New York Giants Still Pick Second, Predicted To Take Chase Young

The New York Giants scared their fans on Sunday by beating the Miami Dolphins, which not only broke their losing streak but endangered their draft position. While fans obviously weren’t happy about the streak, at this point in the season it seems like losing out might be the best option long term. The Giants won’t improve without a strong draft and the difference in picking one or two spots lower could have a large impact on the amount of success the Giants have with their rebuild.

However, it doesn’t look like anyone has to worry about the Giants slipping in their draft position just yet. They’ve survived the week without dropping, and would still pick second overall if the draft were to happen today. The Bengals are, of course, the team that’s ahead of them right now – and if the Bengals take Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Joe Burrow with the first pick, it would leave the Giants to take the defensive player that they’re looking for: pass rusher Chase Young.

In Todd McShay’s first mock draft for 2020, the Giants select Young while picking at second overall – a prediction that will surprise absolutely nobody.

The Giants need help everywhere, especially on defense. Enter Young and his 16.5 sacks. New York hasn’t had anyone hit double-digit sacks since 2014 (Jason Pierre-Paul, 12.5), and Young is the best edge-rushing prospect I’ve seen since Von Miller entered the draft. The Heisman Trophy finalist would be a fantastic get for this rebuilding club.

For that prediction to pan out, however, the Giants will need to hold onto the pick, which is easier said than done. Losing out might be a must, since the Dolpins and the Redskins currently have the same record and the Giants only hold the number two spot by virtue of complex tiebreakers.

If the Redskins or Dolphins lose out and the Giants win one of their next two games, the Giants’ hopes of getting the player that they need from this draft will drop dramatically – so ironically enough, fans may just have to hope the team continues to do what it’s done for most of this season, and lose the last two games to ensure that Chase Young is available when the Giants make their pick next year in the Draft.

New York Yankees: Gerrit Cole To Be Introduced On Wednesday

New York Yankees, Gerrit Cole

New York Yankees new ace Gerrit Cole is set to be formally introduced on Wednesday. He’s been in New York for a few days and has passed his physical, allowing the signing to go through.

The 29 year old from Newport Beach, California signed a nine year, $324 million deal with the team last week. The deal set the record for the greatest average salary per year in a deal.

Cole was born and raised a Yankee fan, and was even drafted by the team in 2008. But, he decided to go to UCLA for three years before becoming the first overall pick in the 2011 draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The righty comes to a Yankees team just a few pieces away from a World Series. Now the team’s goal is resign Dellin Betances to bolster their bullpen for their 2020 run.

Cole will be introduced on Wednesday at 11am from Yankee Stadium. The introduction will be televised on YES. He will be accompanied by his wife, Brian Cashman, Aaron Boone, Matt Blake, Scott Boras, and others.

This is such a huge deal for the team and baseball as a whole. The Yankees are now the clear cut favorite to win the World Series and will look for Cole to lead them there.

This team could be a lot like the Red Sox team of 2018. A lot of guys are ready to have huge seasons and are hoping to play out of their mind in 2020. This team is good enough to win 110 games, we’ll just see if they can actually do it.

New York Giants: DeAndre Baker Improving Every Week

New York Giants, DeAndre Baker

The New York Giants picked up their third win of the season this week. The Giants beat the Miami Dolphins 36-20 to improve their season record to 3-11. There were a few notable individual performances this week: Saquon Barkley rushed for 112 yards, Shepard caught 9 passes for 111 yards, and Sam Beal had 8 combined tackles with a safety.

There was another performance on the defensive side of the ball that was worth discussing. Rookie cornerback DeAndre Baker put together another solid game, continuing his season’s turnaround.

Baker was drafted in the first round by the Giants in this year’s draft. For most of the season, Baker has not looked worthy of that high draft selection. However, DeAndre has turned it around recently and has started playing some impressive football. 

DeAndre Baker’s Week 15 Performance

For most of the game, DeAndre Baker got the best of Dolphins’ wide receiver DeVante Parker. Parker did manage to haul in a robust touchdown reception on Baker in garbage time, but even that was a play that Baker had mostly good coverage. It was less of a poor play by DeAndre and more of an incredible play by DeVante.

DeAndre Baker recorded a respectable 5 tackles against the Dolphins. He also added 3 pass breakups and rarely allowed DeVante Parker to record a reception.

One play to note in Baker’s Week 15 performance can be looked at as both a positive and a negative. DeAndre was called for a pass interference penalty in this game, where he broke on the ball and got there a little early. Baker hit the intended receiver before the ball got there; thus, the penalty call was justified.

However, the bright side of this play is the fact that Baker actually made the play. Sure, he got there a bit too early, but he still got there. Had Baker taken a slightly better angle towards the ball (one where the receiver did not impede his ability to get his hands on the ball), DeAndre would have been taking that pass home for six points.

At the beginning of the season, this was a ply that Giants fans could not even picture Baker making. Whenever the ball was thrown DeAndre’s way, and he was beaten, he was always beaten bad. Too bad to make a play on the ball. But in recent weeks, the first-round corner has been making plays.

DeAndre Baker has recorded 5 pass breakups in the past two weeks. The rookie cornerback has turned a corner and is showing steady improvement week-to-week. The Giants should be highly encouraged seeing their first-round cornerback putting his game together towards the end of the 2019 season- a hopeful sign for 2020 and beyond.

New York Giants place TE Evan Engram on injured reserve

New York Giants, Evan Engram

The New York Giants elected to place tight end, Evan Engram, on injured reserve Tuesday afternoon among several roster moves. The starting tight end has missed the past few weeks with a mid-foot sprain, and while he was expected to have a 2-4 week timetable for return, Engram was unable to heal correctly over that span.

The pass-catching tight end will finish the year with 467 yards and three scores, his worst statistical totals to date. GM Dave Gettleman may look into trading Engram during the offseason, as rookie Kaden Smith has climbed the depth chart and proven to be a capable pass catcher.

Engram’s inability to stay on the field has hurt his production and, ultimately, the consistency of the offense. With no end in sight regarding his injury issues, it might be best to seek draft capital for his services. Alternatively, he will go into the fourth year of his rookie contract, looking to excel in an attempt to garner a significant extension for the future.

 

The New York Yankees trading J.A. Happ is inevitable

New York Yankees, J.A. Happ

It finally happened. The New York Yankees made the sexy free-agent splash that all fans have been begging for over the last few years when they reeled in their “White Whale” Gerrit Cole. The Yankees gave Cole a record-breaking 9-year, $324 million contract to come in and be the ace of the staff.

With Cole now in the fold, the Yankees are looking to deal J.A. Happ. Last offseason, The Yankees signed J.A. Happ to a 2-year, $34 million contract with a $17 million vesting option for 2021. The Yankees were familiar with Happ and loved his track-record in the AL East, specifically in the Bronx. They were able to acquire J.A. Happ in July of 2018 for Brandon Drury and Billy McKinney. In his first half-season with the Yanks, Happ was tremendous posting a 7-0 record with a 2.69 ERA.

Happ didn’t even come close to living up to his new contract in 2019, posting a 12-8 record with a 4.91 ERA and a FIP of 5.22 (Baseball-Reference). Throughout the year, I didn’t notice a tremendous drop-off in Happ’s stuff, but he could not keep the ball in the ballpark. Despite having a bounce-back September, Happ did not start a single game in the postseason, which saw the Yankees again fall short of making the World Series. Now that the Yankees have Gerrit Cole and a payroll that has swelled to close to $260 million, it’s time for them to shed some salary and dump J.A. Happ.

Now, you’d think with the numbers that he posted last year, there wouldn’t be a ton of interest in clubs picking up Happ’s $17 million contract. However, multiple teams have been talking to the Yankees about Happ, Empire Sports Media has learned. Teams that have reached out to the Yankees include the Brewers, Blue Jays, Rangers, Padres, and Angels.

Happ has a career track-record as a solid starting pitcher, and with the prices going drastically up for starting pitching, Happ is an attractive commodity. To me, the Brewers make a lot of sense for Happ as they are looking for another starting pitcher and currently have a hole at third that could be filled by Miguel Andujar.

Where could Happ land if the New York Yankees trade him?

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic has been reporting that the Yankees are “the most active pursuer” of Brewers’ All-Star Josh Hader. Could the Yankees package Andujar, Happ, and prospects for the star reliever? The deal is something that could materialize, but I would not hold your breath. Meanwhile, the Angels are a team that is desperate for starting pitching help. After missing out on guys like Cole, Strasburg, and Kluber, you might see the Angels make a push to acquire Happ. The Blue Jays are another team that is looking to add a veteran starter and are interested in a Happ reunion.

What we do know is that unless the Yankees drastically change course, J.A. Happ is not going to be wearing pinstripes next season. The interest is there from multiple clubs, and the Yankees would love to get their payroll down as much as they can. The Yankees currently have 42 men on the active roster factoring in Gerrit Cole and Brett Gardner. Gerrit Cole’s press conference is being rumored to occur tomorrow, December 18th, so we could see a move today. Will it be J.A. Happ?  Time will tell.

Why the New York Yankees should back off Josh Hader

New York Yankees, Josha Hader

While the Yankees are taking their time with Milwaukee Brewer’s left-handed relief pitcher Josh Hader in a potential trade, there’s reported interest between the two sides that could lead to an agreement. According to NY Post’s Joel Sherman, the Yanks aren’t having “active dialogue” with the Brewers regarding Hader but have serious interest in his talents.

Before the offseason began, owner Hal Steinbrenner and GM Brian Cashman vowed to consider all offers that came across their desk, and they’ve indeed expressed interest in just about everyone. However, Hader has emerged as a surprise candidate to go to the Bronx, but the package deals that are plastered across the internet seem to be far fetched.

One website claims that the Yankees giving up Gleyber Torres and Luis Severino should be enough to land Hader. Yes, you can have your morning chuckle now. One thing is right, though, Cashman would have to part ways with significant talent to land the dominant bullpen arm, and I don’t believe he’s willing to accommodate any wild Brewers requests.

What does this Yankees interest say for Dellin Betances?

Betances is likely on his way out after suffering multiple injuries in 2019, one of which ended his season after a lengthy comeback in September. A torn Achilles tells the story for Betances, who failed to contribute more than two strikeouts on the year, despite the Yankees making the playoffs and climbing to the 100-win mark.

The 31-year-old was one of the best relievers in baseball from 2014-2018, logging a 2.22 ERA and striking out 14.6 batters per nine. He’s in search of a one-year deal to reset his market and earn a significant contract over multiple years. The Yankees aren’t opposed to the idea of bringing him back, but they don’t feel his services are worth the one-time payment he will garner on the open market. They feel comfortable sticking with Chad Green and Zack Britton on the back-end of games, and adding Gerrit Cole will allow the bullpen to rest more frequently.

Should the Yankees remain persistent for Hader?

The reason the Yankees shouldn’t consider Hader is due to his price-tag. At 25-years-old and a 2.52 ERA over two seasons, Josh is still under team control for four more years, which is extremely valuable and will force any team to over-compensate for his services. If the Bombers were smart, they would sit back and make a last-second offer before the close of free agency that’s tailored around the Brewers’ weaknesses. It would have to include at least one top prospect.

The New York Mets’ Jeff McNeil is drawing trade interest

The New York Mets’ most glaring weakness to this point remains the bullpen. The offense is very good and will be even better if Yoenis Cespedes manages to play at some point in 2020. The rotation, once top-heavy, is now deep with six reliable options to start.

The biggest question mark going to the new year is, therefore, the relief corps. The Mets re-signed Brad Brach but haven’t done much since, focusing on adding starters Michael Wacha and Rick Porcello to one-year deals.

Those two additions mean that Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo will start the season in the bullpen. Dellin Betances remains unsigned and can be an option via free agency.

The Mets have entertained the idea of trading outfielder Brandon Nimmo, but they don’t want to sell low. Dominic Smith and J.D. Davis’ names have also surfaced in the market.

Teams asking about the Mets’ hitting machine

But the newest name to be thrown around in the seemingly never-ending rumors is Jeff McNeil. He was the New York Mets’ leader in wRC+ in 2019, along with Pete Alonso, with 143.

McNeil is still in his prime, at age 27, so he would fetch a significant return. According to Newsday’s Tim Healey, “many teams recently have asked the Mets about Jeff McNeil.”

He says that while the Mets have “indulged that interest with what-if scenarios,” they have resisted the idea of trading him or seriously consider doing so. As the writer notes, it would take a haul for the Mets to move a rising batting machine with an All-Star in his resume.

Highly unlikely to move

Additionally, he has five more seasons of team control. The Mets aren’t moving Jeff McNeil. But other teams are asking anyway because it doesn’t hurt to ask.

In 567 plate appearances with the New York Mets, McNeil hit 23 home runs, scored 83 runs and drove in 75. He had a 6.2 BB % and a very good 13.2 K %. His slash line was .318/.384/.531. He had a 4.6 fWAR season.

 

New York Mets rumors: Dellin Betances’ tug-o-war, Rick Porcello, the rotation and more!

New York Yankees, New York Mets, Dellin Betances

The New York Mets are reportedly looking to improve their bullpen. They are keeping an eye on Yankees’ castoff Dellin Betances, who missed almost all of 2019 with lat, shoulder, and Achilles issues. The chances of a signing are looking slim now, however.

The offense looks set, as does the starting rotation. An improvement in center field is also in the cards, but it is not a pressing need.

Teams have been sniffing around the Mets’ roster, and have asked about Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil, and others. The club, however, will most likely keep the two building blocks.

Barring a high-profile acquisition for a center fielder or a J.D. Davis or Dominic Smith trade, the Mets’ roster figures to have only minor tweaks from now on.

Here are the New York Mets’ news and rumors of the day:

Jon Heyman: Dellin Betances, a Mets’ free agent target this offseason, is now unlikely to sign with the team, per Heyman. Going into the night, New York and Philadelphia were the most “prominent” suitors, but it looks like the Phillies may be in pole position now.

Jon Heyman: Additionally, Heyman reports that Betances is looking to sign a one-year deal in the $10 million range. The only reason why Betances is seeking a short-term deal is because he was injured for most of the 2019 season. However, from 2014 to 2022, he was among the most dominant relievers in baseball with a 2.22 ERA.

Anthony DiComo: Rick Porcello, the latest high-profile free-agent signing of the New York Mets, was introduced yesterday. In his conference call, he said that “this is a big deal for me. I grew up a lifelong Mets fan as a kid. To get the opportunity to play for the organization that I cheered on for so many years is a huge honor.”

Devan Fink: The Mets’ rotation is now among the deepest in baseball. The group has Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman, Steven Matz, Michael Wacha, and Rick Porcello.

Here are the best rotations in baseball, according to 2020 projected WAR:

  1. Nationals — 19.2
  2. Yankees — 19.1
  3. Mets — 18.1
  4. Rays — 17.2
  5. Dodgers — 16.5
  6. Reds — 16.5*
  7. Astros — 16.0
  8. Rangers — 15.7
  9. Indians — 15.3
  10. Red Sox — 14.6

New York Giants: Darius Slayton Continuing to Show his Value

New York Giants, Darius Slayton

New York Giants rookie receiver Darius Slayton once again proved he was a steal in last year’s draft during Big Blue’s first win in over two months. While Sunday was a little less productive than other weeks, his success was still present. After missing the first two games of the season due to injury, Slayton has looked even more promising as each week goes by. Through his first 12 career games, it looks as though the Giants might have their No. 1 receiver of the future.

Why Darius Slayton is the Giants No. 1 Receiver of the Future:

His consistency and impact this season

Every skill player on the Giants has missed at least two games this season. Some have been due to suspensions, while others have dealt with injuries. Since missing the first two games of this season though, Slayton has been healthy every single week. He’s the only playmaker on the team that has been active every week since week three. But not only has he been healthy, but he has been a strong weapon in the Giants offense.

He is the team’s leading receiver, posting 690 yards receiving on 44 receptions. His 8 receiving touchdowns are not only the most on the Giants, but they are among the most in all of the NFL. His skillset works perfectly for a Giants offense that has players that thrive off of quick passes: Golden Tate and Sterling Shepard. He also allows running back Saquon Barkley to find success, as he makes opposing team’s defenses respect the possibility of a deep pass.

His impressive numbers compared to other rookies

To be considered one of the best, you will be compared to others. Slayton matches up quite strongly with the other receivers of his draft class – many of which were taken on days one and two. His previously mentioned 8 receiving touchdowns are the most among all rookie receivers. He is in the top five among all rookies in receiving yards, receptions, and yards per reception (15.7).

His unique skillset

When a player starts to find success in the league, they gain comparisons to other players. Slayton recently has been compared to former Giants first-round pick, Hakeem Nicks. Nicks was a big body receiver with great hands, traits that Slayton has showcased this entire season. What makes him even more impressive though, is his speed and ability to get behind defenses and catch the deep ball.

Since day one, Slayton has shown that he has the potential to be the Giants No. 1 receiver of the future. And up to this point of his young career, it looks as though he could be one of the playmakers of the future for Big Blue.

The New York Knicks need to move on from Smith Jr.

New York Knicks, Dennis Smith Jr.

New York Knicks point guard Dennis Smith Jr. is not having the year fans thought he would.  Smith has had a lot of hardships this season both on and off the court.

This off-season Smith tried to revamp his shot.  He tucked his elbow in more and it appeared like he was making some waves.  The Knicks were excited to see what Smith could bring to the team this season.  However, his shot is anything but improved.

Over the last ten games, Smith is playing 20 minutes while averaging 5.1 points, shooting 26.7% from the field.  Not what fans would’ve expected after seeing all the promising videos from the work he put in this summer.  Maybe he needed to work more on his shot instead of impromptu dunk contests.

He has been greatly under-performing, partly due to a loss in his family.  Smith was away from the Knicks for several games coping with the sudden loss of his stepmother.  Words can’t make any death situation better and one can’t imagine trying to get back to playing basketball after losing someone close.

Smith’s play has been lacking this season.  He has spurts when he looks like he might be regaining some old pep in his step but that has been rare.  Smith still came to camp out-of-shape and it can still be seen by his lackluster, slow transition defense.

The New York Knicks have moved more towards Elfrid Payton and Frank Ntilikina has a primary backcourt under Mike Miller.

Since returning from his hamstring injury, Payton has been playing extremely well.  He pushes the pace and the team has been responding to this effort.  Ntilikina continues to impress on both sides of the floor, especially defensively.  Miller likes what these two bring together as it finally seems they may be onto something.

Smith didn’t play the last two games due to a ‘coach’s decision’.  As Ntilikina and Payton continue to impress, it is clear that Smith is taking a backseat to them.  It may be time to move on from Smith which would be one less player in the crowded backcourt.  New York might not be the place Smith.