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17 year old Cale's very opinionated view on everything sports.

Posts Tagged ‘Oakland

The Roy Halladay – Cliff Lee Blockbuster

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This was not supposed to happen. The Phillies were supposed to have a super rotation, led  by Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee, that would overtake the Yankees in next year’s World Series. Now, that will not happen.

The news broke late on Monday that Roy Halladay was in Philadelphia,

A video game simulation of new Phillies' pitcher Roy Halladay (above).

 negotiating a 3 year, $60 million dollar deal, after he was finally traded to Philadelphia. However, Phillies owner, David Montgomery, set a strict and tight $140 million dollar payroll, and keeping ace Cliff Lee would not allow that to happen. So, Lee was traded to Seattle. However, the trade leaves many in the city of Brotherly Love puzzled.

Quite frankly, Halladay and Lee are nearly on the same level of talent. Of course, Halladay is right-handed, which favors splitting up the Phillies left-dominated rotation. However, Cliff Lee won the hearts of Philly, trotting out with one great performance after another. Lee lead the Phillies to their second consecutive World Series, albeit a loss.

The plot twist came long after the season was over. It was first reported in early December that the Phillies were working on a long-term contract extension with Lee, and he appeared to be open to it, saying that he enjoyed his time with the Phillies. Although, as the month went on, the rumors began to surface that Philadelphia was contemplating trading Lee. Actually, when I first heard this, a friend told me, and we both laughed at the crazy idea. However, it was that same day that Lee was traded to Seattle, and Roy Halladay was in Philly.

What is confusing to the public and sports experts is why the trade was made now. At the trade deadline, when Halladay was passed over for Lee, it was because the Phillies did not want to give up their top pitching prospect, Kyle Drabek. However, when Lee declined working out a long-term deal, the Phillies could not take the chance of losing him in the offseason for nothing. On the other hand, Halladay agreed to an extension before the trade was even completed. So, the deal came, in which the Phillies gave up Drabek, top prospect outfielder, Michael Taylor (who is being traded to Oakland in a seperate deal), and top prospect catcher, Travis D’Arnaud. This was a steep price for the Phillies, but they acquired prospects for Cliff Lee.

New Phillies' prospect, Phillippe Aumont (above), pitching for Team Canada in the 2009 World Baseball Classic.

These prospects are all former first round picks, starting with reliever Phillippe Aumont, outfielder Tyson Gillies, and pitcher J.C. Ramirez. This group of prospects is widely regarded as worse than what the Phillies gave up, but just what Philadelphia may need. Above all, Aumont is a 6’7″ reliever who throws hard. If he has a good spring, Aumont could definitely find himself a spot in the Phils’ bullpen.

Now that the dust has settled, the Phillies made a trade that will be questioned for probably the next four months. There is no way of telling how this trade will work out, since most of the players in the deal are prospects, and there is no way of telling how Halladay or Lee will perform. It is possible that the Phillies could have created a situation similar to the Johan Santana situation a couple of years ago, in which the Twins had one offer left and were forced to take it. That would’ve enabled Drabek to possibly stay a Phillie, but Lee’s unwillingness forced this trade to happen. As of now, the Mariners look to have won this deal, as they will trot Felix Hernandez and Lee out every five days, but the Phillies may have won it both in the short and long-term. ESPN analyst John Kruk went as far as to predict that Halladay will win the NL Cy Young in 2010. No one knows what will happen, but over the next eleven months, the Phillies may show that trading for Halladay was the right move.

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NFL Season Preview: #26 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Overview: The Bucs were 9-3 and in prime position to make the playoffs at Week 13 of the ‘o8 season. Fumbling down the stretch, Tampa Bay lost their last four games, including an absolute upset to Oakland, to go 9-7 and be eliminated from the playoffs.

Offseason Moves: Tampa Bay, in a surprise move, fired longtime head coach Jon Gruden, and replaced him with Raheem Morris. Sticking with the theme of change, the Bucs let QBs Jeff Garcia and Brian Griese walk, and released WR Joey Galloway, RB Warrick Dunn, and LB Derrick Brooks. In with the new, the Buccaneers drafted QB Josh Freeman in the first round, and traded for TE Kellen Winslow from Cleveland. Of course, Tampa Bay wouldn’t be complete without a quarterback competition, so they signed QB Byron Leftwich and Luke McCown. The Buccaneers also added RB Derrick Ward and LB Angelo Crowell to the mix.

Upcoming Season: The Bucs have made a lot of changes, and a lot will depend on the QB play, and consistency, which is something they had neither of last year. The defense appears to be the strength of this team, but it doesn’t appear that the offense is together yet.

Player to watch: Since I believe that Tampa Bay will not throw QB Josh LeftwichFreeman into the mix right away, look for QB Byron Leftwich to win the job and impress. After being released by the Jaguars, and being the backup for the Steelers, Leftwich showed signs of being him old self. With the starting job in Tampa, and some decent weapons in WR Antonio Bryant and TE Kellen Winslow, Leftwich could have a twenty TD season.

Prediction: 5-11, 4th in NFC South

The Bucs just have too much uncertainty, and are in too tough a division to have a good season. Plus, they play the AFC and NFC East, which easy games are few and far between.

As the deadline passes, many players are finding new homes

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Red Sox first basemen Adam LaRoche to the Braves for first basemen Casey Kotchman: This move was strictly made to free up some money for the Red Sox, and to acquire great defense off their bench in Kotchman. Adam LaRoche now returns to Atlanta, and provides a better offense at first.

Grade : C for Red Sox, C for Braves

Indians’ catcher Victor Martinez to the Red Sox for P Justin Masterson, P Nick Hagadone, and P Bryan Price: The Red SoxVictor Martinezobviously needed another bat to make a legitimate run at the World Series. They got it in catcher/first basemen Victor Martinez. This trade also gives the Sox some versatility. Martinez can catch and spell Jason Varitek every now and then. Victor can also play first, which would slide Kevin Youkilis across the diamond if Mike Lowell continues to hurt. Martinez also provides a switch hitter with power in the middle of the lineup that balances Boston’s order. The Indians received three top prospects in starters Justin Masterson and Nick Hagadone, and a closer in Bryan Price.

Grade: A – for Red Sox, B for Indians

Padres’ pitcher Jake Peavy to the White Sox for P Clayton Richard, P Aaron Poreda, P Dexter Carter, P Adam Russell: In a surprise move, the Padres finally got the injured Peavy to waive his no trade clause, and accepted the White Sox trade. If Peavy comes back this year, this gives the White Sox a great one-two punch in Mark Buehrle and Peavy, and closes the gap between them and the Tigers. The Padres, on the other hand, dumped Peavy’s salary like they had desperately attempted to earlier. They also acquired three top prospects in Richard, who has started 26 games in the Majors this year, Poreda, a 2007 first round pick, and Carter, a thirteenth round pick in 2007. Adam Russell also has some relieving experience in the Majors. These players just add more pieces to the puzzle for San Diego, as they rebuild their team.

Grade : B+ for White Sox, B- for Padres

A’s shortstop Orlando Cabrera to the Twins for SS Tyler Ladendorf: A move that was considered a lock, occurred Friday, as the Twins finally sured up the middle of their infield. The Twins, as many teams have, had a void in their middle infield and filled it with Cabrera. Orlando provides solid defense as well as a bat that can be placed almost anywhere in the lineup. The A’s got prospect Tyler Ladendorf, who was a second round pick in 2008, and who is currently at Single A.

Grade : B for Twins, C for A’s

WashburnMariners’ pitcher Jarrod Washburn to the Tigers for P Luke French and P Mauricio Robles: The Mariners decided they were not in contention this year, and traded away Washburn, in the middle of a career year. This gives the Tigers a great rotation, especially a top three of Justin Verlander, Edwin Jackson, and Washburn. The interesting part of this trade is that the Mariners very well could resign Jarrod Washburn after the season. Washburn has stated that he loves Seattle, and would fit in their picture for next season. As for the players they acquired, French is a rookie this season but has been serviceable thus far. Robles is a top prospect that could be in the Majors in as soon as two seasons.

Grade: B+ for Tigers, B- for Mariners

Orioles’ pitcher George Sherrill to the Dodgers for 3B Josh Bell and P Steve Johnson: The Orioles coveted reliever was sent on his way for a top prospect in third basemen, Josh Bell. Baltimore figured that it will not be a contender for at least another year or two, so they got the best value they could for their closer, which would be the heir apparent to 3B Melvin Mora.

Grade: B for Dodgers, C+ for Orioles

Blue Jays’ third basemen Scott Rolen to the Reds for 3B Edwin Encarnacion, P Josh Roenicke, and P Zach Stewart: Reds GM Walt Jocketty had previously traded for Rolen, and now has done it again. The Reds traded young third basemen Edwin Encarnacion, along with two pitching prospects for Rolen, who is in the midst of his best season since his shoulder injury three seasons ago.

Grade: C+ for Reds, C+ for Blue Jays

Pirates’ pitcher Tom Gorzelanny and P John Grabow to the Cubs for P Kevin Hart and P Jose Ascaino: After getting a Cubs win yesterday, pitcher Kevin Hart received the news that he was traded to the Pirates. Hart and pitcher Jose Ascaino, give the Bucs some more arms to rummage through as they continue to build their team from the bottom up. The Cubs got once fourteen game winner, Tom Gorzelanny, who they believe to be on track again after struggling earlier this season. Chicago also acquired lefty reliever John Grabow, who they will pair with lefty Sean Marshall, for the stretch run.

Grade: B for Cubs, B- for Pirates

Nationals’ first basemen Nick Johnson to the Marlins for P Aaron Thompson: The Nationals dumped salary and injuries to the Florida Marlins today. Johnson, having his seemingly most healthy year, was traded to Florida for a former first round pick in pitcher Aaron Thompson. This move gives the Nats another arm on which to build their franchise. Johnson will give the Marlins a better all around player at first, as well as the versatility to play many different lineups based on match ups.

The Moves Not Made

Halladay: As I said yesterday, Toronto GM over played his hand based on the market, and ended up keeping Roy Halladay. Now he will attempt to deal him in the offseason, at much lesser value. This scenario reminds me very much of what went on with P Johan Santana, almost two years ago.

Gonzalez: In my opinion, the Padres were never going to trade first basemen Adrian Gonzalez. He is relatively young, cheap based on his talents, and someone they can rebuild their team around.

Trade Deadline Winners

Pirates Giants Trade BaseballGiants: The Giants needed offense to even make it a race against the Dodgers, who have the Majors best record. They added two bats, Freddy Sanchez and Ryan Garko. Sanchez is a former batting champion, and Garko had hit 35 home runs the past two seasons. With their already strong pitching, considerably stronger than the Dodgers, the Giants look primed to now challenge Los Angeles for the NL West crown.

Red Sox: Theo Epstein works in curious ways. When all is said and done, the Red Sox walk away from the deadline with Victor Martinez as an insurance policy for Mike Lowell, and a bat in the middle of the lineup. The Sox also gave up relatively little for Martinez, who they will also have for 2010.

Cardinals: The Cardinals got a bat to protect Albert Pujols, and set themselves up for the stretch run with the acquisition of outfielder Matt Holliday. Besides giving up top prospect, Brett Wallace, who had questions surrounding him anyways, the Cards got Holliday for barely anything. Not to mention they acquired red hot Julio Lugo, and versatile Mark DeRosa.

Phillies: Thought to be front runners for Roy Halladay, the Phillies went in and swooped up Cliff Lee for a much lesser price than what Toronto GM J.P. Riccardi was asking for. Lee gives the Phillies one of the best rotations in the NL, and cements them as serious threats to repeat.

Trade Deadline Losers

Athletics: The A’s traded away Matt Holliday and Orlando Cabrera this deadline. The boatload of prospects Oakland walked away with shows that they won’t be players anytime soon.

Indians: Although I liked the prospects the Indians acquired in both the Cliff Lee and Victor Martinez deals, you can’t trade last year’s Cy Young Award winner and the best catcher in baseball, and be considered a better team.

Blue Jays: Now that they haven’t traded Halladay, his value will go way down. One GM has even been quoted as saying that his value would drop 30-40%. Good luck getting what you ask for now J.P.