Bears

Sox Drawer: Dealing Getz Under Way Early

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Sox Drawer: Dealing Getz Under Way Early

Thursday, November 5

Well, that didnt take long.

Just hours after the Yankees beat the Philles in the World Series, officially marking the end of the 2009 baseball season, the White Sox have reportedly made the first big trade for the 2010 season. The New York Daily News is reporting that the Sox have sent Chris Getz and Josh Fields to Kansas City for Mark Teahen.

But the news might be a little premature. Chris sent me a message at 11:15 a.m. saying that "nothing has been confirmed." At 5:15 p.m., he said that the Sox still hadn't told him anything and called it "an odd situation." Meanwhile, the White Sox are being mum about it, choosing not to confirm or deny the report.

This isnt to say that the deal wont happen. But in our world of lightning-quick technology, rumors of a trade sometimes travel faster than the actual trade itself.

If the report is true, the possibilities are quite intriguing.

First, it immediately opens a hole at second base, leading to speculation as to who might fill it.

The Sox could go the free agent route. Orlando Hudson and Mark DeRosa are available. So is Placido Polanco, who like Teahen has been a White Sox killer over the years. Polanco can hit the ball to all fields, he works the count and rarely strikes out. He also might come relatively cheap. He made 4.6 million a year the last four seasons with the Tigers and is 34 years old.

They could also bring back a certain free agent who can play three infield positions, is one of the best defensive players in White Sox history, and just so happened to record the final out in the 2005 World Series.

Ladies and gentlemen, Juan Uribe. Thoughts?

Of course, the Sox could also make an internal move. Jayson Nix is a possibility. But considering his struggles at the plate last year, and the message Ozzie Guillen sent him and Brent Lillibridge (hit or else), that might be too big of a gamble.

They could also move Gordon Beckham over to second base, or have Gordon play shortstop his natural position and move Alexei Ramirez back to second.

In that scenario, you now have a hole at third base. Chone Figgins anyone? But considering his red-hot demand, its more like Kenny Williams will have to open up the Jerry Reinsdorf vault to get him.

But if there is some money to be spent, heres another free agent candidate: Adrian Beltre.

Hes won the last two American League Gold Glove Awards at third base for the Mariners, but is easily coming off the worst hitting season of his career (eight homers and 44 RBIs in 111 games). True, he made over 13 million each of the last two seasons, which is very much out of the White Sox price range.

But I smell bargain.

The other candidate at third is Teahen himself. He played 107 games at the hot corner last year for the Royals. He also played 32 games in right (good-bye Jermaine Dye?), as well as 11 at first and even three at second.

The man is versatile, and with todays re-signing of the uber-versatile Mark Kotsay, it gives Williams many options with the GM meetings starting next week in Chicago.

If the Teahen deal happens, consider this merely move No. 1. There are plenty more coming. Keep checking back throughout the day. If more news happens, well have it.

Trey Burton, Adrian Amos earn Bears’ top grades from Pro Football Focus for Week 7

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USA TODAY

Trey Burton, Adrian Amos earn Bears’ top grades from Pro Football Focus for Week 7

The Bears were not at their best against the New England Patriots on Sunday. They made plenty of mistakes on all three phases and gave Tom Brady too many opportunities to control the game.

It wasn’t all bad from Chicago, though. Trey Burton emerged as a new favorite weapon of Mitchell Trubisky, and the tight end was the Bears’ highest-graded player in the game by Pro Football Focus.

Burton had a career high 11 targets, nine catches and 126 yards with a touchdown, giving Trubisky a 144.7 passer rating when targeting his top tight end.

Seven of Burton’s targets and six of his catches traveled 10 or more yards in the air, according to PFF.

Defensively, safety Adrian Amos led the pack with a 74.6 overall grade. He did not miss a tackle after missing a career-high five last week, and he allowed only one catch for eight yards against the Patriots.

On the bottom of the scale, outside linebacker Leonard Floyd received the second-lowest grade of his career (38.9 overall) for his performance. He did not record any pressure on the quarterback in 13 pass rushing snaps, and he allowed two catches for 13 yards and a touchdown in coverage against running back James White.

Wide receiver Allen Robinson had a career-low grade as well at 44.9 overall. He was clearly limited by his groin injury, targeted five times with one catch for four yards and a dropped pass.

Overall, the Bears were able to stick with one of the top teams in the AFC while also leaving a lot of room for improvement. It’s a step in the right direction from where Chicago was in recent seasons.

Wendell Carter Jr. survives gauntlet of centers to begin career

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AP

Wendell Carter Jr. survives gauntlet of centers to begin career

Don't tell Wendell Carter Jr. the center position is a dying breed.

The 19-year-old rookie hasn't exactly been able to ease into the NBA, finding himself up against a handful of All-Stars and powerful frontcourts just five days into his career.

It culminated Monday night with a date against Mavericks center DeAndre Jordan, and once again the seventh overall pick held his own. It was much of the same as it was against Philadelphia's Joel Embiid and Detroit's Andre Drummond last week (and Nikola Jokic in the preseason finale): some good, some bad, plenty of poise and zero backing down. The NBA is unforgiving, but this could very well be the toughest stretch Carter faces all season.

"He’s playing against top level centers now," Fred Hoiberg said before Monday's game. "It’s a great experience for him. He’s going to learn and get better and he plays within himself, we will continue to look for him to be more aggressive."

He was as aggressive as the Bulls have seen him against Jordan and the Mavericks. He blew by the 20 and 18 minutes he played in the first two games of the year, totalling 32 minutes. His final line won't tell the story - 4 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and a block - of a Carter who defended well at the rim, picking and choosing his spots on when to attack shots and when to simply use his verticality.

He wasn't credited for a block but he contested a Jordan dunk that turned into a Bobby Portis dunk on the other end. Plus-minus isn't always a good indicator of a player's worth, but Carter was a +5 in a 14-point Bulls loss. He even attempted a corner 3-pointer early in the shot clock, showing no hesitation. Carter's had his moments, but it's also apparent he's got a 19-year-old body going up against veterans each night. That'll come with time in the weight room. For now the experience is 

"I appreciate the fact I’m able to play against these very talented bigs early in my career," Carter said after the loss to the Pistons. "What I need to work on is I have to get stronger; that’s the first thing I recognize; just being up against the best. I love the competition. It’s always a great feeling going against the best."

What the Bulls are finding out is they have a player mature beyond his years. As he progresses he'll continue to get more difficult assignments. He had his rookie moment late in Monday's loss, committing a turnover in the backcourt after the Bulls had cut the deficit to five with 35 seconds left. The fouls are also an issue, as Carter has committed 10 in three games (after committing 17 in five preseason games).

That doesn't necessarily seem important for a Lottery-bound team, but considering the continued struggles of Robin Lopez (and Cristiano Felicio is entirely out of the rotation) it is. Lopez had 2 points and 1 rebound in 10 minutes while committing five personal fouls. In three games he has 11 personal fouls and 11 points, and also has more turnovers (five) than rebounds (four). If the Bulls are going to compete until Lauri Markkanen returns, Carter will need to hover around the 32 minutes he played Monday.

He'll get a much easier test on Wednesday when the Charlotte Hornets arrive in town. Cody Zeller doesn't exactly have the credentials of a Jokic or Embiid, meaning Carter may have a little more room to work. 

The Bulls know they have something in Carter. It'll be abother month until they can deploy him alongside Markkanen, but if the first three games are any indication, Carter won't have any problems matching up with some of the league's best.