As most of you are aware - this week has been consumed by talks in Major League Baseball on where the most coveted free agents - Albert Pujols, Jose Reyes, C.J. Wilson, and Prince Fielder - would end up. As well as rumors in the NBA about where the two most coveted free agents for the class of 2012 (Chris Paul "CP3" and Dwight Howard "D12") will be traded to. It's no secret that I'm a fan of wild speculation - so all week I've been glued to my twitter account, adding 'insiders', and watching the rumors fly around like a prepubescent drama queen. I love it. So instead of sharing my usual expert analysis on each of the week 14 match ups this week - I'll stop to think about what happened this week, and what it all means going forward...
MLB: This week's signings remind me of my inability to pick up girls - Fortunately or unfortunately for some teams they were able to close the deal on the most coveted Free Agents this offseason. Here are some thoughts on each:
Albert Pujols, 1B - The really really hot MILF - only problem is you don't know how old she is and whether or not she'll be able to 'perform' like she has been for the next decade. But like most guys - teams are blinded by her stunning attributes. Pujols was by far the most coveted free agent of the offseason. To me there were only two legitimate suitors for Pujols, the Cardinals - his hometown team where he's won 2 World Series rings - and the Marlins, who finally realized that you need to spend money to make money. I was a bit caught off guard when I saw he signed for 10 years, $254 million with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Historically they've been the team that gets involved at the party, does a couple of shots with the prospect, then sees the Yankees or Red Sox show up and politely bow out. This year - they scored big, for now. Pujols is undeniably the best player of our generation and is still very much in his prime - the Angels get a player that can literally carry a team to the World Series (See 2006 and 2011 Cardinals). I like the aggressiveness from the Angels, but the tail end of this contract could come to bite them as their breadwinner starts to age.
Jose Reyes, SS - The extremely well-attributed Latina girl that can be spotted at every beach on South Florida. This was a perfect fit for Reyes and the Marlins. The Miami Marlins (new name, new ballpark) are trying to reinvent their image and they made a huge splash with the speedy Reyes to the tune of 6 years, $106 mil. He's a great player, has the ability to be the MVP in any given season, and is such a likable character from the 3 interviews I watched this week. All that being said - his big 'question mark' is his health. In his 9 seasons as a pro - he's played over 150 games only 4 times and less than 100 three times. Trust me, I like getting into bed with hot latina chicks as much as the next guy - but my number one policy is safety first. The Marlins brass understood this concept and backloaded the contract so that for the first 3 years, Reyes stands to make ONLY $36 million, leaving $70 million at the tail end of the contract - a possible trade chip if this relationship doesn't work out. All in all - I love the idea of this pairing - reminds me of a certain brother-sister combo dancing to some good old reggaeton.
C.J. Wilson, LHP - Wilson reminds me of the "unattractive" girl in the 1999 hit movie "She's All That". Freddie Prinze, Jr., the high school jock, makes a bet that he can take said unattractive girl and turn her into the high school prom queen. SPOILER ALERT: It doesn't happen. But she does go from being "meh" to "alriiiiiiiight". That's what Wilson is here. He's the best available pitcher in an offseason that did not offer teams much help on the mound. The Angels, and their new restored confidence scooped up Wilson for a very reasonable 5 years, $77.5 million. Wilson has already made 9 postseason starts in his past two seasons, but his 2011 postseason (0-3, 5.79 ERA, 1.71 WHIP) should raise concerns about his ability to shine on the big stage. Wilson will likely be the third maybe even fourth starter on an Angels team that already boasts Jared Weaver, Dan Haren, and Ervin Santana. If Wilson can continue to eat up innings for the Angels - they'll be very happy they took this bet and were able to pry him away from division-rival Texas.
Prince Fielder, 1B - It'd be too easy to take one look at Prince and label him as the overweight chick that would look great if she dropped about 15-20 lbs in the right areas. So that's what I'll do. Fielder and his 275 lb frame still have not signed a contract yet - but it's no secret that he'll request large large sums of money. He was part of an ill 1-2 punch including Ryan Braun in Milwaukee - but was not able to bring the Brewers a chip in his time there. Wherever he signs he will be counted on to bat cleanup and knock 40+ HRs a year. Now that Pujols set the bar at $25.4 mil/season - I'm sure Fielder will fall in the $20-$23 million range. Frankly - I think he's a better value, about 5 to 9 years younger than Pujols, and like I noted before if he just dropped a couple of lbs could be an absolute force to be reckoned with. He'll make some team very, very happy. Likely suitors include: Rangers, Seattle, Baltimore, and Washington.
Winners: Angels & Marlins - If this was a party you could say that the Angels and Marlins bought out the bar, danced with multiple women, throughly enjoyed themselves, and went back with the hottest women at the party (a Menage a trois in the Angels case).
Losers: Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates - The Cardinals are like the husband that shows up, watches his trophy wife flirt with anyone that will listen to her and then watches her drive off at the end of the night with an unexpected suitor. Now he has to go back home and tell the kids that mommy wont be coming back. The Pirates just suck. Get involved for once.
NBA: All of the wild speculation of where Chris Paul and Dwight Howard will end up legitimately had me giddy - until you know - the NBA decided to rain on everyone's parade. Honestly - this whole NBA trade situation hurts me to my core. It'd be like if me and two of my best friends rolled into a casino - abided by every one of their rules, sat down and decided to play blackjack. Let's say we all won BIG - did the high fives and hugs - bought drinks for everyone around us - then the Casino Manager comes in out of nowhere and says that the hand of blackjack didn't count because players at the other table were unhappy with their lives. It's just unfair.
CP3 - I actually started this post when the CP3 deal to the Lakers was considered 'done'. I was going to go off on a rant about how I think the Lakers gave up way too much for a player that's not even the best at his position and has never been a proven winner, etc. Basically I was going to rationalize it to myself so that I could feel better about the Celtics not going after CP3. Then news started filtering in that the League rejected the deal because... well, because... The small market owners didn't like that the Lakers were going to be getting the "best player" in a trade and still cutting their teams salary. Wait, what? Isn't that how trades work? You trade players of lesser value for players of better value and hope that you do enough balancing on each side to make the trade fair? Like I said before - I thought the Lakers gave up way too much (Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom) from a talent standpoint and the Hornets made out like highway robbers (Kevin Martin, Luis Scola, Odom, Goran Dragic, and the Knicks 2012 1st Round pick). The whole thing just seems very very fishy to me. If Paul isn't 'allowed' to go to the Lakers - where will he be allowed to go? The Bucks? The Kings? The Pacers? The way I see it - Paul won't be traded anywhere and will be forced to play out the remainder of his contract in New Orleans - leaving the Hornets with NOTHING at the end of the season. Feels like the league is just trying to contract the only team they own. Getting CP3 off the books allows them to do just that at the end of the season.
D12- Dwight is the real prize of the 2012 free agent class and will likely end up a Laker - just feels like something that will happen. That's really all I have there. After the CP3 ordeal - are GMs even allowed to discuss trades anymore? The league's public perception took a huge shot on Thursday night - if I were a GM I'd just tie my hands behind my back before I got to work and just sit and stare and a computer screen all day. That's pretty much what I used to do anyways - so it's not a far stretch.
Thursday night was a joke for the NBA. I'll be playing in a Fantasy Basketball league that is better managed than the NBA.
Here are the Week 14 NFL picks, enjoy!:
Pitt (-14) over Cle
Balt (-16.5) over Ind
Cin (-3) over Hou
NYJ (-10.5) over KC
Minn (+10) over Det
Phi (+3) over Mia
Tenn (+4) over NO
NE (-8) over Was
Atl (-3) over Car
Jax (-2) over TB
Ari (+4) over SF
Chi (+3.5) over Den
Oak (+11.5) over GB
SD (-7) over Buf
Dal (-3) over NYG
Stl (+10) Over Sea - NFL trying to pretend they didn't schedule this on MNF.
Last Week: 7-9
Season Record: 93-91-7