Meet the Sellers: Kansas City Royals

Going into the All-star break, the Kansas City Royals are clear sellers.

Coming into the season, they were considered a dark horse in the AL Central after some interesting offseason signings. They went out and signed OBP king, Carlos Santana, and traded for then Boston outfielder, Andrew Benintendi, while having a solid young nucleus. They were expecting a big jump this season from some of their young minor league arms. Guys like Brady Singer, Jackson Kowar, Kris Bubic and Daniel Lynch have not been able to repeat successful minor league numbers. Instead, the Royals sit at the bottom of the division with a 36-53 record. 
The Royals have some interesting pieces potentially on the block. One of which has struggled mightily this season but is a great buy-low candidate. They also have an ace that has put up terrific numbers this season before he hit the IL. Moreover, they have a reliever with closing experience. That reliever used to be elite, is struggling this season, but is coming off a solid campaign in 2020.
Here are some players that would fill the Blue Jays’ needs…
Brad Keller
This would be a perfect buy-low opportunity for the Jays. He has had his …

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Author: Eric Lightfoot / Blue Jays Nation

Rumours: The last week of Kerfoot as a Leaf?

Heading into this offseason and perhaps even before the idea of accumulating boxes for moving should have been in the back of Alexander Kerfoot’s head. Now in the next week and a half things are about to get very real for him.
The expansion draft coming next Wednesday always presented itself as a likely exit for Kerfoot, but there’s the small matter of Kerfoot having some value and the Leafs desire to not let him walk without at least a bit of a return.
Here’s what Frank Seravalli had to say about him in his recent Trade Targets article:
Scoop: The belief is the Seattle Kraken have interest in selecting Kerfoot. The question for the Leafs is: Does it make sense to trade Kerfoot elsewhere before the Expansion Draft? The trick is any return short of future assets would also require protection from Seattle. That may ultimately result in losing Kerfoot from the roster, plus whomever the Kraken decide to then take – which could be defenseman Travis Dermott. Like many teams, the Leafs are weighing that out at the moment.
So that’s an interesting situation. The Leafs could potentially go into the expansion draft and lose …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: Assistant GM reveals draft strategy with No. 4 overall pick

Toronto Raptors: Assistant GM reveals draft strategy with No. 4 overall pick

The Toronto Raptors lucked into the No. 4 pick in the draft, which was even more important this year than in prior seasons because of the generally accepted consensus that there is a significant drop-off in talent after the top four players in this class. The Raptors will likely end up with either G League […]
Toronto Raptors: Assistant GM reveals draft strategy with No. 4 overall pick – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors should keep Malachi Flynn even if they draft a point guard

Toronto Raptors should keep Malachi Flynn even if they draft a point guard

The Toronto Raptors vaulted right into the No. 4 spot in the 2021 NBA Draft order, giving them a chance to potentially draft a new franchise point guard like Jalen Suggs. This would be the second consecutive year that they go in that direction, as they added Malachi Flynn with the 29th pick in last […]
Toronto Raptors should keep Malachi Flynn even if they draft a point guard – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

In Jack Campbell, the Leafs finally have consistent goaltending

Coming into the season, Jack Campbell’s role with the Toronto Maple Leafs was clear- be the best and most reliable backup Frederik Andersen has had since Curtis McElhinney.
The amazing story that played out couldn’t have been more different than what had been drawn up, in the best way possible, because Jack Campbell finally hit his potential.
Originally drafted by the Dallas Stars in 2010 with talk around the league watercoolers describing him as a kid who has ice in his veins and was projected to be a near-elite starter, once he developed, Campbell struggled mightily to establish himself in the world of professional hockey, due in no small part to injuries and debilitating confidence issues, but now, he has fully arrived. One small side note before we begin, if you have a subscription to The Athletic, I highly recommend reading James Mirtle’s profile on Campbell from April 5th. In this amazing feature, Mirtle explores Campbell’s journey from his childhood all the way up to him taking the starter’s role in Toronto. It was the kind of writing that I (a journalism student) strive to achieve at some point in my career.
Season Recap
Campbell appeared …

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Author: Dylan Murphy / The Leafs Nation

Meet the Sellers: Miami Marlins

Coming into the 2021, the Miami Marlins had hoped they could be a competitive team after their successful showing in last year’s shortened season. 

They finished second in the NL East, with a 31-29 record, landing them only four games behind the Atlanta Braves. The Marlins would beat the Chicago Cubs in the wild-card round and then get swept in three games by the Braves in the NLDS. 
The team came into this season with some optimism, but after a tough start through June 15th, the Marlins sit at the bottom of the division with a 29-39 record, 9.5 games back of the New York Mets. General manager, Kim Ng, will more than likely be selling uncontrollable assets to teams with the hopes for a large playoff run. The Toronto Blue Jays are absolutely one of those teams.
In my eyes, after some of the bullpen struggles, adding some arms is Toronto’s biggest priority. The Marlins also have a utility player I think would compliment the Blue Jays as well, which could spell some lost playing time for a guy like Cavan Biggio, who has struggled some this season. In an ideal world, the Marlins would also have some starting …

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Author: Eric Lightfoot / Blue Jays Nation

DFO Rundown: Hyman rumoured to have turned down a $5M/year deal from the Leafs

The Daily Face Off Rundown podcast dove into the next contract for Zach Hyman in their latest episode (around 8 minute mark) Jason Gregor sharing a rumoured offer from the Leafs of a $5M/yr contract, and Hyman’s cap rejecting that offer. Frank Seravalli went on to add that he expects Hyman to receive long term offers from multiple teams, and the cap hit to be north of $6M/yr.
That’s a lot of cheddar. And with the Leafs having to fill roughly 8 roster spots with only $12.5M to do so, that’s a big commitment to a 29 year old with significant time missed due to knee injuries over the past three seasons. Injury histories tend not to improve once you hit the 3-0 age marker either, so that’s a bit of a red flag.
Still if you look at what’s been put out for Hyman’s salary predictions, we could just be scratching the surface. Evolving Hockey‘s salary estimations put Zach Hyman as potentially earning a 7 year, $6.85M deal. I get it that you’ve liked Zach Hyman a lot as a Leaf, and he’s the top six forward we can point to that …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Auston Matthews is a finalist for the Ted Lindsay Award

It might fall into the category of things we’re not ready to hear about or celebrate, but Auston Matthews is one of the three finalist for the most outstanding player in the NHL.

Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews and Sidney Crosby are finalists for the Ted Lindsay Award, as voted on by their @NHLPA peers.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) June 2, 2021

Auston’s Rocket Richard winning year and 40+ goal season in 56 games is why we’re seeing his name up there for sure. In addition, Matthews has begun playing a much more complete game, and can be dominant in his own zone as well. He’s been consistent throughout the regular season, when the voting takes place, and only had a brief lull as he recovered from a wrist injury. The playoffs don’t factor into this, and while they were statistically underwhelming, we can certainly see where Matthews was playing a competitive game, but not getting the results we needed.
Now, here’s the catch. He’s nominated for the same award as Connor McDavid. Connor McDavid who had an absolutely mammoth finish to the season, where he put up over 100 points in a 56 game season. It’s an uphill battle. …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Tavares and Muzzin injury updates

Here we are heading into Game Seven of the first round, and the Leafs will appear to be doing so without their captain, and one of their top defensemen. Welcome to Leafs Nation. Here are the updates on where they are at…
Tavares skating…

John Tavares participated in the @MapleLeafs optional morning skate ahead of Game 7 tonight. #NHLonSN pic.twitter.com/JLJqoHZhpj
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) May 31, 2021

Yep, that’s John Tavares skating (although not looking completely comfortable) in advance of tonight’s Game Seven. The Leafs were quick to rule out Tavares for tonight, and that shouldn’t really be a surprise as this is the first full skate he’s participated in. Having the captain back to work with the players today was hopefully a positive for the team, and maybe, just maybe the Leafs want to play well enough to give Tavares a chance to come back during the playoffs.

“It’s progress that he’s on the ice with other players … He’s had no setbacks” … Sheldon Keefe on John Tavares #Leafs “His recovery has been quite remarkable.”
— Kevin McGran (@kevin_mcgran) May 31, 2021

Playing guess the return for Tavares is irresponsible, so we won’t, but we will say that it …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Leafs once again staring into the abyss

Leafs once again staring into the abyss

“If you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back at you.”
-Friedrich Nietzsche
Nothing really sums up the Leafs and their history quite like this quote, as the futility of this franchise seems to be entirely of its own making, and inability to get past itself.
Here we once more, in a game seven situation, on the verge of first round defeat, and it’s next to impossible to muster any confidence in this team, and have even a feeling that this Leafs team that looks so great on paper is going to even show half the effort required to move on to the second round.
The second round, a place this team hasn’t been since May of 2004. That is the first term of George Bush. That predates the iPhone by 3 years. Anchorman wouldn’t be out for another two months. Imagine the last time the Leafs won a playoff round Blockbuster had over 9,000 locations and turned down an opportunity to acquire Netflix. This team has sucked for an impossibly long time, and tonight’s Game Seven just feels like another chance to wear that humility on our sleeves.
Putting the history of this franchise on the current …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation