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#1 17-04-2017 05:16:22

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Date d'inscription: 23-09-2016
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Pacers finished second in the NBA in opponents scoring during the regu

The Oakland Athletics made another big move, and a follow-up move, before Thursdays non-waiver trade deadline, acquiring an ace lefthanded starter to bolster a rotation that was already playoff-calibre. Numbers Game looks at the As getting Jon Lester from Boston, sending Yoenis Cespedes to the Red Sox along with a deal involving the As and the Minnesota Twins. The Athletics Get: LHP Jon Lester, LF Jonny Gomes, OF Sam Fuld and cash. Lester, 30, was (depending on the availability of Tampa Bays David Price) possibly the premier pitcher available on the trade market, and is currently having the best year of his career, with a career-best 2.52 ERA in 21 starts. Hes also 10-7 with a 1.12 WHIP, with 149 strikeouts in 143 innings -- the first time since 2010 that Lester has struck out more than a batter per inning. This career season has come as Lester has altered his approach somewhat. Hes long had a four-pitch repertoire, but Lester has reduced his use of change-ups this year (a career-low 3.6%), while throwing more cutters (29.6%) than ever before Since 2008, Lester ranks seventh in Fan Graphs WAR (31.9), and is the 13th-ranked starting pitcher in the TSN.ca rankings, so he has the credentials of a major league staff ace and he joins an Oakland rotation that already leads the American League with a 3.32 ERA. As it stands right now, recently-acquired Jason Hammel and Jesse Chavez are left to battle for the fifth spot behind Lester, Sonny Gray, Scott Kazmir and Jeff Samardzija. The As have followed up the Lester trade by dealing lefty Tommy Milone (6-3, 3.55 ERA, 1.22 WHIP in 16 starts for Oakland) to Minnesota, because the As simply are too deep when it comes to starting pitching, but adding Lester isnt so much about depth as it is adding talent at the top end. Hes been a front-of-the-rotation pitcher on some World Series-winning Red Sox teams, posting a 2.11 ERA and 1.04 WHIP in 76 2/3 innings in the postseason. Moving to a pitcher-friendly park in Oakland only makes Lester more appealing. Lester, who is making $13-million this season, will be a free agent at seasons end. He reportedly turned down a four-year extension with the Red Sox worth between $70-million and $80-million, as well he should. He will sign for more than that as a free agent in the offseason. There are hopes in Boston that Lester returns and signs his lucrative new deal with the Red Sox, but its tough to bank on that now that he has departed. Gomes is a 33-year-old outfielder who has some power and hits lefties well (.875 career OPS vs. LHP, compared to .722 vs. RHP), but hes struggling this year, with a .683 OPS, the second-lowest of his career. He had a terrific season (18 HR, .868 OPS, 99 GP) while playing with the As in 2012 and has a .756 OPS in 68 career games in Oakland. Gomes is earning $5-million this season and will be a free agent at seasons end. Cespedes has seen the majority of the action in left field for the As this year, and Gomes can handle a platoon role, but there was no way to reasonably expect Gomes to replace Cespedes production, so the As followed up their trade with Boston by adding Sam Fuld from Minnesota. A 32-year-old who has never had more than 346 at-bats in a season, Fuld is a strong defensive player who can run (13 for 16 in stolen base attempts this season, 50-for-66 in his career), but has typically provided little offence. That said, Fuld has been red-hot in July, posting an .894 OPS while playing 23 games for the Twins, lifting him to a .722 OPS for the season, which isnt great, but the only other time in his big-league career that hes posted better was in 2009, when Fuld had an .821 OPS in 65 games with the Cubs. Fuld, who makes $800,000 this season, can platoon with Gomes to cover left field for the As and can play any of the three spots in the outfield if needed. Its a bit of a downgrade from Cespedes, but the upgrade on the mound makes the As even heavier favourites than they were before. This deal, coming on the heels of adding Samardzija and Jason Hammel, is a blast from the As that they are in it to win it this year. The Red Sox Get: LF Yoenis Cespedes and the second pick in the competitive balance Comp B round. Cespedes, 28, is a power-hitting outfielder who has a cannon for an arm. In 365 career games, hes hit 66 home runs, with a .262 batting average and .788 OPS. He ranks eighth among left fielders in Fan Graphs WAR (2.3) and TSN.ca Player Rankings, so hes an above average starter at the position. The issue for the Red Sox, in acquiring Cespedes, is that he is only under contract through next season, making $10.5-million this year and next, before he is eligible to become a free agent. Since his production this year has little relevance for a Red Sox team that is 10.5-games out of a playoff spot, that means Cespedes brings one season of value for Boston. Certainly, if Cespedes is playing well, a contract extension could be in the cards, but in evaluating this trade, the Red Sox can only count on what they are getting today. Acquiring Cespedes is an indication that the Red Sox expect to bounce back and contend next season and hes a legitimate power bat that could help Boston contend next season, but thats a short-term play that really atypical of what teams seek when trading away pending free agents. In the As previous deal with the Cubs, for example, the centrepiece of the deal for Chicago was the As best prospect, shortstop Addison Russell, who figures to have a long-term impact when he reaches the major leagues and that provides more of a window to get results. What happens if Cespedes gets hurt next year? That could wipe out any possible value that he might provide, so there is risk to the proposition, though it comes with the safety of knowing that Cespedes is at least a bona fide major leaguer. The pick that the Red Sox receive will reportedly fall around pick 70 in next years draft. Of 60 players taken between pick 70 and 75 from 2001-2010, 10 (16.7%) are (or have been) full-time major leaguers. (The list: Dan Haren, Andrelton Simmons, Yunel Escobar, Justin Masterson, Charlie Blackmon, Jon Jay, Wade Davis, Kevin Slowey, Chris Ray, Bryan Shaw). The Twins Get: LHP Tommy Milone. 27-year-old Milone has been an effective starter for the As, going 32-22 with a 3.84 ERA and 1.26 WHIP in 80 games over three-plus seasons. His average fastball velocity (86.5 MPH) is among the slowest, so hes not going to overpower anyone, but Milone can keep hitters off balance with his breaking and off-speed stuff. He kind of has the crafty lefty repertoire, even if hes younger than the stereotype for that handle. Some of his effectiveness, however, has been due to the favourable home park in Oakland, where Milone has a 3.11 ERA (1.15 WHIP) in 37 games, compared to a 4.52 ERA (1.37 WHIP) on the road. Moving to Minnesota is likely going to cost Milone some runs. Even if hes not able to maintain his strong start to this season, Milone can join a Twins rotation that is still pretty spotty behind Phil Hughes and Kyle Gibson and its an opportunity to prove he is worthy of a regular major league starting job. Making $510,000 this season, Milone isnt arbitration eligible until after next season, so hes also a bargain for Minnesota and all it cost the Twins was an outfielder that they had previously claimed on waivers from Oakland in April. Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook. Justin Smoak Jersey . Heck, we might just miss the BCS. Maybe? It sort of worked out this season. Top-ranked Florida State (13-0) was the only team to get through the regular season unbeaten, and the Seminoles did it in dominating fashion. Michael Saunders Jersey . But sometimes the way you lose takes precedence over the final score. And how the Jets lost the 5-4 game to the New York Islanders on Thursday is what had Coach Claude Noel hot after the game. http://www.teambluejaysprostore.us/Russ … ys-jersey/ . 3 Ohio State. Amedeo Della Valle had 15 points, Marc Loving scored a career-high 13 and the bench provided 38 points as the Buckeyes sprinted past Nebraska 84-53 on Saturday. Drew Storen Blue Jays Jersey . Louis Blues have returned to the top spot in the TSN. Paul Molitor Jersey . Petersburg of the KHL. Belov was a free agent last summer when he signed a one-year contract with the Oilers. In 57 games this season he had one goal and six assists with 34 penalty minutes in Edmonton.Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals jumps up Monday night when the Indiana Pacers host the Washington Wizards at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The top-seeded Pacers advanced after a tough seven-game series against the Atlanta Hawks in the opening round. Washington, the fifth seed in the East, moved on with a five-game series victory over the Chicago Bulls. Paul George led the Pacers to victory Saturday night. He had 30 points and 11 rebounds, shot 11-for-23 from the field and was lucky just to be on the floor for the decisive game. George took a few steps onto the court during a skirmish between teammate George Hill and the Hawks Mike Scott in Game 6. Traditionally, that has warranted a suspension, but a slight change in the language of the rule probably kept George from missing the critical contest. "This was a long series," said the Indiana All-Star. "Were happy to get over this hump and get ready for the next task, which is preparing for the Wizards." Roy Hibbert, the Pacers other All-Star this season, had his best game of the series on Saturday. He played sparingly in the later games of the series, but scored 13 points, grabbed seven rebounds and blocked five shots in Game 7. "You always feel for guys on your team that are struggling," said Pacers coach Frank Vogel. "You do what you can to push them or encourage them, challenge them when they need to. Its like your family, its like your children. You want the best for them. (It was) very gratifying to stay with him and then to see him step up the way he did." The Wizards have been home since Tuesday, which is a pretty lonng wait for a group that doesnt have a ton of postseason experience.dddddddddddd "It is what it is," said Washington coach Randy Wittman. "Whether you like rest, or whether you want to keep going, we dont have a choice." The Wizards held the Bulls to an average of 90 points a game while being led by their dynamic young backcourt of All-Star John Wall and sharp-shooter Bradley Beal. Against Chicago, the leagues best defensive unit in terms of scoring, Wall averaged 18.8 points and 6.8 assists. Beal led the Wizards with 19.8 points on 45 percent shooting from long range. "The main thing is to focus in and know what this team is capable of," said Wall after dispatching the Bulls. Defense is Indianas calling card. The Pacers finished second in the NBA in opponents scoring during the regular season and first in opponents field- goal percentage. The Wizards werent shabby on the defensive side of the ball either. They tied for eighth in the league in fewest points allowed and actually rank first in that category so far during the postseason. The two teams have never met in the postseason and Indiana has owned this series in recent history. The Pacers won two of three this season against Washington, both at home, but the dominance extends far past the 2013-14 campaign. Indiana has won 11 of the last 13 matchups and 15 of the last 19. The Wizards wont be intimidated playing in Indiana, despite being winless in their last 12 trips there, a span dating back to April 2007. Washington took all three road contests in the series against the Bulls. Game 2 will be Wednesday night in Indianapolis. 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