Tag Archives: free agent

Winter Meetings Bringing Some Winter Depression

As I heard the Miami Marlins making it rain with their signings of Reyes, Buerhle, and Bell simply because they’re moving into a new stadium and now have more money. It couldn’t help make me wonder if the A’s could do the same thing if they were moving into a new stadium as well. Maybe they won’t spend on that same level, but it does give me some hope that they will be able to spend like the big boys one day. Unfortunately that we won’t really know if that day exists anytime soon because the MLB still hasn’t made any rulings on the A’s stadium situation and possible move to San Jose after three very long and frustrating years of waiting. All the 1,000 A’s fans have had to look forward to is if Andew Bailey or Gio Gonzalez gets traded for a bunch of minor league guys this off-season. At least last year they were throwing offers out there to Beltre and other free agents. This off-season it’s back to standard operating procedure. Our spending has gone down for three straight years, and even when we are in the free agent market nobody wants to come to Oakland unless they’re a semi-washed up pitcher or reliever. Even guys that want to stay in Oakland like Josh Willingham for a discount nonetheless, which is unheard of, since no hitter ever wants to stay in the spacious Coliseum can’t sign with the team because we’re waiting on the MLB’s ruling. I don’t fault Billy Beane like some have in recent years, because it’s impossible to build a team or plan for the future when you don’t know where you’ll even be.

Then the news broke that CJ Wilson and Albert Pujols will be joining the division rival LAAAAAAA for about $325M. No big deal for Moreno, just a couple additions to get more people in LA waving those game changing rally monkeys. I do hope whoever runs the CJ Wilson is a douche site keeps it going. It makes a ton of sense for the Angels to do this to try and take over the LA market while the Dodgers are in a rough downtime, and while doing so they also stole the division rival Rangers #1 starter. Weaver, Haren, Santana, and Wilson is a ridiculous rotation that was already good last year. Trumbo and Pujols makes for a solid heart of the order. The A’s haven’t spent as much as Moreno did in one day on payroll for the last four years combined made me even more depressed. While I’m not overly worried that Pujols will live up to his humongous contract, it will suck to see him playing against Oakland for 18 games a season. Another thing for A’s fans to be depressed about is the fact the Astros are joining their division which means we have more even competition to get that 3rd place finish next year. Fortunately you need 25 guys to play well to win, so there’s a little hope, but a more likely scenario is having to hitch more of my rooting interest on the Warriors and Raiders for the next couple years…

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Goodluck Nnamdi

The NFL lockout is over which I’m sure you heard. Here’s an Icky Shuffle video to celebrate. Although I wanted to see them miss some regular season games, losing them money and fans, I guess I don’t mind the NFL’s coming back now. It would’ve been tragic to be without the NFL and NBA this winter. I mean, actually having conversations with the family on Thanksgiving instead of watching football sounds completely ridiculous. It’s no secret, the top free agent in the ocean sized free agent pool seems to be Nnamdi Asomugha as they’ve been talking about him a lot the past week. I pretty much know for a fact he won’t be back with the Raiders, or he and Al would’ve worked out a deal or Al would’ve honored the rest of his contract instead of terminating it last season. It’s sad to see the Cal star turned Raider heading out of the Bay Area, but sometimes you need a change in your life. I will continue to root for him to succeed wherever he goes (as long as it’s not the Patriots).

Nnamdi was an interesting Raider. Since we drafted him in 2003, he was pretty much the lone bright spot on teams that sucked year in and year out, which you can point to a number of reasons, but none were his fault. Normally the Raiders have the dysfunctional head cases or cast offs playing for them, but he was a different breed of Raider. He liked community work even going back to his days at Cal. If you met him you’d probably think he’s some slick businessmen instead of a football player. I’d actually elect him as the NFLPA rep as soon as he retires. He continues to do talks to college kids about the importance of education on his own time. He even fly’s around the country to help recruits understand what they are getting into, and takes the time to debate with our former president showing everyone his expertise isn’t only football. He’s pretty much everything you’d want in a star player. Humble enough to work hard. Smart enough to put the film time in, and just like on Sunday, he’s never in trouble aka bringing bad PR.

Is he worth $20M+ per year? That’s a double edged sword right there as a few of our readers don’t think he’s worth it from what I remember. I didn’t feel like the Raiders overspent when we signed him to the contract making him the richest CB in the league, and most deemed the contract ridiculous at the time, but he produced. Hell, our Deangelo Hall signing was 100 times worse. I would say Nnamdi as the whole package is worth the $20M+ per year. You get a shut down corner that opposing teams don’t throw at. Of the 474 passing plays ran the last two seasons against Oakland, only 7% of those plays targeted Nnamdi. A combination of blanket coverage and respect of his talent forced opposing QB’s to look the other way. He’s also out of the Charles Woodson mold when it comes to tackling, which I feel is one of his most underrated attributes. Cornerback might be the hardest position to evaluate, and while I understand why some argue that getting a ball-hawking corner like Antonio Cromartie for a third of the price makes some sense. On the other hand, a guy like Cromartie is a huge liability, and can’t even remember his kids names. Also, how much did Cromartie benefit from having Revis across the way from him. If Nnamdi had someone half as good as him on the other side, I would be willing to bet you he’d have more picks. Anyways, wherever he lands, be happy you got him. He’s well worth the money. My prediction: Baltimore….


Road Trippin on NBA.com

I checked out some random basketball team’s site to see the hype over whatever new player(s) they acquire. One thing lead to another….. And next thing you know, I’m checking out every team’s site to see what they’re offering at this juncture of the offseason. Time to depart….

I had to get out of Sacramento, where they’re resorting to an image of Lebron, D-Wade, and Bosh. I was hoping for some more hype about Demarcus Cousins, or maybe even more Tyreke. Instead, they’re trying to get people to sign up and buy the “Lebron Quarter Season” package…..

SACRAMENTO KINGS

First stop will be the Golden State Warriors. Naturally, the main billboard is “Warriors Acquire David Lee,” and I’ve got to admit the interview with Lee sort of made me a believer. The trade seemed a little lopsided, but once I remembered they’ll still have Curry, Monta, and Biedrins playing with Lee, I’ll be alright.

GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS

I guess it’s better that they take the high road and not even acknowledge it, but the Lakers were the one team I was hoping would have something up about Miami. Something like a big graphic saying “We Still Have Kobe” with five championship trophies behind him. Instead it’s business as usual…. Oh yeah, the Clippers are here too. Ah, seems as though they’ve picked up Ryan Gomes and Randy Foye. *yawn*

LOS ANGELES LAKERS

clippers

Time to head east on the 10 and see how Phoenix is holding up without Amare. They have a nice Thank You on there for him, but it’s okay because We locked up Channing Frye for five years!!!”

PHOENIX SUNS

Not much going on in San Antonio (as usual), Houston, or New Orleans, so we’ll veer north toward Dallas and Oklahoma City. Dallas is, not surprisingly, all about keeping Dirk. Only problem is, didn’t they already? Someone update the site! Meanwhile, in OKC, there’s an Anti-Lebron being born. Kevin Durant basically proposed to the Thunder franchise and the state of Oklahoma. The honeymoon is in full force….

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Breaking Down the NBA Offseason Moves Thus Far

We’re six days into the Free Agent period, and most of the big names have yet to choose their destination for the upcoming season. However, a few guys have made their choices, and here I’ll break down what it means for the teams/players involved….

Amare Stoudamire to the Knicks for 5 years, $100 million: Stoudemire is the biggest name so far to land with a new team. No doubt it shores up the middle for the Knicks, and gives them a new star player, but what will it mean on the court? If they fail to re-sign David Lee, then it’s a wash. Not that Amare isn’t an upgrade over Lee, but his addition alone won’t get the Knicks over the .500 mark, or relevant for that matter.

Joe Johnson Re-Signs with the Hawks for 6 years, $119 million: No one really expected JJ to jump ship, although I predicted he’d be lured away by the bright lights of NYC. But Johnson’s staying put keeps Atlanta’s nucleus intact for years to come. They still need to add some inside presence, but the Hawks won’t need to transition into all out rebuilding mode. With the Celtics getting nothing but older, Atlanta can now dedicate itself to competing for the Eastern Conference title for the duration of Johnson’s contract.

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Washed Up or Blackballed?

Kevin Mawae held down two jobs in the NFL last season, and it’s looking more and more like he will only be retaining one of those jobs for this upcoming season. At least he has one, that’s better than a lot of people out there right now, but he probably should have two still. The 39 year old center helped pave the way for Chris Johnson to break the 2,000 yard rushing last season for the Titans. He also doubles as the president of the players association, and is expecting the CBA argument to halt the on-field play for a portion of 2011. He stated last week that both sides are about 80 yards apart in negotiations, and won’t be anywhere close on agreeing to terms anytime soon, especially since they haven’t even met to discuss a new CBA in over two months.

It could be that NFL teams don’t want to pick up Mawae since he is pretty old, but given that he was the most highly touted linemen on the free agent market earlier this year it’s puzzling to say the least. He along with many others are speculating why no teams have submitted offers or really even contacted him for his services. What makes it even more peculiar is the fact that teams haven’t even called during this strange uncapped season. There’s obviously a need for him as not every team can be 100% sold on their center, and the Hall of Famer to be, was in the Pro Bowl last year, so he’s obviously productive. Even more strange is that he hasn’t even been invited to a single training camp to actually see what he has left in the tank. Was it his comment that the owners are trying to cut the player salaries by 20%? Not too many front offices took kindly to that statement. Some think that owners are shying away from him because he will be busy with negotiating the new CBA, but I’d call that BS.

I can’t tell you if he has lost a step or isn’t a good center anymore, because I’m not a scout or talent evaluator. The conspiracy theorist in me says teams are blackballing him. Even if some team’s excuses are about the tape from last season saying that he’s a “functional player at the back end of his career”. Didn’t he just help CJ to a record season? Last time I checked the center has something to do with that kind of running success. I’m sure blocking for the mobile Vince Young is no picnic either. If he’s functional, then why wouldn’t someone like him to fill out your roster? Especially for young linemen, they could draw from his amazing experience in the league. I feel for the guy if he’s truly being blackballed. I’m thinking a few injuries will happen, and a team will sign him on to fill in at some point this season, unless owners are trying to send him some kind of message. Here’s what he had to say on the whole matter.

Mawae pointed to one of his friends (and a fellow Bartelstein client), new Jets guard, Alan Fanaca, being released earlier this week and signing a deal with the Arizona Cardinals within two days.

“Not to take anything away from him … but something tells me there is something going on beside me just being 39 years old. I’ve said in the past that I hope our management and the owners look past the fact that I am president of the PA. But right now it’s not looking that way. I’m looking for a job. I’ve made no secrets about wanting to be back in Tennessee and I’ve yet to receive a call from anybody.”