Mike Clevinger’s contract with the White Sox further indicates an expensive free-agent market this winter

After a lull in the baseball world over the past week, we got a pair of signings on Sunday and Monday, as Jose Abreu inked a multi-year contract with the Houston Astros and Mike Clevinger inked a show-me deal with the Chicago White Sox.

This flurry of moves sees the White Sox move on from Abreu, who slashed a .292/.354/.506 line with the team over the course of nine seasons, and add a reclamation project to their starting rotation. Clevinger was moved in a big trade from Cleveland to the San Diego Padres during the 2020 season. He made just four starts with the team and underwent Tommy John surgery and then missed the entirety of the 2021 season.
In his first year back from Tommy John, Clevinger posted a 4.33 ERA over the course of 114 1/3 innings. His fastball velocity hovered around 93.5 miles per hour, a noticeable drop from where it was during his successful seasons in Cleveland. As a result, his strikeout rate dipped to 18.8% in 2022 compared to 27.5% in 2020 and 22.6% in 2019.
Now, why does any of this matter? Because Clevinger’s contract, which has $12 million guaranteed, further indicates just how expensive this winter’s free-agent market is going to be…

$12M is more than I e …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Jacks of all trades, masters of none: Are the Leafs overdoing it with Swiss Army knife players?

Over a stretch in the late 90s, everyone in my family struggled annually with what to get my Dad for Christmas. The solution seemed to be that every year he’d wind up with a Swiss Army Knife, a Leatherman, or some other utilitarian tool that was great for stuffing in a tacklebox, backpack, travel kit, or whatever. These are great tools for when you are in a jam and need to rely on the next best thing to the proper tool, but much like my Dad at the turn of the century, the Leafs are over-encumbered with Swiss Army knives that were a pleasant surprise as a stopgap, but a miserable Plan A for addressing problems.
In the grandest tradition of complaining about the Leafs, I’ve chosen to wait until after they’ve had a 5-2 win, featuring a goal from one of those Swiss Army knives, set up by another Swiss Army knife, and the third Swiss Army knife managed a breakaway as well (although that result was predictably underwhelming.) Still, it’s worth noting that if we are going with our recency bias on this, Calle Jarnkrok, Pierre Engvall, and Alex Kerfoot all performed well on Saturday night.
Now with recent success acknowledged, let’s mo …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Hot starts for Horvat and Robertson, Blues lose eight straight: NHL Notebook

Hot starts for Horvat and Robertson, Blues lose eight straight: NHL Notebook

We are just over a month into the NHL season and there are a couple players that have been exceeding expectations and a team that’s playing its way into the Bedard sweepstakes.
Bo Horvat and Jason Robertson have been single handily winning games for the Canucks and Stars. Meanwhile, the St. Louis Blues are in the midst of their longest regulation losing streak in franchise history.
Bo Horvat
A few months ago Canucks fans were saying this guy isn’t even worth 6M per year. Well, now he’s second in the NHL in goals. With four multi-goal games in his last five he’s now at 12 on the year in just 13 games.
It’s a contract year for the Canucks captain and he’s playing his way out of their price range. His 16 points in 13 games have him on pace to shatter his career high of 61 set back in 2018-19. They chose to lock up JT Miller for seven more years instead of their captain whose two years younger and it looks like they’re going to regret it.
Unless they buy out Oliver Ekman-Larsson or trade one of Tyler Myers or Conor Garland it’s looking like Horvat will be play …

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Author: Scott Ony / The Leafs Nation

3 Raptors milestones Scottie Barnes could reach in 2022-23

3 Raptors milestones Scottie Barnes could reach in 2022-23

The Toronto Raptors are still doing cartwheels all over Scotiabank Arena after landing Scottie Barnes in the 2021 NBA Draft. His Rookie of the Year award remains a firm reminder of the fact his debut season was one of the most exhilarating campaigns in Raptors history. Barnes averaged 15.3 points per game as a rookie, […]
3 Raptors milestones Scottie Barnes could reach in 2022-23 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Nicolas Aube-Kubel brings a different kind of intensity to the Maple Leafs lineup

Over the last few seasons, the Maple Leafs’ fourth line has featured grit and skill over everything else, but that’s about to change a little bit with the addition of Nicolas Aube-Kubel.
He began the 2021-22 campaign with the Philadelphia Flyers, being in the organization since being drafted by them back in 2014. The 26-year-old spent four seasons in the NHL on the Flyers, leaving the organization with 50 points in 169 games.
Aube-Kubel was placed on waivers back in November by Philadelphia — only seven games into the 2021 season. 24 hours later, he was a part of the Colorado Avalanche, and well, the rest is history.
He won the Stanley Cup, dropped the Stanley Cup, and then signed a one-year, $1 million contract with the Maple Leafs. Everything you’d want in a player, right?
The 26-year-old, in 67 games with the Avalanche, was able to put up 22 points before the regular season came to a close. But his impact doesn’t come from being on the score sheet — it’s from his commitment to being a very difficult player to go up …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Around the NHL: Kadri to Calgary, Isles lock up RFA’s

Around the NHL: Kadri to Calgary, Isles lock up RFA’s

The NHL offseason is now more than halfway over, and most teams appear ready to get started on the 2022-23 season. In the past week one of the most notable free agents finally signed, the New York Islanders locked up some key, young players, a couple depth pieces earned one-year deals and two assistant coaches found new homes.
Kadri lands in Calgary
Up until about a week ago it seemed like Nazem Kadri was destined to end up on Long Island but in the end, he opted to head north to Calgary. It’s been a busy offseason for the Flames who once again stole the headlines this past week.
General manager Brad Treliving inked the soon to be 32-year-old Kadri to a seven-year contract at an average annual value (AAV) of seven million dollars. Kadri joins former Florida Panthers Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar as a fresh face in Calgary. The revamped Flames look primed to compete for the Pacific division title yet again, albeit with a new look roster.
To make room for Kadri’s contract, long-time Flame Sean Monahan was traded to the Montreal Canadiens with a conditional first round pick in 2025 for future considerations.
Islanders lock up RFA’s
Besides the Kadri rumours, things have been awfully quiet in Long Island this summer. This past week GM Lou Lamoriello …

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Author: Scott Ony / The Leafs Nation

Checking in on how the Blue Jays’ 2022 draft picks and undrafted free agent signs are doing so far

It’s been just over a month now since the 2022 MLB draft, so it’s time to look at how each player is doing!

We’ll be going in the order in which they were drafted, starting with the 23rd overall pick, then the 60th overall, and then so on and so forth.
We’ll also be looking at how the undrafted free agents have been doing, as they’ve also put up some interesting numbers.
As most of these players have played with the Dunedin Blue Jays, we’ll be able to look at exit velocity data and pitching velocity. Here’s the database for every single batted ball in play for the 2022 Dunedin Blue Jays.
Brandon Barriera:
The Blue Jays’ first-round draftee has yet to make his professional debut. In fact, it’s unlikely he will make his debut in 2022.  It’s been reported that the 18-year-old lefty will work at the complex in Florida, much like how the Blue Jays’ third-rounder, Ricky Tiedemann did last season.
Hopefully, Barriera is able to rise up the ranks like Tiedemann has done this season.
Josh Kasevich:
The 21-year-old shortstop who was chosen 60th overall was assigned to the Dunedin Blue Jays in Low A. He’s slashing .234/.294/.277 with no homers in 51 plate appearances. Kasevich has avoided strikeouts, as his 7.8 K% is the lowest amongst this group of players, but he’s only walked 5.9% of the time. He has a 69 (nice) wRC+ for the season
Out of all the drafted players that landed in Dunedin, Kasevich has the lowest average exit velocity at 82.55 mph. He has a hard hit percentage of 23.26 (second lowest), and his maximum exit velocity sits at 104.3 mph.
Tucker Toman:
Selected with the 77th overa …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

The Leafs have acquired Matt Murray from the Senators

Over 24 hours after the initial report from Elliotte Friedman, the Matt Murray trade is now official.

TRADE: We have acquired goaltender Matt Murray & two draft picks from Ottawa in exchange for future considerations. #LeafsForever
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) July 12, 2022

The Leafs also acquired a third-round pick in 2023 and a seventh-round pick in 2024 in exchange for future consideration. Ottawa will be retaining 25% of his salary for the final two years, bringing his cap hit to roughly $4.68 million.
This comes mere days after the Leafs made the move to dump Petr Mrazek’s salary cap in Chicago while Jack Campbell appears all but likely to be hitting the open market on Wednesday (with reports suggesting that he will likely be joining the Oilers).
Murray is coming off a bit of a bounceback campaign statistically speaking as he recorded a .906 SV% and a 3.05 GAA despite going 5-12-2 in only 20 starts. He recorded an SV% above .900 for the first time since the 2018-19 campaign, although his GAA has been above three in his two seasons with the Senators.
There are plenty of risks that come with the move, given his injury troubles over the past two seasons, this is also a goalie who has proven himself to be a solid option when he’s on his game. Murray made an immediate impact in his first two seasons by helping the Penguins win two straight Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017 while being reliable throughout his other postseason runs.
After spending the majority of the opening quarter of the 2021-22 campaign on IR with a head and neck injury, Murray seemed to have found his groove during a 12-game stretch that saw him post a .932 SV% and a 13.78 GSAx. Had it not been for his last two games where he gave up a combined 13 goals against the Lightning and Coyotes, he would have finished the season with a .920 SV%. The latter game not only saw his numbers take a massive drop, but he also suffered a season …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation