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The Mariners have decided that this is another rebuilding year

Posted by laiyongcai92 
The Mariners have decided that this is another rebuilding year
December 05, 2018 06:59PM
for them after finishing third in the AL West last season behind the Astros and A’s. That doesn’t make complete sense Womens Robert Alford Jersey , seeing as the A’s needed a stunning turnaround to get a Wild Card spot and the Mariners could have spent a little money and gotten right back into contending position if they so chose. I’m not here to tell Seattle’s front office what to do, especially since they’ve already begun the process of flipping assets with the Mike Zunino/Guillermo Heredia for Mallex Smith trade (but seriously Mariners if you’re reading this you don’t have to tear it down this year). What we can do, since this is their chosen path, is take a look at the options they have for starter James Paxton. Paxton is one of their most sensical trade chips — enticing enough for teams to send back good pieces, but not so valuable the Mariners have to keep him — and there are already multiple teams expressing interest. He isn’t a free agent until 2021 and he put up a 3.76 ERA, a 3.23 FIP, and a 1.098 WHIP in 160.1 innings this year despite spending multiple stints on the disabled list. He’s been a reliable starter despite having hit the DL six times in his career. At this point, we know he’s definitely going somewhere. The rumors are flying and the trade could happen any minute. So where makes sense? YankeesNew York GM Brian Cashman has been more than clear that when it comes to the Yankees’ starting pitching goals this offseason his two definite objectives are to trade Sonny Gray and to add at least one reliable piece to the rotation if not more than that. The Yankees aren’t about to give up someone like Justus Sheffield for Paxton, but they have other prospects that would be a match for the Mariners’ asking price on Paxton. Will being so blatantly desperate for pitching in the press help or hurt them along the way when it comes to how much other teams are asking for from New York’s system? Probably not, because it’s the Yankees so they’ll lowball the Mariners and somehow get away with it and we’ll all go on as usual until it happens again. Astros Houston’s 2017 championship rotation isn’t quite in shambles, not yet. But they only have another year of Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole, Dallas Keuchel and Charlie Morton are testing the free agent market, and Lance McCullers, Jr. won’t be back until 2020 thanks to Tommy John surgery. So they could stand to add a reliable arm next year to slot into McCullers’ responsibilities and have some support for Cole and Verlander in their last sure year in Houston. They have Baseball America’s eighth-ranked farm system right now so are in a position to part with a few mid-tier prospects — RHP Josh James is 95th on MLB’s Top 100 list and fourth in the Astros system, and RHP’s J.P. Bukauskas and Jairo Solis are less prestigious but would still be a boost for Seattle’s system — to secure another solid arm in their rotation as they attempt to once again top the A’s in the division. Of course, an intra-division trade might be a block here as far as easy offers go. White Sox Chicago is in on Bryce Harper at the very least this offseason. They’re turning the corner towards contending whether they land the most desired free agent or not, and they have the prospect depth to make big trades should they want to make additional moves outside of spending money. If they get Harper, it would make sense to ship some of their prospects to Seattle for Paxton to start filling holes in the roster to support him. But even if Harper doesn’t pan out, they’re in the AL Central. No one else in that division appears to even be trying. So adding Paxton to the rotation would be a smart initial step to staying on the same level as the Indians and Twins. Their current rotation doesn’t exactly inspire confidence, with only one starter boasting a sub-4.00 ERA last year and that starter being Reynaldo Lopez. James Shields is a free agent, and no one besides him hit 200 innings in 2018. They could use an addition, and the Mariners could use some of their prospects if they want to start parting with their strong farm system this offseason. Braves Atlanta won the division this season and as such is already past where they expected to be in their rebuild cycle, and they’re poised to have another great season next year with young stars at the forefront of that success. Trickily, they’re also hitting the point where they have to part with some top prospects or lose them in the Rule 5 draft. As our friends at Lookout Landing point out, the Braves not only have a loaded system right now but many of them are pitching prospects which the Mariners could really use. Ranking the 50 best MLB free agents for the 2018-2019 offseasonThe Yankees are pretending they won’t make big free agency moves and it’s hilarious3 possible motivations behind the Nationals’ 10-year, $300 million offer to Bryce HarperYes, bad teams should sign Bryce Harper and Manny MachadoRays Could we be in for yet another Jerry Dipoto trade with the Rays? He’s already swapped Mike Zunino and Guillermo Heredia for a few pieces from Tampa Bay, the latest in a string of trades with the Rays since he’s been with the Mariners. It’s gone from a fun trend to a preoccupation that might need to be further analyzed. For the Rays, a pitcher who doesn’t throw a ton of innings but is consistent when he’s on the mound fits right in with their bullpenning strategy and they have the prospects to swap in exchange. They had a surprisingly successful 2018 and they could have either capitalized on that and kept pushing to see if they can overtake the Red Sox and Yankees to get at least a Wild Card spot in 2019, or they could’ve seen if they luck into a respectable win total again next season without making any huge moves. The Zunino trade has them in the former camp so another addition from the Mariners works with their plan. Nationals We’ve already talked here about how the Nationals should continue either buying or making trades to compete for the next few seasons even if Bryce Harper doesn’t come back to them in free agency. They traded Gio Gonzalez and may lose Jeremy Hellickson in free agency, so they have spots in their rotation that need to be filled. They also have the 12th-ranked farm system according to Baseball America so they can offer worthy pieces. But again, that’s if they decide they want to keep contending instead of hitting the rebuild button immediately should they lose Harper. Red Sox If Boston loses Nathan Eovaldi to free agency this offseason, they’ll definitely need a replacement. It wouldn’t be the first time they’ve taken on a productive pitcher with injury history Womens Ryan Schraeder Jersey , as Eovaldi himself was, and as a fourth or fifth starter Paxton fits even if they can get 120-130 steady innings out of him (lower than his average over the last three seasons and a tick higher than what Eovaldi did in 2018, although that comes with a Rays’ bullpenning caveat). The part where this doesn’t quite click is that the Red Sox don’t have much of a farm system to speak of and if the Mariners are smart they’ll be aiming for prospects and prospects only. Of course, the Mike Zunino trade brought them one minor leaguer and one Mallex Smith which isn’t exactly the ideal return for a rebuilding team, so maybe they’re more open to major league return pieces than expected. Even if that’s not the best strategy.By the Numbers stats preview: Falcons vs. Saints Hate week—part 1—is here! Week 3 brings to us a very important game against our archrival—the New Orleans Saints (1-1). The Falcons (1-1) have played two tough games back-to-back, with a close loss against the Eagles and a convincing if uncomfortable win against the Panthers. The Falcons are trying to find their footing after a rash of injuries on both sides of the ball. New Orleans, meanwhile, is reeling off a big loss to the Bucs in Week 1 and a narrow victory over the Browns at home in Week 2.This game could have big implications for both teams in their race for the division title. A Falcons win would put Atlanta at 2-0 in the division and drop New Orleans to 0-2, with both of those losses being home games. Let’s take a closer look at how these two teams match-up on offense and defense heading into Week 3.OFFENSEStatisticFalconsSaintsStatisticFalconsSaintsFor the Falcons, it’s been a tale of two games in 2018. Against Philadelphia, the offense came out flat—against Carolina, the offense put on a show. The real team is probably somewhere in the middle. For now, the Falcons are 20th in scoring, 15th total yardage, and 10th in yards per play. Atlanta is about league-average in the passing game, and are 16th in yards, T-14th in yards per attempt, and T-22nd in passing TDs. On the ground, the Falcons have been quite good: 8th in yards, T-5th in yards per carry, and T-4th in rushing TDs. They’re about average on third down, converting 38% of their attempts (T-15th), and have been above-average in turnover margin (+1, 12th).The Saints got off to an explosive start in Week 1 against the Bucs—and still ended up losing that game—but struggled in Week 2 against the Browns’ (possibly good?) defense. New Orleans is 6th in scoring, 14th in total yards, and 6th in yards per play. They’re one of the NFL’s top passing offenses through two weeks: 4th in yards, 6th in yards per attempt, and T-6th in passing TDs. Somewhat surprisingly, the Saints have struggled mightily on the ground: they’re currently last in the league in rushing yards (only 52.5/game), 31st in yards per carry (an abysmal 2.9), and T-7th in rushing TDs. New Orleans has also been below average on third down (T-23rd) and have suffered from a bad turnover margin (-3, 29th).Advantage: SaintsDEFENSEStatisticFalconsSaintsStatisticFalconsSaintsNobody expects the Falcons defense to live up to expectations in 2018 due to the loss of Deion Jones and Keanu Neal, but the unit has remained relatively close to 2017 through two weeks. Atlanta is currently T-12th in scoring defense http://www.falconsfootballauthentics.com/julio-jones-jersey-authentic , 11th in total yards allowed, and 9th in yards per play. Against the pass, the Falcons are 10th in yards, T-3rd in yards per attempt, and T-11th in passing TDs. On the ground, Atlanta has struggled, as they’re 24th in yards, T-29th in yards per carry, and T-20th in rushing TDs. The Falcons have been awful on third down thus far, allowing a whopping 48% of attempts to be converted (T-28th). They’re slightly below-average in generating sacks, with 4 through two games (T-18th).While the Falcons have injuries to blame for any defensive regression, the Saints are simply playing very poorly. Gone is the league-average or better unit from 2017—at least, that’s how it appears through the first two games. New Orleans is 30th in scoring defense (allowing 33.0 points/game), 29th in total yards allowed, and last in the league in yards per play. The Saints are downright awful against the pass: 29th in yards, 32nd in yards per attempt (a comical 11.4 YPA), and T-23rd in passing TDs. Against the run, New Orleans has fared better: 17th in yards, T-4th in yards per carry, and T-20th in rushing TDs. The Saints have also been quite bad on third down, allowing 48% of attempts to be converted (T-28th). The pass rush has also been relatively quiet, as New Orleans has 3 sacks through two games (T-23rd).Advantage: FalconsAnalysisIt’s worth pointing out that these stats—based on only two games worth of data—will be extremely volatile for about the first 6 weeks of the season. Each game has a huge impact on the numbers, and you’ll see big shifts often. For instance, the #1 scoring offense in the league right now is Kansas City, with 40.0 points/game. There are currently five teams averaging more than 33.0 points/game. The 2016 Falcons offense—a historically good unit—averaged about 33.0 points/game through an entire season. Expect things to even out quite a bit over the coming weeks.Now, onto the match-up at hand. It’s hard to say which versions of these two teams are the “real” ones. We have the Week 1 Falcons—who looked out of sorts on offense but very good on defense—and the Week 2 Falcons, who looked like a top-tier offense but struggled on defense. Ditto the Saints, who put up 40 points in a loss to Tampa Bay and then struggled to score more than 20 against the Browns.I think it’s safe to assume that both of these teams can score points. The Falcons are probably closer to that Week 2 team in most respects. For the Saints, it’s all about whether or not that defense can stabilize. Depending on Drew Brees and Co. to score 33+ points per game to win is a recipe for another 7-9 season. For the Falcons, the question is whether or not the offense can consistently produce—and whether Damontae Kazee and some combination of Duke Riley and Foye Oluokun can keep the defense afloat until Deion Jones returns.Everything points to a shootout in Mercedes-Benz Stadium. However, the Falcons’ defense—even in its injury-riddled state—has been playing better than the Saints’ defense. With the Falcons at home and the offenses close enough in talent and ability, I think Atlanta has the advantage on Sunday.Overall Advantage: FalconsWhat are your thoughts on the Falcons vs. Saints match-up? Any particular position groups that you think Atlanta should target on Sunday? Any concerns about the Falcons’ defense against the weapons of New Orleans?
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