Saturday, August 29, 2015

Number 20 Before Number 20

Hey everyone, Drew back here! It has been a nice feeling to get back into blogging again, much like I was earlier this year. It took a little while to get me back on my feet, but with a critical fall ahead academically, it'll be good to have the blog to turn to when I need to relax. I never thought this site would still be going by this time in my life, but why stop now? As far as I know, I won't stop collecting anytime soon, and it's an awful lot of fun to talk about it all to people who are actually interested in it.

Anyway, all of that aside, I did get one TTM in a few weeks ago that I hadn't showed off yet. It's not a major one, but two very cool autographs nonetheless.

Former Yankees catcher Mike Stanley signed two cards for me in under 2 months! As I've said before, after upgrading my iPhone early this summer, I lost the note that tracked when all of my requests were sent out, so I no longer have exact dates for any of my successes (nor do I know who I've even sent to). Stanley was a frequent mention early on in Jorge Posada's autobiography; Jorge often said how helpful he was as he was just a rookie. He was a solid contributor for the Yankees and several other teams, a consistent threat for a batting average hovering around .300 and over 20 home runs. He also caught Nolan Ryan's 7th and final no-hitter.

Both of these cards look really good with his black and bold signature across them. I'm glad I took the time to add one of the Yankees more underrated catchers in their history.

Thanks Mr. Stanley! See Ya!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Check Out My Phenom Fireballers!

Hey guys, Drew back here! The final week of my summer is just about to hit the midway point, and I'm doing everything I can to not only enjoy it but get a lot accomplished before heading back to school. I slacked early on in the summer due to a big change in my life personally, but now as this fall semester is getting underway I'm feeling more motivated to take care of some things. 

I've been selling cards on Check Out My Collectibles for a few years now, and although I don't quite sell as much as I used to, I still do pretty well. With the store credit I accumulate, I've been purchasing cards I'd prefer to own in my collection; whether they be direct PC or not. I added two cards this summer with my store credit, both being of particularly special young hurlers in the AL East.

Chris Archer has been building off a successful first few years in the big leagues consistently, but has truly broken out in 2015. Though at times inconsistent, there are few pitchers who can dominate a start better than the Rays 26 year old ace. This year, he is 11-9 with a 2.77 ERA and is 4th in all of baseball with 205 strikeouts! His record doesn't speak for the success he's had, and the advanced stats indicate that his ERA could even be high for what he has compiled throughout the year. With a little bit of help down the stretch he could lead Tampa Bay to the final Wild Card spot.

I bought this "Future Phenoms" autographed relic out of 2013 Topps Triple Threads for a little over $10, and I have a feeling I won't be regretting it.

Yankee fans waited a long time for this giant of a kid. After waiting for years, hearing about the "Killer B's" (Betances & Banuelos), and just about giving up all hope on the former top prospect, Dellin Betances is finally here to stay. And if you haven't seen him dominate the late innings for the Bronx Bombers yet, you're missing out. Relievers are supposed to be filled with adrenaline and pump the stadium up, and Betances does just that; throwing fastballs that have the potential of hitting 100 mph with a filthy slurve. He made up for what we had lost when Mariano Rivera retired, and then some. I don't expect him to maintain this dominance for as long as Rivera did, but I'm going to enjoy this run while I can.

For about $20, I picked up his 2012 Bowman Chrome rookie autograph refractor numbered 120 of 500! I had a TriStar sticker autograph of his already, but I needed something flashy of our flashy arm.

All in all, I'm more than happy with my recent additions. See Ya!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

2015 East Coast National: Stadium Club Break!

Hey everyone, Drew back here! Amidst a busy week at work, it looks like I've managed to complete my card show recap within less than a week's time, which quite possibly could be a record. I have so much to post, and with school coming up I wanted to be sure I could get most of that in before I'll be even busier. 

The final piece of this card show recap was a special surprise from my Dad! Following the show, Dad and I were on our way to a family birthday party when he told me to pull my cousin's gift out from under the seat. Instead, it was a box of 2015 Topps Stadium Club, and he couldn't have surprised me any better! After the family party, we went home and ripped open the first hobby box in over three years (yikes)!

Base Set:

I know, you've seen them all at least a hundred times on every blog all summer long. But who could possibly complain? In my opinion, this product has been the best of the year by a considerable amount; even better than Topps' refreshing flagship set. I have been wanting to check the product out firsthand for a few months but didn't get around to it until last weekend. If I had to choose my three favorites of what I pulled, I would go with the Ernie Banks, Lou Gehrig, and Dwight Gooden cards. The photography is so bright and bold, and I couldn't possibly enjoy it any more.

I also pulled the beautiful official rookie card of Kris Bryant, which will be one I plan on holding on to while he ascends into superstardom. Bryant hasn't quite broken out yet, but it's coming.

Gold Parallels:

I've always found parallels to be quite gimmicky and pointless, and despite Stadium Club having such a brilliant base set, it did not escape that issue. However, everything I don't like in most products are acceptable in Stadium Club; because at the end of the day, the photography is all that truly matters.

Black Parallels: Jon Olerud, Adrian Beltre

*Stay calm, Drew. Try not to lose it over meaningless parallels.* Well, maybe I'll send the Olerud out TTM eventually.

Foilboard Parallel: Bartolo Colon

I am a sucker for foil parallels, though. I feel like if they scrapped one or two of the not numbered parallels and maybe limited each card to 100 of these, it would be more fun to collect the specific parallels. The less, the better in my eyes. Unfortunately, this Colon card numbered to 25 has quite the ding on top. 


It seems hard to execute an insert set in a set where people enjoy the base cards as much as collectors do with Stadium Club. While the designs for the Triumvirate, True Colors, and Contact Sheet are well done, they really don't serve much of a purpose. I would rather have more of the regular set than these, but I can't complain. I did happen to pull the "Luminescent" version of the Josh Donaldson Triumvirate (notice the refractor shine in comparison to the Jose Abreu), and the refractor "True Colors" of Paul Goldschmidt. 

My favorite insert set, as overdone as this theme may be, was certainly the Legends subset. I pulled this Ted Williams card, and it is flawless. I love a well executed Die-Cut when I see one, and this is the epitome of such.

Autographs: Starling Marte, Matt Shoemaker (Gold /25)

I think we did pretty well with our two autographs, although it certainly could've been better. Marte is an electric young player with a lot of potential, but I do already have an Allen & Ginter framed auto of his. I have also gotten Matt Shoemaker TTM, so I would consider trading either for anything PC related with similar value. Shoemaker has struggled immensely after a breakout finish in 2014, but still has the tools to become a solid starting pitcher. Over anything, it can be said that these cards just look flat out amazing bearing signatures.

Dad and I didn't pull a Kris Bryant autograph, but we had a great time opening a tremendous product! Thank you so much Dad for capping off what was a wonderful day with a bang, and I can't wait until the next show!

See Ya!

Friday, August 21, 2015

2015 East Coast National: Breaking Thrones

Hey everyone, Drew back here! At the East Coast National last weekend, I wanted to mix things up and have a little fun with two of my all time favorite TV Shows; Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones. I watched Breaking Bad during my tumultuous stage in upstate New York last fall, and I caught up with Game of Thrones just a few weeks ago. I'm absolutely obsessed with them both, as well as Dexter and The Walking Dead; so you can clearly see why I haven't wrote as much as I did 4 or 5 years ago.

I bought one pack of Breaking Bad Cryptozoic trading cards from their set that ranged from the beginning of the series until the end. The cards are extremely similar to The Walking Dead's annual set, but with just one set crossing all 5 seasons, almost every card showcases important moments.

*SPOILER ALERT: If you are not up to date with either show, for your own good click out of this page now*

Of course, I would happen to pull the card of the most annoying episode of the whole series: the fly episode. To this day, I still don't understand the importance of that one, but it was probably just filler so they could do more awesome stuff later on in the season. That, they most certainly did. I'm not a huge fan of these types of sets that highlight specific moments, but I like the design and the photo choices seem to be on point. I may have to pick up a full set down the road, we'll see.

For the record, as awesome as it was to watch Walter White transform from a chemistry teacher to a criminal, Jesse was my favorite character.

I never thought I would enjoy a show more than the Walking Dead. I did feel like Breaking Bad was a better show as a whole, but I love the characters in TWD to the point where I thought it would never be defeated. Well, it was. Game of Thrones has captivated me all summer, resulting in me not posting as often and really not doing much these past few months. If you haven't watched it yet, and don't think it's your type, you should watch it because it will be your type.

I prefer this style over the Breaking Bad set without a doubt, but this set is also quite a bit more expensive. I'm not sure what the highlight of this first pack was, either Daenerys Targaryen of the House Targaryen, the First of her Name, the Unburnt, the Queen of Meereen, Queen of the Andals and the Rhyonar of the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons... or Hot Pie. Dany is incredible in about a million ways, but Hot Pie's simplicity and delightful direwolf bread wins in my book. 

In Pack 2, the Season 4 edition, it was an easier choice. I love watching Tyrion interact with Varys, and Stannis had a rough break to say the least at the end of Season 5 (but is he alive?!). But Arya Stark is one of my favorites, partially because I believe I'm falling for Maisie Williams, so her card was my favorite of the pack.

Each pack also came with a foil parallel, which look especially nice in person. I pulled two poor men in charge of protecting the Wall (not the Pink Floyd album, for non GOT watchers reading). I certainly wouldn't mind Alliser Thorne dying soon. I'm sure he was behind the (spoilers) killing of Jon Snow at the end of Season 5. Bastard.

After watching many theory videos, I do think Jon Snow is bound to return in some way in the show (and not just a simple funeral). He appears to be too important to the story for him to just die in such brutal fashion. But who knows what is inside George R.R. Martin's kooky mind. If I had to make a prediction, I will go with the common assumption that Melisandre will use the blood sacrifice made from Stannis' daughter to save Jon Snow's life, because that would actually give that brutal burning scene some significance beyond just pure and utter torture. I don't know if he'll return in full form in Season 6, but I do believe in the R+L=J theory and feel like he and Daenerys will ultimately fight the White Walkers in the final season.

Sorry if that was too much for you all to handle. If you've watched it, you'll understand. If not, don't worry, I've got more baseball for you next on the agenda!

See Ya!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

2015 East Coast National Recap: Freebie

Hey guys, Drew back here. I felt like it was only right to separate the 3 Hall of Famers from the free signer at the East Coast National. In the past, we have been able to get Gaylord Perry, Roy White, Lee Smith, among others, for free. This time, we met 1983 AL Rookie of the Year Ron Kittle.

I didn't plan on meeting Kittle, but at one point his line was short enough where I decided "why the heck not?" He was most famous for being a big part of the 1983 White Sox team that broke through a playoff drought that had lasted for over 20 years. In his rookie season, he batted .254 and smashed 35 home runs; driving in 100 runs along the way. It was one of the better rookie seasons for a power hitter in history. However, the next year, while he still managed 32 home runs; was much less successful. His statistics declined every year following his breakout, and he eventually moved to several other teams, including the Yankees for a brief pit stop in 1986 and 1987.

He was friendly to my Dad and I, allowing me to get a quick picture with him and telling us to enjoy the rest of the show. I could have had him sign my Mickey Mantle 16x20 because he was a Yankee at one point, but I've been saving the little space left on that for some huge names to round out the project. 

Instead, I was given this 1984 Donruss by my friends Rich and Hunter to have signed, and it came out really well! Those aviator glasses make the picture oh so much more satisfying too.

See Ya!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

2015 East Coast National: 3 Hall of Famers!

Hey everyone, Drew back here with the second installment of my 2015 East Coast National recap series. Before I begin, I just want to say that with all the stuff I need to catch up on, the Ten for Tuesday posts will start back up in September. I've got various new, great ideas ready to go, and I'm looking forward to sharing them with you all!

The big draws of the day at the Westchester County Center were Cal Ripken Jr. and Steelers greats Franco Harris and Hines Ward. I had already met Cal before, and with his expensive ticket prices, I decided to spend my money elsewhere, while the Steelers prices were far too high for a Jet fan to wish to pay. Instead, I bought tickets for three legendary players of their own rights; Al Kaline, Eddie Murray, and Brooks Robinson.

All three began signing at 12:00, and I immediately hopped on the Kaline line. I have heard some horror stories in the past about Mr. Tiger being moody, but luckily today he was all smiles. It was his first appearance at one of their shows, and I was towards the front of the line. He didn't say much to me, but was friendly, shaking my hand for the photo and thanking me for coming out.

I couldn't have received a better autograph from the man who once accumulated 3,000 hits and made 18 All Star teams. He inscribed his Hall of Fame year for free and gave me precisely what I was looking for. For 80 years old, he looks to be in excellent health, and it was nice to get a chance to meet him considering he seems to rarely make New York signings.

Eddie Murray was up next, and I could not wait to have a signed ball of his to add (along with Kaline's) to my Hall of Fame ball display. I've never heard anything particularly bad about him at signings, although he was once heralded as "bad with the media" during his career. After looking into it more, it just seems like he was a quiet, independent man that really just wasn't looking to be bothered. When I met him, I certainly got that vibe.

I didn't get much out of Murray either, but he was friendly enough to take a quick photo with me. Whenever I think of him, I think back to the days of the Grandpa Roy Column and the list we compiled of what is now 5 players in history who retired with over 3,000 hits and 500 home runs. Alex Rodriguez joined Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Rafael Palmeiro, and Murray when he recorded his 3,000th hit in 2015. It's an extra exclusive club that should warrant a Hall of Fame induction statistically, but most likely will not in the cases of Palmeiro and Rodriguez thanks to their ongoing PED allegations.

Murray really took his time in signing the ball as eloquently as possible. For the price I paid, he better have. It came out really well, and I'm glad I saved up to add him to my collection. This is now my 21st signed Hall of Fame baseball, and I believe that means I'm slowly but surely catching up to William. One day...

Finally, the player I had most been looking forward to shaking hands with. I always say how I forever have a deep love and respect for the third base position, and this man was the epitome of mastering the position. Some consider him the greatest to ever man the hot corner, but everyone calls him the best defensive player there without question. He's also one of William's favorite players, which gave me extra incentive to want to cough up the money to meet Brooks Robinson.

18 All Star Games. 16 Consecutive Gold Gloves. 2 World Series Rings. What didn't Brooks do? Beyond the numbers, the sparkling plays, and all of the trophies he can proudly display, what stands out over anything is the man that Brooks is. I was proudly wearing my Yankees gear, but that didn't keep him from treating me as if I were wearing his jersey and an Orioles cap. He has certainly seen his best years already, but he seemed to really want to make an impact on others as simply and sweetly as he could. The first two experiences were pretty quiet, but Brooks was as kind and polite as could be, and totally won me over for the day.

Props to Dad by the way for getting an awesome picture of Brooks and I.

Since my Dad bought me a signed baseball of his for my birthday a few weeks ago, I had to scramble to find something to have him sign. I mostly paid for his autograph to meet him rather than for the autograph, but I decided to have him sign an 8x10 of his famous World Series diving stop against the Cincinnati Reds in 1970. For his great all around performance (and especially phenomenal defensive plays), he was awarded the World Series MVP that year.

There was a free inscription along with any Brooks autograph, and I chose the 16 Gold Gloves over the Hall of Fame and World Series MVP because it says more about him than either of the other two. Many have been inducted into Cooperstown, and many have been named MVP of the Fall Classic. But no position player has ever won 16 Gold Gloves but Brooks (Greg Maddux and Jim Kaat did as pitchers, but that is besides the point).

Brooks was everything my Dad and I had hoped he would be, and then some. I'm going to proudly place my signed photo in my nice signed photo book to show off in the future.

See Ya!

Monday, August 17, 2015

2015 East Coast National: Card Pickups

Hey everyone, Drew back here! Yesterday, my Dad and I attended JP's Sports & Rock Solid Promotions' "East Coast National" for the seventh consecutive year. It is absurd to me thinking that I shook Dave Winfield's hand while in line for a hot dog at Nathan's that long ago. Time has truly flew by in my years with this spectacular hobby. Typically, we have gone to several shows in Westchester per year, but it had actually been a full year since we last stepped foot into the building that has brought us so many wonderful memories. The last show we went to was at a Hilton hotel in New Jersey, and prior to that was last year's East Coast National; where we met Johnny Damon, among others.

This year, I decided to save up more than my typical card show budget and treat myself to a fun day. I didn't come home with too much, but the quality surpassed the quantity in this case. Take a look at some of the better cards I was able to add to my collection:

We start with what has been a common theme throughout the blogosphere this summer (or at least in the cases of my buddies Frankie & Andrew, who both picked up relics of his at the National recently). I am now the latest to add a piece of Jackie Robinson's famous lumber to my PC. Believe it or not, despite doing the Tier One relic set in 2011 and collecting other historical relics throughout the years; this is my first Robinson relic! I think I made the right call on this beautiful 2015 Tier One bat card numbered to 99. There is a certain aura to the card, and from the second I saw it I knew I would make sure I left with it.

Next up, here was a quick impulse buy for only $10. Andrew Miller has been a reliable closer in his first year in New York, and has made Brian Cashman look like a genius for signing as opposed to familiar face David Robertson. Miller has out-pitched Robby thus far into the season, and the Yankees received a compensatory first round pick for letting go of Robertson. There was a great deal of hype surrounding Miller when he was drafted 6th overall by the Tigers in 2006. He never worked out as a starting pitcher, and was dealt to the Marlins in the deal that landed Detroit Miguel Cabrera. Ever since, he has evolved into a top tier reliever capable of retiring both lefties and righties effectively. This orange parallel was once a hot seller, but it became mine for a bargain.

Woah, buddy. Aaron Judge. I've been counting down the days until the Yankees call him up to replace Carlos Beltran in right field, and I'm hoping he at least gets a call up this September to help out down the stretch. Judge is a big part of the reason no major moves were made for the stretch run, which was a tough decision to make considering all the talent that could help fight off the Blue Jays right now. Ultimately, Cashman made the hard, but right move for New York down the road. He is a 6'7, 275 lb. beast of a hitter, and if he can work through some plate discipline problems he may be a future All Star. For $20, I needed to take the gamble with this Bowman Inception autograph. I came so very close to pulling the trigger on a graded 10 Bowman rookie autograph, but I didn't want to pony up and hand the cash over. We'll see if I regret that down the line.

Meanwhile, we already have gotten a glimpse of our team's consensus #1 prospect, pitcher Luis Severino. And, as far as I can tell, this kid is going to be awesome. Yesterday, he showed a lot of poise in holding the Blue Jays to 3 runs over 6 innings; striking out 9 in the process. If Carlos Beltran didn't lose a ball in the sun, he may not have given up any runs. What amazes me is that although the Yankees lost a big game against our current division foe, the most important takeaway is that Severino is ready and here to stay. I can definitely get used to that.

I managed to grab this pristine 2015 Bowman Inception autographed card of his for a very reasonable price, especially given that I bought it in New York. After doing a little research, I realized that these Inception autographs are much harder to come by than the Judge card above. The card is actually from Bowman Inception, despite featuring the flagship Bowman design. They sell for a much higher amount than what I paid, and I've even considered getting the card graded because it's in excellent condition.

My final pickup of the show was one I'm sort of surprised I made. I am a big Jose Abreu fan, but I didn't even think about adding his autograph at the show. Instead, I wanted to focus on making sure I got the Yankees top prospects and some of the better all around pitchers in the game. But, nothing ever goes as planned at these shows, and I bought this absolutely amazing Tier One autograph of one of my now annual fantasy keepers for again, a great price.

Abreu may not match his 2014 breakout rookie season in 2015, but he appears to be improving each and every week. After starting the year rather slowly, he has since picked up the pace, batting over .300 in both June and July. The White Sox made a smart business decision in signing the Cuban slugger to a team-friendly 6 year, $68 million dollar deal.

Well, that will just about do it for this recap post. I'll be back soon with more pictures and autographs with some special Hall of Fame players, among many other exciting things.

See Ya!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Not Missing Out This Time

Hey everyone, Drew back here! I've been having a pretty nice, relaxing week away from the world before I get ready to embark on my second year of college. Last night my family scoped out Atlantic City in preparation for when my Dad and I will be attending the National next year. We saw a performance from America's Got Talent participant and hypnotist Wayne Hoffman. I was shocked by his act, and he truly did blow my mind. If he ever comes to a town near you, I would recommend you check it out.

About two weeks ago, I was feeling quite jealous of all my blog friends being at sports collector heaven, and decided to treat myself. Rather than buying more for my PC's, I wanted to take a risk. Hopefully, this risk will have a high reward.

Out of 2014 Bowman Platinum, I added a gorgeous on card autograph of not only the Twins top prospect, but widely regarded as the best prospect in all of baseball, Byron Buxton. Buxton made his MLB debut earlier in 2015 although he clearly wasn't ready to take on the show just yet. At 21 years old, most superstar prospects still have room to grow before reaching their full potential. After all, not everyone is Mike Trout. He has a great swing, and appears to possess five tool talent.

Mike Trout was actually a lot of the reasoning behind this pickup. I remember passing up on cheap Trout autographs on eBay back when he was emerging through the minor leagues, and I didn't want to miss out on this opportunity. Not only could this card rise substantially in value if Buxton does become what he's said to become, but it is one of his nicest cards as well. Bowman really hit the nail on the head with this card, and I'm going to be hard-pressed to move it even if he does well.

What do you all think of Byron Buxton? Is he worthy of being the #1 prospect?

See Ya!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Summer TTM Mailbag!

Hey everyone, Drew back here! After working the summer away, covering for everyone going on vacation, it is officially my turn to kick back and relax. While I'm gone, I figured I would take some time to catch up on all that I have yet to post. Believe it or not, I haven't done a TTM Mailbag post since May 24th. Unfortunately, I've only gotten 3 successes in that span, and while having an iPhone malfunction, my note detailing all of my TTM batches was lost. I don't know how long any of these returns took, but a success is a success nonetheless.

Tyson Ross: 2/2 (via San Diego Padres)

Ross has been a staple of many of my fantasy teams this year after posting phenomenally underrated numbers in 2014. He has recently been impressive, but this season has for the most part not been very kind to the young Padres stud. I was hoping he would be moved to a better offensive team at the Trade Deadline, but San Diego instead chose against selling their stars, which hurt teams such as my Yankees. He signed two cards for me in about two months, and the 2014 Topps looks better in person than in the scan. The Heritage card isn't my favorite shot, but any card from that product looks excellent signed in my book.

Eddie Butler: 1/1 (via Colorado Rockies)

The Rockies top prospect pitcher that isn't Jon Gray signed his rookie card for me after again, about a two-three month wait. Butler was highly regarded as a prospect, but his stints in the majors have not gone as planned. In 15 starts this year, he has gone 3-9 with a 5.50 ERA, and unsurprisingly, much of this is due to pitching over half of his starts at Coors Field; the worst pitcher's ballpark in baseball. I would like to see him traded so he could fulfill his potential, but a trade does not seem to be in the imminent future for the 24 year old.

Chris Chambliss: 1/1 (via Home Address)

Ever since I first saw this card of the Yankee playoff hero, I knew I would one day have a signed copy. Upper Deck Masterpieces is one of my all time favorite sets, and I'm almost glad that Upper Deck no longer makes them. I've grown a bit sick of Allen & Ginter, which has been one of my personal favorites as well for years, so I'm glad only two full Masterpieces sets were ever produced.

Chambliss is one of the few 1970's Yankees stars my Dad and I have yet to meet. He was recently announced as part of a card show lineup in October, so I may consider saving up to have him sign a photo chronicling his famous 1976 ALCS Home Run against the Royals. Outside of his home run, he was a big part of their championship seasons in 1977 and 1978. This card was signed in about a month's time!

Until more comes into the mailbox, that will do it for this edition of my TTM Mailbag. See Ya!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Chapter One

Hey everyone! This post is in regards to my new friend Frankie's recent contest announcement. Be sure to check out the post and join in yourselves, especially if you want in on some sweet prizes!

I've already posted a separate "About Me" page, and if you haven't had the opportunity to check that out and are interested in the full story behind what got me started in the hobby, take a look. This is an excerpt from that page:

Hey everyone, I'm Drew, and welcome to my blog, drewscards! Excuse my mediocre blog title, but I was only 12 years old when this site was first up and running and I've been doing my best to keep some of my traditions up ever since (this is why I begin every post saying "Drew back here", and end each post with "See Ya!"). I've been collecting ever since I was 8 years old, and in the summer of 7th grade going into 8th I discovered the world of YouTube and blogging by simply typing "baseball cards" into a Google search. I never thought that one basic search would bring across all of the possibilities and experiences it has, and I'm thankful I did that in retrospect.
I was born and brought up as a New York sports fan following in my Dad's footsteps. My dad played football in high school, and it has been his second passion ever since (hunting is his favorite). He's been a New York Jets fan his entire life, and he passed that plague down to me. I remember laying in bed crying when I was younger; miserable because the Jets choked up the lead in a key playoff game and were eliminated. My parents told me over and over that I could switch teams if I wanted to, but I've never had the heart to do so. Part of this was because I at least had a legendary baseball team to follow (so thankful my Dad wasn't a Jet/Met fan). I started watching baseball towards the end of the 2004 playoffs, and somehow stuck with the Yankees even through losing to Boston in Game 7 of the ALCS. In 2005 I went baseball crazy; reading every article I could and begging my parents to take me to Yankee Stadium. I used to cut out each player's profile picture and make little cards with their statistics on them and drafted different teams to emulate in my front yard. I can only imagine my neighbors watching me run around and announce the games to myself and thinking I needed to be put in some kind of institution. Nevertheless, a baseball fan was born in me.
In elementary school, I made everyone a baseball and football card collector. One of my friends didn't even like sports and still brought in cards to trade every lunch. Every year one of them would fade off and leave the hobby, and eventually I was almost alone in my own world. I still have a few friends from school that would appreciate some Yankees cards, but that was really it. I Google searched "baseball cards" in July of 2008, and wound up starting a YouTube account where I would open packs of cards for all the world to see. My parents found out about it and saw I was trying to negotiate trades online with strangers and told me I needed to delete the account. I was heartbroken, but didn't give up. Shortly after, I opened up a blog on Weebly, and made my first post that October. I didn't have much of a following until I brought all of my material over to Blogger in December. Blogger was a blessing for me, because the feeling of "writing to a blank wall" began to dissipate as my viewership grew ever so slightly. My writing was far from excellent back during those times, but I gave my best effort to write like my then favorite bloggers: Mario Alejandro of Wax Heaven, Dave of Fielder's Choice Blog, and Beardy of Beardy's Blog, and later the Mojo Beard. 

I have been involved with cards and collectibles ever since I was 3 or 4, when my Dad gave me a bunch of early 1990's Pacific football cards. I was infatuated with the colors of the uniforms and would often sort them out by team, only to put them back in the stack to be sorted again the next day. As I grew a few years older, I would use just about every Toys R Us gift card I was given towards the random 10 pack boxes with a mystery in the middle. I remember being so pumped up to pull a Yankee autograph. I don't even recall who the player was, but I believe it's somewhere in my basement, most likely collecting dust. There would occasionally be small card shows close by, and I used to beg my parents to take me. In the 3 shows I went to, I got to meet Roy White and Brian Bruney, and I felt like I was in baseball heaven. And as aforementioned, in 2008, I Google searched "baseball cards" after almost throwing in the towel on collecting, and I came up with about a million more reasons not to stop.

And here we are now. I can't believe how far something as small yet powerful as the Internet took me. I was brought to some of the best friends I've ever had, which I will forever be grateful for. It also helped broaden my horizons, which I desperately needed. When I was younger, I listened to the Beatles religiously (certainly not a bad band to follow, if I say so myself). I used to print out pictures of the band members and make picture books, which could explain my past interest in making custom cards. Through the Internet and technology, I have extended my iTunes playlists to everything from Pink Floyd to Coldplay to Kanye West. It takes more now for me not to like something than it is to enjoy something. I also semi recently fell into the trap that is Netflix and TV shows. I never thought I'd get to that point, but how could one say that when shows like The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, and Game of Thrones are out there waiting for your pleasure and enjoyment?

My point is, I always will be thankful for growing up in this age of technology. I know many adults scowl at how different our lives are from what they experienced, but that's life. I needed technology to become the person I am today. And I'm proud of that.

Thank you to each and every one of you who have supported me throughout the years; friends, family, and even if you just click this link and read what I have to say once in a while. It is all appreciated. I'm looking forward to continuing to share my passion with you, and even after writing on this space for 6 years, I can say that I'm truly just getting started.

Again, if you have not seen Frankie's contest post yet, I encourage you to join in. I don't know many collectors with the passion that this kid has, and he deserves all the attention his incredible, growing collection should throw his way.

- Drew

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

J-Hey and Bring the Rain!

Hey everyone, Drew back here! I must say, I've been spending most of my time lately feeling rather jealous of all of those who spent the last weekend in Chicago. However, if all does work out, I do plan to attend next year's National Sports Collectors Convention in Atlantic City, NJ. I'm already really excited for the show, but most of all in getting to see my buddies William, Andrew, and Frankie!

In the meantime, I'll continue to pick up an autograph or two for the right prices on eBay. Two of my most recent impulse buys are as follows:

Out of 2014 Topps Tribute and numbered 50/99 is this Jason Heyward autograph. I bought this card for under $10, despite my mixed feelings for Tribute's 2014 autograph design. I don't understand or see the point in the old time players on every card. They simply don't fit in, at least in my mind. Heyward is perhaps the best defensive outfielder in the game today, and though he hasn't gotten quite to the level of superstardom that was expected of him as a prospect, he's been more than serviceable through his first 6 years. In addition, I absolutely love that as his career has evolved, his signature has only gotten nicer. That was a big draw for me when I made this purchase.

This card is available for trade or sale at the right cost.

This one, however, is not, and most likely will not be for sale or trade anytime soon. For years, I had played third base for my school baseball team, and I learned from experience that is quite possibly the most difficult position to field (besides catcher) on the diamond. It is rare to go one game without having a rocket pulled right at you, and your reaction time needs to be exceptional to field it well. I looked up to Evan Longoria and David Wright in particular, because they were well rounded players that could handle the hot corner better than practically anyone. 

As time has gone by, Wright and Longoria are no longer the same players, and this year I began to really enjoy watching Josh Donaldson play. He has since become my favorite third baseman in baseball, but considering he set the All Time All Star ballot record for votes, I'm certainly not alone. Which is why I'm even more happy to have picked up his 2015 Topps Finest on card autograph for below $10! Donaldson is batting .293 with 27 home runs and 77 RBI this season, and is on pace to set multiple career highs. Not to mention, he also has dazzled on defense.

Don't get me wrong, Rockies fans. Nolan Arenado is a heck of a lot of fun to watch as well. But being in the AL East gives me ample opportunity to watch this man bring the rain, and I really do enjoy it (except when he brings too much against my Yankees). 

Until I spend more money on eBay, See Ya!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

MLB Trade Deadline Recap and Thoughts

Hey guys, Drew back here! The trade deadline has once again come and gone, and despite a surprisingly quiet final day, the past week has been complete and utter mayhem across Major League Baseball. Over 30 trades were made, sending players and prospects all over the country to places we couldn't even fathom. The only team that didn't make a move was the Arizona Diamondbacks, who flirted with making a trade for Reds closer Aroldis Chapman all week but couldn't get anything done.

So, with all this, I'm going to jump in my mini Time Machine and take you back a little over a week ago, where July's big moves began to take place. Along the way, I'll offer my thoughts on the most impactful acquisitions and where I feel like some teams went wrong.

July 23rd

1. Pittsburgh Pirates acquire Aramis Ramirez and cash from the Milwaukee Brewers for prospect Yhonathan Barrios.

2. Houston Astros acquire Scott Kazmir from the Oakland Athletics for prospects Daniel Mengden and Jacob Nottingham.

Houston, we have a problem. The Astros are leading the AL West in shocking fashion thus far into the season by 2 games over the Angels, and with their addition of the Texas native southpaw, they only got better. Kazmir has not allowed a run yet over his first 14 2/3 IP in his new digs, and is ready to build on what has been a remarkable career turn around.

July 24th

3. New York Mets acquire Juan Uribe, Kelly Johnson, and cash from the Los Angeles Dodgers for prospects John Gant and Rob Whalen.

4. St. Louis Cardinals acquire Steve Cishek from the Miami Marlins for prospect Kyle Barraclough.

Cishek could use a change of scenery after collapsing early on in 2015, and might be a rebound candidate in the 2nd half with the great pitching personnel St. Louis provides.

5. Los Angeles Angels acquire Conor Gillaspie from the Chicago White Sox for cash.

July 26th

6. Kansas City Royals acquire Johnny Cueto from the Cincinnati Reds for prospects Brandon Finnegan, John Lamb, and Cody Reed.

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This could be the biggest game changer of all deadline moves this year. Last season, the Royals' pitching got by with their incredible bullpen, but their starting pitching wasn't close to as dangerous. With James Shields gone and Yordano Ventura struggling immensely in his sophomore season, it was critical for last year's pennant winners to add someone of Cueto's caliber for a postseason run. The righty is set to become a free agent after the year concludes, and it seems hard to believe that Kansas City will hold onto him for years to come. But, if he helps to bring a World Series title home to Kansas City, this trade could never look bad on their part.

This reminds me of the Brewers move in 2008, bringing CC Sabathia in for a rental run. Sabathia pitched phenomenally, not only bolstering his contract value (that the Yankees are now suffering through) but leading them further into the playoffs than expected. This is a win-win-win. A win for the Royals, gaining an ace. A win for the Reds, gaining some solid pitching prospects knowing they won't be able to resign their ace next year. And, a win for Cueto, who, with a big second half, could end up with a huge reward this offseason.

Cueto gave up 3 runs on 7 hits over 6 innings in his Royals debut against the Blue Jays last night.

July 27th

7. Los Angeles Angels acquire Shane Victorino and cash from the Boston Red Sox for Josh Rutledge.

8. New York Mets acquire Tyler Clippard and cash from the Oakland Athletics for prospect Casey Meisner.

Clippard should become an important piece of the back end of the Mets bullpen, and is next in line for the closer role if Jeurys Familia continues to struggle. He has become one of the more dependable relievers in the game in recent years and will most likely lower the risk of manager Terry Collins having a heart attack mid-game.

July 28th

9. Los Angeles Angels acquire David Murphy and cash from the Cleveland Indians for prospect Eric Stamets.

10. Los Angeles Angels acquire David DeJesus from the Tampa Bay Rays for prospect Eduar Lopez.

Over a two day span, the Angels added 3 decent outfielders in Victorino, Murphy, and DeJesus. You can't help but wonder what their thought process was behind this. Matt Joyce has been offensive in left field, batting .178 at the moment, and maybe their hope is that either one of the 3 new players will be good enough to sustain a starting role.

11. Washington Nationals acquire Jonathan Papelbon and cash from the Philadelphia Phillies for prospect Nick Pavetta.

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Oh, it's so nice not having to hear Papelbon complain any longer. The All Star closer is one of my least favorite players in baseball, however, I must give credit where credit is due. Despite crotch grabbing, a bad temper, and not being afraid of saying what's on his mind (a scary thought), Pap is has been one of the top closers over the past decade. Drew Storen got the raw end of this deal, losing his closer role despite saving 29 of 31 games with a miniscule 1.64 ERA (sorry to all of you Storen fantasy owners out there). Papelbon wouldn't take the deal unless he knew he would have the closer role, and sure enough, the man got his way.

A critical part of why the Nationals most likely made this move was because of Papelbon's excellent postseason reputation. He has allowed 3 runs over 27 innings pitched in October, pitching to a 1.00 ERA and has had the honor of closing out a World Series victory in his past. Storen, meanwhile, in 5.1 IP, has allowed 5 runs, and was known for blowing a key save in Game 5 of the 2012 NLDS against the Cardinals that sent his Nationals home for the winter. Experience is behind this move, and it should be interesting to see how Papelbon will perform when the Nats need him most.

12. Kansas City Royals acquire Ben Zobrist and cash from the Oakland Athletics for prospects Aaron Brooks and Sean Manaea. 

Ben Zobrist is an extremely nice fit in Kansas City. While I disagree with Brian Kenny and the folks at MLB Network who view him as one of the biggest star players in recent memory (I don't care how high his WAR is), he is a consistent, versatile option that will come in handy in the postseason. It's difficult to say anything bad about the guy today, since he has two home runs against the Blue Jays right now and is making the right kind of impact on a fantastic fanbase that will be fully supportive of him in no time. And, if Kansas City does decide to bring him back next year, he'll have an almost guaranteed chance of starting in the All Star Game!

I am seeing several people online debating whether the Royals gave up too much young talent for these players they may not necessarily need to make the postseason. It appears as though they would have already run away with the AL Central title without Cueto and Zobrist, but I think having these players will be a decision they will not regret. As much as I want to see my Yankees make the World Series this year, their biggest challenge would've been Kansas City before the moves and even more-so now. GM Dayton Moore and Manager Ned Yost are back for blood, and are poised to come home with the World Series trophy this season. For their sakes, let's hope Madison Bumgarner isn't on the mound again.

13. Toronto Blue Jays acquire Troy Tulowitzki and LaTroy Hawkins from the Colorado Rockies for Jose Reyes and prospects Miguel Castro, Jeff Hoffman, and Jesus Tinoco.

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While the Johnny Cueto move was probably the most important for any of this year's contending teams, this move was clearly the most fun. Tulowitzki would have never admitted it, but he was unhappy as ever in Colorado. Heck, last year he even was spotted at a Yankees game on an off day. He didn't see this move to Toronto coming, and Canada was exactly where he dreamed of heading off to, but I have a feeling he's going to grow to love playing at Rogers Centre in the most dangerous right handed lineup the game has to offer.

At the moment, I was confused as to why the Blue Jays would make this move when their clear objective at the deadline was to add a top notch starting pitcher. Also, Tulo has had bad hamstring and leg history, and the turf in Toronto may not be helpful to the length of his career. Plus, moving a still more than capable offensive cog in Jose Reyes, while declining defensively and still as big of an injury threat as anyone, didn't click for me. Reyes is a switch hitter who was supposed to and has gotten on base for their big bats to drive him in. Tulowitzki is not an ideal leadoff hitter, but later on we'll see how Toronto overcame this deficit.

There were rumors surrounding Reyes being moved from Colorado following the deal, but it appears that he will be staying put at Coors Field for now. On an interesting and strange side note, I lucked out with my main fantasy team this year and had Tulowitzki and Reyes as my 2B and middle infield positions. It was bizarre that they were flipped for each other!

July 29th

14. Cleveland Indians acquire prospect Jayson Aquino from the Pittsburgh Pirates for cash.

New York Mets (almost) acquire Carlos Gomez from the Milwaukee Brewers. More on that one later.

July 30th

15. Toronto Blue Jays acquire David Price from the Detroit Tigers for prospects Daniel Norris, Matt Boyd, and Jairo Labourt.

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This was the move I was terrified of seeing after the Blue Jays added Tulowitzki. No GM in baseball would have been done after not addressing the main focus at the deadline, and I knew either Hamels or Price had a great chance of being the next to travel across the border. Price is possibly my favorite pitcher in the game at the moment (always subject to change), and he appears to be an excellent addition to a team with playoff desires. He will not only eat innings, but he will eat them better than a majority of pitchers in the American League. Toronto has not made the playoffs since their World Series victory in 1993, and a Wild Card spot looks promising after these two moves.

But after losing Jose Reyes in the Tulowitzki trade, what is their plan for the top of the lineup? Read on. And, what if this year doesn't go as planned for GM Alex Anthopoulos? Price becomes a free agent after this year, and Daniel Norris has the potential of becoming a fantastic pitcher within the next couple of seasons. I understand attempting to win while Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion are towards the end of their prime, but within these two moves alone they lost a majority of their top prospects. It will be interesting to see if they will be able to add Price next year, who, along with Cueto, could seek a contract totaling over $200 million.

16. Houston Astros acquire Carlos Gomez, Mike Fiers, and a pick in the International Pool from the Milwaukee Brewers for prospects Josh Hader, Adrian Houser, Brett Phillips, and Domingo Santana.

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So, does Carlos Gomez actually have a bad hip or not? I mentioned when recapping the previous day that the Mets came very close to adding their former center fielder and now All Star in exchange for Zach Wheeler and Wilmer Flores (who has since become a fan favorite after hitting a walkoff home run in his "return" to the Mets). It turns out the Mets decided against the trade at the last minute because they were afraid of a hip injury that came up in a medical report. Gomez has not produced at the same level as he did in 2014 for the Brewers, so a hidden injury could have been kept under wraps, though he has denied any sort of health issue.

I thought Gomez would be a great fit for the Mets, but it appears that he'll fit even better patrolling center field in Houston. The Astros were able to add Scott Kazmir and Gomez for a slew of prospects, bettering their chances of not only making the playoffs but making a run for the World Series. The scariest thing about this team is that they are just getting started.

Love him or hate him, Carlos Gomez has played his entire career with his heart on his sleeve. His Brewers teammates and coaching staff loved his compassion and spoke of him much more highly than you would expect of a player whose tirades and fights on the field have made him a tough character to like. A player of his caliber can be a make or break addition to a team, and the Astros were right to have taken this risk.

17. Pittsburgh Pirates acquire Joakim Soria from the Detroit Tigers for prospect JaCoby Jones.

18. Chicago White Sox acquire Justin Sellers from the Pittsburgh Pirates for cash or a PTBNL.

19. Three Team Deal between Dodgers, Marlins, and Braves.
Dodgers acquire Mat Latos, Michael Morse, Alex Wood, Jim Johnson, Luis Avilan, Jose Peraza, Bronson Arroyo, and cash
Marlins acquire prospects Victor Araujo, Jeff Brigham, Kevin Guzman
Braves acquire Hector Olivera, Paco Rodriguez, and prospect Zach Bird.

This was a weird trade, but after a few days of negotiating, it finally came to be. The Dodgers appear to be the heavy winners on paper, but it appears that the other two teams accomplished their goals of clearing some salary while gaining some young players. GM John Hart of the Braves has done a nice job reloading the Braves organization for the debut of their new stadium, set to arrive in 2017. Hector Olivera is a highly regarded Cuban prospect, and could have the most upside of anyone in this deal.

As for right now, Los Angeles stocked up on starting pitchers to fill out the back end of their rotation. Following the dynamic duo of Kershaw and Greinke, they will now have Brett Anderson, Mat Latos, and Alex Wood round things out. Latos is my personal favorite talent-wise of the three, but all five pitchers are more than capable of helping them down the stretch.

20. New York Yankees acquire Dustin Ackley from the Seattle Mariners for prospects Ramon Flores and Jose Ramirez.

I was intrigued by the Yankees' plan for this year's deadline. GM Brian Cashman made it clear that he wasn't willing to move any of these four prospects: Aaron Judge, Luis Severino, Greg Bird, and Jorge Mateo. I certainly agreed on the first two, and while it would be convenient to have the latter two players as well, I wouldn't have been too upset to see them moved for assets they could use right now. Heck, they are in first place, but with the Blue Jays now breathing down their neck, you would think they would push for a little extra.

After flirting with every possible pitcher, starter or reliever, they ultimately only ended up moving two prospects for Dustin Ackley. Ackley was a highly regarded prospect several years ago who never really worked out in Seattle. About the only awesome thing about him was his beard, which of course now ceases to exist thanks to the Steinbrenner way. I can't say there's a whole lot I'm looking forward to with this move.

21. St. Louis Cardinals acquire Brandon Moss from the Cleveland Indians for prospect Rob Kaminsky.

I had to double take when I saw this trade. I'm no prospect connoisseur, but when I saw "Cardinals top prospect Rob Kaminsky" involved in a straight up trade for a struggling Brandon Moss, I was confused. This may end up being the worst trade of the entire deadline, unless St. Louis knows more about their prospect than we do.

22. Pittsburgh Pirates acquire Joe Blanton from the Kansas City Royals for cash.

July 31st

23. San Francisco Giants acquire Mike Leake from the Cincinnati Reds for prospects Adam Duvall and Keury Mella.

Mike Leake was the most underrated starter on the market, and the Bay Area welcomed him in for a couple of prospects. I love that despite winning 3 of the past 5 World Series', the Giants aren't letting this even numbered season go to waste. Leake is 9-5 in 2015 with a 3.56 ERA, and has been particularly hot this summer. He is a rental, but even for a few months he appears to be worth the small haul.

24. Baltimore Orioles acquire Gerardo Parra from the Milwaukee Brewers for prospect Zach Davies.

The Orioles found themselves a leadoff hitter having the best season of his career. Parra is batting .328 this year with 9 home runs and 9 stolen bases. This allows Buck Showalter to move Manny Machado down the batting order, where he will drive more runs in for a team that is in need of an extra offensive boost.

25. St. Louis Cardinals acquire Jonathan Broxton and cash from the Milwaukee Brewers for prospect Malik Collymore.

26. Texas Rangers acquire Cole Hamels, Jake Diekman, and cash from the Philadelphia Phillies for Matt Harrison and prospects Jorge Alfaro, Nick Williams, Alec Asher, Jerad Eickhoff, and Jake Thompson.

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Who is the idiot for waiting so long now? GM Ruben Amaro may have taken absolutely forever to deal his ace and officially begin Philadelphia's rebuilding process, but he got back six players in return for him! Four of the Rangers prospects were part of their top 10 best prospects, and the biggest name in the deal outside of Hamels is catching prospect Jorge Alfaro. A scout told ESPN's Jayson Stark last week that Alfaro reminded him of a bigger Pudge Rodriguez, which is about the highest praise you could receive as a young catcher. The Phillies now have a lot to look forward to, but will miss Hamels, who has been a part of their organization since he was first drafted in 2002.

It will be an uphill battle for the Rangers to make the playoffs, currently 7 games out of first place in the AL West and 3 games out of a Wild Card spot. With Hamels, however, there may be a sliver of hope that they can make that late season run. Up until his recent no-hitter, Hamels has struggled in 2015 more than usual, but a lot of that could have been attributed to being miserable in Philadelphia.

The best part about this deal for Texas is that he is far from a rental. Not only will they have their lefty for the remainder of 2015, but they will also have him for 4 additional years for a little over $90 million dollars. For a pitcher of his caliber, they are getting a bargain. Next season, their rotation will begin with Hamels and recovering Yu Darvish, and it will be hard-pressed to find a better one-two punch in the American League.

27. Minnesota Twins acquire Kevin Jepsen from the Tampa Bay Rays for prospects Chih-Wei Hu and Alexis Tapia.

28. Oakland Athletics acquire Felix Doubront from the Toronto Blue Jays for cash.

29. Toronto Blue Jays acquire Ben Revere and cash from the Philadelphia Phillies for prospects Alberto Tirado and Jimmy Cordero.

Ben Revere was the final piece necessary to complete the Blue Jays puzzle. After losing their lead off hitter in Jose Reyes and creating some confusion regarding their very right handed heavy lineup, it was critical for them to find someone capable of starting a rally. Also, Bautista, Encarnacion, and Tulowitzki can all hold their own defensively, but they needed a Ben Revere to balance out all of their strength. He is one of the better contact/speed hitters in baseball, batting .298 this year with 24 steals.

30. Toronto Blue Jays acquire Mark Lowe from the Seattle Mariners for prospects Nick Wells, Jacob Brentz, and Rob Rasmussen.

31. Chicago Cubs acquire Tommy Hunter from the Baltimore Orioles for Junior Lake.

32. Chicago Cubs acquire Dan Haren from the Miami Marlins for prospects Ivan Pineyro and Elliot Soto.

33. Boston Red Sox acquire Ryan Cook from the Oakland Athletics for cash or a PTBNL.

34. San Diego Padres acquire Mark Rzepcynski from the Cleveland Indians for Abraham Almonte.

35. Texas Rangers acquire Sam Dyson from the Miami Marlins for prospect Thomas Telis and Cody Ege.

36. Pittsburgh Pirates acquire J.A. Happ from the Seattle Mariners for prospect Adrian Sampson.

37. New York Mets acquire Yoenis Cespedes from the Detroit Tigers for prospects Michael Fulmer and Luis Cessa.

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As the clock struck 4:00, the final major deal of the deadline was revealed: The Mets, who earlier escaped from trading for Carlos Gomez, went and grabbed a different bat. Two time Home Run Derby champion and All Star caliber outfielder Yoenis Cespedes was the final rental player moved. This will now be Cespedes' fourth team in 2 years, and there have been rumbles in the past that he isn't the best teammate. However, coming from his background, I can easily envision having a difficult time fitting into any big league locker room.

The Mets may have surrendered a bit much for a rental, as Fulmer has been regarded to be a good right handed pitching prospect. They have plenty of pitching in my eyes, and being able to add an impact bat as big as Cespedes' without surrendering any of Harvey/deGrom/Syndergaard/Matz is an impressive feat. He may not save all of their hitting woes, but he can't hurt, can he?

After reviewing all of the deadline, here are my biggest winners and losers:

Toronto Blue Jays - Now a big time contender for a Wild Card spot and could possibly chase the Yankees down and out from the AL East if they don't play their cards right. And if they make the postseason, watch out for their new ace.

Houston Astros - Kazmir and Gomez made a good team even better. They have a young enough team where they can afford to surrender good prospects and still have a bright future.

Kansas City Royals - The American League's best team now has a bonafide ace. There is nothing scarier than that.

Jonathan Papelbon - He couldn't have possibly asked for a better situation to move into from a team he seemed to hate playing for.

Philadelphia Phillies - This year may end as a disaster, but it will soon be sunny in Philadelphia once more.

Wilmer Flores - Because, c'mon man. We live for moments like this.

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San Diego Padres - Yesterday's biggest storyline was where current Padres Justin Upton, James Shields, Tyson Ross, Andrew Cashner, and Craig Kimbrel could go. Their offseason strategy has been a failure thus far, as Fangraphs currently gives them a 4% chance of making the playoffs. Four percent is apparently enough for GM AJ Preller to continue to hold on, as he kept all of his players in hopes that they can make a run this year. Power to you, AJ, but good luck with that.

New York Yankees - It isn't necessarily anyone's fault, as they did try to make a move with a majority of the big names. In nontypical Yankee fashion, they couldn't pull through with anyone but Dustin Ackley. Craig Kimbrel appeared to be close to coming to New York to make the nastiest bullpen combination of this era, but Preller's decision to keep things the way they are kept that from happening. After the Blue Jays did everything they did, Cashman may regret not pushing a little harder for top pitchers, considering how much of a revelation Teixeira and A-Rod have been for what could be the final time.

There you have it everyone. I hope you enjoyed my full recap of this year's Trade Deadline, and I would love to hear all of your opinions in the comments below!

See Ya!