New York Giants Could Lose Senior Assistant To MSU Coaching Job

The New York Giants are expected to not make any more coaching hires for this offseason since it seems their staff roster is complete, but that could change if one member of the defensive staff ends up leaving to join Michigan State as a head coach. The Spartans are of course looking for their first new head coach in over a decade after the surprise retirement of Mark Dantonio, who had been in charge since the 2007 season, and they may look to the NFL ranks for a candidate.

The Giants have one assistant coach that was notable in past years for being a head coach at the college level: Bret Bielema, who was head coach at Wisconsin and Arkansas before moving to the NFL as a Patriots consultant and then as the defensive line coach for their defense which was one of the top performing in the league for a lot of the year.

His stint at Arkansas was far from a success story but with the excuse of playing in a hard SEC West existing and with newfound experience working under Bill Belichick, that might not keep Bielema out of the race to become the Michigan State head coach.

According to the Detroit Free Press, the job is also one that Bielema has interest in. It makes sense, of course – being a head coach at a major college program almost always beats being a position coach and assistant in the NFL.

And according to a source with knowledge of the situation, former Wisconsin and Arkansas coach Bret Bielema has “definite” interest in succeeding Mark Dantonio, who retired Tuesday after 13 seasons.

If Bielema does end up taking the job, which isn’t a certainty as MSU will be evaluating a number of candidates and not necessarily going for Bielema, the Giants will have to find another candidate for the outside linebackers coach position before getting deeper into the offseason. Bielema is also listed as a senior defensive assistant, so depending on the specific nature of that role, a replacement may be needed for that position.

Giants fans may be unhappy to see that one of the team’s coaches could potentially leave already, but it’s not surprising – Joe Judge has put together a staff with a number of former head coaches, and at some point many of these figures will try to return to head coaching rather than remaining assistants long term. It’s just slightly surprising for this inherent problem to come up this soon.

New York Yankees 2020 Season Preview: Jordan Montgomery

New York Yankees, Jordan Montgomery

New York Yankees starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery is looking to get back on track following Tommy John surgery that sent him to the IL for the majority of the last two seasons.

The southpaw of Sumter, South Carolina, had an impressive 2017 rookie campaign. He had a 9-7 record with a 3.88 ERA in 155.1 innings pitched. Montgomery rang up 144 batters and had a 1.230 WHIP.

After just six starts in 2018, Montgomery didn’t feel right. After resting for a while on the IL, it was decided that he would undergo Tommy John surgery. He missed the rest of 2018 and made only two appearances in 2019, both at the end of the year.

2020 Expectations:

With the news that James Paxton is going on the IL to start the 2020 season, Montgomery will probably be back in the starting rotation once camp breaks.

In the early part of the season, it may be a contest between him and JA Happ on who keeps the spot once Paxton is healthy. Whoever is worse will likely go to the bullpen.

But, come June and Domingo German’s reinstatement, both pitchers may be relocated to the bullpen unless one or both are having stellar seasons.

Since Montgomery will be the fifth starter, they need him to pitch similar to how he did in 2017. His 2017 stat line is fantastic for a fifth starter. It would be great if he were better than in 2017, but it’s not necessary for the team’s success. He needs to be consistent and get the game to the bullpen after the fifth or sixth inning without a huge mess.

The Yankees are hoping Jordan Montgomery can return to his normal self in 2020 after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

What The New York Giants Could Get By Trading Their Fourth Overall Draft Pick

New York Giants, Dave Gettleman

The New York Giants are once again picking in the top-ten of the draft. This year, the Giants hold the fourth overall pick. Last year, New York secured its franchise quarterback, Daniel Jones, with the sixth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. While almost every fan is happy with this selection in retrospect, many of them wanted to see the Giants trade down in last year’s draft.

This year, trading down is a legitimate possibility. Dave Gettleman has never traded down in the first round of the draft as a general manager before. However, according to Jordan Raanan of ESPN, the Giants are “open to” trading down in 2020.

With multiple teams looking for new quarterbacks this offseason, the Giants could get a haul of picks for the fourth overall selection that they own. But what exactly could they get for this pick? Will they get offered enough to move down?

What The Fourth Overall Pick Is Worth:

According to the NFL Draft Trade Value Chart, the fourth overall pick in the NFL Draft is worth 1800 points. To put it into perspective, the first overall pick is worth 3000 points and the tenth overall pick is worth 1300.

Many Giants fans are not likely to be happy with a trade that lands the Giants outside of the top ten. But, luckily for the Giants, there are multiple quarterback-needy teams that are picking inside of the top-ten and will be looking to trade up to get their guy.

If going strictly by the NFL Draft Trade Value Chart, the Giants can get a top-ten pick and a second-round pick for the fourth overall selection. However, knowing what we know about the quarterback market, the Giants could get a lot more than that.

Recent Trades Suggest An Even Higher Price Tag:

While most teams are likely to only give up assets similar to the value from the trade chart, a bidding war could inflate the price of the Giants’ pick. The Dolphins and Chargers are teams that are definitely in the market for a quarterback. However, the Panthers, Colts, Raiders, and Buccaneers are examples of other teams that could possibly get their names in trade discussions for a new signal-caller.

Recent NFL Draft trades for quarterbacks suggest that the Giants would be able to get a king’s ransom for the fourth overall pick if a team is moving up to select a quarterback:

In 2012, the Redskins gave up: 6th, 39th picks in 2012, a first-round pick in 2013, and a first-round pick in 2014. The Redskins received: 2nd pick in 2012 (Robert Griffin III).

In 2016, the Eagles gave up: 8th, 77th, 100th pick in 2016, a first-round pick in 2017, and a second-round pick in 2018. The Eagles received: 2nd pick in 2016 (Carson Wentz), and a fourth-round pick in 2017.

In 2018, the Arizona Cardinals gave up: 15th, 79th and 152nd to the Oakland Raiders for the 10th overall selection in 2018 (Josh Rosen).

Most trades for quarterbacks involve multiple first-round picks in exchange for the pick to draft the quarterback. Whether trading up four spots or six spots, an additional first-round pick is usually offered in order to get the deal done. The Giants will be able to field offers from teams that currently have multiple first-round picks in 2020, like the Dolphins in Raiders. However, the teams that only have one first-round pick in 2020 will likely have to offer 2021 first-round picks in order to compete with other franchises in a bidding war.

Regardless of how far back the Giants move, they will be able to get a humungous haul of draft picks in exchange for fourth overall. If they are presented with the opportunity to trade back, they should take it (unless Chase Young is available). The Giants will easily be able to get an additional second-round pick for their selection and can likely get an additional first-round pick from the right team. If there was ever a year where the Giants should trade down, this is that year.

Mets: Jeff Wilpon assures fans after Cohen deal falls through

New York Mets, Jeff Wilpon

The New York Mets and their fans are back to square one now that the proposed buyout by billionaire Steve Cohen has fallen through. The deal, in which Cohen would buy 80 percent of the team for approximately $2.6 billion and take control of the team over five years, was pronounced dead last Thursday, leading the club to release this statement.

“The transaction between Sterling and Steve Cohen was a highly complicated one. Despite the efforts of the parties over the past several months, it became apparent that the transaction as contemplated would have been too difficult to execute.”

On Monday, Mets’ scion and COO Jeff Wilpon sent out an additional statement claiming he can’t comment on why the deal is no longer in place but assured fans ownership will continue it’s crackerjack effort to win a championship.

The part where Wilpon says they’ll be working hard to “maintain everyone’s confidence and trust” is comical. Of all the MLB ownership groups, the Wilpons are among the least trusted and respected.

Some are speculating that Cohen rethought the deal which would have kept the Wilpon family in power five years into his stewardship and possibly beyond. The deal made no sense from the get go. Why he would agree to it is nuts. It appears that he didn’t.

There is a possibility Cohen comes back to the table with a new offer but it doesn’t seem as if the Wilpons are willing to simply hand over the keys under any circumstances. They still want some type of control regardless of their ownership stake.

No one is going to agree to those terms. It looks like Met fans are stuck with the Wilpons for the foreseeable future.

New York Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka feels Astros cheated them out of World Series

New York Yankees, Masahiro Tanaka

After weeks of silence from the New York Yankees players, some have begun to speak out on the Houston Astros and their cheating scandal that resulted in their firing of their manager and general manager.

Last week was Chad Green, who expressed his displeasure with the Astros for taking such malicious actions in an attempt to reach the World Series, in which they did the past two seasons, winning one of them.

The usually reserved Masahiro Tanaka, starting pitcher for the Yankees, was also frustrated over their actions, agreeing that they were likely cheated out of a World Series appearance.

“I do feel that way, yeah,” Tanaka said.

Tanaka pitched in games 1 and 5 of the ALCS, throwing six innings of two-run ball. It is believed that the Astros were cheating during the most recent postseason, which makes it even more concerning for the players.

It’s expected that more Yankees players will begin to speak out on the matter. Still, with spring training starting soon, they’re focused on preparing for the season and mitigating any injury concerns.

New York Yankees: How Yankee players stack up on the top 10 positions list!

New York Yankees, Gleyber Torres

Every year in a fun look at the new baseball season, the MLB Network lists it’s top ten players at each position.  The listing shows each player’s position in the top ten and how it has changed from last year.  The ratings are based on player performance over the previous two years and other metrics.  I will also comment on the bias almost always shown against the New York Yankees, and it’s players by nearly all sports outlets.

Yankee players in the top 10 at their position:

Starting Pitcher:  First place goes to Jacob DeGrom with Gerrit Cole coming in third after Jason Verlander.  Of all the placements this one is the most questionable.  Cole came in third while not being ranked last year.  I could argue that Cole stacked up against the other two equally, but in the offseason, there is no contest; Cole wins it.  Anti-Yankee bias!

Relief Pitcher:  Best relief pitcher according to the list, is Kirby Yates of the Padres that was not ranked last year.  Aroldis Chapman came in second as he moved up the list from the number eight spot.  This snub is probably the most notable caused of anti-Yankee bias.  The Cuban Chapman won the 2019 Reliever of the Year Award ahead of Liam Hendriks of the Athletics and Josh Hader of the Brewers.  Kirby Yates is not even mentioned.

Catcher:  Top catcher goes to Yasmani Grandal of the Chicago White Sox.  Gary Sanchez was not even mentioned in the top ten.  Sanchez last year had more home runs than any in the top ten list.  I agree with Grandal in first and J.T Realmuto of the Phillies in second place mostly due to their RBI’s and runs scored.  I put Sanchez in third place even though he lost time due to injuries.  Last year his defense of the backstop was much improved.

First Baseman:  After not being ranked last year, Luke Voit came in as the seventh-best first baseman.  I have no argument here.

Second Baseman:  DJ LeMahieu came in second on the list behind Ketel Marte of the Diamondbacks.  These placements you could argue either way.  As crucial as  LeMahieu was to the Yankees last year, Marte’s batting average and the number of home runs put him on top.

Third Baseman:  Best goes to Alex Bregman of the Astros.  I’m sorry I have to put a massive asterisk after his placement and discount him entirely due to the Houston Astros, who were punished by MLB for illegally stealing signs.  Anthony Rendon of the Angels came in second,  I agree and award him the top place.  Gio Urshela, the big surprise Yankee handling the hot corner, was not mentioned in the top ten.   It’s a hard one for me to swallow due to his outstanding defense. Looking at number 10 Manny Machado, Machado had more hits, more home runs and more RBI’s although Urshela had a .314 batting average over Machado’s .256.  Machado’s power pushed him ahead of Urshela.

Shortstop:  First went to Trevor Story of the Colorado Rockies and second to Francisco Lindor.  I would switch that around.  Gleyber Torres came in the seventh spot on the list, and there will be no argument from me on that placement.

Left Field:  Juan Soto of the Washington Nationals took to top spot which is well earned.  Giancarlo Stanton that came in second last year moved to the number 10 spot mostly because he lost so much time to injuries.

Center Field:  The Angels Mike Trout was again named number one, which if richly deserved.   Aaron Hicks came in 8th best and Brett Gardner in the number 10 slot.   There are some genuinely stellar centerfielders in baseball.  I might put Gardner ahead of Hicks as he bore most of the load last year and had one of his best seasons with the Yankees.

Right Field:  Yankees Aaron Judge moved from being best last year to the number three placement this year.  Mookie Betts of the Red Sox came in first, followed by Christian Yelich, who moved up from third.   I can’t argue Judge’s placement, he lost a lot of time on the field, his production was way down, and his defense out in right fell off slightly.  What I can argue is that Yelich should be in first. He had the highest fielding percentage (.990) and had 44 home runs with a batting average of .329 while having a 1.100 OPS to Bett’s .915.  If I were Christain Yelich, I’d be ripping mad.

The New York Yankees, in general, regardless of any of the biased ratings are the number one team this year destined at the very least to reach the postseason and win a 28th World Championship, the most in any sport.  At the end of the season, the Los Angles will be there, and the New York Yankees will have to beat them.  Other teams to watch in both leagues are the Washington Nationals and the Minnesota Twins.   With the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox greatly diminished, it should be an exciting year for New York Yankees fans.

How can the New York Giants upgrade their secondary?

New York Jets, Logan Ryan, Tennessee Titans

The New York Giants pass defense was well documented as being one of the worst in the league last season.  The Giants secondary gave up more than 4,200 passing yards on the season (28th overall) and 7.1 yards per pass attempt (29th overall).  New York must upgrade their pass defense, but according to ESPN’s Jordan Raanan, those upgrades will not come from spending big in the cornerback market in free agency.

How will the New York Giants improve their pass defense?

Much of the headaches in the pass defense could be attributed to the lack of experience in the secondary.  Only three of the cornerbacks that saw impactful snap counts for the Giants defense last season had any playing time before last season.  Only one, Janoris Jenkins, started more than ten games heading into 2019. 

Many believe that the New York Giants may look at the top of the 2020 NFL Draft to help upgrade the cornerback position, but is adding more inexperience a good move?  Maybe. Ohio State’s Jeffrey Okudah seems to have the talent. However, adding a veteran presence to replace Janoris Jenkins looks to be the better move for New York.

If the rumors are true and the Giants won’t spend big on the cornerback market in free agency, who does that leave?  It most certainly rules out Byron Jones, assuming he doesn’t get an extension from Dallas. Jones will be one of the most highly sought free agents on the market and will likely get paid as such.  

Chris Harris, Jr., Logan Ryan, Bradley Roby, and Jimmy Smith are all free agents that made at or above $10 million per year on average.  However, is $10 million the bar for the Giants? Also, was their performance or age going to impact their number? I wouldn’t rule these names out like I would with Jones, but they may be just outside where New York is willing to go for the position.

So, who could the Giants target in free agency?

Former first-round selection for the Minnesota Vikings, Trae Waynes found himself not having an excellent coverage year in 2019.  His speed is his top trait, and he consistently has been good as a run defender. Unfortunately, his coverage ability has not been as consistent.  He shows flashes, but in the last four seasons has given up 16 touchdowns.

Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Darqueze Dennard is another intriguing name for New York to keep an eye on.  He’s a solid cornerback, particularly in the slot, but has not been the most durable. With only one full season in the last six, health should undoubtedly be a concern for the Giants.  

I am sure the Giants would love to take Byron Jones away from a divisional rival and excel.  However, if the cost is an issue, there may be another option. Enter former Eagle Ronald Darby. Darby had an extremely forgetful 2019 season, posting an abysmal 45.9 grade with PFF.  He has battled injuries throughout his career and was put on injured reserve in December for a hip injury. Before 2019, Darby had been a very reliable starter, when healthy. Could he return to that form?

What is the Giants answer at improving the pass defense?

All of these options are risky.  Spend less money on inconsistent talent or durability concerns.  This has been the gamble that has hurt the New York Giants in other recent free agency moves.  The best way to help an inexperienced pass defense is to upgrade the pass rush. It’s been the story for the Giants all along, and that will not change.  

Yannick Ngakoue, Shaquil Barrett, and Kyle Van Noy could all be and should be considerations for the Giants.  The Chase Young dream is unlikely. Isaiah Simmons is versatile and talented, but will that translate to a consistent threat in disrupting the quarterback?  Trading back and somehow taking a K’Lavon Chaisson, AJ Epenesa, or any of the other next tier rookie edge defenders is an option. Whatever the case, if the Giants want to improve the pass defense without spending big in free agency, the best way to do that is to spend big in getting to the quarterback.

New York Yankees got What They Traded for in James Paxton

New York Yankees, James Paxton

The New York Yankees broke the news that James Paxton was undergoing back surgery to remove a cyst on his spinal column. I wish him a speedy recovery, as learning from my dad’s back problems (shards of ruptured vertebrae lodging into his other vertebrae) that this is no joke. But we got exactly what we traded for in James Paxton, an injury-prone pitcher.

Yes, He Truly is Injury Prone

Last year saw him sidelined for 3 weeks due to a sore knee. We guess it was due to the clay used to make up the mound at Yankee Stadium. He also suffered a glute injury on his final start of the season. But, while listening to the Michael Kay Show on ESPN radio yesterday, this cyst popped up and started bothering Paxton throughout the postseason run the Yankees had. But before he developed this cyst, Paxton was on and off the IL in Seattle for injuries like a strained pec, strained lat, trouble with his forearm and elbow, and a strained tendon in a finger on his pitching hand. I’ve said it before, he’s a seven-year veteran, who has yet to make 30 starts in a season. As long as we hang onto him, we will see him miss several starts per year due to injury.

Do We Really Have Enough Depth?

True, we do have depth at the starting pitching position. But will it be sustainable depth until we get Paxton AND German back?

The New York Yankees are notorious for being overly cautious with their starting pitchers. And that hyper caution resulted in several promising pitchers to completely implode on themselves (Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes for starters). Montgomery pitched all of 4 innings last year. Severino will start his first full season since 2018. Happ is hopefully going to be a step above mediocre. Loaisiga and Luis Cessa were average at best as starters for the Yankees, and Devi Garcia may need to adjust his stuff at the major league level. Not to mention the fact Paxton and German will undoubtedly only be back by the All-Star game because they’ll have to throw a few tune-up games in the minor leagues.

We still have Gerrit Cole, is he m and a diminishing regular season Tanaka going to be enough when there are so many question marks surrounding the rotation going into Spring Training?

Yankees News/Rumors: Aaron Boone Under the Gun, and Tauchman Vs Frazier

New York Yankees, Clint Frazier

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

Aaron Boone under the gun:

Few would argue the fact that Aaron Boone, in his first two years at the helm of the New York Yankees, has done an excellent job.  In his inaugural year, he earned 100 wins, and last year with an unprecedented number of Yankee injuries, he managed the team to get 103 wins and win the AL East’s the first pennant since 2012.

Many fans, when Boone was hired by the front office, said:  Aaron, who?  Fans still suffering the loss of Joe Girardi that was replaced by Boone after the 2017 season, weren’t really expecting much from their new manager.

Fast forward to spring training 2020.  Most all of the major league baseball thinks the 2020 New York Yankees are the team to beat, the team that is now expected to not only go to the postseason but to win it all, it’s 28th World Championship.   Yankee fans after a ten-year drought will accept nothing less.

Hal Steinbrenner said at a winter MLB owners meeting last week in Orlando, Fla: “I believe we had a championship-caliber team last year and the year before.  He added: “We’re even better this year.” This puts Aaron Boone in rarified air. He’s gone from fans not expecting much to fans and management alike expecting him to win it all.  With the Yankees in the best position to win than they have been in a decade, what will the Yankee faithful think if he doesn’t bring home a Championship?  Better still, what will Hal Steinbrenner and General Manager Brian Cashman think?

Manager Boone is under the gun. With the acquisition of arguably the best pitcher in baseball to the tune of $324 million, solving the only soft area in last year’s team, and one of the most powerful lineups in baseball, fans, and management will demand he bring home the Championship to New York City and a celebratory parade down the “Canyon of Heros.”

What to do with Clint Frazier:

Clint Frazier was drafted in the first round by the Cleveland Indians in 2013 right out of Loganville High School in Georgia.  The New York Yankees in the middle of the 2016 season, realizing that they wouldn’t be in the postseason, traded away closer Andrew Miller to the Indians.  The Yankees got Clint Frazier, Justus Sheffield, Ben Heller, and J. P. Feyereisen from the Indians.  The Yankees sent Frazier to the Scranton Wilkes/Barre AAA minor league affiliate primarily because of his better than average batting average while with the Indians (.287).  Frazier has played mostly at the minor league level in his three years with the Yankees.

During 2017 and 2018, Frazier was called up to the Stadium several times and showed flashes of being the next Yankee superstar with his quick bat and going at a tear behind the plate.  The then 22-year-old redhead quickly became popular, and the fans gave him the nickname “Red Thunder.” Things looked good for the young man and dramatically increased in value.  Clubs around baseball started to take notice.  Fast forward to the 2019 season when injuries plagued the Yankees.  Frazier was to play more in the majors than in the previous two seasons.    Frazier still showed his value behind the plate by hitting .351 for a period leading all Yankees.  For Frazier, the challenge was playing in the outfield where he was sorely deficient (.983) in both the left and right fields.   The wheel fell off during a Red Sox series where he misplayed several balls. Fans started to sour on him and then came the failure to take responsibility regarding the press and his immature handling of being sent down to the minors.

There was much talk in this offseason, from Yankee fans that Frazier might be traded.  The only problem was that because of his poor defense, his value to other teams was greatly diminished.  As we now approach spring training in less than two weeks,  it appears the Yankees have decided it’s better to keep Frazier for injury insurance than get nothing for him in a trade.  The Yankees will start the season without injured Aaron Hicks, putting newly signed Brett Gardner in center and a questionable Stanton in left.  If either of them is injured, it puts Frazier and Mike Tauchman in play to fill those spots now that Cameron Maybin is no longer a Yankee.

Last year as Frazier was missing plays in left, Aaron Judge was injured, and Frazier was moved to the right field, and Mike Tauchman was brought up to play left.  Tauchman although not Frazier behind the plate, he played stellar defense in the left field.  Tauchman in 87 games hit .277 with 13 home runs, which is pretty good, at that rate he would have hit 26 home runs in a full season, which the Yankees would be happy to accept.  Another plus that the T-man has over Frazier is that he hits from the left side of the plate in a right heavy lineup.  Frazier is no kid anymore (25).  This may very well be Clint Frazier’s last chance to show the Yankees that he has a future with the team, he must defend his position.

New York Mets’ signing Michael Wacha feels healthy and ready to roll

New York Mets, Michael Wacha

Ever since the New York Mets signed Michael Wacha and Rick Porcello to one-year deals on the same week, some people have been assuming that the former would end up in the bullpen with the latter in the rotation. However, there will be a competition for two spots between them and Steven Matz. That’s the only certainty. Any additional stuff is just speculation at this point.

Wacha has been around for a long time, yet he is only 28. Last season was a bad one: he put up a negative -0.2 fWAR.
In 29 games (24 starts) with the St. Louis Cardinals, he was 6-7 in 126.2 innings with a 4.76 ERA. He had a 5.61 FIP, a 7.39 K/9 and an elevated 3.91 BB/9.

Yet Kevin Kernan of the New York Post believes he is one step closer to regain the form that made him an All-Star and a Cardinal postseason hero back in the day.

For starters, he is healthy. He has battled multiple injury issues over the years, most notably on his pitching shoulder. Last season, he suffered an oblique ailment.

Health will be the key for Wacha and the Mets

“It’s going to be interesting,’’ Wacha said Sundayto Kernan at Mets pre-camp. “I did some different stuff in the weight room and mechanical-wise I changed up some stuff that helps my delivery, just a little better motion, and I think that will definitely help.’’

“This spring feels a little different for sure. I feel very healthy, very strong. In 2018, I was knocked out with that oblique injury and that kind of carried over into the offseason when I was rehabbing that oblique all the way into the offseason heading into the 2019 spring training,’’ said Wacha. “It was nice to have a good offseason where I was fully healthy and fully recovered and I really got some good work in.”

Wacha is aware of the talent around him. Winning a spot won’t be easy, but he will let his talent do the talking. “My main focus is competing on the mound and throwing strikes,” he stated.

He recognizes the star-power in the Mets’ unit. “This staff is unbelievable. We got arms for days. It’s very cool. I’m very happy and excited to be over here to get to pitch alongside these guys and learn from them and see what they think on the mound.”