1. If the Twins continue on there losing path, will they be looking to sell at the trade deadline? Who will they trade and who has trade value?
Nate Leer: I think the Twins have a lot of moderately valuable pieces to deal during this summer of losing. Honestly, for the long-term health of the organization, the way the season played out might be perfect. Instead of hanging around .500 and the fringe of the playoff race, the team showed its true colors early by putting up the worst 40-game record in team history. This allows them to angle for a better draft pick next year, play young players to see if they develop and trade away vets for future assets.
Players to trade:
- Trevor Plouffe – The quality two-way 3B with some versatility is a free agent after the season and could bring a couple nice pieces by going to a contender such as the Dodgers.
- The “closers” – Glen Perkins (if he gets healthy) and Kevin Jepsen should have moderate value as virtually every team looks for bullpen help down the stretch.
- Other infielders – Brian Dozier, Eduardo Nunez and Eduardo Escobar could all be helpful to contending teams but the Twins need to make sure to get fair value for these cheap, younger players.
- Starting pitchers – The Twins may have to eat some salry to move Ricky Nolasco and/or Phil Hughes but efforts should be made to get out from under these bad contracts. Hopefully a contender or two will be a little desperate for back-end-of-the-rotation help later in the summer.
- If he produces a bit offensively, catcher Kurt Suzuki may be tradeable as well.
Many of these players may be able to make it through waivers and be tradeable between the July 31st and August 31st deadlines.
2. Will the Wolves move the number 5 pick in the NBA Draft or will they stay put and who will they take?
Kras: Just playing off of the speculation, what would it take to get Jimmy Butler? The number 5 overall pick and what pieces? I think ideally if the Wolves could move the 5th pick and any assortment of players not named Wiggins, Towns, and Lavine. I think the idea of keeping those three players together is the right idea. I think the wolves will be alright even if they don’t go the way of Jimmy Butler. The Wolves have some good talent on the team the way it is now and if they can find a roll player and fill a need with the 5th pick I think they need to consider that option. If they can get some PG help (Dunn) I think that might be a guy who can come in and help right away. Any scoring he brings from the point will be welcome and he is a solid defender.
Nate Leer: Lots of people seem willing to trade the #5 and Zach LaVine for Butler but I think many T-pups fans and the media are missing the true potential of LaVine. Would I trade him straight up for Butler? Of course. I am a big fan of Butler’s style and productivity. But LaVine is a different type of player and may be on the verge of being one of the best shooters in the league. His lift makes him open at virtually any time and his work ethic means his shot should keep improving. If the Bulls were willing to take Wiggins and the #5 for Butler and their 1st round pick, I may be interested. As Kras states, any combe of the #5 and other assets wouls be even better but the Bulls probably won’t do that. Honestly, all of this speculation may be baseless. Would Chicago even be willing to trade with Thibs? How much will they want for him? I think the T-wolves should stand pat, take a quality player at #5 and work from there. Let’s go!
3. Looking ahead to the football season, the Vikings will have some roster choices to make a WR. Who will be more likely to make the Vikings 53 man Roster, Moritz Boehringer or Cordarrelle Patterson?
Kras: I don’t have a vast knowledge Boehringer and his overall ability but I have seen Patterson and there is no reason to believe that Boehringer won’t beat out Patterson for a roster spot. Patterson hasn’t shown any major progression in the passing game and is at best a good kickoff returner in a league that is always trying to phase out that area of the game. I think anything that Boehringer brings to the pass game puts him in a better position to make the roster over Patterson.
Nate Leer: If I had to bet, I would think both players make the roster and Charles Johnson is the odd man out. However, if Patterson has not made any progress as a WR this offseason, he probably will be shown the door. As Kras points out, KRs are being phased out of the NFL and the Vikes have too many bodies at WR to carry a player who isn’t a pro about his job. Boehringer probably won’t be ready to contribute much this year but has enough upside to warrant being kept on the roster.
1. What was a better win, Sergio Garcia at the At&t Byron Nelson or Rory McIlroy at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open?
Kras: I think that this was a good win for both players and I’m not sure that one was more important that the other. I would say that it meant more to McIlroy to win the Irish Open, a tournament that he has not played well in over his career. Garcia had to get his win in a playoff hole against Brooks Koepka. Garcia started the tournament with an Opening round 63 and managed scores of 66, 68, & 68 the rest of the way for his 9th PGA win. Although it was a nice a weekend for both players, Jason Day is still the man to beat for now.
2. With the Thunder up 2-1 in their series with that Warriors, do they have the ability to keep the pressure on and upset the reigning NBA champs?
Kras: I think the Thunder can, and very well may, beat the Warriors. After watching the 105-133 route in game 3 I have no reason to believe that they can’t beat the Warriors. The Thunder look strong this year. They seem to have a certain toughness that they haven’t had in years past. I think if the Thunder can win game 4 they have a great chance to get to The Finals.
Nate Leer: Kras is right, the Warriors look very beatable after last night’s loss. We will see if they can even the series on the road but if not, they are in trouble. Those 73 wins in the regular season will lose a lot of luster if the team can’t even get to the Finals. A Cleveland vs. Oklahoma series would feature 3 of the best athletes in the league and could be a fun, up-and-down series to watch. Love the NBA playoffs!
3. What do you make of the Jose Bautista and Rougned Odor kerfuffle? Was the Odor suspension to much? Not enough?
Kras: Personally I think that starting a brawl over something that happened last year (and I’m sure there is more to it that this) is pointless. Last time I checked it wasn’t the Rangers or the Blue Jays who won the World Series last year so I would suggest that both teams try a little harder to beat teams on the field versus brawling with them. As far as the suspensions go I think Odors 8 games is a good start. I’m not exactly sure what the protocol is for fighting but 8 games is a solid number. I do hope that both teams have enough success to make it to the playoffs and meet up again. I think that is were we would really see some exciting baseball.
Nate Leer: I agree that the Odor suspension was warranted and that both teams would do well to focus on winning games. However, I thought suspending Bautista made no sense as he really didn’t do much to start the fight. Yeah, these two teams meeting in a playoff series would be great drama!