Report: Chiefs Interested in Trading for Nick Foles

Report: Chiefs Interested in Trading for Nick Foles

It was only a matter of time until somebody added fuel
to this rumor’s fire. If Nick Foles truly is not a viable option for new
Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly’s offense as many observers believe,
maybe Foles’ old teacher would like to pick up the lesson from where the two
left off.

According to USA Today’s Mike Garafolo, Andy Reid is game.
In a report filed on Thursday evening, Garafolo writes a Nick Foles trade is
something that would be on the table for the Kansas City Chiefs.

Of course, it takes two to tango, and whether or not the
Eagles are considering dealing Foles is unknown. Both Garafolo and our own
Reuben Frank believe the organization is sincere about giving Foles a chance to
win the starting quarterback job.

But as the saying goes, anybody is available in a trade for
the right price. Garafalo cites an NFL.com report from a former Eagles’ scout
who says Reid and assistant Doug Pederson "were very high on Nick Foles
and his future."
It has to at least make you wonder what the Chiefs would
be willing to offer.

It probably wouldn’t be as enticing as you might imagine. While
Foles improved over the course of his seven-game audition, he didn’t significantly
increase his value much beyond the late third-round pick the Eagles spent in
2012.

Actually, Foles could be worth slightly less now to anybody besides
Reid. The fact that another staff has already broken Foles in, combined with
the negativity associated with “giving up on a kid” after one season means potential
partners could hold substantial leverage.

I’m not convinced general manager Howie Roseman made an
investment so he could readily take less on a return only a year later, and the
notion that Kansas City would send their second in this year’s draft – aka the
33rd overall selection – sounds like crazy talk no matter how much Andy likes Foles.

Guess you never know. Unless another team is going to knock
your socks off though, why not give Foles a chance to play?

Chip Kelly’s system, right. Even if Foles is not an ideal
fit for what Kelly is trying to do here, it still doesn’t seem wise to shun
perhaps the best quarterback on the roster for what may only amount to a collection of mid-to-late-round
draft picks.

Not sure I like the idea of going all-in on Kelly’s offense,
either. There’s nothing more to it than speculation for the time being however,
but no matter how much either organization denies it, discussion of a potential
Foles-to-Kansas City swap is not going away.

>> Chiefs interested in trading for Nick Foles [USA Today]
>> Sources: Eagles not likely to trade Nick Foles [CSN]

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Phillies sign OF Daniel Nava, LHP Sean Burnett to minor-league contracts

Phillies sign OF Daniel Nava, LHP Sean Burnett to minor-league contracts

The Phillies made a couple quiet additions as the winter meetings ended, signing veteran outfielder Daniel Nava and lefty reliever Sean Burnett to minor-league contracts.

Nava, 34 in February, is a left-handed hitter who can play the outfield corners and first base. He came up with the Red Sox and became a fan favorite in Boston in 2010 as a 27-year-old rookie. Some Phillies fans will remember him for hitting a grand slam off Joe Blanton in his first major-league plate appearance.

Nava had a few decent years in Boston, the best of which was 2013, when he had 536 plate appearances and hit .303/.385/.445 with 29 doubles, 12 homers and 66 RBIs. 

Nava's numbers and opportunities have dropped every year since. He was designated for assignment by Boston in 2015, latched on with the Rays, signed the next year with the Angels and was traded late in the season to the Royals.

Over the last two seasons, Nava has hit just .208, albeit with an on-base percentage 99 points higher because of his 30 walks and 10 hit by pitches.

Burnett, 34, has spent five of the last seven seasons in the Nationals' bullpen. He had a 2.85 ERA in 283 appearances from 2009-12 and parlayed that success into a two-year, $7.25 million contract with the Angels. However, he barely pitched in 2013 and 2014 for the Halos because of an elbow tear. He returned to the Nats last season and allowed two runs in 5⅔ innings.

Burnett, perhaps more so than Nava, has a chance to fill a role with the Phillies if he can stay healthy. He's shown he can get outs at the highest level, posting a 2.38 ERA in 2012 with 9.1 strikeouts per nine innings and a 2.14 ERA with 8.9 K/9 in 2010. That was a long time ago now, and Burnett's fastball has dipped from averaging 90-91 mph to 88.

According to Sportsnet's Ben Nicholson-Smith, Burnett will receive a $1.25 million salary if he makes the team and can earn another $1.75 million in incentives based on his number of appearances.

Burnett has an opt-out date of March 26, meaning he can become a free agent a week before the regular season begins if it looks to him like he isn't in the Phils' plans.

Nava's chances at cracking the opening-day roster seem longer because the Phillies are expected to make more depth signings between now and the start of camp. They've prioritized finding some offense in the corner outfield and that could come in the form of more minor-league deals, a guaranteed contract or trade. One potential fit I examined last week was Mariners outfielder Seth Smith, a hitter more proven than Nava (see story).

These minor-league deals were commonplace for Phillies general manager Matt Klentak last offseason, when the only free agent he signed to a major-league deal was reliever David Hernandez. 

Last season, three players who were signed to minor-league deals with invites to spring training made the team on opening day: outfielder Cedric Hunter, utilityman Emmanuel Burriss and reliever James Russell.

Others, such as former closers Edward Mujica, Ernesto Frieri and Andrew Bailey, failed to make the team out of camp. Bailey eventually earned a call-up; the other two didn't.

Former Sixer Lou Williams lighting it up with Lakers off the bench

Former Sixer Lou Williams lighting it up with Lakers off the bench

Former Sixers point guard and Meek Mill collaborator Lou Williams is enjoying quite the run off the bench for the Lakers recently.

Over Los Angeles' last four games, Williams has posted totals of 40, 38, 24, and 35 points. 

The six-man is averaging 34.5 points per game over the stretch, and his 137 points are the most off the bench in a four-game span by any player since 1970-71, when stats were first recorded, per Elias Sports Bureau, via ESPN. Williams is now averaging 19.3 points this season, which is 4.4 more than his highest average with the Sixers.

Williams isn’t the only player who used to play for the Sixers that is playing well for the Lakers this year. Nick “Swaggy P” Young, who also comes off the bench, is averaging 13.3 points per game. Just a few weeks ago, Swaggy P stole a pass intended for Lou Williams, and then proceeded to hit a game winner against the Thunder. Swaggy P, however, is currently sidelined with a right calf strain, but is getting closer to a return.

"Lou Will" was also talked about last April during Kobe Bryant’s final NBA game, when he was beefing on Twitter with another former Philadelphia athlete, LeSean McCoy.