August 26, 2014

Peter King details Cleveland’s trade to move up to No. 22 in NFL Draft

Ray Farmer

Looking for some insight into how crazy things can get when an NFL team is officially on the clock during the NFL Draft? Sports Illustrated’s Peter King details—in what was nearly a minute-by-minute breakdown—what went in to Cleveland Browns’ GM Ray Farmer making the move that ultimately landed them Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.

The [Philadelphia] Eagles, who held the 22nd pick in the draft, informed teams after several players they loved at 22 were snatched—LSU wideout Odell Beckham, who went 12th to the Giants, and Virginia Tech cornerback Kyle Fuller, who went 14th to Chicago, among others—that they were auctioning the choice.

Six teams inquired about pick number 22. Philadelphia got four solid offers. Though it was reported by Jay Glazer that the Vikings and Browns jousted for the 22nd pick (absolutely true), they were not alone. The source said that another team, not Minnesota, was the leader in the clubhouse when Eagles GM Howie Roseman told Cleveland GM Ray Farmer with three minutes left in the 10-minute draft period that he had to make a better offer than the one Cleveland had on the table.

Minnesota and Cleveland wanted Johnny Manziel. But it’s clear that the second-place finisher, which already had a good quarterback, wanted another player at 22. I wish I knew that other team. I do not. I don’t believe it is Houston. Cleveland, as I reported Monday in my column, did sweeten its offer to move up from 26 to 22, by improving its last offer to the 26th pick and 83rd overall. (I don’t know what Cleveland’s offer was before this, but GM Ray Farmer had less than 30 seconds to improve it to Philadelphia’s satisfaction, and he did.)

If Farmer didn’t include the mid-third-round pick in the deal, Philadelphia absolutely would have made the deal with Team Unknown for the 22nd pick. Cleveland would have had to move on. In that case, Cleveland would have called Kansas City at 23 and Cincinnati at 24 to try to get a deal done. I am told Kansas City would have been receptive to an offer for the 23rd pick, but Cincinnati, in love with cornerback Darqueze Dennard, would have held onto the pick.

The finish line: Cleveland won. The anonymous team seeking a player other than Manziel finished second. Minnesota was third—obviously because the Vikings didn’t want to include the 2015 first-round pick. (I don’t blame them.) The Eagles would have likely made that trade knowing the three or four players they liked at 22 would have been gone at 40. And another anonymous team finished fourth.

First thing’s first: Nice to see that Teddy Bridgewater was Minnesota’s consolation prize following his comments on Tuesday. The crazy part? Cleveland appears to have been 30 seconds away from having to settle for their Plan B as well. Trader Ray’s finger was on the pulse, working the phones like mad, and was willing to do whatever was needed to get the players he wanted. The Browns may want to avoid the circus with Manziel, but there is little doubt that they feel—right or wrong—that he is their guy.

NFL Trade Rumors: Browns would entertain offers for Jordan Cameron

While Josh Gordon has been the hot name in the NFL rumor mill, many in the league who have been in contact with the Cleveland Browns believe the team would also entertain breakout tight end Jordan Cameron. In discussing potential targets for fringe contenders like the Indianapolis Colts and Detroit Lions, CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reports that the Browns have not only been among the most active teams as the league nears Tuesday’s trade deadline, but that the Browns continue to be on the prowl for additional draft picks.

“According to some who have been in contact with the Browns, they believe Cleveland would entertain offers for emerging tight end Jordan Cameron as well as Gordon, though it would take a steep haul of picks and/or players to acquire them,” writes La Canfora.

Gordon is a young, dynamic play-maker who also happens to be one failed drug test away from a one-year suspension. Cameron, in his third season with the team, is on pace for roughly 1,200 yards and 12 touchdowns this season. Neither player was drafted by the current Browns regime and are at what could be considered “high value” in the event they were viewed as commodities.

Given the current quarterback issues for the Browns, the team is understandably geared toward finding a franchise player in the 2014 NFL Draft. They are already armed with two first-round selections (their own and one acquired earlier this season from the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for running back Trent Richardson). Team CEO Joe Banner stated that the team had no intentions of trading Gordon, but was non-committal last week when (once again) confronted with the question.

“If you’re in this long enough, you learn to never say anything absolute, because then something comes up and you look like you lied,” Banner said. “I personally — and I think anybody here — would be completely shocked if we ended up trading him. Josh is playing great. He’s working his butt off.”

To this point, there has been no formal word with regard to the Cameron-based report by La Canfora.

[Related: Cleveland Browns Game 8: Winners and Losers]

MLB Rumors: Indians claimed “several players” on waiver, unable to work trade

The Cleveland Indians have reportedly made several claims to recently waived players, but have been unable to work out a trade per The Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Paul Hoynes.

Hoynes does not explicitly say exactly who the Indians claimed, but added that the team is not interested in the 27-year-old right-handed outfielder Delmon Young. Young, recently released by the Philadelphia Phillies, has an OPS of .699 through 80 games this season. He is said to have mutual interest with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Over the course of the last two weeks, the Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins had placed sluggers Paul Konerko and Justin Morneau, respectively, on waivers. Both men cleared and were subsequently able to be dealt during the current post-trade deadline period. Prior to the deadline, the Indians acquired left-handed relief pitcher Mark Rzepczynski who has allowed three hits and one run (zero earned) in 7 2/3 innings.

The Indians are 7-10 since the passing of the July 31 trade deadline. The waiver deadline is August 31.

[Related: Tribe Weekend Recap: Missed opportunities spawn series loss in Oakland]

Varejao trade destinations…or lack there of

Anderson Varejao was everything I loved about basketball. He was hustle, he was emotion, he was heart. He was 36 minutes of controlled chaos, spinning a fury around opposing frontcourts.

But not anymore.

He’s now much, much more than that.

The Wild Thing is no longer a gimmicky role player, he’s the best center in the Eastern Conference and one of the best players in the NBA. He leads the NBA in every major rebounding category, and has been one of the ten best offensive players in the league. No that wasn’t a typo, Andy has molded himself into an offensive gem.

Andy has always created mayhem running the pick and roll, but his ability to play point forward, run dribble hand offs, and create his own shot in isolations have taken his offense to new levels.

Number 17 in Wine and Gold is no longer just an asset for Chris Grant and the Cavaliers, he’s the prize pig at the fair. Any team would happily take the Wild Thing’s services, especially a serious playoff contender, but there are few contenders with enough assets to offer the Cavaliers in return. [Read more...]

A Hypothetical Off-Season: Getting Specific with the Indians Roster

I’m sometimes accused of throwing out a generic statement or course of action without getting into the specifics that would allow someone to disagree with me.  The Indians should trade for young starting pitching.  Well, yeah.  They need to move Chris Perez. A little warmer, but that’s still pretty non-specific, no? The seventh inning Hot Dog race is a gambling shammockery organized and operated by a Youngstown crime ring. Ok, that last one was pretty specific and I don’t really see how anyone could take issue with it.

Anyway, I wrote last week that it made quite a bit of sense for the Indians to trade Asdrubal Cabrera this offseason without specifying exactly what they should get in return.  I hope the reason for this is obvious: we just don’t know, dude, the player(s) we might receive in any given trade.  It’s a fool’s errand to try to name the specifics.

But I run errands all the time.  And for the sake of webloggery, I thought I might show you what a good off-season might look like for the Indians, at least from my very specific point of view. [Read more...]

Trading Anderson Varejao Is a Tricky Proposal

Anderson Varejao on Media Day

On Tuesday, rumors began to spreadabout the Cavaliers asking around about trade interest for Anderson Varejao. There’s no indication the Cavaliers have any trade offers, nor is there any indication that they even want to trade Varejao. Just some empty rumors about the Cavaliers keeping their options open.

Cavs GM Chris Grant seems to be the kind of GM who likes talking to other teams and keeping a firm finger on the pulse of the trade market. As well he should. It’s important to know what kind of interest there is, not just for Varejao and other trade targets such as Sessions and Jamison, but for every player on the roster. The only way to make a fully informed plan on how to best rebuild this franchise is to know the value of the assets you hold.

But the rumor did raise an interesting and very difficult question. If there is strong interest in Varejao, would the Cavaliers be wise to trade him? [Read more...]

Re-Sign or Release: Anderson Varejao

Back in May, 2008, we featured a little series called “Re-Sign or Release” where we went through every player on the Cavaliers roster and turned to the readers to see what they would do if they were the general manager of the Wine and Gold and – hypothetically, of course – all of the players were up to have their respective contracts renewed.

Same hypothetical this time around: We’re looking to build for the future; all players are restricted free agents, likely requiring a bit of a pay raise from last season.  Do you re-sign them? Andrew has already laid out the roadblocks currently facing the Cavaliers in 2011; now it’s your turn. Vote below and leave your support in the comments.

[Read more...]

Memphis Grizzlies Have No Interest In Trading Rudy Gay To Cleveland

We’ve heard plenty of rumors regarding the Cleveland Cavaliers recently, some of them legit, some of them downright laughable. The one that has seem to stuck the most, though, is the rumor that the Cavs were interested in trading for Memphis Grizzlies’ SF Rudy Gay.

Perhaps the Cavaliers did have some interest, but it was always questionable whether the Grizzlies would be interested in trading Gay. The common thought was that the Grizzlies’ playoff run without Gay made him expendable and that they would be open to shedding the giant contract they gave him last year. Dan Gilbert has proven he will spare no expense, so a deal actually kind of made sense.

But according to Grizzlies owner Mike Heisley, we can stop all that talk right now. In a phone interview with the Memphis Commercial Appeal, Heisley makes it clear that the Grizzlies are not trading Gay: [Read more...]

NFL Draft: WFNY Roundtable, Part III

So far, we’ve gone the general route with “need” versus “best player available.”  And while we have decided that the Browns have to err on the side of the player, we aren’t quite sure who exactly that player is.  Today, we discuss a third option: trading down…

Scott: Assume the same hypothetical from yesterday, but with the tertiary option of trading down.  A team is willing to match the infamous point scale and the Browns believe they can move down and still obtain value. 

That said, how far are you willing to move down in the first round to ensure that the Orange and Brown land a play-maker? [Read more...]

WFNY Podcast: Talking Cavaliers, Dan Gilbert and Jared Sullinger

Our weekly podcast with Cleveland.com is ready for the listening. This week Scott and Rick answer Dan Labbe’s questions about the Cavaliers.

When will the losing streak end?

What is the biggest hole to fill on this team?

Should Dan Gilbert be more vocal concerning this team?

Is Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger the answer for the Cavs in the draft?

Will the team be active at the trade deadline?

You can listen to the podcast here, or head over to Cleveland.com to download the MP3. Thanks again to Dan and Cleveland.com for providing the forum.

Indians Notes: Choo’s Contract, Third Base Future, Millwood Interest

Updating you on all of the Tribe news possible during the long winter months…

Spring or Bust – Cleveland Indians right fielder Shin-Soo Choo announced Friday through various media outlets that he will not be involved with long-term contract negotiations during the upcoming 2011 season.

“Every player wants a multiyear contract,” said Choo to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “I will listen, yes. I don’t want to talk during the season, [but] it’s not closed. [Chris] Antonetti and Scott [Boras] can talk. My job is to play baseball.”

Similar to the demand recently made by St. Louis Cardinals star Albert Pujols, Choo is in a much different position after just avoiding his first year of arbitration. That means the South Korean star is still three years away from being eligible from free agency, but a long-term contract should certainly be on the minds of both parties. [Read more...]

Source: Team Varejao Angling for a Change of Scenery

Though the season is only three games old, there are reportedly some grumblings going on behind the scenes in Independence as a source tells WFNY that the big man would more than welcome a new team to play for.  And, if his Dan Fegan-led representation has any say in the matter, the sooner this were to happen, the better.

As insinuated previously at WFNY, this news comes as little surprise given that Varejao is a 28-year old, talented big man who is now on a roster that is at least two years away from contending within the Eastern Conference.  Signing a six-year contract under the assumption that LeBron James would be his teammate through the duration, Varejao now finds himself in a situation that is none too desirable for a player in his prime.

The Cavaliers will undoubtedly say that they are very happy with what Varejao brings to the table.  And they should as Andy is a fan favorite, most recently being the fifth man introduced to Cavaliers fans at Quicken Loans Arena to a loud ovation.  He may be the face of the franchise and is an excellent PR opportunity within the city of Cleveland.  They have no intentions of trading the second-team All-Defensive player one week into the season.

The player will continue to say all of the right things, play his heart out on any given night and continue to be a consummate professional.  But behind the scenes, as told to WFNY, his representation would gladly welcome a new home – preferably on a contending team – come the end of the 2010-11 season. [Read more...]

Cavaliers’ Trade Exception Will Be a Running Story in the 2010-11 Season

Despite no longer having LeBron James, the Cleveland Cavaliers will still have several interesting storylines to follow this year. Of course everyone will want to watch and see how the Cavaliers play with their franchise player no longer a part of the franchise. I’m sure an ongoing storyline will be Byron Scott’s performance in his first season with the Cavaliers. How will Andy Varejao adapt without his partner in crime in the pick and roll game? Will JJ Hickson continue his development or will he go backward without the safety net of LeBron? Will/can the Cavaliers trade Mo Williams and/or Antawn Jamison? Will Ramon Sessions rebound back to his Milwaukee form?

Those are all interesting storylines to keep an eye on, but perhaps the biggest question that will linger over the Cavaliers all season long has to deal with the Trade Exception the Cavaliers picked up in the LeBron James trade. Until they either use it or it expires, you can count on Cavalier fans relentlessly inquiring as to whether the Cavs will use it and who they might use it to acquire. [Read more...]

Peralta Traded: Indians vs Yankees Open Thread

Update: The Indians have sent 3B Jhonny Peralta to the Tigers for minor league pitcher Giovanni Soto. More on this tomorrow…

The Indians attempt to thwart Alex Rodriguez of his 600th home run once again, sending Fausto Carmona to the mound. Carmona has surrendered only 7 home runs on the season. He is a ground ball pitcher, which doesn’t bode well for A-Rod. Beyond trying to keep Rodriguez sans-homer, The Indians are looking to take their second game of this series, and ensure at least a split. A win would be 4 straight for Carmona, and improve on the Tribe’s 7-4 record since the All-Star break. [Read more...]

Ramon Sessions Signals The Official Start of Rebuilding in Cleveland

So Chris Grant has finally made a move. A real move. Don’t get me wrong, I take no issue with the signings of Samardo Samuels and Christian Eyenga. We’re in a new era of Cavalier basketball and signing developmental players is the new reality in Cleveland. But most of us were still waiting for Chris Grant to go out and make a real proactive move. He tried by signing Kyle Lowry to an offer sheet, but there was no way the Houston Rockets were not going to match it.

Monday night, though, Chris Grant made his first real move as GM of the Cavaliers. He shipped out Delonte West’s partially guaranteed contract and Sebastian Telfair for Ramon Sessions, Ryan Hollins, and a 2013 second round pick.

It’s a nice trade for Cleveland. It feels good to continue stockpiling draft picks after what feels like a decade of wasting picks and throwing them away in bad trades. While Delonte West is still a very good basketball player and a guy who will be missed by most in Cleveland, his being traded was inevitable. So to get a couple useful players in return in Sessions and Hollins was a nice move by Grant. [Read more...]

MLB Trade Rumors: Jhonny Peralta a “Potential Fit” in Colorado

Turning into a Major League Baseball version of the Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns, the Indians could once again be entering into a deal with the Colorado Rockies.  Troy Renck of The Denver Post has deemed Tribe third baseman Jhonny Peralta as a “potential fit” in the mile high city due to his team-friendly contract and ability to play multiple positions.

Though the note is titled “Jhonny Be Good,” Renck does hit on key points while mentioning the history between the two teams.  [Read more...]

Are Cavs Fans Changing Their Stance on Mo Williams?

When the Cavaliers saw their season with a premature exit from the playoffs, one of the biggest whipping boys was point guard Mo Williams.  Fans needed to point the finger, and it was Williams who averaged just over 12 points over the final seven games of the postseason. 

But just over two months later, could Williams actually be one of “us?”

In a world of what-have-you-done-for-me-lately, Williams frequently found his name in the news as a player who needed to be replaced among the Cavaliers starting rotation.  Whether it was moving him to more of a shooting guard role or bringing him off of the bench for instant offense, fans and media alike were touting the 27-year-old’s liability on the defensive end as well as his penchant for going cold in big games. 

[Read more...]

Delonte West Gets Sentenced, Awaits NBA’s Decision on Suspension

After having his court date pushed back until after the end of the NBA season, Cavaliers guard Delonte West has officially been given a sentence following his mid-September arrest.  West and his team of representatives reached a plea with the state of Maryland that resulted in the much-discussed player being handed a punishment of eight months electronic monitoring, two years probation, 40 hours of community service as well as psychological counseling.

[Read more...]

NBA Trade Rumors: No Clarity, Just Speculation

As the Cavs attempt to move forward ahead of the July 1st LeBron James free agency, the picture is getting less and less clear.  As we learn about more teams’ desires and positions and draft needs, it makes the world awfully complicated.  I mean, we are talking about the same league that is capable of producing three team deals with relative regularity.  With that in mind, I will not try to predict what the Cavs will do.  I will just state a few basic assumptions based on previous rumors.  Mo Williams is available.  Delonte West is available and a valuable trade piece because his buyout is only $500k.  J.J. Hickson is probably available for the right deal and despite Cavs’ fans concerns, he still has value.  With those things and Dan Gilbert’s spending history in mind, here are the rumors.  I could try and connect the dots in putting the Cavs involved in every one of these rumors, but it seems like a pointless exercise.  I’ll let Chris Grant / Dan Gilbert do their thing and hope for the best. [Read more...]

Cleveland Indians News Roundup: Jordan Brown’s Surgery, 40 Man Roster, Lineups, and Kerry Wood Trade Rumors

Cleveland Indians Logo O-BOk, enough Browns talk for the day. Lets wrap this day up with some Indians news, seeing as how the Tribe gets their regular season started in just a few weeks already. I’ve made no secret of my general disgust with major league baseball and the way they continuously foster a system of complete competitive imbalance, but I’m such a sucker for spring time. The 5 foot snow piles here in Columbus are beginning to finally melt away, we’ve had our first successive days in the 50s this week, and hope springs eternal.

As excited as I am for baseball season to start, I figured I’d finish things up today by looking around at some of the latest Indians news stories.  [Read more...]