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20Jul/150

Phillies Trade Rumors

Cole Hamels is the main piece to all Phillies Trade Rumors

Cole Hamels is the main piece to all Phillies Trade Rumors

By @sec247sports Staff

It's that time of the year and when you have a baseball team that sucks trade rumors will run rampant.  Keep checking back on this running post for the latest on all Phillies trade rumors.

7/29 - Cole Hamels has been traded to the Texas Rangers.  Full story with updates here.

7/28- CSN's Jim Salisbury is reporting that the Phillies are asking teams to have their best offers on the table by Wednesday.

7/28- Various reports have the Nationals and Phillies closing in on a deal for Jonathan Papelbon.  Todd Zolecki, on MLB Network, stated that Papelbon and his agent have been in direct conversations with Washington.

7/28- Ken Rosenthal reports that the Giants are now "in" on Cole Hamels.

7/27, 8:04P- More from Crasnick, he's reporting the Astros are making a serious run at Cole Hamels.

7/27- According to Ken Rosenthal, the Phillies and Rangers are discussing names in a potential Cole Hamels trade

7/27, 4:19P- ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reports that there is a "dark horse" in the Cole Hamels sweepstakes, the Diamondbacks have reached out regarding the ace.

15Jul/15Off

Coming Soon!!!

section 247 sportsThanks for visiting the site!

We're in the midst of some big changes here at Section 247 Sports.  Over the next few months we will be undergoing some changes here on the site.  A re-branding of sorts.

Over the next few days, weeks, months, year (???) we will be debuting a new look, new contributors & content, and perhaps a podcast (hopefully!)

Thanks for hanging with us with some of the issues and we appreciate your feedback.

-Section 247 Sports crew

@Sec247Sports on Twitter

30Jul/150

Cole Hamels Traded – Reaction the Morning After

Cole Hamels Traded to Texas Rangers

Cole Hamels Traded to Texas Rangers c/o Phillymag.com

By: Greg Milakovic @coachgreg03

Cole Hamels traded.

A phrase I don’t know I’ll ever get used to hearing.  It was a pure pleasure to watch him pitch every 5 days, or less.  His final start in a Phillies uniform proved that point with an exclamation point.  As fans we knew we were watching something special his entire Phillies career.  He was a guy we knew had no hit stuff just about every start.  Some starts weren’t as good obviously but we knew the potential was there and we were glued.  Postseason, forget about it! He was a stud here in Philly as I’m sure he will be in Arlington as well.

Last night when the deal broke I was so concerned with getting the site updated with the up to date information instead of thinking this trade through.  After the site was updated I started to internally process, while also reading a lot of different angles, and was a bit hesitant on my reaction.  The full trade details are spelled out here.  I didn’t hate it from the start.  With the prospect haul the Phillies received it’s very hard to hate the deal.  It was just a matter of how much I liked or loved the deal.  So I slept on it.

I LIKE the trade but I don’t LOVE the trade.

Here are a few reasons why I don’t LOVE the trade.  When trading a Cole Hamels type player you obviously want the best possible return.  Not getting Joey Gallo, Nomar Mazara, Jurickson Profar, or Rougned Odor in the package kicks it down a notch.  Gallo and Mazara are the Rangers #1 and #2 prospects in their system.  Gallo had a cup of coffee this year filling in for an injured Adrien Beltre.  Quick note on Gallo.  He plays 3b which is where Maikel Franco plays so where was he going to play here in Philly?  Would it have stopped me from taking him, NO, but I get it.  Profar and Odor are prospects no longer but are still young enough in their MLB career it would have helped this current Phillies team as well as the future.  The final piece of this is Ryan Howard, or some other bad contract, wasn’t included as well.  You want Hamels, cool, take Howard too should have been the discussion.  Yes Jake Diekman was involved but he wasn’t a bad contract.  He was just another Phillippe Aumont a good minor league pitcher who could never make it happen in the majors.  Is that on the players or the terrible pitching coaches of the Phillies?  I tend to blame the pitching coaches personally.  If somehow they could have included a bad contract instead of taking one back, Matt Harrison, or in addition to taking another one back I might have loved it.  I don’t mind taking Matt Harrison back because if healthy we need someone to throw every five days until these young kids are ready.

What I LOVE from the trade is the haul of prospects coming to Philly.  Getting 3 of the top 10 and 5 of the top 30 prospects is a great package.  They are all AA or above so while they could still bust you’d like to think the bust factor is lessened.  Here is Jim Callis from MLB.com with a breakdown of each prospect in the trade.  Thompson, Williams, and Alfaro instantly jump into the Phillies Top 10 and continue to build that stable of pieces behind JP Crawford we hope brings this city another parade.  Pitching prospects are the most volatile prospects out there and the Phillies have a lot of good young arms in the system.  The recent trades of Rollins and Papelbon have brought back some quality young pitching, which is never a bad thing!  With the promotion of Nola, Thompson probably jumps to the top and is Phillies best pitching prospect.  On top of all that though Thompson is 21, Asher 23, Eickhoff 25 joining Nola 22, Biddle 23, Morgan 25, Eflin 21, Lively 23, Pivetta 22, and Windle 23.  Now that is some young arms to get excited about!

I hope this isn’t the last move though.  While I like this move and what has happened recently there has to be more.  Ben Revere has some interest as reported by Ken Rosenthal.  Others I’d like to see go just to see go are Ryan Howard, Jerome Williams, Aaron Harang, Carlos Ruiz, Dom Brown, Jeff Francoeur, and yes sorry to say Chase Utley.  No need to play hardball with this list.  Get what you and get out.  A bag of balls, bucket of seeds, a few rosin bags? Cool. Works for me just get rid of them and truly rebuild.

This was a big step in the right direction for the Philadelphia Phillies.  I still don’t know if I’ll ever get used to not watching Cole Hamels every five days but the memories of his career in Philly will never leave.  We will always have 2008 Cole!  Thank You! So once again.

Cole Hamels Traded!

29Jul/150

Breaking: Cole Hamels Traded To Texas Rangers

Cole Hamels Traded to Texas Rangers

Cole Hamels Traded to Texas Rangers c/o designntrend.com

By: @Sec247Sports Staff

Cole Hamels traded!!!  Words we all assumed we'd hear sometime this week have finally been said.  Sources have confirmed that Cole Hamels has been traded to the Texas Rangers.  Deal probably won't be finalized until later tonight or tomorrow morning.

According to Jim Salisbury from CSN Philly Jake Diekman is going to Texas along with Cole Hamels and cash ($9.5 million) while prospects Jorge Alfaro (C), Nick Williams (OF), Jarad Eickhoff (RHP), and Alex Asher (RHP) coming back to Philly.

Of course until it's finalized things can change.  Stay tuned for updates!!

****Update**** According to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com Matt Harrison of the Rangers is coming to Philly as apart of this deal.  So it's now Cole Hamels, Diekman, cash ($9.5 million) for Harrison and prospects Alfaro, Williams, Eickhoff, Asher, and one other player.

****Update**** Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports that the "other player" is Jake Thompson (RHP) coming to Philly.  So the Phillies get the #4, #5, #6, #17, and #29 prospects of the Rangers system according to MLB.com.  Thompson is the highest rated prospect in the trade.

****Update**** Jim Callis of MLB.com has scouting reports, with video highlights, on the haul coming to Philadelphia in the Cole Hamels trade.

29Jul/150

Phillies Trade Papelbon to Nationals for Minor League Pitcher

Phillies Trade Jonathan PapelbonBy @Sec247Sports Staff

Jonathan Papelbon, he gone.  The Phillies traded the All-Star closer* to the Washington National in exchange for double-A pitcher Nick Pivetta.  Papelbon, who never joined the Phillies in Toronto, has signed on with Washington for the 2016 season (previously a vesting option) and is expected to take over as their closer.

In exchange the Phillies have received RHP Nick Pivetta who pitched most recently at double-A Harrisburg.  Pivetta is a hard-throwing right hander and matches the mold of player the Phillies currently have in their minor league system (Zach Eflin & co).

The Washington Post is reporting that the Phillies will pay $4.5MM of Paps remaining salary for this season.

*- Every team needs an All-Star representative!!!

28Jul/150

Flyers Taking a Risk with Couturier Extension

Courtesy of USA Today

Courtesy of USA Today

The Philadelphia Flyers extended young center Sean Couturier to a 6 year contract worth $26 million ($4.33 million AAV) according to reports.

Ron Hextall spoke earlier in the offseason about reaching new agreements with pending free agents going into the 2016 offseason.  Couturier has been an integral part of the Flyers future core and has shown flashes over his four seasons with the club.

There is no question when Couturier is locked in, he is a top five defensive center in the entire league.  Couturier had trouble with his consistency last year, although it can be argued this was attributed to the atrocious coach at the helm, said coach's philosophy of casting Couturier as a role player rather than unleashing him and line combinations.  Dave Hakstol will also be Couturier's third coach in just four years as a pro.

While these are legitimate causes for possible lack of player growth, at some point the player has to have the will and pride to take their game to the next level.  Couturier has proven he can shut down top scoring forwards.  However, he has not fulfilled his offensive potential.

Based on this new deal, here are several centers making close to or lower AAV than Couturier:

-Bryan Little (Winnipeg Jets)
-David Backes (St. Louis Blues)
-Ryan Johansen (Columbus Blue Jackets)
-Kyle Turris (Ottawa Senators)

All four of these players had a significantly higher offensive output last season over Couturier.  Granted, a couple of these players are not as defensive minded as Couturier.

In regards to the Flyers, the move is a bit perplexing.  Couturier was slated to be a restricted free agent after this season.  They could have done a more middle of the road deal as a good compromise for both parties.  The Flyers could have had security if Couturier does not start to fulfill his potential in the next few years.  For Couturier, if he proved himself the next few years, he could have set himself up for a more lucrative deal such as the one teammate Jake Voracek will receive.

Instead, the Flyers are taking all the risk.  They could potentially be hamstrung with another long term deal that is impossible to get rid of.  That said, at the young age of 22, it's important to not have Patrick Sharp syndrome and give up on another young player too early.   By 2022, the Flyers have to hope they came away with a steal.

Filed under: Bob Sharpe, Flyers, NHL No Comments
28Jul/150

Coaches Confessions – Inside Look Into High School Sports

A coaches reaction after a player hits a game winning shot!

Ron Hunter's reaction to son RJ Hunter hitting the game winning shot in NCAA Tournament. Photo c/o insideedition.com

By: Greg Milakovic @coachgreg03

First of all I want to thank Mike who has done a great job keeping the content updated over the last year or so. I am back in the fold as well and ready to help him out. As I’m sure he’s mentioned before stay tuned as a lot of changes are coming for Section 247 Sports. In the words of the great Jay Z "Allow me to reintroduce myself!"

A few years ago I received a phone call from my friend John Scanzano. He had just left a meeting with the principle of a local high school and was named the Head Baseball coach. His first duty was to find an assistant coach, my phone rang. Before he could even get out all the information I had already said yes and started my “official” coaching career. A lot has changed for me since that day I said yes, mostly positive, and I haven’t looked back or second guessed my decision one bit!

In the future I hope to give some insider insight into coaching high school sports. There are some experiences and stories that I hope will help people as well as provide some entertainment. I have just finished two weeks of basketball camp locally and have some thoughts/stories on those two long weeks.  I hope to have that post up in about a week once the MLB Trade Deadline passes.  It’s been a long time and I’ve missed it. Time to get back to writing!

27Jul/150

Countdown to Eagles Training Camp: A Rebuilt Defensive Backfield

Eagles Sing Byron MaxwellBy Michael Lipinski          @MJL_52

The NFL has two seasons, the regular season and the playoffs.  The regular season is based around high scoring offenses and creating points for fantasy owners.  The playoffs are all about defense.  All these years later, and despite every attempt by the NFL, it’s still defenses that win championships.

The Eagles, even though everyone thinks they’re built on offense, have recognized this and retooled the defense in the offseason.  I will go a bit more in-depth into additions and subtractions below but it’s clear that Chip Kelly is well aware of what it takes to win in this league and it’s not a defense that ranked 28th in the NFL.

The 2014 Birds, despite having an efficient and disruptive pass rush, leaked like a sieve in the defensive back field.  They allowed 375.6 yards per game with an average of 265 passing yards a game and an astonishing 25 points per game.  In comparison, the Super Bowl Champion Patriots only allowed 19.6 points per game.

Can the Eagles defensive backfield get better?  Let’s take a look.

Rebuilt Secondary

The Eagles went out and made a few big additions to the secondary through the draft, Eric Rowe, and via free agency, Walter Thurmond and Byron Maxwell.  Kelly sent a clear message early on that he was going to give defensive coordinator Billy Davis everything he needed in the defensive backfield.

27Jul/150

Weekend Update: Cole Hamels Throws a No Hitter, Phillies Trade Rumors, and More

weekend update

By Michael Lipinski          @MJL_52

What a boring weekend in Philadelphia sports.  I mean absolutely nothing happened especially on Saturday.

Boring.

Cole Hamels throws a no hitterHamels Throws a No-No

If Saturday was the last time Cole Hamels will pitch in a Phillies uniform than it was certainly memorable.  Hollywood K’d thirteen Cubbies, walked two (Dexter Fowler twice), and allowed NO HITS thus throwing his first career no-hitter.

It’s odd to say that a pitcher was perfect when truth is he wasn’t but Hamels was (you follow??).  Command, check.  Composure, check. Velocity, triple check (Hamels hit 96 in the 9th).  It was Hamels best start in red pinstripes and it couldn’t of come at a better time.

It could also be, and probably should be, his last start with the Phils.  It’s no secret that Hamels is on the trading block and it’s no secret the Phillies are rebuilding so it’s almost a certainty that Cole will be gone. Regardless, Saturday solidified (not that it needed to) Cole Hamels as one the greatest pitchers in Phillies history. 

24Jul/150

WWE Officially Fire Hulk Hogan

wwe fires hulk hoganBy Michael Lipinski     @MJL_52

Andre the Giant couldn't kill Hulkamania.  Neither could the Warrior, Randy Savage, Sting, or numerous other superstars or promotions.  In the end the only person that could kill Hulk Hogan was Hulk Hogan himself.

News broke this morning that WWE scrubbed their history of any mention of Hulk Hogan and removed his bio from the website.  The speculation is that there's audio where Hogan goes on a racial and/or homophobic tirade.  Obviously that's not good.

WWE released the following statement a short time ago:

"WWE has terminated its contract with Terry Bollea (aka Hulk Hogan).  WWE is committed to embracing and celebrating individuals from all backgrounds as evidenced by the diversity of our employees, performers and fans worldwide."

Tagged as: , No Comments
23Jul/150

Wrestle Wars: WWE Adds More Seating for NXT Takeover: Brooklyn

c/o WWE

c/o WWE

The Doc     @Sec247Sports

There's a thought that wrestling is in the midst of another "boom" period.  I'm not sure that I buy into that but it seems like there's a bit of a war heating up.

WWE has fired a few shots at Ring of Honor recently and it looks like it's going to continue in Brooklyn.

First, WWE decided to run NXT Takeover in Brooklyn going head-to-head with ROH's Field of Honor show in the same area.  Then WWE booked Jushin "Thunder" Liger for the same Takeover show apparently causing a rift between NJPW and ROH who had an existing talent exchange.  Finally, WWE has announced that they're opening more seats for Takeover giving fans more access to the NXT product.

Things are certainly getting interesting.

21Jul/150

Cubs Prospect Invites Ronda Rousey to Every Game

Cubs prospect invites Ronda Rousey to every game

Cubs prospect invites Ronda Rousey to every game

By @Sec247Sports Staff

You just gotta love sports! Players do things that just make you scratch your head all the time.  What Cubs prospect Anthony Giansanti does every game is just awesome.  Giansanti leaves a will call ticket for UFC champion Ronda Rousey.  A ticket to every game and he reminds here via Twitter.  Rousey should take Giansanti up on his offer if he makes it to the bigs.