Rick Porcello just got paid. Following an off-season trade to the Boston Red Sox and a year away from hitting the open market Porcello signed a four-year $82.5 million extension that will likely keep him in Boston and may even make him the ace of their staff.
The deal will pay Porcello $20 million per season for the first two years and then $21 million dollars for the last two. It also contains a limited no trade clause where Porcello can block trades to three clubs.
$20 million a season may be a lot to pay for Porcello, and the Red Sox have gambled big on their off season acquisition. They are betting he takes the next step in his development. In Detroit Porcello was a back-of-the-rotation starter with decent stuff. At 26-years-old he is entering his sixth full season in the major leagues but he has never shown that he has Ace stuff. He does induce a lot of ground ball, and that will serve him well in Fenway Park, but he is still somewhat unproven. more >>
The Detroit Tigers' bullpen got a little thinner yesterday. On the same day that the team placed starter Justin Verlander on the disabled list and recalled Kyle Lobstein from Triple A Toledo to take his place, the team also announced the closer Joe Nathan would make a trip to the 15-day disabled list as well. Blaine Hardy has been brought up to fill a spot in the bullpen. Joakim Soria has been named the interim closer, but the team expects Nathan to get healthy and return to that role.
The bullpen is the weakest part of the Tigers 2015 roster. This move leaves the Tigers without a solid 8th inning guy, which is compounded by the fact that they do not have a designated 7th inning guy. However, while some view that as a negative, it gives Manager Brad Ausmus an opportunity to run his bullpen more like famed Tigers skipper Sparky Anderson. Ausmus has a week or so to use guys in multiple roles and to see exactly what he has in the pen and who can be counted on down the road.
Even though Nathan earned his first save of the year on Opening Day, it seems he has been battling arm soreness for a bit now. more >>
The Arizona Diamondbacks were 64-98 in 2014 after finishing with a 81-81 record the two season prior. They hired Tony La Russa to be their Chief Baseball Officer and have now entered a rebuilding project. Manager Kirk Gibson and his staff were replaced, and now LaRussa and new General Manager Dave Stewart have gone about rebuilding their roster. They feel like they are close to contending, and have been very active this off season.
Chip Hale is the new manager, and he came over from the Oakland Athletics. This is his first MLB managerial job. He faces an interesting challenge in Arizona. The Diamondbacks were a last-place club but his front office expects the team to finish with a winning record and possible even contend for the division sooner rather than later.
The Diamondbacks have a plan and the went about their off season work shedding themselves of contracts that felt were not making the team better on the field. They took those saving and reinvested them in talent. Most notable the team signed Cuban slugger Yasmany Tomas to a six year $68.5 million deal. However, the is an opt out clause in the deal after year four. Many expected the 24-year-old to fetch a $100 million deal so the Diamondbacks might have gotten him for a bargain. more >>
NASCAR has announced changes to its All-Star race, which is an annual event held each May at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. This will be the 31st installment of the Sprint All Star race and its format has been altered significantly.
The race will now be a 110-lap affair. The first four segments will be 25 laps a piece and the final leg will be a 10 lap shootout. The race will feature a minimum of 20 drivers. 17 of those drivers are now set, with two spots being reserved for winner of the Sprint Showdown segment, a race that is held directly before the All-Star race, and a final fan vote will set the field.
Race winners from the 2014-15 Sprint Cup series are eligible for the race as long as all past NASCAR Sprint Cup Champions and previous winners of the All Star race itself. This is a slight change in the rules as previous races had been run with drivers accomplishing those things in the past 10 years. more >>
The Detroit Lions are not very good when it comes to the NFL draft. Over a 10-year period ESPN has ranked them the worst at drafting, and it wasn't even close.
In a report on the 2002 through 2012 drafts, ESPN looked at what a players did over their first four years in the draft (using a metric from pro football reference and comparing those players with players drafted in the same position in the draft) and then ranked the 32 NFL teams on how they faired. Detroit was the only team with a negative rating at -6.2 with the Oakland Raiders coming in second worst with a rating of 2.
The period is question should not surprise anyone. It was during this period that the Lions were so bad at drafting that they assembled the only NFL roster to ever go 0-16 in 2008. It was during the season they fired their General Manager Matt Millen. However, after promising a exhaustive search they simply hired his assistant. He has not faired well in the draft either. more >>
The San Jose Sharks visit the Staples Center in their last game of the year to face the Los Angeles Kings in the NHL on Saturday afternoon. The game will start at 3 p.m. ET and can be watched online through live stream (details below).
Both teams are not going to be playing in the post-season but will want to end their campaigns with a victory so expect an intense clash.
Los Angeles, the defending champions, had a chance to clinch a playoff spot, or at least a Wild Card place, but have dropped their last three games to leave them out of the post season race. more >>