BREAKING: New York Yankees Re-Sign J.A. Happ To 3-Year Deal

New York Yankees, J.A. Happ

With the New York Yankees in dire need of pitching help for the 2019 campaign, securing several free agents was a necessity. GM Brian Cashman has already managed to trade for Mariners ace, James Paxton.

Now, Cashman has elected to retain J.A. Happ, the Yankees’ ace for the second-half of the 2018 season after Luis Severino struggled after the All-Star break.

Happ was brought over from the Blue Jays, who was 7-0 down the stretch, helping the Yankees secure a playoff spot. He recorded a 2.69 ERA in 63.2 inning with 63 strikeouts and 16 walks.

Was Happ the primary option for the New York Yankees?

The Yankees were reportedly seeking the signature of star pitcher Patrick Corbin, but refused to offer him a six-year deal, which the Washington Nationals were willing to accept. $140 million and six-years later, Corbin will be pitching for the Nationals.

His slipping away put the Yankees in a peculiar situation, as they were still in dire need of starting pitchers. Bringing back Happ was a solid move, and unfortunately a forced one.

The lefty pitcher will join an improved rotation of Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia, Paxton, and Happ. A solid starting group nonetheless.

What’s next?

Expect the Yankees to begin looking for relief pitchers and to heavily pursue Manny Machado. Ensuring they had solid pitching before going all-in on a big bat was essential.

New York Giants Rival Loses Starting Quarterback For Rest Of 2018 Season

While the New York Giants won’t be facing off against the Philadelphia Eagles for the remainder of the season, the rivaling NFC East team will be struggling to stay afloat in the Wild Card race.

Starting quarterback for the Eagles, Carson Wentz, is dealing with a back injury that will force him out next week and likely for the remainder of the season. Having Nick Foles, the 2017 Super Bowl MVP sitting behind him in case of injury, the Eagles will remain competitive to some degree, and their playoff hopes still see a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel.

The Giants need the Eagles to lose two of the next three games. They will play the Rams, Texans, and Redskins in order. Without Wentz, it’s looking more likely that it’s a possibility the once 1-7 Giants can get a bit closer to a Wild Card playoff berth.

Eli Manning will have to be at the top of his game, as he’s led the Giants’ offense to three 30 point games in his last four starts. Moving forward, the offense will likely lean on Saquon Barkley to provide the boost needed to win-out with several tough matchups coming up in the Tennessee Titans, Indianapolis Colts, and Dallas Cowboys.

OSU QB Dwayne Haskins Jr. Shows Interest In Joining New York Giants

The New York Giants are looking to draft a quarterback in 2019, and at least one college star has shown interest in being that player. You’ve all probably heard of this player before, and if you’re a fan of a Big Ten team, you’ve definitely seen his highlights or maybe even watched him throw touchdowns against your team’s defense. This player, of course, is Dwayne Haskins Jr., Heisman Trophy finalist and the starter for an Ohio State team that will soon play in the Rose Bowl.

Haskins was one of the best quarterbacks anywhere this year, and despite only having one year as the full-time starter and potentially leaving college as a redshirt sophomore, his performances led his team to a Big Ten title and multiple victories over other highly ranked schools such as Penn State and rivals Michigan.

Recently, the quarterback has shown interest in being drafted by the Giants, and told the New York Post about it. “It would be pretty nice. I played ‘Madden’ a lot, and he was really good running the football. The whole offense was nice. Plaxico, Jeremy Shockey, Eli, Ahmad Bradshaw. I was basically the stats guy from my family. I would know everybody’s height and weight, what college they went to.  I’ve been a Giants fan for a long time.”

Haskins has thrown for 4,580 yards this season, and still has one game left to play, the Rose Bowl against the Washington Huskies. The game will be played on New Year’s Day and afterwards, we might just find out whether or not Haskins will declare for the draft or return to school for his redshirt junior season. Despite his great arm and his good command of the offense in the second half of the season, Haskins only has one year as the team’s starter after serving as the backup to J.T. Barrett and only getting game time when the lead was secure.

With Oregon’s Justin Herbert and West Virginia’s Will Grier sitting above Haskins in most rankings for the 2019 quarterback class, it’s very possible that Haskins could still be around during the pick #10-15 range, which is where it looks like the Giants could draft after putting together a decent second half to the season that has featured four wins after only getting one from the first half.

What Should The Knicks Do With Tim Hardaway Jr. Beyond 2018?

As we all know, the New York Knicks are rebuilding. Finally, the organization is young and we’d like to keep it that way. The Knicks have one of the youngest teams in the league, which is something fans have not been able to say in decades. One of the featured stars for the Knicks is Tim Hardaway Jr. The team has adopted a youth agenda, and while Hardaway is just 26 years old, they might be better off finding a suitable trade partner for the primary scorer.

It’s time for Knicks fans to be honest about Hardaway:

A lot of fans will look at this article and immediately think, this guy is crazy for even thinking about this. But, let’s be honest, Tim’s overpaid.  Last season, fans were saying that Tim didn’t live up to the expectations the organization hoped for.  Then, at the beginning of this season, Hardaway was called upon to be the number one scoring option for the Knicks.  With Porzingis’ knee injury, Hardaway was forced into a top-scoring role, one that he has failed to do on a consistent basis since his inception in the NBA.

Hardaway Jr. is currently averaging 21.5 points per game, ranking him 19th in the league.  Top 20 in scoring in the league?  I’d say that’s pretty good.  But, the money side worries me.  Hardaway is earning 35 million dollars over the next two seasons.  Then in 2020, he has an 18 million dollar player option.  That’s a decent chunk of change.

Hardaway started out the current campaign earning his contract until recently when he’s become very streaky.  His consistency is what hurts him the most.  Hardaway will get 20+ points, due to his versatile style of attacking the rim.  For example, he’s been a lot better at getting to the free throw line.  However, when the Knicks needed him the most in recent games, he hasn’t been there.

The one thing that continues to stand out was when the Knicks enjoyed the three-game win streak several weeks ago. Starting with Boston, New Orleans and Memphis. In crunch time, Hardaway near blew each game because of his over-dribbling and overzealous approach.  He was trying to take the game into his own hands when teamwork was the more sustainable option.

So, do the Knicks try to move Hardaway?

The Knicks aren’t going to get someone better in return, so they have to consider their options.  I think the only way you move Hardaway, and his contract, is if you get a player with an expiring contract.  But, the Knicks have to be confident that someone can replace him, which is uncertain.

Looking at it this way, Hardaway is not a number one option guy on an NBA roster.  He’s even a stretch second option.  Hardaway looks to be a good third or fourth option guy on a team.  Think about it.  When the Knicks get Porzingis back and then possibly sign a big name free agent, Hardaway becomes the third option.  That is where Tim may flourish even more.

So for now, the Knicks should let it ride with Hardaway Jr. and the remaining two years he has left on his deal.  Maybe if the Knicks do land a big name free agent, they can reevaluate Hardaway and his contract to try and move him.

Here’s A Plan For The New York Giants At Quarterback In 2019

New York Giants, Eli Manning

While the pro and anti-Eli Manning fans ram heads on Twitter and Facebook alike, most aren’t realizing that the New York Giants‘ veteran quarterback has played phenomenal the past few weeks. Over the last four games, Manning has managed an impressive 895-yards, seven touchdowns, and two interceptions.

The Giants and head coach Pat Shurmur have promoted a run-heavy approach and put an emphasis on good offensive line play. The acquisition of Jamon Brown several weeks ago has been transformative for the line and it seems as if the group has taken a major step forward. The future is bright for a line featuring Nate Solder at left tackle, Will Hernandez at left guard, Spencer Pulley or Jon Halapio (next season after return from injury) at center, Jamon Brown at right guard, and hopefully an improvement at right tackle in either Daryl Williams or a draft selection.

The improvement of the line has had a clear effect on Manning and his performance. Moving forward, it’s thought that the veteran can continue to play at a high-level if he’s given the time to operate the offense and continues to focus on Saquon Barkley.

An interesting factoid is that Barkley has seen a bump in rushing attempts and a decrease in receptions the past four weeks. In consecutive order, his carries go 27,13,24,14. Prior to those weeks the rookie saw 20 carries or more only once, and it was five weeks ago.

Manning has finally come to the conclusion that the offense simply runs through Barkley; the generational back that’s capable of clearing an entire man with just one leap.

Eli’s exact quote was, “we’re starting to figure out that kind of this offense runs through him.”

The plan moving forward should be simple, utilize whatever gas Manning has left in the tank. He’s proved he has more than enough to operate at a high-level. Given that out of the last four games, three of them have seen the offense score more than 30-points, it’s fair to say he’s still capable.

A plan for succession at quarterback for the New York Giants:

My plan is as follows – draft a quarterback in the 2019 NFL draft, whether it’s Justin Herbert or Dwayne Haskins. Allow them to sit behind Manning for as long as possible. If the team struggles, they can always replace Manning at any point. My primary issue is Eli’s cap-hit, which is $23.3 million next season. If the Giants were to cut him he would count just $6.2 million against the cap. They would save $17.1 million by saving him – money that could be allocated to multiple weak spots on the team.

If I were GM Dave Gettleman, I would ultimately demand that Manning takes a pay-cut to help the team. Otherwise, he will be cut and can decide his own future. While this isn’t the most ideal way to go about letting a player that brought two Super Bowls to New York go,  it’s a business after all. $23.3 million effectively cripples the Giants in some ways, and that money is needed to bolster the quarterback’s protection and a thin defensive secondary.

The bottom line, if Manning ‘isn’t’ willing to take a significant pay-cut, it might be the end of an era, but if he’s willing, the Giants could utilize whatever is left in the tank and sit a rookie first-rounder behind him. Haskins is starting to grow on me, and he’s keen on finding a way to New York. There’s nothing more attractive than a player that truly wants to be great in their home-town.

Navigating The New York Yankees’ Off-Season Plan – Pitching & Hitting

New York Yankees, J.A. Happ

As the off season begins to heat up and winter meetings begin for Major League Baseball. The New York Yankees have some positions that need to be filled and some questions that need to be answered. The Yankees have been quiet so far other then the trade with the Seattle Mariners where they acquired James Paxton.

New York is reportedly looking for another starting pitcher, an infielder while Didi Gegorious is out, and relief pitchers. With many names on the market in free agency as well as the trade market heating up, I will be breaking down potential fits in each position for the New York Yankees.

Starting Pitching:

Corey Kluber/Trevor Bauer:

The Cleveland Indians are reported to be looking to trade one of their starters if not both of them. The Yankees could use either guy in their rotation to form a dominating starting rotation. Corey Kluber has been one of the top pitchers in the American League over the past 3 seasons and has dominated in Cleveland so landing Corey would most likely take a haul but to have Kluber at the top of your rotation and have control of him for 3 seasons could be a great sign. The Yankees are in win now mode so going after the best would be ideal for the team. Trevor Bauer would also be a nice piece in the middle of the rotation with his stuff he could be dominate with Severino, Tanaka, and Paxton ahead of him. Bauer might be able to handle the New York media better with his personality but Kluber has shown you that he can do it on any stage.

Noah Syndergard:

The New York Mets have floated out the idea of possibly trading Syndergard depending on what they receive back in a deal. It has been reported over the last 24+ hours that the New York Mets, New York Yankees, and Miami Marlins have been talking about a 3 team trade that would have Syndergard land with the Yankees. Noah would be a perfect fit on the Yankees with his age and that he already plays in New York so the media wouldn’t bother him at all. If the Yankees could somehow swing this deal without giving up anyone on their major league roster then it would be a win win for all the teams involved and their futures.

J.A. Happ:

J.A. Happ is an interesting piece to fill the hole in the Yankees rotation. New York traded for Happ at the deadline last season and he was dominate for the Yankees to end the regular season. Happ did get roughed up in his outing during the playoffs but it was his first playoff experience of his career. He is a veteran and a leader in the clubhouse but with his age and the demand of a 3 year deal it might not be a match. The Yankees would love to bring him back but only on a multi year deal because he is 35 years old. The market for Happ is heating up as there our 12-13 teams interested in signing him so the Yankees would have to make a nice case for him to stay in New York for less money.

Dallas Kuechel:

The New York Yankees could take a look at Dallas Kuechel to add to their rotation as a dominate left hander. Dallas was the main guy in Houston a few years ago before they acquired Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole. Kuechel could be looking for a fresh start elsewhere and has expressed interest in New York and would be a nice piece to add. Dallas has proven to be a dominate pitcher and also perform on the biggest stage which is the World Series. The Yankees should at least talk to him and take a look as an option.

Bullpen Help:

David Robertson:

The New York Yankees had one of the best bullpens in baseball last season but with 2 of their main pieces being free agents they will need to look to add some pieces in the bullpen. Robertson who was in their bullpen last season and had a good season in New York. The Yankees will have to decide if they want to bring back Robertson who may want a long term deal or move on from him and go after a different piece. Robertson would bring a veteran leader and a clubhouse guy back to New York.

Adam Ottavino:

The New York Yankees could also take a look at Adam Ottavino who is a New York native and had a great season out of the bullpen for the Colorado Rockies last season. Ottavino would be a late inning reliever as the Yankees have Betances and Chapman to finish the game. Ottavino would be a perfect fit with his ability to get strikeouts and throws hard which is what the Yankees look for in the bullpen.

Zach Britton:

Zach Britton was another piece that the Yankees acquired at the deadline last season from the Baltimore Orioles. Britton was one of the best closers in the league a few seasons ago before his knee injury. Britton was a lights out closer who lead the league in saves which was remarkable. The Yankees may look to bring back Britton as he finished the season strong with New York and was a nice compliment to Chapman and Betances in the back end of the bullpen.

Andrew Miller:

The New York Yankees could bring back an old friend in Andrew Miller. Miller was dominate for the Yankees before being traded to the Cleveland Indians where he had one of the best postseasons of any pitcher in playoff history. Miller is a dominate left hander out of the bullpen who can pitch in any situation and be successful. Miller would also bring a veteran leader to the New York Yankees bullpen.

Kelvin Herrera:

The Yankees were attached to Kelvin Herrera last off season and at the trade deadline this past season. Herrera is one of the most reliable relief pitchers in the majors and can pitch in any situation. Kelvin was a major piece in the Kansas City Royals winning the World Series a few seasons ago with their dominating bullpen which included Herrea.

Infield Help:

Manny Machado:

The New York Yankees and Manny Machado have been linked to each other for a couple of years now. Machado has always wanted to play in New York and play in pinstripes. Manny will be looking for a huge long term deal but I think he will land that and the Yankees will be the team he ends up on. Manny is one of the best players in the league and would be a major piece for the New York Yankees and their pursuit of another championship. Manny took the Dodgers to the World Series last season with his stellar play on the field.

Daniel Murphy:

Daniel Murphy could be a nice infield replacement for Didi while he is out recovering from Tommy John Surgery. Murphy would be a cheap option on a one or two year deal in which the Yankees could move Torres back to his original position and shortstop and have Murphy play second base. The New York atmosphere and media won’t bother Murphy as he played for the New York Mets and thrived during their run to the World Series. Murphy is a great all around player and being at Yankee Stadium should help his numbers rise.

Josh Harrison:

Josh Harrison and the Yankees were connected last off season as the Yankees didn’t know what to expect from Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar. Josh Harrison is a great veteran leader and would be a nice addition to the Yankees if they decided to go this route. Harrison is a good fielder and has nice career numbers at the plate which could go up hitting in this lineup as he will get his chances with the big hitters being pitched around.

Scooter Gennett:

The Yankees have been active in trade talks surrounding Sonny Gray and one name that has come up is Scooter Gennett with the Cincinnati Reds. Scooter is young and has had some success in Cincinnati but with the Yankees being committed to Torres, Andujar, and Gegorious. Gennett would be a nice option until Didi comes back and to give Scooter an opportunity to showcase himself.

The New York Yankees have plenty of options in free agency and the trade market to fill their needs and put them back in contention for a championship. Brian Cashman and the front office have been around a while and they know what they need to do this off season to compete so let them do their work and put together the best team they can. The Yankees were a great team last season but they failed to win a championship so they will be back this season better than ever.