Yankees News/Rumors: Don’t rule out a James Paxton return to the Bronx

New York Yankees, James Paxton

The New York Yankees are preoccupied this free agency with DJ LeMahieu’s contract negotiations, but that doesn’t mean they are completely ignoring starting pitching. They have to replace James Paxton, JA Happ, and Masahiro Tanaka, who together opened up $52 million in available cap.

However, general manager Brian Cashman has committed to a long-term approach this off-season. He wants to wait until the latter months of free agency to address positions of need, allowing the more expensive players to shake out and more cost-efficient options to bubble to the surface. Ultimately, acting too early could result in overspending, something the Yankees are trying to refrain from after a tumultuous COVID-19 riddled season.

With Cashman looking to save money, don’t expect the Yankees to make any splash moves and bring in a player like Trevor Bauer unless LeMahieu walks for a better deal. One player to keep your eye on is a familiar face in James Paxton, who is preparing to make a comeback following a flexor strain he suffered in 2020.

Super-agent Scott Boras told MLB.com this past week regarding Paxton’s return from injury:

“He’s far into bullpen [sessions] and is throwing bullpens for select teams,” Boras said. “Obviously, he was not completely rehabilitated when he made an attempt to help his club and come back. Now, he’s certainly got his back strength back to 100% and he’s back throwing off the mound and doing well.”

Paxton only made five appearances in 2020, pitching a total of 20.1 innings. He finished with a 6.64 ERA and a career-low 32.1% ground ball rate. Honestly, it is not even fair to consider the 2020 numbers in a grander sample size. Looking at his 2019 season is more justifiable for a future contract. He finished with a 3.82 ERA with 11.11 strikeouts per nine and 15 wins.

The New York Yankees might take the cheaper route:

When healthy, Paxton is a phenomenal lefty pitcher who can offer significant value to any team. The Yankees don’t have many lefty arms, so his talents are extremely valuable, especially when he is playing at the top of his game. Paxton signed a one-year, $12.5 million deal with the Yankees last season, but an injury ended his campaign prematurely and severely limited the Bombers in the starting rotation, forcing them to rely on younger arms.
If Paxton is, in fact, 100% healthy, the Yankees could probably land him on a cost-efficient deal, and they know exactly what he brings to the team when he’s healthy. This would be a move I would welcome.

New York Giants: Ranking the weaknesses on offense

New York Giants, Austin Mack, Jason Garrett

The New York Giants have more problems on offense than they can possibly solve in one off-season. However, they entered the 2020 campaign with high expectations regarding their offense’s capabilities. With adequate wide receivers and high expectations for second-year quarterback Daniel Jones, they weren’t supposed to be second to last in points per game this year.

Fast forward to week 16, and the Giants are currently averaging 17.4 points per game and a measly 185.7 passing yards per game. It is clear that Big Blue has a lot of work to do before they can institute a competent offense in the modern-day NFL, but let’s take a look at who’s at fault and where the Giants should be placing the blame.

Ranking the New York Giants’ weaknesses on offense:

1.) Jason Garrett

One thing is clear, offensive coordinator Jason Garrett deserves a majority of the blame for the Giants’ struggles on offense. While the wide receivers have failed to create ample separation, his route combinations are extremely limited and oftentimes poor. Just take a look at the clip below, which shows four receivers running routes under 5 yards, failing to stretch the field and take players out of coverage.

When looking at alternative offenses with more downfield routes, you can see that they draw defensive backs out of coverage and open up better probability throws underneath. For example, against the Cleveland Browns, head coach Kevin Stefanski ran two hooks with their tight ends from the slot position, pushing his boundaries wide receivers on go-routes, which took three defensive backs out of coverage and allowed his tight ends to get open in-between zones.

If there’s anything to like about Garrett’s system, it is his running game. The Giants have seen their running attack improve tenfold this year, but the passing remains a serious problem that must be solved. Even with Freddie Kitchens as the OC this past weekend, we saw the offense take more shots downfield and stretch the field. If not for two failed attempts on fourth down, the day would’ve looked a lot better for Kitchens and his playcalling sequence.

Garrett seems to be extremely conservative in the category, and if he is unwilling to push his receivers downfield and utilize a more vertical game, the Giants should seriously consider replacing him in 2021.

2.) Daniel Jones

While I do think Daniel Jones’ struggles are a primary result of Garrett’s poor playcalling, there are some troubling factors to consider. Jones still struggles with moving through his progressions adequately, sometimes failing to reach his second and third options.

Take a look at the clip below, which shows a wide-open Dion Lewis in the flat on the bottom left — DJ never sees him.

Plays like this are unacceptable for a second-year quarterback in the NFL, as Jones fails to move on through his progressions and instead throws a terribly risky ball to Evan Engram in the flat with a defender underneath. Mental lapses like this cannot continue if the Giants want to commit to Jones for the future, and this type of decision making is not scheme related all the time.

However, Jones has cut back tremendously on his fumbles and protected the ball a bit better compared to 2019. He enjoyed three games last year with 4+ touchdowns, indicating he can throw the ball extremely well, but the playcalling must be fantastic. Ultimately, the Giants have done Jones zero favors in his progression and development, and unless they bring in a downfield oriented coordinator to maximize Daniel’s strengths, they will simply run him into more injuries with his legs.

3.) Lack of playmakers/wide receiver separation

The offense’s inability to score points is a direct result of playcalling, but when your wide receivers can’t create separation and get open, it makes it a bit difficult for the quarterback.

Losing Saquon Barkley early in the season significantly hurt the Giants’ ability to draw attention from opposing defenses and force them to stack the box. When Saquon is active and healthy, defenses need to keep linebackers monitoring the run, which opens up the middle of the field. Opposing teams simply aren’t afraid of Wayne Gallman and Alfred Morris, despite the Giants seeing an improvement in rushing yards per game this season.

When Saquon eventually makes his return in 2021, the Giants should experience an uptick in offensive efficiency, specifically when it comes to passing the football. On one play against Cleveland, the  New York Giants gave up a first down on a drag route to TE Austin Hooper, and this was a direct result of multiple players spying on running back Kareem Hunt.

Hunt essentially took Jabrill Peppers and Logan Ryan out of the play, indicating the influence a talented back can have for your offense. That is what the Giants are lacking without Saquon, so his reinstallation will provide a major boost one way or another.

Jake Paul’s boxing challenge accepted by Ben Askren

Jake Paul has certainly been busy after his second professional boxing match that took place a few of weeks ago. The YouTube celebrity knocked out former NBA player, Nate Robinson, in the second round a few of weeks ago.

Paul improved to 2-0 as a boxer and proceeded to start calling out professional MMA fighters for a boxing match. The two primary targets that he’s been focusing on are Conor McGregor and Dillon Danis.

Jake Paul even pulled a water balloon drive-by on Danis in an attempt to build the potential boxing match. Danis was filming an episode of Food Truck Diaries with Brendan Schaub at the time of the incident.

McGregor has yet to even acknowledge the insults and comments coming from Paul. Of course, McGregor is focused on his UFC return which takes place next month against Dustin Poirier on Fight Island.

However, this week, we’ve seen several MMA fighters throw their hats in the ring for the boxing match against Jake Paul. Former UFC champion, Michael Bisping, said this week that there had been talks for him to be the guy. 

Last night, Ben Askren announced on his Twitter that he was accepting the boxing challenge from Jake Paul. Askren said that he was in to make a lot of money and beat up a fake athlete. The proposed matchup would take place on March 28th.

Who will Jake Paul be boxing?

ESPN’s Ariel Helwani did report shortly after that the fight was far from done. Paul’s team is looking into a number of options for the celebrity to box in his next venture into the squared circle.

I will say, Askren would be one of the safer pics. Askren was a top level MMA fighter due to his incredible wrestling. Funky Ben was an Olympic level wrestler and he used that wrestling to go undefeated for the first ten years of his career.

However, Askren has never been known for his standup skills. Let alone his boxing skills. If Paul wants the easiest potential matchup, Askren might be it considering the pool of MMA fighters that he has to choose from.

Dillon Danis is another option. However, youth is on the side of Danis who has been training for the last few years. My guess is that we will know in the next couple of weeks who Jake Paul will be boxing in March.

New York Yankees Analysis: Gleyber Torres a work in progress

New York Yankees, Gleyber Torres

The New York Yankees, shortstop Gleyber Torres is surely a work in progress. The young potential Yankee star is just 10 days into this 24th year on earth, and he is still trying to get his footing. The question for the Yankees this offseason is whether to leave him at short or move him to second base, his natural position.

Much of that decision revolves around whether the New York Yankees can resign second baseman DJ LeMahieu, who they have said is their number one priority this offseason. If they can come to a deal satisfactory to both parties, it is assumed that Torres will stay at short for at least another year. The still very young man has gotten a lot of abuse from Yankees fans for his sup par play as the Yankee shortstop, some warranted and some not. The fans have to remember that he never asked to play at short. The Yankees failed to re-sign Didi Gregorius when the Yankees let him walk, and Torres agreed to play in his place.

Torres has worked very hard trying to work on his footwork to get to the ball quicker, allowing him a longer time to throw the ball and theoretically be more accurate. When Gleyber makes an error, he feels worse than you do.

“When I make an error, I feel some frustration after the game,” Torres said in September. “I go talk to (bench coach Carlos Mendoza) or I watch some video. I just try to clean it up and just focus for the next game. I feel like I’m a soldier and (in) every war I just try to be the best. So, I just say, if I make an error, I just try to clean it up and the next day, try to get better. That’s the only thing I can help my team and I can help myself.”

In the last coronavirus shortened season Torres had his worst year with the team, even from behind the plate. He had his career-worst batting average of .247, a 30 point drop from 2019. He also almost went homeless after leading the team in homers in 2019 with 38 long balls. In this writer’s opinion, you shouldn’t put a lot of concern on 2020 performance like it or not, for whatever reason, put a lot of strain on the majority of players. Torres will be okay at either short or second base, mainly due to his determination and demands on himself.

Manager Aaron Boone recently stated that Torres was playing catch up last season with his conditioning as he suffered a delay in being in shape because of the long hold over between spring training and the delayed summer camp. He also indicated that Torres would be in great shape going into the 2021 season, whenever it starts. One has to remember one of the greatest Yankee players, Derek Jeter, had challenges in the early stages of his career. At one point it was so bad he thought of quitting baseball.

Let’s take a look at Gleyber Torres’s trip to the majors and his potential. Gleyber Torres was born amongst the political strife, unrest, and violence of Caracas, Venezuela, in a middle-class family. In high school, he played both basketball and baseball, but his father got him to concentrate on just baseball. Many thought he had the capabilities of becoming a professional. At age 14, he enrolled in an academy with strong connections to baseball scouts. Shortly after that, he was sought out by the Chicago Cubs, and he signed a contract with them.

In 2016 the Cubs traded Torres with Adam Warren and two other players to the Yankees for a desperately needed Aroldis Chapman. Torres played in the minors but missed most of the 2017 season for an injury that required Tommy John surgery, but still recorded a .287 season with seven home runs. Gleyber Torres made his major league debut on April 22, 2018, against the Blue Jays but went hitless. The next day he got his first hit off the Twins. On May 4th, he recorded his first home run. The youngest Yankee to do so since 1969.

During 2018 after batting .297 with fifteen home runs, he was selected to the All-Star team. He was named AL player of the week twice. For his sophomore season, on April 4, 2019, Gleyber Torres became the fourth-youngest Yankee with four hits and three extra-base hits in a game since Joe DiMaggio did it in 1936.

To end his 2019 campaign, he batted .278 and led the New York Yankees with 38 home runs with 90 runs batted in. In his two years in the majors, he has been a New York Yankees All-Star twice and has received an MVP nomination. He finished the 2019 campaign he ended with 62 home runs for his three-year career and 167 RBIs.

For Gleyber Torres proponents, you need to consider the 2020 season an unhappy blip in a New York Yankee player with tremendous potential to be a great Yankee star. You need to hold off on judgment for those detractors until you see if the young man can have a bounce-back year in a season that looks a bit more normal.

 

 

New York Giants: There’s one major positive on offense to be proud of this season

New York Giants, Wayne Gallman

When it comes to the offensive side of the ball for the New York Giants, there’s not much to be proud of. They currently rank second to last in points per game at 17.4, just ahead of the New York Jets, the worst offense in football, and maybe even historically.

There’s a lot of blame to go around for the Giants’ struggles on offense, notably their play-caller, Jason Garrett, Daniel Jones’ inconsistencies, and a lack of playmaking talent.

The moment star running back Saquon Barkley tore his ACL, things became inherently difficult for Big Blue. Their ability to move the ball is hampered by a lack of wide receiver separation and injuries at key positions. Daniel Jones missed last week’s contest against the Cleveland Browns and was limited against the Arizona Cardinals the week prior. Jones has been solid in spurts but simply can’t capitalize on Garrett’s system. The more he runs the football, the more Jones will increase his probability of injury. He must learn to be a pocket passer first and a runner second, and I don’t believe Garrett is doing him any favors with his playcalling.

However, there are some positives when it comes to the offense’s efficiency. They might be at the bottom of the NFL in passer success, but their ability to run the football is not questioned. The Giants currently ranked 16th in yards per game on the ground, with 113.5. That makes them average in running the football, but that is without Saquon and a newly pieced together OL.

The New York Giants are doing a lot with a little:

Considering the Giants have rookie Andrew Thomas at left tackle, Shane Lemieux at left guard, and a new center in Nick Gates, there’s not much continuity in the trenches. The fact that they are considered average in the rushing category is simply impressive. With a year of experience under their belt and one of the best running backs in the NFL returning to the Giants, we should see the offense open up a bit more in 2021.

So far this season, the Giants have enjoyed seven consecutive games at one point with 100+ rushing yards. They even went four consecutive games with 140+ yards on the ground, reaching a high of 190. Over a five-week span, the Giants earned six rushing touchdowns, thanks to Wayne Gallman and his ability to punch in short-yardage assignments.

The establishment of Thomas at left tackle has worked wonders in the run game, and the moment Lemieux made his debut at left guard, things really took off. They are both hard-nosed offensive linemen who are always looking for work. It is quite impressive that the Giants have managed to make older players like Alfred Morris look like adequate players.

Against the Browns this past weekend, Morris averaged 5.6 yards per carry and picked up 39 yards on seven carries. The gaps they’ve been opening up are a running backs dream, and a player with elite athleticism like Barkley will capitalize on these opportunities.

So, we can conclude that the offense has struggled in many ways, but running the football isn’t one of them. That factor should continuously improve, and the byproducts of a good running game include a lower probability of turning the football over and more time of possession. Both of these points keep the defense off the field and well-rested.

New York Knicks: Projecting the starting five for Opening Day

New York Knicks, Elfrid Payton

The New York Knicks are preparing to start the 2021 season on a high note, but the injection of two young rookies by the names of Obi Toppin and Immanuel Quickley. So far during the preseason, both youngsters have performed well, especially Quickley, who has made a serious case to start the season as the Knicks’ top point guard.

Opening the year against the Indiana Pacers will be a good test for a Knicks team that has committed to playing defensive basketball. New head coach Tom Thibodeau wants to field five players who will be aggressive and high energy, overwhelming opposing teams and forcing them to make mistakes. However, scoring is just as important, and the Knicks did a good job of that during the preseason, winning 3 of 4 games and reaching 100 points in two of them.

Indiana averaged 109 points per game in 2019, while the Knicks average 105.8. The hope is that the defense can limit them, giving players like RJ Barrett a chance to leave their mark offensively.

Projecting the New York Knicks’ starting five for Opening Day:

PG: Immanuel Quickley

G: Reggie Bullock

G: RJ Barrett

PF: Julius Randle

C: Nerlens Noel

The biggest surprise here is Quickley, who has dominated in limited action this preseason. While some might think that it’s too soon to plug him in as a starter, he showed fantastic elusiveness and quickness on the floor.

His ability to get players into space and draw in defenders makes him an immediate starter. Thibodeau has already claimed he wants to start the team’s best players, disregarding player development with live-action. Nonetheless, quickly has left his mark, showing a keen ability to score and move the ball efficiently. Against the Cavaliers in game four of the preseason, quickly made a start. He scored 22 points and tallied five assists and a +41 +/-.

Overall, while Payton has veteran experience in the NBA, his potential is limited. He is a solid defender and can make some shifty plays on the floor, but Quickley as an unknown and building off his preseason confidence could be a great way to start the season. Of course, they can easily rotate him out if he begins to struggle early on. But he is one of those players that simply has “it,” and there’s no shame in trusting a rookie at a position of weakness the past few years.

Aside from the former Kentucky star, I predict that the Knicks will roll out shooting guard Reggie Bullock as a three-point threat, RJ Barrett, who has dominated this preseason, and Julius Randle as their power forward. You could make the argument the Toppin should be starting, but Randle is being paid too much money and holds too much offensive value to be left behind.

They will likely rotate Randle and Toppin throughout the game, which is a good way to get the eighth overall pick some minutes early on in his career. At center, I believe there will be a rotation of Nerlens Noel and Mitchell Robinson, two players who can make an impact defensively but also flush home some offensive rebounds on occasion.

The starting five will be an ongoing process, as Thibodeau figures out what combination best suits his style and team. Having only four preseason games doesn’t allow much of a sample size to determine what the future starters will look like, but we will shortly find out who is ready to help the Knicks collect wins in 2021.

New York Mets: The Possible Infield Options With D.J. LeMahieu

New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu

The New York Mets have “recently contacted” D.J. LeMahieu, according to Jon Heyman. Take that as you may but signing LeMahieu would strengthen their offense and drastically better their infield defense. If signing LeMahieu has traction, then the Mets have multiple combinations to work with during 2021.

The continued guessing game on a designated hitter for 2021 makes dealing with the free-agent market harder for every National League Team. The Mets already have DH options in place, but it does not make decision-making any easier.

In a few of these situations, J.D. Davis becomes very expendable. He was already part of rumors along with Amed Rosario for a Francisco Lindor trade. The obvious missing part is the missing prospect(s) needed to complete the move. As enticing as the trade seems, Davis, Rosario, plus a prospect might be too much if Lindor does not remain with the Mets past 2021. If Lindor was the difference separating the Mets from being a World Series contender, giving up a little extra would be reasonable.

No DH Option 1: LeMahieu to Third, McNeil to Second

With Robinson Cano suspended for the entirety of 2021, the Mets can move Jeff McNeil to second base. LeMahieu plays third base while Dominic Smith and J.D. Davis handles the left field. The infield defense would be significantly better than in 2020, but the outfield would still suffer. Signing LeMahieu could make signing George Springer tougher. It certainly could still happen, but Jackie Bradley Jr. or Kevin Pillar is more realistic in that situation.

No DH Option 2: LeMahieu at Second, Davis/McNeil at Third

LeMahieu at second shows, the Mets are content with either Davis or McNeil at third base. Davis was better defensively in 2020, but neither one stood out. Second base is LeMahieu’s natural position and is where he won all three of his Gold Glove awards. Andres Gimenez should play shortstop when pitchers like Marcus Stroman and David Peterson are on the mound. Stroman especially is a groundball pitcher, and solidifying the defense up the middle would attempt to make up for the weak corner options.

DH Option 1 (With Springer in CF): LeMahieu to Third, McNeil to Second, Nimmo in Left, Smith DH

This is the dream scenario for the Mets, especially with the DH in place. They would get a good balance of offense and defense they have not found in years. Offensively, the lineup would become a nightmare to pitch to, and the overall team defense improves. Even if the center fielder becomes one of the two names mentioned earlier, the defense still improves, but the offense would lose some punch.

DH Option 2 (Without Anyone New in CF): LeMahieu to Second, Davis to Third, McNeil to Left, Smith DH

With Brandon Nimmo in center field, the Mets cannot afford two below-average fielders in their everyday outfield. McNeil defended much better in the left-field after moving from third base. While Nimmo struggles in center field, McNeil and Michael Conforto would handle the corners. This is the least likely option as the Mets are almost guaranteed to sign a new center fielder.

Of course, there are way more options than the four mentioned. The idea of Rosario at third base or Gimenez at shortstop changes the whole dynamic of LeMahieu at the roster. The great part of this offseason is the ability to contemplate good solutions. In the past, ownership settled for options similar to slapping duct tape on a leak.

Yankees News/Rumors: DJ LeMahieu has a new suitor, and it’s the worst team possible

New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu

As the contract negotiations drag on for the New York Yankees and DJ LeMahieu, other teams are beginning to pick up steam, contacting arguably the best hitter in the MLB to gauge his interest in leaving the Bronx.

LeMahieu has expressed his desire to remain in pinstripes, but the reality is, general manager Brian Cashman and DJ‘s representatives are quite far apart in their expectations on an extension. Reports have indicated they are $25 million and more apart from finding a compromise, but Cashman is willing to wait as long as it takes to sign DJ without going over-budget. However, this method could be costly (pun intended).

The Toronto Blue Jays are one club that have had their eye on DJ and hold him in high regard. One Blue Jay even went as far as to say he’s the number one player he would want to play with in the MLB.

“He’s probably the No. 1 player I’d want to play with in the league,” Bo Bichette said, appearing on Ross Stripling’s “Big Swing” podcast (h/t Peter Botte of the New York Post). “If that would happen, that would be awesome for us, but either way, man, our team’s pretty good already.”

LeMahieu leaving the Yankees would be devastating, as supplementing his loss would be virtually impossible. Nonetheless, the available money would allow the Yankees to gauge interest in signing a premium pitcher like Trevor Bauer. Realistically, pitching has been their Achilles’ heel, and if all of their hitters can stay healthy, they have plenty of firepower to dominate the regular season and playoffs.

A new team has entered the ring with the New York Yankees:

This is the news nobody wanted to hear, the New York Mets have contacted LeMahieu on his services and price tag. Ultimately, he wouldn’t have to move very far, taking the seven train from Grand Central to Citi Field.

While this would be an unfortunate development, the Mets don’t want to meddle in the Yankees’ business, considering the Bombers vouched for new owner Steve Cohen to become the leader of the struggling franchise. With every passing day, though, the Yankees are allowing DJ to consider alternative options. Cashman is playing a risky game, hoping that no other teams increase his price tag and the value they placed on him simply isn’t as high as he’s asking for. That would force his representatives to settle for less, which would allow Cashman to save a bit of money and re-allocated toward other positions of weakness.

Time is of the essence, and with every passing day, DJ seems to slip away a little bit more. The Yankees’ general manager remains confident that they will find common ground, but he continues to state that there is no guarantee.

“Hopefully, we can have that type of experience where it doesn’t matter how long it takes, as long as it has an ultimate outcome that’s successful,” Cashman said. “But there’s no guarantee that it will.”

New York Yankees News/Rumors: Sweepstakes for LeMahieu heat up, Yankees sign another pitcher and more

New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu

New York Mets in the DJ LeMahieu picture

The New York Yankees may have a battle with the crosstown New York Mets for the services of DJ LeMahieu. Many teams are interested in the best MLB player for the last two years. The team most often mentioned in the LeMahieu sweepstakes is the Toronto Blue Jays, although many other teams are interested as well. Now it is known that the New York Mets have contacted the Wasserman Group, DJ’s agent.

Jon Heyman, an insider at the MLB Network, reported that the New York Mets had entered the battle for the second baseman this year’s batting title winner. This news further muddies up the picture as to whether the Yankees can re-sign the star.

Reports indicate that the Yankees and LeMahieu are far apart in getting a deal to have him return to the Bronx. Reports say that the sides are at least $25 million apart on a deal. The Yankees would like a three year deal for $75 million but probably would advance to four years and $100 million if it would get a deal done. The catch is the LeMahieu is now asked for $125 million across a five-year contract. General manager Brian Cashman said on Sunday:

“Hopefully, we can have that type of experience where it doesn’t matter how long it takes, as long as it has an ultimate outcome that’s successful,” Cashman said. “But there’s no guarantee that it will.”

New York Yankees sign no-name pitcher

The New York Yankees appear to be digging deep for pitching help, as they have just signed a pitcher that hasn’t played in the Major Leagues for the last five years. The Yankees have reportedly signed Lucas Luetge. The signing is not even noteworthy other than to let you know that the Yankees are scouring the market for pitching help.

Luetge last pitched in the Major Leagues in 2015 for the Seattle Mariners. Since then, he has been in the minors with the Oakland  A’s, Baltimore Orioles, Los Angeles Angels, Cincinnati Reds, and Arizona Diamondbacks, but failed to crack the big league roster with any of those organizations.  The 33-year-old had Tommy John surgery midway through the 2017 season and didn’t pitch during 2018. According to reports upon his return, he tore up the minors in 2019, but unfortunately for Luetge, the 2020 minor league season was canceled.

In 2020 he was on the taxi squad for the Oakland A’s but never made the 40 man roster. It would have been more than nice to see what he could have done last year, but in 2019 he posted for Triple-A Reno a lefty record of 9-3 with a 2.38 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and 74 strikeouts in 55 games (68 innings). The New York Yankees have signed him to a minor league contract. The Yankees will be watching him closely in spring training.

The Yankees help the Bronx neighborhood.

In their tradition of giving back to the Yankee Stadium neighborhood, the New York Yankees continue to do so during the pandemic. It was recently announced that they had contributed $50K to a fund to help businesses around Yankee Stadium that suffered a business loss due to no fans at the Stadium.  Businesses around the stadium reap huge rewards from fans attending games, but with no games last season, many are struggling to stay alive, including the 93-year-old Yankee tavern.

The Yankees have committed to 10 grants of $5k each to help out those struggling businesses. It is not the first offer of help as they contributed earlier with $75k to help restaurants and souvenir shops. In the spirit of Christmas, the Yankees have also purchased 68k pounds of food to help feed the needy in the Yankee Stadium neighborhood. That is along with $200,000 in food vouchers for Bronx families.

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