The trade winds were gusting at gale force across the sports landscape this past week.
They blew especially strong in Philadelphia, where 76ers general manager Elton Brand and Phillies counterpart Matt Klentak pulled off deals in hopes of joining the Eagles as recent championship franchises.
On paper, the moves were impressive. Power forward Tobias Harris should make the 76ers legitimate contenders in the Eastern Conference, though Milwaukee and Toronto also upgraded themselves, and Boston is always dangerous.
Catcher J.T. Realmuto is a huge upgrade for the Phillies. Some fans are upset Klentak gave up top prospect Sixto Sanchez in the trade, but the 20-year-old right-hander is still three or four years away from the majors and already is dealing with arm issues.
MLB.com ranks Realmuto as the second-best catcher in the majors entering this season behind San Francisco’s Buster Posey, but the gap is narrow.
By the way, some kid from Millville is the top center fielder.
Even if they don’t land Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, the Phils should contend for the National League East title, assuming manager Gabe Kapler learned from his late-season mistakes last summer.
Meanwhile, the Eagles are contemplating trying to trade their top pinch-hitter, quarterback Nick Foles, to Jacksonville, Denver or Miami — no way they would risk sending him to the New York Giants and facing him twice a year — in hopes of getting a third-round draft pick in return.
The decent thing to do would be to let Foles leave via free agency. He deserves it after delivering the Lombardi Trophy and taking the team — and its fans — on another thrilling late-season ride again this season.
Regardless of where he winds up, Foles’ shadow will stretch all the way to Lincoln Financial Field and loom over Carson Wentz. And it will remain there until Wentz is able to stay healthy enough to realize his vast potential and win a championship.
Rumor has it there are also some other trades in the works, though the details are still a little fuzzy.
A number of beach patrols are said to be trying to upgrade their rosters in an effort to snap Longport’s Golden State-like reign at the South Jerseys.
Margate is looking to deal one of its backup rowers to Cape May Point in exchange for the No. 1 pick in the draft. To make it work, Cape May Point has to agree to pay the rower’s tolls at the Margate Bridge for the summer.
And I’m scanning the free-agent market for a gardener, since neither of my thumbs is green.
The Jersey tomatoes planted each spring ultimately look like they come from Nebraska. An attempt to grow kale one year produced plants that resembled month-old heads of lettuce. Rose bushes have been a thorn in my side.
Depending on my salary cap, I might even be able to sign a handyman/woman for some minor projects, since I can’t even hammer a nail.
Both of my thumbs are red from trying.
David Weinberg’s Extra Points column appears Wednesdays and Sundays in The Press.
Contact: 609-272-7201 DWeinberg@pressofac.com