you have to learn a new playbook as well as everything else that goes along with being traded. Even with all of this in mind it didn’t stop the Los Angeles Rams from making three deals yesterday.

The Rams started there trading frenzy by dealing their top cornerback Marcus Peters to the Baltimore Ravens. In return for Peters the Rams received linebacker Kenny Young and an undisclosed draft pick which is believed to be a 5th rounder.

After dealing away one cornerback the Rams went out and acquired another cornerback. The Rams sent a 1st round pick in 2020, a 1st round pick in 2021 and a 4th round pick in 2021 for Jalen Ramsey.

Ramsey has been disgruntled as a member of the Jacksonville Jaquars and hasn’t played since Week 3. He had been demanding a trade, but Jacksonville’s owner Shahid Kahn had been hoping to work thing out with Ramsey and get him to say. Reports say that Khan had a heart to heart with Ramsey yesterday and after that meeting Khan agreed to trading Ramsey and now he’s with the Rams.

In their final deal of the day the Rams added some offensive line depth acquiring Austin Corbett from the Cleveland Browns for and undisclosed 2021 draft pick. Corbett has played in three games for the Browns this season mostly on special teams.

If Peters and Ramsey can get up to speed expect both of them to either be I the starting line up or play a significant amount of snaps for their new teams.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the podcast live all you have to do is head over to TuneIn.com and you can listen at your leisure.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Burketime

 

How was your week

Posted: October 12, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, post season, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Did you have Anibal Sanchez throwing 7 2/3d no-hit innings and leading the Washington Nationals to a 2-0 win in Game  of the National League Championship Series. If you where predicting or expecting this type of outing from Sanchez you’re better at picking baseball than I am. I actually questioned the choice of starting Sanchez last night, but it was clear the Nationals and their manager Dave Martinez knew what they had in the veteran starter.

There always seem to be certain things that you need in a no-hitter and it seemed like Sanchez had those going for him last night. Sanchez had good command of his fastball and even though he’s not a hard thrower get strikes and outs with the fastball is important. Sanchez also had all of his off speed pitches working for him. The only thing that seemed to be missing was a great defensive play. Ryan Zimmerman ended up providing that in the bottom of the 8th inning. Tommy Edman hit a line drive that looked like it was ticketed for rightfield when Zimmerman dove to his right. Zimmerman had to fully extend his body, but he made the catch to preserve the no-hitter.

Paul DeJong was the next batter for the Cardinals. DeJong went after the first pitch an hit a routine flyball to centerfield for the second out of the inning. Jose Martinez was announced as a pinch hitter and stepped into the batters box for his at bat.

Martinez has been a very good pinch hitter for the Cardinals this post season. In the NLDS against the Atlanta Braves Martinez had three pinch hit appearance. In those three at bats Martinez came through with two hits.

Martinez worked the count to full and pushed Sanchez pitch total over the 100 mark. Sanchez threw his 103rd pitch of the night which was a change-up to Martinez who hit that pitch into centerfield to break up the no-hitter attempt and end Sanchez’s night.

In his 7 2/3rds inning of work Sanchez threw those 103 pitches; 67 for strikes. Out of the 27 batters Sanchez faced he threw 20 first pitch strikes. He allowed just the 1 hit to Martinez, he walked 1 and struck out 5 while also hitting 2 batters.

Sanchez left the Nationals with a 2-0 lead and turned the game over to a much maligned bullpen. To make things even a little more interesting for that Nationals Bullpen they where without their closer Daniel Hudson who is on paternity leave because of the birth of his daughter.

The Nationals turned to Sean Doolittle who did have 29 saves during the regular season, but also had an ERA of 4.05. Washington was looking at Doolittle to get a 4 out save in Game 1 of the NLCS.

Doolittle got Dexter Fowler to ground out to end the 8th inning. Kolten Wong tried to bunt hos way on to start the bottom of the 9th for St. Louis, but Doolittle was able to make the play and get the out at 1st base. The play was reviewed, but the call stood. Paul Goldschmidt grounded out for the 2nd out of the inning and then Doolittle struck out Marcell swinging to end the game and give the Nationals a 2-0 win in Game 1.

Sanchez’s run at a no-hitter overshadowed the quality performance that the Cardinals got out of their Game 1 starter Miles Mikolas. Mikolas pitched threw 6 innings giving up 7 hits, but holding Washington to just 1 run while striking out 7 and walking 2. Mikolas threw 98 pitches; 67 of those for strikes.

Washington got their only run off of Mikolas in the top of the 2nd inning. Howie Kendrick started the inning with a double, but Mikolas got the next two hitters out before Yan Gomes hit another double to drive Kendrick in and give Washington a 1-0 lead.

In the top of the 7th Giovanny Gallegos came out of the Cardinals bullpen to replace Mikolas. Gallegos got the first out of the inning, but Adam Eaton followed that up with a triple. Anthony Rendon was intentional walked putting runners on 1st and 3rd. Gallegos was taken out of the game for left hander Andrew Miller who was brought in to face Juan Soto. Miller struck Soto out for the 2nd out if the inning. Miller was then removed for right hand pitcher John Brebbia. Kendrick greeted Brebbia with a single driving in Eaton and giving the Nationals that 2-0 lead.

It’s a pretty quick turn around for these teams as they have the afternoon game today. Adam Wainwright will make the start for St. Louis while Max Scherzer gets the start for Washington.

The 37 year old Wainwright had a fantastic start in the NLDS against the Braves. Wainwright pitched 7 2/3rd shutout inning. He struck out and walked 2 in that start. Can he give the Cardinals another start like that in what is almost a must win type of game for St. Louis.

Scherzer has made three post season appearances this year. He got a no decision in the wild card game against the Milwaukee Brewers. He went 5 inning s giving up 3 run while walking 3 and striking out 6. Scherzer worked an inning of relief in Game 2 of the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He threw one inning of relief and picked up a hold as he struck out 3 in his one inning. Then Scherzer came back as a starter in Game and got the win. He went 7 innings giving up just 1 run while walking 3 and striking out 7.

I forgot to mention that if Sanchez would’ve been successful in his no-hit bid he would’ve been the third pitcher to throw a no-hitter in post season history. Sanchez would’ve joined Roy Halladay and Don Larsen as pitchers who threw post season no-hitters.

This also would’ve been the second no-hitter of Sanchez’s career. Back in 2006 when Sanchez was a rookie with the Miami Marlins he no-hit the Arizona Diamondbacks in just the 13th start of his career. Sanchez was 22 years old when he no-hit the Diamondbacks. He’s now 35 years old and if he would’ve completed the no-hitter he would’ve had the second largest gap between no-hitters. Only Randy Johnson would have had a bigger one.

Do you have the Cardinals bouncing back and winning Game 2? Or do you see the Nationals taking both games in St. Louis and heading home with a commanding two games to none lead?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you end up missing the podcast live all you have to do is head over to TuneIn.com and you can listen to the podcast at your leisure.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: October 9, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, post season, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

So the division round of the Major League Baseball playoffs has given us one sweep. The New York Yankees over the Minnesota Twins while the three other divisional series are all headed to a winner take all Game 5.

Both of the National League Game 5’s are today. The Atlanta Braves host the St. Louis Cardinals in the first game while the night cap has the Washington Nationals at the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Cardinals have Jack Flaherty as their starter while the Braves list Mike Foltynewicz as their starter. The Nationals have Steven Strasburg listed as their starter while the Dodgers are countering with Walker Buehler. Now I expect all four of these pitchers to start for their respective teams right now they are all listed as the probably starter.

Flaherty made the start for the Cardinals in Game 2 and had a solid outing. He went 7 innings giving up 8 hits and 3 runs while striking out 8 and walking 1. Flaherty took the lose as the Cardinals didn’t score in Game 2.

Foltynewicz was on the winning side in Game 2 for Atlanta. He went 7 innings allowing 3 hits and 0 runs while striking out 7.

Strasburg was the Nationals starter in Game 2 and picked up the win. He went 6 innings giving up 3 hits and 1 run while striking out 10.

The Dodgers are bringing back Buehler who was their Game 1 starter. He pitched 6 innings giving up just 1 hit and not allowing a run; he struck out 8 and walked 3.

Each one of these teams is bringing back a starting pitcher who had a good outing for them in their first start. It might be the pitcher who can repeat that first outing that gives his team the best chance to advance. The question of course is; which pitcher will that be?

How big of a failure would the Dodgers season be if they lost tonight’s Game 5 to the Nationals?

The Dodgers won 106 games in the regular season and have been to the World Series the past two seasons. Now unfortunately the Dodgers didn’t manage to win ether of them World Series, but they where the first team to get into back to back World Series since the Kansas City Royals did it in 2014 and 2015.

Now we know that Walker Buehler is getting the start for the Dodgers tonight, but what is the availability of Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu if needed. Kershaw last pitched on October 4th while Ryu lasted pitched on October 6th. Being that it’s Game 5 you have to figure that all hands are on deck for both teams tonight, but especially the Dodgers.

The Dodgers have solid numbers in the series against the Nationals except for in the bullpen. Pedro Baez, Joe Kelly, Ross Stripling and Julio Urias have all had issues coming out of the Dodgers bullpen. Baez and Kelly have double digit ERA’s while Stripling isn’t far away from a double digit ERA. Kenta Maeda has been the Dodgers most consistent reliever this series. Adam Kolarek has appeared in three out of the four games in this series, but he’s only pitched 1 total inning. With the way this series has went Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen has only made one appearance and has only pitched 1 inning.

How will the Dodgers use the bullpen tonight. Will a starter be the first pitcher we see out of the bullpen or will they trust one of the relievers who have struggled in this series. Jansen should be available for multiple innings if needed. I guess will have to see how the game goes and what the Dodgers do with there bullpen.

We have to wait one more day for the American League series to play there Game 5. The teams are headed back to Houston since the Astros had the best record in baseball for the regular season they get to host Game 5.

You could ask the same thing about the Astros that we just did about the Dodgers. How would you quantify the Astros season if they get knocked out tomorrow night by the Tampa Bay Rays.

Both the Rays and the Nationals are the upstart wild card teams in this situation and I’m sure they’ll have a lot of people rooting for them. Do you think that either of these teams can get a Game 5 victory on the road? It should make for some must watch baseball.

With the division series winding down you have to wonder if we’ve seen some of these players in that uniform for the last time. There are quite a few players in the division series that will hit the free agent market this off season.

The Nationals made a big money offer to 3rd baseman Anthony Rendon, but there’s been no word on how close the two sides might be to agreeing on a deal. Will Rendon be in Washington next season?

Gerrit Cole picked the best time to have a career year. The Astros have a decent amount of money already tied up in two of there starting pitchers; so you have to wonder if they have room for the salary Cole is going to command.

Hyun-Jin Ryu accepted the Dodgers qualifying offer last season and then preceded to have the best season of his career. The Dodgers are loaded with starting pitchers; so you have to wonder if they’ll allow Ryu to leave as a free agent this off season.

The Braves have two players that we might see elsewhere next season. Josh Donaldson signed on for just one season in Atlanta and the Braves have said they’re open to bringing him back next season. The Braves have a strong farm system and everyone thought that Austin Riley would be taking over at 3rd base next season. I guess will have to see what they do. Dallas Keuchel ended up with Atlanta after not signing with a team until June. Keuchel was solid for the Braves going 8-8 with a 3.75 ERA. I think there’s a better chance of Donaldson returning to Atlanta than Keuchel.

That is just a small sample size of players currently in the playoffs that might be with another team next season. As free agency gets closer will take harder look at who might end up where. Right now it’s just way too early to tell.

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

You can follow me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: October 5, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, post season, pro wrestling, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

I was interested to see how much mainstream media talk there was about the WWE moving their Smackdown show to Fox. Obviously it was a big topic of conversation on Fox itself and FS1, but I heard people talking about it on ESPN and the MLB Network. There was so much talk about this that I even tuned in for the start of the show.

Now I use to watch every minute of wrestling that I could. As a child I was introduced to wrestling by my father. My father worked two jobs and his second job was overnight on Friday and Saturday night as a security guard. He’d work from 11:00 p.m. until 7:00 a.m. and then on Sunday’s when he got home he’d make a big breakfast for my mother and I. After that he’d sit down to read the Sunday newspaper and turn on the television. We’d watch AWA which was a professional wrestling company owned by Verne Gagne. After that wrestling show there was another one on from time to time that I believe was called Bob Luce wrestling. I don’t remember the name of the federation that wrestled on that show, but I do remember the wrestlers doing some of the local commercials on that show and they where classic.

That’s how I got started as a wrestling fan and I just continued to watch wrestling after that. Believe it or not I actually spent some time as an independent pro wrestler, but sadly I’ve lost most of my interest in wrestling over these last few years.

Last night I turned on the pre-show on Fox, but I quickly became bored and turned it off. I just didn’t enjoy what they where doing on the pre-show, but I was interested to see who got to open the show and who was in the first match. I thought it would be a pretty big deal to open the show or get to be in the first match. I was figuring that it would be a wrestler that WWE was high on and that they’d have some type of interaction with one of the many special guest that had been advertised for the show and I guess I was kind of right.

Becky Lynch was the first wrestler out to start Smackdown. As Lynch was doing her promo she was interrupted by Baron Corbin. as the banter was going o between these two they where interrupted by Dwayne Johnson who WWE fans know as “The Rock”. If you’ve seen “The Rock” perform in the WWE before you kind of knew what you where in for. He did his usual shtick, but he was very entertaining and the fans loved him. After “The Rock” with some help from Lynch made fun of Corbin the segment ended with Corbin being beaten down by “The Rock” and Lynch which the crowd again loved.

I flipped over to check the score of the New York Yankees/Minnesota Twins game; so I didn’t see the introduction for the first match, but I got back to Smackdown before the first match started.

I was a little surprised to see that Lynch not only got to do the opening segment, but was also in the first match. Lynch teamed with Charlotte Flair against the team of Sasha Banks and Bayley. In the end Lynch and Flair picked up the win as Flair was able to make Bayley tap out to her figure eight finisher.

Now I was done with the WWE and Smackdown after this match; so I don’t know how the rest of the show went, but there are some very interesting take a ways just from these two opening segments.

While Lynch her “The Man” persona started on Smackdown she is currently the RAW women’s champion, but she was chosen to open this show. Corbin just won WWE’s King of the Ring tournament, but he is also a RAW wrestler. Now I know that it’s typical for wrestlers from one of WWE’s show to show up on another show even though I believe this is going to end by Fox’s choice. It’s interesting that the first two wrestlers to make appearances on Fox’s new show where wrestled that are prominently featured on WWE’s other show.

Maybe it’s just me and I’m reading too much into it, but I would’ve thought that a new show would’ve wanted to feature a performer from it’s show to start off.

If you watched Smackdown let me know what you thought of it and let me know fi I missed anything of note since I turned away after the first match.

We had four MLB playoffs games last night as every playoff team was in action.

The first game of the day saw the Houston Astros win the first game of their series with the Tampa Bay Rays 6-2. Justin Verlander went 7 shutout innings striking out 8 as he got the win for Houston.

The next game saw the Atlanta Braves even up their series with the St. Louis Cardinals at one game apiece as the Braves picked up a 3-0 win in Game 2.

Mike Foltynewicz pitched 7 shutout inning for the Braves while Adam Duvall came up with a big pinch hit 2-run homer in the bottom of the 7th to make it a 3-0 game. After getting knocked around in Game 1 Mark Melancon picked up a save. Melancon did give up 2 hits, but also stuck out two in his inning of work.

There where five home runs hit in Game 1 of the New York Yankees/Minnesota Twins series and even though the Twins out homered the Yankees three to two the Yankees picked up the win in Game 1 10-4.

Neither starting pitcher made it into the 5th inning, but James Paxson the Yankees starter got close pitching 4 2/3rds. Jose Berrios the Twins starter pitched 4 innings. The Yankees put the game away by scoring 2 runs in the 5th and 6th inning and 3 runs in the 7th inning. Even though Tommy Kahnle gave up a run in the 2/3rd of an inning he worked he still got credit for the win.

The day of baseball wrapped up with the Washington Nationals evening up their series with the Los Angels Dodgers by getting a 4-2 in in Game 2 if that series.

Coming off his first career relief appearance in the Nationals wild card victory Steven Strasburg return to his role as a starter and picked up the win going 6 inning and striking out 10. Clayton Kershaw was solid for the Dodgers, but his bad luck in the post season continued as he took the loss despite pitching 6 solid innings.

The National League teams are off today, but we’ll get Game 2 in each of the American League series today.

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

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter. I’m @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: October 2, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, post season, sports, Uncategorized

It took 8 innings, but the Washington Nationals found a way to get past the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League wild card game last night.

Milwaukee got off to a quick start as they picked up two quick 1st inning runs on Max Scherzer. Trent Grisham drew a lead off walk to start the game and then Yasmani Grandel brought them both home with a 2-run home run to rightfield.

The Brewers then added another run in the Top of the 2nd inning when Eric Thames hit a solo home run off Scherzer to centerfield to give the Brewers an early 3-0 lead.

The Nationals got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the 3rd inning when Trea Turner hit a solo home run to left-center off of Brewers starter Brandon Woodruff to make it a 3-1 game.

Scherzer settled down and then turned the ball over to Steven Strasburg in the 6th. This was Strasburg’s first career relief appearance, but he was clearly up for the task as he pitched three scoreless inning giving up 2 hits and while striking out 4.

Woodruff gave the Brewers four strong innings throwing 52 pitches which is what he’s been doing since returning from injury. Brent Suter gave the Brewers and inning of shutout relief which was followed by two shutout innings of relief by Drew Pomeranz.

All that led us to the bottom of the 8th inning and the Brewers turned the game over to their closer Josh Hader. It looked good for Hader as he struck out Victor Robles swinging for the first out. Michael Taylor pinch hit for Strasburg and was hit by a pitch. This was a bit of a controversial hit by pitch, but they took a look at it and the call stood. The hit by pitch looked like it might not matter as Hader stuck out Turner swinging for the 2nd out of the inning. Ryan Zimmerman pinch hit for Adam Eaton and hit a 2-1 fastball into centerfield for a single as Taylor advanced to 3rd base. Andrew Stevenson entered the game as a pinch runner for Zimmerman. Anthony Rendon drew a walk to load the bases for Juan Soto. This looked like it might be a good match up for the Brewers with the left-handed Hader facing the left-handed hitting Soto, but Soto took third pitch of the at bat to rightfield for a single. Taylor and Stevenson easily scored to tie the game and when Grisham had trouble with the ball in rightfield it allowed Rendon to score all the way from 1st to give the Nationals a 4-3 lead. Soto was tagged out in a rundown between 1st and 2nd to end the inning.

The Nationals where just three outs away from a wild card game victory, but it’s been well publicized just how bad their bullpen has been this season. Washington’s manager Dave Martinez had said that he had no problems using Strasburg or Patrick Corbin out of that bullpen and you had to wonder if maybe Corbin would be called upon to try and close this game out.

Instead Martinez turned to Daniel Hudson. The Nationals acquired Hudson at the trade deadline from the Toronto Blue Jays and while he was 3-0 with 6 saves and a 1.44 ERA in 24 games for Washington he has been a set up man for most of his career.

Up until last night Hudson had one other post season appearance. In 2011 Hudson started an NLDS game for the Arizona Diamondbacks oddly enough against the Brewers and it didn’t go so well. In 5 1/3rd inning Hudson gave up 5 runs on 9 hits and took the loss in Game 2. Milwaukee went on to beat Arizona 3 games to 2 in that series.

So how would Hudson fair against the Brewers as a closer in a wild card game? As it turns out pretty well. Thames struck out swinging for the first out of the inning. Lorenzo Cain singled to out the tying run on base, but Hudson got Orlando Arcia to foul out to the catcher for the second out. Ben Gamel then lined out to centerfield stranding Cain at 1st base and ending the game.

Strasburg picked up the win for the Nationals out of the bullpen while Hudson got the save. Hader was tagged with the loss. The Nationals advance to the NLDS to face the Los Angeles Dodgers. Game 1 is tomorrow in Los Angeles. Corbin will get the start for the Nationals while the Dodges starter is currently undecided.

Tonight the American League wild card game will be played as the Tampa Bay Rays are in Oakland to face the A’s. The game is scheduled to start around 7:10 Central time.

Charlie Morton gets the start for Tampa bay while Oakland is going with Sean Manaea. Morton went 16-6 in 35 starts with an ERA of 3.05 over 194 2/3rds innings. Manaea has pitched in just 5 games this season covering 29 2/3rd inning, but he is 4-0 with an ERA of 1.21.

On paper it looks like the Ray might have a big advantage on the mound to start as it’s been asked how many innings Manaea can give the A’s. Out of his five starts Manaea has two in which he went 6 innings and one where he went 7 innings; so if he’s pitching well innings shouldn’t be an issue for him or the A’s tonight.

Both of these teams have deep quality bullpens; so it will be interesting to see how long of a leash each starting pitcher has. You have to wonder if either starter will be allowed to work out of a little trouble fi they get in it or if they bullpen will be ready to go in that case.

The winner of tonight’s game moves on to face the Houston Astros in the ALDS. So who do you have moving on? Do you have the Rays or the A’s getting the win tonight?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you do happen to miss the podcast live all you have to do is find your way over to TuneIn.com and you can listen to the podcast at your leisure.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: September 28, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, post season, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

We’re into the final weekend of the Major League Baseball season. Every team has two games left except the Detroit Tigers and Chicago White Sox who have three game left and are scheduled to play a doubleheader today to even their schedule up with the rest of the teams.

It seems as everything is decided for the baseball playoffs except where the American League wild card game will be played. The Tampa Bay Rays and the Oakland A’s have identical records heading into today’s game. If these two teams end up tied after the final two games it would be the A’s that get to host the wild card game since they won the season series between the two teams.

Now there still is a chance that the Milwaukee Brewers and the St. Louis Cardinals could end up tied for 1st place in the NL Central. If this was to happen the teams would have to play a game 163 to decide who is the NL Central champion and who the wild card team would be. The losing team in this scenario would then have to go to Washington to face the Nationals in the wild card game since the Nationals are the home team for the National League wild card game. Both the Brewers and the Cardinals lost last night; so the Cardinals held on to their one game division lead.

I did find it humorous that there was quite a bit of complaining out of the Brewers about the line up the Chicago Cubs where playing against the Cardinals last night. Oddly with a line up that Milwaukee saw a sub-par the Cubs managed to break their 9-game losing streak as they beat the Cardinals last night 8-2. The Cubs scored all 8 of their runs against the Cardinals bullpen.

Maybe the Brewers should’ve been more focused on their match up with the Colorado Rockies instead of what line up the Cubs had for there game. Colorado easily beat Milwaukee 11-7 last night. The score actually makes the game look closer than it was as Milwaukee scored 2 runs in the 8th inning and 3 runs in the 9th inning to make the final score closer than what the game actually was.

The Brewers had bullpen issues just like the Cardinals did last night. Milwaukee’s bullpen gave up 10 runs over a 3 inning span. The only Milwaukee reliever than didn’t give up any runs last night was Jimmy Nelson who worked the 8th inning and walked one hitter, but he also recorded a strikeout.

Honestly though I think if you looked at every team the biggest issue they probably have is a bad bullpen as that seems to be the theme around Major League Baseball this season; well besides the juiced up baseballs.

I’m sure that the fans of the Boston Red Sox where thrilled when the team came out yesterday and mentioned that one of their top priorities heading into the off season was the get themselves under MLB’s luxury tax. I’m guessing trying to cut payroll isn’t something Red Sox fans will be excited about. The question now becomes; how can they get there?

The Red Sox are about $60 million dollars under the luxury tax with the contracts that they’re committed to for next season. The Red Sox have 6 free agents and 1 player with a mutual option; so they will probably let most if not all of those players walk away after this season or should I say these final two games. The problem the Red Sox have to deal with is that they have 9 players headed to arbitration and there are some interesting names that the Red Sox will have to make some tough decisions on.

Brandon Workman, Steven Wright, Matt Barnes, Heath Hembree and Sandy Leon are five of the players the Red Sox have going to arbitration. There’s a chance that the Red Sox may just let these five players go into free agency and not offer arbitration to any of them. That would help the Red Sox towards their luxury tax goals, but it probably won’t get them all the way to where they need to go.

The Red Sox are going to have to make some tough decisions on the other four players headed to arbitration. Those four players are Jackie Bradley Jr, Eduardo Rodriquez, Andrew Benintendi and Mookie Betts. Is there a chance that we could see one or more of these players dealt this off season? If the Red Sox do decide to trade one of these players; who is the most likely to get traded? and what could they get in return for that player?

Benintendi is just headed into arbitration and while his salary is going to jump up from the $717,500 he made last season I don’t think he’s the guy that Boston trades.

Rodriquez is coming off a career year; 19-6 with a 3.80 ERA in 33 starts while pitching 196 1/3rd innings. With all of the pitching issues the Red Sox had this season and the fact that Rick Porcello is one of their impending free agents you have to think that Rodriguez will be sticking around.

That leaves Betts and Bradley to try and help the Red Sox meet that luxury tax threshold they’ve talked about. While Betts numbers are down from last season when he won the MVP there’s nothing wrong with hitting close to .300 with 30 home runs. Betts was awarded $20 million dollars in arbitration last season and you have to think that number is going to go up, but how high will it go? Could we see his salary jump to $25 million dollars for next season. This is Betts last year of arbitration and he could bring a good return in a trade. Bradley Jr is an interesting case. Bradly Jr has just never hit at the major league level and has a career batting average of .236. He will hit about 20 home runs a season, but he is one of the best defensive centerfielders in baseball. The question is; what’s that worth to another team? Bradley Jr. made $8.55 million dollars in arbitration last year; so you have to figure that his salary will be $10 million dollars or more for next season. What can Boston get for a light hitting, but great defensive centerfielder?

Who do you see the Red Sox trading Betts, Bradley or maybe both?

Now the wild card in this for Boston is J.D. Martinez who can opt out of his contract this off season. While I think it would be foolish for Martinez to walk away from the $23.75 million dollars he’s scheduled to make next season he is a Scott Boras client. If Martinez does opt out there’s very little chance that the Red Sox would be interested in bringing him back as getting that salary off of their books would really help them with their goal of getting under the luxury tax. Also I’m not sure if Martinez would get anywhere near that salary number o the free agent market. I believe that Martinez can also opt out of his contract after next season and that may make a little more sense for him to do as his salary drops to $19.35 million dollars for the final two years of his contract.

What do you think Martinez will do? Does he opt out of his deal? Or will he stay wih the Red Sox?

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

Remember to follow me on Twitter @Burketime