New York Giants Big Underdog In Touchdown Wire Rankings

New York Giants

The NFL season is over officially with the Super Bowl having came and past, and this ushers in the period where each team will be evaluated during the offseason and ranked for the next season. The Chiefs are on top after bringing home the Super Bowl but where other teams like the New York Giants are ranked is a harder question – the Giants didn’t have a good season by any metric in 2019 and will pick high in the draft because of it, but whether those results will be repeated remains to be seen.

USA Today’s Touchdown Wire, in their own rankings, isn’t confident however in the Giants taking a big step forward this year after changing head coaches from Pat Shurmur to Joe Judge, and adding at least one highly ranked prospect in this year’s draft. They put the Giants at 29th, one of the worst spots out of the 32 NFL teams. Their reasoning?

Head coach Pat Shurmur was fired, and that’s not a bad thing. But he was replaced by Joe Judge. That likely prompted many New York fans to say, “Joe Who?” because Judge wasn’t a household name. Judge was the special teams and wide receivers coach for the Patriots. His New England pedigree undoubtedly helped him land the job. But this is a tough gig. Shurmur and predecessor Ben McAdoo failed miserably. Judge doesn’t have a lot to work with besides quarterback Daniel Jones and running back Saquon Barkley.

Of course, it’s also easy to say the Giants aren’t getting enough credit here – head coach Joe Judge is on his first try in the position, sure, but the good reviews from others who have been around him in the past shouldn’t just be discounted. Judge has arguably made a bigger wave since joining the Giants than Shurmur did, and has more of a stable career history compared to Shurmur, who was largely hired based on one year of success as an offensive coordinator.

The New York Giants do, however, have a number of holes in the team as the article states – but not every area is bad. There’s some depth at receiver with Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate, and the rising Darius Slayton. And while the offensive line and the secondary could use new players, both of those areas are expected to see upgrades soon in the draft and free agency.

The Giants are an underdog for sure going into the 2020 season and not many will expect them to do much, but perhaps fans have some reason to believe that things might be better than being the 29th best team.

Daniel Jones Working Out With Giants Receivers at Duke

Just like Eli Manning before him, New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones is working out offsite with several teammates at his alma mater, Duke University.

Manning, who attended college at Ole Miss, used to hold offseason workouts with receivers at Duke because his old college coach, David Cutcliffe, was the head coach there.

Cutcliffe is still the head coach at Duke, where Jones starred from 2015-2018. Current Giants wideouts Darius Slayton and Sterling Shepard were two of the players reported to be in attendance in Durham.

It’s a positive step when you see these exercises of offseason cohesiveness for a football team. The Giants won’t be able to get back on the field together until OTAs later this spring.

New York Yankees: Dellin Betances bids farewell, Greg Bird signs minor-league deal

New York Yankees, Dellin Betances

The New York Yankees are just a few days away from the beginning of spring training, which I guess is the perfect time for players to bid their farewell and embark on new journeys.

Former relief pitcher Dellin Betances joined the Mets on a one-year deal this offseason after missing the entire 2019 campaign with several injuries. He’s still in the process of recovering from a torn Achilles tendon, but he’s expected to be an impactful signing for the Mets in 2020.

He did, however, say farewell to the New York Yankees via Instagram:

I just wanted to say Thank You to the New York Yankees for allowing me to live out my dream as a professional baseball player. The past 14 years of my career have created memories and milestones that I will never forget. I want to thank all my teammates, coaches and staff members – you are family, and I love you guys. To the Yankees fans, thank you for all your support throughout the years, you made me a better player and a better competitor and I will always be grateful for my time as a New York Yankee.

Betances isn’t the only one starting a new chapter in their life, former first baseman Greg Bird also signed a deal with the Rangers’ minor-league system. The 27-year-old was cut loose by the Yankees last November, but he will gain another opportunity to reach his potential at the professional level. His inability to stay healthy has significantly hurt his development.

In four seasons with the Bombers, Bird featured in 186 games, hitting .211 with 32 homers, 98 RBIs, and a .725 OPS.

New York Giants: Byron Jones Should Be The Top Free Agent Target

The New York Giants possess one of the worst defenses in the NFL. In 2019, the Giants’ secondary was especially bad. New York’s pass defense ranked fifth-worst in the NFL this season, allowing 264.1 passing yards per game (ESPN). Granted, the team had multiple rookie defensive backs starting for them. But this league-ranking is unacceptable regardless and needs to improve in 2020.

Luckily for the Giants, there are plenty of options to improve their secondary this offseason. Whether it be drafting a young stud defensive back in the first round or spending big in free agency- the possibilities are limitless. In free agency, there are plenty of big-name offensive tackles and edge rushers that Giants fans will drool over. But the player they should be drooling over is in the secondary. Byron Jones, Dallas Cowboys defensive back, should be the Giants’ top free-agent target in 2020.

Free Agent Cornerbacks Pay Off

The Giants have spent big in the secondary before. Over the past five years, the Giants have signed a couple of big-name cornerbacks. Fist, New York secured Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in the 2014 NFL offseason. The Giants signed DRC to a five-year deal that saw him total 11 interceptions and 46 passes defended in three seasons. Rodgers-Cromartie was also selected as a second-team All-Pro in 2016.

DRC was not the only free agent cornerback from which the Giants got high returns. More recently, the Giants parted ways with cornerback Janoris Jenkins. Jenkins was a big signing for the Giants in the 2016 offseason when the team spent heavily on impact players in free agency, such as Jenkins, Olivier Vernon, and Damon Harrison.

In that 2016 offseason, the Giants signed Janoris Jenkins to a five-year deal. The Giants got three and a half years out of Janoris. In those three and a half seasons, Janoris Jenkins racked up 12 interceptions, and 56 passes defended. Janoris Jenkins was also selected as a first-team All-Pro in 2016. The Giants’ past two cornerback free agent signings have paid off big-time with elite play and reliability in their secondary.

Why The Giants Should Sign Byron Jones

If the Giants make a third big purchase in the secondary, signing Byron Jones in the 2020 offseason would be a home run. Undoubtedly, Byron Jones is the best cornerback set to be available in free agency in 2020.

The Giants’ secondary is filled with youthful talent. DeAndre Baker, Sam Beal, Corey Ballentine, Julian Love, and Grant Haley are all second and third-year players. Having a talented veteran presence in the secondary should be a top priority for the Gmen. Byron Jones fits the bill at 27-years-old with 5 years of experience.

The Cowboys are in a bit of trouble regarding their salary cap. They just paid Ezekiel Elliot and Demarcus Lawrence, and they still have not paid Dak Prescott. New head coach Mike McCarthy will have some tough decisions to make regarding the team’s impending free agents, and he might have to let some big names walk out the door. Byron Jones could be one of those big names to depart.

Byron Jones is a versatile cornerback that makes a significant impact in pass coverage. He has experience playing both safety and cornerback at the professional level and has done both exceptionally well. Jones is 6 feet tall and 200 pounds. He’s a large-bodied cornerback with peak physicality to cover larger receivers and tight ends. Finally, the Giants could get a coverage-man to shut down opposing tight ends.

Mets’ Sale to Billionaire Steven A. Cohen on “Life Support”

New York Mets fans who thought they were finally rid of the Wilpons as owners could have their balloons busted as the proposed sale to hedge fund billionaire Steven A. Cohen has hit a snag.

The deal, which is designed to have the current ownership group led by Fred Wilpon, his son, Jeff and brother-in-law Saul Katz relinquish control of the team over several years to Cohen in exchange for $2.6 billion.

That deal is now said to be on ‘life support’ according to sources.

From the New York Post:

Sources close to the situation are confirming that the billionaire hedge fund manager is ending negotiations with the Wilpons on his purchase of an 80 percent stake in the franchise. According to those sources, Cohen is deeply unhappy with the Wilpons changing the terms of the deal at a very late stage and has decided to walk away.

 

When rumors broke that the Cohen deal was dead on Tuesday, the Mets offered a strangely worded non-denial.

 

“The parties are subject to confidentiality obligations, including a mutual non-disclosure agreement, and therefore cannot comment,” a statement read.

 

Sources close to Cohen tell The Post that the 63-year-old, $13 billion man is taking the NDA more seriously than the Wilpons and is holding his tongue for the time being.

The deal was a strange one to begin with and many had doubts why the sale could not happen sooner. Cohen appears to have gotten cold feet over the Wilpons nonsense of dragging things out. One reason why they wanted to keep control of the team for a few additional seasons is because the Mets are expecting to contend in the National League and they don’t want to miss it.

Cohen didn’t become a billionaire however by getting dicked around. He appears to be walking away rather than being cuckolded by the current ownership group.

Good for him. Bad for the Met fans.

New York Yankees ghost-linked to Kris Bryant in blockbuster trade

New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs, Kris Bryant

The midst of offseason baseball is littered with falsified trade rumors and ideas, and the latest is a New York Yankees/Cubs trade for star third-baseman, Kris Bryant.

If GM Brian Cashman has any ounce of monetary respect left, he will walk into the sunset with his $324 million-dollar pitcher and enjoy the 2020 season fro his box-seat. Manager Aaron Boone clawed his way to a 103-win season on the backs of reserve options like Gio Urshela, Brett Gardner, and Cameron Maybin. Adding a healthy Giancarlo Stanton and Miguel Andujar to the lineup should provide ample offensive production for the Bombers in the season ahead.

However, Bryant is a special player, offering 31 homers and a .282 batting average in 2019. While Urshela hit .314 with 21 homers in his best season to date, he’s a one-year wonder up this point. Boone is confident he can remain the starting option, but there’s no guarantee he can replicate that type of production.

Alternatively, they have Andujar, who’s an offensive threat but lacks the defensive acumen to hold down the fort on the hot corner.

As per NJ.com, the New York Yankees could be interested in Bryant for several reasons:

-The Yankees don’t have a true, no-doubt-about-it long-term answer at third base. That, in part, is why a possible deal for Colorado Rockies star Nolan Arenado seems so appealing.

-The 2020 season is all about winning it all, not simply sustainability.

Bryant is an upgrade over Gio Urshela at third base. Bryant’s addition would allow Urshela to thrive in a utility bench role. Maybe as part of the package the Cubs take Miguel Andujar and hope he’s more 2018 than 2019. Regardless, the Yankees haven’t done much aside from the monster Gerrit Cole deal and maybe they don’t need to do more, but it never hurts to pile on. There’s a fit here. Why not make it a full go “eff you” offseason, Mr. Cashman?

While Bryant has struggled defensively a bit over the last two seasons, he’s 28-years-old and holds plenty of potential moving forward. The Yankees would be pushing well-beyond the third-tier of the luxury tax threshold, but it would make the probability of winning the World Series in 2020 that much higher.

New York Knicks have parted ways with Steve Mills

New York Knicks, Scott Perry, Steve Mills

The New York Knicks have, finally, parted ways with team president Steve Mills.  The news comes two days before the trade deadline. Scott Perry will take over as interim team president in the mean time.

The Knicks have begun interviewing for the vacant president position, according to Shams Charania.

According to Marc Stein, the New York Knick will target and believe they have an actual shot at Raptors President Masai Ujiri.

Ujiri told people in the past that he’s attracted by the Knicks job, according to an Begley.  But, the Knicks will do continue pursue as he is apparently Dolan’s ‘dream choice’.  However, picks will most likely have to be involved since Ujiri is under contract until next season.

The news of Mills being relieved has Knicks has brought so much excitement to fans.  This has been a long time coming with the performance of this team under Mills’ direction.  Him and Perry weren’t seeing eye-to-eye on the future of the team, according to Marc Berman.

Perry is now in the driver’s seat for this trade deadline.  This will be his shot to either make a playoff push or gain more young assets to build for the future. The Knicks still have to be active this trade deadline if they want to continue to turn around the franchise.

Now, the New York Knicks rebuild has officially begun.  Today is a good day to be a Knicks fan.

New York Mets: Can deGrom become the first pitcher to win three straight Cy Youngs since Randy?

New York Mets, Jacob deGrom

Jacob deGrom has won two National League Cy Young awards in a row with the New York Mets. Truth be told, he has been pitching in that level ever since he broke in the major leagues, back in 2014.

Last season, he accumulated 7.0 fWAR by virtue of his 2.67 FIP. He accumulated a 2.43 ERA and a 3.11 xFIP, with 204.0 innings covered in 32 starts. Both his 11.25 K/9 and his 1.94 BB/9 were, as always, elite marks, as were his 0.84 HR/9. He was once again in the conversation with the likes of Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole for being the best pitcher in baseball.

While the Mets are going to enjoy yet another season of deGrom’s prime, they haven’t been able to provide him with much run support in the last two years. That has resulted in 10 and 11 wins, respectively, in 2018 and 2019.

Fortunately, as he looks for his third straight NL Cy Young Award, he has something working in his favor. Voters have evolved and now understand that wins are among the worst categories to evaluate pitching talent.

The Mets’ homegrown ace

That’s why Jacob deGrom, at 31 years old, stands a very good chance of becoming the first pitcher to win three straight NL Cy Young Awards since Randy Johnson did it from 1999 to 2002, four consecutive times.

Sure, he will have, once again, to fend off Washington Nationals’ ace Max Scherzer. The righty is a very good candidate to snap deGrom’s streak. Other pitchers with a chance are Stephen Strasburg, Trevor Bauer, Jack Flaherty, Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, Mike Soroka and not many more.

Despite the competition, deGrom and Scherzer are a step above everyone else. Strasburg and Buehler are not far behind, but the Mets’ and Nats’ aces are just so good.

deGrom is armed with four plus pitches (fastball, slider, changeup and curveball) that he can throw for strikes almost at will. He frequently toys with hitters, so why would he stop now? He has a chance to make history, and is in good position to succeed. The New York Mets are rejoicing.

New York Rangers: Discover What a Chris Kreider Trade Might Look Like

New York Rangers, Chris Kreider

The New York Rangers got a glimpse of what their team might look like if Chris Kreider gets traded before the Feb 24 deadline. On Monday night, Kreider sat out of the Rangers game against the Dallas Stars as he continues to recover from an injury sustained when teammate Mika Zibanejad accidentally kneed him in the head. The Blueshirts missed the veteran as they lost to the Dallas Stars 5-3.

Kreider held out of New York Rangers lineup

Kreider did skate on Monday morning but was held out of Monday night’s lineup. Head Coach David Quinn said that Kreider was almost ready to return but needed a little more time. The Rangers did score three power-play goals in his absence, but the defense played poorly in the Dallas loss. This game did give the Rangers a taste of what life would be like if Chris Kreider is traded. Despite the three power-play goals, it was apparent that the Rangers did miss Kreider and physical play.  Kreider has been linked as a possible trade option with no less than eight different teams. After the game, head coach David Quinn indicated that he was close to returning, but apparently was being cautious with Kreider.

Injured Toronto Goalie could prompt trade with New York Rangers

On Monday night, Maple Leafs goaltender Fredrick Anderson was injured in a collision with Flordia Panther Frant Vatrano. This could be a massive blow to Toronto as Andersen headed into Monday with 24-9-6 record and a .910 save percentage.  He has often carried a heavy burden behind a dicey Leafs defense. Michael Hutchinson, Andersen’s replacement, provides little reason for optimism.

Alexandar Georgiev has been frequently mentioned as a trade candidate to back up Anderson. Still, his injury could expedite the process, especially after Hutchinson gave up three third period goals in the Maple Leafs loss to the Panthers. After the game, the Leafs stated that said Andersen is feeling better, but they were going to give him the night to see how he feels.  He went through the concussion protocol,  and the results were good, but the team wanted to be cautious.

Georgiev came in the third period to relieve Henrik Lundqvist and gave up one goal. After shutting out the Red Wings Saturday night, Lundqvist gave up four goals on 15 shots and was pulled.

Yankees News/Rumors: Cole number 3, really? Mendoza/Andujar, and the decision on J.A. Happ

New York Yankees, Miguel Andujar

A daily look at New York Yankees News and Rumors of interest to Yankee fans

Gerrit Cole number 3, really?

MLB Network has released its top 10 pitchers on their “Shredder” report.  They have given Gerrit Cole the number three spot on the list behind Jacob deGrom and Justin Verlander coming in second.  First of all, I know they factor in the analytics, Statcast data, and traditional statistics for the last two years in the placement.  Further, I am trying not to be biased, but I see Cole on the top of that list, if for no other reason than he has the best postseason record of any of the three.  In the past two seasons, deGrom was 21-17, with a combined ERA of 2.07.  Cole was 35-10, with an ERA of 2.69, nevertheless looking at the postseason performance, I give the nod to Cole.  Verlander was 37-15 with a combined ERA of 2.55 but lost three of the four games in the last postseason, so I still give the nod to Cole.

Others on the list in order are Scherzer, Ryu, Grienke, Flaherty, Corbin, Clevinger, and rounding out the list, Buehler.  My question here is, how do you pick Jack Flaherty over Stephen Strasburg, who is not on the list at all.  Jack Flaherty was 19-17 with an ERA of 3.05; Strasburg was 38-13 with an ERA of 3.53. Also, Flaherty is 2-4 in the postseason, and Strasburg is 5-0, so I give his position to Strasburg easily. Forget the fact that he almost single-handedly won the World Championship for the Nationals.  I fully understand all of these pitchers get varying run support, but from what I see, these are still two errors in the “Shedder” report.

Mendoza new bench coach works with Andujar:

Carlos Mendoza has recently been promoted to Aaron Boone’s bench coach.  One of his primary duties in this preseason is to work with Miguel Andujar.  So far, he has been trying him out in the outfield and at first base.  He is also testing him at third, even though General Manager Brian Cashman has said that it is Gio Urshela’s position to lose.  Upon Andujar’s shoulder injury last year, Urshela stepped up and provided Gold Glove type defense at the hot corner.  He surprised the club with some pretty potent offense as well, although that slowed late in the season.    Mendoza recently said of Andujar: “He’s getting work everywhere, From third base to first base to the outfield. Third base is the priority, and every other day he’s alternating positions.” He also said that Andujar’s shoulder appears to be one hundred percent. “He’s full-go, throwing-wise,” Mendoza said. “He’s throwing from the outfield and third base with no issues so far.”

What made the Yankees decide on Happ?

A short while ago, Yankee General Manager Brian Cashman announced that J.A. Happ would be the fifth starter in the rotation.  Previous to that, many thought it was an open competition between Happ and Jordon Montgomery. The reason Happ is in the rotation is a win-win situation for the Yankees. Happ, regardless of his rather poor performance last year, is a qualified veteran pitcher, as expressed by his $17MM per year contract.

If Happ performs as they hope he will, it’s a win for the Yankees.  If he doesn’t, and they have to send him to the bullpen, they keep the MLB Pitchers Association off their back.  You see Happ, in order to be vested for 2021, must either start 27 games or pitch 165 innings, if he doesn’t and isn’t given a chance too, it would cause anger from the players union.  The Yankees already have a situation with the union in refusing to pay the money owed to the always injured Jacoby Ellsbury.  Ellsbury used a non-approved training outlet that the Yankees claim breaks his contract.

However, it should be pointed out that Happ has reached the 27/165 threshold only twice in the last four years and only four times in his entire career.  By the Yankees starting him in the five spot at the start of the season, it at least gives him a chance to attain one of the two. By giving him this chance, Happ wins, and the Yankees win.