All posts by jordanal

Chicago Cubs Win with Signing of Craig Kimbrel

The Chicago Cubs agreed to a deal with free-agent pitcher Craig Kimbrel on Wednesday night. The deal is for three years and $43 million and is pending a physical. The deal includes a $1 million buyout on a club/vesting option for the fourth year.

Kimbrel had spent the last three years with the Boston Red Sox . Last year he had42 saves with  a ERA of 2.74 with 96 strikeouts and 31 walks. Kimbrel has a 1.91 ERA with 868 strikeouts and 333 saves. He is a seven-time All-Star, has won a World Series title and was the 2011 National League Rookie of the Year.

The Cubs are really excited about Kimbrel joining the team. Cubs closer Pedro Strop told ESPN: He’s awesome. You’re bringing in — if he’s not the best, he’s one of the best closers in the game. Hopefully he’s in good shape so he can help us win another World Series. … He’s one of my favorites.”

Signing Kimbrel is a great move by the Cubs. Kimbrel is a good pitcher and one of the best closers in the game. He will fill a need for the Cubs, which is relief in the late innings of games. Cub relievers have blown 11 saves this season, third most in the majors. Entering Wednesday the Cubs bullpen had a 4.02 ERA and the Cubs had the highets walk rate(12.2 percent ), a strikoue-minus-walk percentage of 10.7 and the lowest swinging-strike rate (10.4 percent ) in the National League, according to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com.

“It’s definitely a boost, just obviously when you sign Craig Kimbrel, with what he’s done, winning the World Series last year and what he’s done throughout his career is amazing,”Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo told Tim Stebbins of NBC Sports Chicago. “It’s definitely a big boost for us and just lengthens everything out once he gets here and gets settled in.We’re pumped.”

Cbus pitcher Jon Lester told Stebbins: “I think really the only thing that this move does is lengthen our bullpen,” Lester said. “Now it takes a little bit of pressure off of us as starters when we don’t have our good stuff, where we’re grinding and we’ve got to fill that hole to get to that back end, we’re able to do that probably a little bit easier than we have been.”

Lester added, “Now our bullpen gets a little bit deeper. You’re not worried about matching guys up, and ‘What about tomorrow?’ I feel like we’re able to play that game a little bit more now that we have [Kimbrel], we have [Pedro Strop] back now.” This is a huge boost for us. I hope he can get here soon and get in uniform.”

The Cubs are winnners for signing Kimbrel. They now have the depth and help they needed in the bullpen. Now they have a good shot at winning the division and posssibly winning the World Series.

 

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Dallas Keuchel Should Sign with the Yankees

One of the biggest questions in baseball right now is where will former Houston Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel sign? Last fall Keuchel turned down a $17.9 million qualifying offer from the Astros. This spring he turned down a one-year, $15 million offer form Houston.

According to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, the New York Yankees and the Atlanta Braves are the favorites to sign Keuchel. Feinsand also said that a second source believes that the Yankees are the true favorites to land Dallas. And yes Keuchel would shave his beard if he were to sign with the Yankees, according to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com.

The Yankees think that Keuchel wants to play for them. On Tuesday Feinsand went on WFAN and told Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts that Keuchel wants to be in pinstripes.

“What I’m hearing is there are probably three, four, five teams that are interested in Keuchel. They are all in that one-year mix, probably in the same range. I don’t know the exact number. I’d guess they’re probably throwing out $15 million or so … prorated obviously for the season. I think he wants $18 million. He wants the number that he turned down in the qualifying offer, kind of helps save face. What I’m hearing from people is the Yankees is where he wants to go. I just find it hard to believe that if he wants to come here and they’re interested that it won’t get done one way or another.”

Last year Keuchel was 12-11 with a 3.74 ERA. In seven seasons with the Astros he was 76-63 with a3.66 ERA. In eight starts against the Yankees he is 4-4 with a 2.22 ERA. At Yankee Stadium he is 3-2 with a 2.45 ERA.

Keuchel should sign with the Yankees. He would provide depth and insurance to the Yankees. Luis Severino hasn’t played at all this season, although he could return after the All-Star break. James Paxton and CC Sabathia have spent time on the injured list. Keuchel could step up and help the Yankees win games should one of their pitchers get injured late in the season or in the playoffs.

Keuchel is a former CY Young award winner, which means he’s a good pitcher. He could help the Yankees alot should they need any help. Also he wants to play for the Yankees, so why should he sign with the team that isn’t the Yankees? So look for Keuchel to sign with the Yankees sometime soon.

Toronto Raptors will win NBA Finals if Warriors don’t get Durant back

The Toronto Raptors beat the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the NBA Finals Thursday night, 118-109. Now the Warriors chances for a three-peat aren’t good unless Kevin Durant comes back.

Durant has missed the last seven games due to a right calf strain. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr expects that Durant will miss Game 2 on Sunday, according to the Toronto Press.

“Kevin’s not going to play Sunday,” Kerr said. “I guess we’ve been sort of holding out hope, but he’s not practising today, he’s not [going to] practise tomorrow. He’s still progressing. … It’s near impossible for him to play on Sunday.”

While Durant won’t play in Game 2, he is expected to return about halfway through the series, league sources told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. Some member of the Warriors organization are optimistic that Durant could return for Game 3, however a Game 4 return is the most logical and more probable option.

The Warriors really need to have Durant back. Yes they can win without him, entering the NBA Finals the Warriors were 31-1 when Steph Curry played and Duran didn’t play.  However the Warriors don’t have a chance at winning unless Durant comes back.

The Raptors defense showed why the Warriors won’t be able to win without Durant in the Finals. THe Raptors are long, athletic and have a lot of versatility and have a more dangerous group of role players than the Warriors do and were able to disrupt the Warriors offensive flow.

The Raptors held the Warriors to 43.6 percent shooting in Game 1 and they forced 17 turnovers. Three Raports players scored 20 points or more, as Pascal Siakam had 32 points, Kawhi Leonard had 23 points, and Marc Gasol had 20 points. Fred VanVleet also had 15 points for the Raptors.

Meanwhile for the Warriors, Curry had 34 points and Klay Thompson had 21 points. Besides those two the Warriors couldn’t find another player who could be a scoring option. The Warriors will have their offense depth tested as long as Durant remains out. Duran has averaged 34.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 4.9 assists this postseason and noone else on the Warriors can do what Durant can do when Duran isn’t playing.

The Warriors need to have Durant back. Otherwise they will watch the Toronto Raptors celebrate an NBA title.

 

Philadelphia 76ers shouldn’t trade Ben Simmons for LeBron James

The Philadelphia 76ers have been eliminated from the playoffs, as they lost the Eastern Conference semifinals to the Toronto Raptors. The offseason has just begun for the 76ers and already there are rumors surrounding them.

The rumor that is surrounding them is Ben Simmons could get traded to the Los Angles Lakers for LeBron James. ESPN’s Stephan A. Smith said recently, via Tyler Lauletta of Business Insider:

“Nothing is out of bounds right now. We don’t know what the hell is going on in Los Angeles. You’ve got folks close to Jeanie Buss imploring her to trade LeBron James. He does not have a no-trade clause, and now you haven’t given him the coach that he wanted.”

NBC Sports NBA insider Tom Haberstroh wrote: Fair or not, Simmons failing to add some semblance of a jump shot in Year 2 of his career is seen as a reason that Philadelphia has to put him on the trade block. Perhaps this is just wishful thinking by rival executives. There has been no indication from the Philly side that Simmons is being floated or will be this summer.

“I think they very well might explore that,”a rival executive to Philadelphia told Haberstroh.

If the 76ers want to trade Simmons for LeBron, it might be difficult to do. According to Haberstroh, Simmons will make $8.1 million next season and because of that he would have to be packaged with another max-lever player to match LeBron’s $37.1 milion salary.

Another thing that would make a Simmons-LeBron trade difficult is LeBron not wanting to be traded. LeBron signed a four-year, $154 million contract with the Lakers in July and last month he rsesponed to rumors that he wanted a trade on Instagram, saying the rumors weren’t true at all, according to Tyler Conway of Bleacher Report.

The 76ers shouldn’t trade Simmons for LeBron because it would be a bad move. Simmons was the Rookie of the Year last year and this season he averaged 16.9 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 7.7 assists. The Lakers were 37-45 this season and missed the playoffs for the sixth straight year. While Simmons could help the Lakers win and make the playoffs, the 76ers would have a hard time making the playoffs without Simmons.

LeBron is 34 years old and wouldn’t be able to help the 76ers that much. LeBron could maybe bring a title to Philly but wouldn’t be able to do much else to help the 76ers. Simmons on the other hand, can get better and help the 76ers possibly win multiple titles and have a bright future, something that LeBron won’t be able to do.

The smart thing for the 76ers to do will be to keep Simmons and not trade him because trading Simmons would be a bad move.

Analyzing the New York Giants Draft Pick of Daniel Jones

After deciding to draft running back Saquon Barkley last year, the New York Giants now have a replacement for 38-year old quarterback Eli Manning. On the first day of the NFL Draft on Thursday, the Giants drafted Duke quarterback Daniel Jones with the sixth overall pick.

Giants general manager Dave Gettleman didn’t want to wait to get Jones, because he was afraid that Jones wouldn’t be available if he had waited.

Continue reading Analyzing the New York Giants Draft Pick of Daniel Jones