MLB News: Morales signing and Phillies-Dodgers trade

 The Toronto Blue Jays have signed DH/1B Kendrys Morales to a 3 year, $33 mil deal. Also, in unrelated news, the Philadelphia Phillies have acquired 2B Howie Kendrick from the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for 1B Darin Ruf and 2B Darnell Sweeney. Let\’s get to details.
 The Jays signing of Morales almost guarantees that DH/1B Edwin \”Walk the Parrot\” Encarnacion won\’t return to Toronto. There is hope Encarnacion returns but it seems unlikely that Encarnacion returns to Canada. Morales will DH regularly while 1B Justin Smoak starts at first.
 The Phillies-Dodgers trade is an interesting one. Days before, Kendrick wished to have a fulltime 2B job, after sharing it with Chase Utley this past year. Now that the Phillies have Kendrick, they have a chance to trade away 2B Cesar Hernandez, their former starter. What L.A. got in return? Sweeney mostly plays 2B so he\’s basically Kendrick\’s replacement. Also, he plays all 3 outfield positions, so he has value. Ruf is a backup 1B, in this case for Adrian Gonzalez, and can play the corner outfield positions if they want him too, because L.A. has solid outfield depth.
 So that\’s how I recap the big signing and trade of today.

MLB Free Agent News: Braves sign 2 40+ starters

 The Atlanta Braves have signed starting pitchers R.A. Dickey and Bartolo Colon, in the span of a day. Dickey is definitely on the team while Colon has a physical before he officially signs. Anyway, even though Colon, who\’s 43, and Dickey, who\’s 42, aren\’t going to be around long, both deals were just for the 2017 season. The Braves probably just wanted more starting depth. It\’s uncertain what Atlanta\’s rotation will look like by opening day because trade rumors around RHP Mike Foltynewicz could change that. Right now it looks like the Braves\’ 5th starter will be out of spring training unless Foltynewicz stays and Aaron Blair takes over after a horrid 7.59 ERA in 15 games last season. Like I\’ve already said, the Braves opening day rotation is uncertain, but if they don\’t make anymore moves (which I doubt will happen) the rotation should look like this:
 1. Julio Teheran. 2. R.A. Dickey. 3. Bartolo Colon. 4. Mike Foltynewicz. 5. Aaron Blair.
 And that\’s what I think the Braves will do if they don\’t make anymore moves.
 Stats: Dickey was 10 and 15 with a 4.46 ERA and a WHIP of 1.37 in 30 games last season. He also has a career record of 110 and 108 with a 4.01 ERA along with a 1.29 in 369 games (starting in 269) in 1883.2 IP in 14 seasons also winning a NL Cy Young in 2012. Colon had a 15 and 8 record and a 3.43 ERA plus a 1.21 WHIP in 34 games last year. In his career he has a record of 233 and 162, an ERA of 3.93 and a WHIP of 1.29 in 509 games.


Trade review: Rangers send defenseman McIlrath to Florida for Steven Kampfer

 The next trade of the 2016-17 NHL season has broke, let\’s see what happened.
 The New York Rangers sent defenseman Dylan McIlrath to the Florida Panthers in exchange for defenseman Steven Kampfer and a conditional 7th round pick (year not announced yet), Bob McKenzie of TSN reports. The Rangers get the 7th rounder only if McIlrath plays 30+ games for Florida. Here\’s my review:
  Florida most likely wanted more defensive size. Last year\’s tallest d-man, Erik Gudbranson (6\’5\”), was dealt to Vancouver in the offseason. So, that meant, at 6\’4\”, Aaron Ekblad and Alex Petrovic were the tallest defenseman. But, Ekblad\’s more than just a big defenseman, he\’s an all-star. Petrovic is fine but they wanted more height and Kampfer, who is 5\’11\” wasn\’t working. So, they went after McIlrath, who had trade rumors surrounding him, and plus, at 6\’5\”, he\’s a perfect match. The conditional pick was just the cherry on top to make sure it happened.
 Now, the other side. I\’m not really sure why the Rangers would do this because they trust 22 year old Brady Skjei, and Adam Clendening and Nick Holden are solid top 6/7th d-man. Maybe it was that the Blueshirts didn\’t want McIlrath or like the way Kampfer plays and didn\’t need size. All these suggestions are IFs but it could explain why this trade is for real.
 Stats: McIlrath didn\’t register a point in his only game this year and only has 4 career points (2 goals, 2 assists) over 38 career games over the course of 4 seasons, all with the Rangers. (Including this year.) Kampfer also played 1 game this year and didn\’t receive a point. Over 6 seasons, (this year too) Kampfer played in 134 games and scored 9 goals along with 14 assists for 23 points with Boston Minnesota and Florida.
 And there you have it, McIlrath to Florida for Kampfer and a conditional 7th round pick.        

November 5th, 2016, Toronto Maple Leafs against Vancouver Canucks. What the heck just happened?

 On November 5th, 2016, the Vancouver Canucks went east to Toronto for hockey night in Canada against the Maple Leafs. The Leafs won 6-3 but nobody is talking about that… well some people are but the third period was just… Physical to say the least.
 Here\’s my quick recap.
 First, Toronto defenseman Morgan Rielly laid a crushing hit on winger Jannik Hansen, who was able to pass it to winger Daniel Sedin. Sedin on a 2 on 3, shoots and scores! But, Center Nazem Kadri laid a dirty check to the head on Sedin while he scores. Hansen, who was okay from the Rielly hit, jumps in and fights Kadri while Sedin is in pain on the ice. Kadri got a 5 minute major and a game misconduct on the hit. Both Kadri and Hansen got 5 for fighting. Later, with the Canucks still on the power play, wingers Derek Dorsett of Vancouver and Leo Komorav of Toronto dropped the gloves. This pissed off Leafs enforcer Matt Martin, who  was trying to fight Dorsett but he wouldn\’t budge, so Martin was chirping at Dorsett as the ref skated him off the ice. Dorsett attempted to break free but gave up eventually. When Rielly laid that crushing hit on Hansen, Hansen was clearly fine but anyway, Vancouver winger Alexandre Burrows speared Rielly in an injury attempt. The next time the two were on the ice at the same time, before a faceoff, the 2 were yelling at each other and then when the puck dropped, Burrows went after Rielly and they fought. The biggest brawl was the last one. Martin and defenseman Troy Stecher were playing the puck in the corner but then Martin kept throwing Stecher at the ground and THEY fought. But then, Vancouver goalie Ryan Miller jumped on Martin so now Martin was dealing with Miller and Stecher. Then, in that corner, there was a line brawl. All the skaters were in the corner and then, Toronto goalie Fredrik Andersen comes charging in and jumps on all of them!
 To recap: there was a total of 171 penalty minutes in the game (96 for Vancouver and 75 for Toronto). In that period alone, Kadri, Hansen, Komorav, Dorsett, Burrows, Rielly, Erik Gudbranson, Martin, Stecher, Miller, Andersen, Connor Carrick and Brendan Gaunce all got penalties in a hectic third period. The only other time they meet again this regular season is in Vancouver on December 3rd.

Trade review: Mike Condon to Sens

 The first trade during the 2016-17 NHL season was pretty minor but it doesn\’t matter. The trade was between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Ottawa Senators on November 2nd, 2016. Goalie Mike Condon went north to Ottawa with Pittsburgh getting a 5th round pick at the upcoming draft. The Penguins had a goalie issue when their starter for the last decade, Marc-Andre Fleury suffered a concussion last playoffs and rookie Matt Murray won the team the cup. During the World Cup, Murray broke his hand to settle who would start at the beginning of the year. But the question was who would be the backup for the little while when Murray is sidelined? Prospect Tristian Jarry didn\’t look NHL ready yet, so when Montreal placed Condon on waivers, Pittsburgh pounced. Murray has recovered a lot but a call up might happen, maybe Jarry makes the team. Pittsburgh just wanted to get some value out of Condon so they dealt him for a 5th rounder.
  Now on the other side. After goalie Craig Anderson came back from missing a game when he found out his wife Nicholle was diagnosed with cancer, Anderson recorded a shutout and another solid game. But backup Andrew \”Hamburgular\” Hammond went down with an injury, Ottawa decided to trade Condon for a pick, rather than rolling with Chris Dreidger as their backup. This seems like a very short term thing but time will tell what will happen.
 Stats: Condon only played 1 game with Pittsburgh: it was when he stopped all 7 shots in relief of Fleury in a 5-1 loss to Nashville. When Carey Price went down with a big injury last year, Condon\’s old team called him up from St. Johns (AHL) and Condon become the starter. That year, Condon appeared in 55 games, starting in 51, having a record of 21-25-6 with a 2.71 GAA and a .903 Sv%.
 So there you have it, G Mike Condon from Pittsburgh to Ottawa for a 2017 5th rounder.