Liam Hendriks is off the market after signing with the White Sox

A big-name free agents has finally signed.

According to Mark Feinsand, closer Liam Hendriks has reached a four-year deal with the Chicago White Sox worth a whopping $54 million.

The $54 million for Hendriks includes the buyout for the fourth-year option, per source.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) January 12, 2021

Hendriks, who had played for the Blue Jays on two separate occasions before breaking out as one of baseball’s better relievers, visited the team’s new complex in Dunedin last week, sparking intrigue that he was going to join the team for a third go-around.
Instead, Hendriks and the White Sox agreed to one of the biggest deals in baseball history among relief pitchers, so maybe teams aren’t as down in the dumps financially as we had previously anticipated.
Anyway, as nice as it would have been to add Hendriks to the back of the ‘pen, that’s an absolutely massive financial commitment to make to a reliever, especially one like Hendriks who doesn’t boast a huge track record of success. Hendriks’ last two seasons have been amazing, but he’s just a couple of years removed from clearing the waivers wire after being designated for assignment by the A’s.
That $10 …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors: Three possible trades for James Harden

Toronto Raptors: Three possible trades for James Harden

After plans to acquire Giannis Antetokounmpo in free agency fell through, the Toronto Raptors are reportedly interested in trading for James Harden of the Houston Rockets. How can such a scenario pan out for both teams? As has been widely reported in the media, James Harden is probably going to get traded from the Houston […]
Toronto Raptors: Three possible trades for James Harden – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Ben Zelniker / Raptors HQ

The Blue Jays have signed Forrest Wall and Tyler White to minor-league deals

The Blue Jays have made free agent signings!

Minor-league signings, but signings nonetheless.
According to Robert Murray, the team has inked Forrest Wall and Tyler White to minor-league deals with invitations to spring training.

The Blue Jays have agreed to terms with 1B Tyler White and OF Forrest Wall on minor-league deals, source said. They include invites to spring training.
— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) December 15, 2020

Wall, of course, is a re-signing. He was one of the handful of players who were eligible for minor-league free agency after accumulating six seasons in the minors.
Originally drafted in the first-round of the 2014 draft by the Colorado Rockies, Wall was acquired by the Blue Jays in 2018 in the Seung-hwan Oh trade. Most recently, Wall slashed a .268/.351/.422 line between Double-A and Triple-A in 2019. He’s still only 25 and was a top-100 prospect as recently as 2016, so there could still be a future there.
And then there’s Tyler White, a former member of both the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers. He’s played first, second, third, left field, and pitcher in the Majors, but he’s generally a first baseman.
Much like former Astro Derek Fisher, White has posted some really, really good numbers …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors: Free agency rumors surrounding Serge Ibaka

Toronto Raptors: Free agency rumors surrounding Serge Ibaka

Free agency begins in a couple of days for the Toronto Raptors and the NBA. The Raptors have some high profile free-agent decisions to make, and Serge Ibaka is one of them while rumors abound about his status. The Toronto Raptors 2020 off-season choices may be the most consequential decisions the franchise has made in […]
Toronto Raptors: Free agency rumors surrounding Serge Ibaka – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jason Mills / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: 4 Reasons Aron Baynes is the perfect pick up if Ibaka leaves

Toronto Raptors: 4 Reasons Aron Baynes is the perfect pick up if Ibaka leaves

The official start date for Free Agency is November 20, and the Toronto Raptors will have a lot to think about at the Center position. The questions keep accumulating for the Toronto Raptors when talking about who will be their Center/s next season. Serge Ibaka will be looking for a lucrative deal, and Marc Gasol […]
Toronto Raptors: 4 Reasons Aron Baynes is the perfect pick up if Ibaka leaves – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Alexandro Fidanza / Raptors HQ

What do the Leafs need to do to become Stanley Cup contenders?

What do the Leafs need to do to become Stanley Cup contenders?

After the Toronto Maple Leafs’ free agency, you could say their chances of becoming Stanley Cup Champions has become higher. Adding @T.J. Brodie, Wayne Simmonds and Joe Thornton to their roster makes them deeper but also a team that’s tougher to play against.
The long off-season has made it clear that each team will come into next season with one goal in mind: to win the Stanley Cup. Toronto is one of the teams that people believe have a chance to do something they haven’t done in a long time. That is, if they play their cards right and grow past their old ways.
Which is, one of the three things they need to change to show they’re ready. The other two are in the video that you should watch. And hey, if you enjoy the video make sure to subscribe, too.

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Thomas Pannone and Forrest Wall among Blue Jays’ minor-leaguers who became free agents

Major League Baseball free agency officially began yesterday.

While the big names like Trevor Bauer and George Springer and Marcus Stroman and so on will dominate people’s attention, there are also 422 minor-league players who also hit the open market yesterday. The Blue Jays had 18 players become free agents.
Here are they are, courtesy of Baseball America…
Deiferson Barreto, Andrew Burns, Patrick Cantwell, Ryan Dull, James Dykstra, Conor Fisk, Gabriel Guerrero, Mac James, Jesus Lopez, Mike Nittoli, Juan Nunez, Norberto Obeso, Willy Ortiz, Connor Overton, Tom Pannone, Luis Silva, Mitchell Walding, Forrest Wall.
A good chunk of these names are just organizational depth types who were signed to minor-league deals, like Andy Burns, Ryan Dull, and Patrick Cantwell. But there are also a couple of prospects worth noting here.
Thomas Pannone was acquired as part of the Joe Smith to Cleveland trade a few years ago. At one point, he looked like he had a future as a starting pitcher but never panned out. Pannone was designated for assignment in August and cleared waivers. He didn’t pitch for the Blue Jays in 2020 after pitching 116 innings for the club between 2018 and 2019.
And then there’s Forrest Wall, one of the …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Grading Kyle Dubas and the Toronto Maple Leafs’ free agency

Grading Kyle Dubas and the Toronto Maple Leafs’ free agency

The Toronto Maple Leafs did, well, a lot this free agency. Kyle Dubas filled in the holes in the roster with good, serviceable players. Old and young, the Toronto Maple Leafs are definitely a tougher team to play against.
With the additions of @T.J. Brodie, Joe Thornton, Joey Anderson, Jimmy Vesey and Zach Bogosian; the Maple Leafs are touted to be one of the top teams in the NHL. But how good was Dubas’ free agency?
Well, here are the grades that I, and some of Leafs Twitter have given him:

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

How has free agency gone so far for the Leafs?

Week one of free agency is coming to a close. The money is gone, but so are the most critical holes in the roster. The path to cap compliance is there, and there generally seems to be a sense of excitement around the Leafs to traditionally comes with the luxury of just looking at the team on paper, but how do we really feel about them? Some of our writers have weighed in on how free agency has gone so far for the Leafs…
Michael Mazzei (@theleafsimo)
Overall, I’m pleased with how the Leafs have done so far in free agency. After Alex Pietrangelo, TJ Brodie was the best defenceman available and adding him was critical in solidifying the depth on the blue line. Kyle Dubas talked about wanting to  make the Leafs tougher to play against, and the additions of both Wayne Simmonds and Zach Bogosian should provide just that and add some valuable veteran leadership in the locker room. I also thought the Leafs did well on their depth signings, with Jimmy Vesey being the most intriguing of the bunch. And the addition of Aaron Dell will help improve the goaltending depth. I still believe they need …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Grading the Maple Leafs’ draft and free agency signings

So, here we are. Four days after free agency and seven days after the NHL draft. Are you having fun yet?
The Toronto Maple Leafs have made a few key additions during free agency along with drafting a great bundle of prospects. It’s been an interesting yet different free agency, but one that I can say the Maple Leafs succeeded in. Bringing in toughness and adding a few defenders, it looks like Toronto is moving closer and closer to contention.
Yet I still don’t believe they’re done yet.

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation