Friday, July 19, 2019

NHL Trade Review: Flames and Oilers swap bad contracts

         The Edmonton Oilers have acquired F James Neal from the Calgary Flames in exchange for F Milan Lucic.

         Both players have four more years left on their albatross of a contract. Lucic has a $6 million cap hit, and Neal's is $5.75 million. So the trade already doesn't look great for Calgary, though $0.25 million won't hurt anyone. But the main losing point is that Neal is a better player than Lucic. While Neal will be 32 and Lucic 31, Neal scored 20 goals in his first 10 NHL seasons with four different teams, before collapsing in Calgary for one season. Him falling might have been more on the team and coaching staff rather than the player. The same could be said for Lucic, who did score 23 goals and 50 points in his first year in Edmonton, but has 16 goals and 54 points in the two years since. He's also one of the worst skaters in the NHL. The Oilers are desperate for skill, and Neal has more of that.

         Neal, who will be 32 when the season starts, scored seven goals with 12 assists for 19 points in 63 games for Calgary this year, but scored 25 the year before. In his NHL career for the Flames, Vegas Golden Knights, Nashville Predators, Pittsburgh Penguins and Dallas Stars, Neal has scored 270 goals with 244 assists for 514 points in 766 games.

         Lucic, 31, scored six goals with 14 assists for 20 points in 79 games for the Oilers this past season. In his career for the Oilers, Boston Bruins and Los Angeles Kings, Lucic has scored 198 goals with 303 assists for 501 points in 890 games.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

MLB Trade Review: Cubs acquire Maldonado

          The Chicago Cubs have acquired C Martin Maldonado from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for LHP Mike Montgomery.

          The Cubs might need a catcher if Willson Contreras' injury is worse than they think. Maldonado is a very good defensive catcher, and a serviceable backup. He is a good backup catcher, and while the price of Montgomery isn't great, he is a rental, and better than backup Victor Caratini.

          Maldonado, 32, has a .227 average with six homers, six homers and 17 RBIs in 263 Plate Appearances for the Royals this year. In his MLB career for the Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Angels and Houston Astros, Maldonado has a .220 average with 57 homers and 210 RBIs in 2232 Plate Appearances.

          The Royals are a rebuilding team and a rental catcher like Maldonado is useless to them, especially with Salvador Perez returning next year. In return, they get a major league pitcher that is controllable. Montgomery will fill the open 5th starter role after Homer Bailey was traded to Oakland. Montgomery has come out of the bullpen and started throughout his career. He got the final out for the Cubs when they won the 2016 World Series, and was originally a Royals 1st rounder in 2008, but was traded in the crazy Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi for James Shields and Wade Davis deal.

           Montgomery, 30, has a 5.67 ERA with 18 strikeouts in 27 innings for the Cubs this year. In his MLB career for the Cubs and Seattle Mariners, Montgomery has a 3.72 ERA with 360 strikeouts in 471.2 innings.

NHL Trade Review: Senators acquire Anisimov

Photo from Getty Images

     The Ottawa Senators have acquired F Artem Anisimov from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for F Zack Smith.

     The Blackhawks need cap space. Both Anisimov and Smith have two more years left on their contract, but Smith has a lower cap hit. Smith is more of a fourth line center, a role that Anisimov might of had to be this season. Smith gives less value, but more cap space.

     Smith, 31, scored nine goals with 19 assists for 28 points in 70 games this past season for the Sens. In his NHL career, all in Ottawa, the former third rounder has scored 94 goals with 99 assists for 193 points in 612 games.

     The Senators are terrible, and need better players. Also, they were under the cap floor, and this trade gets them over. Anisimov has been a consistent 15-20 goal scorer in his career, and can be a top six center for them.

     Anisimov, 31, scored 15 goals with 22 assists for 37 points in 78 games for the Blackhawks this past season. In his NHL career for Chicago, New York Rangers and Columbus Blue Jackets, Anisimov has scored 163 goals with 184 assists for 347 points in 703 games.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

MLB Trade Review: A's acquire Bailey

Photo from NBC

         The Oakland Athletics have acquired RHP Homer Bailey from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for IF Kevin Merrell.

          Bailey is not a very serviceable starting pitcher, but he is having his best season since 2014. Also, he is hot as of late, with a 2.48 ERA in his last five starts, dating back to June 13. The only American League pitchers with a minimum of 25 innings pitched since that day with a lower ERA are recently traded Andrew Cashner, Gerrit Cole, Shane Bieber, Lance Lynn, and the A's very own Mike Fiers (per Elias Sports Bureau). Also, he is a bargain, as he is getting paid at the league minimum, and the A's are only paying him about $250k. The Dodgers are paying the remainder of his salary, as they acquired him from the Reds this offseason, and immediately DFA'd him.

           Bailey, 33, has a 4.80 ERA with 81 strikeouts in 90 innings for the Royals this season. In his MLB career for the Royals and Cincinnati Reds, Bailey has a 4.58 ERA with 1082 strikeouts in 1320.1 innings.

           I love this trade for the Royals. They trade Bailey, who was a Spring Training invitee on a minor league deal earning the league minimum, and has only pitched well as of late. In return, they get Merrell, the A's 17th best prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, which is a steal for a player of Bailey's caliber. Merrell has good speed, something the Royals prioritize. He was a first round pick, 33rd overall, by the A's in 2017. He also is already at AA, and as GM Dayton Moore pointed out, he doesn't need to be put on the 40 man roster for two more seasons before becoming Rule 5 Draft eligible.

            Merrell, 23, has a .246 average with two homers, 34 RBIs and 13 stolen bases in 318 Plate Appearances for AA Midland. In his three year minor league career, he has a .277 average with four homers, 68 RBIs and 30 stolen bases in 778 Plate Appearances.