New York Yankees Have Backup Plan In Case Manny Machado Falls Through

New York Yankees, Manny Machado

The New York Yankees will have a chance to “wow” prized free agent Manny Machado on Wednesday; cue the big-screen display and New York treatment all the way to the best steak in the city. Machado will be treated like a king, similar to Patrick Corbin but with that extra year included in the terms.

The two-time Golden Glove award winner has attracted interest from several other teams including the Phillies and White Sox. Chicago will get the first crack at signing the big-bat, but the Yankees will have their fair shot nonetheless.

My primary concern is: What is the New York Yankees’ backup plan?

Heading into the meeting, the Yankees might be looking to supplant Didi Gregorious for the time being while he recovers from Tommy John surgery. Machado’s natural position is short-stop which bodes well for the utilization of his pure talents.

But, if Machado slips away, who will the Yankees look to as a backup plan?

Reports have emerged that New York has looked into free agent Freddy Galvis, according to the New York Post.

The 29-year-old infielder would be the starting shortstop until Gregorious’ return given the Yankees don’t sign Manny. Galvis enjoyed a .248 batting average in 2018, recording 13 home-runs and an impressive 149 hits. While he wouldn’t be replicating the season Didi had last year — 27 homers and .268 batting average — Galvis would get the job done for the time being.

Galvis signed a one-year, $6.825 million contract last year, so he certainly wouldn’t be breaking the bank for the Yankees. He’s a solid player to have on reserve in case his services are needed – he can also play a rotational role to keep the starters rested. Often times depth can be the hidden key to success down the stretch.

 

 

Looking Into New York Yankees Relief Pitching Options For 2019

New York Yankees, Aroldis Chapman

The modern-day MLB has a lot of interesting approaches to pitching, especially when it comes to the bull-pen and how to operate a close game in its later stages. The New York Yankees have taken a more old-school approach, sticking with their primary closer and rotational guys to help them earn a save.

Yankees’ Aroldis Chapman remains the flame-thrower he has always been and continues to be. Moving forward into 2019, we can only expect he will remain the closer as he finished 2018 with a three wins and 32 overall saves. He had a 2.45 ERA, well above average when comparing last year’s numbers to his career statistics. To be quite frank, last season wasn’t his best by any means, yet he was still effective.

What options are there for relievers in free agency?

The Yankees have a few options they can consider when it comes to relief pitching this offseason. Both Zach Britton and David Robertson remain unsigned and free agents. Either could be worth retaining for at least one more season as the Bombers try to piece together their starting pitching rotation. The Red Sox on the other hands could be losing star reliever Craig Kimbrel and the efficient Joe Kelly.

I can’t imagine the Yankees making a run at Kelly after what happened between him and Tyler Austin.

While Austin has since left New York, Kelly doesn’t seem to fit the bill regardless. Kimbrel on the other hand could be an intriguing option if the Yankees want to use multiple relievers to finish out games on a regular basis. They still have Dellin Batances who performed very well in 2018.

Next season both Batances and Chapman can decide to leave the chilly sitting of NY as the former will be entering a free agent walk year and the latter has an opt-out clause in his contract for ’19.

When looking at Kimbrel’s stats, they look a bit better than Chapman’s, despite having a slightly higher ERA of 2.74. In 63 games he had 42 saves, 5 wins and 1 loss. I still prefer Chapman as he’s dominant when healthy, but he decides to walk Kimbrel could be a solid option. Ultimately, having both might be a “power move.”

A less expensive relief option for the New York Yankees:

If GM Brian Cashman doesn’t want to splash the cash, Andrew Miller could be a decent option as well. Although Miller has endured multiple injuries (hamstring, knee, shoulder) in the past year, he’s capable of contributing.

 

Titans Put New York Giants Playoff Hopes To Bed With Disappointing Shutout

The good run for the New York Giants ended yesterday, on a rainy afternoon where the weather played a part in the Giants just not being able to get anything going on offense. It wasn’t a bad defensive game, with the Titans putting up 17 points. But obviously, the team that scores more points wins, and if you don’t put up any points, you have no chance of winning. The Giants couldn’t even manage a field goal and fans were reminded of some of the season’s earlier games, before the team’s form reversed in the second half of the season.

Odell Beckham Jr. was absent from the game because of injury, and that could be one of the reasons behind the lackluster offensive performance. But one can’t blame the loss entirely on that. Despite throwing for 229 yards, Eli Manning didn’t play well in general and couldn’t connect on big passes that would make the difference between the team scoring or getting shut out.

Several times, Manning would throw past the first down marker and it either wouldn’t reach the receiver or the pass was broken up by the Titans defensive backs. Other times, the play was interrupted before an open receiver could be found, with Manning getting sacked three times and getting pressured on other plays and escaping without losing yards on them.

His 54% completion rate doesn’t look good at all on paper next to Marcus Mariota’s 70%, but to Manning’s credit, Mariota only attempted 20 passes while Manning threw 44 and completed 21.

The ground game wasn’t much better either. Saquon Barkley entered the game trying to stay alive in the race for the NFL’s rushing title, but couldn’t find his form against a good defense on a day with rough conditions. The rain seemed to affect everyone, but the Giants offense suffered particularly. Barkley finished the day with only 31 rushing yards on 14 attempts. It’s not his finest game, and the result could cost him a rare shot at becoming the league’s top rusher in his rookie season.

With the loss, the Giants fall to 5-9. They’re three games away from meeting the Cowboy’s eight wins, and with only two games left in the season, they can kiss their playoff hopes goodbye. It’s something nobody is quite happy about, but now that it’s been made official, the Giants can shift focus to evaluation and give more playing time to some of their younger players such as Kyle Lauletta, who the team will need to make some decisions on for 2019.

The Giants being officially knocked out of the playoffs was something that was expected to happen a long time ago. But fortunately, there’s only two games left in this season, and it won’t be long before the focus changes to rebuilding.

Knicks Fall to Pacers Once Again this Season

Coming off a thrilling victory on Friday night, the New York Knicks’ loss in Indiana was anything but thrilling. What was a pretty close game for the most part, both teams seemed pretty flat. Enes Kanter led the way with 20 and 15 but also turned the ball over 5 times. Rookie Kevin Knox had another progressive outing scoring 15 points while knocking down 3 triples.

Trey Burke made his return from a sprained right knee as jumped right back into form shooting 1-7 in 13 minutes. Hardaway Jr. and Mudiay scored 19 and 18 points respectively.

The minute distribution seemed very lopsided. The started all played at least 30 minutes and the bench were all kept under 20. Friday night star, Luke Kornet, was only rewarded 9 minutes after his stellar performance in his previous game. Mario Hezonja, who lost his job to the neophyte, is best suited for a small bench role if any role at all.

Whatever fire Coach Fiz seemed to light under the French Prince last week has apparently extinguished. While Frank has been more aggressive, his scoring hasn’t been there the past 2 games. His minutes have gone down for some reason. Mudiay has been playing well but Dotson has been hurt so it shouldn’t have taken a dip but we need to trust that David Fizdale knows what he is doing.

Mudiay has been great! But are we happy about it?

For all the fans who are embracing the tank like never before, the rise of Kevin Knox has to have you excited. But when Emmanuel Mudiay is winning you games, the question resurfaces. Let us get this clear once and for all:

  • Emmanuel Mudiay is not going to be on the roster next year unless he renounces everything and takes no money at all
  • Emmanuel Mudiay will be be on the Knicks next year at the expense of any big name free agents (Kevin Durant anyone)

It’s nice to know tat Fiz can take a player who has donned the bust label and turn him into at least a solid role player, however, will that attract any big name free agents?

The youth movement seemed to have hit the brakes a bit with the Trier and Dot injuries. Other than Knox playing 30 minutes a night, the rest of the youngsters haven’t really had a chance to get out of their own way and that is why they don’t get more minutes.

Is Coach Fizdale doing the right thing?

It’s pretty hard not to see what Fizdale has with this team. They are motivated, excited and seemingly play hard which is always a good sign but long term, are they deemed for success?

The team does not play pass first basketball. They play like a lot of guys who are playing for a contract. Will that attract a big name free agent? Will that teach players to play team ball? Only time will tell.

The Knicks play the lowly Phoenix Suns tonight which will be a huge game in Tank Season. The loser may come out on top.

 

New York Yankees Speedy Prospect Could Replace Brett Gardner Down The Road

New York Yankees, Brett Gardner

The New York Yankees have gotten their money’s worth out of outfield Brett Gardner. When he’s not hitting well, he’s motivating the rest of the team to play at their very best, and his defensive skill-set is always beneficial.

Gardner’s main priority is hustle, as he always runs his bite-sized heart out on every play, because you never know what can happen over the course of a baseball game. That’s something I like to call “consistency.” And it’s something that worries me about Manny Machado, but that idea has already been addressed.

The New York Yankees might have found themselves the next Brett Gardner:

Last week the Yankees managed to grab speedy prospect Tyler Hill in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 draft. He was acquired from the Tigers for cash considerations, making him an attractive prospect.

Hill, who’s just 22 years old, hit .254 with one home run, 38 RBIs and 27 stolen bases in 124 games for Class A Salem in 2018. The Bombers seem to be taking a page right of the Red Sox’s book, who previously drafted the base-running phenom.

Boston has made base-running a priority in recent years, which was a major factor in their most recent World Series victory. Generally, any player the WS champs are looking at are probably ones you should be targeting as well.

Tyler Hill’s primary skill:

Hill amassed 27 stolen bases last season, which is more than Gardner has enjoyed since 2011 (49). Adding a prime base-runner to the team could give the lineup balance down the line. The Yankees have built a lineup centralized around home-runs, which isn’t an efficient way of scoring, as when the big-bats are cold the entire team struggles. Adopting a more hit-friendly cast could be more effective, and Hill would certainly help establish that ideology.

The young speedster would be a solid defensive addition, but if he has any sort of leadership to offer, he could fill the Gardner role after 2019. Hopefully, he can show some serious developement and contribute in the near future.

Should Eli Manning Remain On The New York Giants In 2019?

Reports emerged on Sunday afternoon that the New York Giants are planning on retaining veteran quarterback Eli Manning for the 2019 season. Some might be happy with the retention but most are questioning the reasoning behind it.

Manning finished week 15 with 229 yards passing on 44 passing attempts. He only completed 21 attempts, while also throwing an ugly interception that was a clear indication of a poor read, or mental lapse. Manning finished with a QBR of 54.1, far less than he has averaged in the past five weeks.

Despite the lackluster performance, I blame the loss primarily on head coach Pat Shurmur. Manning had 44 passing attempts in monsoon weather, while Titans’ Marcus Mariota recorded just 20. Saquon Barkley had 14 total carries and Derrick Henry had 33. The fact that the Giants continued to focus on the pass game in less than fair weather is a complete and utter coaching mistake.

Shurmur stated after the game that the run game was stalling early in the contest which was the reason for the heavy pass-attack. This logic simply doesn’t make sense. Keep pounding the ball and playing close to the line of scrimmage until you can expose the opposing defensive line.

But, regardless of the coaching mishaps, Manning didn’t look appealing in any manner of the word. His throws lacked zip, his long-ball was floating, his reads were poor, and his ball-protection was just awful.

The New York Giants don’t have many choices at quarterback:

Next season comes with its complications. The Giants are either stuck with Manning or have to resort to other options like Teddy Bridgewater, Kyle Lauletta, Nick Foles, or a potential rookie.

The primary reason I would even consider bringing back the veteran signal caller is to act as a bridge to the next franchise quarterback. Whether it’s Dwayne Haskins or Justin Herbert, having Manning to unveil his wisdom is beneficial. My main concern is his $23 million cap hit. He will have to agree to a massive pay-cut to deserve another year in Blue otherwise he could be a cut-candidate.

Manny Machado in the Bronx this week and other Yankees observations

We’re told Manny Machado will be visiting the New York Yankees this week on Wednesday. Of course, he’s familiar with the stadium, having played six years as a visitor with the Baltimore Orioles.

Is Machado a target for an infield that has been beleaguered by injury and inexperience? Or have Machado’s on the field behavior and off the field comments left the Yankees lukewarm in pursuing him?

Andy Martino of SNY.tv.com reports that the Yankees “certainly aren’t desperate for Machado, whom they will only sign at their price.”  Reported to be looking to receive somewhere in the vicinity of $300 million, Martino says the Yankees are “unwilling to get into a bidding war and pay him a $300 million contract.”

What’s interesting about Machado in the Bronx is the several possibilities for using him to bolster the infield.  While his defense at shortstop has been anything but stellar, the Yankees would likely use him to fill the hole left by the loss of Didi Gregorius.  His defense at shortstop did improve when he was traded to the Dodgers in 2018, but his first half defensive numbers were abysmal.

From another perspective, however, Machado was a Platinum Glove winner at third base for the Orioles; perhaps Miguel Andujar is moved to another position or traded for a front-line starter (his defense at third base was the worst in the league), and Machado mans the hot corner and hopefully reprises his award-winning defense.

Whatever defensive options the Yankees choose to deploy if they acquire Machado, an infield staffed with Andujar, Machado and Gleyber Torres, no doubt, is imposing offensively.  Perhaps, what they lack in defensive prowess, they’ll make up for in run production.

Alternatively,  the Yankees could bypass Machado and search for a replacement among the other talented free agent and trade opportunities.  Scooter Gennett has been mentioned in Yankee trade rumors as the Yankees try to move Sonny Gray – the Cincinnati Reds are said to be in the market for starting pitching.

Jed Lowrie, formerly of the Oakland Athletics, is a free agent second base and utility man who is coming off a great year for the Athletics.

In a scenario where Lowrie or Gennett might fit into the Yankees infield, Torres would slide over to shortstop while Gregorius is out and Lowrie or Gennett would take over at second base.  When Gregorius returns, Torres goes back to second base and the Lowrie or Gennett would become the utility player off the bench.

Yankee fans are divided on how much they like the idea of Machado in the Bronx.  His attitude and behavior have been volatile issues since the postseason.  He provides several options for the Yankees, but without him, there are also options which would be equally exciting to see the Yankees explore.