Thursday, August 3, 2017

Early 2018 Red Sox Plans

It's been awhile since I last wrote about baseball. I've been on a Celtics kick this years, as well as wrestling. I'm back with baseball however and it's about the good old Red Sox. Currently the Red Sox sit in first place in the AL East but only by half a game. They only made one big move at the trade deadline but boy has it been a good one. They brought over Eduardo Nunez from the Giants and he is currently batting .500. They also called up top prospect Rafael Devers, who has also better than expected. There is however plenty of concern about the rest of the season. I have faith that they will keep first place and make a deep playoff run. The offseason has many question though. What do they do about extensions for Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley? Who's going to play first base? Do they need bullpen help? Then the big one, what to do with David Price? We'll start with Price because that could lead to everything else being solved.
David Price has been disappointing and a bad teammate to say the least. He has a large contract and it would be tough to move him. I do have an idea however. Package Price with Eduardo Rodriguez, Sam Travis and Michael Chavis for Freddie Freeman of the Braves and a player to be named later. Possibly throwing in an extra prospect or Brock Holt or a bullpen arm. With the Braves mainly using Matt Adams at first base and their desperate need for pitching, that could make it easier to part with him. Freeman would bring a big left-handed power bat that the Sox desperately need. He easily would slot right into the cleanup spot. He is also under contract until 2022. That would solve two big problems for the Red Sox.
Next is the bullpen. To me that's simple. Just wait until next year. With Craig Kimbrel and Joe Kelly already dominating, they will add Carson Smith and Tyler Thornburg who are both fantastic strikeout pitchers. Add a solid Matt Barnes, lefties Robbie Ross and Robby Scott and long reliever Brandon Workman and you have potentially the best bullpen in baseball.
That brings us to the extensions. This should be fairly easy. Mookie Betts is the Red Sox MVP so I'd give him the best deal, likely a seven year contract. Bradley and Bogaerts are great as well but aren't quite at his level. I'd say each get five year deals with Xander getting slightly more money. For Jackie I believe that there should be incentives in his contract for if he wins the Gold Glove.
Now with the big problems all fixed up there may be slight issue with the rotation. Chris Sale is the number one but Porcello and Pomeranz are both number three pitchers in my opinion. While that's not bad I believe an extra arm will help. That's when they sign hometown boy Alex Cobb of the Rays. Cobb is 28 and plus pitcher. He has a good strikeout rate, a plus ERA and a solid WHIP. All of those make him quite enticing. Plus since he's from Boston that could be an incentive to sign for less money. A four or five year deal should be perfect.
Everything should look like this
Batting order
  1. Mookie Betts
  2. Andrew Benintendi
  3. Dustin Pedroia
  4. Freddie Freeman
  5. Hanley Ramirez
  6. Rafael Devers
  7. Xander Bogaerts
  8. Christian Vasquez
  9. Jackie Bradley
  1. Chris Sale
  2. Alex Cobb
  3. Drew Pomeranz
  4. Rick Porcello
  5. Steven Wright/Brian Johnson/Jalen Beeks
  1. Craig Kimbrel (CL)
  2. Joe Kelly
  3. Carson Smith
  4. Tyler Thornburg
  5. Robbie Ross
  6. Matt Barnes
  7. Robby Scott
  8. Brandon Workman
  1. Brock Holt
  2. Sandy Leon
  3. Rusney Castillo/Bryce Brentz
If you ask me that's an elite Red Sox team not seen since 2003-2004. Being able to bat Devers sixth take a lot of pressure off a 21 year old. Rusney Castillo has been great in AAA and I believe he can translate that to the big leagues now being a solid situational bat. If Steven Wright comes back the way he was last year he could easily be the number two on the staff. If not both Brian Johnson and Jalen Beeks look ready to take that spot. 

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Building a Pacer Super Team

The Indiana Pacers were swept out of the playoffs by the Cavaliers, leading to a lot of offseason questions. How will Larry Bird's exit affect them in both the long and short term? Do they trade Paul George and rebuild? Or do they build a super team? I've come up with a crazy yet realistic way to make them a super team.
The first step is not trading Paul George. Despite the fact that George can opt out after next season, the Pacers should bet on him staying. He's one of the best two way players in the NBA and one of the few people who have had some success guarding LeBron. So keeping Paul George is a must.
Second is signing Kyle Lowry. The Raptors were also swept by the Cavaliers and they may face even more uncertainties than the Pacers. Kyle Lowry is one of them. The Pacers should jump at the chance to sign him. With all the surprisingly good contracts on the books they have enough to offer a max contract to Lowry. With Lowry they have a Point Guard they have a player who can take pressure off Paul George, shoot 3s at a high percentage and assist as well as Jeff Teague. If my information is correct Lowry will cost between 26 million and 30 million. The Pacers have about 36 million to play with.
The third step is doing a sign and trade with the Clippers for Blake Griffin. Now this sounds like it would be impossible given that they just signed Kyle Lowry to a max deal. That's why it has to be a sign and trade. The Clippers are in need of an overhaul and Griffin, in my opinion is the odd man out. The Clippers need more of a stretch 4 with DeAndre Jordan on the team. Plus they intend to sign Chris Paul to a max contract as well. So I have the Pacers packaging Thaddeus Young, Monta Ellis and next years 1st Round Pick for Blake Griffin. Young and Ellis is would add up to about 26 million of the 30 million needed to acquire Blake Griffin on a max contract. They Pacers can either dip into the little money they have left or decline Lavoy Allen's 4.3 million team option. I'm going with declining Allen's option for now. I may change my opinion. Why would the Clippers take on that salary though? So that they can slip Ellis to the Knicks in a package for Carmelo Anthony.
The final step is filling out the roster. C.J, Miles is a very important part of the roster, but he has a player option for 4.7 million. Miles had a great season as the sixth man for the Pacers, so I believe he can make much more money on the open market. If the Pacers explain the plan and ask him to stay he just might. Waiting on Miles decision will determine their next move. If Miles stays, I have the Pacers drafting a Point Guard like Juwan Evans or Andrew Jones to backup Lowry and having Glenn Robinson start at Shooting Guard. If Miles leaves, I have them drafting Luke Kennard and having him start. If they draft Kennard I think they should re-sign Aaron Brooks or Rodney Stuckey to a veterans minimum. Then they can pair with Lance Stephenson off the bench. Either way they will have 13 players on the roster.
The team should look something like this.
  1. Kyle Lowry
  2. Glenn Robinson
  3. Paul George
  4. Blake Griffin
  5. Myles Turner
  1. Evans/Jones
  2. Lance Stephenson
  3. C.J. Miles
  4. Kevin Seraphin
  5. Al Jefferson
  1. Rakeem Christmas
  2. Joe Young
  3. Georges Niang
Or it will look like this.
  1. Kyle Lowry
  2. Luke Kennard
  3. Paul George
  4. Blake Griffin
  5. Myles Turner
  1. Brooks/Stuckey
  2. Lance Stephenson
  3. Glenn Robinson
  4. Kevin Seraphin
  5. Al Jefferson
  1. Rakeem Christmas
  2. Joe Young
  3. Georges Niang
The Pacers may want to add one or two more veterans to sure up the roster but I think they should keep it like this. Now doing all this will risk them losing Paul George after next season. However it is a risk worth taking because if they lose him then Kennard and Turner will take up a bigger offense role and they can signing a cheaper defensive small forward. Can this team beat the Cavs and Warriors? I'm going with absolutely.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Celtics Trade for Carmelo Anthony

The latest rumor in the Carmelo Anthony drama has the Celtics linked to the All-Star forward. At the trade deadline Anthony was seemingly willing to waive his no-trade clause because of the tension between him and Phil Jackson. Boston was linked to him then as well. Boston General Manager was not willing at the time to trade significant role players or draft picks to the Knicks, despite Boston's coaching staff's desire to acquire him. Now with the playoffs in full effect and the offseason looming, the rumor is back. Should the Celtics trade for Carmelo though? That is genuinely a tough question. If the Celtics do trade for him, neither of Brooklyn's draft picks would be involved. That doesn't seem to be a big issue due to New York's desire to move on from Carmelo. The Celtics would however have to trade Jaw Crowder and likely Terry Rozier or Marcus Smart. My proposed trade is Jae Crowder, Terry Rozier, two 2nd Round Picks and sign and trade Kelly Olynyk for Carmelo Anthony and Willy Hernangomez. New York will be wary of trading Hernangomez but with bad contract of Joakim Noah and the desire to move Carmelo they will likely give in.
Financially this should work out and give the Celtics room to sign their stash players and their 1st Round Pick. RealGM estimates the Celtics max cap space will be around 35 million. Max cap space being after renouncing rights to free agents and waiving non guaranteed contracts. Carmelo is making around 26 million next season and Hernangomez about 1.5 million. That gives the Celtics about 7.5 million to play with plus the 7 million moved to New York from Jaw Crowder and 1.5 million from Terry Rozier. That leaves Boston about 16 million before signing their picks. If the Celtics get the number 1 overall pick that will cost about 6 million. Signing Guerschon Yabusele would be around 2.5 million, Ante Zizic about 2 million and Abdel Nader about 1 million. That doesn't leave much left but the can use their room exception to bring back Gerald Green and keep Demetrius Jackson and Jordan Mickey instead of waiving them. The Celtics will likely have to add one more veteran player to help develop and take the pressure off the young players, They'll have a room exception so that likely won't be a problem.
The Celtics team would look something like this.
  1. Isaiah Thomas
  2. Avery Bradley
  3. Carmelo Anthony
  4. Al Horford
  5. Willy Hernangomez
  1. Marcus Smart
  2. Markelle Fultz
  3. Jaylen Brown
  4. Guerschon Yabusele
  5. Ante Zizic
  1. Gerald Green
  2. Abdel Nader
  3. Jordan Mickey
  4. Demetrius Jackson
Carmelo brings a player who can create his own offense, scoring multiple ways and play small ball. He also takes a lot of pressure off Isaiah Thomas. Hernangomez brings desperately needed rebounding and post presence. On the negative side Carmelo can be streaking and isn't as good of a defender as Jae Crowder. Carmelo does however bring a the veteran leadership and a desire to win that Boston needs.  So should the Celtics trade for Carmelo? I say yes.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Making the Boston Celtics a Super Team...Now!

It's trade season and the rumors are starting to heat up. The Celtics are seemingly connected to most of the rumors. With their assets, expiring contracts and flexibility it's time for them to build the next super team. There are two big trades that I'm proposing to make them the new team to beat.
First let's begin with Jimmy Butler. If the rumors are to be believed then Butler is on the block and the Celtics are the most likely to acquire him. I have the Celtics sending Jae Crowder, Marcus Smart, Amir Johnson and their 2017 1st Round Pick for Butler. Remember the Celtics have the rights to swap with Brooklyn and Brooklyn has the highest chance to win the lottery currently. Now the Bulls may need more in return so the Celtics could always send a pair of 2nd Round Picks or one of their stash players. Bringing in Butler would elevate the Celtics to the second best team in the East, moving them past the Raptors. Moving Smart and Crowder would free up playing time for Terry Rozier and Gerald Green as well. When Rozier plays more than 20 minutes he's averaging over 8 points and 4 rebounds. As for Green, since his been getting more playing time he's been averaging around 10 points in only about 12 minutes. Give them both 20 plus minutes off the bench and they'll be a great backcourt second unit.
The other trade is for Paul Millsap. Now I'm going to be honest but I'm wary of pairing Millsap and Horford together again. I really like Horford playing Power Forward and the pairs rebounding was a problem against the Cavs in Eastern Conference finals. With Butler and Bradley averaging career highs in rebounding I believe they can make up for the pair. Anyways, acquiring Millsap won't cost nearly as much as Butler. Sending Jaylen Brown, Jonas Jerebko and the Nets 2018 pick should be enough. I think the Celtics should throw in Demetrius Jackson in order to also acquire Thabo Sefolosha. With Brown going to the Hawks, the Celtics will need a backup Small Forward. Sefolosha's defense and rebounding will play great with the Celtics style. As for Millsap, I believe he is the second best defensive Power Forward in the game only behind Draymond Green. The difference is he is a better offensive player. With Bradley, Butler and Horford the Celtics have four of the best two-way players starting for them.
The Celtics should look like this after the trades.
  1. Isaiah Thomas
  2. Avery Bradley
  3. Jimmy Butler
  4. Paul Millsap
  5. Al Horford
  1. Terry Rozier
  2. Gerald Green
  3. Thabo Sefolosha
  4. Jordan Mickey
  5. Kelly Olynyk
  1. Tyler Zeller
  2. James Young
  3. Abdel Nader
With Isaiah Thomas becoming, in my opinion one of the top 5 players this season leading the offense, this Celtics team would soar past the Cavs and become the best team in the East and maybe the NBA.