By: Brett Dickinson and Barry Kamen
Each week on the Brett & Barry Show (Saturdays 9am-12pm), we gather each others’ analysis of the big news stories and headlines of the week for a couple of minutes a piece in a segment we call Rapid Fire. We post our responses in blog form every week to a visual version, with links to our segment in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault.
Listen to last week’s segment HERE.
Barry 1: Last Monday was the final day that NFL teams could place the franchise tag on one of their players. The New Orleans Saints designated All-Pro TE Jimmy Graham for next season, who is slated to make upwards of $7 million next year. One caveat to this transaction is that the Saints placed the non-exclusive tag on Graham, meaning that NFL teams can offer him a contract. The Saints have the right to match any offer; if they choose not to, they are compensated with that team’s two first-round selections. Is Jimmy Graham worth two first-round picks to any NFL team?
BD: This is Jimmy Graham; he is the best TE in football and arguably the best skill position player in all of football. He is a game changer, that can completely remake an offense. A team with a late first rounder should absolutely consider bringing him, as he could be the final piece to winning a Super Bowl. It will have to be a front-loaded contract (meaning they will need a ton of cap room), to ensure the Saints cannot match any offer.
If a franchise has been a consistently making the playoffs (and drafting later), they can only expect to get better with adding such a superior talent. Just look at the Packers last two first round picks, Datone Jones (2013) and Nick Perry (2012); tell me they wouldn’t trade both of those players for Graham right now.
Brett 1: Reports have been surfacing that P Ervin Santana, the best remaining starting pitcher available, is anxious to join a team and will settle for a one year contract. The two teams that are mentioned as the frontrunners to sign Santana are the Toronto Blue Jays and the Baltimore Orioles. Should the Orioles heavily pursue Ervin Santana now that he is only interested in a one year deal?
BK: There is no question that Ervin Santana would be an upgrade over the likes of Bud Norris and Miguel Gonzalez. When Santana was interested in a multi-year deal, the Orioles were correct in staying away; now that circumstances have changed, a one year deal is sensible for someone with his track record. In a difficult division, I could see the Orioles plugging Santana into the number four spot in their rotation, winning 11-13 games, and allowing the Orioles to move Gonzalez or Norris to the bullpen. Signing Santana would cost the Orioles the 91st pick in this year’s draft, whereas the Blue Jays would be giving up the 50th overall selection. The move makes a lot of sense to me, and could be just what the Orioles need to ensure a playoff spot next season.
Barry 2: Continuing with our Santana talk, the Orioles signed former Cy Young Award winner, Johan Santana, last week to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training. What are your expectations for Johan Santana as he continues to rehab from shoulder surgery?
BD: There is always the slim chance that the signing actually works out for both parties, but those odds are very slim that Santana becomes a relevant pitcher, whether in the rotation or out of the bullpen. He has no velocity on his fastball, which in turn makes his best pitch, the change-up, virtually ineffective. I think the likely scenario is he turns into this year’s Jair Jurrjens; a guy the Orioles took a chance on but inevitably was not worthy of a spot on the roster.
Brett 2: ESPN draft insider Todd McShay recently released his second NFL mock draft. This time around, McShay has the Baltimore Ravens selecting LB C.J. Mosley. What do you think of the Alabama star in purple and black?
BK: I would love to see Mosley as a Raven, but I take issue with McShay’s mock draft for a couple of reasons. In that mock draft, he has TE Eric Ebron, who had a great NFL Combine that may make him a top 10 pick, going 21st overall to the Green Bay Packers. I have a hard time believing that the Ravens would pass on Ebron in favor of Mosley, especially if the Ravens’ front office continues its philosophy of drafting the best player available. At the moment, inside linebacker is a huge need for the Ravens defense, but many expect the Ravens to re-sign Daryl Smith and Josh Bynes. There is little doubt that Mosley could be a very good player in Baltimore, but the Ravens would be wise to use their first round selection to address a different need.