How many picks do the New York Giants currently have in the 2021 NFL Draft?

New York Giants, Joe Judge

The New York Giants are heading into an integral part of the season with the November 3 trade deadline coming up. They’ve already begun to make moves, sending outside linebacker Markus Golden to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for a sixth-round pick.

However, I expect more deals to be done before the deadline, considering the Giants went into the week with just five picks in the 2021 NFL draft.

Here’s a look at all the New York Giants picks after the Golden trade:

Round 1 – Giants

Round 2 – Giants

Round 3 – Giants

Round 4 – Giants

Round 6  – Giants

Round 6 – Cardinals

Luckily, the Giants haven’t found a way to give away their first-round pick just yet, as general manager Dave Gettleman is known for his desire to give away selections. In a lost 2019 season, Gettleman sent a third and fifth-round pick to the New York Jets in exchange for Leonard Williams, and despite his quality play, the team is still 1–6 on the year and stagnating.

Recouping some lost value from the Williams trade could be a good move, as I stated in a previous article listing a number of solid options that could return trade value. Williams is one of them, and if the Giants could recoup a fourth-round pick, smack dab in the middle of the value they lost last year, it could be a minor victory.

Of course, sending WR Golden Tate on his way and giving a younger option more reps could be beneficial, despite having stellar one catch for 39 yards and a touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles in week seven.

If the New York Giants and Joe Judge wish to continue developing and making forward progress, they must continue to build through the draft and focus on youth players on rookie deals. Signing aging veterans has its purposes, but rebuilding isn’t one of them.

It is always positive to have seasoned voices in the locker room like Logan Ryan and Sterling Shepard, but developing young players around new schematics is a far more effective method for the long term.

With only six picks in the draft next year, the Giants won’t be able to make a significant dent, as we saw what having several late-round picks can provide.

Mr. Irrelevant, Tae Crowder, who was a linebacker at Georgia, was starting for the Giants before he went down with a hamstring injury against the Washington Football Team. You never know when one of those picks will pan out, so acquiring more and trading away, some valuable assets makes a lot of sense moving forward.

New York Yankees: Another year, another disappointing Tyler Wade season

New York Yankees, Tyler Wade

In the last season he played at the Triple-A level, Tyler Wade had shown enough that the New York Yankees thought perhaps he was something more than a pinch-runner and defensive substitution candidate late in games. After all, in those 79 games and 335 plate appearances in AAA, Wade hit four home runs, has a 6.9 BB%, a 22.7 K% and slashed .296/.352/.425 with a .339 wOBA and a 99 wRC+. He also stole 13 bags.

With the Yankees’ big league team he had already failed in 2017 (.155/.222/.224 in 63 plate appearances) 2018 (.167/.214/.273 in 70 PA) and 2019 (.245/.330/.362, 87 wRC+.) But in 2020, he entered the season with some assured at-bats thanks to DJ LeMahieu being out with a bout of COVID-19.

Sadly for the New York Yankees, Wade couldn’t do much with those plate appearances. Overall, he slashed .170/.288/.307 with a .271 wOBA and a paltry 69 wRC+ in 52 games and 105 PA. Once again, it didn’t happen with Tyler Wade, and it’s time to realize that he may never realize his offensive potential.

He found ways to contribute to the Yankees, but…

Because of his defensive and baserunning prowess, the Yankees saw Wade contribute 0.3 fWAR in 2020. However, the offensive output was, once again, very disappointing. With an average exit velocity of 86.6 (in line with his career norms) he didn’t hit the ball harder. He lifted it a little bit more (career-high 1.05 GB/FB) but it wasn’t enough.

He did improve in a few areas, but these improvements were almost unnoticeable. He did post a career-high in BB% with 11.4 (higher than the 10.2 he finished with in 2019) and, despite a very bad .267 wOBA, he did have the highest xwOBA of his tenure with the Yankees, at .305. But when your best mark is .305, you still have a lot of work to do to reach respectability as a hitter.

Tyler Wade is a very good defender (in several positions) and an even better baserunner. However, unless his offense takes a step forward in 2021, he won’t have many chances to play in the Yankees. The numbers’ game may be starting to catch up with him, and he is running out of chances.

New York Yankees: One starting pitcher to replace Masahiro Tanaka in the rotation

New York Yankees, Kevin Gausman

One unit that the New York Yankees will inevitably be focusing on this off-season is the starting pitching rotation. With Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, and JA Happ all set to hit free agency, general manager Brian Cashman will have to find replacements or elect to retain one of the familiar faces.

Some argue that keeping Paxton is a good move, as he will be a bit cheaper coming off an injury, and having a lefty in the rotation is always a positive. Tanaka is a consistent arm that has been reliable for the Yankees over the years, but he is a bit more costly, and there has been no indication that Cashman wants to keep him in pinstripes. However, we will find out in the near future what their determination is.

Nonetheless, there is a bevy of starting pitchers the Yankees can choose from in free agency. It is also important to remember that they will be gaining back Luis Severino, possibly Domingo German, and cementing Deivi García into the rotation on a regular basis. They have plenty of talent to go around, so I imagine the Yankees will go out and look for 1/2 more starters to bolster the unit.

“I think Garcia could be a fourth or fifth starter, but they have to go out and find somebody else,’’ an NL talent evaluator said Sunday via the NY Post. “Maybe a free agent with hope the pitcher has a bounce-back year or trade [Luke] Voit and get something for him. I would keep Loaisiga in the bullpen.’’

I believe the Yankees don’t feel keen on acquiring a pitcher that is coming off a poor campaign, especially if they have World Series hopes.

Unless it is a quality starter that simply had an off-year, they could look at an option like Kevin Gausman of the San Francisco Giants. He finished the season with a 3.62 ERA over 12 games, pitching in 59.2 innings and allowing 26 runs. He struck out 79 batters and earned a 1.106 WHIP. That was his lowest WHIP in his entire career, which is an encouraging sign.

What would the New York Yankees be getting in Kevin Gausman?

Gausman relies on three pitches predominantly, his fastball, changeup, and split-finger fastball. While his changeup saw a massive increase in usage this past season, his slider has taken a dip to below 7%.

Interestingly, at 29 years old, his fastball saw a 1.1 mph increase compared to 2019. Seeing an increase in velocity is a positive sign and something the Yankees will look at in determining whether or not to pursue him in free agency.

Of course, Trevor Bauer is the cream of the crop in this upcoming class, but dealing out big cash after signing Gerrit Cole last season is probably not ideal. The Yankees need to be more strategic with their finances, especially after a COVID-19 affected season.

New York Yankees: Four storylines to follow in the offseason

New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu

The New York Yankees are watching from home how the Tampa Bay Rays and Los Angeles Dodgers decide the 2020 World Champion. As they try to return to the Fall Classic next year, here are four of the most interesting storylines to follow in the offseason:

Will the team spend on starting pitching or will it go “young and cheap”?

Outside of Gerrit Cole, the New York Yankees don’t have too many sure things in the rotation. Luis Severino will return in 2021, but when? Will Domingo German be a starter? Will he be with the Yankees at all? Will the Bombers retain Masahiro Tanaka or James Paxton? Could Clarke Schmidt take a step forward in development and be an option?

Only Cole, German, Montgomery and Deivi Garcia remain realistic options, today, to be starters at the start of the 2021 season. Mike King has to show something, while Miguel Yajure is still green. Will the Yankees break the bank to land Trevor Bauer? Will they sign someone in the next tier, like Marcus Stroman? Or will they rely on the young guns with controllable years?

Will the Yankees re-sign DJ LeMahieu?

DJ LeMahieu, who slashed .364/.421/.590, led the Yankees in wOBA (.429) wRC+ (177) and fWAR (2.5). He was, once again, the best and most consistent offensive performer in an extremely talented roster.

However, he’s hitting the market after the World Series ends, as the two-year, $24 million deal he signed before the 2019 season is up. Will the New York Yankees be willing to pay top dollar to bring him back?

What will the Yankees do with the bullpen?

After Tommy Kahnle went down with Tommy John surgery, the Yankees’ bullpen looked mediocre, and was in the middle of the pack in several statistical categories. This is uncharacteristic of a franchise that boasted super units in the last few years.

Something has to change in the Yankees’ bullpen. Going into October with only three reliable options (Zack Britton, Chad Green and Aroldis Chapman) just won’t do.

Maybe the organization’s player development staff can turn German, or King, or Nick Nelson into successful, consistent relievers. Maybe they could identify a couple of under-the-radar free agents that can contribute. Or will they break the bank for Liam Hendriks?

What about Gary Sanchez and Miguel Andujar?

Gary Sanchez was very bad for the New York Yankees in 2020. He slashed .159/.147/.253 and was even worse in the playoffs. By the time the Bombers were playing their most important games of the season, he was leapfrogged by Kyle Higashioka.

Miguel Andujar, meanwhile, could never get going at the plate, finishing with a .242/.277/.355 line. What will the Yankees do with them? As recently as 2018, they were both ascending stars with tons of trade value. Their future remains two of the most interesting storylines to follow in the offseason.

What’s next for Walt Harris after UFC 254

It was a rough night at the office for The Big Ticket this past Saturday. At UFC 254, Walt Harris (13-9, 1 NC) took on Alexander Volkov (32-8) on the PPV main card. Harris was looking to bounce back after his loss to Alistair Overeem back in May.

2019 was a breakout year for the fighting career of Walt Harris. The Big Ticket scored two first round knockouts which put him inside the top ten. However, tragedy would strike the Harris family as their daughter Aniah was murdered just about a year ago.

Harris took some time away to recover emotionally from the tragedy. Following this, he made his courageous return to the UFC back in May where he fought Overeem. Harris stormed out of the gate and dropped Overeem in the opening round.

Harris appeared to be seconds away from scoring his third straight first round knockouts. However, Overeem survived the onslaught from Harris. Harris emptied the tanks trying to finish Overeem in the first, and looked exhausted in the second.

Overeem took advantage and was able to get the win. On Saturday at UFC 254, Harris just could never get going against Volkov. The extremely long Russian kept Harris out of range all night. Eventually a big body kick from Volkov led to a TKO victory.

What’s next for Harris after UFC 254?

One can only imagine what the last 12 months have been like for Walt Harris. 2020 has not been ideal when it comes to his UFC career given the results. However, I will say that I was encouraged by the attitude and mental state of Harris leading up to UFC 254.

He seemed that he had his confidence back. He claimed that the believed when he was at his best, he was the best heavyweight striker in the UFC. Obviously, Harris didn’t perform at his best on Saturday night, but don’t count him out yet.

In terms of what’s next for Harris after the victory, I think a good next matchup would be one with Blagoy Ivanov (18-4, 1 NC). Ivanov is about as tough as they come, but he’s also on a two fight losing streak inside the UFC.

Both men will still be ranked inside the top 15 once the new rankings come out this week. They are in similar positions right now, so I believe it would be a good idea to pair these two up against each other.

MLB World Series Recap: With the Dodger’s win the Rays face elimination Tuesday night

Last night’s MLB World Series game was not a good night for Tampa Bay Ray’s Tyler Glasnow; the first batter he faced, Mookie Betts doubled, and then Corey Seager singled, driving in Betts for the 1-0 leas in the first inning. Seager stole third, Cody Bellinger singled, and it was 2-0. Although Glasnow allowed the Dodger lead in the first, it wasn’t an easy night for either pitcher.

At the top of the 2nd inning, the Dodger’s Joc Pedersen homered into the left-field bullpen for the 3-0 lead. With Clayton Kershaw on the mound for the Dodgers and one on, Yandy Diaz had a long double to far-right field. Ray’s star Randy Arozarena singled, driving a run, drawing the Rays to one run behind the Dodgers.

In the 4th, with no outs and men on the corners and the Dodgers 3-2 lead, Kevin Kiermaier at the plate, Manuel Margot, took off for home and was called out for the final out of the inning. At the top of the fifth inning, Max Muncy hit his third home run of the season far into the first deck of left field for the 4-2 Dodger lead after Tyler Glasnow put way eight Rays in a row. At the bottom of the frame, Clayton Kershaw still in there, struck out two Rays and got a fly out to finish off the inning.

The rest of the game remained scoreless for both teams, with the final score of 4-2 Dodgers. In the game, Randy Arozarena’s hit was his 27th hit of the postseason and all-time record in postseason hitting. Kershaw got the win, and Tyler Glasnow the loss.

Today will be a day off for both teams as the home field advantage switches back to the Dodgers. This game six coming on Tuesday night will be an elimination game for the Tampa Bay Rays. The probable pitchers will be Blake Snell for the Rays and Tony Gonsolin for the Dodgers. The game will be just aft 8 pm at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

 

New York Yankees’ alternatives to DJ LeMahieu

New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu

The backbone of the New York Yankees the last couple of seasons has been DJ LeMahieu. LeMahieu has played gold glove defense wherever the team played him and he won the batting title this past season for the Yankees.

For the second consecutive season, LeMahieu will likely finish in the top four for the MVP vote. The 32 year old second baseman also just wrapped up his two year deal with the New York Yankees. He’s about to his free agency for the second time.

There will be plenty of suitors looking to pry LeMahieu away from the Yankees. However, you can expect the Yankees to do everything that they can to bring back LeMahieu. With a team that’s lacked consistency, he’s been the one consistent force they’ve had.

However, the fact that he will hit the open market should show you that it’s not a guarantee that the Yankees bring him back. I fully believe that they should, and I believe they will try, but I don’t expect them to do anything insane to bring back LeMahieu.

Not on the same level, but I’m reminded of the Robinson Cano situation. When Cano hit free agency, I would have bet my life savings he would retire a Yankee. However, Seattle offered him a deal that the Yankees were not comfortable matching. Thus, the marriage between the two sides ended.

What are the Yankees alternatives?

As I mentioned above, Plan A for the Yankees has to be resigning LeMahieu. However, I guarantee they’ve already been kicking the tires on potential replacements for their all-star second baseman. One place to look would be the AL Central.

The first possibility I’ll mention is the sexy move, however, the least likely. That would be the Yankees pulling off a deal for the Indians’ shortstop, Francisco Lindor. Lindor is entering the final year before free agency, and the Indians will likely make him available.

Lindor is one of the superstars of baseball. He’s a switch hitter with power, and he’s one of the best defensive shortstops in the game. Lindor turns 27 next month, and he could be a superstar for the Yankees for years to come assuming they extend him.

Doing this would also allow them to move Gleyber Torres back to second base. Torres struggled in his first season as a full-time shortstop. Many inside the organization have wondered if Torres can play that position moving forward.

The other alternative I’ll mention is calling up the Kansas City Royals about Whit Merrifield. Merrifield would be incredibly cheap financially, but he wouldn’t be cheap from a trade perspective. Merrifield has quietly been one of baseball’s best over the past couple of seasons.

Since breaking out with the Royals, Merrifield has been sensational. He can play virtually anyone on the field, and he led the majors in hits two of the last three years. In a way, he would remind fans a lot of DJ LeMahieu.

Trading for Lindor or Merrifield would cost the Yankees in prospects which is something Cashman is always hesitant to do. Again, the first priority should be trying to bring LeMahieu back. However, if the terms get crazy, there are quality alternatives out there for the bombers.

Report: New York Yankees bench coach Carlos Mendoza pursuing a managerial job

New York Yankees, Carlos Mendoza

George A. King lll of the New York Post reported that New York Yankees bench coach Carlos Mendoza is a potential candidate for two managerial jobs. The report indicated that he’s rumored to be a candidate for both the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers vacancies.

This comes after Marcus Thames, Yankees hitting coach, also interviewed for the Tigers job nearly two weeks ago.

Mendoza, 40, spent 13 years as a minor-leaguer for the Giants and the Yankees. He retired from playing in 2009 and began coaching in the Yankees minor league system soon after. He managed the GCL Yankees in 2010 and the Charleston RiverDogs in 2011 and 2012. From 2013-2017, he was a defensive instructor throughout the organization.

After Joe Girardi was fired from the Yankees in 2017, new manager Aaron Boone tabbed Mendoza as the infield coach. He spent two years in that role before a promotion to bench coach prior to the 2020 season.

The two teams that are interested in Mendoza both struggled last season. The Red Sox finished an underwhelming 24-36 under manager Ron Roenicke. Roenicke served two seasons as bench coach under Alex Cora before a promotion to manager in 2020 after Cora was fired. Previously, Roenicke managed the Brewers from 2011 to 2015.

The Tigers were led by veteran manager Ron Gardenhire, who retired with a week left in the 2020 season. Gardenhire will go down as one of the best managers of all-time, retiring with 1200 wins. The rebuilding Tigers were 23-35 in 2020.

Mendoza reportedly interviewed with both teams, and is drawing strong interest from each of the two organizations.

UFC: Khabib Nurmagomedov’s legacy after retiring 29-0

This past weekend at UFC 254, one of the greatest to ever do it fought for the final time. Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0) successfully defended his lightweight crown against former interim champion, Justin Gaethje (22-3).

UFC 254 proved to be another dominant victory for Nurmagomedov. Facing the guy who many believed would be his toughest challenger, Nurmagomedov put on arguably the best performance of his career.

After an initial feeling out process, Nurmagomedov’s pressure slowly broke Justin Gaethje. In the second round, a takedown led to a triangle choke victory for the champion. When the fight was over, Nurmagomedov laid his gloves in the octagon and retired at UFC 254.

It’s a move that took many by surprise, however, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. Many wondered if Nurmagomedov would ever compete again after he lost his father earlier this year to COVID-19. Khabib’s father had been his lead trainer as well.

However, Nurmagomedov said he felt that he had to complete this final fight. He promised his mother that he would walk away from the UFC after this contest, and I believe him. I think we’ve seen the last of Khabib Nurmagomedov inside the octagon.

Khabib’s UFC Legacy

Simply put, Khabib Nurmagomedov is one of the greatest to ever do it. He has a very strong argument as the greatest fighter to ever step foot inside the UFC‘s octagon. He leaves undefeated with no asterisks on his record.

Jon Jones is the GOAT in the eyes of many, however, you can’t say his record is nearly as clean. When it comes to longevity and resume of wins, you’d have to lean towards Jones, however, the USADA issues can’t be ignored when examining his overall legacy.

With Nurmagomedov, you have a clean resume. The most dominant lightweight to ever compete in the UFC. He defeated every top challenger in the division outside of Tony Ferguson. That fight was attempted to be made five times, however, it never came together.

At the end of the day, as a fight fan, I’m sad that we won’t see Nurmagomedov compete anymore. However, I’m glad I got to witness his prime and see his dominance. Nurmagomedov went out on top, and 29-0 is something we may never see again in the UFC.

New York Mets Player Evaluations: Outfielder Guillermo Heredia

After a stint with the Pittsburgh Pirates, the New York Mets claimed Guillermo Heredia off waivers to join the team for the last month of the 2020 season. Despite not being known for his power, Heredia provided some along with his good defense in center field.

Heredia joined the Mets because they were in need of outfield depth after cutting Billy Hamilton. He spent most of his time in summer camp but joined the big league roster during the final week of the season. During his time in Pittsburgh, he only batted .188/.278/.188 in 18 plate appearances.

Small Power Surge

Heredia upped his average and also showed some surprising power with the Mets. His slash line was .235/.278/.588 with two home runs in the same 18 plate appearances. Using some small sample size numbers he had his highest line drive rate along with a 22-degree average launch angle which could have contributed to the limited power numbers.

Defensively, Heredia did a solid job defensively for both teams that he played for. He had two outs above average and two defensive runs saved. Heredia has always ranked as a good defensive center fielder and should continue to show value there in 2021.

In my opinion, Heredia deserves an invite to Spring Training for the 2021 season. I liked what I saw in the handful of games with the Mets and could serve as a cheap/undervalued option as a fourth or fifth outfielder. If he does not get the opportunity with the Mets, he will certainly get it somewhere else.

2020 Grades On 20-80 Scale (2021 Projection)

Hitting: 25 (35), Should fall in the .230-.240 range during 2021.

Power: 55 (30), Most in a full season was 6.

Run: 55 (50), Good footspeed both on the bases on defense.

Arm: 45 (45)

Field: 60 (60), Solid and reliable defender.

Overall: 45 (35), Could be a useful bench player but has to provide a little more power to be a weapon.