Category Archives: trade rumors

Could the Hornets trade Lance Stephenson?

Lance Stephenson Charlotte Hornets trade funny nbaAs many of you know, I’ve been a vocal fan of Lance Stephenson since he was drafted by the Indiana Pacers. I would champion his skills and wonder why he was sitting at the end of the bench. He then took Dahntay Jones’ spot and went on to fill-in for an injured Danny Granger. He took advantage of the opportunity and should have been an All-Star last season.

Stephenson left Indiana and signed a nice deal with the Charlotte Hornets. He hasn’t quite fit in with Charlotte and they find themselves near the bottom of the Eastern Conference. Michael Jordan did not expect last year’s 7th seed to fail this bad.

On December 15th, NBA teams can officially trade players they signed this offseason. With all the drama surrounding the situation in Charlotte, could Stephenson have a new home before the end of the calendar year?

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2014 NBA Mock Draft: Who Will be #1?

Joel Embiid 2014 NBA Mock Draft Cleveland CavaliersNow that the NBA season is over, let’s focus on the NBA Draft. I personally think the NBA Draft is the best draft in any major sport. There’s usually more trades, the impact of these rookies is usually felt immediately and it doesn’t go on and on like the NFL Draft.

You will begin to hear a lot of rumors about what’s wrong with these prospects. You rarely hear anything positive until a day or two before the draft. Teams know how to leak information to attempt to hurt a player’s draft stock. It’s all smoke and mirrors at this point.

I try to forge through the piles of trash out there and give you where I think the player will be drafted. I personally wouldn’t draft a few of these players in the lottery, but it’s the NBA and there are a lot of bad General Managers in the league.

Here is my 2014 NBA Mock Draft for the first round.

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Chicago Cubs: Trade Candidates

Jeff Samardzija Trash 'Stache Chicago Cubs MLB Trade Rumors FunnyWe are a quarter into the 2014 MLB season and the Chicago Cubs are already playing for the 2016 season (yes, not even 2015).

Their farm system is deep, but lacks pitching. They have bats for days (Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Jorge Soler) and have used their high draft picks on position players. I assume they will draft a starting pitcher with the #4 overall pick in the 2014 MLB Amateur Draft, since they desperately need a future ace.

The Cubs currently have a handful of players that contenders would love to have down the stretch.

There is one player specifically that has been the focus of nearly ever Cubs trade rumor, Jeff Samardzija.

Which Cubs players are currently on the trading block? We will list the most likely trade candidates and any players the Cubs have their eye on in return.

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MLB Trade Rumors: Dempster, Garza, Grienke & More

The MLB non-waiver trade deadline is less than a week away. The rumors are swirling and the buyers and sellers are yet to be set in stone. The extra wild-card spot has generated more buyers this year.

The NL Central bottom dwellers are destined to be the most active sellers. The Houston Astros have already made a few deals and the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs are the teams who have the most rumored marquee players on the trading block.

Can Chicago finally find a few home for Ryan Dempster? Will the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers acquire pitching help?

Here are the latest MLB trade rumors gaining the most traction.

– The Dodgers have a leg up on the competition to acquire Dempster. Chicago has asked for minor-league pitcher Allen Webster. If Los Angeles don’t want to part with him, they have Zack Grienke and Josh Johnson in their sights.

– Grienke’s list of suitors keeps growing as Milwaukee keeps losing games. Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Angels, Texas Rangers, and Chicago White Sox all occupy that list. Atlanta and Texas have the best top-tier prospects, but Grienke would have to agree to sign an extension if Milwaukee hopes to get the maximum return for him.

– Josh Johnson is another pitcher on many teams’ wishlist. The Miami Herald doesn’t believe a deal will happen unless they get an offer too good to turn down. They have already dealt Hanley Ramirez to the Dodgers, so anything is possible.

– The Cincinnati Reds are looking to acquire a speedy outfielder. The Minnesota Twins’ Denard Span and Philadelphia Phillies’ Juan Pierre are their top trade targets. Span has more tools than Pierre, but would cost more. The Washington Nationals are rumored to be looking at Span as well, so a small bidding war could take place.

– The Twins hot and cold starter, Francisco Liriano, could land on the team who loses out on the Garza, Dempster, and Grienke sweepstakes. The St. Louis Cardinals, Washington, Texas and both Los Angeles teams are rumored to be scouting him. He is a high-risk/high-reward player, but a team wouldn’t have to mortgage their future to obtain him.

Matt Garza was supposed to be the belle of this year’s trading deadline, but an average first-half have dulled trade offers. The best rumored offer has been a package from the Dodgers that would include 20-year old pitching prospect Zach Lee. Dempster’s unwillingness to agree a trade to Atlanta has left Chicago in a difficult situation. The Dodgers appear to be his ideal destination, but a Dempster rental won’t haul the level of prospects Chicago covets.

– The Los Angeles Angels are talking to the Tampa Bay Rays about pitchers Wade Davis and James Shields. Davis is a cheaper option and could pitch at the back-end of the rotation or come out of the bullpen.

– The New York Yankees aren’t expected to trade for third base fill-in for Alex Rodriguez. Mark Reynolds and Chone Figgins would have been ideal candidates, but Eric Chavez is expected to take over the everyday role.

– Hoping to stay in the AL East division race, the Baltimore Orioles are hoping to land a mid-rotation starter. They are finding it difficult since every team is asking for top prospects Dylan Bundy and Manny Machado. They are rumored to be shopping prospects Jonathan Schoop and Xavier Avery, but aren’t looking for a pitching rental. Jason Vargas, Joe Blanton, Shaun Marcum, and Liriano are the pitchers rumored to be Baltimore’s trade targets.

– The shortstop trade market is saturated with starter-level talent. Stephen Drew, Yunel Escobar, Marco Scutaro, Jimmy Rollins, Jamey Carroll, Brendan Ryan, and Jed Lowrie are all on the trading block. The Pittsburgh Pirates, Boston Red Sox, Oakland A’s, San Francisco Giants, Tampa Bay, and Milwaukee are all looking for shortstop help. Drew is getting the most interest from Pittsburgh and Boston.

Justin Upton is no longer on the trading block. I didn’t see the Arizona Diamondbacks being serious about trading their franchise player. They just wanted to see what kind of offers were out there.

– Milwaukee could deal Aramis Ramirez before July 31st. He is in the first year of a three-year deal. San Francisco and the Dodgers are in need of third base help. Los Angeles just acquired Hanley Ramirez, but he was a horrible third baseman in Miami.

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Who Will the Cubs Get In Return for Ryan Dempster?

Going into the season, Matt Garza was predicted to be the prize of the trading deadline. He is still a major prize, but Ryan Dempster is the belle of the ball.

Dempster, who currently leads the Majors with a 1.86 ERA, is on the trading block and nearly every team has contacted the Chicago Cubs about acquiring him. He has the right to veto any trade and wants to pitch for a contender.

He is owed nearly $6 million for the rest of the season and the Cubs have said they would pick up most of the money if they receive an upgraded prospect in return.

Dempster has a short-list of teams where he would like to end up. Which teams are on that list and what are the Cubs looking to get in return for him?

FOX Sports is reporting that Dempster pinpointed the Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves as his top destinations. He is rumored to be open to other destinations, which is good for the Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox, and Washington Nationals.

The Cubs have made it clear they want young pitching and/or a third base prospect. These teams will be renting Dempster, since he’s a free agent at the end of the season. If they miss out on him, they will include many of these prospects in hopes of landing Garza.

Who can those teams offer? Let’s take a look at who may be involved.

Detroit Tigers
The Cubs would LOVE to trade Matt Garza, Darwin Barney, and Dempster in a package to Detroit. They would ask for third base prospect Nick Castellanos, top pitching prospect Jacob Turner, and a few other young pitchers from the group of Bruce Rondon, Drew Smyly, Casey Crosby, Andy Oliver, and Brenny Paulino.

Detroit has all the right pieces to trade for any player currently on the Cubs roster.

Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers have been very proactive on trying to acquire Dempster. They are rumored to have a deal currently on the table. No one knows which prospects are in the deal, but pitching is definitely the centerpiece.

The pitching prospects rumored in the deal begins with 20-year old Garrett Gould. He is the prospect most likely to be in the deal. Zach Lee, Nate Eovaldi, Allen Webster, and Chris Reed aren’t as likely to be included, since L.A. thinks too highly of them to part ways.

A group of secondary pitching prospects that could be thrown in could include Aaron Miller, Angel Sanchez, Matt Magill, Chris Withrow, and Ryan O’Sullivan. The Dodgers are also trying to acquire Aramis Ramirez from Milwaukee and Shane Victorino from Philadelphia, so this group could all find new homes by August 1st.

Atlanta Braves
Even though Dempster would like to pitch in Atlanta, I don’t see this deal happening. The Braves were looking hard at Zack Greinke, but Milwaukee’s asking price was too high.

Atlanta is in a bad situation in the present day. They are finding it hard to trade for a veteran pitcher, since every team is asking for their stud pitching prospects in return. The group of Julio Teheran, Arodys Vizcaino and Sean Gilmartin are asked about in nearly every deal. If the Braves want Dempster, they would need to part with someone from that group. Using that reasoning, they could focus on cheaper talent, like Francisco Liriano or Jason Vargas.

Washington Nationals
Washington is in need of a veteran pitcher to fill-in for Stephen Strasburg, since he’s on a innings limit this year. Their farm system isn’t what it used to be. They have already called up most of their top-tier young talent.

Third base prospect Anthony Rendon is the only Nationals prospect in the Top 100 list that the Cubs would be interested in. The only pitching prospects they could include would be second-tier. Alex Meyer, Matt Purke, and Robbie Ray are those pitchers.

Boston Red Sox
The rumor out of Chicago is that Boston is scared to trade with Theo Epstein, because he knows their farm system so well. I would assume that Ryan Lavarnway would be asked about right away. Epstein isn’t sold on Geovany Soto as the long-term catcher for the Cubs. There are big question marks about Lavarnway’s defensive ability behind the plate, but he could be worth the risk.

The pitching prospect cupboard is pretty bare in Boston. Matt Barnes is the best pitcher in their farm system. If the Cubs trade with Boston, Epstein will get the most out of the trade. They may not get the young arms they covet, but other holes will be addressed.

If a mystery team ends up with Dempster, they will have given up a lot to leapfrog these teams.

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Are the Marlins Shopping Giancarlo Stanton?

The MLB trade rumor mill is in full force. Every beat writer conjures up a scenario in which every player could be traded. I think the current trade market is filled with every player in the MLB not named Bryce Harper or Andrew McCutchen.

Giancarlo Stanton found his name on the trading block thanks to ESPN’s Buster Olney (ESPN Insider needed).

The Miami Marlins opened up a beautiful new stadium this season, but currently find themselves at 43-36. They are nine games out in the NL East and six games out of the a Wild Card spot. Things aren’t dire, but they would need to leapfrog many teams to make the playoffs.

Who else is on the trading block on the Marlins? Could another Florida team also be sellers at the trading deadline?

Olney goes on to say that Omar Infante and Josh Johnson could also find themselves on the trading block if the Marlins stumble after the All-Star break.

Stanton is currently on the disabled list with an injured knee. He will be out about a month, so trading him by July 31st could be difficult or nearly impossible. He would be their best trade piece if they decide to completely rebuild, but I believe that Stanton is their franchise player to build around. He is hitting .284 with 19 homers and 50 RBI…on pace for a monster season.

The Marlins had plenty of prospects come through Miami and fizzle out. Dan Uggla, Jeremy Hermida, Josh Willingham, and Mike Jacobs didn’t do a whole lot for the franchise. They currently have Gabby Sanchez, Hanley Ramirez, Anibal Sanchez, and Logan Morrison not living up to their hype. Stanton destroyed the minors and he keeps improving. He’s not a guy you want to give up on.

Johnson has about $20 million left on his contract through the rest of this season and the 2013 season. It is a fair price for a #1 starter, if he can stay healthy. They would get a nice haul for him, especially if he’s traded to a contender with a stocked farm system. The Pittsburgh Pirates, Texas Rangers, or Detroit Tigers would be ideal trade partners, since they have an abundance of top-tier prospects to trade.

Second base is a very shallow position in MLB. Major offensive production from the position is rare these days. Infante is the current prototypical second baseman. He bats around .275 with low double-digit power and steals. He would be a nice stopgap for a team who has no current answer at second. He’s an excellent defensive player with a .989 and .981 fielding percentage the last two seasons.

I contacted Tom Green, the associate reporter for who covers the Miami Marlins, about Miami’s trade rumors. He calms Marlins fans down by saying he “doesn’t see them selling Giancarlo or J.J.”

Heath Bell, Carlos Zambrano, and even newly-acquired Carlos Lee could also find themselves bring shopped at the deadline. Bell is having a disastrous season so far and with Juan Carlos Oviedo (formerly Leo Nunez) coming back from suspension, could find himself booted permanently from the closer role.

At the end of Olney’s blog post, he also mentions that if the Tampa Bay Rays keep sliding, they could also start to reload their team.

It’s hard to pinpoint the players who have a lot of trade value, but Kyle Farnsworth, Jeff Keppinger, and Luke Scott seem like players who are expendable. They wouldn’t get a huge haul, but with the need for bullpen help, Farnsworth would get the most in return.

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Are Trade Rumors Having a Negative Effect on Starlin Castro?

‘America’s White Boy’ has been Starlin Castro Central over the past week. I had an opinion on the latest Chicago Cubs trade rumors that possibly involved Castro and had a post where I compared the current Castro situation to the 1988 trade Rafael Palmeiro.

Castro committed a pretty bad defensive gaffe when he didn’t even attempt a double play because he thought he already recorded the third out of the inning. He held onto the ball and the tying run scored on the play. The Cubs lost 3-2 to the San Francisco Giants.

Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein shot down rumors they were shopping Castro.¬†Trade rumors can affect a person’s confidence even when they are not involved in the rumor.

What is the best way to deal with his lack of concentration? Is benching him the right answer?

Cubs manager Dale Sveum hinted that Castro could see himself out of the lineup tonight against the Milwaukee Brewers. Sveum has been vocal when the 22-year old has made a mistake and even called his last error “unacceptable.”

This wasn’t the only lapse in concentration that Castro has committed recently. He pulled up on a steal attempt because he thought Joe Mather had fouled off the pitch. Mather didn’t make contact and Castro was caught in a rundown. He had a problem last season when Bobby Valentine, current manager of the Boston Red Sox and former ESPN baseball analyst, criticized him for not being set defensively when the pitcher threw the ball. Castro had his back to the play and was bashed by the rest of the media after Valentine pointed it out on live television.

Castro has been the only consistent offense for Chicago this year. Bryan LaHair and Alfonso Soriano have been hot at different times, but Castro has batted over .300 since Opening Day.

Chicago has one of the worst records in baseball (18-36) and it isn’t going to get any better this year. They will be openly shopping Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster, Soriano and other players at some point in the season.

Castro needs to look at the team’s struggle as a mental test. Unless you are Derek Jeter, a player isn’t going to be on a winning team every year. If he handles losing poorly, he will not progress in his development. I hope Sveum continues to be hard on him. I believe he deserves to be benched for a couple games, but then openly praised if he comes back playing harder than ever.

The Cubs fans are rooting for you, Starlin. Please lead by example and your teammates will follow.


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Starlin Castro Could Be Next Rafael Palmeiro

Last night, I wrote a post about the trade rumors that surround Starlin Castro. The post was informative with very little opinion. I am usually very opinionated when it comes to the Chicago Cubs. I have been a fan since I was old enough to understand what the hell Harry Caray was saying. I didn’t add much opinion because I was shocked that two high-ranking members of the Cubs organization would tell USA Today’s Bob Nightengale that “everyone but Jeff Samardzija is available.”

Epstein refuted that statement late Thursday to The Sporting News by saying, “Starlin Castro is the type of player we’re looking to build around. There has been no trade consideration with him, whatsoever.”

Epstein’s statement is “sports speak” and politically correct. This is coming from an executive who once traded Nomar Garciaparra in the middle of a pennant race.

I want to point out the similarities to Starlin Castro and Rafael Palmeiro, who the Cubs traded to the Texas Rangers in 1988 when he was a 23-year old. The Cubs received a package of six young prospects. Did I mention the Cubs also traded Jamie Moyer away in the same deal?

There is no doubt that Epstein has an itchy trigger finger. He wants to show Cubs fans that he is there to win.

If Starlin Castro is traded, could he be a part of the next Rafael Palmeiro trade disaster?

Let’s take a look at the organization similarities in 1987-88 and 2011-12.

1987-88: The Cubs fired Dallas Green as the general manager and hired Jim Frey to take over the job. Frey previously worked in the Baltimore, Kansas City, and New York Mets organizations. He even worked under Green as the Cubs manager from 1984-86. He was not married to any player in the organization, especially Moyer and Palmeiro, who both made their professional debuts in ’86…after Frey was fired.

2011-12: Jim Hendry, who had a great beginning to his GM tenure in 2003, fell short in his last few years on the job. After he fired Dusty Baker, he hired Lou Piniella as the team’s savior. He couldn’t do much with the talent. Expectations began to lower and fan frustration was on the rise. Hendry was finally fired after the 2011 season. The Cubs hired former Boston Red Sox’s executive, Theo Epstein as the President of Baseball Operations. He then hired former San Diego Padres GM Jed Hoyer to take over the same position with the Cubs. Neither Epstein or Hoyer have any ties to young talent and/or the veterans on the 25-man roster.

The Cubs situation in both eras are parallel. A change in the front office and the desire to blow up the team and start fresh. Frey was already quite familiar with the Cubs organization. You would think that he would have tried to hold onto Palmeiro and Moyer, but Green acquired those players. Green was the GM who fired Frey and on a personal level, it could have swayed his decision to rid the team of some talent and get back younger players that could help the team in the future. He would get all of the credit for the turnaround.

Let’s take a look at Rafael Palmeiro in 1986-88 and Starlin Castro in 2010-12.

Rafael Palmeiro in 1986-88: He was drafted in the first round of the 1985 amateur draft by the Chicago Cubs. He came up for a short time at the end of the 1986 season and showed plate discipline and a little pop. He was called up in June of 1987 and hit 14 home runs in only 221 at-bats. It was the first sign of his power numbers that he would later hit in his career. He came into the 1988 season as the starting left-fielder and played a little at first base. He hit .307 with eight home runs in 580 at-bats. His power numbers were down but he only struck out 34 times in 152 games. Palmeiro was showing all of his tools, but he only had four. His defense was a glaring hole in his game…the reason Frey used when he traded him in December of 1988.

Starlin Castro in 2010-12: He signed as an amateur free agent in 2006. He played 125 games in 2010 with a line of 3/41/.300. He finished fifth in the Rookie of the Year voting. In 2011, he came into his own and earned his first All-Star selection. He finished the year with a line of 10/66/.307 and had some votes for NL Most Valuable Player. He led the National League in hits with 207 in 2011. So far in 2012, he has a line of 4/32/.317 in 205 at-bats. He has the same questions about his defensive ability as Palmeiro had at the same point in their careers. He committed a total of 56 combined through 2010-11 and has already has 9 errors through the first 50 games in 2012.

If we go back to Nightengale’s piece in the USA Today, the top ranking Cubs official said they would move Castro for “two impact prospects.” I argued that he is only 22-years old and the impact free agents would be roughly his age with less MLB experience and a lower talent-ceiling.

Let’s look at what GM Jim Frey got in return for Moyer, Palmeiro and pitcher Jim Hall in 1988.

The Cubs got back minor leaguers Luis Benitez and Pablo Delgado, pitchers Paul Kilgus, Mitch Williams, Steve Wilson and IF Curtis Wilkerson. At the time, they thought that their return on Moyer and Palmeiro was tremendous. Chicago had a lot of holes and Frey believed they would be a very talented team in the near future.

The pitchers in the deal, Kilgus, Williams and Wilson, were a combined 21-35 during their tenure with the team. Williams was an All-Star in 1989, but began to earn his “Wild Thing” nickname by becoming more unreliable in 1990. The Cubs traded him to the Phillies in 1991 for pitchers Chuck McElroy and Bob Scanlan…both of whom had longer tenures with the Cubs than any pitcher received in the Moyer/Palmeiro deal.

Benitez, Delgado and Wilkerson, the position players in the trade, contributed less than the pitchers. Benitez and Delgado never made it to the Majors with Chicago or any team for that matter. Wilkerson served as a utility player for two seasons. He only contributed one home run and a batting average that hovered near the Mendoza line.

Scouting has advanced greatly since 1988 and the odds of making such a terrible trade is lower. I just wanted to point out the dangers in trading young stars who have had early success in their careers.

Moyer had a winning record in his first season with the Cubs and went on to have a great career. He didn’t pan out for the Rangers during his time with the team, but really began to dominate at the age of 34 with Seattle.

Palmeiro went on to hit 569 homers and over 3,000 hits in his career. He spent the remainder of his career with the Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles. He was suspended at the end of his career for a failed drug test after he testified in front of the U.S. Congress. His career will now be looked at as a result of performance-enhancing drugs.

Starlin Castro has all of the tools that Palmeiro possessed as a 22-year old. The power numbers may not be there or will ever be there, but he is one of the best young talents in the game. Now is not the time to trade him in hopes that the young prospects they would get in return, would turn into…well, Starlin Castro clones?!

Even though Epstein put out the fire by saying that he wasn’t currently shopping Castro, be aware of a statement that he made earlier in the week.

“I never understood why there would ever be an untouchable. All you’re doing is limiting your opportunity”

Brace yourselves Cubs fans, it could be a very long summer.

A Sports & Entertainment blog that focuses on absurdity in sports, snarky banter, updates on Tim Tebow’s virginity, and decent sports gambling advice.