To Buy or Sell: Red Sox In Unusual Dilemma

Although the past few seasons have not felt like normal “Red Sox” seasons to the 21st century Red sox fan (i.e. long playoff runs, or even a post-season victory), the 2012 edition of the hometown team finds itself in a place that the organization has not been in for quite a long time.  Mediocrity. Blame it on poor attitudes, injuries, new management, or any other reason, the fact is the 2012 Boston Red Sox have been a .500 ball club for the past 4 months.  In other cities or other situations a team stuck in the middle pack of the standings would instantly look to shop their current assets for future investments.  In places like Cleveland or Oakland, a .500 record would instantly mean trading big league talent or expiring contracts for upcoming prospects, bringing a sense of excitement for the future of these small market towns.  However, for numerous reasons, no matter what the record of the Red Sox is come July 31, 2012, this team will not become sellers at the deadline.

The first reason to not expect the Sox trading pieces is the new rules wild card rules implemented by Major League Baseball for this season.  Unlike the recent playoff structure of having three division winners and one wild card team in each leagues playoffs, Bud Selig has added another wild card spot along with an added one game playoff between the two non-division winners.  This idea was to provide more teams with the belief that they were contenders, and to guarantee scenarios like last year, when the playoff seeding was decided on the final day of the season.  With an added spot in October baseball available, the Sox are of the belief that they are and still will be in contention throughout the season.  As of July 18th the Red Sox were one game back in the wild card race.  After all that this Sox team has gone through this season, the fact that they are still involved in the playoff picture has to give the ownership a belief of optimism.

That leads to the next reason why this team wont be a seller; the ownership.  There is no chance this ownership group will ever let the Red Sox be sellers.  Its gotten to the point where this group cares more about the stupid sellout streak then the performance of the actual ball club.  There has been much talk about how they have finagled many of the most recent “sellouts” either by fixing the numbers or offering dollar tickets at the door, but all that talk would be nullified if the Sox started to deal players from their roster.  How does this ownership group expect to fill seats if they give off the idea that they are giving up on the season by selling at the deadline.  Its just something that isn’t likely with what we know about this ownership group.

The final reason why the Red Sox wont be sellers at the trade deadline, and maybe the most important, is the value that their current players would bring back on the open trade market.  The most common names in the absurd rumors recently, whether it be Crawford to the Marlins, or Beckett to anyone would bring back barely ten cents on the dollar. Take Crawford.  This season he has played 3 Major League games due to injury, and last year was a disaster.  He would still have 5+ years and over $100 million dollars owed to him.  He even stated that he “is probably going to need Tommy John surgery”.  Literally no team will be willing to part with respectable prospects for Crawford at this point, making it absurd to think about trading him.  Beckett is still an overpaid, prima donna, who’s 2012 has been a roller coaster to say the least.  Not only would the Sox have to eat a chunk of his contract, they would also receive virtually nothing of substance in return for him.  Further example of this concept was shown by the recent trade of Youk.  Granted it was a trade that needed to happen, but look at what the Sox received:  A “project” guy in Zach Stewart and a player in Brent Lillibridge that the Sox have already designated for assignment.  That is a very likely outcome for many trade scenarios with any of the players that the Sox would look to possibly move.  It would serve the Red sox better to hang on to these players as they represent more value to Boston than any other organization.

Although it may be a popular ideology to blow this edition of the Boston Red Sox in hopes of building a strong contender in the future, there are many factors that will prevent this team being a seller.  Don’t look for the Sox to be trading away major pieces come July 31st because of the new wild card rules, the ownership’s priorities, and the limited return these Red Sox would bring for the future.

Guest Article by Pat Horan. Follow him on twitter @Pathoran1

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Celtics Trade 3 Players and Pick for Courtney Lee

The Celtics are finalizing a trade for Courtney Lee sending Jajuan Johnson, E’Twaun Moore, and Sean Williams to the Houston Rockets. E’Twaun and Sean have non-guaranteed contracts so they will most likely be cut. Johnson has stated that he will demand a trade from the Rockets immediately. Not sure how its going to work out for him, word is the Rockets are really high on him. Honestly, by the way that he has played during the summer league, he should be happy that someone is still high on him.

This is a tough blow for Moore who had said just earlier today that he expected to play the season with the Celtics and was having a great summer league. Everyone will remember his game last year where he put up 16 points in only 18 minutes against the Magic.

With this trade the Celtics roster is really starting to take shape. Props to Danny Ainge for the work that he has done this summer. I am not sure any other GM in the game could have done a better job than he did. He has balanced Celtics in a place where they are title contenders, while also building for the future.

Terrence Boyd USA National Striker Bicycle Kick

 

The reactions and the ability to think of something like that off of a rebound are unbelievable. At 21 this kid has such a bright future. Better than Henry’s goal yesterday? You decide

Options for Filling out the Roster

Player Position Height Weight DOB From Years
Brandon Bass F 6’8 250 4/30/1985 LSU 7
Avery Bradley G 6’2 180 11/26/1990 Texas 2
Kevin Garnett  F 6’11 253 5/19/1976 Farragut Academy HS (IL) 17
JaJuan Johnson F 6’10 221 2/8/1989 Purdue 1
Kris Joseph F 6’7 210 12/17/1988 Syracuse R
Fab Melo C 7’0 255 6/20/1990 Syracuse R
E’Twaun Moore G 6’4 191 2/28/1989 Purdue 1
Paul Pierce – (C) F 6’7 235 10/13/1977 Kansas 14
Rajon Rondo G 6’1 171 2/22/1986 Kentucky 6
Jared Sullinger F 6’9 260 3/4/1992 Ohio State R
Sean Williams F-C 6’10 235 9/13/1986 Boston College 4
Jamar Smith G 6’3 185 Illinois

The Celtics will probably look to add a few more players before training camp. Jamar Smith signed with the Celtics last week but it would likely be a training camp invite and not a full season guarantee. Look for the Celtics to sign a few more players from their summer league squad such as Dionte Christmas. Also previously mentioned are the potential signings of Carlos Delfino or Courtney Lee, but they both do not look promising based on the current cap situation of the Celtics, most likely you are going to see them resign Pietrus and hopefully sign Christmas to a contract. Also they may bring back Keyon Dooling for the veterans minimum as he was a big part of the locker room and gave them a lift in the playoffs.

Celtics Interested in Delfino?

The Celtics are pursuing options talking to Carlos Delfino. After exhausting all options to doing a sign and trade with the Mavericks for Jason Terry, they ended up using their Mid-Level Exception. This only leaves the Celtics with the bi-annual exception which amounts roughly to $1.9 million per year. Unless Courtney Lee wants to take a contract under his market price, he is likely out of the Celtics price range. So the Celtics have started to look at Delfino.

Here’s a little background on Delfino

Height: 6’6″          Weight: 230         NBA Experience: 7 years, drafted 1st Rd Det 2003

  • Been consistently around 10 points a game and around 1.3 steals per game for the past 4 years.
  • Suffered from concussion problems last year
  • One of the better rebounding players at his position

On ESPN.com John Hollinger gives the scouting report of Delfino

+ Mellow, solidly built wing who likes corner 3-point shot. Rebounding tailed off.

+ Good handle and court vision but no burst or explosiveness. Runs floor well.

+ Solid defender. Average mobility but big for position with great hands.

Thierry Henry: Showing he still has the Magic in him

 

Thierry Henry showing he still has it with his first goal since April 28th. If this isn’t goal of the week for the MLS then I don’t know what is. This might be my second favorite goal of the season, behind the strike from Lee Nguyen earlier. Playing in only 13 games this season Henry has 10 goals, which is good for 3rd in the league. He likely will not catch Chris Wondolowski who is looking to smash the all time scoring record this year with 18 goals in 18 games so far. The record if anyone was wondering is held by Roy Lassiter with 27. And if anyone is wondering the Revs are being led by Saer Sene with 8 goals.

 

Celtics to Sign Terry Using MLE

The Celtics GM Danny Ainge announced yesterday that the Celtics were going to sign Jason Terry using the Mid-Level Exception.  The signing of Terry is no surprise as he has already been introduced to the Boston media and has said that the is going to do everything that he can to help the Celtics win banner 18.

 

“If they need me to wash the uniforms or sweep the floors, whatever role Doc [Rivers] wants me to play, I’m here to do it at 100 percent and I’ll give it my all,” Terry said. “That’s what I’ve done my whole career. Whatever it takes to win, whatever puts us in the best position to win these games and win a championship is what I’ll be doing.”

They had tried to maneuver a sign-and-trade with the Mavericks to save the MLE to potentially use on another player such as the Rockets Courtney Lee. The Celtic’s could not find a third team to facilitate the sign-and-trade and the Mavericks signing of O.J. Mayo basically ended the talks. This means that the Celtics would have to offer the Rockets players and picks to acquire Lee as they can only fill out the rest of their roster with minimum contracts.

NHL Locking Out?

The NHL’s current Collective Bargaining Agreement expires in just less than two months.  So far, the players like what they are getting, but the owners want more.  The rich trying to get richer, sound familiar? (See NBA/NFL negotiations). The last report shows that the players would make 46% of the revenue for the league, when they made 57% last season. Contracts would also be limited to 5 years in the new proposal.  This is a big difference seeing as Zach Parise and Ryan suter both just signed 13 year deals with the Wild, worth $98 million each.

This sucks. Hockey is just becoming very popular again, especially after the playoffs of the past few seasons.  They already cancelled the 2004-05 season, due to negotiating problems. Commissioner Gary Bettman is actually a pretty decent guy, especially compared to NBA commissioner David Stern.  He said openly that he sees the players as 50-50 partners with the owners.

Since the season is starting on October 11 (hopefully), there isn’t all that much time to get things done.  All we need is another lockout to ruin yet another sport.

NBA Round Up

Jeremy Lin

The Knicks have until 11:59 tonight to match the Rockets offer to new sensation Jeremy Lin. Many Imagefans would probably say that New York would be crazy not to sign Lin after last season, but there’s a lot more to the story. They were ready to match the $25.1 million offer until they saw that the third year offer was worth $14.8 million. This would mean that they would have been over the line for the luxury tax and would have to pay an excess of $43 million dollars for the 2014-15 season. This isn’t bad for Lin seeing as he made under $800k last year.

The Knicks have now signed Raymond Felton who was part of a deal that brought Carmelo Anthony to New York just a few seasons ago.  So it seems as though Lin will be going back to the team that only kept him around for two weeks of training camp last season.

Howard talks Getting Annoying

There has been speculation that Dwight Howard’s agent and the Lakers have been talking about a trade that would bring the big man to Los Angeles, while Andrew Bynum goes to Houston, and Orlando gets some young players and picks.  However, Howard said that he would only sign with the Nets for a long term contract, so that might change the Lakers minds.

Jason Kidd fitting in in The Big Apple

ImageAfter leaving Dallas where he could probably drive around in fields and not be seen, Jason Kidd has been charged with refusing a breathalyzer at the scene of a crash and failure to stop, just days after being traded to the New York Knicks. His escalade hit a telephone pole and ended up in the woods. Probably should have called for a cab and paid the 10 bucks after you just inked a deal for over $10 million.

The Mavericks Sign Mayo

O.J. Mayo, who averaged 12.6 PPG off the bench last season with the Grizzlies, has signed a contract with the Mavs. He will most likely be the starting Shooting Guard for them, seeing as he averaged over 17 points in both seasons as a starter before moving to the bench the last two seasons.  If not, he can have Jason Terry’s old role as the sixth man now that Terry has signed with the Celtics.

Pats-Welker Cant Agree, Will Play Season with Franchise Tag

The New England Patriots and Wes Welker could not come to an agreement yesterday. He will play the next season at a 1 year contract worth $9.5 million. Now that the deadline has passed, the Patriots cannot renegotiate with Welker until after the season is over.

Other notable players such as Ray Rice (5 years $40 Million) and Matt Forte (4 years $32 Million) struck deals just before the deadline yesterday, getting the payday they deserved.

Welker, with 330 catches in the past three years, wasn’t as lucky.  He had earlier signed the franchise tender to show the Patriots faith, but by doing so may have cornered himself. The Patriots felt no reason to sign a 31 year old reciever who has previously torn his ACL to a long term contract when they have him for this season. Whether they will franchise him again next year, sign him to a longer contract, or just let him go remains to be seen.

I would have liked to see the Patriots sign Welker to a 3 year deal totally anywhere from $24-28 million. That would have been around the same contract that they gave to Randy Moss. Reward him for always being true to the Patriots and the hard work that he has given them. If he plays well anyways they are going to be on the hook for over $11 million to franchise him again, or give him a new three year contract. This just doesn’t seem to make much sense from the Patriots standpoint, unless they are counting Welker to have a down year.