New York Giants Still Struggling With Injuries At Season’s End

New York Giants, Corey Ballentine

The New York Giants have one game left and they have a chance to knock the Philadelphia Eagles out of the playoffs – however, it won’t be easy for them. Not just because they’re facing the top ranked team in the NFC East but because they’re coming into the game with some injuries on their own end, which will be familiar at this point for Giants fans after the team has spent most of the season banged up.

Some players might be back but the general trend of having multiple starters out with injuries will likely continue based on who was at practice on Wednesday – or rather, who was listed as participating and who wasn’t. The Giants didn’t practice on Wednesday but released an injury report regardless, showing who would have been kept out.

Corey Ballentine was marked out with a knee injury, Mike Remmers out with a concussion, Alec Ogletree with a back injury, and Lorenzo Carter with a knee injury.

These players aren’t exactly at unimportant positions, either – the offensive line hasn’t picked up a lot of praise this season and it’s debatable if Saquon Barkley will be able to repeat his big performance form last Sunday if the Giants have to deal with an injury at tackle.

Then again, the Giants were able to pull out the win despite Remmers having to leave the game last week with his concussion. Remmers only played in 17 snaps, or 24% for the game.

Ballentine is part of a secondary that would do good to not lose more players after its leader, Janoris Jenkins, was already waived earlier in the season. He had no insignificant part in the Giants’ win on Sunday as a member of the secondary who played 77% of the game’s snaps, making 5 combined tackles in the effort.

But with the Giants out of the playoffs and fighting to keep their high draft pick, a loss on Sunday likely wouldn’t bother too many people. And it’s definitely not any easier for the Giants to win this week, with a number of injuries to starters once again. That assumes, of course, that none of the players marked out on Wednesday bounce back in time for the game on Sunday.

Is Kaden Smith The New York Giants’ True Tight End Of The Future?

New York Giants, Kaden Smith

The New York Giants have dealt with a multitude of injuries during this 2019 NFL season. While these injuries do not excuse the team’s lack of success, they certainly do not help the team improve. But, in some rare cases, these injuries allowed for a few bright spots to shine through.

Young, backup players thrust into starting roles were able to make a name for themselves this season. The Giants are a rebuilding team and have started rookies just about everywhere. And some of these rookies have been pleasantly surprising.

Nick Gates has stood out on the offensive line, Julian Love has made plays at safety, and Darius Slayton has gotten better with every role increase. And now, towards the season’s end, another rookie has flashed starter-potential. Undrafted rookie tight end Kaden Smith has been reliable, consistent, and healthy, and could find himself in a prominent role next season.

Injuries at Tight End

The Giants have dealt with a cornucopia of injuries at the tight end position. Evan Engram started the season off hot before being shut down with a season-ending injury. Despite playing in only 8 games, Engram totaled 467 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns on 44 receptions. Additionally, the Giants’ backup tight end, Rhett Ellison, suffered an injury in Week 10 and has not seen the field since. 

Evan Engram is a super versatile, ultra-talented player at his position. He has shown more than enough to instill belief in the Giants that he can be one of the league’s best tight ends. Unfortunately, injuries continue to get in the way. Engram played in only 11 games last year, and that number fell to only 8 games this year. If Evan Engram wants to have a future on this team, he needs to prove he can stay healthy.

The extraordinary talent and athletic ability of Evan Engram could garner excellent trade offers in the offseason. The Giants, being that they are rebuilding their roster, could look to trade Evan away for draft picks. While some might say this would be giving up on a player too soon, others would point out that it is not worth it to pay a player who is injured too often to play, and could be worth a pretty penny in the trade market. Not to mention, the Giants might have found a diamond in the rough to replace Evan Engram.

Kaden Smith Stats and Highlights

One knock on Evan Engram through his first three seasons has been his subpar blocking. Admittedly, he has improved every year. However, he is still more of a receiver playing tight end than anything. But the Giants’ current starting tight end has shown he can do a bit of both.

Kaden Smith, the undrafted rookie out of Standford, is an excellent blocker from the tight end position. He has done a superb job as a lead blocker since being put into the starting lineup in Week 12. Take this block against the Washington Redskins as a perfect example:

Kaden Smith is not just a great blocking tight end, in any case. Smith can make an impact as a pass-catcher, too. In his 5 games as a starter, Kaden Smith has caught 22 of his 30 targets (73% catch rate) for 170 yards and 3 touchdowns. He has been one of the most dependable receivers on the field for the Giants.

He might not have the athletic ability and positional versatility that Evan Engram has, but Kaden Smith has the toughness, grit, and dependability that is necessary at his position. Kaden’s game-winning touchdown against the Redskins is an excellent example of how he has enough speed and route-separation to make plays as a tight end.

Evan Engram is hugely talented. The Giants should probably give him another season to prove he can stay healthy and productive. But if they decide to take what they can get for him instead, it looks like the tight end position will be in good hands.

The top four batters in the Yankees’ projected lineup are intimidating

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The Yankees will move forward into the 2020 season with a very similar batting order from this past year, featuring a slew of premium-level sluggers than can change the course of a game at any given time. However, they have also infused some of the game’s best contact hitters into the mix to ensure they maximize the home-run totals they’re predicted to reach every season.

The first four batters in the Yankees’ projected lineup are stellar, and any opposing pitcher will have an incredibly difficult time working through them. Taking pitches, swinging at pitches in the zone, and remaining patient are all mantras for the Bombers’ hitters in 2020, especially Gary Sanchez, who swung at more ghosts than baseballs in 2019.

Here are the projected top four for the New York Yankees:

Leading off, Dj LeMahieu will once again be the primary option, as he logged an incredible 85.5% contact rate last season with the Yankees. A majority of his at-bats (539) came at the leadoff spot, where he earned a .325 BA and 25 homers. There’s no question he will once again slide into that active role once more, as setting up Aaron Judge to utilize his high home run percentage is the priority.

That leads us to Judge, who spent a fair amount of 2019 on the injured list, recovering from multiple ailments, notably a wrist injury he suffered on a hit-by-pitch. Judge featured in the two-hole for almost all of his at-bats (373), earning a 2.76 batting average with 27 homers and 55 RBIs. Believe it or not, his HR totals took a dip in 2019, as he missed 63 total games. Theoretically, if Judge had started every game, he would have earned 44 homers.

If The Judge can remain healthy next season, he is set to have another behemoth campaign, and while he wasn’t playing at peak performance in 2019, he still managed to claw his way to a productive campaign.

In the third spot, Gleyber Torres is expected to move up the batting order. Torres logged a .278 BA and 37 homers last season, solidifying himself as one of the top hitters for the Yankees. His 72.9% contact rate isn’t even in the same stratosphere at LeMahieu’s, but he’s still a quality hitter that’s always growing. I believe his contact percentage will take a nice jump next season, but he must remain disciplined at the plate. Nonetheless, his power has been exciting, and slotting him in between Judge and Giancarlo Stanton will be intimidating.

As for Stanton, who will bat cleanup, it’s unfair to use his 2019 totals as a testament to his abilities. Having earned just 59 at-bats, we can backtrack to his 2018 season to project what he’s capable of.

Stanton’s 37.9% contact rate was abysmal in 2018, but the highest its ever been was 42.8% in 2015. The Yankees didn’t trade for him to remain disciplined in the strike zone, they brought him in to hit home-runs and swing at pitches in the dirt as a consequence of his long-ball eye. Stanton is two years removed from a 59 home-run season, and if he can even come close to replicating that number in 2020, the Yankees will be in good shape.

Chance Adams, An Example of the New York Yankees Holding On

New York Yankees, Chance Adams

It’s the 2017-2018 offseason, and Brian Cashman has Neal Huntington on the phone. The conversation was regarding Gerrit Cole, who the New York Yankees hoped to acquire to make a World Series run. The Pirates wanted Miguel Andujar, Clint Frazier, and Chance Adams. The Yankees simply didn’t want to have to give up three talented prospects and would’ve made the deal most likely if Adams was not part of the demands. The Yankees would come to regret that decision, even though they have Cole now, they could’ve had him a while ago. Why was Adams so highly valued?

A Hot Start

Chance Adams had posted a sub 3.00 ERA in every season of his minor league career up to 2017. In 2017 he posted a 15-5 record with a 2.45 ERA in 150.1 innings with a 1.078 WHIP in his career. He was dominant, and being 22 years old meant that the Yankees assumed he was going to be in the rotation in either 2018 or 2019. He was a very valuable piece for the Yankees, a diamond in their embarrassment of riches in the farm system. The diamond turned out to be a fake, however.

Starter? Not a Chance

The New York Yankees had high hopes for Adams, however in 2018 he struggled in Triple-A, and when he was promoted to the MLB, he posted an ugly 7.04 ERA in 7.2 innings. He finished his Triple-A season with a career-worst (in the minors) 4.78 ERA win 113 innings. In 2019 things only got worse, as he posted a 4.63 ERA in Triple-A and then in 25.1 MLB innings posted a putrid 8.53 ERA. Chance Adams seemed to be done for, and the Yankees agreed.

New Year, New Team

On December 23rd, Chance Adams was traded away to Kansas City for 21-year-old Christian Perez, an infielder with a weak bat, posting a .631 OPS in his first 4 minor seasons and a career .319 SLG percentage. The Yankees made this move after DFAing him, so they were set on getting rid of Adams. This was a move to make space for none other than Gerrit Cole. The Yankees would love to be able to turn back the clock and pull the trigger on the Cole deal, but maybe the change of scenery will do well for Adams.

Kauffman Kills Hitting

Kauffman Stadium is well regarded for deep fences that make it a pitcher-friendly park. This could benefit the young righty as to be able to find some form of success that could give him confidence. This could lead to Adams finding footing, consistency, and most importantly, a job in the MLB. Adams will probably never be the sub 3.00 ERA guy again, but he could be a mid 3.00 ERA guy. At age 24 the Royals have a controllable young starter who can perhaps turn a corner but had no future in New York.

How will Chance Adams’ career end up? Will he succeed for the Royals or will he fade away into irrelevancy?

New York Knicks Are In The Midst Of A Painful Rebuild

New York Knicks coach Mike Miller has the Knicks playing inspired basketball in spurts. The young team suffered an embarrassing loss to the short-handed Washington Wizards at MSG on December 23rd, 2019. These are the kind of losses that make people second-guess the talent on the roster from top to bottom. Wouldn’t be surprised if the Knicks are busy before the trade deadline.

Playing through struggles should be what it’s all about right now for the Knicks. Therefore, the young players must play significant minutes for the rest of the season. However, what should happen might not happen especially when it comes to the unpredictable franchise of the New York Knicks. Hopefully, David Blatt is making a difference. Maybe Steve Mills could elaborate on that hire.

It’s a difficult rebuilding process that’s on the verge of becoming a nightmare for the Knicks especially if the only minimum improvement is shown.

Next year’s 2020 NBA Draft is what Knick fans are already calling for. Knicks aren’t trying to be bad, yet they’re atrocious. How much patience is left of Knick fans? The majority of fans now don’t know what a good Knicks squad looks like.

Will the trade-deadline help the Knicks gain a piece or two? Definitely a few second round draft picks would be sought after. The NBA Draft no longer caters to the worst team in the league in efforts to deter tanking.

Overall, the Knicks have plenty of work to do from the top down. Unfortunately, everything starts with Dolan. Could Dolan have the Knicks running in a somewhat functional manner like the New York Rangers? We shall see what the future holds on MSG’s wooden floors.

New York Yankees: Luis Severino’s New Weapon

New York Yankees, Luis Severino

It’s funny to me how one injury-plagued season has totally changed the world’s perception of New York Yankees starter, Luis Severino. I have seen a lot of people compare the best rotations in baseball, and they talk about Severino as if he was a middle of the rotation kind of arm. Let’s rewind to his previous two seasons before his injury season of 2019. Combining his stats from 2017 and 2018, Luis Severino had a record of 33-14 with a 3.17 ERA (Baseball-Reference). In both of those seasons, he finished in the top 10 in Cy Young voting for the American League. Luis Severino when healthy is an ace, and he is going to continue to get better.

 

Last year was a bump in the road for Sevy where injuries caused him to only make three starts where he went 1-1 with a 1.50 ERA. There is an expectation that Severino is going to be fully healthy going into 2020 and I fully expect his numbers to be on par with his 2017 and 2018 seasons. However, there is something, better yet, someone who will assist in taking Severino to the next level in 2020. That someone is Gerrit Cole.

Cole’s Impact on Severino

In the past few seasons, there was a lot of pressure on the shoulders of Luis Severino to become the pure ace of the Yankee staff. While he has the stuff to do it, I’m not sure New York Yankees fans ever looked at him the way they are already looking at Gerrit Cole. Now, Severino doesn’t have to be the ace of the staff for the Yankees with Gerrit Cole on the team. The pressure of an ace now belongs on the shoulders of Gerrit Cole. How can this benefit Severino?

 

Luis Severino can go into 2020 loose knowing he doesn’t have to be the ace coming off of an injury season. He can relax and focus on getting his mechanics sharpened. I also expect new pitching Coach Matt Blake to play a key role in Severino’s development this season. But, I also expect the new ace of the staff to play the biggest role in Severino making another jump forward. Gerrit Cole is a natural leader and he loves to share knowledge. He also shares a lot of similarities with the flame thrower from the Dominican Republic and I think he will be able to see that. Both righties have explosive fastballs with knee-buckling off-speed pitches.

 

While Sevy seems to stick to the fastball-slider-changeup pitch mix, Cole features four to five pitches, but they do share a similar mix. I think it is going to do absolute wonders for Severino to learn from a similar pitcher who is at the top of the sport. Gerrit Cole is coming from a situation in Houston where he was part of arguably the best 1-2 pitching punch in baseball. If both guys stay healthy, I think the same could be said for the 1-2 punch he will be a part of in 2020.

Let’s Get Bold

I personally think that Gerrit Cole and Luis Severino will make up the most dominant 1-2 punch in baseball over the next five seasons. Yes, Washington has Scherzer and Strasburg, but Scherzer is continuing to age and Strasburg’s health is always in question. I think Severino is going to continue to get better, and I think Gerrit Cole still has room to get better as a pitcher. I think having each other will bring out a little healthy competition and we will see both guys improve over the next several years. The Yankees might very well have two pitchers who will be fixtures in the top 5 of Cy Young voting for the next five years. That only bodes well for the New York Yankees and their dreams of getting to 30 championships as Gerrit Cole alluded to following his Yankees introduction.

New York Giants: Giant Hearts, Holiday Edition

With the holiday season here, members of the New York Giants and the New York Giants organization did some great work in the community spreading joy and cheer to all!

Here are some of the heartwarming stories from this week:

Chris Peace, Mark McLaurin, and Jon Hilliman teamed up with Dunkin’ Donuts and Wreaths Across America to lay wreaths on the gravesites of our nation’s fallen veterans at Historic Jersey City & Harsimus Cemetery.  Coffee and doughnuts were provided by Dunkin’ Donuts.

The New York Giants held a toy drive along with Modell’s Sporting Goods and Toyota to donate to Marines Toys for Tots, an organization that makes the season brighter for kids who are less fortunate.

New York Giants Nate Solder gave four tickets to the Super Bowl to the 2019 Heart of a Giant winner Duane Coleman II.  Solder told him “You’ve been an incredible inspiration to so many people and you’ve uplifted your entire team with what you’ve done this year and with your life.  So the Giants organization wanted to reward you with four tickets, flights and hotel rooms.”  Solder was just as ecstatic as Coleman to make his day!

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning visited patients at Hackensack Meridian Health New Jersey as part of his extensive support of Tackle Kids Cancer.
New York Giants wide receiver Golden Tate spent some time with our nation’s veterans and their families at the Bronx Fisher Houses.  About his time their Tate tweeted “Love this organization and what they do for our military families! Truly an honor, thank you Fisher House Foundation!”

After practices, members of the New York Giants offensive line (Nate Solder, Mike Remmers, Nick Gates), defensive line (Leonard Williams) and tight ends (Garrett Dickerson) spent time with foster kids from YCS Cares.  Their days were filled with yummy food, an ice cream treat, and fun and games!  Players donated toys and surprised the kids, who were absolutely elated!

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley made a fan’s Christmas wish come true.  A young fan held a poster at the game against the Washington Redskins, which had two very specific wishes: Going to his first NFL game and meeting #26.  Both came true for the boy who was absolutely in shock when #26 himself came over and signed his poster!

New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard partnered with Modell’s Sporting Goods to give members of Harlem Children’s Zone, an organization aimed at eradicating poverty and assisting kids in reaching higher education, a shopping spree.  Each kid received a $200 Modell’s gift card.  Kids had a day full of fun, purchasing sneakers, gear, and other items.  Stressing the importance of school and hard work, Shepard said “It all starts in the classroom.  Colleges they won’t even talk to you if your grades aren’t right.  So take care of school first and then always perfect your craft.  You’re gonna have to stay in the gym or the field longer than a lot of people.  There’s a lot of stuff you gotta sacrifice but you gotta think about the end goal like where you wanna be.”

With the holiday season here it is wonderful to see the work the New York Giants do to spread some cheer to all!  Christmas is a time of joy and blessings and we all deserve the wonderful things life has to offer!

These are just some of the good things that happened this week in the Giants community, stay tuned for next week’s edition!  Wishing you all a joyous and blessed holiday!

New York Yankees: Will Aaron Judge be the The Next Captain?

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge

Ever since the retirement of Derek Jeter, the one universally dubbed “The Captain,” the New York Yankees have not since appointed a new captain of the team to fill that void. There is a multitude of reasons for this, with one of the main, being, who can fill those shoes? Derek Jeter is one of the greatest players ever to step foot on the field, he accomplished more with the Yankees than virtually anyone else and was also the quintessential “Yankee” player. Another reason could be that the Yankees promote the idea that nobody is above the club, and even having the captaincy vacant further reinstates that point. There’s a reason why the players’ names aren’t on the back of the jerseys, as the Steinbrenner family instilled the idea of everyone plays for each other, and the logo and name on the front of the jersey are all that matter.

With that being said, if there were ever to be a player that embodies the Yankee spirit and that team-first mentality within the club, it has to be Aaron Judge. If there were to be a new Yankee captain, his name would be the only one on the list for me.

Why Aaron Judge Would Make the Best Captain

Having been drafted by the Yankees back in 2013, with the final pick in the first round, Aaron Judge has been a name stay within the Yankees system ever since that day. Known mostly for his size and true stature, Judge became one of the most followed prospects in the minor league system before his call-up in 2016 (briefly). His keen eye, incredible power, and humble demeanor combine to form one of the most well-rounded individuals in the entire league. Purely speaking from a baseball perspective, Aaron Judge is one of the best in the game, but that doesn’t mean he should be captain — there are other reasons why. The captain’s band in soccer is worn by those that embody the club, and its values and the same goes for baseball. While Aaron Judge wouldn’t have that band draped across his bicep, the principle remains the same.

For every team, the captain should be one that can lead the troops into battle, while having no fear for what the outcome may be. Aaron Judge does just that. When watching him play, he is never one to gloat or celebrate the jaw-dropping HR’s he hits, and he always put his body on the line for the sake of the team. While the Yankees have had many great players come and go since Jeter’s retirement, few of them have been — in my opinion — as impactful as Aaron Judge. When he was called up in 2016, along with Gary Sanchez and other Yankee “Baby Bombers,” the consensus opinion on the Yankees shifted across the entire league. This was no longer a team with aging veterans that was seemingly on the decline, but instead, one with a blindingly bright future, headlined by the mammoth of a man with a heart of gold, Aaron Judge.

Judge is one of the best personalities in all of baseball, and his active involvement with the fans on social media platforms, meet and greets, and just stopping for pictures and autographs in his daily life, further show that he’s never one to turn down a fan. After Aaron Judge took home the hardware for “Best Defensive Right Fielder in the MLB,” despite only having played in 102 total games last season, he didn’t brag nor did he take in any of the credit for himself. Instead, he chose to thank his teammates and coaches:

For a player of his quality and caliber to be as down to earth as he stems from the way he was raised, and the amount of passion and love he has for the Yankees organization. Not to mention, he will always defend his teammates and coaches until his deathbed. He’s one to accept full responsibility on plays that go awry and is one to immediately shift credit to his teammates, even after a great individual showing. Judge could go 5-5 with 5 HR’s, and if the Yankees were to lose, he wouldn’t mention a single thing about his performance. Having that humility is just what’s needed within the Yankees clubhouse. While I don’t believe that any of the players on the roster have these bloated egos, or perform for themselves, I am undoubtedly positive that Aaron Judge will never put himself before the team.

When Aaron Judge was asked before the 2019 season if he would participate in the Home Run Derby — with the winnings being $1,000,000 — he had this to say in response: “The money doesn’t matter. For me, I did it once. I had a blast with it. But I’m more worried about winning games. I don’t want to get hurt again doing a Derby.” While that may be the case for most players, where they don’t care about these types of competition in the grand scheme of things, Aaron Judge WALTZED through the 2017 HR Derby en route to his victory. He easily could’ve shown up, half-heartedly swung the bat, and smashed 40 HR’s if he wanted to. However, that mentality, to put the team first — even when there’s a definite reason to believe he could’ve won again — and completely ignore the want for more individual attention and accolades, speaks bounds on his character.

Not to mention, Aaron Judge is also actively involved within the community as well, as all his endorsements and partnerships he’s a part of, he remains actively engaged and promotes a positive message as well. One tweet from August of 2018 read “Never Accept Negativity” as part of a partnership with Sharpie, and for one of baseball’s most prominent and brightest stars to actively promote positivity, teamwork, and the strength of faith and relationships is vast for all of baseball. If one were to scroll through Aaron Judge’s twitter, they would see that it is filled with retweets about his teammate’s performances, birthdays, and overall well-being & mixed in with individual tweets that bring his character and class to center stage. Very few players across the league have a good relationship with players of different teams — rivals even, and one of those is Aaron Judge. Never letting baseball interfere with how he acts off the field, he is one of the most respectable and kind men when interacting with other players.

Will There Ever Be Another Yankee Captain?

With all of this being said, there’s a great reason to believe that Judge doesn’t even want the captain’s position and that he feels that the team itself is great the way it is, and having one person above the rest would only hurt the mojo. When asked about who he thinks will be the next captain, Aaron Boone had this to say in September: “I don’t know if we need it — I would always be open to it, but I don’t think it’s something that is particularly needed in baseball. There’s usually enough natural leaders in the clubhouse who come to the forefront anyway.” Brett Gardner would be one of the first names considered, especially with his longevity and similar Yankee mentality to that of Jeter and also Judge. Still, he shows no interest in being offered the captaincy. Gardner, when asked about his opinion on the vacancy in the captain’s role, gave a similar response to that of Boone, saying: “I don’t know if that’s needed — I think we’re doing pretty well without having a captain right now.” I imagine that the same would be said by Judge, in that anything to seemingly separate himself from his teammates, would be immediately shot down by him.

It is fun to dream and imagine what the future could be like, and it seems as if Aaron Judge will be a part of those plans for many years to come. Even with the Yankees signing Gerrit Cole to the lucratively pricey deal of roughly 37 million per year for the next nine years, there has to be a collective opinion and agreement on that Aaron Judge needs to be a part of this team for the rest of his career. I understand the injuries have been problematic the past two seasons, but I attribute that more to freak occurrences (chip fracture in his wrist, a lingering oblique strain, and a shoulder injury) than him not taking the proper approach to keep himself healthy — the Yankees also dismissed Matt Krause from his duties as director of strength & conditioning, after 30 individual Yankees hit the IL this last season — there is definite reason to believe Judge puts together a full and healthy season come 2020.

The Captain’s role is one that may never be filled as well as Jeter did it, as he saw it as an honor and privilege to lead the team and viewed it as a strict regime of quality performances and keeping your head in the game. With that being said, the new order of Aaron Judge and the young Yankees also prioritize winning and that team-first mentality but do it whilst having fun along the way. The Yankees may not need a captain, as they’ve been doing just fine without one, but if the time were to come where Boone asked the locker room who they would like to lead them into battle, Aaron Judge’s name would likely be at the top of that list — as it should be.

New York Yankees news, rumors: A relief pitcher lost to free agency, do the Yanks need a replacement?

New York Yankees, Dellin Betances

The New York Yankees might have secured Gerrit Cole this offseason, but that doesn’t spell the end for general manager Brian Cashman and his eternal quest to build a World Series caliber team. The Yankees have had the talent in recent years to win it all, but a lack of efficiency in specific positions or timely injuries have hurt their chances.

Last season, it was the fatigue of the starting pitching and lack of depth in the bullpen that hurt the Bombers against the Houston Astors. Factor in the absence of run production and Cashman’s head was probably about to explode, especially after trading for Giancarlo Stanton the year prior. The former Marlin logged just 59 at-bats last season, resulting in a lost campaign and millions of dollars slowly swirling down the drain.

However, Cashman has done a stable job retaining essential talent and adding the best pitcher in baseball, even if he overpaid handsomely and offered nine-years. Now, with Dellin Betances signing on with the New York Mets, a team he was rumored to for weeks leading up to the conclusion, the Yanks now have to consider adding another depth piece to the bullpen.

Talks with Josh Hader and the Brewers have been ongoing, but the latest rumors have added Miguel Andujar to the mix, a factor that could have been assumed.

MLB Marathon – #Brewers will more than likely move Hader. #Yankees at the forefront of talks. #Phillies #Dodgers #Dbacks all said to have checked in. Deal could fall as soon as the holidays wrap up.

Consider the source above as you will.

Do the New York Yankees need to replace Betances, even if it’s Hader?

The Bombers managed to win 103 games last year, with Betances pitching in just one contest before tearing his Achilles. Realistically, they don’t necessarily ‘need’ to add another quality arm to the bullpen, but it would undoubtedly help their World Series efforts.

If they can get away with unloading minimal starting talent, that would be the ideal scenario, but the left-handed pitcher is still under team control for four years, increasing his value. Expect the New York Yankees to offer Andujar, Clint Frazier, and a prospect/cash considerations for Hader.

Click here for yesterday’s news/rumors!

New York Giants: Two fantastic alternative draft picks that aren’t named Chase Young

New York Giants, Andrew Thomas, Georgia Bulldogs

With the New York Giants winning two consecutive games, they have effectively put themselves out of Chase Young territory in the 2020 NFL Draft. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, considering the value of a winning culture for the young locker room core of Big Blue, it did ultimately cost them a shot at a generational pass rusher.

However, no player is ever a guaranteed success, which leads us to two other options that could provide a boost for different units. Clemson’s Isaiah Simmons and Georgia’s Andrew Thomas now lead the pack to become New York Giants players in 2020, and selecting either one would be a good move.

The New York Giants should expect Gettleman to harp on the trenches:

It’s likely that GM Dave Gettleman will likely be heading the charge once more for the Giants, and with his preference typically landing on the offensive line, the selection of Thomas could very well be justified.

The first-team All-American is considered to be the most dominant run blocker in the upcoming draft, due to his strength and speed moving linebackers at the second level. If Gettleman is keen on making Saquon Barkley even more useful, Thomas is the right choice here. At 6-foot-5 and 320-pounds, Thomas isn’t easily moved in the trenches, and considering his 13 starts at left tackle this season, the Giants could quickly move on from Nate Solder and plug the Bulldog right into the position.

Alternatively, Thomas could slot in at right tackle, replacing Mike Remmers, who Hal Hunter claims is the leader of the offensive line room.

However, Simmons also offers immense potential and value for the defense. If the Giants feature the 3-4 scheme next season, Simmons would pair well with Ryan Connelly. The Clemson product is often referred to as the best player on the field, and his statistical totals certainly advocate for that statement. His 93 total tackles, 14.5 tackles for a loss, 7.0 sacks, and two interceptions provide enough evidence to make him the Giants’ pick.

Simmons isn’t only an elite tackler, but he’s fantastic in coverage as well. He compares well with Colts’ Darius Leonard, as they both contain top-end speed and versatility unparalleled at the linebacker position.