New York Mets Opinion: Use Your Logic To Assess The Offseason

The glitz and glamor of Steve Cohen’s purchase of the New York Mets have faded away. Sportswriters and Mets fans have descended from their cloud nine celebrations. Baseball writers and “analysts” criticize the amount of time it has taken for Steve Cohen and Sandy Alderson to construct their front office and roster.

As usual, Andy Martino of SNY and Joel Sherman of the NY Post are creating headlines based on feelings, not logic. Both are known for their loyalty to the Wilpon regime and their want for Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez to own the franchise. They will have you believe the Mets are already in a crisis, or even a failure, based on the Mets’ struggle to find a president of baseball operations.

If This Is A Failure, What Do They Classify The Wilpon Era As?

Now, I am not here to defend everything the new regime does, but I will be honest in telling you those reports are bs. Despite Cohen struggling to get interviews with his selected candidates, Alderson is a good as a backup plan as it gets. Even if the 3-5 year championship window Cohen is a high expectation, any good baseball executive would be crazy to turn down the opportunity the Mets present.

Why rush to hire someone when hiring the right guy is of the utmost importance? This is how the Mets latch on to a Brodie Van Wagenen failure, which decimated the farm system. There is also the potential Theo Epstein may want back in the game after his year off from baseball at the end of 2021.

To think some executives are shying away from the job is hard to believe. Imagine stepping into a job with the most money to spend, the best pitcher/maybe closer in baseball on the roster, and the offense which led the entire league in batting average in the previous season. To call the situation with the front office, a small concern is one thing but to claim that it is a failure makes it a wild claim.

Just a reminder that as of this article being posted, the date is December 1. The Mets do not touch a baseball field for at least another two and a half months. Should the Mets miss big time on their opportunity to improve the roster once spring training rolls around, then, by all means, call it a failure.

Context Clues

The Mets have the most leverage of any team in baseball. Teams can deny the Mets interviews all they want, but they cannot change the situation they are all in. Cohen did not suffer the $100 million-plus type losses from 2020 like the Philadelphia Phillies did. Agents throughout baseball know that as well, which is why this offseason revolves around the Mets. Them and the players they represent will wait until they hear the Mets offer before moving on. The anomaly is Charlie Morton, who understandably opted for location over money.

For the fans who are rushing to make their free-agent photoshops come true, please take a deep breath. Not having a general manager stops them from signing players, and we have seen the ability the Mets have to keep things quiet. Whether someone gets signed tomorrow or February 1, who cares as long as they are in a Mets uniform? Much like my original article about the sale, stay away from Martino and the NY Post.

New York Giants: Does Evan Engram’s play making ability make up for his turnover-problems?

New York Giants, Evan Engram

Teams usually know what they have in a fourth-year player, but New York Giants tight end Evan Engram flip-flops size in a polarizing way every single week. On the one hand, he is making incredible catches on spray fade routes and hauling in touchdowns, but on the other hand, he allows balls to hit him in the face or bounce off his hands and turn into interceptions.

This past week against the Cincinnati Bengals, Engram made a solid catch and was diving to the ground when Bengals defender Vonn Bell hit the ball out of his hands just before his elbows touched the turf. While this was a fantastic defensive play from the safety, Engram simply can’t find a way to hold onto the football without turning it over. He only has one fumble on the year, but he has been directly involved in seven turnovers this season, including six of Daniel Jones’ nine interceptions.

From an outside perspective, Engram is one of the most exciting and lethal offensive weapons in the NFL at the tight end position. He has incredible speed and ranks off the charts in athleticism but simply makes boneheaded plays far too often.

How has Evan Engram performed for the New York Giants this year?

So far this season, Engram has 44 catches for 476 yards and one score. He has caught 57.9% of his targets, the second-lowest since his rookie season when he dropped over eight balls.

Here’s a prime example of how polarizing the former Ole Miss stand out is, making two fantastic deep catches against Cincinnati but then fumbling and turning the momentum on its head.

Engram hauls in two fantastic fade routes on deep balls by Daniel Jones, showing off his ability to beat man coverage against cornerbacks. What I like most about these two plays is that he lines up in the slot as a receiver instead of off the line of scrimmage as a tight end.

In the next clip, you will see Engram slip at the point of attack, leading to an interception on a stick route. These are the types of mistakes that can’t be tolerated by receiver, especially one as talented as Evan.

This past week against the Bengals, Engram had a career game, logging 128 receiving yards, good for 14.33 yards per target. He played 96% of snaps, the second most of the season. Interestingly, he only played in 69% against the Philadelphia Eagles in week 10.

One category that Engram was struggling in to start the year was run blocking. His pass blocking has gotten significantly better as the season progressed, and his run blocking is above average now, taking a turn for the better after week eight against Tampa Bay.

He has been a focal point in the Giants’ run game, who have posted three consecutive games of 140+ yards pin the ground. The slender tight end is exerting extra effort to get downfield and help his running backs, which has translated to more success on offense.

When considering all of the mistakes he’s made and turnovers he’s caused, the Giants might’ve actually won several more games, but you can make the argument that being close in those contests, to begin with, was a big thanks to Engram and his play-making ability.

The Giants elected to retain him when teams called at the trade deadline, which instilled faith and confidence in his abilities. There is no question he can be one of the best players at his position in the NFL, and he has shown significant progress in run blocking.

Overall, I think his play at the moment justifies the mishaps he causes every now and then. However, at the beginning of the year, he was a detriment to the team and could not be trusted. He’s playing himself into a more prominent role, in my opinion.

 

Yankees news/rumors: James McCann inquiry sparks Gary Sanchez action, back to baseball

New York Yankees, Gary Sanchez

Yankees‘ catcher Gary Sanchez is doing everything he can to stay at the top of his game, and he’s far from it after a tumultuous 2020 season. He must be feeling the heat as GM Brian Cashman considers alternatives at the position over Sanchez.

The Yankees have been inquiring about several catchers, including future Hall of Famer Yadier Molina and Chicago White Sox’s James McCann. This heat has pressured Sanchez into signing up for the Dominican Republic winter league, alongside Miguel Andujar and Domingo German, two players who are fighting to remain with the Bombers in 2021. El Gary has joined Toros del Este, according to ESPN’s Enrique Rojas.

Gary Sanchez still has supporters within the Yankees:

“I think he’s been unfairly criticized a lot,” Aaron Boone told Meredith Marakovits on YES Network’s Yankees Hot Stove. “I think at times it’s over the top and people are blinded by some of the things that he’s done really well.”

“This year was certainly a challenging year for him and a struggle for him in a lot of ways, but that’s okay,” Boone continued.  “That’s part of the game. Sometimes you have a tough season, and this season was tough for so many people across the league for different reasons.”

It is interesting to see Boone defend Sanchez and the things he’s done really well. From my perspective, it is difficult to see exactly where Sanchez excels, aside from the slugger department where he hit 34 homers in 2019.
That is the one massive positive that Gary brings to the table, his ability to spark the offense with the long ball. However, he had a 28% strikeout rate in 2019 and 36% in 2020. He also finished with a .147 batting average and .253 on-base percentage, the lowest in his entire career.
The Yankees have already begun evaluating other players at the position, including James McCann and Yadier Molina. Sanchez is doing everything he can to prove he deserves another chance as a starter for the Yankees, but being replaced late in the season by Kyle Higashioka undoubtedly hurt his chances of a long-term deal in the future.
With Gary hitting arbitration in 2022, I imagine the Yankees will offer him a relatively conservative contract for one year, seeing what he can accomplish in 2021 before making a long-term decision on his future.

 

New York Yankees News/Rumors: Is James McCann the fix the Yankees need at backstop?

New York Yankees, Yankees, James McCann

The New York Yankees have much to do this offseason to correct areas they believe may have cost them another early exit from the postseason. Among them is re-signing DJ LeMahieu and rebuilding a pitching rotation that can bring them a division win and lead them to their first trip to the World Series in 12 years. Among other items, the Yankees have to decide what to do with their backstop, Gary Sanchez.

Gary Sanchez burst onto the Yankee scene in 2016, hitting more than a hit per game and hitting his career-high .299 batting average. In 2017 he had the most home runs of any catcher in baseball. Things were looking good for the young catcher as the Yankees declared him the New York Yankee catcher of the future, even though poor defense dogged him. Since his first two years as a Yankees, it’s been pretty much downhill for him. He hit a lot of home runs in 2019, but his batting average has averaged under .200 for the last three years. This year his defense has not improved, and he hit a career-low .147 batting average.

The Yankee have mostly lost faith in Sanchez after sitting him late in the season and the postseason. A team can’t have a guy in the lineup that can’t hit and is a liability. The New York Yankees must now decide if they keep Sanchez, promote Kyle Higashioka to starting catcher, or acquire a new catcher for the team through the free-agent market. There are three outstanding catchers out there that would be a significant upgrade from Sanchez. The most prized and most expensive is J.T. Realmuto. Another is Yadier Molina, a future Hall of Famer, and James McCann, a free agent from the Chicago White Sox.

Today we look to see if James McCann is a good fit for the Yankees. McCann is a solid defender, and the 30-year-old batted .289 to Sanchez’s .147 this past season. He has a good injury history, and Sanchez does not. He doesn’t hit as many home runs as Sanchez, he had only 7 compared to Gary’s 10, but McCann hits for contact. He has a .360 OBP and .896 OPS compared to Sanchez’s line of .253/.618. However, not a perfect defender had 4 errors to Sanchez’s 6.

McCann is coming off two solid seasons with the White Sox; he was an All-Star in 2019 when he hit 18 home runs and drove in 60 runners. Being a hot commodity on the free-agent market, if the Yankees decide McCann is for them, they will have plenty of competition for his services as according to John Heyman of the MLB Network, besides the New York Yankees, the crosstown Mets, St. Louis Cardinals, and Los Angeles Angels all reportedly interested. Of course, the White Sox would like to keep him too, but not enough to give him a qualifying offer. The only reason the Cards are interested is that they might lose Yadier Molina.