How the Leafs can make the most of a buyers market

How the Leafs can make the most of a buyers market

I’m going to hit you with the analogy that no one asked for and it’s the tale of two Christmas lists. My eight year old’s Christmas list consisted of specific Lego sets either new or discontinued, obscure items that needed to be ordered from small online vendors that would take two months to ship, and the hottest video games of the moment. My three year old’s Christmas list consisted of three words, “dinosaurs and cars.” Thanks to some great advice from my boss who informed me that most stores start their Boxing Day Sale pricing on Christmas Eve, I felt comfortable taking my chances that most retailers would still have Dinosaurs and/or Cars available.
The purpose of that painfully dull anecdote is to contrast the behaviours of a seller’s market (my eight year old’s Christmas), and a buyer’s market (my three year old’s Christmas). Trends that can certainly emulate NHL teams at the trade deadline. And according to Elliotte Friedman on the Leafs Morning Take the NHL is very much leaning towards a buyers market, and that can have a huge benefit for the Leafs.

“Sellers are worried that they might be the person who goes home alone at the bar at 2 AM.”
– @FriedgeHNIC on potential buyers market. #NHL
Leafs Morning Take – Jan. 26
Full …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

2 bench stars emerge in tough Toronto Raptors loss vs. Pacers

2 bench stars emerge in tough Toronto Raptors loss vs. Pacers

The Toronto Raptors were not going to send their best lineup out on the floor against the Indiana Pacers. Names like Otto Porter Jr. and Thad Young had to move into the starting lineup due to Pascal Siakam’s groin injury, Precious Achiuwa’s ankle ailment, and Fred VanVleet coming down with a sickness. After struggling to […]
2 bench stars emerge in tough Toronto Raptors loss vs. Pacers – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Scottie Barnes demolishes Nikola Vucevic with Space Jam-esque slam

Scottie Barnes demolishes Nikola Vucevic with Space Jam-esque slam

Scottie Barnes and the Toronto Raptors are going to need a unified, collaborative effort from all of their big names if they are going to replace the standout play of Pascal Siakam in the next few weeks. Barnes stepping up and playing like a No. 4 overall pick would certainly be a big help. While […]
Scottie Barnes demolishes Nikola Vucevic with Space Jam-esque slam – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors 2022-23 season preview: SF Otto Porter Jr.

Toronto Raptors 2022-23 season preview: SF Otto Porter Jr.

Historically, the Toronto Raptors are not a team that is going to spend a ton of money in free agency. In spite of their past desire to lay low in the offseason, the Raptors went and splashed the cash and nabbed Otto Porter Jr. away from the reigning champion Golden State Warriors. Porter was a […]
Toronto Raptors 2022-23 season preview: SF Otto Porter Jr. – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Our readers provide a vote of confidence for Kyle Dubas and Sheldon Keefe (Reader Poll Part 1)

Before going into any of the results of the reader poll, I want to start by thanking everyone who participated, even those you who hilariously voted for yourselves to be the next GM, and those of you took the time to answer a survey but still felt compelled to write-in “I don’t care” as an answer. You’re the real ones.
I especially want to thank those of you who answered the last question about feedback on TLN. While the answers rolled up to equal a lot of contradictory stuff like more trade speculation vs. less trade speculation, more opinion vs. more reporting, less pessimism vs. and I quote “getting off of Dubas’ dick” there is value in all of that. I want there to be something for everyone and even at times when there is a lot of trade speculation that you can find something else worth your time on this site. I definitely hear you about getting podcasts back in the mix on the site, and we will continue fighting the war against grammatical errors. Thanks again.
Given the number of questions on the poll, we’re going to break this up into three parts, and today we’ll start with …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

That was not Next Level

After going 6-1 on a critical road trip against the Yankees and the Red Sox, the Blue Jays were welcomed home to a 12-0 defeat at the hands of the Los Angeles Angels. It was quite the outburst for the Halos, as they had only pushed across seven runs during their previous 12 games.

The first three innings of the game were the big difference tonight. The Angels were able to mix hitting Mitch White pretty hard with some poor Blue Jays defense to score seven runs between the 2nd and 3rd innings.
White escaped a base-loaded jam in the 1st inning (an inning that featured an error from Vladimir Guerrero Jr.), and in search of a quick second inning, he would load the bases once again. With runners on first and second, Andrew Velazquez bunted sharply towards Guerrero. Vladdy fielded the ball, thought about throwing to second or third to get a lead runner, but thought too long, as Velazquez reached first in time before Guerrero could make a decision. Instead of having an out with two runners on, there were no outs and loaded bases.
One batter later, David Fletcher scorched a ball off the fence that would score two runs. Fletcher nearly missed a grand slam by about two feet, as h …

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Author: Evan Stack / Blue Jays Nation

Xander Bogaerts says the Boston Red Sox aren’t trading him

While it may have appeared the Boston Red Sox were going to be forced into a rebuild after being embarrassed last weekend by the Toronto Blue Jays, that may not be the case.

Speculation began to swirl about the status of pending UFA’s like J.D. Martinez and Nathan Eovaldi could fill some needs for teams making a playoff push.
And that’s not even taking into account a guy like Xander Bogaerts, either. Despite having four years left on a deal paying him $20-million a year, the 29-year-old’s name was floating out there in the market.
That is, until he told reporters Thursday night the Bo Sox told him he wouldn’t be traded.

Bogaerts said he’s been told personally that he won’t be traded. “I don’t know if I’ll get in trouble for saying that,” he said. Said it’s allowed him to relax some.
— Julian McWilliams (@byJulianMack) July 29, 2022

If Boston does sell-off, it would undoubtedly be a plus for the Blue Jays. Toronto plays two more three-game series against Boston, including one right at the end of the season and going against torched lineup would only increase the Jays’ odds of winning.
Things will be interesting to watch around the AL in the coming days. The Blue Jays are sitting two games up in the AL wild card race, but a team like the Seattle Mariners, who are sitting half a game up in the race, could be big spenders at the deadline.
Could the Cleveland Guardians, or Tampa Bay Rays make a push at the deadline, too? Things will be interesting to see, to say the least.
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’ …

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Author: Zach Laing / Blue Jays Nation

WATCH: Toronto Blue Jays ball boy makes an amazing catch

Things are going great! Nothing wrong in Toronto. Nope! They didn’t just lose to a AAA Kansas City Royals team. Nu-uh!

Okay just kidding. The Jays just got embarrassed on a night where, well, nothing went right. They lost to the AAA Royals 3-1.
What did go right, however, was one Jays ball boy’s night.

WHAT A CATCH FROM THE BALL BOY.
Sign him to a minor league deal.#BlueJays #NextLevel pic.twitter.com/5ilXgUWUSW
— Brennan Delaney (@Brennan_L_D) July 15, 2022

Royals 3B Emmanuel Rivera popped a ball up towards the first base side, and this young ball boy made a great play.
He tracked it perfectly and had a nice little hop to secure it. Right away, that ball went under the mesh to an even younger fan. What a good kid.
Now look, the Jays are looking for some help. They can’t seem to make any plays, and this young ball boy looked like Vladdy Jr. out there tracking the foul ball. Minor league deal, who says no?
As a whole, Thursday night was about as disastrous as it could’ve. Kevin Gausman fanned six batters over 6.0 IP allowing just two earned runs and two walks, but allowed seven hits over the course of the night. His night wasn’t a complete disaster, but it wasn’t great.
The batters, however, had no idea how to figure out rookie lefty pitcher Angel Zerpa, who allowed one earned run, fout hits and two walks in 5.0 IP.
Anyways, hopefully the Jays can figure baseball out Friday.
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@oilersnation.com.
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PointsBet is live in Ontario. Get started here. …

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Author: Zach Laing / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Blue Jays CF George Springer opts out of all-star game

It turns out George Springer won’t be going to the all-star game.

The Athletic’s Kaitlyn McGrath reported Thursday that Springer has opted out of the midsummer classic in order to rest his elbow.

George Springer has decided to not play in the All-Star game. He’s going to use the time to rest his elbow. MLB will announce his replacement a little later this afternoon #BlueJays
— Kaitlyn McGrath (@kaitlyncmcgrath) July 14, 2022

Springer has been dealing with some elbow issues all year long, and for the most part it’s been manageable. While he did get some imaging done after leaving a game against the White Sox in late June, Springer has been okay. He mentioned at the time the big issue was on swing and misses.
His numbers have slowly been dipping through the season, too. In April, he slashed .300/.360/.588 in 80 at-bats, but that line has fallen to .190/.261/.405 through 42 AB’s in July. There is some sample size issues there, but the numbers aren’t overly promising.
Springer’s played in all-star games in the past, so it makes sense he is opting out of this one in order to give himself a chance to really get some rest.
The Jays kick off a four-game set against the Kansas Royals minor league team Thursday and then Springer will have a chance at four days of rest. Toronto’s schedule picks back up next Friday with a three-game road trip to Boston.
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@oilersnation.com.
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PointsBet is live in Ontario. Get started here. …

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Author: Zach Laing / Blue Jays Nation

Leaflets: What about Bob(rovsky)?, draft thoughts, and more

This is the week. Big stuff will be going down around the NHL and with the Leafs in need of two goaltenders, Toronto has no choice but to be in the thick of it. Today is the deadline for qualifying offers, it’s the last day to put someone on waivers for buyouts, and we don’t have a Leafs prospects camp roster yet. That’s a lot of stuff to tide us over until free agency opens on Wednesday.
The idea of Sergei Bobrovsky as an option seems less crazy
I don’t know if Florida has made their peace with the idea of sticking it out with Bobrovsky, but with a tough salary cap situation in the sunshine state there is a very real possibility that the Panthers will try to clear what they can with Bobrovsky’s contract. While it’s unlikely that the Panthers will be unloading Bobrovsky within their division, I submit to you that Bobrovsky might not be a bad option for the Leafs as a trade option from the third party involved.
Bobrovsky as a $10M AAV goaltender for 4 years has very little appeal. Bobrovsky if he can be brought down to around $5-6M he starts looking like a suitable option, one that has a better recent track record than M …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation