So maybe the Bills won’t snap their 17-year playoff drought, the longest of any team in all four major American sports leagues, in 2017. At this point, Buffalo will take a lack of dysfunction as a step in the right direction.
It’s fair to start to wonder whether the 2017 Cubs are ever going to look like Cheap Infant Jerseys the 2016 Cubs. One thing we pretty much know for sure at this point — these Cubs aren’t going to match the regular-season win total of those Cubs. Last year, manager Joe Maddon’s team won 103 games (with 58 losses and one tie). To match that, after this uninspiring 35-34 record through 69 games, they’d have to go 68-25 (or 68-24-1, to be exact) the rest of the season.
But when the Astros became competitive a couple of years back, Luhnow followed a strategy a Luddite GM might: trade prospects and sign veteran free agents.
On the trade side, he turned Rio Ruiz, Brett Phillips, Mark Appel, Thomas Eshelman, Andrew Thurman and Daniel Mengden into Evan Gattis, Ken Giles, Mike Fiers, Carlos Gomez and Scott Kazmir. On the free-agent side, he brought in known quantities Luke Gregerson, Roberto Hernandez, Jed Lowrie, Pat Neshek, Colby Rasmus and Joe Thatcher. He also signed Cuban star Yuli Gurriel, who had a long international resume.
Last offseason, after the Astros failed to return to the playoffs, Luhnow Cheap International Soccer Jerseys made five more major additions: Brian McCann (trade), Carlos Beltran (free agent), Josh Reddick (free agent), Nori Aoki (waivers) and Charlie Morton (free agent). McCann, Beltran, Reddick and Aoki were brought in to lead the more-contact movement, as the WSJ noted, and the return of Morton’s velocity was intriguing, but as with all the other moves, it shouldn’t have taken profound #analysis to match strategy and player.