New York Giants: Eli Manning As A Coach In The Near Future?

New York Giants quarterback, Eli Manning.

Eli Manning likely won’t stick around the New York Giants for too much longer. Manning is starting against the Eagles in the next game and might start for the rest of the season if there’s no quick comeback for Daniel Jones within the last four games, but that doesn’t mean the writing isn’t on the wall. Manning is in the starting role because Jones was hurt, not because the staff made a conscious decision to replace Jones with him through the end of the season.

Because of that decision by the staff to go with Jones earlier this season, it looks like the future is already written – Manning isn’t likely to stick around just to play backup. If he doesn’t end up asking for a trade to another team, something that didn’t happen this season despite the benching only a couple of weeks into the year, he’s expected to retire.

But could Manning end up sticking around the organization once his time as quarterback is done? Just like Peyton Manning has been the center of plenty of General Manager speculations, some believe that Eli would be cut out to go into coaching when his playing days are over.

Manning himself, however, has other ideas – not because it wouldn’t work, but because of a lack of desire.

“You look at it like, ‘OK, well would I like to get into coaching one day?’ Maybe that was the mindset. I learned I don’t want to be in coaching. I don’t like it. I don’t like doing that aspect,” Manning said.

He was speaking about his thoughts following his benching, which happened only three weeks into the season. Manning wasn’t expected to hit the field once again after that benching, even though he’s in position to finish out the season right now depending on if Jones comes back or not.

Regardless of whether or not Manning plays another season, though, it doesn’t seem like we’ll see him on the sideline as a coach anytime soon – we’ll just have to wait and see whether or not Manning retires or looks for a new team this offseason.

New York Giants: Is Jabrill Peppers A Long-Term Building Block?

New York Giants, Jabrill Peppers

The New York Giants announced on Saturday that they are placing safety Jabrill Peppers on injured reserve. 2019 was Peppers’s first year as a member of the New York Giants. Jabrill was acquired in the infamous Odell Beckham Jr. trade with Cleveland.

The Giants considered acquiring Jabrill Peppers to be necessary to complete the trade to send Odell to the Browns. In his shortened 2019 season, Peppers flashed the traits that made him a “must-have” to Dave Gettleman and the Giants, but the consistency was not entirely apparent.

With his inconsistent season coming to an early end in Week 14, it is a bit difficult to look at Jabrill’s future with certainty. Peppers was brought to the Giants to be a long-term building block on defense, but entering a contract year and failing to live up to the hype in 2019, he will have a lot to prove in 2020.

Recap of Jabrill Peppers’s 2019 Season

Jabrill Peppers had a volatile 2019 season. There were a lot of big splash plays and a few impressive performances, but he was never able to sustain consistent success as the Giants’ safety this year.

The former 1st-round pick played and started in 11 games this season. Jabrill suffered a transverse process fracture in his back and was expected to be out for three weeks, but the Giants shut him down for the season ahead of their Week 14 matchup. This was a smart move by the Giants since back injuries are especially dangerous, and it would be highly problematic to rush a player back from that kind of injury, especially when the team has been eliminated from the playoffs and has nothing legitimate to play for. Instead, the Giants are wisely giving their safety an ample amount of time to heal and prepare for next season.

In the 11 games he played in, Jabrill Peppers totaled 76 combined tackles with 5 tackles for loss. He also added 3 forced fumbles, 1 interception, and 1 pass deflection. These stats are impressive, but they do not tell the full story. Peppers did miss 11 tackles this season and had a few occasions of inadequate coverage, allowing receivers to run open downfield.

For the most part, however, Jabrill Peppers was one of the best players on the Giants’ defense in 2019. He allowed a quarterback rating of only 71.5 and gave up 0 touchdowns in coverage. Peppers will need to work on cutting down opposing quarterback’s completion percentage, though, as he allowed 63.9% of passes thrown his way to be caught. Overall, these are improved numbers from his last season in Cleveland.

Is Peppers A Building Block?

Julian Love has been starting in Jabrill Peppers’s place since he went out with his back injury. Granted, Love has played only a fraction of the snaps that Peppers did this season, but Julian has played a consistently high-level of football in his limited playing time.

For comparison, in Love’s 107 snaps this season, he has been given an 87.7 overall grade by Pro Football Focus with an 86.5 coverage grade. In 705 snaps, Jabrill recorded an overall PFF grade of only 66.5 and a coverage grade of 70.2.

The good news for Peppers is that there are two starting safety positions on defense. Peppers has a much different playing style than Love as he is more of a run-defending safety, and Love is more a coverage guy. The Giants could move Julian Love to free safety and keep Jabrill Peppers as the strong safety. There is potential to create a dynamic defensive duo at the safety positions with these two young players.

But Jabrill Peppers will need to show improvements in his game in 2020 to be considered a long-term building block. The free-agent market for safeties went through the roof this past offseason, and the Giants made it clear they will not overpay for a defensive back (see Collins, Landon). Jabrill will be a free agent in the 2021 offseason, and the Giants will need to see more consistent production to offer a lucrative contract extension (especially if there is a new regime by then).

New York Jets Opponent Preview: Miami Dolphins

On Sunday the New York Jets will look to wash off the stink of their two most embarrassing losses this season.

The New York Jets are set to play the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. This will be the second meeting between the two teams this season, the Dolphins won the first.

The Dolphins are coming off a victory against the Philadelphia Eagles Meanwhile, the Jets are coming off a second loss to a win-less team this season.

Offense

The Dolphins offense is a special kind of weird. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick is eight in the NFL in QBR. That’s ahead of Drew Brees, Kirk Cousins, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, and Tom Brady. So, Ryan Fitzpatrick is playing some of the best football of his career.

Yet, the Dolphins still rank 29th in offensive DVOA. That’s because they have no other talent on the team. Their running game has failed to get off the ground this year. Their leading rusher is Mark Walton who has 201 rushing yards this season. The Dolphins top two RBs in rushing yards don’t even meet the low bar that Le’Veon Bell has set this season. That’s how poor their running game is.

Meanwhile, DeVante Parker is having a breakout year for the Dolphins. He’s healthy for the first time in his career this year and he’s taking advantage of it. He has 854 receiving yards on 53 catches, which puts him on pace for 1,138 yards. Parker had never had even 800 yards receiving before this year.

Part of Parker’s success is that he’s finally healthy, but that’s not the big reason. The big reason why is because the team lacks talent. Parker is the only player on the team with more than 60 targets and at least 40 receptions.

When an overflow of targets go one way it’s easy to inflate numbers. Parker’s numbers aren’t as good as they look at first glance. He has just a 57% catch rate and 9.2 yard per target. Those numbers aren’t too different from Robby Anderson who is having a hugely disappointing year. The only difference is that Parker gets more volume.

Defense

The Dolphins defense is the worst in the NFL by DVOA. The Dolphins defense is on pace to allow 503 points this season. that would be the second-most in NFL history.

Their passing defense has been especially horrendous. IT rates as the worst in the NFL by DVOA. They have the worst pass rush in the NFL backing up that awful secondary. The Dolphins are dead last in pressures and sacks. There is nothing good to say about their passing defense. The Jets should shred it, but they failed to do so just a few weeks ago, so anything is possible.

The Dolphins run defense is a little better rating 29th in DVOA. That shouldn’t matter much on Sunday. The Jets rarely run the ball anymore, with Bell running the ball only nine times last week. Even if the Jets did run the ball it wouldn’t matter much since Bell might not play.

There’s no statistical reason to believe the Dolphins should win this game, but that didn’t stop them a few weeks ago. The games aren’t played on paper for a reason. Any given Sunday anything can happen.

What Jake Marisnick will mean for the New York Mets’ Defense

New York Mets trade for Jake Marisknick

The New York Mets‘ defense got a big boost when they traded for elite defender Jake Marisnick.

On Thursday, the New York Mets acquired one of the best defensive outfielders in baseball in Jake Marisnick. That’s a  huge deal for the Mets. They finished with -94 DRS in 2019, which was the second-worst in baseball. It’s also the second-worst all-time for a team with a winning record.

Adding Jake Marisnick is a huge step to changing that. Marisnick graded out as a top-10 defensive outfielder in baseball last season by OAA. That’s with only playing 733 innings in center field. When his innings match those of the leaders in OAA like Victor Robles and Kevin Kiermaier  he moves up to the third-best in baseball.

That’s a huge improvement for the Mets. They got negative defensive production out of Conforto, Nimmo, and Lagares in CF in 2019. So, having Marisnick patrolling CF alone is a huge improvement, but it’s not the only one. He also improves the defense by pushing both Nimmo and Conforto into full-time corner outfield roles.

Nimmo and Conforto may be negative defenders in CF, but they’re both above-average defenders in the corner outfield spots. An outfield of Nimmo, Marisnick, and Conforto could be one of the best defensive outfields in baseball. That’s a huge step up from an outfield that was one of the five worst in baseball in 2019.

This isn’t going to fix all the Mets’ defensive issues. Most of those issues revolve around the infield, where the Mets were the worst in baseball defensively. The Mets also have a stable of ground ball pitchers in their rotation, which lessens the effect of this signing.

However, it’s easy to forget how many hits, especially extra-base hits, could have been avoided with a good defensive outfielder, let alone an elite one. Marisnick coming in should limit damage done against the Mets on fly balls. That means less runners on and less runners in scoring position. That, in turn, means less pitches for the starters, which will limit the work the bullpen has to do.

No, Marisnick is not the most valuable player. He isn’t going to single handily fix the Mets’ defensive woes, or make the pitchers better. However, he puts everyone on the team in a better position to succeed. That’s all anyone can ever ask for from this kind of trade.

New York Yankees: The Perfect Plan for Miguel Andujar

New York Yankees, Miguel Andujar

Recent reports have indicated that the New York Yankees could be interested in trading away youth prospect, Miguel Andujar. Just two years ago, the third baseman had one of the best rookie seasons in recent memory. Over 573 at-bats, Andujar recorded 27 homers, 47 doubles, 92 RBIs, with a .297 batting average.

However, he missed virtually all of the 2019 season with a torn labrum suffered early on in the year. This unfortunate event gave newcomer, Gio Urshela, and opportunity to steal the starting position right out from under him.

The 28-year-old from Columbian recorded a .314 batting average over 442 at at-bats. His 21 homers and 74 RBIs helped the Yankees reach the postseason after a slew of injuries limited them significantly. Also, his defensive attributes far outmatched Andujar’s, as he posted a .954 fielding percentage and just 13 errors over 123 games. The solidification of the third-base position gave the Yankees a boost of confidence when their outfield was in shambles in the infield was dealing with numerous injuries and recovering players.

As usual, the current off-season will be filled with rumors and theoretical trade proposals. The latest involves Pittsburgh Pirate All-Star Josh Bell and Andujar in a multiplayer trade that would bring the first baseman to the Yankees. I don’t believe this would be in the best interest of general manager Brian Cashman, as Andujar has a ton of potential, and his value has been diminished after the significant injury.

What would be the perfect plan for the New York Yankees and Miguel Andujar?

An ideal situation would include Urshela and Andujar splitting time at third base. Some may question this idea due to Miguel’s defensive deficiencies, but the Yankees must increase his value if they wish to gain anything from him in the future.

The better move would be to wait until he is 100% healthy, allowing him to regain his form and then proceed to shop them at the trade deadline next season if the team needs any reinforcements heading into the playoffs. This would give the Bombers time to evaluate his potential and the need for him going into the future. It would also allow them to analyze Urshela to see if he can be a long-term solution on the hot corner.

Yankees, Gerrit Cole updates: “Total Focus” on getting a deal done

New York Yankees, Gerrit Cole

The Yankees entered the offseason with one goal, to supplement their lack of run production after faltering in the playoffs, according to owner Hal Steinbrenner.

Steinbrenner stated before the beginning of free agency:

“If the 2020 season was to start tomorrow, I would feel considerably more confident than I did a year ago at this time,’’ Steinbrenner said. “We will have both Severino and Montgomery back. We now know that [Domingo] German can pitch effectively at this level. And we know [James] Paxton can be the guy that we were hoping for when we made that trade. We have [Masahiro] Tanaka, [J.A.] Happ, [Jonathan] Loaisiga, and perhaps [Deivi] Garcia at some point. A very good rotation.’’

The Yankees’ owner was confident in his starting pitching just a few weeks ago, but since one of the best arms in baseball made it clear he had no preference in his landing spot, Steinbrenner unleashed the hounds.

According to MLB Insider, Jon Heyman, the Yankees have “total focus” on completing a deal with Cole, a player who evaded the organization in 2008 after the MLB Draft to join UCLA, and then again in a trade between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Houston Astros some years later.

Now, the Yankees have their third opportunity to sign the best arm on the market, and it seems as if they have the authority to unload all the stops in an attempt to lure him to the Bronx. Cole grew up a die-hard Yankee fan, which benefits their chances, but he also lived on the West Coast, where he prefers a warmer climate, closer to home.

There are also numerous other teams interested in Cole’s services, including Philadelphia, Texas, the Dodgers and the Angels.

The Yankees are all in:

However, GM Brian Cashman has been given the authorization to offer him a record-breaking contract, which would put the Yankees over the luxury tax threshold but would also put them in a fantastic position to compete for a World Series title in 2020 and beyond.

The question isn’t, are the Yankees interested, the question is, is Cole?

Report: Wilpons would rather sell Mets than have Jeff run the team

New York Mets, Jeff Wilpon

The Wilpons’ sudden decision to sell the majority interest in the New York Mets is apparently the result of an internal family squabble that has been going on for years.

With patriarch Fred Wilpon now 83 years of age, the prospect of his heirs running the team in the future must have spooked him into selling rather than have them, son Jeff in particular, squander the family’s prized asset.

In a report from the New York Times, the family feud between Jeff and his brother, Bruce, goes back years and without Fred around to mediate and mitigate, it is feared the franchise would be in incapable hands. Thus, the agreement to have billionaire minority owner Steven A. Cohen increase his stake in the team in increments over the next five years was made.

Form the Times:

With Fred Wilpon, 83, and his siblings aging, their children were increasingly wary of having Jeff Wilpon, their aggressive, short-tempered relative, in charge of the family’s most valuable heirloom. That issue will go away with a deal to sell Cohen 80 percent of the franchise that will give the family a huge profit, considering what the Wilpons paid each time they increased their stake in the Mets.

 

Tensions between Jeff Wilpon and his relatives have been brewing for years. Many of them work with Sterling Equities, the family’s closely held umbrella company, but the baseball team, which last won a World Series in 1986 — before the family took full control — was largely Jeff’s domain.

 

For years, some family members have questioned his choices behind the scenes.

The disdain for Jeff goes back even before the Wilpons took control of the team from partner Nelson Doubleday in 2002.

During the years he controlled the team, Nelson Doubleday had insisted that neither his children nor Wilpon’s have a role within the team. Insiders at the time said it was well known that the purpose of the rule to was exclude Jeff Wilpon, who had played baseball at Palm Beach State College and was even drafted twice by major league organizations.

 

“Doubleday was very hard on Jeff,” one executive said.

Met fans can thank Fred for his foresight. Had he not made the choice to sunset his family’s interest out of Flushing, the fans would have been subject to an unfettered era of Jeff running the team with no governor to control him.

Now, we don’t know what kind of owner Cohen will be, but we do know he is a genuine billionaire without the entanglements Fred had (see Madoff) but he also doesn’t come with a pristine past. Cohen was slapped with a $1.8 billion fine in 2013 for insider trading.

This 26 Man Roster is the Best the New York Yankees Can Field In 2020

New York Yankees, Aaron Hicks

The New York Yankees roster for 2020 will look a little different. For starters, it’ll be a 26 man team from April to September 1, with only 2-3 more players joining the team in September. Much is being speculated about the Yankees trading Andujar AND Voit to the Pirates for Bell (idiocy), but THIS is the 26 man roster the Yankees should field.

Position Players and Bench

Next year will be a 13/13 player split between the pen and the rest of the team. Now, there’s one of two ways the Yankees could go. They can either bring Brett Gardner back (which I think is the prudent move), or let him walk. So, here’s the roster without Brett Gardner:

Catcher: Sanchez. First: Voit. Second: DJ (I assume that they’ll still move Torres to short). Short: Gleyber. Third: Urshela. Left: Stanton. Center: Tauchman. Right: Judge. Bench: Higashioka, Ford, Andujar, Wade, Frazier.

If they do the smart thing and bring Gardner back: Gardner slides into center field, and Tauchman replaces Frazier.

Pitchers

13 pitchers on the team, 5 will be reserved for the starting rotation. I won’t comment about that till pitchers and catchers report. So here’s the best bullpen option for the New York Yankees.

Chapman, Britton, and Ottavino are all under contract. The fact that during the course of the season they were all good/All Star caliber makes it easy enough to justify bringing them all back for next season. So now, there are 4 spots left.

Chad Green and Tommy Kahnle proved to be more than adequate pitchers. They should fill 2 of the 4 spots. Jordan Montgomery should be your long innings man for the season (or Happ if Monty beats him for a spot in the rotation), and the last spot should be reserved for Devi Garcia. Bring him up, and see what he can do. Right there, you got two starter caliber pitchers who can fill in for hurt members of the rotation (which we know will happen).

And there you have it. The perfect 26 man roster for the NY Yankees.

The New York Mets would be wise to give Taijuan Walker a shot

New York Yankees, Taijuan Walker

Taijuan Walker, the former top prospect from the Seattle Mariners’ farm system, is now a free agent. The Arizona Diamondbacks, his team for the last three seasons, decided to non-tender him. Could the New York Mets be interested?

In fact, they should be, as there is an obvious match. Walker is talented and young (27 years old), and the fact that the Mets don’t need him to be a frontline starter should ease any unrealistic expectations.

Would he be a fit with the New York Mets?

The Mets currently employ two-time Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, last year trade deadline acquisition Marcus Stroman, and homegrown lefty Steven Matz as its top four options for the rotation. They need a fifth starter, and Walker needs a job.

However, the Mets have more than a job to offer him. In New York, he will play in a competitive environment but without having to carry the load on his shoulders. The team needs him to take the ball every fifth day.

Walker would be perfect for the New York Mets. They are looking for a fifth starter, yes, but the right-hander has a solid floor and considerable upside, even if he is unlikely ever to return ace-like performance at this point. The team should bet on that upside.

His career so far

Throughout his career, Walker has been known for two reasons. One is his undeniable talent as a pitcher, and the other one is, sadly, for being notoriously injury-prone.

Here is a sneak peek of his injury history:

  • 2014: right shoulder impingement
    2016: right foot tendinitis
    2017: right index finger blister
    2018: Tommy John surgery (with additional complications)

After a very promising 2017 in which he accumulated 2.5 fWAR as a 24-year-old, his career seemed to be about to blast off. Instead, the right forearm inflammation that initial studies showed in 2018 took a turn for the worse when TJ was recommended.

He underwent surgery three starts into his 2018 season, and after several months of rest and rehab, he returned to a major league mound for a scoreless inning on September 29, 2019, against the San Diego Padres.

In his only appearance, he faced four batters and allowed one hit, surrendering no runs and notching a strikeout. His fastball averaged 93.3 mph, according to Fangraphs, almost two mph slower than his 95.2 marks, the highest of his career, in 2014 with the Mariners. Yet, there shouldn’t be any reasons to worry about his velocity, since the number isn’t that far off his 93.9 mph of 2017, his best season.

His most recent successful campaign

Speaking of 2017, it is the latest blueprint of what we can expect from Walker as a starter. Mets fans, take notice!

That year, he had a 3.49 ERA and a 4.04 FIP in 28 starts (157.1 frames.) He had a good, but not great 8.35 K/9 and 3.49 BB/9, with a healthy 48.9 groundball rate.

His fastball is a vital pitch in his arsenal, as he throws it around 55-60 percent of the time. If he can at least approach 94 mph, as he did in 2017 and early 2018, it will be huge for him as his control and command aren’t elite.

His split-finger is his favorite secondary weapon (per Savant), and he has thrown active cutters and curves in the past. He can likely be had in a one-year deal, so it probably won’t cost the New York Mets too much money to give him an opportunity and see if he can regain the feel for his breaking ball and if his fastball velocity can come all the way back. He is worth the shot.

It’s more on Gerrit Cole now to decide if he wants to be a New York Yankee

New York Yankees, Gerrit Cole

The New York Yankees are all in on Gerrit Cole. Hal Steinbrenner is allowing Brian Cashman and the front office to set a record deal to go land Cole, which could be anywhere from 250 million and up.

Since the Yankees are pretty much giving Cole a blank check, it’s all on him now to decide whether or not he wants to be a Yankee. The Bombers offer everything he could want: a winning future and a huge payday. If he doesn’t end up with the Yankees, it’s simply because he didn’t want to be in pinstripes.

Playing in New York isn’t for everyone. Handling the spotlight and dealing with the “Yankee effect” is challenging, no matter what player and how talented you are. It does seem that Cole is the kind of guy that feeds off this kind of energy though. The Houston fans are similar to the Bronx during postseason baseball and Cole has already proved he can perform at the biggest stage in Major League Baseball.

It’s believed that the New York Yankees are a favorite to land Cole since they are the team that could offer the most financially and are the best fit for Cole’s goals in baseball. He made it clear to Brian Cashman and the Yankees that he has no West Coast bias and the Yankees made it clear to Cole that “the dollars will be there.”

General manager Cashman believes that Cole would be a good fit for the club as well. Besides being one of the best, if not the best, pitchers in all of baseball, Cashman said in an interview that ever since the Yankees originally drafted him they knew he was genuinely a good person and great teammate.

All the positives are just more of a reason to go out and get a stud. It’s time that the Yankees actually make a big move and pick up a huge part that they’re missing.