New York Giants: Eli Manning To Finish Season With Starting Job

New York Giants, Eli Manning, Saquon Barkley

The New York Giants are only one game away from wrapping up their season, and it looks like news isn’t great for backup quarterback Kyle Lauletta going into that game. The news, of course, is that Eli Manning has been announced as the starter already, and will complete the season having started every game.

It’s something that just about everyone could see coming after Lauletta wasn’t given another shot in the weeks following his sole appearance of the season, against Washington, but it’s still worth noting. The team is out of the playoffs at this point and one would think that this is a good time to evaluate the rookie second string quarterback going into next year, but that just isn’t going to happen.

To be fair, it’s hard to blame the Giants staff for the decision. Losing to the Cowboys would be a demoralizing way to end the season, and the Giants organization at this point has shown that they still want to fight to win as many games as possible. It’s unknown at the moment whether or not Lauletta will be active for the game and get a chance at getting any playing time off the bench, after sitting out the Colts game and being listed as inactive.

It’s also hard to think that the Giants would give up on a recently drafted rookie after only five total pass attempts, but it looks like that’s what’s happening. After all, Lauletta hasn’t even been given a chance in the last weeks to potentially come in off the bench, if the Giants happened to have a major lead late in the game.

On the subject of Eli Manning, though, this could be his last full season as a starter, depending on what the Giants do during the NFL Draft and what his performances are like next year. That’s something to pay attention to going into the Dallas game, and if you need a reason to watch other than this being the final Giants game of the season, that’s a good one.

Manning threw for 309 yards and a touchdown against the Colts, and whether or not the Giants draft a quarterback that will compete with him next year, he’ll get to spend this last game of the season as the uncontested starter. Time, and a long offseason, will tell how that lasts in the long run.

New York Yankees Having Issue Unloading Substandard Relief Pitcher

The New York Yankees are in the process of bolstering their starting and relief pitching rotation, but one option is on the trade block due to a poor 2018 season.

Sonny Gray, a once highly coveted starting pitcher for the Oakland A’s, was brought over to the Yankees during the 2017 season, where he earned a 4-7 record. With a 3.72 ERA, Gray was though to be just having an off-year. This was not the case, as he followed up his lackluster 2017 campaign with arguably an even worse one in 2018.

How Sonny Gray performed for the Yankees last season:

Gray finished the season 11-9 with an ERA of 4.90. He was dropped from the starting pitching rotation and fell into a relief role, where he lost opportunities consistently due to bad performances.

In 2019, the right-handed pitcher will be in an arbitration year, which will allow the Yankees to slash his salary by a maximum of 20% of his total hit. He will earn an arbitration award of $9.1 million.

The Yankees are desperately trying to trade Sonny Gray:

The issues the Yankees are having with unloading Gray stem directly from their asking price. They have been pursuing high-end talent for the pitcher, who has a career record of 59-52.

The Yankees have traded for James Paxton and signed J.A. Happ to a two-year deal while trying to shop Gray. It doesn’t seem as if the team sees Sonny as a relief or rotational/reserve option, given his shopping.

 

New York Giants Division Rival Release Player At A Position Of Need

On Monday morning it was announced that the Washington Redskins had released safety D.J. Swearinger. Swearinger was cut due to repeated public criticism of the coaching staff. However, he has been an excellent player this season and should draw interest from many teams, including the New York Giants.

Swearinger As A Player

D.J. Swearinger is a strong safety who spent his last two seasons with the Redskins. Swearinger has a combined 51 tackles this season, and 79 tackles last season. He played primarily as a strong safety after the Redskins traded for Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, but he has the ability to play free safety too. Swearinger is 27 years old and has played for four teams in his six year career. The hard-hitting safety forced three fumbles while additionally recording one fumble recovery and even one sack this season. In two seasons with Washington, Swearinger totaled 20 passes defended and eight interceptions. This is consistent high-level play by the veteran that the Giants lack from that position.

How Could He Fit In The Giants’ Defense?

For the Redskins this season, Swearinger played strong safety. The Giants have former all-pro Landon Collins on their roster as a strong safety, so it may look like they have no need for Swearinger. However, Collins has just undergone surgery and is a free agent this offseason. If the Giants decide not to resign Collins, Swearinger is a player they would take a look at. If the Giants do resign Collins, there are still reasons why they might consider signing Swearinger.

Firstly, a position change could be on the horizon for Landon Collins. Collins is a run stuffing strong safety who plays like more of a linebacker than a safety. This is due to Collins’s lack of coverage ability. Collins was getting picked on by opposing teams in coverage all season leading up to his injury. Most notably was the Bears game where running back Tarik Cohen hauled in 12 receptions for 156 yards, including a 46 yard reception in which Collins was in coverage.

Due to his inability to play as a coverage safety, Collins could have his position switched to become a full-time linebacker. This would not be the first time defensive coordinator James Bettcher has done something of the sorts. During his time in Arizona, Bettcher switched safety Deone Bucannon over to linebacker due to his inability to cover.

In this scenario, Landon Collins would move down to linebacker and Swearinger would play strong safety. This would be a great move for the Giants, however, it would still leave a gaping whole at the free safety position.

Another way the Giants could use Swearinger would be by moving him over to the free safety position. Swearinger is more of a run support safety than a coverage safety, but for a run support safety he is great in coverage. He also had four interceptions this season and 10 passes defended.

The Washington safety is also the highest graded defensive back covering in-routes this season, according to Pro Football Focus. He played strong safety with Haha Clinton-Dix playing opposite of him at free safety with Washington. Those two elevated each other’s play and the pairing of Collins and Swearinger would likely do the same.

The Giants have holes at multiple positions and safety is one of them. With the inconsistent play of Curtis Riley, it is likely the Giants will be in the market for another safety this offseason. Multiple names will come up when discussing the Giants’ options, and D.J. Swearinger needs to be one of them.

New York Yankees Focus In On One Free-Agent Star And Lose Interest In Another

The New York Yankees have been heavily linked to free agent Manny Machado the past few weeks, as he would serve as an upgrade in the infield and add a stellar bat to the lineup.

How would the New York Yankees utilize Manny Machado?

Machado is supposedly favored over Bryce Harper, simply because Harper is a primary outfielder – a position of strength for the Yankees. The alternative would be able to fill in for Didi Gregorius while he heals from Tommy John surgery, and then could move to third-base for the future. Although, Didi will become a free agent in the winter of 2019, which poses a potential issue for the Bombers moving forward.

They could choose to keep Miguel Andujar at third-base and make Machado their everyday shortstop.

Reports over the weekend stated that the Los Angeles Dodgers are currently in the lead to sign the generational talent (Harper), while the Yankees are Machado’s first-choice among several teams seeking his signature — Phillies & White Sox.

Machado is looking for a 10-year deal worth about $300 million, a contract the Yankees aren’t willing to match. But, if they can come close, the pull the Yankees have over the two-time Gold Glove winner could be enough to convince him to come to New York.

I would anticipate an offer sheet of — 8-years $225 million with a nine-year team option worth $250 million. That’s a solid deal, despite the fact that they took on a Giancarlo Stanton contract worth a bit more — 12-years, $325 million.

The likelihood of Machado signing a deal worth under $250 million is slim, but you have to start somewhere. The Yankees don’t necessarily ‘need’ Machado, which is why they shouldn’t overpay. Use the draw and atmospheric appeal Yankee Stadium to your advantage.

MLB Network insider Jon Heyman believes the White Sox and Phillies will offer more money than the Yanks, though he still places New York as a “slight favorite” to land the 26-year-old free agent.

“We’ve heard all along that Machado wants to be in New York,” Heyman said Friday on Fancred’s YouTube show. “In fact, I’ve heard from several people that he wanted to be in New York or Boston. Well, Boston’s not going to do it, obviously. … To me, I think the Yankees have a very good chance, and I think he’s one of those guys that may sign for a team that isn’t the highest bidder. That’s a rarity.”

A player that’s willing to surpass more money for a winning culture says a lot about their personality and dedication to the game. Despite his lack of effort and judgement at times, there’s no denying he’s as passionate as they come.

What Should The New York Yankees Do At The First Base Position?

New York Yankees, Luke Voit

Let’s be honest, Greg Bird seems to be a fantasy implanted in GM Brian Cashman’s mind that has resulted in failure more times than not. Most would say that Bird being the future first-baseman for the New York Yankees is a pipe-dream and maybe even a pride saver for Cashman.

In reality, we know that broken wing Bird isn’t the future, in fact, he’s not the present either.

So, that begs the question:

What should the New York Yankees do at first-base in 2019?

Luke Voit.

The Yankees acquired Voit from the St. Louis Cardinals midway through the 2018 season, and my oh my, did the Pinstripes work their magic. Over 132 at-bats, Voit earned a .333 batting average with 14 homers. Lets suppose Voit had 600 at-bats like some of his teammates — Giancarlo Stanton, Miguel Andujar, etc. — he would have hit nearly 65 homers last season. Now, that’s an excessive number and a theoretical one at best, but you can see how productive he was in such a short amount of time in the Bronx.

Bird on the other hand hit .199 over 272 at-bats with 11 homers. He also struck out 78 times, which is about a quarter of his total at-bats. That’s bad, and despite his abilities at first-base, his hitting was so poor that Voit should automatically receive the first crack at the starting job.

Moving forward, the Yankees might want to look into finding a long-term solution after the 2019 season, assuming Voit doesn’t miraculously develop over night. His career stats don’t look bad when it comes to the numbers, but he hasn’t received consistent playing time to really prove he can be a serious option for the future.