Hump Day Hot Takes: 12.13.17
There's so much that happened in the past few days that its almost hard to choose where to start. Carson Wentz's MVP season is over. Brady had that one game where he absolutely tanks just in time for fantasy playoffs, and the Ball family (sans Lonzo and his jump shot which is no where to be found) is moving to Lithuania (and with any luck will stay there). But no, there's really only one major story that can possibly be the top story for this column, especially since this once started as a baseball-centric site. You know where we're going, so let's go.
YANKEES TRADE FOR NL MVP GIANCARLO STANTON AND/OR THE CIRCUS IN MIAMI
Okay, so let's get the technical details out of the way first. Giancarlo Stanton and his career .268/.360/.554 slash line are heading to New York along with $30 million is salary relief (more on that in a minute) in exchange for Stralin Castro and two low-level prospects. So low, that I'm having a hard time finding their names at the moment. It is also reported the the Marlins and currently trying to ship Castro out the door before even saying hello. But before we move on to the "unprofessional circus" that is the Miami Marlins (those are Stanton's words), let's discuss the Bronx Bombers. They have once again successfully traded for a reigning MVP, A-Rod being the only other time that has happened, and add Stanton's 59 HRs from last season to Aaron Judge's 52, the only two players to hit more than 50 last season. Mind you, both of these guys play the exact same position, but the AL has a DH and I imagine they'll just trade off between the two of them. If nothing else it makes it more than okay to HATE the Evil Empire again as this is a truly evil deal. Good luck to Boston and the rest of the AL East. And I'll admit that it seems a little fishy that the former Captain of the Yankees made this trade on behalf of Miami. When it first went down I was screaming collusion on facebook. But the more I look at it I don't think Jeter is still in bed with the Yankees as much as I think Jeter is in WAY WAY WAY over his head. It was very clear when the group that ended up buying the Marlins took over, they didn't really know what they were getting themselves into. And it's become even more apparent they aren't even equipped for it financially. The Marlin's last year had a payroll around $115 million, which is already bottom third of the league. The new management has made it clear that they want to cut that down to around $55 million, which is absurdly low. Mind you, this is why they're paying a former shortstop with no former business or managerial experience $5 million a year to be the face and voice of the ownership team. By all accounts Jeter is now controlling this team, and only because he's Derek Jeter did anyone think this made sense. Their first move was shipping Dee Gordon off to Seattle, and then they tried to shop Stanton to San Francisco and St. Louis, two places he had already said he did not want to go to and would not waive his No Trade Clause for. After he rightfully refused they tried to tell him they would make him a Marlin forever (or at least until 2020 when he could opt out) with no plans other than to tear it all down and rebuild. Again. Look, I know we are in the era of Trust The Process, but you need some Embiid and Simmons level talent in order for that to work. You can't ship your MVP to NYC with a bunch of extra cash in his suitcase and convince your fan base you know what you're doing. On top of all of this, Stanton is taking his former team to task during his press conference at the Winter Meetings where he first put on the pinstripes. And Jeter didn't even bother to show up to the meetings to state his case, electing to watch that weird ass Monday Night Football matchup I briefly mentioned in the lede.
As it stands right now, this whole mess is terrible for baseball. Not the fact that Stanton is a Yankee, as we now have a new version of Murderer's Row/the M&M Boys that will crush the ball all next season and will be very, very watchable/hatable. (Side note: a hatable Yankees team is the best thing for MLB as a whole and they know it) But the fact they let an ownership group come in to buy a team they clearly couldn't afford and are seemingly okay with said group stripping the team for parts while they tank a few seasons is unacceptable. And Stanton, for his part, knew the way it was going and said "no thanks." And no one can or should blame him for that.
As another aside, the Yankees are reportedly working on a trade to also obtain Manny Machado. And they'll still be below the luxury tax so they can make a run at Harper next offseason. This is looking very, very bad for anyone not a fan of the Yankees(read: normal, sane humans).
LEBRON, A ROCKET?
USA Today reported a few days ago that some NBA exceutives believe LeBron will choose to take his talents to Houston this next Offseason to partner up with his good friend Chris Paul and James Harden. This is a terrible idea. While I personally think that if 'Bron goes anywhere it will be to LA, I don't think he should be leaving the East. No one wants to see him play the Warriors in the Conference Finals. While I admit it would probably be tempting for him to play with CP3, this would feel a lot like Durant going to the Warriors, but worse because LeBron has rings already. Now, I've read people being excited by the possiblilty of an on-court Banana Boat, becasue he could wasily bring Wade with him, and the OKC experierment has totally failed so Melo would be free, but I have a major issue with this line of thought. Namely, MELO WASN"T PART OF THE BANANA BOAT.
I actually don't think LeBron is going anywhere, as he is quietly having the best season, statistically, he's ever had. Which is crazy and also, being completely taken for granted. If he does leave though, I want to see him go to Philly. Just imagine that team, and how that city would embrace him. It would be MAGICAL.
That's it for this week, but I would like to add that if you have a SnapChat and aren't tuning in to Katie Nolan and company's SnapChat version of SportsCenter, you are truly missing out. Maybe the best new way to digest highlights anyone has come up with.