New York Giants: Leonard Calls Landon Collins Report False Alarm

It doesn’t seem like there’s anyone right now outside of the New York Giants front office itself that knows what will happen with Landon Collins, the team’s star safety who is the subject of many conversations about his impending free agency. It was only within the last 48 hours that s report from ESPN’s Josina Anderson came out saying that the team isn’t in active contract negotiations with Collins, before a follow up report more recently claimed that Collins had cleaned out his locker and said goodbye to his teammates.

Now, there’s a contrary report coming from the New York Daily News and Pat Leonard. According to this report, there’s nothing to worry about and the goodbye from Collins to his teammate never happened. Which one should you believe? Well, it’s best to take a look at the new report and judge for yourself.

False alarm. Landon Collins’ locker is full and he did not say his goodbyes to Giants teammates and staff on Wednesday, according to sources, contradicting an earlier ESPN report.

Leonard states that Collins’ agent may be attempting to push the team into entering negotiations for a long-term contract. However, it seems much more likely that Collins will receive the franchise tag, something that the Giants can apply to Collins until March 5th. The window for the franchise tag opened up on Tuesday and no action has been taken yet, meaning it’s still technically possible that Collins could get a longer contract.

Right now, though, the way the situation will be resolved is a mystery. We’ll all just have to wait and see what the team is planning to do, because right now, it’s hard to tell who to trust.

New York Giants To Let Landon Collins Walk In Free Agency, Per Report

New York Giants, Landon Collins

The New York Giants are seemingly allowing star safety Landon Collins to walk in free agency. The choice to franchise tag the former second-round pick remains available at $11 million, but reports have indicated that Collins was seen cleaning out his locker room and saying goodbye to teammates at the team’s facility.

General manager Dave Gettleman has been known for his lack of emotion towards football and ability to cut players without thinking twice about it. The reasons for this particular matter seem to be monetary, as Collins is expected to receive a big contract on the open market. Clearly, the team doesn’t see a fit for him in the current scheme, despite being only 25 years old and in the midst of his prime.

I expect the Giants to make moves in the offseason to address the position, but allowing one of the best defenders on an already weak defense to walk is breath-taking. Moving forward, it’s possible he returns, but if he’s cleaning out his locker, chances are that he is on his way out.

What the New York Giants are losing:

Collins has never fallen below 96 combined tackles in a season. His work-rate is fantastic and finds himself making plays all over the field. While several injuries have forced him to miss time, there’s no question that he plays with a chip on his shoulder and works until the final whistle.

He’s only missed five games in his four-year career, which indicates his ability to stay healthy despite his physical style of play. His loss will hurt the Giants’ safety core significantly.

 

New York Yankees: Miguel Andujar to Play Entirely at Third

New York Yankees, Miguel Andujar

New York Yankees infielder Miguel Andujar had been the subject of numerous trade narratives in the offseason, as fans speculated that he might be the centerpiece of a trade for an ace, such as Jacob deGrom, Corey Kluber or Trevor Bauer.

There had likewise been speculation that the Yankees might move Andujar to left field or first base in order to replace him at third base with a better defensive player.

But on the eve of camp for position players, Andujar received an endorsement from his manager.

 Aaron Boone stated when asked if Andujar will move around this spring:

“I don’t expect him to. He’ll play entirely at third. That said, there may be a day or two that we pick to have him on a back field just to get some first base in, which we may do with (backup catcher Austin) Romine or (starting catcher) Gary (Sanchez) just to keep some versatile options when you get into a little bit of a bind. But (Andujar’s) game work will be, I’ll say now, pretty much at third base.”

Despite being the third worst defender at third base in the league in 2018, Andjuar will be back at the hot corner in 2019 and that’s just the place for him.  He worked over the offseason both in Tampa with infield coach Carlos Mendoza and back home in the Dominican Republic on his defense, particularly his footwork. 

A dominating rookie performance:

Andujar hit his way into being the runner up for the 2018 American League Rookie of the year, batting .297 with 27 homers and 92 RBIs in 149 games.  He broke the Yankee single-season rookie record for doubles held by Joe DiMaggio (44 in 1936) but his defensive deficiencies were too glaring to overlook and Shohei Ohtani won the Rookie of the Year Award.

Of course the elephant in the room in any conversation about Andujar this offseason is Manny Machado’s continued free agency.  The Yankees would seem to be out of the Manny Machado sweepstakes, but who knows?  

As recently as Sunday, Hal Steinbrenner sat down with reporters and spoke on the State of the Yankees and said regarding Machado and Bryce Harper that the infield and the outfield were not areas of need, to him, and starting pitching and the bullpen were, so that’s where the Yankees put their resources this offseason.  He doesn’t discount that something may come up in the future that he might be open to, but frankly, fans didn’t get the feeling from his discourse that acquiring either was very likely.

If the bat continues, they won’t be able to take Andujar out of the lineup but if he struggles, what are the Yankees options in the absence of Machado?  One assumes that if DJ LeMahieu is productive with the bat that he might get an opportunity at third base, despite having extremely limited experience there.

However, for now, we can only speculate about Andujar’s improvement, along with Boone, who said:

“There are some things that we’ve had him work on defensively that I think really have taken hold with him and I think he’s had a great winter of work,” Boone said. “I think (those) who have been around him see the kind of work ethic (he has). That’s reared its head in the winter and I feel like he’s another guy that comes into spring training in a really good place and I’m excited to see him in another year in his progression of what’s a really good player.”

Fans, too, are excited to see whether Andujar has made the improvements on defense that will make him a more complete player in 2019.

The New York Yankees Were Never In On Manny Machado For A Simple Reason

Finally, the wait is over, the New York Yankees have waved from the balcony to see superstar free agent Manny Machado land on the West Coast. A long way away from the Bronx and a potential position battle at third base.

How the Yankees approached a potential deal:

The Yankees passed on Machado not because of his character flaws, but due to the price he was demanding. The generation talent wanted a 10-year, $300 million deal, and the San Diego Padres, an unlikely suitor, offered him the lot. But, they’re a lower-tier team that will likely wipe Machado’s name off the MLB map. While his love of winning was put in the back-seat, the contract will ensure his great-great-grandchildren never have to work a day in their lives.

The Bombers are looking for short-term, value-packed deals that will help them win a World Series this year, and courting  Machado was never a long-term play, they needed his talents for one-season, maybe two, and then poof, gone like the wind.

With a .282 career batting average, the 26-year-old wanted to cash in, and we can’t fault him for that, but we can question is morals as a baseball player.

On the other hand, the Yanks are more than satisfied with their infield additions this offseason. Grabbing Troy Tulowtizki and DJ LeMahieu adds extreme value to the defense – five Gold Gloves between the two, and two solid bats to help keep the lineup fresh.

I’m most interested in Troy – his illustrious career bleeds optimism, but nagging injuries have derailed him quite a bit. Handling him carefully and managing his workload should be a primary focus this season.

Manager Aaron Boone commented on how Tulowitzki has looked so far:

“The way that he looks out there, he looks like Troy Tulowitzki. When we worked him out this winter, those were the reports. When we watched the videos, some of the footage that we got to see from those workouts, he looked that part. Now seeing him here, I know he’s been working hard every day over at (the minor-league complex at) Himes, getting his work in down here.

“Down here, it gets a little competitive out there and you challenge each other and there’s an energy to it. He brings that kind of energy that I think guys feed off of a little bit. To see him moving around, it’s exciting to see where he’s at right now.”

It’s expected that Troy will act as the Yankees’ everyday shortstop with Didi Gregorius’ absence. Moving forward, I expect Tulo to rotate with Gleyber Torres at SS, and LeMahieu to rotate at second base and third if Miguel Andujar needs aid.

 

 

New York Yankees Best Offseason Move Will Pay Dividends

New York Yankees, Miguel Andujar

The New York Yankees’ best offseason move wasn’t necessarily a specific player, but rather a specific ideology to help the younger players on the team develop properly in a potential 2019 World Series campaign.

With the infield cluttered with youth – Miguel Andujar, Gleyber Torres, Gary Sanchez, and even Luke Voit, the Yankees needed some sort of veteran leadership to help mesh the unit and provide them with the support they need to make a serious playoff run.

The best offseason acquisitions for the New York Yankees:

Signing both Troy Tulowitzki and DJ LeMahieu have given the Bombers more than just five Gold Gloves, but also immense experience in the infield and veteran leadership. Both will play essential roles in helping Andujar and Torres further refine their games, especially after the two committed 32 total errors in 2018.

Tulo will provide value at shortstop with Didi Gregorius healing from Tommy John surgery, and LeMahieu will help Andujar at third and Torres at second-base if he needs to slide over to short at some point.

“We’re committed to having DJ be the guy that bounces around because I envision Gleyber (Torres), even if (Troy Tulowitzki) is healthy, Gleyber is still gonna get his fair share of looks at shortstop,” Boone told the New York Post.

With Tulo’s age, it’s expected that he will need rest as the season progresses, which is where Torres will fit in and LeMahieu will show his value in the infield.

Miguel Andujar could also be moved around:

With Andujar struggling at third last season (15 errors), I wouldn’t be surprised to see him earn a few reps at first base. Manager Aaron Boone stated that he would receive some work there in the Grapefruit League this spring – he’s the only non-catcher to earn reps at first.

This shouldn’t indicate any big-deal for Manny Machado, but it might unearth the potential for DJ to see some time on the corner. His defensive abilities are far more seasoned, and his hitting is also consistent, despite the Coors Field worries. The Yankees have the man-power to move the infield around and try different combinations until they find one they can settle on.

I would expect Andujar to remain at third, with Torres and Tulo rotating at shortstop. LeMahieu will fill in at second while Torres is at SS, and Luke Voit will likely be the starter at first for a majority of the season barring injury.

General manager Brian Cashman has put together a solid rotation with the support to help the Yankees withstand injuries.

New York Giants Should Go After Eagles Defensive Star In Free Agency

The New York Giants will look to improve their pass rush in 2019 after a tough season where the unit only recorded 30 total sacks, finishing 31st in the league above only the Oakland Raiders.

General manager Dave Gettleman utilized free agency and the draft to improve the offensive line last season, but this time around the defensive line needs an upgrade as Connor Barwin has been released after a one-year deal.

A great option for the New York Giants:

Philadelphia Eagles veteran defensive lineman Brandon Graham could fit the bill perfectly for Big Blue. His ability to rush the passer but also play the run is still great, despite being 31-years-old. Graham recorded just four sacks last year but racked up 39 total tackles and 11 quarterback hits.

Graham has managed at least 10 QB hits over the past four consecutive seasons, which should indicate his dominance in the trenches. His primary skill is pass-rushing, but he’s capable of being a big body in the middle — 6-foot-2, 265-pounds.

How much cap space do the Giants have?

The NFLPA projects the 2019 NFL cap to reach $195 million, and the Giants will have about $27.42 million in space to make moves. They have $9 million below the league average, but I would expect several moves to open up space for free agency.

If the Giants release Olivier Vernon, they can open up $11.5 million in cap. They can also save $7.75 million by releasing Janoris Jenkins- I would keep Jackrabbit, though, as he’s ‘a shutdown corner when at the top of his game.

If Vernon is cut it would make the potential signing of Graham on a cheaper deal that much more attractive.

 

 

 

New York Giants Not In Active Negotiations With Landon Collins

New York Giants, Kareem Martin

The New York Giants can finally apply the franchise tag to Landon Collins. The window of time where the team can do it has just opened, and will stretch into next month. Right now, it’s looking more and more like Collins is going to be the player to receive the tag this year, due to the organization and the player not coming to an agreement about a long-term deal.

Of course, that deal would be the preferable outcome, but after not much progress was made in the earlier parts of the offseason, it’s been reported by Josina Anderson that the Giants and Collins are not in contract negotiations right now.

There’s no way that the Giants are letting Collins walk away. Collins is set to become an unrestricted free agent this year, but with such a large role in the Giants secondary, letting Collins move to another team for free has never been an option that’s on the table. Because of that key role, it’s seemed almost a sure thing for the past weeks that the Giants are going to franchise tag Collins at the first chance.

No such move has happened just yet, though. The Giants have until March 5th to apply the franchise tag, but even after the window for it opened on Tuesday, no such move has been made yet. Whether or not that means the team is still considering an attempt at getting a long-term deal secured or not is unsure, but unless that happens, fans can pretty much be sure that the franchise tag will be given to Collins sometime this month.