Posts Tagged ‘boston red sox’

Pretty  much since the 2016 season the talk has been that the Chicago White Sox had to trade Chris Sale and start there rebuilding process. Now just about every team had been rumored to be in on Sale and you can’t blame them. It was looking like the Washington nationals where the front runner to land Sale, but they weren’t willing to give the White Sox two top prospects. In the end the Nationals where left holding the bag as the Boston Red Sox stepped up and gave the White Sox four of their Top 30 prospects for Sale. The Red Sox sent #1 minor league prospect Yoan Moncada, right handed pitchers Michael Kopech and Victor Diaz plus outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe to Chicago for Sale.

Sale was the 13th pick of the 1st round in 2010 by the White Sox. He made his debut that same year. Sale didn’t become a starter until 2012, but has finished in the Top 6 of the Cy Young voting since then. Sale is 70-47 as a starter. Sale has had over 200 strikeouts the last four seasons and led the A.L. in 2015 with 274 strikeouts. Sale led the A.L. in complete games last season with 6. It’s tough to give up a pitcher like Sale as he is a true ace. It will be a few seasons before we know how this trade will be evaluated. Moncada did play in 8 games and got 20 at bats at the major league level last season, but spent most the year in Double-A where he hit .277 with 11 home runs. It appears as though Moncada will play 3rd base, but he spent the majority of his time at 2nd base in the minors. Kopech finished last season at high Class-A where he made 11 starts going 4-1 with an E.R.A. of 2.25. Kopech throws 100 m.p.h. but is still a few seasons away from being a factor in the White Sox rotation. Diaz spent all of last season at Class-A. He pitched in 37 games all in relief and had 10 saves. Diaz record was 2-5 and his E.R.A. was 3.88. Basabe spent most of last season on the same team as Diaz before being moved up to high Class-A for 5 games. Basabe hit .264 combined with 12 home runs and 53 RBI’s. Basabe did steal 25 bases. Moncada is 20, Kopech is 20, Diaz is 22 and Basabe is 20; so while we may see Moncada in a White Sox uniform it will be a while before the other players acquired in this reach the major league level.

Sale will be added to a Red Sox rotation that features 2016 Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello, David Price and it looks like the other two rotation spots are to be decided between Clay Buchholz, Steven Wright, Drew Pomeranz  or Eduardo Rodriquez. Right now it doesn’t look as though the Red Sox other top pitching prospect Henry Owens will be in this battle.

While Sale was the biggest move the Red Sox made it wasn’t the only move they made on Tuesday. Earlier in the day they sent 3rd baseman Travis Shaw and minor leaguers Mauricio Dubon and Josh Pennington to the Milwaukee Brewers for set up man Tyler Thornburg. Shaw can play 3rd and 1st base hit .242 with 16 home runs with 71 RBI’s last season. Dubon is a shortstop who finished the year at Double-A where he hit .339 in 62 games. Pennington made 13 starts in low Class-A last season going 5-3 with a 2.86 E.R.A. Thornburg appeared in 67 games for Milwaukee last season gong 8-5 with an E.R.A. of 2.15. Thornburg did save 13 games, but blew 8 saves last season. Thornburg should serve as the Red Sox main set up guy and he did have 20 holds last season.

The other move the Red Sox made on Tuesday was the signing of Mitch Moreland to a 1-year deal worth $5.5 million. Moreland had spent his entire 7-year career with the Texas Rangers. Moreland had a down year average wise hitting just .233, but did have 22 home runs and drove in 60 runs. Moreland is a left handed hitter who has played mostly 1st base in his career, but he has played 45 games in rightfield. Moreland has a career .996 fielding percentage at 1st base; so it looks as though he may take over in the field and Hanley Ramirez will move into the DH role.

Not to be out done the other Chicago baseball team that just happened to win the World Series appears to have found their closer. With the prices for Kenley Jansen and Aroldis Chapman get up around $20 million a season the Cubs turned to the trade market to get a closer. While it hasn’t been officially announced it’s being reported that the Cubs have agreed to send outfielder Jorge Soler to the Kansas City Royals for Wade Davis. Davis did miss some time last season with a forearm injury, but still converted 27 of 30 save opportunities and had an E.R.A. of 1.87. Soler appeared to be the odd man out in the Cubs outfield; so moving him makes sense. Soler also had some injury issues last season. He played in 86 games, hitting .238 with 12 home runs and 31 RBI’s. While Davis is in the final year of his contract Soler still has 3 years left on a 9-year $30 million dollar deal.

There where a couple of other signings yesterday. Carlos Gomez agreed to return to the Texas Rangers in a 1-year $11.5 million dollar deal. The Rangers acquired Gomez as a free agent on Aug. 20 after he had been released by the Astros. He played in 33 games for the Rangers and hit .284 with eight home runs and 24 RBIs. He had a .362 on-base percentage and a .543 slugging percentage. The other signing saw the Tampa Bay Rays ink catcher Wilson Ramos to a 2-year $12.5 million dollar deal, but the deal includes playing time incentives to make up to $18.25 million over the two years. Ramos is recovering from a torn ACL that he suffered last September; so he has to pass a physical for the deal to be completed.

Here’s how are NFL picks went for Week 13. Mr. Fantasy won another week going 12-3. Schaumburg Stu and I both had 10-5 records for the week while Dan the Man struggled going 8-7. Overall Schaumburg Stu still has the lead at 123-69. It’s looking like Schaumburg Stu is going to be tough to catch. Mr. Fantasy has moved into 2nd place by  a game as he is 118-74 overall with Dan the Man right behind him at 117-75. That of course means I am still in last place. My overall record is 110-82. I guess we’ll see how Week 14 goes for us.

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Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: October 12, 2016 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, football, hockey, sports
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Week 5 of the NFL season is in the books and our pick contest continues to roll along. Schaumburg Stu won Week 5 with a record of 10-4. Dan the Man, Mr. Fantasy and I all finished Week 5 at 8-6. On the season Schaumburg Stu is in the lead with a record of 47-30. Dan the Man is in 2nd at 44-33. I’m holding down the 3rd spot with a record of 39-38 while Mr. Fantasy is in the cellar at 36-41. We’re off to Week 6.

The Chicago Cubs used 4 runs in the top of the 9th against a terrible San Francisco Giants bullpen to win their NLDS series 3 games to 1. Down 5-2 going into the 9th inning it looked like this series was headed back to Wrigley Field for a Game 5 on Friday. Derek Law was on the mound to start the 9th inning, but after a single by Kris Bryant he was removed for left handed specialist Javier Lopez. Lopez didn’t do his job as he walked the left handed hitting Anthony Rizzo and was taken out of the game for Sergio Romo. Ben Zobrist greeted Romo  with a double to score Bryant and advance Rizzo to 3rd. Chris Coghlin was announced as the pinch hitter for Addison Russell; so the Giants countered by bringing Will Smith into the game to pitch. The Cubs countered that move by Putting Wilson Contreras in for Coghlin. Contreras singled off of Smith as both Rizzo and Zobrisy scored to tie the game 5-5. Jason Heyward bunted badly into a fielders choice, but a throwing error by Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford allowed Heyward to move up to 2nd base. Giants manager Bruce Bochy made a double switch as Gorkys Hernandez entered the game to play leftfield and Hunter Strickland was brought in to face Javier Baez. Baez singled to centerfield to score Heyward and give the Cubs the lead at 6-5. The top of the 9th finally ended as David ross hit into a double play, but by that time the Cubs had scored 4 runs on 4 hits and with the help of 1 Giants error had taken the lead.

The Cubs made some defensive moves to start the bottom of the 9th inning. Zobrist moved to 2nd base, Contreras stayed in the game in leftfield and Baez moved to shortstop. In the end none of those moves mattered as Hernandez, Denard Span and Brandon Belt all struck out swinging against Cubs closer Aroldis Chapman.

The Cubs now wait until Saturday to host the winner of the Los Angeles Dodgers/Washington Nationals series in Game 2 of the NLCS. The Dodgers/Nationals series is headed back to Nationals Park for Game 5 on Thursday. The Dodgers forced a Game 5 by picking up a 6-5 at home in Game 4 yesterday.

Clayton Kershaw made the Game 4 start for the Dodgers on 3-days rest. Kershaw pitched 6 2/3rd innings giving up 5 runs on 7 hits. He struck out 11 and walked 2 while throwing 110 pitches. Kershaw left the game with the bases loaded in the top of the 7th inning. Pedro Baez hit Jason Werth to force home a run and was removed from the game. Luis Avilian then gave up a single to Daniel Murphy bringing in 2 runs and tying the game at 5 apiece. Kershaw ended up with a no decision, but he ;left the bullpen in a tough spot. A Chase Utley single off Washington reliever Blake Treinen in the bottom of the 8th inning drove in the game winning run for the Dodgers. Kenley Jansen picked up the save for the Dodgers working the bottom of the 9th. Jansen struck out the first two batters of the innings and then Bryce Harper grounded out to 2nd base for the final out of the game.

With the lead in the series the Nationals choose to hold back Max Scherzer. Now they have Scherzer on regular rest for the Game 5 at home. Los Angeles turns to Rich Hill to make the Game 5 start. Scherzer took the loss in Game 1. He pitched 6 innings giving up 4 runs on 5 hits while striking out 5. Hill was the losing pitcher in Game 2. He pitched 4 1/3rd innings giving up 4 runs on 6 hits while walking 2 and striking out 7. Who do you have winning Game 5 and moving on to the NLCS?

Did you have both of the American League series ending in 3-game sweeps. Maybe you did, but I bet you didn’t have the teams right. The Toronto Blue Jays easily handled the Texas Rangers in their series to advance to the ALCS. Then it was the Cleveland Indians who where missing 2 of their top 3 starting pitchers sweeping the Boston Red Sox out of the playoffs. The Rangers did have the best record in the American League and while they where a bit of a favorite coming into the series with the Blue Jays; it’s not a huge shock that Toronto won the series. It’s a bit of a surprise that they swept, but not that they won it. In the other series the Red Sox should be nothing, but embarrassed. I can understand Game 2 as Corey Kluber is one of the top pitchers in baseball, but they got beat on games started by Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin. Both back of the rotation guys that the Indians where forced to use due to injuries to Carlos Carresco and Danny Salazar.

The only Red Sox who showed up in the series where Brock Holt who hit .400 with a home run and rookie Andrew Benintendi who hit .333 with a home run. Jackie Bradley Jr. hit .100, David Ortiz hit .111, Dustin Pedroia hit .167 and Mookie Betts hit .200. These big Red Sox hitters where shut down by a guy in Bauer who had an ERA of 4.26 this season and Tomlin who came in with an ERA of 4.40 for the season. The Red Sox where the trendy pick to win it all coming into the playoffs, but I’m sure those guys who where on that bandwagon won’t admit to being there right now.

The NHL season get sup and running tonight with 4 games on the schedule. The Toronto Maple Leafs and the Ottawa Senators will be the first two team s to drop the puck tonight. Then it’s the St. Louis Blues at the Chicago Blackhawks, the Calgary Flames at the Edmonton Oilers and the night wraps up with the Los Angeles Kings at the San Jose Sharks.

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For the second weekend in a row the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will race on Saturday night. This week the drivers go to the Kentucky Speedway for the Quaker State 400 Due to inclement weather qualifying was cancelled so the field was set according to owners points. That puts Kevin Harvick on the pole with Brad Keslowski joining him in the front row. In the row behind them Kurt Busch will start 3rd and Keslowdki’s teammate Joey Logano will start 4th. Carl Edwards rounds out the Top 5 as he’ll start the race 5th. In the 4th and final practice Edwards posted the fastest time at 187.448 MPH, he was followed by Martin Truex Jr. at  186.528 MPH Kyle Larson was third fastest at 186/387 MPH while Dale Earhardt Jr. 186.091 MPH and Kyle Busch 185.989 MPH rounded out the Top 5 fastest times in practice. Counting tonight’s race in Kentucky there are 9 races left before The Chase starts. There are 11 drivers with a win this season and an automatic spot in The Chase and that includes Tony Stewart who is currently 30th in driver points, but has his win to get into The Chase. Remember now that Stewart has a win he has to stay in the Top 30 in driver points to qualify for The Chase. This is no lock for Stewart as he finds himself 31 points behind 29th place David Ragan, but just 3 points ahead of 31st place Brian Scott. Ryan Blaney is currently holding on to the last spot in The Chase. Blaney has a 4 point lead on Jamie McMurray for that last spot. Right now McMurray would be the driver would make The Chase if Stewart was to fall below that 30th place spot. Can a driver pick up their 1st win of the season tonight in Kentucky and punch there ticket into The Chase or will it be a driver who already has a win heading to victory lane at the end of the night?

It looks like the Boston Red Sox are getting a jump on the July 31st trading deadline as they’ve made three deals in the last three days. On Thursday the Red Sox sent two minor league players, pitcher Aaron Wilkerson and second baseman Wendell Rijo to the Milwaukee Brewers for infielder Aaron Hill. To make room for Hill on there 40-man roster the Red Sox designated outfielder Ryan LaMarre for assignment.

Milwaukee picked up Hill this off season in a deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Hill was having a bounce back season for the Brewers. Hill was hitting .283 with 8 homers and 29 RBI’s for Milwaukee. His slugging percentage was .421 and his on base percentage was .780. Hill is capable of playing all the infield spots, but it looks like the Red Sox acquired him for help at 3rd base. It’s doubtful that Hill would take over as Boston’s everyday 3rd baseman, but could end up in a platoon with Travis Shaw. 

On Friday, the Red Sox started the day by picking up utility man Michael Martinez from the Cleveland Indians for cash considerations. Martinez has played 2nd, 3rd and all three outfield positions for the Indians this season.  In 32 games for Cleveland this season Martinez was hitting .283 with 1 home run and 3 RBI’s.  His slugging percentage was .383 and his on base plus slugging was .690 for Cleveland. Martinez is 33 years old and it’s a little unclear what his role with the Red Sox will be. 

Then a little later on Friday the Red Sox sent minor league pitcher Jose Almonte and minor league middle infielder Luis Alejandro Basabe to the Arizona Diamondbacks for closer Brad Ziegler. The big rumor was that the Red Sox would make a deal for a starting pitcher and they still might, but with Craig Kimbrell unavailable for Friday’s game because of knee soreness, Ziegler would be a quality fill in. 

With Kimbrell unavailable, former closer Koji Uehara recieved the save chance. Don’t forget that Boston lost Carson Smith to Tommy John surgery after he pitched just 2 2/3rd innings this season. Also the Red Sox main set up man Junichi Tazawa  was unavailable Friday due to shoulder discomfort.  Ziegler has appeared in 36 games for the Diamondbacks this season covering 38 1/3rd innings. His ERA is 2.82 and he’s saved 18 games. Ziegler has set up man experience; so while Kimbrell is the full time closer in Boston Ziegler should have no trouble at all slotting into a 7th or 8th inning role.

Now being a baseball fan I am a fan of stats. As a young baseball fan I learned to do multiplication and division by figuring out batting averages and ERA’s along with any other baseball stat I could find. Sabermetrics have a stat for just about everything and I really think things have gotten out of control. Here’s my example and you’ll have to let me know f you agree or disagree. I was listening to the local Chicago sports talk station and the host was explaining how RBI’s are meaningless because you’re just driving in your teammates who got themselves into scoring position. He then went on to explain that there’s no such thing as clutch hitting in baseball. 

While I don’t agree with either of these arguments I’ve heard them enough now to just kind of let it go. There was no reason to call into his show as anyone who didn’t agree with the host was called “stupid” and hung up on. Now the thing that really got me and just pushed me over the edge is when the host used fielding independent pitching stats to say that Jose Quintana was the best pitcher in the American League. Quintana has an ERA of 3.06 in 17 starts this season and has a record of 6-8, but they’ll tell you to throw the record out, so we won’t look at that. I do think that Quintana is a top of the rotation starter for any team in baseball but the best in the American League is a little much for me to believe.  There are quite a few people who will tell you he’s not even the best pitcher on his team, the Chicago White Sox. If you had your choice of starting pitchers off of the White Sox roster wouldn’t you take Chris Sale before Quintana?  

I understand that no matter what I think or try to do, Sabermetrics are the way baseball is going and teams are even using them to build their rosters. Again I have no problem with stats as a whole. I just have a problem with stats that lead me and or my favorite team down the wrong path.

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When the Detroit Tigers and Dave Dombrowski mutually agreed to part ways on August 4th most baseball experts didn’t think he’d be out of work long. Yesterday Dombrowski was hired by the Boston Red Sox   to be their president of baseball operations, effective immediately. General manager Ben Cherington declined the opportunity to continue as GM but has agreed to assist Dombrowski during the transition. It’s being reported that former Atlanta Braves general manager Frank Wren is hte guy the Red Sox would like to have take over their general manager position. Don’t forget that during John Henry’s three seasons (1999-2001) as owner of the Marlins, Dombrowski was his general manager. The relationship between Dombrowski and Owens helped the Red Sox in their quest to hire Dombrowski, who had also been talking to other organizations. Dombrowski lead the Marlins to a World Series championship in 1997 and built American League pennant-winners with the Detroit Tigers in 2006 and ’12. There were reports that the Toronto Blue Jays had what was described as “serious conversations” with Dombrowski. It seems like the report of those talks prompted the Red Sox to give Dombrowski full power over baseball operations. Dombrowski takes over a Red Sox team that is currently 53-66, 13 1/2 games behind the 1st place New York Yankees and last in the A.L. East. Dombrowski will have the remaining 43 games to look at this Red Sox team and get the off season set up.

After the Toronto Blue Jays took over 1st place in the A.L. East last week a lot of the experts wrote the New York Yankees off and thought they would start to fade back in the division. It turned out not to be the case as the Yankees took 2 of 3 from the Blue Jays over the weekend to reclaim 1st place. With consecutive victories over the Minnesota Twins to start this week the Yankees find themselves with a 1 game lead on the Blue Jays going into today’s games. Of course a 1 game lead isn’t much to bank on, but it’s a lot better than were most experts had the Yankees at after they slipped out of 1st place. Now I am in the camp that thinks the Blue Jays will pass the Yankees and win the A.L. East, but i wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Yankees find a way to hang onto a wild card spot. Just the Yankees being here at this point in time during the season is a bit of a shock. I don;t remember anyone picking the Yankees to contend for a playoff spot be it a wild card or division title, but here they are. You have to wonder how they’re doing it. The Yankees are 7th in the A.L. in team batting average at .255. They only have 1 regular hitting over .280; Brett Gardner is at .283. They are however 2nd in runs scored with 567. They trail only the Blue Jays who lead the A.L. with 630 runs scored. The long ball has been helping the Yankees as well; they are 3rd in the A.L. with 159. Mark Teixiera leads the Yankees with 31 home runs. The last time Teixeira hit over 30 home runs was 2011. Don’t forget that Alex Rodriguez has 25 home runs for the Yankees as well. The Yankees on base percentage is .324 good for 4th in the A.L. their slugging percentage is .430 good for 2nd in the A.L. and they have an OPS of .756 which ranks 2nd in the A.L. The Yankees don;t have a starting pitcher that jumps off the page at you as only Nathan Eovaldi has more than 10 victories; he’s 12-2 this season. The key appears to be the back end of the Yankees bullpen. Andrew Miller has 27 saves and an E.R.A, of 2.08. Dellin Betances has a 6-2 record out of the bullpen an E.R.A. of 1.14 and also picked up 7 saves while Miller was out injured. Justin Wilson has appeared in 55 games with a 4-0 record and an E.R.A. of 2.66 out of the Yankees bullpen. Left handed set up man Chasen Shreve has pitched in 43 games has a 6-1 record and an E.R.A. of 2.09 for the Yankees. Remember last season the Kansas City Royals made it all the way to Game 7 of the World Series last season using a 3-headed bullpen monster. Do the Yankees have a similar set up in their bullpen and if they get into the post season and have a lead after 6 innings is this bullpen lock down enough for them to go a long way. Of course the Blue Jays are going to be difficult to hold off in the A.L. East and there are 5 teams with in 4 1/2 games of the second wild card spot.

Mr. Fantasy and I found out that we will be picking in the 7th spot of our co-managed team or as we call it on the podcast our money league team. There are 14 teams in this league; so we are right in the middle and I have to tell you I couldn’t hate this position more than I do. I’ve never enjoyed drafting in the middle of any draft. Now I don;t need to be in the top tier of a draft; I’m just as happy to be at the back end of a draft. If I could some how end up with the last pick of the first round in any snake style draft I’d be thrilled with that. I really enjoy getting those back to back picks and it makes me feel as though I control the draft and I can start runs with my picks. Now Mr. Fantasy is working on trying to trade this pick. We’re not even looking for anything if someone wants to move up to the #7 spot; we just want to move down that badly. Now we where in the middle of our money league baseball draft and where unable to deal out of that spot; so I’m hoping the same thing doesn’t happen to us with the football league. Besides just being in the middle of the draft I also don;t like what the draft board might look like when it gets to the 7th pick. The top running backs should be off of the board and it’s probably too early to take a quarterback. Now there would be players like Dez Bryant and Rob Gronkowski on the board, but I;m not as sold on them as I would like to be to take them at #7. There are some interesting running backs that are ranked a little farther down the draft board; so we could reach for on of them, but who wants to take a reach pick in the 1st round. I just don;t know; so here’s hoping he can come through and make a deal for us.

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If you’re an Indiana Pacers fan the worst possible thing happened last night in the scrimmage for Team USA basketball. George’s leg landed and then buckled at the base of the basket stanchion after he fouled James Harden on a drive to the basket just 27 seconds into the fourth quarter. George suffered a open tibia-fibula fracture and had surgery on it last night. George is expected to remain hospitalized for about three days. One of the reports that came out said that while there didn’t appear to be additional damage besides the fractures, doctors believe George likely will miss all of next season, though no official prognosis has been given. The White team led George’s Blue team 81-71 in the scrimmage at the time of the injury, but the rest of the game was cancelled after George got hurt.

The Indiana Pacers had the best record in the Eastern conference last season before losing in the conference finals to the Miami Heat. George is the Pacers best player averaging 21.7 points per game, 3.5 assists per game and 6.8 rebounds per game. In 19 post season games last season George’s scoring average increased to 23.6 points per game. With the majority if not all of the top NBA free agents signed by now the Pacers don’t really have to many options to try to replace George outside of the organization. Remember the Pacers lost Lance Stevenson as a free agent in the off-season. I guess will see if the Pacers male a move and try to add a player like Shawn Marion or Al-Farouq Aminu to fill some of the void left by George’s injury.

The MLB non-waiver trading deadline was July 31st and a lot of teams made moves before the deadline. The day start with the Boston Red Sox making their 1st of s couple trades they would make by sending Jon Lester, Jonny Gomes and cash to the Athletics for Yoenis Cespedes and a Competitive balance pick. The day ended with the Detroit Tigers, Seattle Mariners and Tampa Bay Rays making a three team deal. The Tigers landed the big prize in this deal getting David Price. The Mariners got the right-handed bat a lot of experts say they needed in Austin Jackson and Tampa Bay came away with three players Nick Franklin, Drew Smyly and top shortstop prospect Willy Adames. The Red Sox also sent John Lackey, minor league pitcher Corey Littrell and Cash considerations to the St. Louis Cardinals for Allen Craig and Joe Kelly. By far the busiest team at the trade deadline Boston made two other trades sending Andrew Miller to Baltimore for minor league left hander Eduardo Rodriguez and then trading Stephen Drew and cash to New York Yankees for Kelly Johnson. It was a year where major league players were traded for major league players, but as always there was a share of prospects moved in deals. The Yankees added another infielder getting Martin Prado from the Arizona Diamondbacks for minor league catcher Peter O’Brien and a player to be named later. The Diamondbacks also Gerardo Parra to Milwaukee Brewers for two minor leaguers Anthony Banda and Mitch Haniger. The A’s sent Tommy Milone to the Minnesota Twins to get back outfielder Sam Fuld. The mariners did land a 2nd right-handed hitter getting Chris Denorfia from the San Diego Padres for Abraham Almonte and minor league pitcher Stephen Kohlscheen. The Houston Astros had said earlier in the week that they would be willing to trade a starting pitcher and they did sending Jarred Cosart, Enrique Hernandez and Austin Wates to Miami Marlins for Jake Marisnick, Colin Moran and Francis Martes. If you where listening to the show yesterday (Friday) you heard us talking about the Cubs trade to get another prospect. The Cubs traded Emilio Bonifacio, James Russell and cash to Atlanta Braves for Victor Caratini.

I think I got through all of the trades from deadline day and now will see if these deals work out for the stretch run. Of course there will be questions out there. Did the Rays get enough in the David Price deal? If Jon Lester is just a rental for the A’s; do they have to win the World Series to validate this trade? As this plays out the last couple months of the season will get these answers.

Did your favorite team make a move? Did they make themselves better or did they ship off players from their major league roster for prospects?

So how was your week?

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Five Year Plan

Posted: January 2, 2014 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Uncategorized
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We all know the stats on Theo Epstein. Youngest GM in history at the age of 28. Broke the Bambino Curse with the World Series win in 2004 at Fenway Park. But then again, didn’t they win because of the little boy who lived in Babe Ruth’s house was at a game and was hit in the face with a ball, so that broke the curse, right? Theo then resigned in 2005, only to be rehired back in 2006. He brought another World Series ring to Boston in ’07, in ’08 they made it to the ALCS only to lose to the Tampa Bay Rays and were swept by the Angels in the ’09 ALDS. It appeared that Boston was crumbling. Bad deals were made, guys were injured. Francona was gone and in October 2011, Theo resigned from the Red Sox, to take the job as a president of the Cubs. He hired Jed Hoyer and they brought over Anthony Rizzo from San Diego. Since the Five-Year plan has been set into motion, all we hear about in Chicago is the farm system and how everybody can’t wait till they all hit the bigs. The Big Jack & I, along with many fans, analysts and “baseball people” have been trying to figure out what they are doing. So, I’m taking a look back at Theo’s draft picks in Boston.

2003 17th pick in first round, David Murphy. He debuted in 2006 and played only a couple games before being traded to the Rangers with two other guys for Eric Gagne in ’07. A first round supplemental pick, compensation for losing Cliff Floyd in free agency, Matt Murton. Here in Chicago, I know that name because he came over to the Cubs in a four team trade that included the Twins, Expos and Red Sox. The Cubs also received Nomar Garciaparra and the Red Sox with Orlando Cabrera and Doug Mientkiewicz. In 2006 he played 144 games and had a batting average of .297, 13 hr and 62 RBIs. Sadly he didn’t play much after that. He went to the A’s then Colorado where he played his last game in the bigs, in 2009. Jonathan Pappelbon was drafted in the fourth round. He debuted 7/31/05. He had 35 plus saves from ’06 – ’10. After 2011 like Theo, he left as a free agent to sign with the Phillies.

2004 in the second round 65th overall…Dustin Pedroia. He debuted in 2006 and played in 31 games. Next season he was awarded the 2007 Rookie of the Year. In ’08, he earned the MVP and a spot on The All Star team and again in ’09, ’10 and most recently in 2013. He’s a career .302 batter and has over 1200 hits and just under 500 RBIs. Cla Meredith is the only other draftee of this class that spent significant time in the majors. From Boston to San Diego to playing his last major league game with Baltimore. He appeared in 286 games posting a .500 record at 14 with a 3.62 era.

2005 was a big draft for Theo with the first round landing two compensation picks, the first one, 23rd pick was Jacobi Ellsbury first appeared in 2007 and since has a career .297 avg and has lead the AL in steals three times. In 2011 he made the All Star team, received the Silver Slugger and the Gold Glove. Jacobi was a compensation pick from the Angels for Orlando Cabrera. But on December 6, 2013 he inked a seven year deal for $153 million with the Yankees. Pick 26 was a compensation pick form the Dodgers for Derek Lowe, Craig Hansen a relief pitcher that spent about 4 years in the bigs but ending his major league career in 2009 in Pittsburgh he appeared in 92 innings with a 6 plus era. The 42cd pick was supplemental for the loss of Pedro Martinez. Clay Buchholz, the two time All Star is 58-33 with a 3.6 era. He has only pitched two seasons with at least 25 starts. If he were to stay healthy, I wonder if he’d be up for the Cy Young in 2014. Jed Lowrie was the 45th pick that was given to the Bo Sox for the loss of Orlando Cabrera. He hasn’t really had a full season of play until 2013 with Oakland, where he racked up 75 RBIs and a .290 avg with 45 doubles and 80 runs. The last supplemental pick in the first round for Boston was pick number 47, Michael Bowden for the loss of Derrick Lowe. Bowden is a relief pitcher that played minimally in Boston but Theo sought him out in 2012 and he is now a Cub in middle relief. In the 14th round, Pedro Alvarez was drafted but did not sign. He entered the 2008 amateur draft and was the number 2 pick by the Pirates.

2006 #1 draft pick was outfielder Jason Place. He spent six years in the minor league system and left in 2011. 2cd pick, was Daniel Bard he’s a pitcher with just over 250 innings pitched and a 3.6 era. Josh Reddick came out of this class but is now playing in Oakland. Justin Masterson is the last notable signing to come out of this draft but he is now in Cleveland and went there for Victor Martinez. Both Brandon Belt and Logan Schafer were drafted in this class but didn’t sign.

In 2007, the first pick for the Bo Sox was Nick Hagadone who was a supplemental pick for the loss of Alex Gonzalez. He would later be involved with the trade that sent Masterson to the Indians for Martinez. Will Middlebrooks came out of the fifth round. The third basemen didn’t see the majors until after Theo left in 2012 because of a Kevin Youkilis injury. In 2013 he qualifies as a rookie playing in 94 games but didn’t put up great numbers. Let’s see if he can get 500+ at bats in the next couple of seasons. The 6th round produced, now Cubs starting first basemen, Anthony Rizzo. In 2013 he put up a .233 avg with 80 RBIs, 40 doubles and 23 home runs. Justin Grimm was drafted in this class but didn’t sign. He was later drafted by the Rangers but was acquired by the Cubs in the Matt Garza deal with Mike Olt, Neil Ramirez and CJ Edwards on 8/23/13.

From 2008 until 2011, the most notable draft pick would be Jackie Bradley who was chosen in the first round of the 2011 amateur draft and Allan Webster, P who was drafted in the 18h round by the Dodgers in the 2008 amateur draft and was sent to Boston along with James Loney in the deal that sent Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Nick Punto and Adrian Gonzalez to the Dodogers. The man heading up the Red Sox minor league system is Xander Bogearts, he was signed as an amateur free agent in 2009. He has played a handful of games for Boston in 2013 splitting the 12 games at 3rd and Shortstop. All in all, at the end of the day the Boston Red Sox farm system is ranked #1 according to Baseball America’s 2013 rankings. Where were the Cubbies, you ask? Well tied for fifth, with a team that mirrors it’s rebuilding phase, the Kansas City Royals. The major difference between both systems, market size. Chicago is the third largest market in the country, whereas Kansas City doesn’t make the top 30.

Boston is considered the seventh largest market and hosted and won the World Series for 2013. This starting lineup held four of Theo’s alumni with an average age of 30 with the exception of David Ortiz at 37 and 3rd baseman Will Middlebrooks, 24. When it came to the World Series Middlebrooks was replaced with Xander Bogearts at 3rd and we saw Pedroia, Saltalamachia and Ellsbury. Even Buchholz had a swing at the plate when he started in St. Louis. The MVP of the World Series, “Big Papi” David Ortiz. Compared to the 2007 World Series team that had Pedroia and Ellsbury, Theo’s picks and only a handful of starters that came out of the Red Sox farm system. Theo was able to bring a second World Series to Boston in 4 years by building a team similar to the 2013 World Series team with a mixture of youth and expeirence.

The 2012 draft for the cubs started out with OF Albert Almora. He’s expected to play center field and should be ready for the MLB in 2016. He’s considered a five-tool player. This young man drafted out of high school is expected to fall just shy of being a star but should have great fantasy numbers. With this description, I think of Aramis Ramirez, who left the Cubs for Milwaukee, giving Theo a first round supplemental pick, Pierce Johnson. The 6’3 right hander owns a plus fastball with the potential for a plus curveball. Cubs fans should expect to see him in 2015. Second supplemental pick in the first round for the loss of Carlos Peña, Paul Blackburn. Out of high school and into the minors, the right hander out of California went 2-3 in the Arizona fall league with a 3.3 era and started 12 games. With continued development, he could be ready to start in time to be competitive in 2016.

The 2013 draft saw 3B Kris Bryant taken in the first round, second pick. He spent a majority of 2013 in single A, where he posted a .336 batting average. With only 128 at bats, he was able to hit 9 home runs with 32 RBIs and 22 runs. He did K 35 times, but he’s expected to be a power hitter. He’s solid on the field and in 88 chances only had 3 errors and was able to turn 3 double plays. All subsequent picks, have very little playing time in the minors, leaving them under the needs to get more playing time.

At the end of the day, to have a winning team, a strong farm system is great to build on but no matter how effective the Nationals farm system was before Strasburg and Harper came up, they haven’t won a World Series or even their division. The Astros farm system in 2013 was ranked #2 and they weren’t even close to any shot a playoff run nor will they be considered to make any kind of run soon. Theo’s five year plan starts to take hold in 2016 which don’t be fooled, doesn’t mean that they will win, it means they will be competitive. With Jeff Samardzjilla, seemingly on his way out of Chicago, he’s due for free agency in 2015. That leaves us with Edwin Jackson who has four years left on his contract and this offseason, Theo and Jed have been very noncommittal with contracts, making most deals with one or two year contracts. As a Cubs fan, all we can do is sit and wait. Wait to see if in 2016, Theo & Jed can make a few key free agent signings or trades to bring some veterans to the line up to mix up the youth expected to invade in ’15 & ’16. With the drafting and filling the system, how many of them are just future trade pieces? As I said, we’ll have to wait and see. Now I know through out this I threw some random pieces in there. Boston 7th largest market 3 World Series in 10 years after a “curse” was lifted. Kansas City, not even in the top 30 for media markets in the US but they’re farm system is tied with the Chicago Cubs system. Boston has the best farm system but the Astros and Padres follow them to beat out the Rangers at the four spot, which is in the 5th largest market, that hosted the World Series three years straight. If the Rickets are using their own money to fund the renovations of Wrigley Field and the one “oh so Horrible” contract of Alfonsio Soriano is now gone. Then essentially there should be money to spend, not just to spend it but spend it wisely to “compete” in today’s market where multi-million dollar contracts are handed out like candy on Haloween. Is Theo right or wrong with his five year plan? Do I as a Cubs fan have to like it? No. As I said before We’ll have to wait and see. I’m wondering if Theo was brought over just to dispel the “curse.” Then again he can only do that if he produces a World Series, which I don’t see happening during his tenure as President of Cubs operations. What confuses me is, in Boston, he did it in four years? But as a Cubs fan, haven’t we waited long enough but to the office, what’s a few more years? Then again, Theo’s five year plan has driven me to jump on the Dodgers bandwagon, where they’re President said we want to win now, unlike some other teams with their five year plans. Not only would a World Series at Wrigley Field break the curse and have the biggest celebration for a World Series winner. They could even do a World Series winner tour of the continental US. But more important than anything to every Cubs fan would be able to say yea but you guys won in 2005 so go Suck the Fox!


The Boston Red Sox are World Series champions. I have to tell the truth I thought the St. Louis Cardinals would end up winning that series. In game 6 Michael Wacha showed that he was a rookie with very limited playoff experience. I thought that the Cardinals would break out and start hitting, but the Red Sox pitching shut them down. John Lackey had a big comeback season and series. Lackey has clinched 2 World series for 2 different teams. As a rookie Lackey got the win in the World Series clinching game for the Angels. I don’t know if they where being called The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim yet or if they where still the California Angeles. Sorry I got a little side tracked there. David Ortiz was the M.V.P. of the World Series; while some experts where pushing for Clay Bucholtz to win the award. I believe they made the right choice as Ortiz put up numbers that only 2 people have done better than in a World Series. After the way Ortiz played in the World Series and with winning the M.V.P., talk started on if he will make the baseball Hall of Fame when his career is over. I don’t really know where I stand on this but I’ve heard everything from he’ll be a first ballot hall of famer to he won’t get in because he didn’t play defense. The Red Sox went from worst to first and now the talk starts on if they’ll repeat in 2014.

So which one of you had the Miami Heat starting the season 1 – 2. I know it’s very early in the season but I’m a little surprised the Heat have dropped 2 consecutive games. I really thought the Heat might struggle opening night against the Chicago Bulls but they handled the Bulls easily 107 – 95. They turned around the next night and lost to the Philadelphia 76ers 114 – 110 and then last night lost to the Brooklyn Nets 101 – 100. Now I don’t think anyone would be surprised if at the end of the playoffs in 2014 the Heat are raising the trophy again. It just shows how odd and long the NBA season can be.

Every Sunday morning Dan the Man, Mr. Fantasy and I make are picks for that weeks NFL games and have we had a rough year. We finally had a better week in Week 8. Dan the Man and I where 9 – 3 while Mr. Fantasy went 8 – 4. For the season Dan the Man and I are 70 – 42 while Mr. Fantasy is trailing at 65 – 48. It just seems like it’s been a tough year for us to pick games. We’ll be on Sunday morning at 11:00 a.m. to make our picks again and talk about the week in fantasy football. I guess will see how this week goes for us.

So how was your week?

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