Posts Tagged ‘ Free Agency ’

Winter Meetings are here, Christmas come early?

This time last season, the Oakland Athletics began what many thought of as a fire sale. Trading off many of their best assets for prospects, those assets included the likes of Gio Gonzalez, Trevor Cahill, and Andrew Bailey.

The trades, while seemed very drastic at the time, brought back a deep haul of prospects which helped the A’s restock their farm system and rebuild their team for the future. Now that was the expected, the unexpected was that the A’s would be anywhere close to competing for a playoff spot in the near future. Well this past season, they shocked the world, including winning 6 straight to steal the division from the Texas Rangers.

Back in the present, we are now on the cusp of this years Winter Meetings. Last year there were some huge splashes that came out of this week, the Angels signing Albert Pujols and CJ Wilson and the Marlins beginning their famous spending spree. What sort of splash can we look forward to seeing next?

We have already seen the Blue Jays become contenders from the 12 player trade they pulled off with the Miami Marlins. But we need to remember something, contenders are NOT made in the offseason. Especially considering that Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle were both signed last season  with hopes of turning the Marlins into contenders. We all saw how that ended up.

The Blue Jays aren’t the only team to have made a splash this offseason. David Wright inked a 7 year extension with the Mets along with the Red Sox signing Mike Napoli to a 3 year deal this morning. While the Mike Napoli deal is a great deal for the Red Sox, I can’t say the same for David Wright. They ended up giving him $122 million over 7 years, a huge over payment for a player whose power numbers have declined as of late, regardless if they moved the fences in last season and he had a great season.

But arguably the biggest free agents on the block are Josh Hamilton and Zach Greinke. Why they are the most coveted, I can not begin to explain to you. Both have had rocky on and off field issues, and are looking for a long term deal. While they are both the most talented free agents, they come with baggage. But are they worth the money really? That is yet to be determined. But what I can tell you, is they are not worth the long term deal they are asking for.

Well, the Winter Meetings are here. I am excited to see what is in store for the A’s and the rest of MLB. I hope the A’s can make some sort of splash to stay in contention, just nothing as drastic as last year. Because this time last year I was very worried about the future. But hey, in Billy Beane we trust!

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The Calm Before the Storm that is NBA Free Agency

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It’s been 2 year since Lebron took his talents to South Beach, and around a week before that free agency period began there were a flurry of deals rumored, which all came to fruition a week later. Well 2 years later, just as much madness is going down. While no player is planning a free agency announcement special, some big names are bouncing around and even one huge superstar is rumored to be on his way out of town, but where will he go?

With the NBA Draft in the rear view mirror and the beginning of the NBA Free Agency period set to begin, let’s re-visit some of the rumblings and bumblings that have taken place so far. What is more interesting is the NBA’s free agency period isn’t supposed to start until July 11th, but many big name stars are already rumored to be changing uniforms through new deals or through trades.

In what so far is the biggest move of the offseason, Joe Johnson (who might I add recently signed a max deal for $126 million) was traded to the Brooklyn Nets for Jordan Farmar, Johan Petro, Anthony Morrow and Jordan Williams along with DeShawn Stevenson (via sign-and-trade) and a future first first-round pick (lottery-protected in 2013 via Houston) to Atlanta. This trade is the beginning of the revamping of the team formerly known as the New Jersey Nets who already seem to be using their New York influence to pull off trades and entice free agents to come to Brooklyn. Even though Johnson is owed $90 million left on his contract, this helps turn Brooklyn into a bonafide contender, adding a scorer to Deron Williams, who recently stated he would be resigning with the Nets as well. The Nets were somehow able to even resign Gerald Wallace who had opted out of his contract at the end of the season. Now the tables are set for the Nets to make one more big splash and try and acquire Superman. But do they have the remaining pieces to pull off a deal for Dwight Howard? He has said he would sign an extension in Brooklyn, but will this deal happen remains to be seen. But like 2 years ago, will we now see a new flurry of Brooklyn bandwagon fans like we saw with the Heat 2 summers ago?

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Speaking of Dwight Howard, it seems Hollywood might still be in the cards for him. The Lakers, via sign and trade with the Phoenix Suns, acquired Steve Nash for 2 future first round picks and 2 future second round picks. The picks alternate each of the next 4 years, first rounder in 2013, second round in 2014, and so on. A first glance you say Nash? To LA? He’s 38 years old! But he also averaged a double double last season and led the NBA in assists, oldest man to do it 3 years running. He instantly makes that team much better since they haven’t had a point guard this good since, EVER. Now that they have a point guard, could the Lakers re-engage the Magic in talks for a Andrew Bynum for Howard swap? We know the Lakers are in a win now situation by acquiring Nash, and acquiring a big man like Howard is a once ina  generational thing. Plus he would fall in the line of the next great Laker centers behind Shaq, Wilt, Kareem. But do the Lakers really want to give up on Bynum? It’s all about a long term standpoint. Once Kobe retires, who would they rather have as the face of the team? And there is deinfinite specualtion that Howard wants to go to Hollywood, which would make him a true celebrity and give him the best chance at winning a title. Who knows. It could definitely happen.

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It other smaller, but still noteworthy moves. It appears Lin-sanity is headed to Houston. He is rumored to be signing a huge offer sheet with the Houston Rockets. A back-loaded deal which should pay him around $28 million over the life of the contract. Huge for this kid who this time last year barely had a position on an NBA team. Shows you what a month of balling in the NBA gets you along with hard-work and perseverance. Good luck to the kid in the future! Lin’s former team, the Knicks meanwhile added Jason Kidd. Great idea, love where their head is at, but Kidd is aging fast and yes they need a point guard to dish to Chandler and Carmelo, but couldn’t they find a better option. I just have a hard time figuring out how they have such a hard time attracting free agents. Its NEW YORK CITY! Maybe just the fact they are cursed and haven’t won a title in so long or the fact that management is so wishy-washy over the years. Who knows but the appeal of that arena is one of a kind. Jason Terry, one of Kidd’s former teammates is headed to Boston on a 3 year pact, looking to add some shooting firepower to the Celtics who look to be losing Ray Allen. But the Celtics should be fine, considering they are getting back Garnett for a few years along with the return of Jeff Green who is recovering from heart surgery.

Free agency begins next Wednesday July 11th, will there be more madness? Dwight Howard is rumored to go many places but will it actually happen or is it all talk. Who knows. All I know is I will be ready when it happens, however it happens, just to enjoy the entertainment that is NBA Free Agency.

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