The fact Gerrit Cole is just a dream for Blue Jays fans is sad

Gerrit Cole is in the process of putting together one of the best walk years in baseball history.

Heading into free agency for the first time in his career, Cole will also most likely be adding his first-ever Cy Young Award to his trophy case. He’s coming off a league-leading 2.50 ERA across 212 1/3 innings while an absurd 13.8 strikeouts per nine. To top it all off, Cole struck out 15 batters in a dominant showing against the Rays in Game 2 of the ALDS on Saturday.

Gerrit Cole, Fastball, Knuckle Curve & Slider Spins. pic.twitter.com/7m2bLI9mlG
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) October 6, 2019

The season (and post-season) Cole is carrying into free agency is something we haven’t seen in a long time. In fact, it could be the most impressive since Greg Maddux became a free agent back in 1992.
The closest comparables from recent memory to what Cole is doing right now would be David Price in 2015, Max Scherzer in 2014, and CC Sabathia in 2007. Like Cole, all of those guys were still in their 20s coming off of Cy Young calibre seasons, but nobody came anywhere near touching Cole’s strikeout totals from 2019.
There have been other amazing pre-free agent seasons since 1990, …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Mitch Marner wants the world and a $15-million qualifying offer

The pressure is on. Teams are starting to get together and preparing for the 82 games that are ahead of them in less than a month, but some prime young stars are still on the sidelines as restricted free agents. Apparently, some of them don’t want to accept a historic long-term deal for their hometown team.

What’s holding up the Marner and Boeser deals? Should the NHL shrink their exhibition schedule? @FriedgeHNIC talks all that and so much more in the season premiere of 31 Thoughts.
Presented by @GMCcanada.https://t.co/b4mqMO8NRh
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) September 10, 2019

In Elliotte Friedman’s latest 31 Thoughts — where all the juicy details and some new information is always expected — he provided a wealth of detail in how the negotiations between the Leafs and Mitch Marner are currently going.
It is impossible to write or talk about Marner without offending someone, so here is my attempt at a bias-free take: It’s tense and personal. My belief is Toronto is willing to go to an $11-million AAV, but only if he signs for seven years. I’d heard both sides might agree to two years — then let arbitration sort it out — but a few …

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Author: Thomas Williams / The Leafs Nation

Point Man #26: Beal watches the door and the job starts anew

We begin Volume 2 of Point Man with the crew together and the job just beginning. Here comes Lowry, Conley and the rest looking to pull off the Silverstern job. Here it is, the start of Point Man Volume 2. Conley and Lowry have teamed up to take down the Silverstern job. Taurasi may still be in league with Kidd while his underlings D’Angelo and Schroder are still at large. Detective Brogdon chases after the whole gang. And behind it all looms Stockton, the kingpin. We begin today with Bradley Beal getting things rolling.
Who will make it out with the loot? Who will make it out alive? Read on to find out — every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
Catch up on Pages 24-25 of POINT MAN here.
Read all of Volume 1 of POINT MAN here.
Words: Daniel Reynolds
Art: Michael Kennedy (on Instagram)
Page 26

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Author: Daniel Reynolds / Raptors HQ

Should the Leafs plan for a year without Marner?

Yesterday I decided to float one of hastily thrown together thoughts on twitter:

My current hot take is that if Marner hasn’t agreed to a deal by July 1st the Leafs should be players in free agency for Karlsson or Skinner and make Marner wait for 2020-21
— Jon (@FatsSundin) April 30, 2019
To my surprise it wasn’t met with immediate disgust, and threats on my life so perhaps it is something that warrants at least a little exploration.
At this point let’s look at what we know to be true.
The Leafs have $68M committed to salary next season. That’s accounting for Nathan Horton being moved onto the Long Term Injured Reserve.
The salary cap is expected to be around $83M. Of course it could go in the Leafs favour and be $85M or we could see it lower as well, but $83M seems to be the number everyone is comfortable with.
In addition to Marner the Leafs need to sign Johnsson, Kapanen, and fill two more defense positions and one forward position. This is assuming that Justin Holl will be the only one sitting in the press box every night, and in reality there will probably be …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Listen to That’s A Rap #13: Post-Game 1 vs. Magic Reaction

The Rap crew get together to react to Toronto’s deflating Game 1 loss to the Magic. It’s time to listen to the first Playoff Edition of That’s A Rap. Well, kids, how was that for a Magic trick? It took the Raptors all of one game to be reminded that nothing will be easy on their road to the NBA Finals. Listen as the boys break down game one of Raptors-Magic.

On The Latest Episode:
Toronto got off to a slow start from beyond the arc, showed some fight in overcoming an early 16-point deficit, and, ultimately, fell short in the final minute. Kyle Lowry will not-quite-deservedly receive a ton of criticism for going scoreless, despite producing some good (non-shooting) stats. The Raptors were able to shut down Nikola Vucevic. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case with Forever Raptor Killer, DJ Augustin.
As deflating as this loss was, there were lots of positives that emerged. Playoff Kawhi was unleashed, Siakam out-performed, and great ball movement generated a lot of open looks in the first half.
Sometimes the simplest explanations can be the most effective. The Raptors simply need to knock down shots. Toronto ranked in the top five …

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Author: JayRosales / Raptors HQ