Will the New York Giants regret not making any moves at the deadline?

New York Giants, Joe Judge

The New York Giants stood pat at the trade deadline on November 3, electing to retain all of their players and refraining from giving any away.

In 2019, the Giants were a bit more active, sending a third and fifth-round pick for Leonard Williams, which has since proven to result in just three wins. With the Giants in a state of rebuild, giving away draft capital was never an ideal situation, which is actually what general manager Dave Gettleman did.

Of course, the Leonard Williams debate is an ongoing one for fans and analysts, but the good news this year is that Gettleman wasn’t allowed to spend any draft capital on new players.

The hiring of head coach Joe Judge has seemed to change the background noise within the Giants’ organization. Chris Mara, the Vice President of Player Evaluation for Big Blue, has quietly had a significant voice behind the scenes, which has affected their personal decisions and leadership.

However, after years of malpractice and disfranchisement, the Giants are finally taking a step in the right direction with her disciplinarian and accountable actions.

Judge has simply implemented new tactics, which require everyone to be on the same page, and the personnel decisions have been left to the coaching staff, so it seems. Gettleman and has been more of a relationship GM this year, allowing defensive coordinator Patrick Graham to handpick his players, fitting his scheme to perfection.

On offense, the Giants are a bit more strapped, Twas they didn’t imagine losing Saquon Barkley for the entire season and Sterling Shepard for multiple weeks. Of course, you can’t predict Evan Engram’s drops and Andrew Thomas’ struggles.

Based on the available personnel, the Giants have lost their last three games by a total of six points, indicating that they are close to being a winning football team, even though they are lagging behind on offense. Against Tampa Bay, Garrett called a fantastic game, showing off his creativity and imaginative spirit.

The fact that Big Blue didn’t make any rash decisions at the deadline is a sign of progress, as retaining their draft capital and available money is essential to our growth. The only player that was reportedly shopped was veteran wide receiver Golden Tate, based on his exorbitant contract. He’s being paid $10 million this season and luckily has an out in his contract in 2021, which will count him $4.7 million in dead cap.

The Giants won the deadline simply because they didn’t acquire any players, as the return on some of their value simply wouldn’t be ideal at this point in the season. A 1-7 team selling mediocre players is not appealing, but Judge did say that they took far more calls than they sent out.

Other teams were calling for foundational players like TE Evan Ingram, but the Giants elected to stick with their guys and move forward with their established process.

Bellator 251 Main Event Preview

Tomorrow night, Bellator MMA returns and they are featuring a solid contest in their main event. Top light heavyweight contender, Corey Anderson (13-5), will be making his promotional debut as he takes on striker, Melvin Manhoef (32-14-1, 2 NC).

Entering 2020, Corey Anderson looked like he was going to be getting a shot at the UFC light heavyweight championship. However, Anderson ran into some Polish Power and was defeated by Jan Blachowicz back in February.

After that loss, Anderson dealt with some health issues outside the cage. Once he was ready to get going, Anderson contemplated his future with the promotion. He wanted to see what other promotions had to offer him.

Anderson asked for his released, and was almost immediately signed by Bellator. He was ranked fourth in the UFC’s light heavyweight division and immediately became a top contender in Bellator. If he wins tomorrow night, he might be in line to fight for the Bellator light heavyweight championship.

Bellator 251 Preview

At Bellator 251, I’m expecting Anderson to really lean on his wrestling attack. While he showed some improved striking in his win over Johnny Walker, I don’t expect Anderson to get crazy. I think he might play it safe in his Bellator debut.

Standing across from Anderson will be Melvin Manhoef. Manhoef is a former professional kickboxer, and he’s known for his dynamic striking and power. Out of his 32 professional wins, 29 of them have come via knockout.

This fight is going to come down to where it takes place. I don’t expect Anderson to play with the fire very long tomorrow. He’s not going to have the advantage on the feet, and I don’t expect him to try to strike with Manhoef.

I think Anderson will throw a few things out there early, but mainly trying to setup his takedowns. If Manhoef can keep it standing, he’s got a good shot. We’ve seen Anderson be put away with strikes, and Manhoef has the power to pull it off. However, my guess is that the wrestling takes over in this one.

Prediction: Corey Anderson by Unanimous Decision

Will the New York Yankees retain Brett Gardner on a one-year deal?

New York Yankees, Brett Gardner

The New York Yankees are gearing up for an interesting off-season composed of many different variables that will affect their ability to spend freely in free agency. Of course, they will be losing three starting pitchers and will have to supplement those losses, but they do anticipate gaining back Luis Severino and possibly Domingo German. The starting rotation is and should be a focal point, considering it was a vulnerability for the Yankees this past season, along with their bullpen, which disappeared at times.

Ultimately, more continuity and consistency is essential, and general manager Brian Cashman will be utilizing some of his available salary to bolster the bullpen and starting rotation. With the $52 million saved from the departures of Paxton, Tabaka, and Happ, we can expect the Yankees to make a move on a number two starter behind Gerrit Cole.

They also have $21 million opening up from Jacoby Ellsbury’s contract, which will be extremely beneficial for their free agency hopes.

I fully expect the market to develop slowly this winter, but the Yankees won’t be entirely absent. There are a few easier deals they can manage to solidify early on, and one of them would be the retention of outfielder Brett Gardner.

Is re-signing Brett Gardner worth it for the New York Yankees?

Before the end of the 2020 season, Gardner stated that he wanted to play in front of his family one last time with fans in the stands. That indication convinces me that the Yankees will likely retain his services on a cheaper deal. Cashman elected to decline his club option for 2021, which would have paid him $10 million.

Instead, signing him on a one-year deal worth around $5 million would be more beneficial for the team considering his value at this point in his career.

The esteemed veteran OF will be 37 next year and is coming off a tumultuous campaign where he hit .223 with five homers and 15 RBIs.

Flashing back to 2019, Gardner secured career-highs in home runs with 28 and RBIs with 74. He surprisingly defeated all expectations, but retaining him would be more about having a healthy option with experience as a depth piece. The consensus is that the Yankees want to roll with Clint Frazier as their starter moving forward, but Gardner’s consistency and availability are major factors.

At this point, I believe Cashman will offer Brett a one-year deal, saving a bit of cash in the processing and granting his wish of playing another season in pinstripes with fans in the stands.

2021 Draft prospects the New York Giants should target

New York Giants, LSU, Ja'Marr Chase

Barring a surge of wins down the stretch, the New York Giants are on track to finish the season with another top-five pick in the 2021 NFL draft. With what would be their fifth top ten selection in the first round since 2015, the Giants are in a great position to draft a special prospect. Here are a few prospects I believe would benefit the Giants greatly in 2021.

1. Justin Fields: QB, Ohio State

If the Giants land a top-three pick, Fields has to be in the conversation. Some have even compared him and Clemson star QB Trevor Lawrence as the “1A and 1B” draft prospects in the upcoming class. So far at Ohio State, he has displayed natural arm talent and elite mobility. With a prep background as a baseball shortstop, I see him as a Kyler Murray level prospect. If the franchise is not sold on Jones and sees this as an opportunity to snag an elite QB prospect, it might be too enticing for the team to pass up on.

2. Penei Sewell: OT, Oregon

Sewell is the prospect I predict as of today is most likely to be taken by the Giants if he is available. An elite blocker in both the passing and rushing game, Sewell is the best available OT prospect in this draft. With a strong upper body and incredible length as a run blocker, pairing him with Andrew Thomas could set the Giants up to have their tackle tandem for the next decade. If the prospects from the 2020 draft like Shane Lemieux and Matt Peart pan out, the team could see a quick upgrade to finally repair the offensive line.

3. Ja’Marr Chase: WR, LSU

Several questions surround the wide receiver position with the Giants. Will they trade Golden Tate? What will they end up doing with Sterling Shepard? Outside of Darius Slayton, almost everything is up in the air. Not to mention the upcoming wide receiver free-agent class is loaded with names like Kenny Golladay, Keenan Allen, and Allen Robinson. But if the Giants do want to continue the development of Daniel Jones, he’s going to need weapons. He is yet to play with a true number one receiver, and Chase could be just that. Chase set the single-season SEC touchdown record as a true freshman in 2019 and loves to attack open space and is great in contested situations. He is the real deal, and if he is available at the Giants’ selection, he should very much be in consideration.

4. Micah Parsons: LB, Penn State

Many Giant fans, myself included, were clamoring for the team to select Isaiah Simmons fourth overall last year. While I was not disappointed with the Thomas selection, the Giants’ pass-rushing unit has still not improved. I have very much liked what I have seen from Patrick Graham’s unit so far, and giving him a piece like Parsons could bolster this unit tremendously. He showcases the range, pass coverage ability, and pressuring ability to play virtually any role. Getting Xavier McKinney back healthy, Bradberry and Love on the outside, and the front seven stuffing the run as well as they do is all a recipe for what could be a successful defense. Pairing Parsons with Martinez could be a nightmare matchup for opposing offenses.

5. Gregory Rousseau: EDGE, Miami

More to the point of bolstering the pass-rushing unit, Rousseau is another prospect that needs to be in consideration for the Giants. Clean extension ability with hand placement and length, Rousseau would be an instant upgrade to the defensive unit. With the absence of Markus Golden, the team’s best pass rusher, this has to be an area where the team looks to improve in the offseason. The rest of the division already has at least one solidified pass rusher, and if the Giants fail to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks, they don’t stand a chance.

Should the New York Giants claim veteran corner Johnathan Joseph on waivers?

New York Giants, Johnathan Joseph

It is no secret that the New York Giants have a problem at the cornerback position, opposite James Bradberry. While Bradberry has been phenomenal this season, he struggled against a strong Tampa Bay Buccaneers team, but overall, he has been worthy of number one status and has played at a Pro Bowl level.

However, the Giants have failed to find him an adequate pairing, rotating through options like Corey Ballantine, Isaac Yiadom, and Ryan Lewis.

The Giants started off the season with Ballentine as their starting corner opposite Bradberry, and they quickly moved on from him and slotted Yiadom into the position.

General manager Dave Gettleman gave up a conditional seventh-rounder to the Denver Broncos in exchange for Isaac. He was eventually replaced by former undrafted free agent and Ryan Lewis.

Luckily for the Giants, Louis previously had experience with defensive coordinator Patrick Ram in Miami, so he already understood the basics of his scheme.

Nonetheless, an injury held him out of Monday night’s game against Tampa, but he has been inconsistent as well. The Giants could use another veteran corner on a cheap deal to fill the spot for the rest of the season, as they simply haven’t been able to find an answer just yet.

Should the New York Giants take a flier on veteran CB Johnathan Joseph?

The Tennessee Titans released 36-year-old corner Johnathan Joseph on Tuesday afternoon after failing to find a trade partner for him. Joseph has spent 15 years in the NFL and started six games this season in his first year with Tennessee. He racked up 28 combined tackles, four passes defended, and one interception. He allowed a 56.8% completion rate and four touchdowns, which was a primary reason for his departure.

Despite his lofty touchdown numbers, the Giants could use more help at CB, and bringing in a cheap option like Joseph, who has plenty of experience, could be worthwhile. At the very least, claiming him to the practice squad and letting him develop knowledge of the scheme isn’t a bad idea. The Giants simply can’t continue to rely on Yiadom and Ballentine, so finding a more seasoned option could work out in their favor.

Yankees news/rumors: Two promising minor leaguer’s gone, Gold Glove finalist snub

New York Yankees, Gio Urshela

The off-season for the New York Yankees is going to be interesting, with a slow-moving market and free agency capped by a financially stressful 2020 campaign. COVID-19 undoubtedly left its mark on the Yankees’ revenue, as they lost the most money of any team in the MLB.

I don’t expect them to make any significant moves during the off-season, but they did have a sizable chunk of salary open up with the departures of James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, and JA Happ. Approximately $52 million will be added to the books, which I imagine they will allocate toward retaining star infielder DJ LeMahieu and signing a number two pitcher to pair with Gerrit Cole.

However, let’s take a minute to look at some more recent news, specifically targeting two former Yankees prospects and the Gold Glove finalists from Tuesday evening.

The Yankees are set to lose several minor leaguers, who will test free agency after a tumultuous season, or lack thereof. Prospects Domingo Acevedo and Leonardo Molina will hit free agency, looking for better deals. However, relief arm Luis Avilan and utility man Rosell Herrera will also be seeking new contracts elsewhere.

Herrera pushed for a big-league spot with the Yankees before COVID-19 shut down operations. With Tampa Bay, he hit .400 with four RBIs and a 1.044 OPS over 11 games. One of his better attributes was his ability to play multiple positions, including second, third, and right field.

As for Acevedo, he spent a majority of 2020 sitting at the Yankees’ alternate training site. Trying to get him some work and regular action behind the scenes was essential, as the Yankees preferred to keep more experienced players readily available in case of positive COVID cases or injuries.

The Gold Glove finalists:

Both outfielder Clint Frazier and Gio Urshela were named Good Glove finalists this year, but unfortunately, they were both snubbed from earning the accolade. Third baseman Isiah Kiner-Falefa earned the win, and in the outfield, right fielder Joey Gallo (AL) won the award, deservedly so.

Despite the loss, nobody expected Frazier to be a finalist in the first place. After posting a .963 fielding percentage with three errors in 2019, Frazier backed up his poor defensive performance with a .984 fielding percentage and just one error over 34 games. While the sample size was smaller, it is a great sign that he is developing so efficiently. The Yankees expect him to a significant part of their outfield in 2021.

New York Yankees News/Rumors: A Gardy party? Urshela, Frazier and the Yankee ghost

New York Yankees, Brett Gardner

What are the chances the Yankees will make up with Gardner?

With all the decisions the New York Yankees have to make to fix the pitching rotation and infield problem, it’s hard to believe the Yankee brass concentrates their efforts on holding on to fan-favorite Brett Gardner. But in this cash strapped season, when the dust settles, and the Yankees work their magic and are happy with the pitching rotation, they will address the Brett Gardner situation. After the World Series, they made the quick decision not to take up his option at $10M for the 2021 season.

As it stands now, the Yankees will buy him out by exercising the buy-out clause in his contract, which will pay him $2.5 million to go back to his farm in the Carolinas. But don’t think for one minute, that is the end of the story. The New York Yankees know that Gardner has value to them. Yes, he is 37 years old but is still one of the elite defensive players in baseball. The Yankees are also aware that Giancarlo Stanton is pretty well shot in the outfield. They also know of the Aarons, Hicks, and Judge’s injury history. If either of them gets injured, Gardner is the answer. He can play left and centerfield more than adequately.

If this article were written on September, I would have said that is no way that the Yankees would bring Gardner back, even though he had a career year in 2019. After all, he was hitting .165 with a .293 on-base percentage, a .299 slugging percentage, and a .590 OPS on Sept. 9. It surely looked like Gardner was finally done. But, Gardner proved them wrong by batting .394 (13-for-33) with a .540 on-base percentage, a .667 slugging percentage, and a 1.190 OPS in the last 13 games of the season. He continued his excellent play throughout the postseason.

We also don’t know what effect the short season had on Gardner or any other player for that matter. If he played lousy for the first 47 games of the season and played really well for the last 115 games of the season, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation, and the Yankees would have exercised his option. Don’t count out another “Gardy party.” Like they did last year, the Yankees will most likely wait until late, but there is a very good chance Brett Gardner will be back in pinstripes again next season.

Gio Urshela and Clint Frazier don’t win, but the Yankees do

Gio Urshela and Clint Frazier were both finalists for Gold Glove Awards at their positions, but both had lost when the news came in last night. Personally, for them, that new was unfortunate. But just the announcement that they were contending for the awards was a big win for the New York Yankees.

The Yankees have known that they had a Gold Glove-like man at third base. When they brought up Urshela last year to replace the injured Miguel Andujar, they immediately saw what they had at the hot corner. Gio made great play after great play and also proved he could hit. This season it was more of the same, cementing him as the Yankees 3rd baseman of the future.

The biggest win for the Yankees came in the form of Clint Frazier. Just a year ago, who would have thought that Frazier would ever be a  Gold Glove defenseman. Yes, Frazier had a quick bat and could hit for both contact and power, but he was mostly thought of as a bungler in the field. Enter this year and totally changed, Frazier emerged flying through the air to catch balls that seemed impossible to catch. Frazier proved he could play both left and right field at Yankee Stadium. The bottom line is that the Yankees have two of the best defensive players in the league.

Miguel Andujar, the New York Yankee’s ghost of the year

What the hell ever happened to the Yankees future star, Miguel Andujar? It seems like years ago that “Miggy” was having a breakout season when he finished second in Rookie of the Year voting, posting a .855 OPS. That was 2018; this is now. Misfortune struck the young star in the form of a shoulder injury, causing him to miss the entire 2019 season.

Meanwhile, the Yankees brought up Gio Urshela from the minors to fill in for the injured Andujar. What they got was a player that played third base better than Andujar ever did. When spring training rolled around this year, the Yankees faced a dilemma, what to do with Andujar. They certainly weren’t going to put him back at 3rd base, so they tried everything. They played him at first base and in the outfield, trying to find a fit. That fit never happened. Although he kicked around for awhile in the short season, he was eventually sent to the alternative site and became a Yankee ghost.

Now in the offseason, the Yankees again have to figure out what to do with a player that could still be a star, but they really don’t have any use. Unfortunately for Yankee fans that are big on Andujar, his value today for the Yankees is mostly as a trading piece. Andujar’s time with the Yankees has come and gone.

Will the New York Yankees score big this offseason?

The New York Yankees lost the most revenue in this shortened coronavirus season. The estimate from TMR is that the Yankees lost $437 million in revenue from not having fans in the stands and no concession sales. Add to that costs that continued for staff and Yankee Stadium maintenance, and that total far exceeds $500 million. Then add the Yankee player payroll for the prorated season, and that total reaches over $655 million without making a dime.

When deciding how much money to spend on the issues the Yankees must solve, they had to consider those losses, especially considering there is no clear answer to if fans will be allowed in the stands in 2021. The Yankees also have two albatrosses on the payroll; Gerrit Cole and Giancarlo Stanton that take up $65 million. Gerrit Cole’s payroll alone is more than the entire roster of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The bottom line is that the New York Yankees will pinch every penny they can. Any blockbuster deals that involve spending big bucks, like a Trevor Bauer, J.T. Realmuto, or a Francisco Lindor purchase, is as likely to happen as snow on July 4th. The Yankees will try to solve their shortstop problem, pick up a 3rd in rotation type starting pitcher, and most likely another quality arm in the bullpen. Much more than that is very unlikely.