New York Mets news: Boston hasn’t spoken with Hensley Meulens

The New York Mets news, rumors and links are here! The Boston Red Sox are looking for a manager, but according to recent reports, they haven’t yet talked to New York Mets’ bench coach Hensley Meulens.

A former Met signed with the Yankees in the last few hours, and three former players were announced as new Hall of Fame inductees.

Here are the New York Mets’ daily news and rumors:

Chris Cotillo: According to Chris Cotillo, the Boston Red Sox haven’t yet interviewed Hensley Meulens for their managerial vacancy. Meulens was reportedly considered for the Mets’ job before they decided to give it to Luis Rojas.

Speaking five languages and with a wealth of baseball experience, Meulens is qualified for the job. The Mets hired him to the be the bench coach late last year.

Joel Sherman: A former player of the New York Mets was signed yesterday by the Yankees. Josh Thole, a catcher, joined the cross-town rivals on a minor league deal. According to Joel Sherman, he can make up to $600,000 if he reaches the major leagues.

Thole will have to fight for backup catcher duties with Eric Kratz, Chris Iannetta and favorite Kyle Higashioka.

MLB.com: The New York Mets announced the induction of three former players to the team’s Hall of Fame: Jon Matlack, Ron Darling and Edgardo Alfonzo. The trio will be inducted on Sunday, May 17 prior to the 1:10 p.m. game vs. the Pirates at Citi Field.

Additionally, Al Jackson will be posthumously honored with the Mets Hall of Fame Achievement Award.

Here are all the inductees, and the year in which they earned their place in the Mets’ Hall of Fame: Joan Payson (1981); Casey Stengel (1981); Gil Hodges (1982); George M. Weiss (1982); Johnny Murphy (1983); William A. Shea (1983); Ralph Kiner (1984); Bob Murphy (1984); Lindsey Nelson (1984); Bud Harrelson (1986); Rusty Staub (1986); Tom Seaver (1988); Jerry Koosman (1989); Ed Kranepool (1990); Cleon Jones (1991); Jerry Grote (1992); Tug McGraw (1993); Mookie Wilson (1996); Keith Hernandez (1997); Gary Carter (2001); Tommie Agee (2002); Frank Cashen (2010); Dwight Gooden (2010); Davey Johnson (2010), Darryl Strawberry (2010), John Franco (2012), Mike Piazza (2013), Jon Matlack (2020), Ron Darling (2020) and Edgardo Alfonzo (2020).

New York Yankees: 2 Most Underrated Players on the Yankees

New York Yankees, Tyler Wade

The New York Yankees had a number of surprises last season when several of their big players went down with injuries. There were guys coming up from triple-A that were putting up unbelievable numbers and being a big part of the team’s success. There are a few players this season that are wild cards for the Yankees and are more valuable then people realize.

Tyler Wade

One of the few lefties on the Yankees roster, Tyler Wade’s talent is underappreciated. Wade will never be a high batting average hitter but is so valuable when on the field. He’s regarded to be the best defensive player in the entire Yankee organization. Not to mention, his speed is a big bonus, especially during the postseason. Stealing a bag or stretching a long single into a double is more valuable then people realize.

I expect Wade to be an integral part of the Yankee team this season. I don’t expect him to be a starting player, but his bat off the bench to pinch-hit or to enter the game for his defensive will be huge for the team.

Mike Ford

Another guy who’s been under the radar for most of his career, Mike Ford has the potential to be a big part of the New York Yankees. He’s got big pop coming off the bench and could be huge in a pinch hitter spot, or a DH role. Everyone remembers his pinch-hit walk-off last season against the Oakland Athletics. I think if Ford were to get more consistent plate appearances he would be big for the Yankees.

 

The New York Knicks are the most frustrating team to watch

New York Knicks, Dennis Smith Jr.

The New York Knicks played a typical ‘New York Knicks’ basketball game last evening.  The Knicks fell to the Charlotte Hornets, 97-92, after a great start to the game.

Both teams started the game with honoring the late, great Kobe Bryant.  The Hornets won the tip and took a 24-second shot clock violation followed by the Knicks taking a 8-second back-court violation.

Like mostly every other game, the Kncks came out hot.  Going up 13 at one point in the first half.  Everything was dropping for Julius Randle and couldn’t be guarded down-low.  He looked like he was playing for Bryant with 18 first half points but only ended with 24 points, fading away.

As all fans now, the defensive let up is always lurking around the corner.  It happens every game and it’s so unbelievably frustrating.  We sound like a broken record.

The Knicks begin and go on stretches were it appears that they could be onto something.  Then, they always let their guard down, having their opponent easily get back into the game.  If you want to be a good basketball team, you need to know how to put your opponent way.  The Knicks don’t know how to do that.

They aren’t a good team, not matter what anyone says.  The team thinks they’re good and while it’s good to have that confidence, there’s a difference between optimistic and reality.

The reality is the New York Knicks are a bad basketball team.  One of the worst teams in the league.  Playing veteran players and having lackadaisical defensive pressure deserves them to be at the very bottom.

When is Mike Miller going to realize that he isn’t ‘showcasing’ these veterans.  The Knicks aren’t winning games so it seems counterproductive to play the veterans over the young players.  Miller is taking away developmental time from the young players.  Frank Ntilikina barely played, Kevin Knox only played 11 minutes and Daymean Dotson 19 minutes, not ideal.  Fans would rather lose games with young players over veteran players.

All the Knicks articles these day seem to be constantly repeating themselves.  So no need to repeat ourselves because it’ll most likely happening again tonight in Memphis Grizzlies.  It’s getting old, play the young players and lose with them at least.

Rob Gronkowski: Joe Judge ‘Made for the Game of Football’

New York Giants, Joe Judge

Add former New England Patriots tight end to the long list of people who believes that New York Giants head coach Joe Judge is something special.

“He’s out of control in all ways,” Gronkowski said Tuesday during an “NFL on Fox” Super Bowl media panel. “He’s fun to be around, he has a lot of great jokes and they’re funny. He had me laughing many times in meetings.”

“He’s out of control and I love it,” continued Gronk. “He’s a great coach for the Giants’ organization. He has so much passion for the game, and that’s what you need if you want to be a coach. You have to love the game of football to the max and that’s what he does. He knows the game of football inside and out.”

Gronkowski was already a first-team All-Pro when Judge joined the Patriots staff in 2012 as an assistant special team coach, but there was no mistaking that Judge was a take-charge guy that knew his stuff. The two spent the next seven seasons under the same roof, winning three Super Bowls together.

“Yeah, he was the special teams coach but let me tell you: He knew the special teams inside and out. He knew where every single player needed to be on every single play. It was unbelievable. And he knew it like that [snaps fingers]. He knew it in a split second, so it wasn’t like he had to think of where this player needed to be. You just knew he’s made for the game of football.”

That is right in line with what many others have been saying about Judge. He knows his stuff. He commands respect and he is a player’s coach. That is the triple crown of coaching and the Giants are getting a winner in Judge.

Gronkowski, if he doesn’t make an ill-advised comeback in the next few seasons, will be a surefire Hall of Famer. Just another piece of validation Giant fans need when it comes to accepting Judge into the fold.

Yankees News/Rumors: Jasson Dominguez tops the 100, Gerrit Cole pays tribute to Altobelli, and Dusty Baker to be new Astros manager.

New York Yankees, Gerrit Cole

A Daily look at a summary of News and Rumors of interest for New York Yankees fans!

Jasson Dominguez tops the 100!:  Dominguez is on the top of all kinds of talent lists, and now he has been named the top baseball talent as Baseball America issued their list of top International Prospect Signings of 2019.  The 16-year-old sensation was highly sought after, but the Yankees landed him when he signed a contract with the Yankees for a $5MM signing bonus last July.  Dominguez turns 17 on February 7th, but with his height of 5′ 10″ and 190 pounds, the athletic kid looks in his mid 20’s.  He has impressive speed and agility on the bases, a cannon for an arm that few would challenge, and a batting exit velocity of 110mph.  Scouts say you don’t see that in a 16-year-old.  Because of that and the incredible talent, he has earned the nickname “El Marciano” (The Martian).

Dominguez is from the Dominican Republic that has produced many young baseball stars such as Gleyber Torres, Domingo German, Luis Severino, and others.  Jasson grew up an enormous Yankee fan and loved playing baseball.  He is all muscle, but it’s not the stiff kind; he is super agile. When speaking with managers and scouts alike, he has been compared to Micky Mantle and a young Mike Trout.  One scout stated that although he reminds you of Mike Trout, Trout didn’t have the power or talent that Dominguez has at his young age.  For the time being, he is playing at the Yankee’s Boca Chica baseball academy in the Dominican Republic. Still, some say he is advancing so fast that he may debut professionally during the 2020 season.

Gerrit Cole visits Altobelli’s team:  While the world is still shocked by the death of Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and coach Altobelli, his daughter, and seven others, in the fatal crash of Kobe Bryant’s helicopter in California on Sunday.  The Orange Coast College Pirates took the diamond for a game for the first time without their coach Altobelli.  Altobelli was their coach for decades.  The game was played between the OOC Pirates and the Southwestern’s. It was the first game of the season for the defending state Junior College champions. In attendance was newly acquired Yankee Gerrit Cole to show his support and respect for the loss of their long time coach.  Cole is picking up on the history of the Yankees in being a player that does the right thing.  Cole grew up on the California coast and spends the offseasons there.

Dusty Baker, named Astro’s Manager:  As first reported by Cinncinati.com, Dusty Baker, the former Washington National, will be named the new Manager of the Houston Astros.  Baker 70 has a great deal of experience managing in baseball spanning 22 years. He was the former manager of the San Francisco Giants, the Chicago Cubs, the Cincinnati Reds, and, most recently, the Nationals.   The need for a new manager for the Astros was caused by the suspension of A.J. Hinch for his involvement in the sign-stealing scheme during the 2017 season and World Series.  Immediately after the issuance of the punishments from Commissioner Manfred, Jim Crane, the Astros owner, fired Hinch.  The Astros have interviewed several candidates for the job.  Baker, who interviewed earlier this month, is a curious choice as he is old school and not an analytics guy.

Upon his arrival in Houston for his interview, he was asked by reporters what he thought about managing the Astros.  He responded:  “I’m just hoping to bring some love back to baseball, some integrity to the game, and I think I got relative respect in the game. There’s something missing. I need a (World Series) championship, and I’d like to bring a championship to the city of Houston.”  He also cited that his former wife and her family live in Houston, along with his best friend and other family members.  He said he has been there many times and likes the city.  Baker will have a big job ahead of him as he tries to restore the image of the Astros, get to know his players, that combined with the fact that spring training is just weeks away, will have him on the job immediately.

New York Yankees: DJ LeMahieu’s contract options

New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu

New York Yankees fans fell in love with DJ LeMahieu last season and for good reason. In his first year wearing pinstripes, LeMahieu slugged .327 with 26 home runs and was awarded a Silver Slugger award and was also an All-Star starter. He finished fourth in MVP voting and was loved by his teammates and New York Yankees fans.

This season is the last year of his two-year contract with the New York Yankees. At the end of the season, the Yankees will have the option to give him a qualifying offer to extend him or let him walk to free agency.

I think everyone wants LeMaheiu locked up in pinstripes for years to come just because of how valuable as a player he is. He was unbelievable at the plate and played phenomenal defense. His ability to play more than one position was also huge for the Yankees as they needed to move guys around due to their injury bug last season. Under the New York spotlight, his value went up tremendously.

I think if LeMahiue has another year like he did this year, he’s going to enter free agency to get a career contract. He’s in the prime of his career and he and his agent are going to be looking to be paid. With that being said, I think he loves playing in New York and will wind back up in pinstripes for the 2021 season. Either the Yankees give him a lengthy and heavy extension, or they offer him a strong contract in his free agency.

The New York Mets will welcome three new members to their Hall of Fame

New York Mets

A combination of decades, achievements, and memories: the New York Mets are welcoming three new members to their Hall of Fame, per MLB.com. Jon Matlack, Ron Darling and Edgardo Alfonzo, three beloved team members of the seventies, eighties and nineties (and even a portion of the new millenium) will be honored with their respective inductions on Sunday, May 17 before the 1:10 p.m. game vs. the Pirates at Citi Field.

Additionally, Al Jackson will be posthumously honored with the Mets Hall of Fame Achievement Award for his contributions to the organization.

“On behalf of ownership, I was thrilled to wholeheartedly approve the Hall of Fame Committee’s recommendation for Jon Matlack, Ron Darling and Edgardo Alfonzo into the 2020 class. This group combines Mets eras from the 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000s. Matlack was a fierce lefty who was a rock in the rotation and helped the 1973 Mets to the NL pennant. Ron’s steady brilliance was capped with the ’86 world championship. He allowed just three earned runs in 17 2/3 innings during the World Series vs. Boston. Fonzie is always someone Mets fans wanted at the plate with the game on the line. He thrived in those situations. His monster years in 1999 and 2000 were a huge reason for our success,” said Mets COO Jeff Wilpon.

Matlack was the Rookie of the Year in 1972 and is among the franchise leaders in wins, complete games, ERA, strikeouts, shutouts and innings. He had a shiny 1.40 ERA in four starts during the 1973 postseason.

“I was honored when I got the call from Jeff [Wilpon],” said Matlack. “I was astounded when he called and I am so grateful for the honor. My time in New York was special to me and I am thrilled to be remembered with all of the great players, especially the pitchers, this organization has been blessed to have.”

The Mets will induct a 1986 World Series winner

Darling was one of the main driving factors in the New York Mets’ winning the 1986 World Series, taking home Game Four. He was an All-Star in 1985 and won a Gold Glove Award in 1989.

“I’m humbled and honored to be part of the Mets Hall of Fame Class of 2020,” said Darling. “Congratulations to the other honorees, especially Al Jackson who was my mentor in the minor leagues. Al changed the path of my professional baseball career and for that, I will be forever grateful.”

Alfonzo was known as a very clutch hitter. He accumulates lots of timely hits in the playoffs, including several homers. The Venezuelan is first in team postseason history in hits, runs and RBI. He ranks in the Top 10 in franchise history in hits, runs, doubles, RBI, OBP, total bases and batting average. Alfonzo won a Silver Slugger Award in 1999 and was an All-Star in 2000.

“Getting into the Mets Hall of Fame is a dream come true for me,” said Alfonzo. “The Mets have had so many great players in their history and I’m so proud to receive this honor. This is something I never thought would be possible when I started out. I was never much for individual goals, I just wanted to help us win.”

Jackson died in August, 2019. He wore the New York Mets uniform for 50 years in different capacities. He was a pitcher, a coach, a minor league pitching coordinator and then an advisor.

Why the New York Rangers are Considering Trades for Their Restricted Free Agents

New York Rangers, Chris Kreider

Most people would understand why the New York Rangers would trade unrestricted free agents like Chris Kreider and Jesper Fast. After all, if you don’t trade these guys, they could sign elsewhere in the offseason, and you would get nothing.  However, many have wondered why the Rangers would trade their restricted free agents like Tony DeAngelo and Ryan Strome since you get something for them if they leave. True, but that becomes the issue. Is that something you get in return better than what you are giving up?

What exactly is Restricted Free Agency?

A restricted free agent in the NHL is a player who has completed his entry-level contract but does not have enough NHL service to become an unrestricted free agent. This player qualifies as a restricted free agent when his contract expires. At that point, any team can make an offer to that player.

When a player signs an offer sheet with a new team, his current team is notified. That team has the right to “match” the offer sheet with an identical contract and keep the player. If they don’t, they are free to sign with the team that made the offer. There is compensation for an NHL team that loses a restricted free agent. The team that declines the offer sheet and loses the player receives draft picks from the player’s new team. There are some other restrictions and such, but that is basically the nuts and bolts of RFA. The decision for the Rangers comes down to do we keep the players, take the draft pick, or take the player we can get in a trade.

What will the New York Rangers do with Tony DeAngelo

The toughest part of this decision is how well DeAngelo has grown throughout the years and how well he is playing this season.  DeAngelo has been even more aggressive offensively this season than in previous years and has shown a knack for getting shots through traffic and on the net. He already has 12 goals, 25 assists, and is a plus-five this season.  It was just a couple of seasons ago that it was difficult for many to imagine DeAngelo ever becoming a top-four defenseman. He has now become a force on the blueline, which makes it tough to trade him. So why do you even think about trading him? Ah, that pesky salary cap issue. Jump back to the beginning of the year when the Rangers could not accommodate him for more than a one-year, $925,000 deal. His good year means that he could demand more in a new contract, and that might not be cap-friendly enough for the Blueshirts.

….. and the same goes for Ryan Strome

Experts have stated that Ryan Strome could ask for five to six million dollars per year in his next contract. Is that something that the Rangers can or want to take on? Again the issue is that Strome has played well this year. He has made a steady improvement from the beginning of the 2018-19 season when he played poorly. Previously Strome has never had more than 50 points before but is on pace for more than 70 this season.  The Rangers brass now has a little less than a month left to sort all of this out.

 

One top free safety the New York Giants can target in free agency

New York Giants could look into Devin Mccourty this offseason.

The New York Giants entered the 2020 offseason with another losing campaign under their belt; however, it subsequently landed them the 4th overall pick in the NFL Draft. New head coach Joe Judge has plenty of work to do ahead of free agency and the draft, specifically regarding player evaluations to determine what positions need the most capital allocated towards them.

One of the weaker positions for the Giants last season was at free safety. General manager Dave Gettleman plugged Antoine Bethea into the spot, despite his lack of coverage skills. Bethea is a strong run-stopping safety, and he showed that when playing closer to the line of scrimmage. His only interception of the year came right behind the line of scrimmage against Dallas Cowboys’ Dak Prescott.

Replacing Bethea will be a priority for Big Blue, and there’s one free agent that could fit the bill perfectly.

Could the New York Giants pursue Devin McCourty in FA?

Judge is very familiar with McCourty, having both coached/played for the New England Patriots. The veteran defensive back would bring experience and knowledge regarding the Patriots’ ways, a culture that Judge will be looking to implement.

At 33-years-old, Devin is no spring chicken, but his 10-years of experience would prove to be valuable on defense. Having logged 58 tackles, seven passes defended, and five interceptions in 2019, he won’t come cheap by any means. Still, the Giants need to invest in the bolstering of this position, especially with the youth at cornerback.

Aside from his undeniable on-field talent, McCourty would be a mentor for the younger defenders and help install the culture Judge is bringing to New York.

Over The Cap estimates that McCourty will be valued at around $10 million per season. A two-year contract would lock him into a solidified role with Big Blue until he’s 35, the perfect amount of time for the Giants to rely on the veteran but also find a young gun to develop. They might already have that player on the roster in Julian Love, who they moved around the defense last season as a utility option.

New York Yankees: JA Happ is on a short leash as 5th starter with Jordan Montgomery rising

New York Yankees, Jordan Montgomery

Injuries continue to be the downfall of most professional athletes, and serious ones plagued the New York Yankees during the 2019 season. With starting third baseman Miguel Andujar suffering a torn Labrum and pitcher Jordan Montgomery recovering from Tommy John surgery, the pair missed out on essential experience in a 103-win season.

The Yankees’ record proves to manager Aaron Boone that they’re capable of succeeding without several starters, which is ultimately bad news for injured players. Andujar will start the 2020 campaign in a reserve role. Boone has already made it apparent that Miggy will have to earn his spot on the team, as he will test his abilities in left field and at first base during spring training.

Montgomery, on the other hand, lost out on the 5th spot in the starting pitching rotation, subsequently failing to overcome J.A. Happ, who had a tumultuous second half of 2019. Having posted a 4.91 ERA last season, it’s surprising that Boone was unwilling to open up a competitive narrative between Happ and Monty, mainly because the latter pitched two sub-4.00 ERA seasons to start his young career. However, we can understand Jordan’s injury will take more time to come back from, despite featuring for a few at-bats last season.

How will the New York Yankees utilize their young arm?

Montgomery’s top three pitchers rank as following (2018):

  1. Fastball (40.8%, 90.3 mph average)
  2. Curveball (27.8%, 80 mph average)
  3. Changeup (22.1%, 83 mph average)

The lack of fastball speed doesn’t fit the Yankees’ mold necessarily, but they undoubtedly view him as a starting-caliber player, especially with the variety of pitches he holds. The blend of curve and changeup pitches makes him incredibly hard to hit off of, which attests to his quality two seasons in the MLB (2017-18).

I anticipate him making a comeback in a bullpen role, as a precautionary measure to slowly incorporate him back into the rotation. Don’t think that Happ is firmly planted as the 5th starter because Monty has plenty of talent to work with. If Happ’s struggles continue, Boone won’t hesitate to change things up at the back-end of the rotation.