It’s late June which means it’s the dog days of summer. The rumors are starting to really heat up around Major League Baseball with the trade deadline quickly approaching and the NBA free agent frenzy is set to begin. We also all know that the NFL getting ready to start training camp in a few weeks so there is some scuttle bug around the gridiron as well.
Before I get to the rumors, I want to wish my “little brother” Tyron “Bossy” Brackenridge a happy birthday. He gave himself an early birthday present last night (which just happens to be our Grandma, Carol Arrigo’s birthday) with an interception against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the Saskatchewan Roughriders 43-16 win in the CFL opener. I’m proud of you on and off the field bro and keep doing what you doing!!
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Unverified information received from another; hearsay.
Inside Pitch MLB Rumors:
The Dodgers and Astros have agreed to a deal that would send OF/1B Carlos Lee and cash to Los Angeles for Double A pitcher Garrett Gould. The deal is not a given since Lee has a limited no trade clause (to 14 teams) and really doesn’t want to leave the Houston area because he runs an extremely lucrative cattle ranch there. Lee is in the last year of a 6 year $100 million dollar deal and would give the Dodgers some needed some pop in their line-up with Matt Kemp on the DL and Andre Ethier out (with a muscle strain). As I write this (at 5:15pm pst) Lee is still considering the deal, but reports are it doesn’t look as if he will accept it. I was told by a perosn close to the situation that if a deal doesn’t happen involving Lee that they would turn their attention to another player because “something else will come up, it always does this time of the year.” It was reported by Fox’s Ken Rosenthal that Lee would like to have a decision by Sunday.
The Orioles and Phillies agreed to a deal that send DH/1B Jim Thome to Baltimore for class-a pitcher Kyle Simon and minor-league catcher Gabriel Lino. A deal was announced after each team played Saturday. This could be a sign that the Phillies are going to be sellers at the deadline, or they could be starting to move some salary to try and resign some of their own player (Cole Hamels or Shane Victorino).
The Dodgers also made huge waves this past week when they signed Cuban outfielder Yasiel Puig (pronounced Pah-eeg) to a 7 year $42 million dollar deal. The 21 year old, 6’2, 215 pound outfield has been compared to Matt Kemp or Vlad Guerrero. The baseball scouting community varies on their opinions of Puig, who is considered a 5 tool prospect. Some think he is the real deal and should make in impact in the Majors either later this year or next season. Other scouts feel he is overrated and the Dodgers over spent to land him. From what I have seen Puig looks like the real deal (although he needs to go the other way more) and will give the Dodgers one of the most dynamic outfields in baseball. One thing is for certain, the new Dodgers ownership is not shying away from spending on players they feel can have an impact on the field for the Dodgers in hopes of bringing a World Series title back to LA for the first time since 1988.
With the signing of Puig the Dodgers have tied up $278 million dollars in their outfield (of Kemp, Athier & Puig) and look to spend more at the deadline and in the off season. I have heard that the Dodgers are in on pitchers Francisco Liriano of the Twins, Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza of the Cubs, Zack Greinke of the Brewers and should he be available, Cole Hamels of the Phillies. They also have a high interest in 3B Edwin Encarnacion of the Blue Jays, who will be made available should the Blue Jays fade out of contention.
The Yankees have had internal discussions about Zack Greinke and Francisco Liriano since they lost Andy Pettitte for 6 weeks and CC Sabathia for 2 starts. While no deal is likely, from what I was told it is a sign that Brian Cashman is softening his stance about not dealing for starting pitching.
I was told that the Rangers have scouted Brewers starter Zack Greinke and that the Brewers would want shortstop Jurickson Profar, the Rangers top prospect, in return as part of a bigger package for Greinke. The Dodgers, Yankees, Cardinals, Orioles and Braves also have scouted Greinke and had internal discussions about the talented Brewers pitcher. The Rangers also are scouting Cole Hamels of the Phillies.
On The Sideline NFL Rumors:
This is more of a thought then a rumor and it centers around Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers. For 16 years the Packers fans loved Favre and he could do no wrong. He was one of 5 central figures (Bob Harlan, Ron Wolf, Mike Holmgren and the late Reggie White) that led the Packers turn around from doormats to the most stable franchise in the NFL. Up until recently Favre was hadn’t had any kind words for NFL MVP and former understudy Aaron Rodgers. Favre recently told Deion Sanders ” Aaron Rodgers, I knew when I left, this guy has all the tools,”Favre said. “He can beat you with his feet. He’s got a great arm, extremely accurate, handles the cast around him perfect.” Those may be the start of the fence mending and in my opinion it is about time.
While Favre left the Packers no choice but to deal him and both sides took things personal and handled the situation like Jr. High school kids fighting, it’s time for both to “kiss and make-up.” Favre’s place in Packers history is either at or near the top (depending on who you talk to) and he needs to be recognized as such. Ted Thompson would privately tell you that he wished he handled the situation better as Favre probably would too. It’s time for the future Hall of Famer and one of the most storied teams in NFL history to get together and welcome each other back into each others lives.
As for the fans, we (and I include myself and other family members in this) and the Favre supporters need to realize that the NFL is a business and no matter how painful the final outcome maybe for one party or the other. To take things personal and hold grudges that help no one and only divide an icon from the team he will forever be associated with and it’s fan base (and vice versa). For Favre to not give Rodgers credit until now was childish, but that being said, he has and it’s better late then never. Now the team needs to retire Favre’s number and once he is elected into the NFL Hall of Fame, include his name in their “Ring of Honor” with the likes of White, Lombardi, Starr and Lambeau.
The Crossover NBA Rumors:
The rumors are running rapid about the Lakers making a couple big deals this offseason. The first rumor has the Lakers sending Pau Gasol to Atlanta for Josh Smith and a “filler” player. On the surface some would wonder why the Lakers would make this deal and the reasoning is Smith is close to Dwight Howard and the hope for the Lakers is if they add Smith, LA would look more attractive to Howard. Which leads to the next Lakers rumor: Andrew Bynum & a “filler” player for Dwight Howard. Should the Lakers add Smith, Howard’s interest would go up in joining the Lakers. Any deal would be made after July 1st.
A player that is going to draw interest from a few teams is former Grizzlies point guard OJ Mayo. Mayo wasn’t tendered a contract in part because the Grizz couldn’t afford him and the $8.5 mill tender. The Lakers have a definite interest in Mayo, who already has a good relationship with Kobe Bryant dating back to Mayo’s days at USC, and are expected to pursue him. The Lakers won’t be the only team in on Mayo with the Pacers, Clippers, Celtics and T-Wolves all having interest.
The hot rumor going around NBA circles is Deron Williams and Jason Kidd are a packaged deal and they will both end up with the Nets. They are hanging out together in the Hamptons this weekend and will meet with the Nets and Mavs Monday. There is ramped speculation that their minds are made up and will end in Brooklyn.
I am hearing that the Lakers are leaning towards amnestying Metta World Peace (Ron Artest). The Lakers are a team that has interest in Rashard Lewis (who was released today) and want to free up cash in the short and long term. They tried to move MWP during the draft but had no takers. Lewis, like Josh Smith, is also a close friend of Dwight Howard and from what I hear the Lakers are trying to make LA as attractive and familiar as possible to Howard as possible
The Rockets were the most active team leading up to the draft and look to be the same way during free agency. They want to move Scola, Martin, Lowery and ANY OTHER player on their current roster. They hope to acquire a big name big man to build around.
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