Dec. 09, 2016
"The Stack" 12-8-16
The Stack is back on this Thursday and our normal staple on Thursday’s during the fall and winter is to have a look at the college football weekend forecast. No such forecast today, but we’ll be talking more about the bowl games next week and the week after that. There is a little college football sprinkled in though. Plus Adrian Peterson says he won’t return to the Vikings if they are out of playoff contention. That is probably a wise decision. Why play if they are out behind that offensive line? What else do we have in “the stack”? Let’s find out for today, Thursday, December 8th:
Sale to the Red Sox, Chapman to the Yankees
The MLB Winter Meetings always have plenty of deals happening. Well we had a blockbuster trade on Tuesday when the Boston Red Sox acquired ace pitcher Chris Sale from the Chicago White Sox for highly touted infielder Yoan Moncada whom the Red Sox paid quite a bit of money for when they signed him from Cuba. Pitching prospect Michael Kopech and minor leaguers Luis Alexander Basabe and Victor Diaz also are heading to Chicago. This is a blockbuster deal, one that immediately makes the Red Sox a contender. They may have given up a little too much for Sale, but Sale is one of the best pitchers in the game and this move makes the Red Sox strong in their starting rotation plus their bats have a lot of power and will not be an easy out. The White Sox may be the biggest winners though getting Moncada. Scouts love this guy. Kopech is also a good pitching prospect for the White Sox. They drove up the price in the trade for Sale and they are the big winners even if Sale may help make the Red Sox the team to beat in baseball next season.
In other news, the New York Yankees broke the bank for closer Aroldis Chapman. He’s headed back to the Yankees on a five-year, $86 million deal. Chapman is a dynamic closer. The Yankees didn’t want to part with him last year, but felt like they had to when the season wasn’t going as expected and they got something in return when they traded him to the Cubs. The Yankees made a really good move here.
Also, the White Sox were not done wheeling and dealing as outfielder Adam Eaton was traded to the Washington Nationals for three pitchers. They are all right-handers in Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Dane Dunning. King of a lot to give up for Eaton, but Eaton is a good player and the Nationals, after missing out on Sale needed to do something. Be sure to stay tuned because there are bound to be more trades and free agent signings as the Winter Meetings and free agency continue
College football quick hits
So Oregon has found their new head coach. It’s Willie Taggert from USF. He led the Bulls to a 10-2 record this season. We’ll see just how good he does at Oregon. Purdue has their new head coach. They went to Western Kentucky to find theirs. Baylor tabbed Temple’s head coach to be their new head coach. The musical chairs that is the coaching world in college football never stops.
Army takes on Navy this Saturday (3 PM ET CBS). Army is better this year, but Navy still beats them.
And the Heisman Trophy will be awarded Saturday night in New York. I’d love to see quarterback Deshaun Watson from Clemson or linebacker Jabrill Peppers from Michigan win it, but it’s hard not to go with Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson. He put up electric numbers and in the end he will be the Heisman Trophy winner.
Oakland Raiders @ Kansas City Chiefs 8:25 PM ET NBC and the NFL Network (streaming live on Twitter)
The best game of the weekend kicks off week 14 in the NFL. Can you believe every team has just one quarter of their games remaining? That’s four for you non-math wizards. The Chiefs pulled off a very impressive win last week in Atlanta thanks to Eric Berry. The Raiders, all they know how to do is win. Derek Carr is the leading MVP candidate (or second if you feel so inclined to put Ezekiel Elliott ahead of him which I have no quarrels with) and the Raiders are very powerful on offense. You might remember that the Chiefs beat the Raiders earlier in the season in Oakland when the Chiefs were coming off of the bye. The Chiefs offense is starting to come to life now too. I think this is going to be a great game. The Raiders offense against the Chiefs defense is what to watch for since both units are so strong. I think the Chiefs still have the Raiders’ number and will find a way to win one at Arrowhead tonight.
Prediction: Chiefs 27 Raiders 24
Coming up Friday: Week 14 NFL preview and predictions
Listen to this week's "The Sports Block" podcast here.