MLB > The Trade Deadline Winners

~ The excitement of the lockout finally coming to an end in the NFL has been distracting to say the least.The baseball season is still very much in full swing and teams are getting in position for their playoff runs. The trade deadline has passed and here is a quick look at some key moves that were made for fans to keep an eye on.

 Hunter Pence To The Phillies

 Pence provides the Phillies with the pop they were looking for to balance out their lineup. They already have their pitching rotation that teams are not looking forward to facing in a potential playoff series. Pence is young (28) and brings a .308 batting average and 62 RBI to the team. The Phillies gave up a lot to Houston just to get Pence. However, it was looking clear that this move was needed for the post-season.

Carlos Beltran to San Francisco

Beltran was the next one to go on the New York Mets firesale of 2011. The Phillies, Braves, and Rangers were all interested in the right fielder who is having a bounce back season with the bat. However, it was the defending champion Giants who were able to land Beltran for their stretch run. Much like Pence in Philadelphia, Beltran gives the Giants a much needed bat in a lineup that had a major hole in it.

 Derrick Lee & Ryan Ludwick To The Pirates

Pence and Beltran were obvious moves and everyone knew they were going to happen. However, the Pittsburgh Pirates were not expected to be in a position to be buyers instead of sellers at the trade deadline. The Pirates have been the talk of baseball in 2011 and could have went all out to get Beltran or Pence. It would have meant for them to give up key members of their team though and perhaps a top prospect. For the Pirates to be able to get Lee and Ludwick without mortaging the young talent they currently have is a big win for them and their fans. What the Pirates have done this season so far has been one of my more favorite storylines to follow as the season continues.

Michael Bourn to Atlanta and Ubaldo Jimenez to Cleveland were solid moves andTexas strengthened their bullpen with Mike Adams and Koji Uehara.

 The Yankees shocked everyone by not making any moves. It’s not because of lack of prospects, the Yanks have a high abundance of them. Apparently they are comfortable with where their pitching staff is at. As long as Bartolo Colon, Phil Hughes, and Freddie Garcia can remain consistent behind CC Sabathia and AJ Burnett, the Yankees should be able to keep pace with the Red Sox down the stretch.

NFL > Randy Moss Decides To Retire From The NFL

~ Plaxico Burress is now a New York Jet. Chad Ochocinco is now a New England Patriot. Randy Moss is now … retired. Randy Moss has apparently decided that he’s ready to move on. Moss is a 7-time pro bowler and is known for his controversy as much as he is for being one of the great receivers to play the game. Moss is now ready to call it quits and retire after reportedly receiving an array of underwheling offers from teams. If the 34-year old actually goes through with it remains to be seen. Read more of this post

NFL > Giants & Ahmad Bradshaw Agree To Terms

~ Ahmad Bradshaw and the New York Giants have reportedly agreed to terms on a new contract. The Giants were in danger of losing the free agent and that would have been another blow to their team.

 The New York Giants have not had the fireworks behind their off-season moves that their division rival Philadelphia Eagles have had so far. Among those included in the deep pool of free agents was Ahmad Bradshaw. The Giants were in danger of losing their explosive running back and it would have been another blow to their team’s roster. It looked as if Miami was going to land Bradshaw until they made the deal for Reggie Bush, since then there was little buzz about where else Bradshaw might go to play. Bradshaw’s new deal with the Giants is reportedly for four years  and worth 18 million, with $9 million guaranteed.

 The new salary cap has already forced the Giants to re-do their offensive line with cuts to Shaun O’Hara and Rich Seubert. They still have a void at tight end because Kevin Boss is now a free agent waiting for his turn at the negotiating table. Wide receiver Steve Smith is also a free agent that the Giants have to re-sign. There was enthusiasm behind the possibility of Plaxico Burress returning to the team, however Burress is now a New York Jet.

 It also remains to be seen what the Giants decide to do with Osi Umenyiora, who reportedly has been granted permission to seek a trade.

The Giants couldn’t afford to lose Bradshaw to another team. The Eagles signing of cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha is going to make it very difficult for teams to pass the football effectively and puts the importance on having a strong running game. Putting Bradshaw back with Brandon Jacobs in the backfield at least brings some peace of mind to the Giants fans who may have been wondering when their team was going to make some additions instead of more subtractions.

The Jets Big-Time Investing While Looking For The Ultimate Return

~ The wild NFL free agency bonanza of 2011 has produced plenty of winners and losers so far. It’s been unpredictable at times trying to figure out which teams are coming out ahead with their new investments or not showing enough at the table to put their bids in. The Jets as expected have been active investors and it’s been in their usual controversial way. Read more of this post

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