Raptors: Is Scottie Barnes still untouchable in trade talks?

Raptors: Is Scottie Barnes still untouchable in trade talks?

Coming into the season, Toronto Raptors fans had huge expectations for Scottie Barnes. The franchise had picked the Florida State power forward with the fourth overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. He repaid their faith by producing a stellar debut campaign that saw him being crowned the 2021-22 Rookie of the Year ahead of […]
Raptors: Is Scottie Barnes still untouchable in trade talks? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Sourav Mahanty / Raptors HQ

It’s early, but things are encouraging when it comes to Ilya Samsonov as the Leafs long term option

It’s early, but things are encouraging when it comes to Ilya Samsonov as the Leafs long term option

To say that that the expectations bar was set low for Leafs goaltending coming into this season is a bit of an understatement. The narrative was that Matt Murray was an oft-injured, borderline AHL goaltender on a terrible contract. To some extent, I personally took the bait on that, hook, line, and sinker.
For Ilya Samsonov it was his generally underwhelming record to date (as a 25 year old) with the Capitals and if Washington, the team that knows him best, was ready to walk away from him that he couldn’t be that good.
Both Samsonov and Murray have proven their critics wrong in their small (somewhat injury plagued) samples and while the memory of small samples of Jack Campbell is still fresh in the heads of  Leafs fans, there is something particularly appealing about Samsonov as the long term option for the Leafs in net and that is his age.
GP
11
GSAE
10.2
GSAE/60
0.962
Sv%
0.939
Sv% AE
0.018
GAA
1.7
xGAA
2.66
WAR
1.7
Ilya Samsonov being at the top of the league in most major goaltending stats (albeit through 11 games played) is damned encouraging and the fact that he’s doing it at an age when most goaltenders begin to hit their stride certainly inspires some hope that this could be who he is as a goaltender. The Leafs having the potential to look up a consistent netminder for the prime of their career is something the organization hasn’t really accomplished in a long time. Toronto has been great at bringing in established goaltenders to have significant multi-year success stories for the …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Off-season News and Notes: Anthony Bass’ option picked up, Blue Jays interested in a Ross Stripling reunion, and more!

The transaction news is coming fast and curious as we come ever so close to Thursday’s opening of free agency.

We all love transaction news, right? Well, on Tuesday evening, the news came fast and furious. Let’s look at the obvious news before looking at the more surprising news.
Anthony Bass:
As expected, the Jays have exercised their team option worth $3,000,000 on reliever Anthony Bass’ contract. The 35-year-old reliever was picked up in a deadline deal trade along with reliever Zach Pop and prospect Edward Duran. Going the other way to the Miami Marlins was former first-rounder Jordan Groshans.

#BlueJays plan to exercise Anthony Bass’s 2023 option this week as expected
— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) November 8, 2022

Bass posted a 1.54 ERA and 3 FIP in 70.1 innings pitched between the Jays and the Marlins. He also had a 26.5 K%, the highest in his career, and well above his 18.8% average for the statistic.
With the Jays, Bass had a 1.75 ERA and 4.63 FIP in 25.2 innings pitched. His K% jumped to 27.5%, while he still had a solid, albeit a bit high, BB% of 9.8%.
This was a pretty obvious move to make, as Bass is an important part of the bullpen.
Ross Stripling:
Another pretty obvious piece of news that was dropped, but the Jays have been in contact with the 32-year-old and are interested in bringing him back. He posted a 3.01 ERA and 3.11 FIP in 134.1 innings pitched this season.
I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that if not for Stripling and what he provided in 2022, the Jays may not have made the playoffs. Originally penned as the swingman, Ross broke out as the Jays’ #3 in the rotation. A big reason for this was because of an improved changeup.

#BlueJays have been in touch with Ross Stripling & expressed interest in bringing him back
Ja …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

The Nathan MacKinnon contract and how it affects the Leafs

You had to know this post was coming right? And it probably doesn’t take much effort to guess at how this affects the Leafs. So let’s jump right into the inevitable discussion of how Nathan MacKinnon’s contract will impact not only Auston Matthews’ next contract, but likely Mitch Marner’s next contract as well.
Here’s the contract:
$12.8 AAV for 8 years with a full no-movement clause throughout. The deal was signed when Nathan MacKinnon is 27 years old, the deal is front-loaded and pays him a $16.5M combined salary and signing bonus in year one, transitions in year 4 (2026-27) to $12.15M and drops to $9.9M in year 5 and stays at that until the end of his contract. MacKinnon’s contract is largely paid in signing bonuses and has an escalated salary to reflect the minimum salary being likely to rise. The signing bonus structure means it would be a gigantic pain in the ass to buy out. The one year (year 4, 2026-27) where the majority of MacKinnon’s contract is paid as salary instead of signing bonus coincides with the expiration of the current CBA. Based on the current salary cap of $82.5M, MacKinnon’s contract takes up 15.27% of the salary cap. That’s the import …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Pre-Series Notes: New Blue Jays make home debuts, Canadian Cal Quantrill returns to face his childhood team

Coming off two days rest and riding a two game losing streak into tonight, it feels like the Blue Jays haven’t won a game in forever. That said, they still hold the top spot in the American League wild card race with a record of 60-50.
Meanwhile the Guardians have won five in a row to take the lead in the AL Central. The tightest division race in the Majors, the Central still has three teams battling for the division crown. The Minnesota Twins trail the Guardians by just 1.5 games and the Chicago White Sox are 3.5 back.
The Jays will be looking for revenge after losing two of three in Cleveland back in May.
Things Worth Mentioning…
A pair of Blue Jays will be making their home debut tonight.

Whit Merrifield (2B) and Jackie Bradley Jr. (CF) will make their #BlueJays home debut starting tonight. pic.twitter.com/NVdbg7HgdB
— Ben Wagner (@benwag247) August 12, 2022

George Springer is still on IL so Bradley Jr. will start in center and Merrifield will make his first start at second for the Jays. One of the best defensive CF’s of the last decade Bradley Jr. provides plus defence and speed with a below average bat. He did however hit two home runs in his last series against the Blue Jays while he was with the Red Sox. In 92 games this year he is slashing .210/.257/.321 with three home runs.
One of the favourites for the AL Rookie of the Year, Steven Kwan is on a tear recently.

.@CleGuardians OF Steven Kwan has now hit safely in 26 of the last 29 games
Tale of the tape:
.358 (42 hits) 9 doubles 1 triple 2 HR 8 RBI 12 multi-hit games; 5 three-hit games pic.twitter.com/wJJZW94DEx
— Jensen Lewis (@JLEWFifty) August 11, 2022

In his debut season, Kwan it batting .300 …

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Author: Scott Ony / Blue Jays Nation