Posts Tagged ‘Andrew Miller’

Are the Chicago Cubs the best team in Major League Baseball? In most experts opinions they are. They’ve played 65 games and they’re 45-20 record is the best in baseball. The only other teams with more than 40 wins are the Texas Rangers, Washington Nationals and the San Francisco Giants. After making the playoffs as a wild card team last season the Cubs look to be cruising in the National League Central. They have a 10 1/2 game lead over the 2nd place St. Louis Cardinals and a 13 game lead over the 3rd place Pittsburgh Pirates; who they’re playing this weekend. It appears as though the Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer rebuild has worked for the Cubs as they are a viable World Series contender and in a lot of people’s opinion the favorite to win it.

Now even as good as the Cubs have been they have there issues like every other major league team. In the Cubs case it’s the bullpen. To be more specific left handed middle relief. This issue started the rumor a couple of weeks ago that the Cubs would be interested in making a deal for Andrew Miller the New York Yankees left handed set up guy. Now I’m not sure if the Yankees are ready to start dealing players. They’re 33-34 right now and find themselves in 4th place 5 1/2 games behind the American East leading Baltimore Orioles. A deal like sending Miller to the Cubs does make sense for both teams. It fills a weakness for the Cubs and the Yankees could acquire some of the young talent they’re looking for. Then this week everything went a little overboard. There are now a few reports out there that the Cubs not only want to pick up Miller from the Yankees, but also closer  Aroldis Chapman. Now these reports sent Cubs fans over the edge and things got a little carried away. Now what the majority of the Cubs fans who’ve heard about this possible trade don’t seem to understand is that the Yankees aren’t going to just give you Miler and Chapman. It’s not like the Yankees will just take the Cubs two left handed bullpen guys Travis Wood and Clayton Richard straight up in a deal. That sounds like a trade Dan the Man would send me in one of our year long Yahoo fantasy leagues. This is the part that for some reason a majority of Cubs fans just don’t understand, but here goes. 

There are reports out there that the Yankees want injured left hander slugger Kyle Schwarber as part of this deal and that’s just a starting point. While Chapman may just be a rent a player for the Cubs this season, the Yankees gave up 4 good minor league prospects to get him in the off season and they’re going to want some of that back.  Miller is signed through 2018 at in today’s game at a very friendly $9 million a season. A possible hold up in this deal is the fact that te Yankees appear to want young pitching back and the Cubs don’t have that anywhere in their organization. 

Okay Cubs fans here’s what it’s going to come down to. If the Cubs can acquire Miller and Chapman and set themselves up as favorites to win the World Series; which to be fair they might be anyway. Are you willing to give up a combination of Schwarber, Javier Baez, Alberto Almora and Jorge Soler along with probably your two best minor league pitching prospects in this deal? Now everyone knows the Cubs haven’t won a World Series in 100 plus years, but the team appears to be set up for long term success. Picking up Miller and Chapman may help them finally get that World Series title but is that one World Series title enough to satisfy long suffering Cubs fans or can you hold pat with the team you’ve built and see if they can come through with more than one. So Cubs fans; are you making this deal?

The New York Knicks are looking for an upgrade at the point guard position. Right now the Kinicks point guards are Jose Calderon, Jerian Grant and Tony Wroten. So to upgrade the position the Knicks have had internal talks about trying to deal for Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose. Both Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek and General Manager Steve Mills have said that the Knicks are interested in upgrading their point guard position in the off-season, but is Rose that upgrade. Remember just last week the Minnesota Timberwolves dangled the #5 pick in the draft at the Bulls to try and get Jimmy Butler. There are reports in Chicago that Butler and Rose can’t play together and I think I most people’s mind Butler would be the player who was traded. Not only is Rose a Chicago native, but with his injury history you wouldn’t think there would be a lot of interest. Now Rose is in the last season of his contract and a lot of teams do like those expiring deals. Rose was solid for the Bulls last season as he  averaged 16.4 points on 42.7 percent shooting and 4.7 assists in 66 games last season. The question would be who would the Knicks be willing to part with in a trade for Rose and remember with the NBA salary cap the players salaries have to match up. Now they don;t have to be exact, but they have to be close. Under Hornacek the Knicks are going to be playing more of an uptempo style with Phil Jackson’s triangle offense mixed in. So if the Knicks are going to run next season would they be willing to trade Center Robin Lopez along with a player like Arron Afflalo to the Bulls for Rose. The salaries match up; so neither tam would have to add players. The Knicks would get Rose and the Bulls would get Lopez who could replace free agent Pau Gasol and Affalo who could add some scoring. Lopez has 3 more years on the contract he signed with the Knicks last off season and make a little over $12 million. Affalo is entering the last year of his contract and makes $8 million. Rose is the Bulls highest paid player and he’s due to make just a little over $20 million in the last year of his contract. Is it possible that Rose starts the 2016-17 season in a Knicks uniform and that Butler might be in a Timberwolves uniform. Would it be a good idea for the Bulls to deal Rose and Butler and start on a rebuild?


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Our Week 2 picks in the NFL didn’t get off to a good start for Dan the Man Mr. Fantasy and I as we all took the Kansas City Chiefs to win the first Thursday night football game of the NFL season on CBS. Schaumburg Stu was the only one of us smart enough to take the Denver Broncos to win which they did 31-24 on one of the odder plays to end an NFL game that will probably see this season. Maybe picking the Thursday night game wrong will be better for me this week. I picked last week’s game right and then went on to have a sub .500 week.

Back to that odd ending. Kansas City had the football with about :30 seconds to go in the game and the score tied at 24. Instead of taking a knee Kansas City decided to run a play and they handed the football off to Jamaal Charles. Charles is one of the better running backs in the NFL and a lot of people rate him as the best duel threat back in the league with his ability to catch the football out of the backfield. Charles is also thought to be one of those type of players that can score any time he has the football in his hands. So it makes some sense to get the ball into Charles hands and see if he can gain enough yards to allow the Chiefs to win the game in regulation. Alex Smith hands the football off to Charles and while he’s on his way to the ground he’s hit by a Broncos defender and the football pops out. Bradley Roby of the Broncos was right there when the ball came out and was able to pick it up and return it 21 yards for a touchdown and a Denver win. This is where it all starts. I’m sure before both teams got off the field there where people questioning Chiefs head coach Andy Reid’s decision t run a play and not just kneel down and tale the game into overtime. One of the first things I heard was people comparing it t a play that happened in a game quite a few years ago between the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles. The big difference there was the Giants where down on their own goal line when they ran there play. So right away Reid is taking all the blame for this loss and as a head coach he accepts it for his team, but is it really his fault? While Reid did call the play he wasn’t the one who put the football on the ground. I think that Charles has to take the majority of the blame for this loss, but it doesn’t seem to be going that way. People point to the fact that Charles had fumbled earlier in the game as reason for the Chiefs to just kneel down and head into overtime. In 2013 Charles led the NFL in fumbles with 19 and last season (2014) he fumbled 14 times. Charles averaged a fumble every 17 touches last season. Now think of how people would’ve reacted had Charles broken the run off and it help Kansas City get into field goal range and win the game. They’d be touting Reid as the greatest coach in the NFL today and it would’ve been a great play call. I’d also like to see a little bit of blame given to Smith as well. Smith was the last Chiefs player with a chance to stop Roby from scoring and he had a clean shot at him. Now I know that teams don’t like their starting quarterbacks to even try to make tackles and earlier in the game Peyton Manning just watched as Marcus Peters picked off one of his passes and returned it 55 yards for a touchdown, but this situation is a little different. Now even if Smith makes the tackle there’s a better than average chance that Denver just kicks a field goal to win the game, but there’s also a chance they miss that field goal and the game goes into over time. I’m not even sure if Smith touched Roby and after he got past Smith there was nothing between him and winning the game.

It’s a tough loss for the Chiefs who jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the game only to watch Denver come back and tie it up. After the teams traded field goals it looked like Knile Davis’ 8 yard touchdown run to give the Chiefs a 24-17 lead might be the game winner. Manning responded by taking the Broncos on a 10 play 80 yard drive capped off by a 19 yard touchdown pass to Emmanuel Sanders to tie the game at 24 which led to the Charles fumble and the game winning return.

Fantasy wise Manning threw for 3 touchdowns and 256 yards in the game, but did throw 1 interception. Smith wasn’t much help for your fantasy team as he threw for 191 yards, but was picked off 2 times in the game. He did add 15 yards rushing for you. Denver’s running backs won’t end up being much help to you this week. Ronnie Hillman was their leading rusher with 34 yards on 9 carries and they didn’t have a rushing touchdown. Despite the fumble Charles had 21 carries for 125 yards and a touchdown. Sanders and Demaryius Thomas each had 8 catches for Denver and while Thomas had more yards (116) Sanders caught 2 touchdown passes to go with 87 yards. Travis Kelce and Jeremy Maclin each had 4 catches to lead the Chiefs. Kelce had 1 more yard  receiving than Maclin 58 to 57. Don’t forget that both teams defenses scored in this game.

It looked like Dallas Keuchel was going to have a chance to establish himself as the top candidate for the AL Cy Young if he had a good outing against the Texas Rangers on Wednesday. Keuchel’s team the Houston Astros had just fallen out of 1st place in the AL West by losing the first two games of there series against the Rangers, but a win would put them right back in 1st place. Keuchel lasted 4 2/3rd innings giving up 9 runs on 11 hits; 3 of which where home runs. It was Keuchel’s shortest outing of the season and it couldn’t of come at a worse time for him or his team. If the door is open for someone else to join the Cy Young race who would it be. David Price may  be that next pitcher in line. Price is 16-5 and leads the AL in ERA at 2.42. Price is also 4th in the AL in strikeouts with 212. Keuchel of course may still be the front runner as he is tied for the AL lead in wins with 17 and is 2nd behind Price in ERA at 2.56. Is it a 2 man race or are there any other contenders. Sonny Gray is tied for 2nd in ERA with Keuchel and is 13-7 on the season, but his team isn’t contending and voters seem to lean towards players on winning teams. Felix Hernandez is tied with Keuchel with 17 wins, but he’s also on a non-contending team. Colby Lewis is 16-8 for the 1st place Rangers, but he has an ERA of 4.41. Chris Archer has had a solid year 12-12 with an ERA of 2.95 and is 2nd in the AL in strikeouts with 243, but with Tampa bay fading in the wild card race he may be over looked. Let’s look some place Cy Young voters  never seem to look; the bullpen. How about Andrew Miller. The Yankees closer has saved 34 of 35 games this season. He has an ERA of 1.80 covering 55 innings in 54 games. Miller has a WHIP of 0.800 and a strikeouts per 9 innings rate of 14.6. It seems difficult for Cy Young voters to vote for a reliever, but with no starting pitcher running away with the award this might be the year to look that way.

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