20-11: Nelson Cruz-Aaron Judge

No. 20: Nelson Cruz, DH, Minnesota Twins purchase nfl jerseys

Nelson Cruz will turn 39 in July. A steep fall could come at any moment. He also hit 37 home runs for the Mariners last season before he signed a one-year, $14.3 million pact with the Minnesota Twins. Despite his advancing age, he seems like a designated hitter who could be more fine wine than vinegar in his later years.authentic nfl cheap jerseys

No. 19: Zack Greinke, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks nfl nike jerseys from china aa3c2e03ca3df6fb3cfb1002bae0e305_crop_exact

After the Arizona Diamondbacks jettisoned standouts such as franchise first baseman Paul Goldschmidt this winter, Zack Greinke is the top remaining star based on the strength of his resume (five All-Star nods and the 2009 AL Cy Young Award) and recent results (3.21 ERA in 207.2 innings during 2018). He’s 35 years old and owed $34.5 million this season, then $35 million in both 2020 and 2021. But he remains a rotation-fronting talent. difference in nike nfl jerseys

No. 18: Buster Posey, C, San Francisco Giants

Buster Posey is 32 years old and coming off hip surgery. He’s hitting .212 as of this writing. It’s easy to pen his eulogy, or at least predict his imminent downfall. That said, he’s been the best catcher in baseball for the better part of a decade, winning an NL MVP Award along the way. Even as the San Francisco Giants lurch into an inevitable rebuild, we’re not ready to write off the iconic backstop who helped author their trio of even-year titles.where to buy nfl jerseys in store

No. 17: Chris Archer, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates

Can the Pittsburgh Pirates compete in the deep NL Central? That’s an open question. However, they have an ace in Chris Archer who they acquired from the Rays last summer. The 30-year-old owns a 2.45 ERA with 15 strikeouts in 11 innings through his first two starts. A pending five-game suspension related to an on-field incident adds a wrinkle, but it doesn’t diminish his worth.

No. 16: Ronald Acuna Jr., OF, Atlanta Braves wholesale nfl jersey outlet

First baseman Freddie Freeman is arguably the Atlanta Braves’ biggest superstar. But we’re giving the cap-tip to outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr., who was named NL Rookie of the Year last season and is an MVP contender this year. A sophomore slump looms, but we’re banking on more stat-stuffing from one of MLB’s fastest risers.

No. 15: Joey Votto, 1B, Cincinnati Reds

In 2018, Joey Votto paced the NL in on-base percentage for the third consecutive season and the seventh time in the last nine years. His home run total dropped from 36 in 2017 to 12 in 2018, but he still posted an .837 OPS. Though he’s 35 years old, his OBP abilities could help him remain elite for the foreseeable future.authentic wholesale nfl jerseys

Passan: Huge contracts and big concerns. What’s going on with MLB salaries?

With Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts agreeing Sunday to the 10th deal of $100 million or more in the past six weeks womens nfl jerseys , Major League Baseball crossed what would have been an unthinkable threshold at the start of spring training. In the five months since free agency began, teams have committed around $4 billion in future salaries to players. Never, over any similar stretch in the game’s history, have players been lavished with such riches.nfl jersey supply

If this is confusing, that’s understandable. The players, remember, spent the early portion of spring training spewing anger over the lack of spending. Since then, members of the MLB Players Association have received a guaranteed $2.5 billion. The simplistic takeaway is that the players’ panic this offseason was for naught, that so long as MLB is funneling more money to them than ever, the hysteria over spending is overblown. i

This is only half-true. Teams can guarantee GDP-sized amounts of money, and players can harbor understandable anger over the current state of affairs simultaneously. They’re completely different subjects and should be separated accordingly.cheapest nfl jerseys

Why? The best way to answer is through the lessons learned the past five months. Some are classics. Others are new. The most prominent, as the first weekend of the season illustrated, is …

1. The best players run the sport.wholesale authentic nfl jerseys

Here’s lookin’ at you, Bryce Harper. And you, too, Mike Trout. And Manny Machado and Nolan Arenado and Chris Sale and Patrick Corbin and Jacob deGrom and Bogaerts and Paul Goldschmidt and Alex Bregman. The 10 players with nine-figure deals have received a combined guarantee this winter of more than $2.11 billion.buy nfl jerseys

Now, consider: ESPN Stats & Information pegged free-agent spending this winter at $1.89 billion and total spending at $3.99 billion. MLB’s internal calculations have $1.82 billion to free agents and $4.02 billion total, with the differences owed to adjustments on deferred money and other accounting disparities. Although the union’s figures were not immediately available, one official said free-agent spending of nearly $2 billion and total spending approaching $4 billion was accurate. official nfl jerseys

MLB’s David vs. Goliath: Will Daniel Descalso outhit Giancarlo Stanton this year?

Here’s a hot-take kind of question: Who was the better hitter in 2018, Giancarlo Stanton or Daniel Descalso?

Stanton, the highest-profile acquisition of the  nfl jerseys for sale previous offseason, was very good for the Yankees: 38 homers, .852 OPS and a 127 wRC+, meaning he was 27 percent better than the league’s average hitter. He was on a couple of MVP ballots. Descalso, paid $2 million after the Diamondbacks picked up his option in November, was pretty good, too: 13 homers and a .789 OPS, with a 111 wRC+.

So that was easy. Stanton hit better, assuming the point of hitting is to get on base and hit the ball far.authentic nfl jerseyi

But, of course, it’s not. The point is to score runs, and for scoring runs, some hits are worth more than others. Descalso hit .free nfl jerseys 270/.372/.541 with men on base, while Stanton hit only .236/.315/.429. Descalso drove in 17 percent of the men who were on base when he came up, while Stanton drove in only 14 percent. Of course, Stanton drove himself in 38 times, 25 more times than Descalso did — but now the question is close. By RE24, a stat that also credits a batter with the runners he advances with his hits, it’s a virtual tie. That’s assuming, at least, that the point of hitting is, rather than “get hits,” to create runs.

But it’s not. The point is to win games, and for winning games, some runs are more important than others. We call the hits that drive in those runs “clutch.” In 2018, Daniel Descalso was the fourth-clutchest hitter in the majors, according to FanGraphs’ metric.personalized nfl jerseys cheap  And Giancarlo Stanton was, using that same measure and that same term, the fifth least-clutch. In high-leverage situations — those situations where the game is most likely to nike nfl jersey be materially affected — Descalso was far more effective, with a .591 slugging percentage to Stanton’s .462, and a .378 OBP to Stanton’s .313. By win probability added — which measures the hitting team’s chances of winning before nfl jerseys on sale  a player bats and after he bats, crediting the change to the batter — Descalso was one of the league’s most productive hitters last year:

So that turns out to be not that easy of a question:nfl jerseys sale  Descalso, Daniel Descalso, was apparently quite a bit better than Stanton, and also better than Nolan Arenado and Manny Machado. It’s a hot take, but you can actually stand behind it. But now here’s the really hot-take question: Who will be the better hitter in 2019, Giancarlo Stanton or Daniel Descalso?

Atlanta Falcons

What they needed to do

The Atlanta Falcons weren’t flush with salary-cap space entering free agency, so the goal should have been to keep as many key in-house free agents as possible. In a perfect world, they’d also bolster an offensive line that was weak at both guard spots.nfl authentic nike jerseys

What they did right nike nfl jerseys authentic

They hit key defensive tackle Grady Jarrett with the franchise tag and brhi-res-dcb12475711142ee35008965d02aa635_crop_exactought in veterans James Carpenter and Jamon Brown to compete with Brandon Fusco, Wes Schweitzer and Sean Harlow. That’s better than nothing when you can’t afford someone like Rodger Saffold. cheap authentic nike nfl jerseys free shipping The Falcons checked the most important boxes this month.

Where they went wrong

They lost Robert Alford as well as Bruce Irvin, Brooks Reed and Brian Poole on defense, and they could miss departed running back Tevin Coleman. They might have been able to land a better guard had they been able to work out a long-term deal with Jarrett. authentic nfl nike jersey And they also might have been smart to capitalize on the emergence of Calvin Ridley at wide receiver by shopping veteran Mohamed Sanu, but we’re nitpicking.

What they should do now nfl nike authentic jerseys

Shop Sanu as well as the disappointing Vic Beasley, and use early draft picks on an offensive lineman and one of the many superb pass-rushers in this class.

Abilene Christian Wildcats

Record: 27-6, 14-4 in Southland

How They Got Here: Abilene Christian wasn’t even a D-I program until six years ago. After five consecutive seasons playing .500-or-worse basketball, the Wildcats finally broke through with a 27-win season. Even better, they did it during Stephen F. Austin’s worst season in more than cheap nfl replica jerseys  a decade, so the Southland Conference tournament was there for the taking too.

Reason to Believe: ACU has a dangerous combination of triples and steals. The Wildcats shoot nearly 39 percent from three-point range and average 8.5 steals per game. And in both categories, they have a ton of contributors, making it impossible to just key in on shutting down or avoiding a particular player.replica nfl jerseys cheap

Reason to Worry: Abilene Christian only played one game against a KenPom top-150 team, and it got annihilated by Texas Tech. That also means the Wildcats lost five games to teams outside the top 150. That’s less than promising.

March Madness Ceiling: In one of its first years of NCAA  cheap replica nfl jerseys tournament eligibility, Florida Gulf Coast shocked the world by dunking its way into the Sweet 16. Could Abilene Christian do something similar in just its second year of postseason nfl replica jerseys china eligibility? Probably not. But it’s a fun comparison to make if you’re looking for a deep sleeper. Despite the poor showing against Texas Tech, the Wildcats’ style of play could make things interesting in the first round.nfl replica jersey

Liverpool Transfer News: Lyon President Offers Nabil Fekir Lifeline Amid Rumours

Lyon President Jean-Michel Aulas has given Liverpool renewed hope in their efforts to sign Nabil Fekir after conceding the collapsed deal could be revived this summer.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

The Lyon figurehead spoke to Le 10 Sport (h/t James Walters of the Daily Express) and said there’s a chance the Reds could still get their hands on the player after an agreed deal was called off in June:

“It seems to me that Liverpool could come back in.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

“That’s what I’ve read in the press, but I’ve not been told anything.

“His transfer failed in June, but he hasn’t been affected by it. He is focused on the World Cup, and he still has his heart in Lyon. Nabil is much closer to Lyon today than he was when we talked to Liverpool.
A pre-existing knee injury revealed during his Liverpool medical was at the root of the £53 million deal falling apart, with Aulas having fought hard for Fekir’s Lyon future prior to that.

The club president now seems more open to the move materialising, nike nfl jerseys cheap china and the Mirror’s David Maddock reported they already have a replacement in mind:

Negotiations are sure to escalate after Fekir returns from international duty with France at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, where he’s hoping to have an impact in Sunday’s final against Croatia.

Discovery of the knee injury means Liverpool might be less inclined to invest so prominently in Fekir, which is why Maddock’s report asserted they would now seek to pay any transfer fee over the course of a five-year contract.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

Liverpool have already spent in excess of £100 million to sign Naby Keita, Fabinho and Shaqiri this summer, but the addition of Fekir could send their expenditure spiralling once more.

Other Thursday Free-Agency News

More Jimmy Butler Drama?

What would an NBA offseason be without drama manufactured by social media habits that may be A) alleged hacks, B) oversized fingers having trouble on regulation keyboards, C) legitimate expressions of personal thoughts or D) passive-aggressive actions meant to elicit some unknown outcome?

Here we go again. This time, as Cycle’s Thomas Duffy shared cheap nike nfl jersey , Jimmy Butler liked an Instagram comment that advocated for him and Kyrie Irving to use 2019 free agency to join the New York Knicks.

Does it mean anything? Probably not. But it is the latest in a long line of signals indicating Butler is dissatisfied with his spot on the Minnesota Timberwolves.

“A league source said Butler, who has been frustrated with the nonchalant attitudes of younger teammates—specifically Karl-Anthony Towns—does not intend to sign an extension with the Timberwolves,” Joe Cowley reported for the Chicago Sun-Times earlier this offseason.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

That came after Sporting News’ Sean Deveney revealed Butler, who can opt out of his contract after 2018-19, was dissatisfied with playing alongside Andrew Wiggins and before he liked multiple Instagram comments that encouraged him to join the San Antonio Spurs.cheap nfl nike jersey

This could be a case of ongoing trolling. But where there’s smoke, fire typically exists.

Three-Team Trade Alert cheap nfl jerseys china nike

As broken down by ESPN.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Hornets and Atlanta Hawks all wound up exchanging pieces such that the following franchises ended up with these new assets:

Brooklyn: 2019 first-round pick from Denver (top-12 protected), future second-round pick from Atlanta, future second-round pick from Denver, Kenneth Faried, Darrell Arthur
Denver: Isaiah Whitehead (subsequently waived)
Atlanta: future second-round pick from Brooklyn, Jeremy Lin

Though this features plenty of moving pieces, the swap isn’t a particularly complicated one. The motivations are rather obvious for each of the three organizations. nike nfl jerseys cheap china

Brooklyn continues doing what general manager Sean Marks does best: absorbing overpaid contributors into cap space so the Nets can gain access to more draft picks and have increased opportunities to land impact players. This time, the process comes at the expense of a soon-to-be 30-year-old version of Lin who’s attempting to bounce back from a patella tendon injury that limited him to a single appearance in 2017-18.

Denver is engaging in a pure salary dump and parting with multiple draft picks to clear the books of Faried and Arthur’s salaries. According to Wojnarowski, doing so saves them $21 million in payouts as they look to get beneath the luxury-tax threshold. cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

The Hawks are the sneaky squad here, parting with only a second-round selection to get their hands on Lin’s upside. He may be coming off a season-ending injury and preparing to enter his 30s, but his skills in the pick-and-roll game could still work nicely off the Atlanta bench while he mentors Dennis Schroder (if he’s not moved in a later deal) and Trae Young.

Though no one emerges as a massive winner,china nike nfl jerseys cheap  it’s hard to find losers in this particular sequence.

Selecting Deandre Ayton

FiveThirtyEight.com’s CARMELO model can again serve as a reality check, projecting Deandre Ayton to earn just minus-0.3 WAR during his first go-round with the Phoenix Suns. But those numbers are based on comparisons to other players with similar physical and statistical profiles; they don’t account for improvement that can come when he’s fully focused and playing in a system that maximizes his talents far better than the Arizona Wildcats ever could. nike nfl jerseys cheap china

Summer league has already allowed him to showcase these tools. Through three games, the big man is playing only 25.8 minutes per contest but averaging 16.0 points, 11.0 rebounds, 0.3 assists and 1.0 blocks while shooting 66.7 percent from the field, per china nike nfl jerseys cheap  Turnovers haven’t been an issue, and his defense has already been better than expected—especially in a marquee matchup against Mohamed Bamba.

“That’s a talent. That’s a talent at 7’1″ or whatever,” first-year Suns head coach Igor Kokoskov said after the battle with the Orlando Magic, per Justin Spears of the Arizona Daily Star. “He blocks the shot, is a rim protector and runs the floor. That’s a talent. That’s why we have him, that’s why we love him.”

Ayton isn’t going to require much adjustment time before going to work as a featured member of the Suns’ attack. He should immediately slot in as the starting 5 and be handed plentiful touches to alleviate some of the offensive responsibility shouldered by Devin Booker. cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

He’ll struggle at times; even the best rookies do. But this big man has the skills necessary to become an offensive prototype in today’s NBA, buoying Phoenix with his combination of interior touch and shooting acumen on the perimeter. Moreover, his team has no reason to hold him back as he attempts to lead the charge out of the Western Conference basement. cheap nike nfl jerseys free shipping

Ayton alone won’t get the Suns back into the playoff mix. The combined product of their offseason adventures probably won’t, either.

But respectability is the first step, and he’s ready to help them achieve that part of the rebuilding journey. nfl cheap jerseys nike

Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls

Age: 23

2017-18 Per-Game Stats: 16.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.0 steals, 38.3 percent shooting, 34.1 percent shooting

Advanced Stats: 14.6 PER, minus-34.93 TPA, minus-3.30 RPM difference in nike nfl jerseys

Contract Details: 4 years, $78 million

Zach LaVine does not share in our shock. As he told reporters of his $78 million doozy, per ESPN.com’s Nick Friedell:

“I’m my hardest critic. There’s nothing that any of you guys can say to me that I [don’t] take harder upon myself. I go back and critique my game every year. I’m used to people sleeping on me, and I’m also used to waking them up as well. I’m happy that I have this contract, and I’m happy that I have a little extra motivation to go out there and prove it to some people that don’t believe in me.”where to buy nfl jerseys in store

Fair enough. And to LaVine’s credit, the Chicago Bulls’ decision to match the four-year offer sheet he nabbed from the Kings is neither puzzling nor indefensible. He was viewed as the crown jewel of the Jimmy Butler trade roughly one year ago. Lauri Markkanen now carries that burden, but losing LaVine for nothing would still sting.

Account for context, and, well, the money LaVine scooped up makes little sense.wholesale nfl jersey outlet

This starts with the Kings. It always starts with the Kings. They didn’t draft Luka Doncic at No. 2 in large part because they’re reluctant to take the ball out of De’Aaron Fox’s hands, per the Sacramento Bee’s Jason Jones. So, naturally, they threw $78 million at LaVine in free agency. That makes total sense. (It does not.)

Applauding the Kings for messing with the Bulls’ cap sheet gives them too much credit. They structured their deal in a way that implies desire—with hefty up-front payouts and no player or team options, according to NBA.com’s David Aldridge.

Complicating matters even further, the Bulls apparently came in just a tick below the Kings before LaVine went window shopping, per Friedell. And their initial overture didn’t include the injury protection Sacramento baked in, according to the Chicago Tribune’s K.C. Johnson. That debunks any notion of the Kings and Bulls directly bidding against one another.authentic wholesale nfl jerseys

Slice it any way you please. The LaVine deal is weird. Opening up with anywhere near $78 million was a strange ploy by the Bulls. Sniffing $80 million for a non-fit is an equally oddball decision from the Kings. Questions surrounding LaVine’s defense, shot selection off the dribble and recovery from an ACL injury linger, and more polished swingmen in the Will Barton tier signed for way less.nfl nike jerseys from china

New York Jets Sign Terrelle Pryor

The New York Jets tabbed USC product Sam Darnold to be their quarterback of the future in this year’s draft. If they hope to see early success from the rookie, however, they need to surround him with playmaking talent.

The Jets bolstered their running game by bringing in Isaiah Crowell. In a move that didn’t draw as much attention, they also brought in a former Cleveland teammate of Crowell’s in quarterback-turned-receiver Terrelle Pryor.cheap nfl jerseys discount

Injuries and a lack of chemistry with quarterback Kirk Cousins caused Pryor to have a disappointing campaign with the Washington Redskins last season (just 240 receiving yards and one touchdown). Hence the lack of excitement. We shouldn’t forget, however, that Pryor racked up 1,007 yards and four scores in 2016.discount authentic nfl jerseys

We also shouldn’t forget that Pryor put up these numbers with a rotating group of subpar Browns quarterbacks—including Cody Kessler, Robert Griffin III and Kevin Hogan—throwing him the ball.cheap discount nfl jerseys

Regardless of how Pryor may have played last season, he’s still a 6’4″, 228-pound pass-catcher with elite speed. He can provide a major mismatch advantage and be a reliable weapon early in Darnold’s career.

Versatility is a New England Patriots focal point, which is why they often get the most out of players who haven’t shined as brightly elsewhere. This is exactly why the addition of receiver/runner/returner Cordarrelle Patterson could pay huge dividends in 2018.discount nfl gear

Patterson has the ability to impact the offense as both a ball-carrier and a pass-catcher. While he has never lived up to his status as a 2013 first-round pick, Patterson has forged major mismatches when given the chance. He averaged 10.0 yards per reception and 9.3 yards per carry with the Oakland Raiders last season.

Patterson can also make opposing teams pay in the return game.discount nike nfl jerseys

“I mean, if they kick it to me, I get more yards,” Patterson said, per the Patriots’ official website. “That’s the game. You know, every year they stop trying to kick it to me.”

Patterson has amassed 4,613 return yards during his career. As you may know, special teams is another point of emphasis for New England and head coach Bill Belichick.

The Patriots gave up a mere fifth-round pick for Patterson and a sixth-rounder, but his addition could prove to be a big one.