New York Giants GM Dave Gettleman Raves About Saquon Barkley

New York Giants‘ GM Dave Gettleman is the man behind the smokescreen, and getting to the top of his list of priorities is about as difficult as finding a needle in a hay stack.

But, from what we have to work with, Gettleman is a big fan of Saquon Barkley. Predicting what the Giants will do with their No. 2 overall selection is nearly impossible, as rumors have Josh Rosen, Barkley, Nelson and others going to the Giants in the first-round.

Signing left tackle Nate Solder puts in the Giants in a good position to take an offensive weapon, whether it’s a young quarterback or Barkley. There’s one thing we can say for sure, Davis Webb is the wild card amid all the speculation.

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For now, we can break down what Gettleman is saying about the best prospects entering the draft.

There’s no doubt we can conclude that Barkley is the ‘real’ deal and has the capabilities to be an all-around back in the NFL.

The question here is: Does the need at running back outweigh the need at quarterback?

The answer: Davis Webb… But wait, that’s another question!

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At the current moment, there are too many questions and not enough answers. The answers will be relieved on April 26… Draft day.

Head coach Pat Shurmur expressed the need for a running back that can run the ball, catch the ball, and pick up a block. Adding hogmollies to the line surely helps protect the quarterback, but can we rely on Jonathan  Stewart and Wayne Gallman to hold down the fort for the entire 2017 season? Chances are they will be an average, if not below average.

Private Visit:

Gettleman did state that they would host Barkley for a pre-draft visit to learn a bit more about him. If his 4.3 40-yard dash at 225-pounds wasn’t enough, this will give the Giants a second-chance to evaluate his personal skills and abilities off the field.

With the Giants at No. 2, they would either have to take Barkley or forever hold their peace. The Cleveland Browns are likely to select the star running back at No. 4 if they take a quarterback with the No. 1 overall pick.

Getting to Know Your New York Yankees Bullpen Coach: Mike Harkey

Background:

Michael Anthony Harkey (born October 25, 1966) is a former Major League starting pitcher. Harkey pitched from 1988 through 1997 for the Chicago Cubs, Colorado Rockies, Oakland Athletics, the then California Angels (now Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim), and Los Angeles Dodgers .

Mike Harkey was a part of the Florida Marlins coaching staff in 2006. Then “Hark” joined the New York Yankees from 2008 through 2013, before joining the Arizona Diamondbacks. Harkey coached in 2014 and 2015. This was before coming back to the New York Yankees prior to the 2016 season.

When new Yankee Manager Aaron Boone was brought aboard in December, Boone said one of his first calls was to Mike Harkey asking if he would stay aboard as the bullpen coach and Hark agreed.

 

Bullpen Coach ? What Does He Do ?

According to the MLB.com Glossary the definition of what a Bullpen Coach is:
“The bullpen coach works with pitchers in a similar capacity to the pitching coach before and after games. During a game, the bullpen coach is in the bullpen with his club’s relief pitchers and oversees their warmups, while also offering advice on pitching mechanics and pitch selection. “

What to Expect:

A good bullpen coach is an extension of not just the pitching coach but of also the manager. They can provide useful details that can be make or break during a game and throughout the season. When players trust that their coaches have the team along with their best interest at heart and in mind they will play better. And Harkey is a guy that this pitching staff trust.

New York Yankees Player Preview: Tommy Kahnle

New York Yankees, Tommy Kahnle

Originally selected by the New York Yankees and in their farm system the Yankees lost Tommy Kahnle in the Rule 5 Draft. Kahnle was brought back to New York at last year’s trade deadline. He has become a dominate reliever and his addition to an already fantastic bullpen has only improved an already superb lineup.

Kahnle’s numbers last season:

2.70 ERA, 36 K, 10 BB, 0 SV

Background:

Born in Latham, New York, Kahnle attended Shaker High School. Kahnle after High School went on to pitch for Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. The Yankees eventually went on to select Kahnle in the fifth round of the 2010 draft.

Minors, Colorado and Chicago:

Kahnle was promoted quickly through the Yankees’ system. He made it up to Triple A during the 2012 season. Kahnle had received an invite to spring training in 2013. He ultimately did not make the team and in the off-season the Rockies selected him in the Rule 5 draft.

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Kahnle made the Rockies Opening Day roster in 2014, as it is a requirement that any player selected in the Rule 5 Draft must be on the Opening Day roster. Kahnle made his debut on April 3rd. He a decent rookie season as he posted a 4.19 ERA in 59 games. In 2015, Kahnle played in both the majors and triple A. Following the season Kahnle was designated for assignment and traded to the White Sox.

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Kahnle had a nice season for the White Sox in 2016. Only appearing in 29 games, he posted a 2.63 ERA. In the first half of last season, Kahnle blossomed into a fantastic reliever. In 36 innings Kahnle had a 2.50 ERA and struck out 60 batters.

Return to the Yankees:

The Yankees acquired Kahnle along with Todd Frazier and David Robertson for Blake Rutherford, Tyler Clippard, Ian Clarkin and Tito Polo. He was a spark for the Yankees as he was ejected for throwing at Miguel Cabrera which led to that classic brawl with the Tigers.

Kahnle was on the Yankees postseason roster for each round as he was dominate posting a 2.38 ERA in seven games.

Future in Pinstripes:

Kahnle has the stuff the be a closer, but for the 2018 Yankees he will be primarily used in the 6th and 7th innings. Khanle has a plus fastball that he can use to get many batters out with. Kahnle will play a substantial role in 2018 and has the potential to be a nominee for AL reliever of the year. Kahnle can truly become one of the most dominate relievers in MLB.

New York Yankees Player Preview: Chad Green

The biggest surprise of the 2017 season was the emergence of Chad Green as a dominate reliever. Green was used primarily as a starter when he was first called up to the New York Yankees, but when he was made a full-time reliever last year he became a special pitcher. Green has quickly become one of the best bullpen arms in MLB and will look to continue his success this season.

Green’s numbers last season:

1.83 ERA, 103 K, 17 BB, 0 SV

Background:

Green was born in Greenville, South Carolina, but he grew up in Effingham, Illinois.  Green was a dominate high school baseball player for Effingham as he was a three time All-Conference selection, two time All-Area honoree, and made the All-State team in his senior year.  The Blue Jays selected Green out of High School in the 2010 draft in the 37th round.  Green opted to go to Louisville instead. Green had a nice career at Louisville and holds the school record of ERA, 2.38. Green was then selected by the Tigers in the 11 round of the 2013 draft.

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Becoming a Yankee:

Green was traded to the Yankees in the 2016 off-season. Along with Luis Cessa, Green was acquired for reliever Justin Wilson.  Green did not make the Yankees Opening Day roster in 2016. He eventually made his debut on May 16, 2016. Green came up as a reliever, but the Yankees moved Green into the rotation. Green made four starts, but was shutdown because of a sprained elbow ligament.

Green did not make the Opening Day Roster last season. He was called up on May 8 and re-sent to Scranton May 10. He was then recalled on May 14 and did not go back down to Scranton. Green had a special season last year as he along with Betances became only the sixth pair of teammates to strikeout opposing players.

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Green had made the Yankees Wild Card Roster. He proved to be extremely valuable as he entered the game in the first inning in relief of Severino who struggled. Green helped propel the Yankees to a win.

Green was on both the ALDS and ALCS roster. The only mistake Green made in the playoffs was after Giradi did not challenge the call against the Indians; Lindor hit a grand slam off of Green. That was his only mistake and besides that he was dominant.

2018 and Beyond:

Green will look to further his success as a full-time reliever. He will likely be used in many situations similar to Warren. He should get a few chances to earn some saves. Green has the potential to become the set-up man if Betances struggles. He has a bright future ahead of him and along with many of his teammates he is still very young.

Should the New York Giants Trade Odell Beckham Jr.?

Odell Beckham Jr. and the New York Giants have been a hot topic over the last few days. It all stemmed from a quote from Giants’ co-owner, John Mara when asked if they were looking to trade Odell.

Mara said: “I can’t answer that one way or the other. We’re certainly not shopping him. Again, when you’re coming off a season when you’re 3-13 and played as poorly as we played, I wouldn’t say that anyone is untouchable.”

Odell Beckham Jr. has brought some drama the moment “the catch” happened. After that, Odell’s life was never the same, and with that, he brought plenty of drama to the Giants’ organization. But, this offseason has been a whole other level of drama, mostly off the field. So, it is understandable that there have been rumors of possible trade talks.

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The bottom line is, Odell Beckham Jr. is the best player on his team and one of the best players in the NFL. That is not a player that you trade, and GM Dave Gettleman seems to feel the same way.

Let’s not forget what Odell Beckham did for Eli Manning’s career. 2013 was arguably Eli’s worst season of his career when he threw for 3818 yards with 18 touchdowns and 27 interceptions. It began to look more and more like the end for Eli Manning, but then the Giants drafted Odell in 2014.

In 2014 and 2015, Eli Manning threw for over 4000 yards, 30 and 35 touchdowns, with only 14 interceptions each year. 2016 saw a slight decrease in yards and touchdowns, but he still threw for over 4000 yards.

Then came the disaster of the 2017 season, Odell got hurt in the preseason and was never himself on the field, and then came his season-ending injury in week 5 against the LA Chargers. Eli’s job once again was in question, he was even benched for the first time in his career.

It is clear that Odell Beckham Jr. is the best player the New York Giants have. Even if they “are listening” to trade offers, it would be crazy if they were to actually accept one of these offers. The best move is for the Giants to sign OBJ to a long-term deal, even if that continues to take time to come to an agreement.

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Additionally, trading away Beckham Jr. would be public relations suicide, as a majority of the fan-base would be up in arms and would likely cause more drama than OBJ himself brings to the team. In a recent video, Gettleman expressed his concern over the media, as neither OBJ or his agent contacted the team to inform them of a holdout.

EXTRA:

Neither Julio Jones, Antonio Brown, DeAndre Hopkins, or A.J. Green have won a Super Bowl, and OBJ is four years younger than most of them. He has plenty of time to earn himself a ring.

Getting To Know Your New York Yankees Manager: Aaron Boone

New York Yankees, Aaron boone

Background:

Aaron John Boone (born March 9, 1973) is a former professional baseball third baseman, broadcaster and the current manager of the New York Yankees. He is the son of Bob Boone, grandson of Ray Boone, and the brother of Bret Boone.

Boone played in the Majors for the Cincinnati Reds, New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, Florida Marlins, Washington Nationals, and Houston Astros from 1997 through 2009. He was an All-Star in 2003, and most notably hit the ALCS winning walk-off home run off of Knuckleballer, Tim Wakefield.

From 2010 to 2017, Boone was employed by ESPN as a game analyst and a color commentator for ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball coverage, as well as a contributor to Baseball Tonight.

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New Gig:

In December 2017, the Yankees hired Boone to become the 33rd manager in franchise history. This will be Boone’s first managerial job in baseball ever, having never managed anywhere in professional baseball. However, as Spring Training has gone on there has only been positive reviews about Aaron and his encouraging nature with all the players in camp.

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Legacy:

Aaron Boone hit one of the biggest homeruns in Yankees Post-Season history and there’s no denying that definitely aided in his quest to become the Yankees manager. However his legacy with the New York Yankees will be what he does as a manager. Like Joe Torre and Joe Girardi before him, the only thing that will form his legacy is winning the World Series.

New York Giants – Who Created This Mess Anyway?

New York Giants, John Mara

There are three primary people responsible for the New York Giants exceeding .500 in only two of the last six seasons since hoisting their last Super Bowl trophy.

For the haters out there hoping to find future Hall of Famer Eli Manning on the list – not a chance.

Ben McAdoo:

I consider him blameless. All he did was accept a promotion he never earned. He wasn’t ready. He was no Tom Coughlin. McAdoo can be blamed for losing the team once a little adversity set in. Blamed for not taking charge of the #takeaknee situation, which is not the Giants way in the land of blue and white and worst of all for jumping the shark and ending Eli Manning’s consecutive game start streak.

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Jerry Reese:

What General Manager School did this guy attend? Who told Jerry Reese that you could leave entire units of the defense unmanned? One year it was no defensive backs ‘AND’ no linebackers. Every year there is a dearth of quality linebackers.

What general manager school teaches “if you have a failed offensive line unit that is near the bottom of the heap in rushing offense” and gives Eli Manning little time to pass, that the best course of action is to stand pat and let horrible gel another year? Dave Gettleman let the world know his thinking on the Giants starting O-line mighty quick by making sure there would be no more insane experiments in futility.

Nick Solder breaking the bank is exhibit A.

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John Mara:

Team owner John Mara once said at an end of season presser that he too was accountable. I have not seen him hold himself accountable, so Empire Sports Media will. He singularly made the decision to fire Hall of Fame Head Coach Tom Coughlin.

What big blue fan isn’t bursting with #giantspride for his success in Jacksonville? John Mara’s decision to back a dubious General Manager, who saved own his skin by throwing Coughlin under the bus, was ridiculous. John Mara decided an unproven head coach like McAdoo would be better than Coughlin?

John Mara also supported the benching of Eli Manning and the ending of the consecutive games started streak, not to assess Davis Webb, but rather to play Geno Smith? Most of all, it is shocking that in week 3, John Mara would stand by while three of his starting defenders took a knee. That does not fly in New York. Mara’s silence led to a large of contingent of Giants fans boycotting the league and by extension the Giants.

Well Giants fans, McAdoo and Reese are gone. Since John Mara isn’t going anywhere, the best we can hope for is that his “I’m accountable” penance is having hired a new General Manager and that he will stay out of the Draft/Roster decisions and let Gettleman do his job without owner interference. Unlikely.

New York Yankees: Deadline Targets

New York Yankees

Who could be a Target of the New York Yankees at the July 31st Trade Deadline?

The 2018 New York Yankees 25-man roster is set to begin the year.

The Yankees current roster consists of:

Catchers: Gary Sanchez & Austin Romine
First Baseman: Greg Bird
Second Basemen: Tyler Wade & Neil Walker
Third Baseman: Brandon Drury
Shortstop: Didi Gregorius & Ronald Torreyes
Left Fielder: Brett Gardner
Center Fielder: Aaron Hicks
Right Fielders: Aaron Judge & Giancarlo Stanton
Starting Pitcher: Luis Severino, Mashiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia, Sonny Gray & Jordan Montgomery
Relief Pitchers: David Robertson, Dellin Betances, Tommy Kahnle, Chad Green, Adam Warren, Chasen Shreve and Jonathan Holder
Closer: Aroldis Chapman

This roster is a real championship caliber team, the only “knock” has been on the starting pitching. This rotation took the 2017 New York Yankees to within one game of the World Series. They ranked second in combined WAR (Wins Above Replacement) in the American League in 2017.

The idea throughout baseball is always: You can not ever have enough pitching. Therefore, this upcoming 2018 season may have the Yankees looking to improve in some way for the stretch run for  World Series. Any additions would probably be to the pitching staff.

Potential Trade Deadline Targets:

Starting Pitchers:

  • Chris Archer- Tampa Bay Rays
  • Marco Estrada- Toronto Blue Jays
  • Michael Fulmer- Detroit Tigers
  • Danny Duffy- Kansas City Royals
  • Matt Moore- Texas Rangers

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These starters have one thing in common, they are all playing for teams who most likely will not be in contention for a playoff spot. Tampa Bay and Toronto may be in contention for the second Wild Card spot in the AL. While the other three ball clubs will more than like remain out of contention.

However, should all of these clubs be well on the outside looking at a playoff spot, these starters should be made available and rather easy for Brian Cashman (with the loaded Yankee farm system) to acquire.

Relief Pitchers:

  • Brad Brach
  • Alex Colome
  • Kelvin Herrera
  • Joakim Soria
  • Brad Hand
  • Mark Melancon

I know that you must be thinking: Why would the team with the best bullpen in all of baseball have any need for more relievers ? Well the answer is simply, if the starting pitcher market seems too costly Brian Cashman is smart enough to alter course a bit and take what’s already the best bullpen and make it even better, stronger and deeper. These relievers should be less costly as all but two of them are free agents (Hand & Melancon).

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Position Player:

Yes you read that correctly, position player. There is only one player that could be potentially be someone the Yankees would go after, and that’s Manny Machado. Manny is going to he a free agent and the longer Baltimore and their stubborn owner Peter Angelos decides to wait to begin their inevitable rebuild, the less it would cost the Yankees to acquire him.

Manny is a game changing talent both offensively and defensively and will be costly no matter when he is acquired. But again, the longer they O’s wait the better it will be for Cash and the Yankees.

The Wild Card:

Now, before I give my last prediction for a possible deadline target, I must qualify this selection with the following notation. If (and it’s a big if) the San Francisco Giants are as bad in 2018 as they were in 2017, they will most likely look to trade off assets in order to not go down the path the Philadelphia Phillies  ventured toward five plus years ago.

They should look to trade the valuable players in an effort to rebuild the franchise up again to it’s championship caliber ways. So, with that being said, the final player (and least likely of all) to be a potential July 31st trade deadline target is Madison Bumgarner.

Bumgarner is hurt after being hit by a comeback in Spring Training. Bumgarner was crucial to any potential success that Giants would have in 2018. So again, if the Giants find themselves in last place in the National League West, they may look to revamp and rebuild. The Yankees have the farm system to be able to acquire the Giants’ best player Madison Bumgarner.

As of now, this exercise was merely one of a conjectural and hypothetical nature, but as we are approximately less than 130 days from the non-waiver trade deadline, we will have the luxury to see just how the season plays out.

Whether one or multiple of these players gets acquired by the Yankees, or maybe someone not on this list at all, there is absolutely no doubt if the Yankees need reinforcements, Brian Cashman will oblige.

New York Mets 40-Man Roster Overview: Anthony Swarzak

One of the newest New York Mets, Anthony Swarzak, looks to be a reliever the team can depend on. The Mets signed him to a two year, $14 million deal in the offseason to rebuild the bullpen.

The Minnesota Twins drafted Swarzak in the 2nd round of the 2004 MLB Draft. He waited until 2009 to finally get a call-up to the big leagues. Swarzak struggled with the Twins, putting up a 6.25 ERA in 12 starts. His entire 2010 season was spent in the minor leagues, but returned in 2011 to put up a 4.32 ERA.

His ERA rose to 5.03 in 2012 and spent a majority of the year in the bullpen. Swarzak’s 2013 season started on the DL after fracturing his rips after “wrestling around a little bit”. He returned to have a very strong season with a 2.91 ERA in 96 innings.

Swarzak Has Been a Journeyman Since He Left the Twins:

He regressed in 2014 with his ERA up to 4.60 and his strikeout numbers going down. The Twins announced that Swarzak was out-righted off the 40-man roster after the season ended. The Cleveland Indians signed him to a minor league contract in 2015 but released him after he pitched 10 games.

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Upon his release, Swarzak signed with the Doosan Bears of the Korea Baseball Organization where he finished the rest of the 2015 season.  Swarzak signed a minor league contract with the New York Yankees in February of 2016. He started the season with in Triple-A and but finished the season with a 5.52 ERA in 26 games. Swarzak was granted free agency instead of accepting a demotion to Triple-A at the end of the season.

The Chicago White Sox brought in Swarzak on a minor league deal for the 2017 season and he went on to have a terrific season. In late July he became a trade piece for the Sox and they sent him to the Milwaukee Brewers for a minor league outfielder. He had the lowest ERA (2.33) and most strikeouts (91) he has had in his long career and he was able to parlay it into a good deal in a slow free agent market.

Swarzak has always struggled with putting back to back strong seasons but the Mets believe that Swarzak is a different pitcher now than earlier in his career. Swarzak bring a mid-90s fastball, a high-80s tight slider and will pound the strike zone. He has only pitched three innings this spring, allowing one run, but will be ready to pitch on Opening Day.

Saquon Barkley Breaks Down Why He’s A Perfect Fit For The New York Giants

The New York Giants could go any direction they choose in the upcoming 2018 NFL Draft, but running back Saquon Barkley is one of the more enticing options.

Barkley spoke to reporters via Penn State Live in regard to being selected by the Giants:

“I think Eli Manning definitely has a lot in the tank left, he’s still an extraordinary player. You have Odell Beckham, one of the most exciting players in the NFL for three or four years. Then you talk about Sterling Shepard and the tight ends. If I’m able to have the success that I had in college, being able to demand that attention that I brought from the backfield, it’s kind of hard (for opposing defenses). What are you going to do? You don’t want to load the box because the wide receiver corps is so dangerous. If I’m able to have success, you have to factor in the run game too.”

Just the thought of Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram, and Saquon Barkley lining up on offense is intimidating. For the record, Manning has won two Super Bowls with far less talent on offense. Three if not four premier level talents would give Manning all the tools he needs to achieve success once again.

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If GM Dave Gettleman were to select Barkley with the No. 2 pick, he would solidify the claim that the Giants are playing to win now, and not in two or three years when Manning is gone and their young quarterback is prepped.

The Giants have maintained a rather below-average running back tandem for the past few years. The last time they had a truly exciting running game was when they had the likes of Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs.

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Flashback alert!

https://twitter.com/iamBigRob44/status/974999974848147456

While the Giants still acquire blocking specialist Rhett Ellison and have upgraded the left tackle position with Nate Solder, an improved running game is to be expected. With four above-average skill players on offense, the opposing defense would have no choice but to play conservative. By stacking the box to stop Barkley they would enable Odell Beckham Jr. to have one-on-one coverage, and Engram could exploit the seam. It’s an unstoppable formula.

From an overview perspective, Barkley has the highest probability to where a gold-jacket in the future, and Gettleman may be too tempted by his abilities to pass up on him.