Saturday, June 30, 2012

Phillies trade Jim Thome to the Orioles

According to Ken Rosenthal, the Phillies have traded Jim Thome for the second time, shipping him off to the Orioles this time.  The deal will be officially announced following the game today but don't expect the Phillies to get much in return as this deal was about getting Thome to an AL team where he could get consistent at-bats.

With Ryan Howard missing at least half of the season, the Thome signing in the offseason made sense if he could step in and play first base.  When his back didn't prove up to the task, Thome was left to waste away on the Phillies bench once interleague play in the American League parks ended.  Given how ineffective he was as a pinch-hitter yet how dominant he was as DH, Thome will be a nice piece for the Orioles and should be a big contributor when he gets consistent at-bats.

It is unfortunate that Thome's second stint with the Phillies wasn't nearly as memorable as his first due to a faulty back.  He still has a few good swings left so its nice to see him back in the American League where he belongs.

Update: The Phillies got single-A pitcher Kyle Simon and catcher Gabriel Lino in the deal.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Flyers swap JVR for Luke Schenn

The man that has been rumored to be traded seemingly ever since he was drafted has finally been dealt: the Flyers have traded James van Riemsdyk to the Maple Leafs for defenseman Luke Schenn.  This deal has been rumored to be happening for the last year or so and the Flyers finally pulled the trigger to trade the two straight up for one another.

Schenn, who is indeed the brother of current Flyer Brayden Schenn, is a young defenseman who has shown plenty of promise but has yet to live up to his potential.  His cap hit is lower than JVR's by nearly a million and he is under contract for fewer seasons so the Flyers are also freeing up money that will likely be used to re-sign Matt Carle as well as bring in a free agent or two.  If Schenn ever lives up to his potential as a top defenseman, this deal could turn out to be a steal for the Flyers.

Much like Schenn, JVR has never quite lived up to his potential.  He has long been coveted by the Leafs for his size and his occasional flashes of brilliance.  He could be the type of player that will thrive with a change of scenery and could eventually become a star and make the Flyers regret ever trading him.

It's pretty apparent that Paul Holmgren loves trading and isn't afraid to take chances.  On paper, JVR is currently the better player in the deal but neither player has fully developed yet so it is impossible to love or hate the deal.  Given the complete over-pay of his contract, I can't say I'm all that upset that JVR has been shipped out of town.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Flyers deal Bobrovsky to Columbus

This isn't the rumored "big trade" but the Flyers have made a move, dealing Sergei Bobrovsky to the Columbus Blue Jackets for three draft picks, including a 2nd round pick and two 4ths.  While the Flyers are now lacking a backup goaltender, they got a great return for Bob and may have the pieces necessary to make a bigger move.

While Bobrovsky had his moments with the Flyers, he seems destined to be a starter in the NHL and he wasn't going to get that opportunity in Philadelphia.  If the move is the first step towards grabbing a big name player or even if it allows the Flyers to make a smaller move, it was the right time to deal Bob since he still has a good amount of upside.

With the NHL Draft coming tonight, expect the rumors to continue to swirl around the Flyers, who always seem to make a big splash this time of the year.  Don't expect anything as drastic as last offseason but don't be surprised when a young player gets moved for an established star, either.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Eagles sign safety O.J. Atogwe

According to a report out of Washington, the Eagles have added some depth to their secondary, signing veteran safety O.J. Atogwe.  Atogwe is a former Ram and most recently played a season with the Redskins and figures to slide into the backup free safety spot behind Nate Allen.

While Atogwe has had his injury issues the last few seasons, if healthy, he could be a useful addition to the Eagles secondary.  He should provide great depth and can step in and start if needed.  While he isn't the same player that picked off 8 passes for the Rams in 2007, Atogwe is definitely a player worth taking a flier on, assuming he signed a one year contract for very little guaranteed money.