Pittsburgh Pirates Trades Cole/McCutchen

S.Samek

After not doing too much, so far in the off-season, the Pittsburgh Pirates have made two deals in the past couple of days. These are headline level deals.

The first involves Gerrit Cole, heading to Houston for four players.

 
The first player and you could say headliner of this deal is Colin Moran. Moran plays both third and first base, but is looked to be inserted in the former. He ranks as the fourth best prospect in the Pirates system at the moment. He split this season at triple a and the majors. During his 11 games in the majors he hit .364 with a homer and three rbi. Moran was also named a midseason triple a all-star after hitting .308 with 18 home runs this season.

 

Moran should get the nod to start at third base, especially with the uncertainty of Jung Ho Kang. Granted he is unproven, but looks to have a strong upside as a former first round pick.

 

Two arms came to the Pirates in Joe Musgrove and Michael Feliz.

 

Musgrove is a potential starter for the Buccos. In the major leagues he sports an 11-12 record and 4.52 era and was used primarily in the bullpen. However, he is another first round pick and a former top 100 prospect.

 

He won’t replace Cole, at least not this year, but could be a future arm to watch.

 

Feliz is a bullpen arm with numbers that don’t look good. He has a 5.13 era for 98 games in the majors. Yet he strikes out a lot of hitters. Feliz punched out 70 in 48 innings this year and 95 in 65 innings in 2016. The Pirates like him as a potential late-inning arm.

 
I could see this kid being a potential steal, maybe the next setup man, or closer for the Pirates. I like the upside if he can turn it around. His fast ball averaged 96 mph, so he could be a power arm for the Bucs in the future.

 

The final piece in the trade is outfielder Jason Martin. Martin becomes the Pirates 18th ranked prospect. He saw time at advanced a and double a last season, where he hit .278 with 18 home runs and stole 16 bases.

 
This is a good additional piece to the trade. He has some upside, but if it doesn’t pan out he wasn’t the center piece of it anyway.

 

Now Houston gets the Pirates number one starter in Cole. Cole is a good pitcher and at time dominant. He just isn’t an ace. This Season he went 12-12 with a 4.26 era. Cole allowed a career-high 31 home runs in 2017.

 
However, he was 59-42 with a 3.50 era while making 127 starts in five seasons in Pittsburgh. Houston gets an established veteran starter at the cost of a few talented, yet unproven youngsters.

 
This is a good deal for both teams at least on paper and should be interesting to watch.

 

Andrew McCutchen was the second big name sent packing as he was traded to San Francisco. The package the Giants are sending includes bonus money, outfield prospect Bryan Reynolds and pitcher Kyle Crick.

 

Reynolds was the Giants number four prospect at the time of the deal. He played at three levels of a ball this year with a .312 with 16 homers and 43 rbi stat line. He plays a bit of every outfield position. He also participated in the futures game this year.

 
I think this is a decent pick up. He is still a couple years away, but should make for an interesting prospect to watch.

 

Crick is another pitcher that saw time at triple a and in the majors this season. He was used in the bullpen where he put up a 2.76 era prior to his promotion. In the majors he had a 3.06 era with 28 strikeouts in 32 and one-third innings.

 
He is a former top prospect, but sits as number 16 in the current rankings. He could be another quality arm ready sooner rather than later for Pittsburgh.

 

McCutchen departs after hitting .279 with 28 homers and 11 steels last season. He was an anchor in the Pirates lineup and an MVP contender. He was the face of the franchise and a big part in getting the Pirates back to the playoffs.

 
He will be missed. However, I think if you want to respect McCutchen you let him play where he is wanted. He just isn’t at the level he once was and his fan support seemed to dwindle. This move lets him play for a contending team and Pittsburgh gets a couple players for the future.
Disappointing move yes, needed a second yes.
Overall, I think the moves look ok on paper and give me hope for the future, they just have to pan out.

 
Thank you, Cole, and McCutchen though for some great memories and good luck with your new teams.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Breaking up a Dynamic Duo

By S. Samek

The Cleveland Cavilers have it set. You have an NBA championship and a finals appreances the past two years. You have Lebron James, the potential greatest player of all-time. Kyrie Irving a high-level lottery pick and dynamic player compliments James. Then they went and signed former MVP Derrick Rose. . Life looks good if you’re the Cavs.

Conversely, Irving decides he wants a trade. . He seems most interested in going to New York.

Not what you’re looking for if you want another championship.

I figure why in the world would he want to leave Cleveland.  In less you went to Golden State. There Irving would have to contend with Steph Curry and Kevin Durant as far as being the number one player on the floor. Why not just stick with being the number two guy behind Lebron.

Especially if you want to win championships. Golden State and Cleveland look to have the edge for years to come as far as having talent in place that laps the field.

Maybe adding a piece like Irving could transcend a team, but no guarantees. .

 The question is though does a team have enough assets to trade for him. This would be for a team that wants to win now. Numerous teams have been mentioned looking to acquire him.

I don’t see this trade happening in less a king’s ransom is in it for Cleveland.  Kyrie stays and contends with the Lebron and hits free agency in a couple years and can bolt then.

 

 

Lakers and the Super Team

Could LA be the Next Golden State.

by S. Samek

Lots of shock coming from the days leading up to the NBA draft. No team seems to be getting hit like The La Lakers. The Lakers hold the number two pick in the daft for the third year in a row. Last year the Lakers went with Brandon Ingram and the year before that D’Angelo Russell. The intent to use them as corner stones of the rebuild.

This will not be the case Russell has been shipped to the Brooklyn Nets along with Timofey Mozgov. The return Brook Lopez and pick number 27 for 2017. The move looks to be for salary cap room as the Lakers have been trying to get Paul George from Indiana.

Lebron James and Russell Westbrook are also big name free agents on the Lakers radar Letting Mozgov and Russell go saves LA around 22 Million for next summer.

The Lakers also lost Nick Young to free agency. Young elected not to sign and test the market after four seasons with LA. Young averaged about 13 points a game for the Purple and Yellow and made 71 starts. Though by not picking up the option the Lakers save $5.7 million.
The popular pick for the Lakers at number two is Lonzo Ball from UCLA. Though the Lakers have also worked out possible number one pick Markelle Fultz.

According to recent mock drafts that is the case. It would play well for the Lakers to take Ball, as he is a local guy from UCLA and a great talent. With a swagger to match.

Even going so far as to try and recruit James to join him in LA, before he has been officially drafted by the Lakers. Bold move, premature, but bold.

The other pick at number 27 seems to be expendable for George and has played out in numerous scenarios for him. The Lakers may not have made all their moves yet. Stay tuned, but the plan is  to contend for serious in 2018.

 

Dealing in DC.

Mystics improving team in off-season.

By S. Samek

 

The Washington Mystics are on the move up. After finishing the 2016 season in 10th place in 12th team with an 13-21 record. The team has been making movies to turn themselves into the favorite in 2017.

 

The biggest move the Mystics made was the acquiring Elena Delle Donne from the Chicago Sky for Stefanie Dobson, Kahleah Cooper and the 2nd overall pick in 2017. After getting Delle Donne the Mystics also added Kristi Toliver via free agency from defending champion Los Angeles.

 

Toliver is a veteran player who can light it up from three- point range. Toliver hit 42.4 percent from behind the line last season. A mark which was good for fourth in the league in three-point percentage. Interesting enough Delle Donne was ahead of Toliver in three-point percentage, ranking third with a 42.6 percent made.

 

Delle Donne also contributed a tied for the league lead 21.5 points per game while playing in the fourth most average minutes per league at 33.1. Also on Delle Donne top five offensive ability is her free throw percentage at 93.5 good for second best in the WNBA.

 

Complementing the new acquisitions is Emma Meesseman. Meesseman was the WNBA’s top three-point shooter by percentage at 44.8 percent. Additionally, Taylor Hill was resigned by the Mystics. Hill averaged 15 points per game in just above 29 minutes per game for the Mystic last season. The 15 points per game to go along with 32 games started are career highs for the player drafted a couple slots after new acqusion Delle Donne.

 

The Mystics  should improve on offense and be more accurate on three pointers. This can make them hard to defend from deep. With multiple shooters, able to hit threes as accurate as anyone in the league even a double team would leave other players wide open.

 

Delle Donne and Toliver also bring playoff experience. Toliver was part of the WNBA champion Sparks last season and Delle Donne’s Sky was the fourth seed in the tournament before losing to the Atlanta Dream in round one. Making this one of the intangibles the Mystic’s could use to make a long playoff run.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Penguins Trades deadline 2017.

By S. Samek

 

The Pittsburgh Penguins continued a recent trend of being aggressive at the NHL trade deadline. The Pens made two moves last night and one last week. The goal of the movies was to add defensive depth after Trevor Daley and Olli Maatta are out with injuries that limit them for a about another month. Kris Letang is also facing an injury, but is listed as day to day.

 

To address the need Mark Streit was picked up for a 4th round pick in 2018. Frank Corrado came over from Toronto for Eric Fehr, Steve Olesky and a 2017 4th round pick. The previous week Ron Hainsey came over from Carolina.

 

I would say that the Hainsey deal is the headliner followed by the Streit deal. Both give you established veteran presence on defense. Hainsey has played in 894 NHL games.

 

 Streit is a veteran of 11 NHL seasons and 765 games. All for the price of a 2nd round and 4th round picks and a minor-league player. These deals should benefit the Penguins greatly for the playoff run.

 

 

 

The Corrado deal seems like a bit much. Two solid role players in Fehr and Olesky plus picks for a 23-year-old defensemen that played mostly in the minors this season. Corrado was assigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to start. This was said to be a salary cap movie to acquire Streit. He may develop into a usable defenseman, but for now I’m saying salary dump. Though the consensus from my sources is Corrado just needs playing time to develop.

 

Though the most interesting move is one that didn’t occur. Marc-Andre Fleury did not go anywhere. Fleury has been a mainstay in Pittsburgh sense being drafted 1st overall and has only r given up the starting job to Matt Murray this year. Fleury is still a solid backup and has cup winning experience should Murray go down with an injury. Fleury is also a prime target in free agency and the upcoming expansion draft.

 

Overall I would give the Penguins a B or B plus grade on these deals. The met their biggest need without over paying for it.  While the deals may not be flashy and top of the line they are still upgrades. Jim Rutherford has had a lot of success in his recent deadline deals and even if this isn’t as big as a Phil Kessel trade the moves should still work out.

 

 

 

David Perron Returns Home

Star seeks cup with former team

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Photo St. Louis Blues

By Rachel Mangan

After spending three  years on teams like the Edmonton Oilers, Pittsburgh Penguins  and Anaheim Ducks, David Perron  has finally returned to where it all started in 2007.

On July 1, Perron signed  a two-year, $7.5 million deal with St. Louis, where he began his NHL career (h/t Chris Pinkert of NHL.com).

Perron was drafted by the St. Louis Blues back in 2007 , and he has spent the majority of his career in St. Louis thus far. However, he did take a few detours before returning to the starting place of his NHL career.

Perron  was one of the more productive forwards on the Blues, scoring 20-plus goals in two out his first three seasons with the team. Continue reading “David Perron Returns Home”