Since we here at Rumors and Rants took the red pill, so to speak, we have yet to add anything to our nifty new “Rumors” tab. We decided it was time to change that, and give you the latest chatter going on in baseball and NBA as one season winds down and the other gets ready to start up.
Hoffman staying in San Diego?
Now that their season is all but over, the San Diego Padres’ brass has turned their attention to the future. They’ve brought up some of their top young players to give them a look and are also focused on the future of some currently players. Last Saturday general manager Kevin Towers met with future Hall of Famer Trevor Hoffman about returning to the organization next year. Hoffman, for his part, said he would like to play at least one more year, possibly longer, and would prefer to stay in San Diego. The team agrees and it appears more than likely that Hoffman will return if the money is even remotely close on both sides.
A few months ago it looked like Hoffman was ready for retirement. But he has really turned his season around, leading some to believe that his early struggles were due to a slow recovery from offseason surgery. As of today he’s appeared in 44 games, has a 3-6 record, a 4.14 ERA and 28 saves in 32 chances. He’s pitched 41.1 innings allowing just 38 hits and eight walks while striking out 45. His ERA has also been steadily shrinking since an awful April where he blew two saves and finished with a 6.52 ERA. In a season where the Padres bullpen has been awful, Hoffman (4.14 ERA, 1.11 WHIP), Heath Bell (3.07, 1.11) and Mike Adams (2.72, 0.99) have been excellent. It would be extremely surprising if all three were not back next year.
Pettitte not sure about next season
Yankees lefty Andy Pettitte said he was not sure if he would retire after 2008, according to the New York Times. He claimed he wouldn’t play for anyone but the Yankees. He said he’d have to discuss his future with his wife and oldest son before making a final decision.
The two-time All-Star and 2001 ALCS MVP is currently 36-years-old and struggling through a tough season. Pettitte is currently 13-13 with a 4.52 ERA, a 1.40 WHIP, and in 193 innings he’s allowed a whopping 220 hits. It’s unclear whether or not the Yankees would be interested in having him back for next year, given that he’s cost $16 million this season and will likely be forced to take a serious pay cut.
Now, the basketball stuff:
Randolph out in the Big Apple?
Apparently Donnie Walsh would like to dump Zach Randolph from the Knicks’ payroll as soon as possible, but seems hesitant to part with a first-round pick in order to make it happen. According to ESPN, the Memphis Grizzlies would agree to send Darko Milicic and Marko Jaric to New York for Randolph and a first round pick.
Anyone else find it hilarious that they want to get rid of Randolph – an obvious problem child – but still have Isiah Thomas on the payroll? Anyway, the three years and $48 million on Randolph’s deal are huge and it might be worth a first rounder just to get rid of him. If you believe in your current roster, then that pick won’t matter because they’ll be finishing well. Apparently, Walsh doesn’t think his team will be playoff-bound any time soon.
Bull and Heat talked about Gordon
The Chicago Bulls apparently talked to the Heat about restricted free agent Ben Gordon this offseason, but Gordon wants big money and the Heat will take its current roster to camp. This is the type of deal that totally won’t happen because D-Wade and Gordon’s style would probably clash too much. I bet this is the type of deal that would have been tossed around back before Wade blew up at the Olympics, but now the Heat don’t need any insurance for their superstar.
Bynum about to be rich
Andrew Bynum is now 100 percent and claims to actually be in better shape than ever before. Now that all that business is out of the way, it’s apparently time for him to be rewarded for his progress with a contract extension. The Lakers obviously believe in their young star center and his agent David Lee is looking for a five-year, $80 million deal. The Bynum camp would like to get the deal done soon but the Lakers might want to see him play a bit in camp and early in the year before anything gets done.
The bottom line is that Bynum loves being with the Lakers and the Lakers love him. Throw in the fact that Kobe likes the kid and that with Bynum, the team has a championship-caliber roster and it’s pretty clear this deal will get done. The sky is the limit for this kid and being in LA will make him a superstar. If he stays healthy, he’ll likely be a Laker for a long, long time.