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The day after some major NHL trades and the day before free agency begins, the Boston Bruins made a few noteworthy, but not shocking moves. The first was cutting ties with D Dennis Seidenberg by buying out the remaining 2 years on his contract. Seidenberg was traded to the Bruins in March 2010 and was a good D-man for them for a few years, but injuries and age caught up with him. The past 2 seasons Seidenberg was a minus player and looked slow.
The buyout saves the Bruins $4.6 million in cap space, which then allowed them to sign D Torey Krug to a 4-year deal averaging $5.25 million annually. The 25-year old Krug is fast, offensive-minded D-man who still has some developing to do. His scoring dropped off last season, but he finished the year with 40 assists and a +9. Krug is a good investment for the Bruins, especially if they can bring in another top-tier D-man to fill out their lines.
It is sad to see Seidenberg go because he played a nice role in the Bruins winning the Stanley Cup in 2011, but it was 100% the right decision from the front office perspective.
Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports
Only once since 1997 have the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees been trade partners. That one deal: Stephen Drew was traded to the Yankees for infielder Kelly Johnson and $500K in 2014. The AL East rivals have not been trade bedfellows often over the last few decades, but could this year be the exception? The Red Sox need late-inning relief and the Yankees certainly have some to spare.
When looking back at the history of trading between these two clubs, it’s rare because both teams have to be going in opposite directions to make it work. When both teams are buyers, no one has anything to sell the other and visa versa. The only way a trade would even be discussed between the rivals is if one team was out of contention at the deadline and the other had a legitimate shot at the postseason. This year has the potential to fit that mold.
The Yankees are 38-39 on the season, 9 games back in the division (4th place) and 3.5 games back in the AL Wild Card. If they continue to struggle and a month from now are even further back, they could easily become sellers. The Yankees farm system is ok, but not great, so they could choose to move a bullpen piece like Aroldis Chapman or Andrew Miller for a top tier prospect like Andrew Benintendi or Yoan Moncada. Chapman is a free agent at the end of the season (making $11+ million this year), so might command less via trade, while Miller is locked up through 2018 at $9 million per year.
A fly in the ointment of this situation is that the Red Sox would need to remain atop the AL Wild Card or near the top of the AL East to be buyers and make a push (and be willing to part with a top prospect). If both of those things align naturally, the situation could result in a trade between AL East rivals. I have a hard time believing it will happen, but stranger things have happened!
Peter Hapak for ESPN
How can you look at this picture and not smile? That is every bit of 326 lbs out on display in the upcoming 2016 ESPN Body Issue. All power to Wilfork for showing off all that man-meat to the entire world and being proud of his body.
When it was first announced the Houston Texans, and former New England Patriots DT Vince Wilfork would be in the body issue nearly nude, I became obsessed with the story. I have always been a huge (pun intended) fan of Wilfork and was sad to see him leave the Patriots. Thankfully, even though he is playing nearly 2,000 miles away, Wilfork is still entertaining us.
On Wednesday, Wilfork called out Tom Brady on twitter in a video asking for his wife, model Gisele Bundchen, to have her people give his people a call now that he was modelling.
Tommy Boi where u at? Now that I’ve done @ESPN Mag#BodyIssue I’m ready for the modeling world. Pics out tomorrow! – from @wilfork75
Brady responded simply with #beastmode. The love between those two is as strong as ever.
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When the news broke on Wednesday that the Montreal Canadiens had traded D PK Subban to the Nashville Predators for D Shea Weber, my jaw dropped. This is the biggest blockbuster 1-for-1 trade the NHL has seen in a long time. In total, there was more than $110 million worth of salary changing hands, which is outrageous in today’s NHL.
As a Bruins fan, the 27-year old Subban has always been a gigantic thorn in my side. After signing an 8-year deal with the Habs in 2014, I figured he was there for the long haul and wouldn’t ever go away. When he invested heavily in the Montreal community, giving $10 million to a children’s hospital in the area in September of 2015, it appeared even more likely that Montreal was his home and he would end his career there. On the surface, this seems like a terrible deal for the Habs.
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
Different day, same story. The Red Sox offense fell flat and the starting pitcher struggled resulting in a bad loss. Today, it was $31 million per year “ace” David Price who got knocked around by a lineup he should have at least some success against. Price’s ERA actually dropped to 4.74 after allowing 4 earned runs on Wednesday in just 6.1 innings. He did strike out 10, but allowed 9 hits, including a HR to continue his ominous streak of 9 straight starts allowing a HR.
It’s been my worst year. It’s not acceptable. I’ve got to get better. I will. … I’m so much better than this.
David Price on his terrible outing on Wednesday against the Tampa Bay Rays (from @alexspeier on twitter)
Before Wednesday’s start, among eligible MLB pitchers, Price ranked 70th in ERA, 13th worst in hits allowed and 4 worst in earned runs allowed. As a reminder, he is also the 2nd highest paid player in baseball (annualized) and signed, as far as I can tell, the 8th highest total contract in the history of baseball. The stats and the salary just don’t compute.
I’m reaching a point where it’s nice for Price to acknowledge he has been bad and will get better, but how and when? I was a huge supporter when the Red Sox signed him, but my opinion is shifting dramatically with each terrible outing.
Chris Szagola/AP Photo
Coming into Tuesday night’s game against the team in last place in the AL East, the Tampa Bay Rays, the Red Sox had lost 3 straight and 6 of the previous 10 games. The Rays crushed the Red Sox 13-7 on Monday night, leading to a closed door team meeting. The desperate need to stop the bleeding and right the ship fell on the shoulders of Rick Porcello on Tuesday night. He stepped-up and delivered a quality start and W, something Red Sox starters have failed to do lately.
Porcello allowed just 1 run over 6 strong innings while striking out 8 and walking 3 (all in the 4th inning). The run came when Porcello lost the strike zone in the 4th inning after a lead-off walk to Desmond Jennings and a single to Oswaldo Arcia, he then proceeded to walk Taylor Motter and Nick Franklin to bring in a run. Porcello then somehow, with no outs and the bases loaded, got a strikeout, flyout and strikeout to end the inning and limit the damage to just 1 run.
Normally a very good outing wouldn’t get a lot of attention, but given the circumstances, this game was critical to getting the Red Sox back on track. Porcello began the turnaround, now it’s on David Price to keep the momentum going in Wednesday afternoon’s 12:10pm getaway day game.
Photo by Ben McCanna
The Red Sox rotation has struggled in June and desperately needs some help. Eduardo Rodriguez looked disinterested and pitched terribly on Monday, leading to his demotion to AAA Pawtucket and opening a spot in the rotation. The Red Sox need to acquire a starter if they want to compete for a playoff spot this year, but it appears the trade market has not yet begun to really heat up and the price for a top tier starter will be astronomical. In the mean time, the Red Sox need to fill the rotation slot and one name keeps bubbling to the surface: RHP Aaron Wilkerson.
Wilkerson is a fairly unknown commodity for most Red Sox fans. He turned 27 in late May and hails from Fort Worth, Texas (we all know how much the Red Sox love their pitchers from Texas – i.e. Roger Clemens, Josh Beckett, John Lackey, Clay Buchholz, etc.). Wilkerson spent 2013 and 2014 playing independent league ball before joining the Red Sox minor league system. The 6’3″ 190 lb starter began his time with the Red Sox in low-A Lowell in 2014 and then quickly moved up the ranks to A Greenville, high-A Salem and AA Portland in 2015.
He began 2016 in AA Portland and was promoted to AAA Pawtucket after just 8 starts. In 16 starts (and 1 relief appearance) combined between Portland and Pawtucket, Wilkerson is 6-2 with a 2.00 ERA and 97Ks in 85.1 innings. His Ks/9 ratio is 10.9 and has a 4.04 K/BB ratio, both impressive numbers. He has turned some heads and certainly is making a strong case for getting his first shot at a major league rotation.
The stars seem to be aligning for Wilkerson, as his slot in the rotation mirrors E-Rods, so he could be called up to pitch Sunday or Monday on normal rest. He’s not the Red Sox savior, but could provide a nice boost to the back-end of the rotation.
Love this kid and his viral stare down with the camera at the College World Series.
After Eduardo Rodriguez dropped a stink bomb yesterday, he was optioned back to AAA Pawtucket and the Red Sox called RHP Pat Light for some bullpen help. Light will join the Red Sox for his 2nd stint in the big leagues this year and provide some more depth in the bullpen. He only made 1 appearance in late April for the Red Sox, allowing 2 earned runs in 1 inning of work.
So far this season, Light has looked very strong in Pawtucket. In 20 appearances and 26.1 innings pitched, light has a 2.05 ERA with 32 Ks (10.9 Ks/9 innings) and just 15 hits allowed and 6 earned runs. Light has also picked up 5 saves on the season, which will hopefully prepare him for late-game situations. At this point, an extra arm is just that, an extra arm.
Given the swap of a SP for a RP, I would guess the Red Sox will option Light (or another reliever) and bring up a starter when E-Rod’s spot in the rotation is up. A name to watch is Aaron Wilkerson. Wilkerson has a nifty 2.41 ERA in Pawtucket and is 4-1 in his 7 starts this year. It also just so happens that he pitched Monday, so will be on normal rest for E-Rod’s slot in the rotation this weekend. More on Wilkerson later in the week.