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Looking at potential FAs this summer- “What about the restricted free agents? There are a few restricted free agents still worth looking at, most notably: Nikola Pekovic, Tiago Splitter, Tyreke Evans, and Gerald Henderson. Splitter and Pekovic because they play center, and are still relatively young, are going to make northwards of $10 million a year. Someone will pay them that. Their teams are going to have a very hard time matching this number. My bet is that Minnesota matches and that San Antonio doesn’t. If you’re Danny Ferry, would you pay Josh Smith almost $18 million a year, or would you try to get Splitter for $10 million and move Horford to power forward? If I’m Chris Grant, I’d be extremely tempted with both. I’d bid these guys up just to tie up other teams’ time and salary. I still think Splitter would be awesome with Varejao, but we’d have to take a Xanax every time that Brazil played international ball. I like Pekovic: his toughness, his ability to check opposing centers (at least in terms of body), but I just get this feeling that he’s likely to sign and retire: sign a big fat check and balloon up to 350.” [Smith/Cavs the Blog]
“It’s no accident that when Kipnis and third-base prospect Lonnie Chisenhall arrived at spring training, their locker stalls were situated right next to Jason Giambi, an 18-year-veteran who signed a minor league deal with Cleveland three weeks ago. Giambi might not make the Opening Day roster, but manager Terry Francona holds him in high esteem as the type of veteran who can throw an arm around the kids and nurture them through the rough patches. Giambi certainly made an impression in Colorado with Troy Tulowitzki and the other young Rockies players.
Giambi’s early message to Kipnis and Chisenhall: Don’t make the game harder than it already is.” [Crasnick/ESPN]
“Flacco’s big, fat, new contract was finalized Monday, guaranteeing Flacco an exorbitant amount of money and ensuring that Flacco will be playing in Baltimore as long as the Ravens will have him. It’s the richest contract a NFL player has ever signed, but that doesn’t mean Flacco is the most valuable or most talented player in his own locker room, let alone throughout the league. It means, above all else, that he plays the right position.
Quarterbacks. The best ones get paid. Even the pretty good ones get paid. The teams that don’t have a great or pretty good one wish they had one to pay — and spend countless resources and energy chasing guys who might be pretty good. Flacco came from Delaware (via Pitt), the 18th pick in the 2008 NFL Draft after making the decision to go to the Senior Bowl and show his talents rather than stay away based on some perceived draft standing. You’d think more guys would learn from that.” [Jackson/FSO]
“Face it, winning gives people a reason to spend money on your team as well as get businesses to send money your way. The Indians’ past success happened when the Cavs and Browns were not so good or not playing at all. To capture part of the market, not just be successful for a year or two, the Indians need to win.
The area is tired of talk about how the Tribe is doing things right. Doing things right has not translated into success or even the availability of major league talent. The last time the Indians’ front office was in this type of situation was at least 20 years ago. Given the situation, the hiring of Francona make sense. He’ll be able to handle the pressure, since it surely can’t compare to what he had to deal with in Boston. If a player or players are needed for a playoff run, the Indians have a history making small deals for good dividends.” [Kovach/Hardball Times]