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Monday, December 28, 2020

San Diego Padres to acquire 2018 Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell from Tampa Bay Rays

Blake Snell’s controversial early removal from Game 6 of the World Series will apparently be the ace’s final appearance with the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Rays agreed to trade Snell to the San Diego Padres on Sunday night for a haul of prospects, a person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports’ Bob Nightengale. The source spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal was not yet official. 

Among the players heading to St. Petersburg are pitchers Luis Patiño and Cole Wilcox and catchers Blake Hunt and Francisco Mejia.

Snell, 28, won the 2018 Cy Young Award with a brilliant 21-5 season that saw him post a 1.80 ERA. He is coming off a season where he posted a 3.24 ERA and struck out 63 in 50 innings.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 28, 2020 at 08:54 AM | 32 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: blake snell, padres, rays

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   1. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 28, 2020 at 10:28 AM (#5996207)
MLB.com reporting:

Rays get: RHP Luis Patiño, RHP Cole Wilcox, C Blake Hunt, C Francisco Mejía


Is that a "haul"? I'm not up on prospects right now.
   2. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 28, 2020 at 10:37 AM (#5996210)
Is that a "haul"? I'm not up on prospects right now.
They don't slap their dicks, let's put it that way.
   3. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 28, 2020 at 10:44 AM (#5996211)
Patino is a top 25 prospect in all of baseball. Wilcox was considered a top 20 talent in this year's draft, but fell due to signability reasons - he was a 1st round pick out of HS - but we just don't know what he can do at all. Blake Hunt was ranked by BA to be #20 in the Padres system, but his numbers have been pretty underwhelming. Mejia looks like a bust at this point, I guess he'll back up Zunino.

It seems kinda light to me, but I think with teams hoarding prospects more, you're not going to get 3 stud prospects anymore. Patino has huge upside and I like Wilcox, and you have to figure that the Rays are probably trading someeone that - while still very good, is probably going to decline a bit.
   4. bfan Posted: December 28, 2020 at 11:37 AM (#5996221)
Is that a "haul"? I'm not up on prospects right now.They don't slap their dicks, let's put it that way.


Which helps some of us, not at all.

By the way, kudos for the Padres, who, for 3 years running now, provide some of the best hot-stove league chatter with their player personnel moves. They sure are not afraid to move assets around.
   5. Adam Starblind Posted: December 28, 2020 at 12:02 PM (#5996230)
Seconded. Wish Steve Cohen had been around 2 years ago to sign Machado--a superstar at a position of need--rather than trading the team's top prospect for a druggie second baseman in his late thirties, thereby displacing Jeff McNeil, an excellent player, from his most natural position. What a joke the Wilpons were.

/Mets hijack
   6. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: December 28, 2020 at 01:08 PM (#5996239)
They don't slap their dicks, let's put it that way.


I'm not up with the new lingo so I can't tell if this means they're good or bad.
   7. trtaylor6886 Posted: December 28, 2020 at 01:19 PM (#5996240)
When the Rays traded Tommy Pham last year Snell was upset that they traded Pham and "only received a couple of slapdick prospects"
   8. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: December 28, 2020 at 01:26 PM (#5996241)
Dennis Lin @dennistlin ·28m
Even after landing Blake Snell, the Padres are deep into talks to acquire Yu Darvish from the Cubs, sources tell @PJ_Mooney, @sahadevsharma and me. If the deal is completed, multiple players would head to Chicago.


I'd seen the Darvish/Padres rumors, but would have guessed this Snell deal would have been instead of getting Darvish.

I really don't know whether this is a good deal for the Rays or not (though they always do really well on these it seems), but I think this also means the Cubs return for Darvish wouldn't be better (Darvish makes a lot more and is older). Cubs need a lot of help, and an infusion of young talent. This trade would suck, but also not be nearly enough and the Cubs would be worse next year - does anyone in the NLC want to win it?
   9. salvomania Posted: December 28, 2020 at 01:42 PM (#5996243)
Mejia looks like a bust at this point

I think that's premature---he only had 39 MLB AB in the weird 2020 season, and put up an OPS+ of 99 in about 250 PA for the Padres in his age 23 season in 2019 after starting the year in AAA with an 1.157 OPS in 18 games.

He's still just 25 in 2021, and I can imagine him being a solid 2-WAR catcher going forward.
   10. The Honorable Ardo Posted: December 28, 2020 at 02:39 PM (#5996250)
I like what Tampa Bay did. Patino and Mejia are potential plus players for the 2021 Rays and would've themselves been sufficient return for three years of Snell. On top of it, they got two lottery tickets in Wilcox and Hunt.
   11. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: December 28, 2020 at 02:42 PM (#5996252)
Even after landing Blake Snell, the Padres are deep into talks to acquire Yu Darvish from the Cubs,
Break up the Padres!!
   12. sotapop Posted: December 28, 2020 at 03:06 PM (#5996255)
even as a Rays fan for ~15 years I doubted they'd trade Snell if they let Morton go. This leaves them with a question mark of a rotation next year-- basically, Glasnow and Yarborough, whatever's left of Michael Wacha, and prayers that two out of Josh Fleming, Brendan McKay and Brent Honeywell are for real. Or Patiño if he's ready.

Compared to the last two years' rotation, that's not particularly inspiring. Maybe we'll see a return of The Opener.
   13. The Duke Posted: December 28, 2020 at 03:13 PM (#5996257)
And now Ha Seong Kim

And it looks like Darvish and Contreras
   14. puck Posted: December 28, 2020 at 03:22 PM (#5996259)
When the Rays traded Tommy Pham last year Snell was upset that they traded Pham and "only received a couple of slapdick prospects"


Now I feel bad Elroy's joke had to be explained.

I wonder if anyone else has a package like this available. The Rockies have German Marquez. They don't want to trade him, and he's exactly the sort of pitcher they've been trying to develop, but they're going nowhere, and there's not much down in the farm, esp. the high minors. His WAR is close to Snell's the past 3 seasons (9.4 to 9.5) and higher if you include 2017, and is guaranteed slightly less 2021-2023.

A total rebuild in CO would be a no-brainer, except I think these guys would lose 100+ games a year for many years.
   15. Rally Posted: December 28, 2020 at 03:29 PM (#5996262)
#13, this is bizarro world. When did the Padres turn into the Yankees?
   16. puck Posted: December 28, 2020 at 03:39 PM (#5996266)
   17. sotapop Posted: December 28, 2020 at 04:12 PM (#5996272)
thanks for that, puck.
   18. bfan Posted: December 28, 2020 at 04:28 PM (#5996276)
Isn't Brendan McKay (all qualifiers for never trusting talented prospects, even those who do well in AAA) looking very, very good?
   19. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: December 28, 2020 at 04:30 PM (#5996279)
only received a couple of slapdick prospects

The Secrets of Slapdick Prospect sounds like a failed 80s prime-time soap opera.
   20. DCA Posted: December 28, 2020 at 06:11 PM (#5996289)
McKay is looking very, very injured. Torn labrum. Won’t be ready to start the season and the track record of this injury is not good.
   21. sotapop Posted: December 28, 2020 at 06:20 PM (#5996292)
Somehow I missed it was his labrum. With all of Honeywell's injuries it's easy to mix them up.
   22. Walt Davis Posted: December 28, 2020 at 06:38 PM (#5996294)
That fangraphs piece is very, very down on Mejia's defense. Maybe the Rays think they can fix it well enough to play him ... or maybe they think his bat will finally wake up and he goes into the 1B/LF/RF/DH mix (with the other 9 guys).

It's a shame about McKay. What a weird prospect. 3 years in the minors and just 172 IP plus 49 in the majors; his position prospect side <600 PA. My instinct at this point would be that a torn labrum means give up on the pitching side and see what kind of hitter he can become ... but the hitting to this point has been pretty terrible while the pitching and K-rate has been outstanding while you don't really have enough data on either (plus the injury) to have much confidence. So I guess I'd give him one more chance at pitching. I hope he got a big signing bonus.
   23. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: December 28, 2020 at 09:44 PM (#5996307)
Cubs-Padres deal will be Yu Darvish and Victor Caratini to SD for Zach Davies, SS Reginald Preciado, OF Owen Caissie, OF Ismael Mena and SS Yeison Santana, per source.


None of those prospects are close at all to the bigs. None are in top 10 of padres prospects (11/13/15/16 per mlb pipeline). And Caratini has value. Total salary dump.

In a few years this could turn out ok, but it's a huge risk and the cubs are going to be so bad the next few years (not just cause they dealt Yu, but because what this trade signals).
   24. TJ Posted: December 28, 2020 at 09:45 PM (#5996308)
Looks like the Padres are not done- reports have them acquiring Yu Darvish and Victor Caratini from the Cubs for Zach Davies and four prospects from the Pads 6-15 range. (mlb.com ranking- Moses is right that none of the Padres top guys are in the deal.)

It’s the San Diego Padres winter and we are just living in it..
   25. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: December 28, 2020 at 10:03 PM (#5996311)
...and the cubs are throwing in money?

Edit. Or not. Stupid twitter.
   26. Walt Davis Posted: December 28, 2020 at 11:04 PM (#5996319)
Davis is a nice pick up even if just for a year. Makes no sense to me the Pads would include him in the deal so I'll take it. Even with missing most of 2018 and obviously the 2020 short season, he's got 486 innings over his last 89 starts (the equivalent of 3 healthy seasons) and a 116 ERA+. There's a reasonable chance he'll out-pitch Yu in 2021 for $8-10 M, then he'll be FA of course. Just turning 28, it's not impossible the Cubs will extend him ... otherwise flip him at the deadline (assuming this year goes the way I think it's gonna go). I assumed the Padres would hold onto him and force the Cubs to take on Tommy Pham. Unless there's something I don't know (unlikely!), Davies is a nice one-year replacememnt for Darvish so this probably doesn't hurt our meager 2021 chances too much.

I was kinda hoping for Grisham though -- the other piece in that trade coincidentally. Cubs need a CF and while I'm far from convinced Grisham will be much of a player, he seems above-average defensively so even if he settles in around a 90 OPS+ that would be fine and allow Happ to move to LF where he belongs. (Any semblance to things I said a dozen times about Almora are pure coincidence!)

The lackluster development of some of the prospects, their apparent inability (lack of intention?) to extend anybody and the cheapness of the Cubs the last couple of seasons put them in this spot. At least they have assets to trade and given Javy, Bryant and Rizzo are all FA next year (and Contreras the year after) it's probably better to trade them than cheaply try to limp into the playoffs again. This deal though suggests they are aiming for a 2012 level reset. Many more tradable assets than when Theo took over but we'll be lucky if any of these guys are ML-ready before 2025. (OK, Santana should be "ready" before then.)

On the prospects I only got what's already out there. Caissie was drafted this summer -- on the plus side, he was drafted before Wilcox who was in the Snell deal ... on the downside, Wilcox got >2.5 times as much money. :-) Caissie's bonus is listed as $1,200,004 at b-r which is probably just a typo but I'm hoping the kid has a sense of humor or a lucky number or something that inspired the extra $4. Maybe a HS teammate got $1.2 M and they had a bet as to who would get more.

Santana's turning 20 but had a nice rookie league campaign in 2019. Preciado is still 5 months shy of 18 -- not sure you should be able to trade guys like that but I suppose the potential is the same now as it was when the Pads signed him. Mena turned 18 a month ago but got a big bonus to sign a couple of years ago. The MLB.com writeups on these guys will have you drooling despite comping Mena to Franchy Cordero and Gregory Polanco. Their description of Santana sounds like Javy with patience and Preciado apparently set the recrod for bonus for a Panamanian. All told it's like the Cubs just had an uber-toolsy, high upside 2020 draft of HS guys. (Yes, I know, a couple of average seasons out of these guys is probably more than I can expect but it's the offseason and we just traded probably our best pitcher for 4 guys who barely exist even at b-r, I gotta stay positive.)

As to Caratini -- seems he's been Yu's personal C since mid-2019. I'd never noticed nor recall it being mentioned (short attention span). He should be more than just a throw-in though but it's hard to see what extra value the Cubs got back here.

I suppose then it's more like a NBA/NFL-style trade. We just swapped Darvish for a late 1st, 1st supplemental, 2nd and 3rd round pick in the draft ... except that draft already happened. Padres had one very deep system it seems. And good on the Padres for going for it.
   27. BillWallace Posted: December 29, 2020 at 12:25 PM (#5996391)
Have to take issue with a bit of your analysis Walt.

OF is the only place that the Padres aren't deep at the moment, so it makes no sense for them to trade Pham or Grisham. Pham still has a 2+ win projection and fills a need. Grisham meanwhile has a 3.1 win projection and is 24. Hugely valuable and they have no one else to play CF, there's no chance he's anywhere near the trading block.

On the other hand it does make more sense to include Davies because the Padres have 7 projected ML quality starters even without him. Davies is nice, although he's been outperforming his peripherals enormously and no guarantee that's real vs luck. I think it's a stretch to hope he outperforms Darvish in 2021. Yes pitchers are pitchers but we're talking about 2.2 vs 4.1 win forecasts.

Value-wise the trade does seem reasonable, depending on how much $ the Cubs picked up. Darvish is that rare free agent contract that is plus value on the backend, so it makes sense they got value for it, but they certainly didn't get a massive haul. I like Preciado a lot, he could be a superstar. But these are all FV45 guys, generally just a few M in book value.

As a bandwagon Padres fan (moved here last year) this is amazing. If I were Cubs fan I would be pisssssed. Not because it's a bad trade in a vacuum, but what it represents as far as the direction and greedy management of the team over the last few years. It's so bad for baseball too.
   28. Walt Davis Posted: December 29, 2020 at 08:04 PM (#5996497)
OF is the only place that the Padres aren't deep at the moment

The Chicago Cubs should not be concerned about the OF depth of the San Diego Padres. I didn't say the Padres should want to trade Grisham, I wish the Cubs had targeted him in the return. On Pham ... who knows? He was terrible (and hurt?) in 2020 and is at the age where late bloomers usually wilt ... and wise men say "never put much faith in players the Rays give away nearly for free." But if the Pads were looking to offload a bit of money in the deal, he will make about as much as Davies. As a Cub fan, I'm happier getting back Davis than Pham ... but then I keep thinking that one day we'll get an actual decent CF so Happ can move to LF.

As to their use for Davies -- given Clevinger is out for 2021, he started as their #3 projected starter, but within half-a-win of Paddack so flip a coin. Snell pushed him down to #4 presumably. Darvish would have pushed him to #5. Teams still need #5 starters. That 2.2 WAR ZiPS projection is an above-average starter in today's climate of limited innings. They have Gore on the way and a couple of other guys around so keeping Davies wasn't "essential" but there's zero reason for them to want to include him in this trade unless they desperately want to save $8-10 M this year. Now if the Cubs really wanted him then, sure, no way that would be a deal-breaker but it raises the question of why the Cubs would want him in what is otherwise a "deep rebuild" trade.

On Darvish vs Davies ... you'd be hard-pressed to find two closer guys in terms of recent results. Both missed most of 2018 with injuries. Over the last 4 years, Darvish has 481 IP and a 121 ERA+; Davies has 486 and a 116 ERA+. Davies does out-pitch his FIP by a lot ... but he's done it for his entire career. The K-rate and ERA-FIP gap suggest he's not a guy you want to hold through his early 30s or give a 5-year contract to but he's only 28 and only under control for 1 year.

So as I said, there's a reasonable chance he out-pitches Darvish in 2021. In 2017, they threw about the same number of innings but Darvish had a 120 vs 112 ERA+ advantage. In 2018, they were equally bad and hurt. In 2019, Darvish threw 179 innings at 110 while Davies threw 160 innings at 125 -- I'll take it. In 2020, Darvish was incredible of course but Davies was no slouch with a 157 ERA+ and set a career high 8.2 K/9 -- I'll take it. So Darvish was better in 2017 but not by a lot, they were equal in 2018, Davies did better in 2019 and Darvish clearly wins 2020 but Davies was outstanding (which he's not likely to repeat). So that's what, maybe a 1 out of 4 chance that Davies out-pitches Darvish by a bit, a 1/4 that they're equal, a 1/4 that Davies is close and 1/4 that Darvish easily out-distances him. I'd put a 25-50% chance of equal/better production as a "reasonable chance." But sure, if we're rating All-Star and CYA chances, Darvish has a much better chance than Davies.

On the WAR front, I don't know where you got 2.2 vs 4.1 -- ZiPS has it 2.2 vs 3.2. I'm sure Darvish is way out front in fWAR due to Davies' ERA-FIP gap. At b-r, it's a 3 WAR difference over those 480ish innings so about 1 WAR per full season. If you believe fully in Darvish's transformation in June 2019 -- which might be the right thing to do -- then sure. Anyway, I assume you're aware that projections have rather massive confidence intervals around them and there's a very good chance a 1-WAR difference in projections ends up being 0 or even in the other direction. Granted, a 2-WAR difference in projection is much less likely to but I don't see how the gap can be that big.

Anyway, the bWAR gap is about 1/3 actual RA9-RA9opp gap, 1/3 defensive adjustment and 1/3 park factor which seems reasonable.

Overlooked fact about WARpit. Darvish gets 10 WAR, 6 WAA in his 480 innings over that period. That's only 4 wins worth of RAR for 480 innings which means a league-average pitcher (facing average teams, in front of an average defense, in an average park) needs 240-260 innings to reach the "average" players 2-2.2 WAR. ZiPS of course is not a playing time projection system but of course its WAR projections are based on its PT "not projections." Davies and Darvish are both not projected for about 150 innings. Davies' 2.2 WAR projection, in terms of quality, is the equivalent of 3 WAR back when manly pitchers threw 250 innings a year -- it represents nearly 1 WAA. Contending teams should ALWAYS question themselves thoroughly before trading an above-average starting pitcher and it better be necessary to get the deal done.

   29. BillWallace Posted: December 29, 2020 at 11:58 PM (#5996535)
I wish the Cubs had targeted him in the return. On Pham


Maybe they did, but like I said it makes 0 sense for the Padres to trade him. They have no other CF. Doesn't make sense to me to do all this in-depth analysis on a trade and only think about the incentives from one side but not the other, even if it is your team.

As to their use for Davies


Sure, Davies would still be useful to the Padres, but I assume the Cubs demanded to get back something with 2021 value, and of all available pieces, Davies is at the top of the list of 'pieces with legit 2021 value that Padres can give up without it hurting too much', because of the aforementioned rotation depth.

On Darvish vs Davies


You're right I f'd up the forecast discrepancy. The Zips Cubs page has 4.0 assuming full playing time and 3.2 complete projection for Darvish. 2.6/2.2 for Davies. Their recent past may be similar but I'll trust zips for projection over 3-year ERA+.

Obv the projections have high error bars, but I think your 'reasonable chance' is doing more work than I'd be comfortable with. When I bet I'm not going to take a 30/70 and say "well there's a reasonable chance I win". Anyone would MUCH rather have Darvish in their rotation for '21 than Davies, full stop.

In any case, I did say I think the value of the trade is fine. It does depend on the $ retained by the Cubs. Cubs gave up the more valuable pitcher but got a decent one back plus a handful of decent prospects. I'm still pissed if I'm a Cubs fan

   30. Walt Davis Posted: December 30, 2020 at 01:28 AM (#5996547)
Sure, my "analysis" is entirely from the Cubs' perspective. What the Padres get is (a) obvious and (b) immaterial to me. From the Padres' perspective, what they gave up was (a) one year of a solid starter in Davies and (b) a bunch of guys who won't be in the majors sooner than 4-5 years from now which they don't much care about because they're obviously going for it right now. The issue on Grisham is again pretty obvious -- the Cubs picked up a bunch of prospects that are not top guys and are (we hope) 4-5 years away which is a long time to wait. If they couldn't get a young MLBer with years of control or a couple of ML-ready guys then the trade of Darvish is questionable. So did they get sufficient value in lottery tickets or not is the only question that really matters here. If the Padres won't give you what you want, shop him around. It's not like they needed to trade him.

When I bet I'm not going to take a 30/70 and say "well there's a reasonable chance I win".

No offense but you're not a very good better are you? Whether a bet is a good bet depends on what the odds are (i.e. the payout) along with (in say poker) how much you've got relative to other folks balanced against the chance you'll be able to hold onto what you've got for how long. If you're short-stacked in a poker tournament, 30/70 is all-in time.

And that's the sort of bet the Cubs are making here. The Cubs will be lucky to get one player as good as Darvish out of this group of prospects, they know the chances of zero return are high. They're not making a "good" bet here and they know it. But (a) they may think their 2021 chances in the NLC and possibly/likely 7 out of 15 team playoff structure with Davies are not much worse than with Darvish and (b) their 2022-23 chances are crap because they've already decided to let most of their stars walk so ... (c) let's buy some lottery tix that promise a big payoff.

A 30% chance is a reasonable chance. It's a bit better than two heads in a row, not exactly a fluke. If it's near 50% it's a "coin flip;" if it's 2/3 it's "likelY' or maybe "very likely."

Anyone would MUCH rather have Darvish in their rotation for '21 than Davies, full stop.

no ####. That's why it wasn't a straight-up trade. Nobody's suggesting that Darvish straight up for Davies would be a good trade. But if you don't incorporate the variation in thoee projections, you're doing a lousy job of team-building. There is a reasonable chance that Davies' 2021 results are as good or better than Darvish's. There's an even better chance (probably well over 50%) that the difference between the two performances will have no meaningful impact on whether the Cubs actually make the playoffs or their expected success if they do. (Same for the Padres.) So in pricing this from the Cubs' perspective, they obviously take into account that there is a good chance this has no meaningful impact on their 2021 results while (they hope) substantially improving their farm system and 2025+ chances (at some cost to their 2022-23 chances). If they didn't believe that Davies provided some "reaspnable" level of replacement for Darvish, then the only reason he'd be in this trade is to help balance money (which might be part of it).
   31. BillWallace Posted: December 30, 2020 at 02:27 AM (#5996552)
I think the only problem here is that the same words mean different things to you than me, it happens. We both agree the trade is fine value for the Cubs, which seems to be your main concern.

I actually made a living (albeit a modest one) playing poker for 3 years, grinding 20/40 limit holdem. So I am actually a pretty decent bettor.

I suspect the main reason that Davies is in the trade is optics. Getting a major league player in return allows them to sell this as less than the 'give up' it is. Otherwise they could have gotten the same value either by retaining less salary on Darvish or getting slightly better prospects. He also gives them a potential option of flipping him for more value if he pitches ok but they aren't contending.
   32. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: December 30, 2020 at 10:03 AM (#5996577)
Obviously this means basically nothing at all, but it's still pretty funny: Blake Snell's Cy Young season, in which he won 21 games, was the only season in which he's won more than six games in a year.

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