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The clock hit midnight, and the calendar flipped to July 1. The NBA free-agency season has begun, and a lot has changed.
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Paul George was traded to the Thunder late Saturday night, setting the NBA universe on fire. Stephen Curry signed a supermax deal with the Warriors, the richest contract in NBA history. And that was just the start of it all.
Analysis (Rivera, Gatto): The Cubs’ front office is trying to create some mojo for its consistently inconsistent squad heading into the latter stages of the season. Justin Verlander has been very good this year aside from three very bad starts 鈥?nine runs allowed vs. Cleveland in April, six runs allowed vs. Houston in May and seven runs allowed vs. Cleveland in July.
With the money Verlander has left on his deal 鈥?$56 million over the next two seasons and a $22 million vesting option for 2020 鈥?he’s going to be pricey, both in terms of payroll and prospects. An anonymous Cubs official told Gammons the money is prohibitive. That’s why Chicago reportedly inquired instead about the Tigers’ best young starters, Michael Fulmer and Daniel Norris. The 24-year-old Fulmer, last season’s AL Rookie of the Year, would seemingly require a huge talent outlay, but the Cubs have that type of depth and appear to be willing to part with some of it.
Analysis (Rivera): The Blue Jays are far underperforming expectations this year, and they have some very intriguing pieces to offer teams. Third baseman Josh Donaldson is one, and starting pitcher Marcus Stroman is another. While the Jays still have boppers who can do damage in August and September, they’re probably best suited to sell, and moving Donaldson and/or Stroman would definitely bring back a hefty haul.