Latest Steelers Buzz The Pittsburgh Steelers report to training camp a week from today and will guard David DeCastro have a new deal in place before camp opens? Things are moving into that direction where a deal is said to be likely struck in the next couple weeks. The Steelers have prioritized a new deal for DeCastro over anyone else, and, though a gap remains, headway between the two sides has been made in the last week, a league source says.
TIOPS Rumor Mill Andrew McCutchen’s steep decline in 2016 has been the talk of baseball. Five Thirty Eight did a stunning piece a few weeks ago on just how bad of a season he is having for a superstar player in his prime and how the numbers say a major turnaround is not likely in the years ahead. The pressing issue for the Pirates’ brass internally is coaches want to get McCutchen the hell out of centerfield (despite what Clint Hurdle might be saying through the media). It’s always been a touchy subject. As long as McCutchen continued to be a great hitter, the Pirates intended to live with him not being the best centerfielder on the roster. At least management intended to live with it. Pirate insiders, though, say a breaking point is bound to happen this winter. Chatter around the league is many baseball insiders feel the relationshipRead More »
TIOPS Rumor Mill The Matt Cullen situation is not expected to drag on much longer (decision could come Tuesday) and the holdup on where to sign hasn’t been about Cullen waiting for the Penguins to clear cap space, (something they’ve decided against) Inside Pittsburgh Sports has learned. The Penguins on Friday believed Cullen was headed
NHL expansion in Las Vegas is certainly going to happen with the NHL’s target date being the 2017-2018 season. Quebec City also under consideration is considered a longshot. From Pierre LeBrun of ESPN on two critical elements of the potential expansion draft rules. [I: “Teams will have the option of either protecting seven forwards, three defensemen and one goalie in total; or go with the option of protecting eight skaters (whether they’re defensemen or forwards) and one goalie.”] [II: “First- and second-year pros — those are players playing pro hockey at any level — will be exempt from the expansion draft; the bottom line is that if they are signed and playing pro hockey, they’re exempt in their first two years. But if they’re entering their third year of pro hockey, they’re no longer exempt for the expansion draft. Teams would have to either protect them or expose them.”] TheRead More »
With Heath Miller’s surprise retirement, the Steelers gain an additional $4 million in cap space and also save $4.5 in cash (Miller’s 2016 base salary). Even if Miller had returned, drafting a tight end in round 1 was going to be a possibility, but with Miller now retiring, dipping into the free agent market becomes much more of a priority than the Steelers would have envisioned with 32 year old Matt Spaeth, who has all of six receptions the last three seasons, and second year player Jesse James as the only immediate replacements for Miller. Here’s a look at the group of tight ends who could hit the open market on March 9. Coby Fleener (6-6, 250), Indianapolis Colts 27 years old, high pedigree in being a second round pick in 2012. 54 receptions, 491 yards and 3 touchdowns in 2015. With Andrew Luck healthy and under center for theRead More »
The NHL’s trade landscape right now with 11 days to go before deadline is a situation of sellers waiting for one buyer to set the market. Last February the Nashville Predators set the market early with the Cody Franson trade. This season it’s been more of a cat and mouse game between the buyers and sellers. It’s also been a trade landscape that features potential rentals like Andrew Ladd who are expected to be available but have yet to be officially put on the market. Therefore it’s been slow moving. Buyers don’t yet know what the prices are going to be. For the Penguins they have not closed the door on making a high level or low level move before the Feb 29 deadline and their trade list has as many as 10 payers on it, a source says, ranging from top-6 winger types, a veteran defenseman, to a versatileRead More »
LATEST PENGUINS TRADE TALK The Penguins during the summer prior to the Phil Kessel acquisition had identified five to six trade targets among top-6 wingers. Plan-A from Jim Rutherford was Phil Kessel, followed by a group of others the Penguins had engaged in trade discussions for. Patrick Sharp, T.J. Oshie, Jeff Skinner were three of the primary names aside from Kessel and during the draft weekend as the Kessel talks hit a roadblock for a short-period, the Penguins started to engage in talks
The Pirates this off-season have been linked to multiple reclamation projects. The Pirates have an offer on the table to Trevor Cahill and the Tribune-Review reported Tuesday the Pirates are also interested in Justin Masterson, who they have had interest in the past but whose best days are behind him. Pirates GM Neal Huntington, though, hasn’t ruled out signing a second/third-level type free agent pitcher. The Pirates are in on lefty Scott Kazmir, Inside Pittsburgh Sports has learned, and Huntington has a close relationship with Kazmir’s agent Greg Genske, who represents Francisco Liriano and Starling