New York Giants: The Ideal Draft-Day Trade

The New York Giants are in a perfect position at fourth overall. They have the opportunity to land an elite draft prospect, but they are also sitting ahead of numerous quarterback-needy teams that might be looking to trade up to draft their signal-caller.

The Giants, at fourth overall, sit ahead of teams searching for a quarterback, such as the Miami Dolphins (fifth overall), the Los Angeles Chargers (sixth overall), and the Oakland Raiders (ninth overall). The Dolphins and Chargers are widely expected to trade up for a quarterback if they must.

Securing Two First Round Picks:

The Giants can capitalize on the Chargers’ and Dolphins’ needs for a quarterback. Miami holds three first-round picks in the 2020 NFL Draft: fifth overall, eighteenth overall, and twenty-sixth overall. The Chargers only have the fifth overall pick in the first round, but they also have the thirty-seventh overall pick (second round).

Miami and Los Angeles are both likely to target the best quarterback available, expected to be Tua Tagovailoa. The two teams may compete for the right to draft Tua. The Giants can capitalize on this competition by creating a bidding war for the fourth overall pick.

It would make sense if the Chargers wanted to leapfrog the Dolphins and draft the quarterback they want before Miami has a chance to. They would only need to move up two spots to get in front of Miami. That should not be too expensive of a trade, right? Well, guess again.

Historically, most trades for quarterbacks involve multiple first-round picks in exchange for the pick to draft the quarterback

In addition to the premium prices that teams pay to draft quarterbacks, the Giants have the leverage to secure additional picks from the Miami Dolphins. New York could tell Miami that Los Angeles has offered the sixth overall pick and the thirty-seventh overall pick for the fourth overall pick, which they plan to spend on the quarterback that the Dolphins want. This would force Miami’s hand and get them to cough up the twenty-sixth overall pick to outbid Los Angeles and win the fourth overall pick.

The Giants, after trading the fifth pick to the Dolphins, would move back one spot and still be able to draft whomever they wanted to draft with the fourth overall pick. In addition to drafting that player, the Giants now hold an additional first-round pick, twenty-sixth overall. This would be the ideal draft-day trade for the New York Giants.

Addressing Positions Of Need:

In this ideal scenario, the Giants move back one spot and still get the prospect they wanted to draft with the fourth overall pick. They could even trade back further and stockpile more picks. I digress, however, and shift focus on whom the Giants could draft in this scenario. Most likely, the pick at fifth overall would be Clemson do-it-all linebacker, Isaiah Simmons.

Simmons perfectly fits the Giants’ defense and would be an X-factor for years to come. But how would the Giants address their other positions of need, such as edge rusher and offensive tackle? Well, now that they own the twenty-sixth overall pick (and have owned the thirty-sixth overall pick), New York can fill one of those needs in addition to landing superstar Isaiah Simmons.

The twenty-sixth overall pick could be used to draft a player such as AJ Epenesa, Zack Baun, or Yetur Gross-Matos, all first-round EDGE prospects. Or, they could spend the pick on offensive tackles, such as Lucas Niang or Josh Jones. One of those tackles might still be available with the thirty-sixth overall pick if they decide to wait and draft an EDGE at twenty-six instead. If the Giants are feeling aggressive and convicted towards a specific offensive tackle, they could even package twenty-six and thirty-six in a trade to move back inside the top-twenty or top-fifteen.

In this scenario, the first two rounds of the 2020 NFL Draft could look like this for the Giants: Isaiah Simmons, AJ Epenesa, and Josh Jones OR Isaiah Simmons and Andrew Thomas OR Tristan Wirfs, Kenneth Murray, and Justin Jefferson.

While this is the ideal Draft-Day trade scenario for the Giants, do not count on this happening. Dave Gettleman has never traded down in a draft before, and there is no guarantee that the Dolphins or Chargers would be willing to trade up for a quarterback. All we can do, as fans, is hope. This would be a perfect scenario for the New York Giants, so we can hope it our pipe dream comes true, but it likely never will.

New York Mets – Miami Marlins series in Puerto Rico officially canceled: It won’t be rescheduled

New York Mets, Brandon Nimmo

The New York Mets’ 2020 series against the division rivals Miami Marlins in Puerto Rico has been canceled due to coronavirus-related concerns. The Queens’ squad was slated to take on the Florida club from April 28-30.

According to an official announcement, the series has been canceled and it will not be rescheduled, leaving fans in Puerto Rico without the exciting series for the time being.

A recent COVID-19 outbreak has people worldwide at the edge of their seats. Thousands of people have died because of the disease, and people are being ordered by governments around the planet to isolate in their homes for the time being. MLB spring training was halted and the season likely won’t start until mid May at the earliest, if at all. June and July are much more realistic scenarios.

It was already known that the Puerto Rico series wouldn’t be played in time, but now, the announcement is official and we know that it won’t take place at any other date, as well.

The series was going to be played at the Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan. It would have been the second time in the last three seasons that MLB played at least one game in Puerto Rico, which is the home of dozens of successful major leaguers, including some members of both teams.

The Mets have international history

In fact, playing outside of the United States is something that the New York Mets know very well.

The Mets and the San Diego Padres played, according to SNY, the first international regular-season game back in 1996. They battled in Monterrey, Mexico, back then.

The New York Mets also plated in Tokyo, Japan, in 2000. They played against the Chicago Cubs in the first game played outside of North America. As it turns out, they have quite the history outside of the country.

New York Mets’ spring training standouts: Jeff McNeil

If we are talking pure hitters in MLB, there is no denying that the New York Mets‘ Jeff McNeil is among the most talented.

He is a career .321/.383/.513 hitter in 196 games and 815 plate appearances. His sweet line-drive stroke from the left side of the plate produces lots of hits and, also, his fair share of home runs.

MLB had to suspend Cactus League and Grapefruit League play because of coronavirus concerns. The virus is spreading rapidly around the globe, and other professional leagues took a similar road. Most of them, to be fair.

That leaves the New York Mets and its fans waiting for baseball. But as we wait, we can praise the players that had the best stat lines in the abbreviated spring training, and one of them was, without a doubt, Jeff McNeil.

The Mets’ hitting machine had a .462 average

McNeil led the Mets in spring training batting average, with .462. He had 12 hits in 26 at-bats, and four of them went for extra bases. With three doubles and a home run, he showed in February and March that the power stroke he had last season (23 homers in 2019) wasn’t a fluke.

In 10 Grapefruit League games in 2020, McNeil slashed .462/.500/.692 with a 1.192 OPS. He had a walk and struck out only two times, which shows he is as difficult an out as anybody in the league.

He crossed the plate in six occasions, and drove in a couple of runs. Whenever the 2020 starts, McNeil will be the Mets’ sparkplug, likely batting behind on-base machine Brandon Nimmo and before the big sluggers, Pete Alonso, Michael Conforto, J.D. Davis, Robinson Cano and company. The “Flying Squirrel” is a sure bet to score plenty of runs in what is shaping up to be a terrific offense.

Of course, we don’t know when the season will start. The Mets are left waiting, as are all the teams in the league. MLB decided to follow CDC’s recommendations, which means that there can’t be any gatherings of 50 people or more until mid-to-late May. June and July are being discussed as possible dates to start the season, but nothing is official and likely won’t be for a while.

New York Giants land defensive playmaker Isaiah Simmons in latest USA Today Mock Draft

New York Giants looking at Isaiah Simmons in 2020 NFL Draft?

The New York Giants could go down several different avenues in the 2020 NFL Draft. Still, the offensive line seems to be the needy unit, as left tackle Nate Solder is a liability at times, and the right tackle position is wide open. The departure of Mike Remmers in free agency has opened up a potential position battle between Nick Gates and recently signed tackle, Cameron Fleming.

While the offensive tackle position could serve to gain a top prospect, the defense could also use a top playmaker. After GM Dave Gettleman allocated millions of dollars toward bolstering the defense by means of CB James Bradberry, LB Blake Martinez, OLB Kyler Fackrell, and retaining LB David Mayo and DT Leonard Williams, the unit could still use another difference-maker.

That’s where Isaiah Simmons enters the picture.

USA Today’s latest mock draft has the Giants landing Simmons with the 4th overall pick:

4. Giants — Isaiah Simmons, LB/S, Clemson: Having spent big to retain defensive lineman Leonard Williams and reel in cornerback James Bradberry and linebacker Blake Martinez, general manager Dave Gettleman might be drawn to one of his beloved “hog mollies” with this pick. As much as quarterback Daniel Jones and running back Saquon Barkley would benefit from such an addition along the offensive line, Simmons has a strong case as the most valuable option for Big Blue. Defenders with his versatility and range don’t come around often, and he could prove to be the catalyst the Giants have been lacking.

While Gettleman added Martinez and retained Mayo, Simmons adds a different dynamic. His ability to drop into coverage and rush the passer on third downs makes him more of a “defender,” by his definition than a linebacker. His statistical output in 2019 while at Clemson is diverse — 104 total tackles, 7.0 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 3 interceptions, and 8 passes defended.

There’s little evidence to suggest that Simmons wouldn’t be a massive upgrade at the LB position for the Giants, and he would add a coverage attribute that Martinez and Mayo simply don’t have.

New York Mets: Edwin Jackson Almost Signed With the Mets

New York Mets

The well-traveled Edwin Jackson almost made history again if he signed with the New York Mets before Spring Training. The veteran decided to sign with the Arizona Diamondbacks instead, which kept him one-off from playing for half the teams in Major League Baseball.

The Dodgers, Rays, Tigers, Diamondbacks, White Sox, Cardinals, Nationals, Cubs, Braves, Marlins, Padres, Orioles, Athletics and Blue Jays are his 14 stops over his 17-year career. The longest he has ever spent with a team was three seasons and has not spent consecutive Opening Days with the same team since 2014-15.

Return to the Big Leagues

It is safe to assume Jackson would have started the year in Triple-A due to the pitching depth the Mets have both in their rotation and bullpen. He gives himself a better chance to crack the Diamondbacks starting rotation by signing there. After a rebirth of his career in 2018, his ERA skyrocketed in 2019. Jackson had a 9.58 ERA with the Blue Jays and Tigers and will try to earn a roster spot when baseball continues again.

New York Yankee Player Profiles: Brett Gardner, the heart and soul of the Yankees

New York Yankees, Brett Gardner

Brett Gardner the early years:

It all started for the New York Yankees when on a farm in Holly Hill, South Carolina, a boy was born to Jerry and Faye Gardner on August 24, 1983. That son was Brett Gardner. Brett grew up on that farm in the shadow of his Dad, who was a minor league baseball player in the Philadelphia Phillies organization. So it was natural that Brett would play baseball for the local American Legion post and also play the game when he attended Holly Hill Academy.

When he attended the College of Charleston in 2001 he decided to try out for their baseball team as walk-on.  He ended up playing 3 years as a starter for the team. In his senior year, he batted .447, tied for the most hits in college baseball with 122, established a Cougars record with 85 runs scored, and led the Southern Conference with 38 stolen bases. After his senior year, the Yankees selected Brett in the third round of the draft.

Brett Gardner makes his major league debut

From 2005 to 2006, he played for the New York Penn League and the Florida State League. In 2007 he played for the Trenton Thunder, he broke a bone in his hand but still managed to hit five triples, and batted .300 with a .392 OBP, before being promoted to the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees. On June 30, 2008, Gardner was called up and made his major league debut, batting leadoff and going 0-for-3 with a stolen base. On September 21, 2008, Gardner scored the final run of Major League Baseball in old Yankee Stadium history as a pinch-runner for Jason Giambi, scoring on a sacrifice fly by Robinson Canó in the seventh inning of an eventual 7–3 win for the Yankees over the Baltimore Orioles.

Brett has spent most of his career in the left outfield and as a leadoff batter due to his speed and ability to steal bases. When Curtis Granderson suffered an injury in 2013, Brett moved to center field, where he continued to excel. Although Brett will never be under consideration for the Hall of Fame, he has certainly excelled with the Yankees winning the Fielding Bible Award in 2010, 2011 and 2017. He was an All-Star in 2015, was AL Stolen base leader in 2011, AL triples leader in 2013, Gold Glove winner in 2016, and earned a World Series Champ ring in 2009.

Brett’s stats have been declining a bit in the last few years as he ages he is still the heart and soul of the New York Yankees. You know when Brett steps to the plate that he is going to run up pitches for whoever is pitching. He is the most disciplined Yankee at the plate, making contact on 93% of his swings. No player has played harder than Brett, and that continues to this day as he is having one of his best starts in recent years.

The heart and soul of the Yankees

Not only is Brett arguably the most popular player and the heart and soul of the team, but Brett was instrumental in holding the New York Yankee ragtag team together just by his presence and work ethic, teaching many minor leaguers playing newly in the stadium, what it means to be a Yankee and inspiring them to play to their best abilities.  All this while the Yankees suffered an unprecedented number of injuries, and during a time that different players were showing up daily.

For those that thought  Brett is washed up, he had an above-average season. He had 104 hits and 57 runs batted in, his third-best RBI record in his eleven-year career with the Yankees.  In late August, hit a 2 run homer for his 20th of the year. He was on track to beat his career-best home runs in a season. He hit 21 in 2017.  During 2019 Gardner had been clutch in many of his hits. His speed on the bases and his defense in the field was as good as ever.

Brett signs a new Yankee contract

His contract was over after the last season and he became a free agent.  Gardner always let it be known that he wanted to retire a Yankee.  For the longest time, he and fans alike did not know if the Yankees would offer him a new contract. Last year he ended up with a batting average of .251 with a record 28 home runs and an OPS of .829 one of the best OPSs on the club.  Finally, in December, he was offered a new contract much to the delight of the Yankee faithful.  On January 11th, it was made official and he was added to the 40 man roster.  Gardner returned on a one-year contract worth $12.5 million with a $10 million option for 2021 that includes a $2.5 million buyout.

Brett’s personals

Brett spends the offseason away from the New York Yankees near his Dad’s 2,600-acre farm. Brett and his wife live in Summerville, South Carolina. Brett and his wife Jessica have two boys, Abraham born in 2008 and Peter born in 2010. At age 36 his playing years may be becoming to an end, but he will always be remembered as a guy who put everything he had into every game.

The New York Knicks still haven’t been tested for the coronavirus

New York Knicks, James Dolan

All players on the New York Knicks still haven’t been tested for the coronavirus.  This comes more than a week after the NBA was suspended because of the virus.

Before the suspension, the Knicks were one of the last five teams that played the Utah Jazz.  The Jazz has the first two players diagnosed with the coronavirus, Rudy Gobert then Donovan Mitchell.  Testing for those teams and all team in general should’ve already taken place.

The night of the suspension, the Jazz played the Oklahoma City Thunder.  The Thunder were tested that night and luckily none of their players tested positive.

The Knicks have had meetings with doctors along with the New York Rangers.  But, the cross-town rivals, Brooklyn Nets, just has four players test positive.  One of them was Nets star Kevin Durant.

The team is simply following directions from head officials of the NBA.  However, testing for the virus should have already taken place considering the Knicks recently played the Jazz.

New York continues to rise in cases involving the coronavirus so testing of players should come quick.  While there are more people to test before professional athletes, the Knicks could have been exposed to the virus.  Testing all players, who played the Jazz, and those in ‘hot spots’ should happen ASAP.

New York Yankees: YES Network born 18 years ago today!

New York Yankees, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka

New York Yankee fans were blessed with their own television network devoted to Yankee baseball on March 19, 1992.  The Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network is a cable network dedicated to all things Yankee.  When it first premiered, it broadcast all Yankee games no matter where they took place as it still does today.

Since then, it has expanded coverage to not only the games but programs devoted to the history of the Yankees, Spring training, player’s lives and interviews with players and other celebrities. Two of the most popular features on YES, are Encore which allows fans that may be working, the ability to watch that day’s game at another time.  The other is New York Yankee Classics, classic games in Yankee history.

The regional sports network now covers all New York sports, from Ice hockey to soccer.  Also, in association with ESPN, it presents the Michael Kay Show each afternoon.  Kay not only has his own show on cable, but he is the voice of the YES Network from the broadcast booth when televising Yankee games along with dozens of other Yankees over the years, including Phil Rizzuto, Bobby Mercer, and others.

Yankee fans can emerge themselves in Yankee player’s lives with programs like Yankeeographies, Yankees Magazine, and Homegrown, delving into the lives of future Yankees greats.  Michael Kay’s Centerstage features interviews with Yankee players and other sports greats.

The most important feature of the YES Network is the broadcasting of Yankee baseball games.  Although it is a regional network, it is being picked up by more and more cable companies around the country.  In addition to the game broadcast, their excellent, knowledgeable staff engages in Batting Practice today, a pre-game show, and a post-game show with analysis by journalists and baseball brainiacs.

Congratulations to Michael Kay and the YES Network on 18 years of broadcasting Yankee games.  Hopefully, those broadcasts will again take place sooner than later after this coronavirus disease spread has receded, and the Center for Disease Control allows it.

 

New York Yankees: Is Clint Frazier finally ready to claim his throne?

New York Yankees, Clint Frazier

The everlasting story of Clint Frazier’s desire to earn a starting role on the New York Yankees has once again reached a tipping point. Frazier has an opportunity to make an impact in 2020, while some of the starting outfielders battle injuries. Before the MLB suspended all operations, it was expected that Frazier would start the season in the outfield, but the expectation now is that Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge will return for the prolonged Opening Day.

Frazier’s polarizing nature has created confusion for a Yankees team that knows his potential but can’t manage to get him the reps necessary to establish a sense of consistency. Last season, Frazier struggled defensively at times, being sent back to the minors after a multi-error game against the Boston Red Sox. He proceeded to shun reporters and stray from the Yankee way.

However, that narrative has changed in recent weeks, as manager Aaron Boone has expressed his confidence in “Red Thunder.”

Boone used descriptive words like “concentration, focus, [and] professionalism” to describe Clint’s behavior this spring. The progress for Frazier hasn’t been limited to his physcial abilities; he’s also matured as a human and realized the negative attention he can draw to himself by being extraordinarily different.

Clint Frazier must follow the New York Yankees method:

Following the Yankee way is how he will earn himself more playing time on one of the best teams in baseball. In 2019, he batted .267 with 12 homers and 38 RBIs, showing off his power and bat speed. There’s no question that Frazier has one of the faster bats in baseball, but increasing his efficiency at the plate is now the goal.

This spring, Frazier really picked it up, hitting an impressive .320 with one homer, eight hits, and two RBIs over 25 at-bats. His ability to get on base was notable, having walked an astounding seven times. More patience at the plate signifies his increased maturity, which will hopefully aid in a breakout year for the young outfielder.

New York Giants daily roundup: Signed safety, offensive tackle, draft plans

New York Giants, Joe Judge

The New York Giants made a splash in free agency early on this offseason, spending a majority of their available cap in the first day of legal tampering. They gained several quality players, but it seems like GM Dave Gettleman and HC Joe Judge took a different approach to their signings this year.

Judge seems to have affected the way the Giants go about things, as they signed a number of tier-2/3 players with front-loaded contracts to ensure they can get out of them after two seasons. Their biggest free-agent signings, James Bradberry and Blake Martinez, are both on three-year deals with heavy dead-cap hits early on. What does this mean? It means the Giants brass don’t consider their team a winning one just yet.

Having made no big splashes in free agency on players like Byron Jones and Jadeveon Clowney, either they don’t believe it’s necessary to spend big money on single players during a rebuild, or they have adopted a different model, similar to New England.

However, recent moves might have changed their draft plans: Signing Fleming ‘could’ indicate that a position battle between the former Cowboy and Nick Gates could ensue. This would open up the ability for the Giants to land a player like Isaiah Simmons in the draft and land a tackle in the second round (develop for a year since both Fleming and Gates are on one-year deals).

New York Giants have made a series of smaller moves:

On Wednesday night, Big Blue signed Dallas Cowboys’ offensive tackle, Cameron Fleming, who serves as a swing option, starting 26 games throughout the course of his career. Fleming also spent time in New England when Joe Judge featured as the special team’s coach. Factor in his connection with Jason Garrett and Marc Colombo and you can justify this signing. The deal is one-year for up to $4 million.

The Giants also landed special teams ace, Nate Ebner, who is also a safety by trade. Judge is very familiar with Ebner and his abilities, having coached him the past several seasons. It’s seeming like the Giants might elect to let Michael Thomas go and make a change with their personnel. Thomas is also a great special teams player and would be deserving of another contract.