Sean Couturier Signs Six Year Extension

July 30th, 2015 by Joe Buscemi | No Comments | Filed in Flyers, General, Hockey, Sports

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The Flyers signed center Sean Couturier to a 6 year contract extension worth $25 million on Tuesday July 28th. He is in the final year of his current 2 year $3.5 million contract, in which he will be earning a cap hit of $1.75 million.

Most fans have mixed feelings about “Coots” due to his moderate offensive numbers, however many forget that he is only 22,  has played under two different coaches at a very young age, and despite being a center he has been heavily utilized as a defensive specialist during many penalty killing opportunities. He has done an excellent job shutting down opponent’s star players including Evgeni Malkin, especially during the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Couturier has generated 45 goals and 73 assists in regular season contests and 3 goals and an assist in 18 playoff games as a Flyer. He also assisted in Team Canada’s 2015 World Championships Gold Medal run, where he recorded 3 goals and 4 assists in 10 games.

During an interview with CSN Philly, Couturier mentioned that he is extremely excited to continue his career with the Flyers but most importantly he understands that it is time for him to step-up his game on offense and feels as though he can really improve under new head coach Dave Hackstol.

It would be nice to see if Hackstol could help revamp Couturier’s offensive skills as he continues to develop. It would turn him into quite a highly skilled two-way forward that would strengthen the team’s offense as he could be utilized on both the 2nd and 3rd lines.coots 2

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Breaking: Cole Hamels traded to Texas Rangers

July 30th, 2015 by Sam Shipley | No Comments | Filed in General, MLB, Phillies

Cole Hamels has been traded to the Texas Rangers, according to multiple reports. This day has been talked about for close to a year now, and the rumors have finally become reality. The Rangers were believed to be the favorites for Hamels all week long, and it seems that they never really were going to lose out on Hamels after all.

According to unofficial reports, the Phillies will be getting back catching prospect Jorge Alfaro, who is highly regarded as one of, if not the top catching prospects in baseball. Along with Alfaro, it is being reported that the Phillies will be receiving outfielder Nick Williams, and RHPs, Jake Thompson, Jack Eickhoff and Alec Asher. The Phillies will also acquire pitcher Matt Harrison from Texas.

Williams is the Rangers 5th ranked prospect according to MLB.com, and is ranked 64th in MLB.com’s top 100 prospect rankings. Jake Thompson is listed as the 4th ranked prospect on the Rangers and is ranked 60th overall on MLB.com’s top 100 prospect list. Eickhoff is the Rangers 17th ranked prospect, and Asher is the Rangers 29th ranked prospect according to MLB.com.

Headed back to the Rangers along with Hamels, will be reliever Jake Diekman and cash.

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Good Riddance

July 30th, 2015 by AmyMac | No Comments | Filed in Baseball, MLB, Phillies

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We all know by now that Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon has been traded to the Nationals for AA pitcher Nick Pivetta. I would have written this more than 24 hours ago, but I’ve been busy celebrating.

Quantitatively speaking, Papelbon has been the best closer in Philadelphia’s history.  His ERA while here was 2.31, and he boasted an impressive 9.5 K/9. Pap also recorded 123 saves in 138 opportunities, and even I can’t dispute that kind of success.

My issue with Papelbon has always been the same, and it’s the reason I’m ecstatic to see him leave so he can help Werth and Harper form the Triple Crown of Hillbilly Trash in DC. Jonathan Papelbon’s attitude has always been, and will likely continue to be, pure garbage. He’s the first to place blame on teammates, blatantly disrespect anyone in his path, and run his mouth to the media. I’m pretty sure we all remember his “I didn’t come here for this” rant when Papelbon began making his desire to leave Philadelphia very public.

I’d rather have a closer who couldn’t save a game if his life depended on it, but at least pretends to be a team player. Impressive statistics or not, Papelbon was grossly overpaid for his one job – securing three outs – and I won’t miss him.

Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, Pap … or, y’know, let it. I don’t mind. Either way, just get out of my city and go practice your Natitude.

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Breaking: Jonathan Papelbon traded to Nationals

July 29th, 2015 by Sam Shipley | No Comments | Filed in Baseball, MLB, Phillies

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According to multiple reports, Jonathan Papelbon has been traded to the Washington Nationals. The news was first reported by Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post.

Papelbon’s option for 2016 has been picked up by the Nationals, however, the deal has been restructured according to Ken Rosenthal of MLB.com.

There is no denying that Papelbon was arguably the best Phillies closer in history, and his numbers back that up. Papelbon converted 123 out of 138 save chances with the Phillies and leaves the team with a 2.31 ERA, 1.022 WHIP, and 9.5 K/9 IP as a Phillie. With Papelbon gone, it is expected that Ken Giles will take over the role as closer.

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Jonathan Papelbon Trade News

July 28th, 2015 by Sam Shipley | No Comments | Filed in Baseball, MLB, Phillies

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*Note: This page will strictly have updates regarding Jonathan Papelbon. 

Bookmark this page for all the latest Jonathan Papelbon trade news.

7/28/15 (11:31 AM):

According to Jim Salisbury, there is a growing confidence that Jonathan Papelbon will be traded.

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Cole Hamels Trade News

July 28th, 2015 by Sam Shipley | No Comments | Filed in General, MLB, Phillies

*Note: This page will strictly have updates regarding Cole Hamels. For all previous updates click here

Bookmark this page for all the latest Cole Hamels trade news.

7/28/15 (9:22 AM): The San Francisco Giants have made a big push for Cole Hamels, according to Ken Rosenthal.

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Matching Up With The Rangers?

July 28th, 2015 by Mike H. | No Comments | Filed in Baseball, MLB, Phillies

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As we make our way towards the Non-Waiver Trade Deadline on Friday, the names of possible destinations will emerge and subside. As Sam Shipley pointed out, and has continuously updated, the teams involved in Hamels Watch include the Dodgers, Rangers, Diamondbacks, Giants, Cubs, Yankees, and Astros with the Rangers currently the front-runners to acquire Hamels. One of Ken Rosenthal’s sources with inside knowledge of the Rangers organization states that outfielder Nomar Mazara is off-limits in any deal and that injured catcher Jorge Alfaro is only an option if the Phillies pay down Hamels’ future salary commitments. To me, this is just posturing on the Rangers end. I’ve agreed with Rosenthal in the past that Cole Hamels’ value is what other teams are willing to pay, but lets look honestly into what the Rangers are “refusing” to part with.

Nomar Mazara would obviously be the center piece to the deal. He is hitting .284/.355/.444 as a 20-year-old in AA Frisco. He will not be 21 until next April, so even if the Phillies left him in AA the rest of the season and/or promoted him to AAA between now and 2016, he’d realistically be a late June call-up of next year, at the earliest. Scouting reports grade him out having an above average arm and above average to well above average power. He would definitely be the left-handed bat in the middle of the lineup with Maikel Franco for the forseeable future.

For me, the secondary piece in this deal should be outfielder Lewis Brinson. The 21-year-old is currently hitting .327/.411/.588 in High A High Desert in the California League. Brinson won’t be 22 until next May and has graded out as having above average power, speed, and fielding abilities. What makes him not a center piece is that the California League tends to inflate players’ stats. The last “center piece” the Phillies acquired that played in the California League during his age 21 season? Tyson Gillies hit .340/.430/.486 before being traded and has had just one season since that he hit over .247. If acquired, I’d like to see Brinson move directly to AA Reading and let him sink or swim there the rest of 2015 and into 2016.

For as much promise as Jorge Alfaro boasts, he suffered a severe left ankle injury at the beginning of June that required surgery. An injury to the ankle that requires surgery is generally a broken bone or a ligament injury. I’m speculating that ligament is the problem as a broken bone would just simply be reported. Ankle ligament surgery is a rather lengthy process to recover from. Being that the surgery was performed in June, Alfaro can’t even start light exercising until September or resume baseball activities until January. Basically, Alfaro would most likely be behind heading into Spring Training. To basically say that Alfaro is a deal breaker is ludicrous as he will lose the best part of a year in development time.

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