New York Giants: Absurd Tom Brady Rumors May Not Be So Absurd

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady going to the New York Giants? If you’d brought that idea up a year ago it would seem like something out of a video game, a pure fantasy move, but through this offseason it’s proved to be a move brought up by multiple sources as an actual possibility.

Those sources range in their importance and credibility on the matter but at this point in the offseason as we head towards free agency, the talks about Brady to the Patriots haven’t been dispelled. This time, the one talking about it is NFL Network reporter Michael Giardi, who claims that actual executives and coaches see Brady as potentially leaving. And on the list of potential landing spots is the Giants.

The Giants already have their apparent starter in Daniel Jones but throwing a second year player into the starting role from the beginning of the season is a risky move. There is some sound logic behind the Giants acquiring Tom Brady and letting Jones pick up more knowledge and work on some problems with his game before throwing him into the high pressure role of being the team’s sole starter, but there’s multiple factors at play when it comes to how realistic a deal is.

If Brady is going to leave the Patriots, it will likely take a good offer to entice him. Would the Giants be willing to make a competitive offer compared to other potential landing spots such as the Titans or the Raiders, rather than putting cap space and money into improving other positions instead of spending on one spot the Giants are believed to be covered in already?

Furthermore, do the Giants even want to keep Jones on the bench for a veteran quarterback after keeping Eli Manning out for most of last season so Jones could get starting experience? While bringing Brady in would be financially beneficial for the team from a marketing standpoint, the Giants have already shown some commitment to running with Jones over a veteran option.

Those and other questions remain, but with Brady becoming an unrestricted free agent next month, we’re not far off from seeing how the front office handles this opportunity.

New York Yankees: Clint Frazier Has An Opportunity

After the New York Yankees beat the Washington Nationals in a rain-shortened game Monday afternoon, Aaron Boone announced that Giancarlo Stanton would be shut down with a grade one calf strain.

This is Stanton’s sixth injury in just over two years in New York, and will likely begin the season on the IL. The injury gives Clint Frazier an opportunity he’s been looking for.

The expectation was originally that Frazier would break camp with the Railriders. But, with the Stanton injury, it seems that he could break with the big league club.

His bat has always been good, but the reason why Frazier has spent a lot of time in AAA is because of his defense. He had -8 defensive runs in 2019 in just 53 games played in the outfield.

He hit .267 in 2019, and his average was brought down by a bad September. Frazier hit 12 home runs and drove in 38, having an OPS over .800. He’s an excellent hitter but needs to put the defense together.

But now is his chance. It will likely be him, Aaron Judge, Mike Tauchman, and Brett Gardner in the outfield to start 2020. I don’t know how long this opportunity could last for Frazier. Calf strains are super weird. Sometimes, players recover fast, and other times guys are out for weeks and months. It will probably be a feeling out process for a while for Stanton.

No matter how long Frazier is up for, he needs to take advantage of it. This could be his last chance with the Yankees, and he could get traded if he struggles. He’s been in a lot of trade rumors over the last year or so.

With Giancarlo Stanton hurt, Clint Frazier has the opportunity he has been asking for.

The New York Mets and J.D. Davis get good news after injury scare

The New York Mets received some good news on the injury front on Wednesday afternoon. Third baseman/outfielder J.D. Davis, who jammed his left shoulder while diving for a ball in the hot corner on Tuesday, had an MRI today and it was negative.

To be more specific, the MRI showed “no new structural damage,” according to Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen.

The GM said that the test “didn’t show a ton of inflammation” either. Davis landed hard on his shoulder while trying to catch a ground ball in a Grapefruit League game.

The Mets dodged a bullet and avoided a serious injury to one of their most important offensive performers. With Robinson Cano, Jed Lowrie and Yoenis Cespedes already nursing or recovering from injuries, the team can’t afford to lose a 136 wRC+ bat for any extended period of time.

According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, Davis is expected to rest the shoulder into next week and then be re-evaluated. He has a shot at being ready to suit up for the Mets on opening day.

Van Wagenen did say that the test showed a previous labrum injury, but that the slugger has been able to play through without issue.

The Mets’ slugger feels “fine, just a little achy and sore”

Davis indicated that he felt “a little achy and sore, no sharp pains, and I’ve got full range in my shoulder right now, and it’s just a little weak, but I am feeling good,” Davis said. “Shoulders can be tricky, so first day it’s going to be just rehabbing and then just go from there and progress back to baseball activities.”

The former Houston Astro say that he didn’t know about the previous labrum tear.

“I never had symptoms of it, which is a relief, because when [the doctor] said it had a little tear and said it looked like an old injury, so I was instantly relieved about it,” he said.

New York Giants: Ogletree and Martin Cut- Who’s Next?

New York Giants, Antoine Bethea

The New York Giants made two major roster moves today. New York freed up $13.05 million in cap space after cutting linebackers Alec Ogletree and Kareem Martin. These cuts were expected to be made all offseason but are now official.

The Giants will save a nice chunk of cap space by letting Ogletree and Martin go. But they likely are not going to stop there. Here are a couple more veteran players the Giants might soon cut from the roster:

Rhett Ellison

The New York Giants signed Rhett Ellison in 2017. Since then, he has served as the second-string tight end behind Evan Engram. Engram has been used as the team’s receiving tight end since his speed and athleticism make him a bit of a matchup nightmare. But Ellison, on the other hand, has been used primarily as a blocker.

The Giants signed Ellison to a four-year deal worth $18 million. He has been making $4.5 million on average annually. 2020 is the final year on Rhett’s contract. New York can save $5 million in cap space if they cut Rhett Ellison this offseason.

Ellison has not had a huge role in the offense the past few years and it seems like the Giants have found a sound replacement in Kaden Smith. It would be a wise move to release the 31-year-old tight end.

Antoine Bethea

If the Giants cut Antoine Bethea like they are expected to, he will be a “one-and-done” player. Dave Gettleman and the Giants signed Bethea last offseason. Antoine’s performance in 2019 was disappointing, to say the least.

The Giants signed Antoine Bethea to a two-year, $6.5 million deal last year. Cutting Bethea this offseason would save the Giants $2.75 million in cap space for the 2020 season.

The Giants might already have Antoine’s replacement on the roster in Julian Love. Regardless, Bethea is 35-years-old and looks like a shell of his former self. The Giants are likely to move on from the veteran safety in the coming weeks.

New York Yankees soundly defeat the World Champion Nationals 8-2

New York Yankees, Masahiro Tanaka

It was a cloudy day today in Tampa, and at 78 degrees, it was a pleasant day at George M. Steinbrenner Field, where the World Champion Washington Nationals visited the New York Yankees on their home field.  The Yankees put up Mashiro Tanaka in his spring season debut to face the Nationals Joe Ross.  The game started out slowly as the first inning remained scoreless.  Tanaka came out at the top of the second but allowed a man on base and then a long homer to Raudy Read for the early Nationals 2-0 lead.  The Yankees remained scoreless in the bottom of the second.  Zack Britton made his debut and shot down the Nats in the top of the third while striking out two Nats.

The Yankees broke it open in the bottom of the third inning scoring six runs.  With two on, Hernandez had a wild pitch driving in two Yankee runners.  DJ then bounced on over the left-field fence for a ground-rule double driving in Erik Kratz for the 3-2 Yankee lead.  Harper came in for Hernandez, giving up another three runs to the Yankees.   Harper allowed two runners and then hit Brett Gardner to load the bases with Yankees.  Sanchez flew out but drove in DJ and Castro overthrew third base allowing Torres to score, and then Harper had a wild pitch that allowed Gardner to score to complete the six-run inning.

Chad Green took over for Britton in the top of the fourth.  He struck out one and allowed a walk and a strikeout, then got a ground out for a clean inning in his spring training debut.

Tanner Rainey came out for the Nats in the bottom of the 4th as the skies became rainy looking.  Mike Ford walked, Clint Frazier then hit one off the left-field wall to move Ford to third base.  Erik Kratz got to the plate (he scored in the third), and walked to load the bases with no outs.  Next up was DJ LeMahieu, who struck out.  Torres followed with a sac fly that scored Ford from third for the Yankees 7-2 lead.   Estevan Florial lined one past first, driving in Frazier from third for the 8-2 Yankee lead.  Sanchez flew out to center, but the Yankees picked up two more runs.

The Yankees used Tommy Kahnle in the top of the fifth, he got two quick outs but then walked one and allowed a long single to left putting two men on base.   Although he struggled, he got out of it with another strikeout.  At the bottom of the fifth, the rain started to come down as Gio Urshela singled off new Nats pitcher Guerra,  Miguel Andujar in this third plate appearance sent a rocket down to the left-field wall moving Urshela to third on the double.   No Yankee has had more hits in his first 162 games then Miguel Andujar since Joe DiMaggio.   Mike Ford flew out, and Clint Frazier walked to get on base for his third time in the game.  Erik Kratz came to the plate as the Umpires pulled the players off the field as the skies opened up.   Being an official game, the Umpires called the game with two Yankees still on base. The Yankees won 8-2 over the Nationals in the rain shorted game.  Zack Britton got the win for the Yankees.

During the game, Ryan Ruocco and David Cone interviewed Yankee General Manager Brian Cashman on several subjects.  Cashman commented on the Luiz Severino situation and how they finally decided Tommy John surgery was necessary. It was a contrast dye MRI that revealed the partially torn UCL.  He will undergo surgery on Thursday. The procedure will be performed by Dr. David Altchek at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.  

They also discussed Aaron Judge and Miguel Andujar.   He stated that they are going slow with Judge to be sure he is at full strength to start the season.  Saying that there is no rush, we want him for the full season.  As far as Andujar is concerned, both he and Manager Aaron Boone are satisfied with Miguel’s interest in trying different positions and his accomplishments so far.  Yankee great Bernie Williama also joined the YES booth for an inning during the game.  Williams is in town for a concert.

 

New York Yankees: Giancarlo Stanton goes down with a calf strain

New York Yankees, Giancarlo Santon

Well, this preseason has not started out too motivating for the New York Yankees, who already have two starting pitchers recovering from major surgery.

Luis Severino, who will undergo Tommy John surgery on Thursday, will miss the entire 2020 season, and James Paxton will be out until at least May after having a cyst removed from his lower back.

Toss in the Aaron Judge sore shoulder injury, and you can say the baseball gods are punishing the Yankees for some untold truth. However, it doesn’t end there, as Giancarlo Stanton has been diagnosed with a grade 1 calf strain.

What does this mean for the New York Yankees slugger?

Stanton’s grade 1 calf strain will take approximately 7-10 days to heal. Still, knowing his healing abilities, it’ll take at least two weeks, forcing him to miss important Grapefruit League games where he was supposed to be getting back into baseball shape.

Stanton only enjoyed 52 at-bats in 2019, failing to leave his mark on a 103-win campaign. The Yankees will now need to supplement his loss with another player, likely being Miguel Andujar, who has looked solid so far in live-action.

New York Giants to evaluate quarterbacks, what’s the truth behind it?

New York Giants, Joe Judge

Developing a sense of competition and work-ethic starts with the coaching staff, and new head coach for the New York Giants, Joe Judge, is prioritizing instability at every position.

Judge wants every player to fight for their job like it’s on the line, even if it’s technically not. The rookies from 2019 are more than likely staying put in New York, but we’ve seen trades occur before that send players elsewhere. However, at the quarterback position, Daniel Jones will probably be the option for the foreseeable future.

Judge stated that they would be evaluating passers in the draft, to ensure every player currently on the New York Giants that if Jones isn’t safe, neither are they.

Dave Gettleman, on the other hand, had a different approach, tailored around building his draft board and solidifying a value for each player.

“We evaluate every position, because you want to set your board the right way,” general manager Dave Gettleman told reporters on Tuesday. “If you don’t evaluate everybody in the draft, whether people perceive you have a need at that position or not, your board is not right, and if your board is not right, you can’t maneuver properly. Your board has to be right. You have to evaluate everybody and give them the full schmear. You don’t just want to be cursory, ‘Aw yeah okay, he’s going in the first round. Here’s his grade.’ No. You evaluate them because it’s the only way you can operate.”

The New York Giants could draft a QB in 2020, just not ‘that’ QB:

The Giants have selected a quarterback in the three of the last four drafts, indicating that Gettleman could pursue a backup option in the later rounds this year. It’s always a good idea to draft a quarterback, look at how the Patriots operate –they have developed both Jacoby Brissett and Jimmy Garappolo in the past, ensuring Tomy Brady had a quality backup but also a potential trade piece the team could utilize. Passers have the highest positional value, so hitting on a late-round player gives the team leverage in the future if they pan out.

 

New York Yankees: Who will replace Luis Severino in the starting rotation?

New York Yankees, Michael King

New York Yankees fans learned that Luis Severino will require Tommy John surgery after missing all but two weeks of the last season, due to rotator cuff and lat injuries. Yankee fans are thinking, “it’s deja vu all over again”.

Last season the Yankees lost 30 players to 39 separate entries to the IL.  Now with losing James Paxton to Back surgery and ace Luis Severino to Tommy John surgery, the Yankee hopeful are hoping this is not a return to last year’s unprecedented injuries. The very practical matter Yankee management must deal with and right away is who will replace these pitchers in the rotation that previously was thought to be one of the best in baseball with the addition of the $324MM Gerrit Cole.

The pitching rotation will now be led by Cole, Masahiro Tanaka, and J.A. Happ, who was recently announced at the first starter.  Happ will now move two spots up to number three.  The previous choice as a six starter or replacement was LHP Jordan Montgomery, who is also returning from Tommy John.  He missed all of last season rehabbing from the surgery.  In 2017-18 the 27-year-old posted a 3.84 ERA in 35 career starts before he got hurt.  Pitchers returning from TJS seldom return to their previous form.  This usually comes back in bits and pieces over a year to as much as three years.  Pitching control is often the last element to return.  In Gerrit Cole’s start on Monday, Jordan Montgomery pitched two clean innings in relief, which is encouraging.

That leaves the fifth spot in the rotation now open,  General Manager Brian Cashman has made it clear that the saving grace for the Yankees is their pitching depth and the hungry players waiting to make a name for themselves.   When questioned about the lack of trade possibilities, he stated:

“We’re always constantly looking for upgrades anyway, but this time of year, that’s how it shakes out, especially until after the June draft regardless. So, you rely on your depth. And I wouldn’t say (to) expect any domino effect or cause and effect in terms of us being able to go to the marketplace, where a marketplace typically this time of year doesn’t exist.”

The most logical candidates for the first spot are Jonathan Loaisiga and Micheal King, who are further along with their development. EmpireSportsMedia.com’s Alex Wilson reported on them earlier today.  The other two possibilities are #1 prospect Deivi Garcia ad #2 prospect Clarke Schmidt who pitched in the game the Yankees lost to the Pirates. Baseball America ranks the New York Yankee pitching prospect Deivi Garcia the #2 pitching prospect, MLB Pipeline rates him as #1.  No matter where you rank him, he is a Yankee prospect that will make an impact sooner than later.

Deivi has attracted a lot of attention from the media in the few days he’s been in Tampa. Garcia is known as a strikeout machine as he struck out 165 batters in just 111 innings this past season. With his swift progress last year, he can smell the majors getting closer.

“Of course, I would love to contribute, right, in some way. It’s always — you understand that you’re getting closer.” Garcia said. “Being here, I have an opportunity to learn a lot from all the veterans in this room, that’s something that I want to do,” All of Garcia’s comments are translated by the Yankee’s Dominican born translator Abreu.

Manager Aaron Boone and the coaches will be observing Deivi as the spring training season progresses, mainly because of how fast he has advanced in the minors, last year he advanced from the AA Trenton Thunder to the AAA Scranton Wilkes/Barre Rail Riders.  It was previously thought that he might make his major league debut sometime this year, but now with the loss of Luis Servino, that might happen earlier according to how he performs in spring training.

Another possibility to fill that fifth spot is Clarke Schmidt, who has already impressed in spring training.  Schmidt is another Tommy John veteran, having the surgery in 2017.  The Yankees drafted him in the first round in 2017 after the South Carolina 21-year-old had a great year with the Gamecocks. Schmidt threw 111.1 innings showing off better than average strikeout stuff.  The Yankees, due to his rehab from TJS, have taken it cautiously with Schmidt.  Even so, he has progressed nicely. The 24-year-old still has to prove that he can continue to expand his innings limit, with an injury-free season.  The Yankees have been looking at pushing him to 140 innings this year at Scranton.  But again now, with the major league starting rotation in flux, due to injuries, they may push him even harder.  It is not out of the question that Stadium will see both of these budding stars at some point during the season.

With one spot in the rotation seemingly up for grabs, don’t be surprised if either of these two bright prospects shows up to fill the void. Especially if there are injuries to Jonathan Loaisiga or Micheal King or even Masahiro Tanaka, who has been dealing with a partially torn UCL for the past few years. Tanaka chose rehab rather than surgery.  The Yankees certainly hope this is the last bad news they will receive on the injury front.

 

New York Mets: Michael Wacha’s stuff impresses on spring debut

Simeon Woods-Richardson

When the New York Mets signed right-hander Michael Wacha from the free agent pool late last year, they told him that he was going to be a starter. They inked the former Cardinal to an incentive-laden one-year deal with a base salary of roughly $3 million.

However, just hours later, they announced the signing of fellow starter Rick Porcello to a one-year deal worth $10 million. With those two, the team would now have six capable starters.

Several ideas have been thrown around in the last few hours as the Mets get creative to fill the back of their rotation. Jacob deGrom is the unquestioned ace, and he is followed by Noah Syndergaard and Marcus Stroman.

Lefty Steven Matz, Porcello and Wacha are said to be fighting for two spots. Given the resources invested in Porcello, however, it is likely he gets one of the two openings.

For the final one, the New York Post reported that the Mets could be considering several paths. They could alternate Matz and Wacha depending on the matchup, or they could go with Seth Lugo or Robert Gsellman as openers followed by Wacha or Matz as the bulk guys. Nothing has been dismissed yet.

The Mets told him he was going to start

But Wacha knows what he wants. “They told me I am a starter, so that is what I am here for,” he said to Mike Puma of the Post.

In his first spring training game on Tuesday, the Mets’ hurler turned two scoreless frames. His fastball sat in the 94-96 mph range, which is fantastic given that he averaged 93.4 with the pitch in 2019.

“The ball felt like it was coming out good,” Wacha said. “It felt like the other pitches were playing off that fastball command and overall I thought it went well.”

The Mets may have a great problem in their hands.

BREAKING: New York Giants cut Alec Ogletree and Kareem Martin

New York Giants, Alec Ogletree

The New York Giants have made two more roster cuts on Wednesday, releasing both Alec Ogletree and Kareem Martin.

Ogletree was traded from the Los Angeles Rams to the Giants in 2018, and while his stats look solid, he has been a liability on defense for Big Blue. His astronomically high 15.8% missed tackle rate last season proved to be his downfall, and Kareem Martin’s inability to stay healthy and contribute was his inevitable collapse.

How do these cuts affect the New York Giants’ cap space?

Cutting Ogletree will save the Giants $8.25 million in cap space while Martin will add about $5 million in cap. Overall, GM Dave Gettleman will now have $13 million more to play with in free agency, as the Giants desperately need a No. 1 corner and pass rush help.

I anticipate the Giants going out and signing a linebacker, cornerback, and potentially a right tackle. Of course, these variables are dependent on their draft strategy and who they want to allocate picks toward.

The Giants will surely continue to make cuts in the coming days, as Rhett Ellison and Antoine Bethea did not produce to expectations in 2019. Bethea could be retained as a backup safety, and his veteran presence is a positive factor, but he simply didn’t grade well in coverage, recording just one interception (which occurred within five yards of the LOS).

If the Giants do, in fact, cut Ellison, they would be saving approximately $5 million in cap, and Bethea would add $2.75 million.