New York Giants: Dave Gettleman Answers The Odell Beckham Jr. Trade Question

A whirlwind of rumors suggesting a trade of New York Giants star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has drawn interest from national media networks. Reports that the Giants had considered trading Beckham to the New England Patriots but backed out due to compensation and realization have surfaced.

Ultimately, trading the wideout would impact the team negatively – significantly. His influence on the team is great and losing his presence would be like losing the best player on your youth kickball team – his talent somehow makes everybody around him better, despite not seeing that influence in the win column.

Beckham’s injury concerns likely played a part in a potential deal, but moving forward the Giants are committed to keeping the talented receiver.

New York Giants promise the retention of OBJ:

General manager Dave Gettleman spoke to the media during the NFL combine, suggesting that the team was not interested in parting ways with Beckham.

After suffering a quadriceps injury that ended Beckham’s season prematurely, the team relied on star rookie Saquon Barkley to pick up the slack. The unit ended up finishing as the top scoring offense in the NFC East.

Head coach Pat Shurmur stated, “I look forward to having him (OBJ) back.”

The first thing that Gettleman said at the combine media session was a reassurance that OBJ would remain a Giant until further notice. The team is expected to have one of the most dynamic offenses in the league after an impressive bout of individual performance in 2018.

Having a healthy OBJ, an experience Barkley and a solid offensive line instill confidence in even the most cynical of fans. Success seems to be on the horizon.

New York Yankees: Miguel Andujar — Why Spring Training Games Count

New York Yankees, Miguel Andujar

You hear it among New York Yankees fans, and fans everywhere: Spring Training games mean nothing, that you watch to see players on the rise, and how the vets look. And the 2018 Yankees were no exception.

With Gleyber Torres on the come at short, and Miguel Andujar looking to stake a claim at third, however, the week-old acquisition of Brandon Drury to anchor the hot corner may have turned the page on “Miggy’s” 2018 shot. Given that story come Spring games, Andujar tied a game with the visiting Phillies on February 26, 2018, with a first at-bat pinch double in the bottom of the seventh.

New York went ahead in the eighth only to see Scott Kingery tie matters with a two-out home run in the ninth. But “Du” was “due” up third in the bottom half and, with two outs and a 2-2 count, he homered to left for the 4-3 win.

Chapter Two:

Even though Brandon Drury would hit one of five home runs in the visiting Yankees’ 6-4 win against Philadelphia in Clearwater, Fla., on March 1, 2018 (with Estevan Florial scoring the other run after leading off the seventh with a triple), the victory had Miguel Andujar supporters in the crowd feeling triumphant, as Miggy gave the Bombers an early 2-0 lead with singleton jacks in the second and third innings. CC Sabathia and Domingo German had the Yankees up 6-2 through six, and the team coasted from there.

Chapter Three:

The terrific start to the Yankee 2018 Spring Training campaign continued apace on March 2, despite the quick 4-0 lead visiting Atlanta took, largely on Ronald Acuna, Jr.‘s first-inning home run off Masahiro Tanaka. Miguel Andujar got two runs back with a fourth-inning rbi double, and Tyler Austin had a walk-off two-run bomb in the bottom of the ninth in the 5-4 Yankee win. No one could know that Drury health issues would soon derail his year, but plenty were watching closely to see if “Du” was ready to take the call.

More New Good News:

Another sign of a team on the rise features the Yankee 9-4  February 24, 2017, win over the Phillies. Didi Gregorius took the first pitch he saw over the fence in right center in the first, and, yes, Aaron Judge gave the home team a 2-0 lead with a bomb to left center in the fourth.

A Trade That Helped:

The Yankees traded catcher Aaron Robinson, lefthander Bill Wight, and righty Fred Bradley to the White Sox on February 24, 1948, for portsider Eddie Lopat, who would post a 113-59 mark in the Bronx and won four out of five decisions for five Yankee World Series teams, all of them winners.

New York Giants Are in a lot of Trouble Heading Into Free Agency

New York Giants quarterback, Eli Manning.

With several positions in dire need of assistance, the New York Giants need to allocate resources to upgrade specific units. The cornerbacks, safeties, offensive line, and defensive line all need reinforcements, which will require a hefty amount of investment whether it be through free agency or the draft.

Former general manager Jerry Reese left the salary cap in shambles, as the team still owed over $9 million in dead money moves after Dave Gettleman came in and cleaned house. It’s likely that the Giants will part ways with some players to open up cap space, or at least require them to lower their cap-hits to open up a bit of wiggle room.

The New York Giants are in a bad spot:

Currently, the team has about $27 million in cap, ranking towards the bottom of the league. They need to sign a top-tier free safety, retain Landon Collins, and sign a right tackle. That’s a ton of money that needs to be appropriated efficiently, but I don’t expect the Giants to address all of these positions through FA.

Positions like right tackle and safety can be addressed with draft picks, but it’s likely the team will draft a quarterback at No. 6, this means that the players drafted after won’t represent immediate starters. If the Giants get lucky in the second round, they can draft a potential right tackle, similar to what they did with Will Hernandez. My biggest concern is that after the second-round they don’t pick again until day 3 (fourth round).

What I expect the Giants to do this offseason:

I expect the Giants to package a few picks and move up into the third round to grab a safety. They have Sam Beal waiting in the wings to join the cornerback ranks – he was picked in the in the supplemental draft in 2018 which cost the Giants their third-round pick.

Acquiring Beal allows the team to focus in on safety and right tackle. Former Carolina Panther Daryl Williams remains an option, a fourth-round pick by Gettleman himself in 2014. They can back-load his contract to keep the cap hit down in 2019. The expectation is that Eli Manning’s $20 million cap hit will disappear in 2020, and Olivier Vernon’s contract might shrink a bit.

It will be interesting to see how the Giants manage this offseason with such little room in their cap. I would expect them to continue building through youth as Gettleman has been extremely successful in the draft.


New York Yankees Youth Product Already Turning Heads In Grapefruit League

One of the New York Yankees’ best youth prospects earned a chance to showcase his abilities in spring training with the starting team. After struggling in the minor leagues with inconsistency at the plate, he still managed to get the invite to play.

Estavan Florial, a lanky yet uber-athletic outfielder is the player mentioned. His immense speed has been noted as he climbs the ranks. He stole two bases against the Boston Red Sox in the Yankees’ 8-5 loss last Sunday. His speed and agility were on full display, and he showed why he can be an impactful player moving forward.

“The pitch that Florial stole on (in the second inning) wasn’t a pitchout, but it was almost like a pitchout and he just kind of out-ran (the throw),” Yankees manager Aaron Boone marveled. “It is a weapon.”

The outfielder’s speed is certainly a deadly weapon in his arsenal, as he stole 16 bases last year. The Yankees don’t have players that can steal bases consistently, as they tend to rely on home runs to get points on the board. Adding a player like Florial would instantly make their base running that much more efficient.

How did the Yankees youth product perform?

In Florial’s first at-bat he singled to right field, proceeding to steal second base. He then reached on a throwing error in his second at-bat and stole second again. The ability to move the bases inevitably increases the probability of scoring. If Florial is on first and a single is hit, he only reaches third base. If he’s on second, he scores with ease. That’s what a good base runner can do for a team and why Florial’s stock continues to rise.

“He has all the tools you hear about,” Boone said of Florial. “They are real. We encouraged him to be aggressive on the bases, especially here early and he has. He’s made a difference.”

The MLB pipeline ranks Florial is the Yankees’ No. 1 prospect. The 21-year-old will be looking to bolster his stock in the year ahead and potentially make the move up in 2020.

A broken wrist in last season severely limited his development and efficiency at the plate. Moving forward, I expect him to gain confidence at the plate and regain his form after a rocky 2018 season.



New York Giants Confirmed To Have 10 Draft Picks In 2019 Draft

New York Giants. Dave Gettleman, Pat Shurmur

The 2019 NFL Draft will begin on April 25th and carry through to the 27th. This will be a crucial draft for the New York Giants’ future. Having plenty of draft picks will be beneficial for them as they try to find talent to add to a 5-11 roster.

It was originally predicted that the Giants were going to have 11 draft picks. However, it is now confirmed they will only have 10. The Giants have been awarded a compensatory pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Many thought the Giants would receive more than one pick, but that is unfortunately not the case.

Where Are The Giants Picking?

The compensatory pick that the Giants have received is a 5th round pick. It is pick 172. The Giants now have 3 draft picks in the fifth round. The other pick was acquired by trading Damon Harrison to the Detroit Lions.

In the fifth round, the Giants will be picking back to back. They have the 143rd pick and the 144th pick. Then again, of course with the 172nd pick. This is not the only round the Giants have multiple picks in.

In the fourth round, the Giants own two picks. They have their own pick (109) and they have a pick acquired via trade (133). The Giants have the Saints’ fourth round pick that they gained by trading away cornerback Eli Apple. In the sixth round the Giants have just one pick. It is pick 181 and it is their own.

In the 7th round, the Giants have two picks. neither of these picks are the Giants’ own. They own the Vikings’ pick (234) from trading away center Brett Jones. They also have the Rams’ seventh round pick (247) that they received in a trade in which they also received Alec Ogletree.

The Giants do not own a third round pick in 2019. They forfeited their pick when they selected Sam Beal in the third round of the Supplemental Draft. However, they do own their second round pick.

The Giants’ second round pick is the 37th overall pick in the draft. Being that it is near the top of the round, the Giants could end up getting a first-round prospect who falls with the 37th pick.

As all Giants fans know, the Giants own the 6th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. It is their third time picking in the top 10 in the last four years. This will be a crucial draft pick for the franchise’s future. The Giants will need to decide wether or not the 6th pick will be used to select their next franchise quarterback or if it will be used elsewhere.

What Can The Giants Do With So Many Draft Picks?

Having 10 picks in the draft gives the Giants a lot of flexibility. Of course, they could stay put and take 10 players with their 10 picks. However, the Giants could trade up in the draft with so many picks. The more picks, the more trade value.

If the Giants love a prospect in the third round, they could potentially trade both of their fourth round picks to move back into the third round and take their guy.

These picks could even be traded outside of the draft. The Giants might feel it is best to have a veteran free safety going into 2019. Trading a late-round pick for a veteran could be of great value to the Giants. Last offseason they traded a mid-round pick to acquire Alec Ogletree. Dave Gettleman could look to make a similar move in 2019.

New York Yankees: James Paxton Prepared To Make Significant Impact In 2019

New York Yankees, James Paxton

While New York Yankees‘ starting pitcher, James Paxton, got off to a rocky start in his first spring training appearance, he brings great value to a team that struggled with their rotation in 2018.

Paxton finished the day striking out and walking two batters apiece in two innings. He didn’t allow any runs but the walks were worrisome as his location seemed to be a bit off. I wouldn’t light the beacon of worry just yet, as it was only his first live action as a Yankee.

The New York Yankees pitcher stated after the game:

“My goal was to throw a lot of strikes and I didn’t do that in the first inning,’’ said Paxton, who was sent over from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for Justus Sheffield. “I wanted to come out and pound the strike zone and I did a better job of that in the second inning. You want to feel where your body is at, and I feel I made the adjustment from the first to the second inning.’’

One of Paxton’s premier pitches it his curveball, which just didn’t seem to have enough bite on it. He stated, “the sharpness isn’t quite there yet.”

Last season, the Mariners ace finished with a 3.67 ERA and a 11-6 record. There’s no question that he brings quality to the starting rotation, as he will likely act as the No. 3 or 4. Paxton and Masahiro Tanaka will battle it out between the two slots.

Tanaka finished 2017 with a 3.75 ERA and a 12-6 record, just a worse than Paxton in the efficiency column. It will be interesting to see the two showcase their abilities, but I would expect Tanaka to earn the No. 3 role out of seniority.

Michigan State Wins Against Top 10, rival Michigan

Before we dive into this game, let’s explain how Big Ten basketball is going to work on this site for the rest of the season. Longer write-ups of the best games will be posted, not short blurbs for each game. Come the conference tournament, we will break down each game, as well as every NCAA Tournament game with a Big Ten team. Empire Sports Media is lacking a lot of Big Ten coverage, and especially on the basketball side. If you are interested in writing for the site, click here.

On Sunday, Michigan State went on the road to face cross-state rival Michigan and got it done in hostile territory, 77-70. Michigan State moved up to 23-5 (14-3 B1G), and Michigan dropped down to 24-4 (13-4 B1G).

The game may of proved to be a big swing in the projected NCAA Tournament bracket, Michigan possibly dropping to a three seed while Michigan State may of moved up to a two seed.

Cassius Winston had a monster night for the Spartans, scoring 27 points and dropping eight dimes. Big fella Kenny Goins had a nice 16 point, 11 rebound double-double and Xavier Tillman added 14 points and five rebounds. Senior captain Matt McQuaid added 13 points and five rebounds.

Michigan State had a seven point lead at one point in the first half that quickly diminished from three-pointers from Zavier Simpson and Ignas Brazdeikis, as well as a Jordan Poole layup.

Simpson played all 40 minutes and led Michigan with 19 points. Brazdeikis had 16 points and nine rebounds, and Poole added 15 points. Jon teske also had a 10 point, 11 rebound double-double, along with a block.

Overall, the first half stayed pretty close, and Michigan State went into the intermission with a 39-37 lead.

it remained close in the first 10 minutes of the second half, too. But then Michigan seemed to run out of steam. Cassius Winston and Kenny Goins each hit jumpers, Tillman hit a layup, Aaron Henry had two free-throws, Cassius Winston had another two, and Tillman threw one down. In that five or so minute span, Michigan only had four points and Michigan State had a seven point lead.

Michigan couldn’t really recover, and had trouble denting into the lead late, but Jordan Poole did hit a three with 33 second left to make it a four point game. But that didn’t matter, Cassius Winston was in the midst of seven straight free-throws, and hit four of them in the last 33 seconds. Kenny Goins also went 1-of-2 from the line, and Zavier Simpson hit a meaningless layup for Michigan with eight seconds left.

Michigan State shot 50 percent on the night, compared to just 40 percent for Michigan. But, Michigan had four more offensive rebounds than Michigan State, leading to second chance points.

Michigan had more fouls and turnovers than Michigan State, as well as outrebounded by two.