Chicago Cubs

Could Bulls be players for Redick at deadline?


Could Bulls be players for Redick at deadline?

According to CSN Bay Area's Ric Bucher, the Magic may shop shooting guard J.J. Redick near the trade deadline, and the Bulls may be a potential destination for the 6-year veteran.
Bucher said on Sulia that "it would surprise no one if JJ Redick were moved before the February trade deadline, but there's no urgency on the part of the Magic for several reasons."
Bucher explained that the Magic, despite trading perennial All-Star Dwight Howard to the Lakers in the offseason, sit at 11-13 in the Eastern Conference. They have won six of nine games and sit just 1.5 games out of the No. 8 seed in the East. While unlikely as a playoff run may be, it'd be a tough sell to Orlando fans trading the team's second leading scorer while battling for a playoff spot.
Bucher also said the Magic will wait on dealing Redick, if they deal him at all, because "as of right now, the potential suitors aren't anywhere near making their best offer." He reports that Redick's likeliest destinations are Chicago, Memphis, Minnesota Milwaukee and Utah.
In his seventh season with the Magic, Redick's numbers across the board are career bests. His 14.1 points, 2.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 44.4 field goal percentage and 91.8 free throw percentage have never been higher, helped out by the departure of Howard.
In 2010, the Magic matched a three-year, 19 million offer sheet the Bulls offered to Redick to retain the shooting guard. The Bulls went forward with Keith Bogans as their starting shooting guard that following year, and added Rip Hamilton in 2011 and 2012.
Redick has one year left on the deal the Magic matched three years ago, set to make 6.1 million. For a player in the midst of a career-year, that's a reasonable price to pay for a starting shooting guard.
Hamilton remains sidelined by a foot injury, while Marco Belinelli has averaged 16.6 points and shot better than 43 percent from beyond the arc in eight starts this season. Still, adding Redick would give the Bulls valuable backcourt depth.
Bucher said the Magic likely will look for a draft pick andor younger player in return. Because of its trade this offseason, Chicago has a trade exception of 5.1 million to use stemming from dealing Kyle Korver to Atlanta.
Rookie point guard Marquis Teague fits the bill, but the Bulls may be hesitant to give up on the 19-year-old so early in his career. As Bucher stated, Chicago likely wants to see where they are in the standings near February before deciding on whether or not to commit to Redick. Derrick Rose's rehabilitation schedule will play a role in that.

Cubs lose Pierce Johnson on waivers


Cubs lose Pierce Johnson on waivers

The Cubs have parted ways with the first pitcher drafted by Theo Epstein's front office.

The Cubs designated Pierce Johnson for assignment last week when they purchased the contract of Jen-Ho Tseng to make his first MLB start against the New York Mets.

Now Johnson is with a new organization.

The San Francisco Giants claimed Johnson off waivers Wednesday. He was initially selected in the supplemental first round in 2012 with the 43rd pick, 37 spots behind Albert Almora Jr.

Johnson is now 26 and just made his first — and only — big-league appearance May 19 this spring.

In Triple-A Iowa, Johnson had a 4.31 ERA in 43 games, including one start. He struck out 74 batters in 54.1 innings, but also walked 27 batters and had a 1.454 WHIP. 

Johnson spent six years in the Cubs minor-league system, going 29-21 with a 3.24 ERA, 1.305 WHIP and 9.3 K/9, working slightly more than half the time as a starter (74 starts, 56 relief appearances).

With the Cubs taking Johnson off their 40-man roster in mid-September as opposed to promoting him with expanded big-league rosters, it clearly shows he was not a part of their long-term pitching plans.

Why Ben Roethlisberger's perspective on young QBs (like Mitchell Trubisky) is worth keeping in mind

Why Ben Roethlisberger's perspective on young QBs (like Mitchell Trubisky) is worth keeping in mind

If Mitchell Trubisky takes over as the Bears’ starting quarterback this year and has some success, keep Ben Roethlisberger’s perspective in mind: It’ll take a couple of years before he’s solidly established in the NFL. 

Roethlisberger said even after his rookie year — in which he won all 13 regular season games he started — he still was facing defensive looks he hadn’t seen before in Year 2 and 3 as a pro. So saying someone is and will be one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL after a productive first season is, for Roethlisberger, too early. 

“I think it takes a couple years,” Roethlisberger said. “That’s why I’m always slow to send too much praise or anoint the next great quarterback after Year 1. I think people in the media and the 'professionals' in some of these big sports networks are so quick to anoint the next great one or say that they’re going to be great; this, that and the other. Let’s wait and see what happens after two to three years; after defenses understand what you’re bringing; you’re not a surprise anymore. 

“I think it takes a few years until you can really get that title of understanding being great or even good, because you see so many looks. In Year 2 and 3, you’re still seeing looks and can act like a rookie.”

The flip side to this would be not panicking if Trubisky struggles when he eventually becomes the Bears’ starting quarterback. For all the success he had during preseason play, most of it came against backup and third string defenses that hadn’t done much gameplanning for him. Defensive coordinators inevitably will scheme to make things more difficult for a rookie quarterback with normal week of planning, and it may take Trubisky a little while to adjust to seeing things he hasn't before. 

“They’re not going to line up in a 4-3 or a 3-4 base defense, they’re going to throw different looks at you, different blitzes to try and confuse you,” Roethlisberger said. “The confusion between the ears part is really one of the biggest keys to it.”

The “it” Roethlisberger referred to there is success as a rookie. The former 11th overall pick was lucky enough to begin his NFL career with a strong ground game headlined by Hall of Fame running back Jerome Bettis, a balanced receiving corps featuring Hines Ward, Plaxico Burress and Antwaan Randel El and a defense that led the NFL in points allowed (15.7/game). Trubisky, as the Bears’ roster currently stands, won’t be afforded that same level of support. 

Roethlisberger, though, had a chance to meet and work out with Trubisky before the draft (the two quarterbacks share the same agent) and, for what it's worth, came away impressed with 

“I thought he was a tremendous athlete,” Roethlisberger said. “I thought he could throw the ball. I thought when he got out of the pocket and made throws on the run, his improvising. I got to watch some of his college tape. Just really impressed with the athleticism. The ease of throwing the ball; it just looked easy to him when he was on the run, when it wasn’t supposed to be super easy. So I thought that those were the most impressive things that I got to see; obviously not sitting in a meeting room and knowing his smarts or things like that, but just the athleticism.”