Toronto Raptors: Grading Toronto’s free agency moves

Toronto Raptors: Grading Toronto’s free agency moves

The Toronto Raptors head into the season with a lower set of expectations than they’ve become accustomed too over the past 3 years.  They’re no longer a championship contender, but they do still have a competitive roster.  If free agency told us anything, however, it’s that this team might be looking further ahead than just […]
Toronto Raptors: Grading Toronto’s free agency moves – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Eddie Huband / Raptors HQ

Page 6ix Wednesday, November 25th: Odds and Ends and A Surprise Baby

Welcome gossip friends! As we get deeper into the indefinite offseason, the drama seems to ebb and flow. Some weeks it’s plentiful, others it’s sparse, and occasionally there is one or two big things and not much else. We’re in the third category right now, so let’s take a look at the big deal gossip. But first…we have to start with our Leafsland report.
Leafs Lads
Just a couple quick tidbits from our Leafs this week. Auston Matthews continues his Movember fundraiser, while also spending some quality ice time with Connor McDavid in AZ.

Auston Matthews & Connor McDavid are skating together in preparation for the 2020-21 season. Also wanted to promote Matthews’ Movember page. It’s a great cause and he will shave off his stache if he gets to $134K: https://t.co/LHVn3ZaQPo https://t.co/b47lBooOBV
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) November 23, 2020

What do you think they talk about? Is AM34 the key to McDavid making a move back home to Toronto?
Elsewhere, actual puppy Travis Dermott promoted a Tiny Shelters fundraiser:

Toronto Tiny Shelters https://t.co/sjNTRc0qvq
— Travis Dermott (@Travis_Dermott) November 23, 2020

He is a very good egg.


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Author: TLN Staff / The Leafs Nation

The Leafs Prospect Rankings so far

The Leafs Prospect Rankings so far

We are one week into our countdown towards the Leafs top organizational prospect. Right now we seem to be focusing largely on players that are encouraging long shots or potentially worthwhile depth players. Next week we’ll start seeing a few more names that are a lot more of the hit or miss, swing for the fences prospects that haven’t necessarily established themselves yet.
Here’s who we’ve covered so far…
TLN Prospect Rankings: The Honourable Mentions

In the Honourable Mentions we focused on Dmitri Ovchinnikov, Kalle Loponen, and Veeti Miettenen. Here’s some of what what Nick DeSouza had to say about Ovchinnikov:
I personally had Ovchinnikov ranked the highest out of the TLN crew at 14. To many, Ovchinnikov was regarded as a sleeper prior to the draft and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Leafs were the ones to take him. One thing that was surprising though, was the fact that they traded up for the pick, something that we don’t usually see too often by Dubas.
Given that Ovchinnikov has 23 points in 15 games in the MHL, and has appeared in 5 games in the KHL this year, it’s likely we’ll …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Korean free agent Ha-seong Kim would be a great fit for the Blue Jays

If you were one of the people who tuned into the Korean Baseball Organization this year while Major League Baseball was shut down due to COVID-19, you’ll probably recognize the name Ha-Seong Kim.

Kim, an infielder for the Kiwoom Heroes, was one of the league’s best hitters during the 2020 season, slashing a .310./402/.530 line with 28 homers, 103 RBIs, and a 61-to-70 strikeout-to-walk rate.
Over at FanGraphs, Dan Szymborski wrote that Kim is planning to make the jump across the Pacific Ocean this winter to the Major Leagues. Kim expressed interest in coming over to the Majors last winter but ultimately decided to ride out the final year of his contract in the KBO.
Now, after a huge season at the plate, Kim should garner plenty of interest from Major League teams as a free agent.
The posting rules for Asian leagues are different as of 2018. Teams no longer bid on players, as you’d remember from situations like Yu Darvish and Masahiro Tanaka. Instead, posting teams will get 20 percent of a player’s first guaranteed $25 million, 17.5 percent of the next $25 million, and 15 percent after that.
Circling back to Szymborski’s post at FanGraphs, Kim’s projected numbers according to ZiPS …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Who will be back in 2020-21? – The defense and goalies

The Leafs are well into their offseason, and while there’s still hockey to be played, the Leafs focuses are on next season and what improvements they can make to the roster to finally put them over the hump.
The good news for Kyle Dubas is that this will be, to some extent, his easiest offseason. He doesn’t have to pull all-nighters to win over John Tavares, he doesn’t need to go down to the wire to extend William Nylander, and he certainly doesn’t have to deal with Darren Ferris. But, he does need to address the holes the Leafs have on defense, whether it be through trade, free agency, or internally, and also continue to add prospect depth to the organization, something we’ve been lacking due to the disasters that were the 2016 and 2017 drafts. We might be looking at a similar team as last year, or a completely overhauled roster, as Dubas appears to not be letting any emotions get in the way of his moves so far.
So, let’s look at the team from top to bottom, and figure out who will be back. I will throw …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Who will be back in 2020-21? – The forwards

The Leafs are well into their offseason, and while there’s still hockey to be played, the Leafs focuses are on next season and what improvements they can make to the roster to finally put them over the hump.
The good news for Kyle Dubas is that this will be, to some extent, his easiest offseason. He doesn’t have to pull all-nighters to win over John Tavares, he doesn’t need to go down to the wire to extend William Nylander, and he certainly doesn’t have to deal with Darren Ferris. But, he does need to address the holes the Leafs have on defense, whether it be through trade, free agency, or internally, and also continue to add prospect depth to the organization, something we’ve been lacking due to the disasters that were the 2016 and 2017 drafts. We might be looking at a similar team as last year, or a completely overhauled roster, as Dubas appears to not be letting any emotions get in the way of his moves so far.
So, let’s look at the team from top to bottom, and figure out who will be back. I will throw …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

CBA Update: Entry Level Contracts

Each season we see a new crop of rookies break into the National Hockey League, and each season it seems the group grows larger and more talented. Players like Auston Matthews, Connor McDavid, and Jack Eichel sign their ELCs immediately after they are drafted, then immediately become top players in the league.
Those players are the exception though, every year there are 200 players drafted that take a different path in their first season after being drafted. Timothy Liljegren and Rasmus Sandin jumped to the American Hockey league, Nicolas Robertson and Mikhail Abramov returned to the CHL, Pontus Holmberg remained in Europe. For these players an ELC is something that must be worked towards and negotiated, the first step in a long process of making it to the NHL.
Regardless of which group a young player falls into, the upper limit on their contracts were virtually the same for a very long time. Any player drafted beginning in 2011 had a maximum ELC of $925,000, with Schedule A performance bonuses of $850,000. and Schedule B performance Bonuses of $2m. The minimum ELC would be equal to the minimum league salary, which has comparatively changed a lot over the same period. When the current CBA …

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Author: Earl Schwartz / The Leafs Nation

Daily Duce: Blue Jays players respond to Toronto’s quarantine guidelines, Austin Martin gets added to the 60-man player pool, and more!

Daily?!?!?

As the Blue Jays slowly roll into Toronto for Summer Camp, we’ve been treated to our first actual taste of baseball action since mid-March. The team played an intrasquad game earlier this week, which featured a couple of bombs from Rowdy Tellez (here’s the first and here’s the second), a dinger from Bo Bichette, a gem at third base from Jordan Groshans, some heat from Simeon Woods Richardson, and a wicked curve from Hyun-Jin Ryu.
But that’s all been overshadowed by the ongoing drama of where the team will actually be playing its games this season.
The Jays were able to rescue their players from training in the COVID-swamp known as Florida by agreeing to follow Canada’s strict quarantine measures. The players would fly into the country after passing multiple tests and then they would stay at the hotel attached to Rogers Centre, where they would be practicing. This, of course, would mitigate the potential risk of players carrying the virus from Florida into Toronto.
Mark Shapiro said that a key part of this process has been educating the players about how a modified quarantine or a bubble environment …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

What does 2019 tell us about the Blue Jays chances in Weird Year?

Before I get into this I’m going to put the disclaimer right at the top: I have deep and unrelenting reservations about the wisdom of even trying to play baseball this year, this is not me endorsing the idea. But they seem determined to and given that circumstance, I confess to having a bit of a fetish for the sort of speculation which follows, which is this: What can we learn from 2019 as we attempt to forecast how the Blue Jays might fare in this bizarre short season?
Admittedly, all of this is highly speculative, given that they do not operate in a vacuum (i.e. how other teams have changed affects how competitive they are relative to the Jays in any given game) and given that no player simply reproduces the same level of production year over year. But the temptation to try and read the tea leaves is irresistible so I’m gonna do it.
One more small disclaimer. This must be considered at least in passing:

Passan notes on Writers Bloc that if the Blue Jays hold Nate Pearson down for 7 days, then they’ll get an extra year of control. HAVE AT IT TWITTER.
& …

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Author: Tammy Rainey / Blue Jays Nation

MLB’s newest 2020 plan involves a universal DH and an expanded post-season

After weeks of speculating and floating ideas out into the public with varied responses, it appears that Major League Baseball has a plan to get its season started.

According to Ken Rosenthal, the 30 MLB owners have voted to approve a proposal for the 2020 season. On Tuesday, the proposal will be sent to the MLB Players’ Association for approval.
The proposal that the owners voted on on Monday was based largely around a new revenue-sharing plan that would have the league share 48 percent of its revenue with the players. Figuring out some kind of equilibrium on the economics of the 2020 season (without fans in the stadiums buying tickets and merchandise and concessions) was the first step to getting the season started.
Beyond the money stuff, MLB’s plan for a 2020 season involves…

An 82-game schedule
Maintaining the two-league, six-division format
Teams playing within in their division and with their corresponding geographical National League division
30-man active rosters with a 20-player taxi squad
A 14-team expanded post-season field
The goal of Opening Day happening between July 1 and 4

The interesting thing here is how MLB is shoehorning in two key changes, the universal DH and an expanded post-season …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation