New York Mets: Marcus Stroman ‘leaning towards rejecting’ the qualifying offer

New York Yankees, New York Mets, Marcus Stroman

The success of the New York Mets‘ offseason will be dictated by how much they can improve their pitching, particularly the rotation. After Jacob deGrom (who is a Cy Young award finalist for the third year in a row) David Peterson and perhaps Steven Matz, the team doesn’t have too many options to plug in.

The New York Mets will probably have to go to the free agent market (and perhaps the trading block, too) in their quest for pitching reinforcements. They have to replace Michael Wacha and Rick Porcello in the back of the rotation, as both of them are free agents.

Noah Syndergaard won’t be back before the All-Star break. As you can see, the Mets need to act and they need to do it quick. Trevor Bauer is a free agent, as are Masahiro Tanaka and James Paxton, for example. But there is one candidate to fill one of the spots that has experience in a Mets’ uniform.

Marcus Stroman, who played the final weeks of the 2019 season with the Mets, was in the roster for the 2020 shortened campaign but decided not to risk a COVID-19 infection and opted out of the season.

He is now a free agent, but the Mets extended him a qualifying offer. The sheet is for a one-year, $18.9 million deal, as per MLB’s rules. Stroman has until Wednesday to accept it or decline it.

Will the Mets have Stroman next season?

If Stroman takes the qualifying offer, he will play the 2021 season with the Mets and re-enter the free agency next year. If he declines it, he will test the market now and the Mets will receive a draft pick from the team that secures his services.

According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, Stroman is leaning toward rejecting that offer and seeking a multiyear deal on the open market. Puma cited an industry source.

Stroman has a good chance of landing a multiyear pact given that there aren’t too many top-tier free agent pitchers out there. However, there is always the chance that he takes the offering and re-establishes his value after not pitching in 2020.

Stroman had a 3.77 ERA and 1.475 WHIP in 11 starts for the Mets in 2019, the last time he pitched.

New York Giants place promising young corner Ryan Lewis on injured reserve

New York Giants, Ryan Lewis

Fighting through injuries has been normal for the New York Giants this season, with star running back Saquon Barkley suffering a torn ACL and rising pass rusher Lorenzo Carter tearing his Achilles against the Dallas Cowboys.

Across the NFL, injuries have been more prevalent than ever, so it isn’t surprising to see promising young quarterback Ryan Lewis go down with his own injury.

Lewis, who has earned significant reps at CB2 alongside James Bradberry, showed up on the injury report last week and was placed on injured reserve Friday. He suffered a hamstring issue and hadn’t spent any time on the practice field this week, meaning former third-round pick Isaac Yiadom will likely start again against Washington in week nine.

How has Ryan Lewis performed for the New York Giants, so far?

Lewis had several tumultuous games but performed well against Washington in week six. He finished with a 71.9 overall grade and a 71.7 grade in coverage. Overall, he has been a below-average player for the Giants, but they have had a rotating rotation in place at CB2. They have gone through Corey Ballantine, Yiadom, and Lewis. This is a position that will certainly need upgrading in the future, but for now, they will have to rely on players currently on the roster.

Through five games, Lewis has 11 tackles, one pass break up, and allowed 236 yards and zero touchdowns. The Giants have a week 11 BYE, which means he could theoretically return against the Cincinnati Bengals in week 12.

J.G. Pageau showing again how much he loves being with the Islanders

J.G. Pageau really loves being a part of the Islanders.

He hasn’t been afraid to show it either.

Throughout the offseason — following the team’s run to the Eastern Conference Finals — Pageau has been quite active talking about his time with the organization and what its been like from when the Isles traded for him at last season’s trade deadline.

On Wednesday he was a guest on a La Poche Bleue, a French-Canadian hockey podcast, and revealed how quickly things transpired when Islanders’ g.m. Lou Lamoriello made the deal for him.

In the end, the transaction happened and it was the right thing to do. Pageau didn’t come out of it sour, but it was the total surprise to see how much the Islanders wanted it. As he explains, Lou Lamoriello submitted an offer on the table and Pageau immediately accepted it. There were therefore no negotiations between the Islanders and Pageau regarding his contract extension. The Islanders offered him $5 million by starting the discussion. It was a yes. - English translation courtesy of Toutsurlehockey.com

So as Pageau stated above, he was taken aback by how much the organization wanted him and wanted to get him signed long-term.

Oddly enough, the Ottawa native’s take on situation was the complete opposite in the eyes of Islander fans.

Supporters of the team had clamored for someone to fill the third-line center slot all year after it had become a black hole following Valtteri Filppula’s departure in the offseason. Pageau’s name was the most that came up. He became a hot button because it was established he was going to be available and that he fit the mold of the kind of player the Islanders were looking to add.

We all know what unfolded in the aftermath of Pageau’s addition — he’s been a perfect fit. But the fact that there wasn’t even a discussion about a contract extension speaks volumes about the confidence he had joining the team and vice versa.

The 27-year-old also went on to talk about the admiration he has for the team’s fourth line, which features Casey Cizikas, Matt Martin and Cal Clutterbuck.

That trio was dominant for the Islanders in the postseason, and Pageau said it was “beautiful” watching them when they would start to rev it up against the opposition. He was particularly amazed by the dose of energy they would bring when scrums would ensue. That the Isles didn’t get to experience the thrill of their great run playing at Nassau Coliseum — and not getting to see how much the fourth line sends the place into into a frenzy — was another aspect  Pageau said he regrets not being able to experience.

Pageau is set to be an Islander for a long time having signed for the next six years. Still, with how he describes that dynamic of the team, it shows just how much he enjoys being in blue and orange.

He loves it here.

Already a fan favorite, Pageau continues to say the right things while also showing the same enthusiasm that the organization has built in the past two years.

You can’t really ask for much more love than that.

 

 

MLB News/Rumors: Alex Cora is old new Boston Red Sox 2021 manager

Boston Red Sox, Alex Cora

In more bizarre MLB News, Boston Nation is already cheering the decision to bring back Cora. Ownership and key players supported Cora’s return, but it was GM Chaim Bloom’s call in the end. Ownership went to Puerto Rico this week to interview Cora, his answers were apparently what the Red Sox wanted to hear, and they have rehired the shamed Alex Cora.

The Sox news was first reported by John Hayman, insider, at MLB Network. Hayman reported that Cora got his old job back over Sam Fuld in the end. Hard not to hire the guy who guided the team to a World Series title only a couple of years ago.

Alex Cora was fired by Red Sox management for his proven involvement in the 2017 Houston Astros cheating scandal. Cora at the team was the bench coach for the Astros. According to the New York Times…

“Cora was involved in developing both the banging scheme and utilizing the replay review room to decode and transmit signs,” the report said. “Cora participated in both schemes, and through his active participation, implicitly condoned the players’ conduct.”

For New York Yankees fans the rehiring of Alex Cora is a slap in the face for a team that is an annual rival. The Cora cheating scandal may have cost the New York Yankees a World Series berth in 2017 for sure and possibly a 2019 appearance. The Astros used electronic means to steal signs from Yankees pitchers and relay them to hitters. The Los Angeles Dodgers also lost out when the Astros stole the World Series from them. Another slap for the Yankees was when Jose Altuve won the MVP award when the World Series was over. It was a personal loss to the Yankees Aaron Judge, who came in second in the MLB MVP voting.

Now the Yankees will face Cora again as the Red Sox Manager. Apparently the Red Sox and its fans have no shame in allowing Cora to again manage for them when many in baseball believe he should have been banned from baseball for life, instead of the one-year suspension he received. The Boston Red Sox and Cora will surely hear it from Yankee fans when they visit Yankee Stadium.

 

 

UFC Vegas 13 Preview: Claudia Gadelha – Yan Xiaonan

There is a very solid strawweight contest on tomorrow night’s UFC Vegas 13 main card. Top ten contenders Claudia Gadelha (18-4) and Yan Xiaonan (12-1) will go to war. Both of these ladies are looking to take one step closer towards the UFC title.

Yan Xiaonan is a big time prospect for the UFC. The Chinese strawweight has come out swinging in her UFC career thus far. She’s won all four of her fights inside the octagon which includes victories over Angela Hill and former title challenger, Karolina Kowalkiewicz.

The UFC is becoming increasingly popular in China. The current strawweight champion, Weili Zhang, was the first Chinese born fighter to claim gold inside the octagon. Xiaonan could be the next great fighter from China.

Standing across from her will be former title challenger Claudia Gadelha. Gadelha comes into this contest after going 3-1 in her last four fights. However, many people believe that she actually lost two of the fights that she won.

Gadelha is coming off of a very close split decision victory over Angela Hill back in May. A good amount of people do not believe that Gadelha should have had her hand raised that night. Nevertheless, she did and a win tomorrow would mean three straight wins.

UFC Vegas 13 Prediction

This is such an interesting matchup between these two ladies. It almost seems a little like the bull and the matador. To me, Gadelha has to come right out and try to pressure Xiaonan. Gadelha doesn’t do extremely well with fights that are fought at range.

She has to get on the inside if she wants to hand Xiaonan her first loss in the UFC. Likewise, Xiaonan has to keep the fight at a distance. She’s very good at striking from range and she does a fantastic job of working off of her jab.

I would expect that Gadelha will try to get this fight to the mat. While she might have a power advantage, I don’t see her having the striking advantage. In the end, I think this one stays on the feet enough over three rounds to see Xiaonan remain unbeaten in the UFC.

Prediction: Yan Xiaonan by Unanimous Decision

Do the Yankees have their next generational talent in Jasson Dominguez?

New York Yankees, Jasson Dominguez

Some call him “The Martian,” but he goes by Jasson. As one of the more polarizing prospects in baseball, the Yankees are excited about one potentially generational talent climbing the ranks.

Dominguez, a young outfielder prodigy who simply defies logic and science, hails from the Dominican Republic, a place that has produced plenty of quality baseball players over the years. At just 17 years old, Dominguez is 5-foot-11, and some say he is a rare breed that could end up being something special in the future.

However, at this point in time, it is all just talk. Hitting batting practice balls over the fence regularly doesn’t display anything but hype. He hasn’t played in any minor-league ball, but Baseball America already has Dominguez as the Yankees’ number one prospect, among other accolades.

Just how highly rated is Yankees’ Jasson Dominguez in their system?

– No. 1 prospect

– Best power-hitting prospect

– Fastest baserunner

– Best athlete

– Best defensive outfielder

– Best outfield arm

The Yankees may elevate Dominguez within the next two years, as they still need to see what he is capable of among professionals. There is no doubt that upper management is highly invested in his future, providing him with everything he needs to continuously develop and become one of the best baseball players of his generation.

Every week, Dominguez makes a two-hour commute to the Charlie Nova Baseball Academy to work out with trainer Pedro Pichardo, per Forbes. He works on a combination of skills, including speed, agility, hitting, and fielding. Of course, the global pandemic currently influencing communities has stalled his development, especially when it comes to playing in regular games.

Next year, when things hopefully return to normal, the Yankees’ investment in Dominguez should hopefully prove successful. In a perfect world, Dominguez would end up becoming the next version of Mike Trout, who signed a 12 year, $426.5 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels.

The Yankees would be happy to pay Dominguez, as it would mean their investment and him paid off big time. The Martian has great intangibles on his side, including work ethic and maturity. This is a player who simply loves the game of baseball and sees it as his future, and the Yankees will always be willing to invest in a player who displays those qualities.

Can the New York Giants extract the best version of Dante Pettis?

New York Giants, Dante Pettis

When the San Francisco 49ers waived former second-round pick Dante Pettis, after just three seasons in the NFL earlier this week, there was always going to be teams interested in his services. The New York Giants, just slightly below the New England Patriots in the waiver wire, was able to secure Pettis and his services. However, he has fallen off significantly since his dominant days back in college.

Pettis has had his issues in San Francisco, not taking to head coach Kyle Shanahan’s methods and failing to compete at a high-level. After a successful 2018 rookie campaign, Pettis was injured after seven games and returned the next off-season overweight, missing out on big opportunities. He never fully recovered from his injuries, and as a result, his quality of play fell off.

It simply didn’t seem as if the 49ers got to him and extracted his motivation and confidence, but Joe Judge in New York might be able to do just that. Every team has different ways of managing their club, and this is a fresh start for Dante with one of the biggest and most successful franchises in sports history. If there’s anyone who can whip him into shape, it is a coaching staff composed of veterans and disciplinary teachers.

HOT ARTICLE: 3 players the Giants should re-sign for 2021 

How will the New York Giants factor Pettis in?

The Giants will likely have a spot for Pettis next season if he still on the roster, as they are preparing to release Golden Tate and his inefficient contract. Tate was actually disciplined for yelling “throw me the damn ball” on national television against Tampa Bay. He missed Wednesday’s practice as a consequence, and it is possible the Giants move on from him to maintain their culture in the locker room. This is by no means a guaranteed roster spot for the young receiver, who carries demons in his baggage with him to the Big Apple. He will need to earn his spot on the Giants, and it won’t be easy based on the expectations of Judge and co.

Back in his rookie season, Pettis finished with 467 yards and five touchdowns, showing his incredible abilities after the catch. He was college’s most dynamic return man, but since then, he has only recorded 109 yards receiving.

He’s played in just one game this season, earning just 11% of offensive snaps. Pettis has mainly been factored out of their offense, and the 49ers haven’t looked back, despite his talent. New York will be a fresh start for Pettis, and based on his recent history, I don’t think it will amount to much, or you don’t simply give up on talented football players after just three seasons. If the Giants manage to extract his quality, they will have gotten a steal off waivers.

The New York Rangers agree to terms with Brendan Lemieux

The New York Rangers and Brendan Lemieux have settled on a two-year contract, avoiding arbitration. As reported by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the deal carries an average annual value of $1.55 million.

Lemieux was selected by Buffalo in the second round, 31st overall, of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. Lemieux was acquired by the Rangers from Winnipeg on February 25, 2019.

The 6-1, 213-pounder has skated in 131 career NHL games over parts of three seasons (2017-18 – 2019-20) with Winnipeg and the Rangers, registering 19 goals and 17 assists for 36 points, along with 240 penalty minutes. Lemieux is one of two NHL players who have recorded at least 100 penalty minutes in each of the last two seasons (along with Evander Kane). He ranked second in the NHL (min. 20 games played) in minor penalties drawn per 60 minutes of ice time in 2018-19 (2.63), and he leads the NHL (min. 20 games played) in penalties drawn per 60 minutes of ice time since the start of the 2018-19 season (2.84). Lemieux has skated in 78 games with the Rangers over parts of two seasons (2018-19 and 2019-20), registering nine goals and 15 assists for 24 points, along with 155 penalty minutes.

Lemieux skated in 59 games with the Rangers this past season, registering six goals and 12 assists for 18 points, along with 111 penalty minutes. He established career-highs in several categories in 2019-20, including assists, points, penalty minutes, and hits (164). Lemieux ranked second in the NHL in penalty minutes and tied for fifth in the league in major penalties (five) this past season. In addition, he ranked third in the NHL (min. 30 games played) in penalties drawn per 60 minutes of ice time (2.53) and ranked seventh in the NHL in penalties drawn (32) in 2019-20. Lemieux led the Rangers in penalties drawn and ranked second on the team (led team forwards) in hits this past season, and the Rangers posted a 12-3-1 record in games which he registered a point in 2019-20. He also skated in one game during the 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers.

 

 

MLB News/Rumors: Rays player convicted of murder, Hand’s walking papers, 2020 Bloodbath, and more

Shocking MLB, Tampa Bay Rays former prospect Brandon Martin, who was taken in the supplemental first round of the 2011 MLB draft, was convicted of three counts of first-degree murder on Wednesday. He was convicted ironically using a baseball bat to kill his father, uncle, and a bystander in a California home. The murders took place in Corona, California, on Sept. 17, 2015, according to the NBC Los Angeles station.

The Tampa Bay Ray’s player was found guilty with the Riverside County Jury deliberating less than a day. He was, along with the murders, charged with auto theft, resisting arrest, obstructing a peace officer, and injuring a police canine. He was found guilty on all counts and is awaiting sentencing in the Riverside County Court, scheduled for Monday morning.

Martin had a history of threatening and violence. Martin had been experiencing unspecified psychiatric issues and was admitted and evaluated at an emergency treatment facility of Riverside County’s mental health department on Sept. 17, 2015. Immediately after being released, he traveled directly to his father’s and arrived around 6 p.m. The father was at the residence with his brother-in-law, 51-year-old Ricky Lee Anderson, and Barry Swanson, a 62-year-old ADT technician who was consulting with Martin about installing a security system following his son’s threats.

According to prosecutors, Martin then grabbed a baseball bat once inside the house and beat all three men in rage. The father and technician died at the scene, while Anderson died after spending two days in a coma.

Offseason will be just as abnormal as the baseball season

This will probably be the strangest offseason in baseball history, as free agents face an evironment where MLB teams, for the most part, have no money to spend to hire those free agents. Teams everywhere are trying to cut costs going into the new season that is still unclear if fans will be allowed in the stands, and they again may suffer no revenue.

This situation shows just how drastic it is. The Cleveland Indians that are extremely cash-stapped are trying to unload a big part of their payroll by trading Francisco Lindor. They are dumping one of the best relievers in baseball, Brad Hand in an even stranger move. They didn’t give him a qualifying offer they put him on waivers so they wouldn’t even have to pay him his $1 million buyout.

The 2020 MLB financial Bloodbath

The New York Yankees suffered the worst losses in all of MLB. With revenue losses from no fans in the stands and no concession revenues, add to that security, Yankee Stadium upkeep, and front office and player payrolls, they lost an amount near $700 million. The Yankees, with 13 free agents, including pitchers Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, and J.A. Happ, only made one qualifying offer. That was too Silver Slugger Award-winning and 4th in the MVP voting, DJ LeMahieu.

With the coronavirus threatening the 2020 baseball season, Commissioner Rob Manfred stated that MLB could lose $4 billion. As it turned out, the season was completed and it is estimated that the 30 MLB teams lost $3.1 million in operating costs, putting on a 60 game season. Most of these losses were from no fans in the stands and other fan-related revenues. Manfred days ago said the teams has amassed a collective $8.3 billion in debt.

What MLB teams are likely to spend some money this offseason?

The reckless New York Mets, who have no money, are likely to spend and may big for a Trevor Bauer and or a Franciso Lindor. The San Francisco Giants that are close to completing the team’s rebuild may spend to turn that corner. The Detroit Tigers will most likely want to give new shamed manager A.J. Hinch more to work with and likely to spend at least modestly. One area they may address is the Detroit Tigers pitching staff with talent but lacks consistency and stability, Rick Porcello is a natural fit, and the Tigers may spend to bring him back.

Closer to home, the Toronto Blue Jays have been active each year trying to improve their team. They are tired of being ranked 8th in the postseason. They have a young and up and coming staff, and the Blue Jays will improve that by acquiring key players. The Minnesota Twins will want to maintain their dominance in the AL Central, and also are likely to spend to keep it that way.

The New York Yankees have cleared about $70 million from their payroll, including the end of Jacoby Ellsbury’s contract.  The Yankees will want to stay below the $210 million luxury tax threshold. They will most likely will spend to keep DJ LeMahieu in pinstripes for the next several years. They also have to address their pitching situation, which most likely will lead them to spend for a number 3 type starter and an extra hand in the bullpen.

Where will some of the most promising free agents land?

Don’t look for a lot of MLB action before Thanksgiving. After then the non-tenders will be known, and MLB teams can start looking in earnest on which free agents to go after. According to MLBTraderumors.com, here is where some of the top free agents will end up.

The number one guy, Trevor Bauer is projected to go to the Dodgers, but several other predictors say he will end up with the New York Mets. J.T. Realmuto will also land up with the Mets. George Springer to the White Sox, although others say he will be with the Braves.  They project that the Yankees DJ LeMahieu will land with the Blue Jays. As long as it is reasonable, the Yankees will outbid the Blue Jay to keep LeMahieu in pinstripes.  Marcus Stroman to the Angels.

Former New York Yankee and Philadelphia Phillies, Didi Gregorius, will go west and play with the Cincinnati Reds. The site also says that predicts that the Athletic’s Marcus Semien will be with the New York Yankees next season. The reasoning is interesting.  It’s unclear what Semien is at this point. That uncertainty makes him a prime target for the Yankees, who’ve had success in recent years picking up undervalued assets like Luke Voit, Gio Urshela, and LeMahieu and turning them into studs. Adding Semien would enable New York to move Gleyber Torres back to second base, the position he should be playing.

 

UFC Vegas 13 Preview: Thiago Santos – Glover Teixeira

Tomorrow night, the UFC returns for their thirteenth live event at the APEX. In the main event of the evening, Thiago Santos (21-7) will take on Glover Teixeira (31-7) in a battle of two top ranked light heavyweight contenders.

Originally, this fight was looked at as a title eliminator. After Jan Blachowicz defeated Dominick Reyes at UFC 253, this winner of this fight was supposed to get the title shot. Originally, this fight was supposed to take place in August.

Then it was supposed to take place in early October on Fight Island. However, a battle with COVID-19 for both men pushed the fight back twice. That’s how we landed on the two headlining the UFC Vegas 13 card.

However, due to the fight being pushed back a few times, Blachowicz has found himself a new opponent. The UFC is planning on booking Blachowicz against middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya. Thus, the winner of tomorrow night, will have to wait their turn.

The turn of events makes you feel really bad for both men. Neither one of them could control getting sick, but because of the delays, a sexier fight for the UFC has appeared. While tomorrow’s fight is still big, the significance has gone down a little for the UFC.

UFC Vegas 13 Prediction

I have been very excited about this fight for a while. If you would have asked me who I thought was going to win about a year ago, I would have told you that Santos would win easily. Santos looked extremely good in his title shot against Jon Jones.

He fought that fight essentially on one leg after tearing his knee apart. Teixeira is 41 years old, but somehow he’s turned his career around. Four straight victories for the former title challenger have put him right back in the UFC‘s title picture.

In my opinion, Teixeira needs to try to grapple tomorrow night. He can hold his own on his feet, but a fully healthy Thiago Santos is a tough guy to deal with when it comes to striking. I’m expecting Teixeira to try to use his wrestling to get the fight to the ground.

However, Santos has proven that he’s not the easiest person in the world to get to the ground. I think Santos is going to be able to keep this one standing, and I think he’s going to make a big statement tomorrow night about why he should be the next UFC title challenger.

Prediction: Thiago Santos by TKO – Round 3