Welker to Test Free Agency : No Deal Imminent

Both the Boston Herald writer Jeff Howe and Adam Schefter have reported that Wes Welker expects the market next week.

Yesterday a source told CSN New England that the Patriots were closing in on a multi-year contract but now that looks like it is not the case.welker

Ultimately, the Patriots want to resign Welker and Welker wants to stay with the Patriots, so in all likeliness he will be back. But it looks like Welker wants to know his market value and out in the open anything can happen. (See Vincent Jackson’s contract last year, 5 Years 55 Million). If a team comes out with a huge number. The Patriots likely will not match. But Welker is turning 32 next season and viewed by most as a system player, the market may not be as strong as he would like.

Hopefully, the Patriots reward Welker with a deal, and we do not have to go through the awkward breakup stage of watching him in a uniform that is not red, white, and blue.

Advertisements

Red Sox Offseason Options

ImageDecisions, Decisions: In an effort to sure up most of the remaining holes on our roster, the Boston Red Sox have been talking business with a few guys who could fit the bill. Free agent catcher Mike Napoli  and free agent outfielders Nick Swisher, Shane Victorino, Ryan Ludwick, and Nate McClouth are all on Boston’s radar.

The Sox have already inked career back up catcher David Ross and outfielder Jonny Gomes at little cost. So, Boston is trying to make a few moves, in the upcoming winter meetings, to bolster the rest of the roster for next season.

Image

Let’s take a look at some of the Sox’s options in the free agency market:

Mike Napoli C/1B– Batted .227 with 24 HR and 56 RBI in 2012. He’s a career .259 hitter with 146 HR and 380 RBI. Napoli, age 31, offers flexibility for Boston, being able to play catcher or first base, and he offers a solid bat in the lineup.

Nick Swisher OF- Batted .272 with 24 HR and 93 RBI for 2012. Swish is a career .256 hitter with 209 HR and 673 RBI. At 32-years-old, Swisher offers veteran experience and is known throughout the MLB as a great clubhouse personality and a gamer. With Ellsbury, a re-signed Ross (hopefully) and Swisher/Gomes the outfield would certainly be set. But, Swisher will likely seek too much money and fall off our list.

Image

Shane Victorino OF- Batted .255 with 11 HR and 55 RBI in 2012. Victorino is a career .275 hitter with 90 HR and 409 RBI. Victorino, also 32, would offer veteran experience like Swisher, but may not offer the same numbers Swisher can in the batters box. However, Victorino would be a more affordable option.

Ryan Ludwick OF- Batted .275 with 26 HR and 80 RBI in 2012. Ludwick is a .263 career hitter with 143 HR and 530 RBI. Ludwick had a Cody Ross-esque year with the Cincinnati Reds and would be another veteran guy to add like Swish and Shane. But, at age 34, the question can be asked, how much longer will Ludwick produce? Also Ludwick’ stats may have swelled due to playing in Great American Ballpark (one of the smaller parks to play in, which allows for a higher HR/RBI production).

Nate McClouth OF- batted .241 with 7 HR and 20 RBI in 2012. McClouth is a career .248 hitter with 88 HR and 290 RBI. McClouth’s numbers don’t exactly jump off the screen in the sense of production, but at 31-years-old, he could be a role player option (much like Gomes will be) if the Sox miss out on other outfielders.

Final Thoughts: The Good News: Boston will have plenty of options to consider going into the winter meetings. The Bad News: This year’s market for players, is one of the weakest in recent memory. The Sox will have to be smart and carefully consider who their best choices will be this off-season.

Image

Another position the Sox will need to address, finding a starting pitcher to sure up the rotation. There are a few big names in free agency like Zack Greinke, Kyle Lohse, and Anibal Sanchez. However, Boston may resort to filling in the rotation by way of trade, instead of splurging on a starter.

 

Who do you think the Sox should sign next? Should they go after a big name like Josh Hamilton or Greinke? Leave a comment below.

Hurlers For Hire: Red Sox Fifth Starter Job Up For Grabs

ImageIn my first post about the Red Sox off-season outlook I talked about the BoSox possibly chasing after soon-to-be big name free agent, Texas Rangers Outfielder, Josh Hamilton. This time around I’d like to talk about a position that will hopefully have opposing batters chasing fastballs and breaking balls for consistent outs at Fenway Park.

That’s right I’m talking about a makeover on the mound. No doubt the Red Sox pitching staff had it’s struggles in 2012 with a 5.18 team ERA ranked 27th in the majors. However, despite those dreary numbers, the Sox still have a solid nucleus to build around with the likes of Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, and Felix Doubront. Newly acquired skipper John Farrell has insisted all three starters, and John Lackey, will be back to pitch next season. Granted, Lackey is returning from Tommy John surgery and his performance so far in Beantown leaves plenty of room for skepticism from the Fenway Faithful. That leaves the 5th spot in the rotation open for debate.

Let’s look at the clubhouse options versus free agents this upcoming off-season: Continue reading

2012 NHL Lockout Update

No-play-vember:  The NHL Lockout remains at a stand-still after weekend meetings failed to bring anything to fruition. So, Boston Bruins fans will have to watch games at TD Garden from the hardwood, not the ice rink. That’s because the league has canceled all of the regular season games for the month of November. The cancellation of games comes as a result of the players union rejecting the most recent proposal from the owners two weeks ago in Toronto.

The Beef Between Both Sides: As with most lockouts, the biggest road block between the two sides is shared of league related revenue. The owners (big surprise here) wish to decrease the players guaranteed share of 57% in hockey related revenue. While the players union (shocker) wants increased shared revenue beImagetween them and the owners, as well as a fixed salary cap that’s not tied to league revenue. Other topics on the table include: free agency rule changes, the elimination of salary arbitration, and limits to contract terms.

Cancellations to Continue: With the November schedule axed, more cancellations are reportedly on the horizon. Next up on the NHL Lockout chopping block: both the Winter Classic and the All-Star game could be canceled by this Thursday. It’s likely both will be nixed because neither side will be able to actually meet in New York City, as methods of transportation have been shut down due to the recent “frankenstorm” that struck the east coast.

I want to hear from Boston Bruins fans and hockey fans alike on this one. What do you think of the lockout? Do you see it ending anytime soon? Leave a comment.

Free Agency

Free agency drama continues. It looks like the Lakers might be back in the hunt for Chris Paul, because the Hornets (owned by the league) are asking for 4 players and a pick from the Clippers, and they do not think it is worth it.  They have a young team built for the future and wanted to keep most of that intact, rather than having just two players (Paul, Griffin).  Most likely, he will not end up with the Lakers because the Hornets want a younger team, one that only the Clippers can help them out with.  However, if the Clippers give away rising star Eric Gordon and a first round pick (from the Timberwolves so most likely a top 10 pick), it will be near impossible to resign Chris Paul after the season.  They need someone else to attract him other than high-flying Blake Griffin.

Ever since Dwight Howard said he would only play for the Magic, Lakers, Mavericks, or Nets, many trade rumors have settled down.  Until yesterday, when the Nets started to push heavily to get the big man to the Dirty Jerz.

On a quieter note, the Denver Nuggets re-signed Nene, the #1 free agent of this lockout-shortened season (Remember, Paul and Howard aren’t free agents yet).