New York Giants: Daniel Jones explains crazy trick play reception

daniel jones, new york giants

The New York Giants came up with a better performance on both sides of the ball in week 7, and one play in specific sums up their improvement on offense. That play is the trick play where wide receiver Dante Pettis tossed the ball to Daniel Jones for a first down on a scoring drive.

The play is an example of the coaching staff coming up with more creative approaches to the offense compared to earlier in the season, when there were many complaints about the “three downs for 10 yards” style of playcalling.

After the game, Daniel Jones himself was naturally asked a few questions about his first career reception.

Daniel Jones speaks about his first reception

“Yeah, it was a pretty unathletic route getting out there, so he put it out there for me and I just tried to pull it in. Good play, good design, something we’d worked on all week. Good throw by Dante,” Jones said in the postgame press conference.

From what Jones said, it seems like the Giants had this play in the works during the week leading up to the game.

“I think that’s the biggest thing is going through the same process you did all week through the play, recognizing the look we’re getting and trying to execute it like we practiced. Just trying to do that.”

The Giants had 302 total yards of offense against the Panthers.

While that isn’t the biggest increase on paper from their 261 against Los Angeles, the players obviously did a much better job this week converting at the right moments and turning the yardage into points.

The Giants face an interesting matchup next week when they take on the struggling Chiefs on the road, but if week 7 and this trick play are anything to go by, they’ll at least have a fully healthy Daniel Jones for that game.

Knicks punched in the mouth by Orlando | Takeaways from first loss of season

evan fournier, knicks

The New York Knicks dropped their first game of the season against Orlando Magic on Sunday evening by a score of 110–104. Despite overcoming a young Orlando team on Friday evening, the Knicks saw themselves playing down to their competition at home, allowing Cole Anthony and Terrence Ross to combine for 51 points.

The Magic exposed the Knicks on several levels, showing some of their weaknesses and vulnerabilities early in the season. It was clear the Knicks were a bit gassed, huffing and puffing with weak legs down the stretch, allowing Ross the score over 20 points in the fourth quarter alone, giving Orlando an advantage.

Nonetheless, let’s take a look at a few primary takeaways from the loss.

Main takeaways in Knicks’ first loss of the season:

1.) The team is vulnerable when Julius Randle struggles

When All-Star power forward Julius Randle struggles, the Knicks have trouble supplementing his deficiencies. While Randle scored 30 points on the evening, he shot just 8-for-24 from the field and 20% from three-point range, which ultimately would’ve been the difference in the game. If Randle hovered around his usual 40% mark, the Knicks likely would’ve emerged victorious, but the rest of the team didn’t pick up his slack.

Kemba Walker played just 19 minutes, failing to make an impact on defense. It seemed as if Tom Thibodeau was trying to limit Walker, giving Derrick Rose the majority of the workload, as he posted 23 points over 29 minutes.

There is no doubt the Randle will bounce back from this tough outing, but good teams must demolish bad ones, and the Orlando Magic showed that the Knicks are capable of being exposed when their star player isn’t hitting shots.

2.) Mitchell Robinson is the REAL deal

After Mitchell Robinson provided a brief scare after twisting his ankle in the second half, he bounced back to record 10 rebounds and 10 points, contributing three blocks in the process. His added muscle has proven to be a catalyst in his scoring efficiency the season, and the expectation is that he will be their primary starter moving forward.

With Nerlens Noel missing time due to a sore knee, Robinson is assumed to pick up the minutes, despite the lack of stamina to start the year. He seems to be easing his way into the game — his performance to start the year has been extremely encouraging.

3.) Defense seems to be an issue

Despite the Knicks being in the top 10 in both steals and rebounds, their defensive rating hovers in the middle of the league, especially after giving up 110 points to a poor Orlando team. In fact, Orlando hadn’t scored over 100 until Sunday evening.

Head coach Tom Thibodeau will be livid over his team’s lack of effort on defense and communication, allowing Ross to dominate in the fourth quarter and allowing open lanes for attackers to get to the rim. I fully expect Thibodeau to whip his players into shape as the season progresses, but he can’t be too happy about their defensive production so far this season.

4.) Consistency is key

Good teams lose games too, but they also remain consistent with their strengths. With Randle having an off day, the Knicks needed more than an energized Derrick Rose to overcome Orlando, and they simply didn’t get enough production from players like Evan Fournier and RJ Barrett, who combined for just 20 points.

While Fournier has been a stellar addition to start the season, scoring just eight points over 26 minutes is inefficient, and Obi Toppin hitting just 1-of-4 shots didn’t help either.

The Knicks could look to decrease Immanuel Quickley’s minutes after he failed to score in 12 minutes, taking four shots. They need more consistency from their primary scores, as they shot a measly 27.1% from three and 37% from the field in the defeat.

Chicago Bears: No answers in loss to Buccaneers

justin field, bears

It was another long week for the Chicago Bears in a 38-3 loss on the road against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. To start, Chicago was never in the game, to begin with. After failing to score on the first six possessions of the game, the Bears offense once again struggled to get anything going until Cairo Santos hit a 28-yard field goal with just 6:13 to go in the fourth quarter.

Throughout the afternoon, the Bears struggled on both sides of the all. The defense allowed three touchdowns in the first half and failed to record a sack. Chicago’s pass rush was non-existent with defensive tackle Akiem Hicks and outside linebacker Robert Quinn being sidelined due to injuries and COVID-19.

Rookie quarterback Justin Fields struggled at times throughout the afternoon. Fields was 22-for-32 with 184 passing yards, zero touchdowns, and three interceptions. The 11th overall pick posted a passing rating of 44.3 while being sacked four times. The lone bright spot for the Bears’ offense was running back Khalil Herbert, who rushed 18 times for 100 yards, averaging 5.6 yards per carry.

Vintage Tom Brady showed up for his seventh career game against Chicago. Throughout the afternoon, Brady was sharp, connecting with Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans for three touchdowns. While Brady averaged just 5.9 yards per pass attempt, the future hall of fame quarterback was aided by a strong rushing attack that averaged 5.9 yards per carry.

With Chicago now on a two-game losing streak, losses against key NFC opponents continue to pile up for the Bears. Through the first seven weeks of the season, the Bears have lost to the Los Angeles Rams, Green Bay Packers, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, three teams who will likely be competing for the Lombardi Trophy when the playoffs begin in mid-January.

After the game, head coach Matt Nagy stressed the importance of not letting the Bears’ latest loss feel like multiple losses. This wasn’t a game that anyone expected the Bears to win by any means but many hoped the Bears would be competitive enough to at least warrant not being blown out.

What’s next for the Bears? Chicago will return home to face the San Francisco 49ers in week 8, which will mark the first time the Fields will face fellow rookie quarterback Trey Lance, the third overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft.

NASCAR: Kyle Larson wins third in a row, ninth of 2021 at Kansas

With his second streak of three consecutive wins, Kyle Larson reached a NASCAR Cup Series mark last obtained by Dale Earnhardt.

Automatic advancement to the NASCAR Cup Series’ championship race at Phoenix was, once again, no excuse for Kyle Larson to take the weekend off.

Larson’s No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet earned its ninth victory of the 2021 season by leading 130 of the Hollywood Casino 400’s 267 laps at Kansas Speedway. The team has now won three races in a row with two events left on the schedule. Larson had previously punched his championship ticket with a win at Texas last weekend. The win before that at Charlotte’s road course was likewise earned with nothing to gain, as Larson was already in the ongoing Round of 8 based on points.

The win at Kansas, Larson’s first in 14 starts, proved historic in more ways than one. Larson has now led 69,032 laps this season, setting the all-time Cup Series record for a 36-race season (passing fellow HMS legend Jeff Gordon’s tally during his championship trek in 2001). Larson’s second “three-peat” of 2021 also makes him the first driver since Dale Earnhardt in 1987 to win three straight races on two occasions in the same season. The previous trio came at Charlotte, Sonoma, and Nashville earlier in the spring.

A Hendrick Motorsports vehicle also visited victory lane on an emotional weekend: Sunday marked the 17th anniversary since a plane owned by the team crashed en route to an event at Martinsville Speedway. All 10 passengers on board were killed, including team owner Rick Hendrick’s 24-year-old son Ricky. Larson’s primary paint scheme this season, sponsored by HendrickCars.com, has strongly resembled the car the younger Hendrick drove during his day on the NASCAR Busch (now Xfinity) Series circuit. Ricky’s only NASCAR national series victory came in a Truck Series race at Kansas in July 2001.

The defending Cup Series champion and Larson’s HMS teammate, Chase Elliott, finished second. Elliott is currently the first driver admitted to the final four on points, holding a 34-point advantage on fifth-place Ryan Blaney. Non-playoff drivers Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch finished third and fourth while semifinalist Denny Hamlin (32 points ahead of fifth) rounded out the top five.

Nine to 5

A lack of stakes was no obstacle for the No. 5 team, which is now one win away from earning the first 10-win Cup season since yet another HMS legend, Jimmie Johnson, did so in 2007. Larson had a decent advantage through starting on the pole and wound up staying up front for most of the afternoon.

Larson knows that his dominant season will be instantly forgotten if he doesn’t hoist the championship trophy in Phoenix. He’s hoping that a strong showing at Kansas and one more short track visit to Martinsville next week will generate the momentum necessary to finish things off, even if Phoenix is, in his own words, “a different style track than we’ve been winning on”. The driver of the No. 5 has also set a late, lofty goal in that he hopes his return to the circuit could go down as one of the five greatest seasons in the history of the sport.

“It’s like hard for me to think if people will really remember if you don’t win the championship now at this point,” Larson said after the race. “You can read into it adding pressure that I want to win the championship, even more, to cap off what’s been a great season…So that’s my goal, and I hope we can finish it off with being mentioned in one of the top five greatest seasons ever.”

Despite that lofty goal, Larson refused to label himself the championship favorite.

“I think looking at the drivers in the Round of 8, you can make a strong case for every single one of us, why we could win the championship at Phoenix. So I don’t know,” Larson said when queried about the coming finale. “I don’t think you can pick a favorite. I think maybe, yes, you can look at me as being the favorite because of the momentum and stuff that we’re on and all that. But I can make a case for any one of the other seven drivers, why they could beat me and beat any of us. Anybody can win I think in the Final 8 right now.”

Chase’s Chase

The biggest threat to Larson’s dominance was his own teammates: Hendrick Chevrolets led 229 of 267 laps on Sunday, with Elliott pacing 42. Though his playoff journey ended after the Round of 12, William Byron led 57 and won the second 81-lap stage. Byron’s quest for an upset victory was derailed by a pit road miscue: as the leaders made one last stop during a caution brought out by Ryan Newman’s spin with 48 to go, Byron won the race off pit road but was forced to revisit due to loose lug nuts. The No. 24 Chevrolet eventually recovered to finish sixth.

With Byron out of contention, Elliott took the lead from Kurt Busch on lap 223’s restart but Larson reassumed to top spot six circuits later. The defending champ’s No. 9 closed in on Larson as the laps dwindled, but some contact with the wall forced him to settle for the runner-up spot.

Elliott is still in a prime position to compete in the Championship 4 through his 34-point lead, though he should know better than anyone about the potential for chaos at Martinsville: faced with a win-or-go-home situation in last year’s event, Elliott came from the rear of the field to win, overcoming an overturned pit road penalty en route.

Halloween gets scarier for postseason cusp

Several playoff drivers had early issues with their tires, a situation that manufacturer Goodyear attributed to windy conditions at Kansas. Larson admitted that strengthened winds that picked up after a 15-minute red flag for weather after lap 12 “caught (him) off guard”.

“I went off turn 2 and somebody shoved my car and pushed me a half a group up,” Larson recalled. “I made a quick mental note of that and how the balance was into 3 and kind of adjusted…Kansas, for whatever reason, is typically like the only track I feel like that affects the balance of the race car with the wind. A lot of times it will be a tailwind off of 2 into 3 and you’ll be really loose into 3. But the crosswind today was odd.”

While Larson obviously recovered, several other drivers weren’t as lucky: Goodyear noted that the playoff cars of Brad Keselowski, Ryan Blaney, Kyle Busch, and Martin Truex Jr. were affected. Keselowski (17th) and Truex made contact at lap 53 and were forced to repair damage while Kyle Busch (28th) hit the wall and split his right rear quarter panel 80 laps later.

Blaney, who entered Kansas as the top driver in via points, had made his way back into the top ten by the final stages but another incident, this one involving Austin Dillon, put him in the wall with 43 to go. The damage was too great to continue and Blaney finished 37th.

“We got run into from two lanes below me. I have no idea,” Blaney, driver of the No. 12 Team Penske Ford, said of the Dillon incident. “Obviously, it hurts. Finishing 37th is not prime. We didn’t have a great day but we did a good job of fighting back and getting back into the top-10 but then just got wiped out when we had plenty of room. That sucks. It is very unfortunate.”

As it stands, Busch currently holds the final championship advancement slot, with Blaney sitting a single point behind. Truex, who rallied to finish seventh, is three points back while Keselowski is six. The last playoff driver, Joey Logano, is 26 points back and likely faces a win-or-bust situation at Martinsville.

Up Next

The NASCAR Cup Series returns to action next Sunday for the Xfinity 500, the penultimate event of the 2021 season, at Martinsville (2 p.m. ET, NBC). Elliott worked his way into the Championship 4 with a daring win in last year’s fall event while Truex won at the short track’s most recent visit in April.

For full results, click HERE
For full standings, click HERE

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Jets: Three stars from Sunday’s loss at New England

New York Jets

The New York Jets’ chronicles of futility hit a depressing new low on Sunday in New England, falling by a six-touchdown margin.

The New York Jets are undoubtedly used to coming up short against the New England Patriots. Sunday afternoon’s failure, however, sunk to new depths entirely.

New England put up a jaw-dropping 554 yards of total offense at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, scoring on all but two of their 11 possessions in a 54-13 triumph over the hapless Jets (1-5), who lost franchise quarterback Zach Wilson to a knee injury in the second quarter. Wilson was taken to the locker as the Jets scored their first touchdown of the day and did not return.

Sunday marked the Jets’ 10th straight defeat at the hands of the Patriots. The 551 yards of offense was the eighth-worst output in team history and worst since they let up 557 to San Francisco in September 1998.

ESM has three silver linings from the brutal defeat.

3rd Star: RB Michael Carter

8 receptions, 67 yards, 11 carries, 37 yards

Carter’s first NFL instance of earning triple figures in yardage will likely be forgotten in the aftermath of this ugly defeat. It’s nonetheless good to see the Jets further establishing Carter as a consistent offensive option, one that could earn further opportunities if Wilson is out for an extended period.

2nd Star: WR Corey Davis

4 receptions, 47 yards, 1 TD

For what it’s worth, Davis has turned into the Jets’ most reliable scoring option. Having scored his fourth of the season on Sunday (the first toss of backup quarterback Mike White’s career), Davis has played a role in four of the Jets’ nine touchdowns this season.

1st Star: WR Elijah Moore

1 carry, 19 yards, 1 TD, 1 reception, 13 yards

In a shocking twist, the Jets (briefly) discovered that good things can happen if they put the ball in their weapons’ hands. Denzel Mims’ chances remained limited (a six-yard reception on two targets) but the Jets tried to get the rookie Moore involved after only two balls went his way against Atlanta in London. He had only a single catch but a score on a third quarter reverse provided the Jets’ last good vibes of the day. New York magic has been relatively rare, but it was good to see the Jets try to use their weapons of the future, even if it took unconventional means.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Rangers preparing for the return of Kaapo Kakko

kaapo kakko, rangers

Some of the New York Rangers‘ top players may be out, but that didn’t stop them from rattling off four consecutive wins on an impressive road streak this past week. The Rangers overcame the Ottawa Senators with three goals in the third period in their latest victory.

Thanks to goals from Chris Kreider, Ryan Lindgren, and Barclay Goodrow, the Rangers can feel good with their 4–1–1 record as they prepared to take on the Calgary Flames on Monday evening at 7 PM.

However, they might gain back one of their top players, Kaapo Kakko. The Finland native has played in three games this year, averaging 13:57 seconds on the ice. He has yet to tally a goal or assists this season, but he is an integral part to the Rangers’ plans moving forward.

As the second overall pick in 2019, the 6’3″ Winger should give the Rangers more depth and talent upon his return.

“When he’s ready to go, he’s ready to go.” Gallant said last week. “I think it’s going to be close. I think it’s day-to-day and I think it’s really close. Hopefully, early next week.”

Gallant indicates his return will be day-to-day, but we should expect him to make an appearance this week as he tries to shake off an upper body injury that placed him on IR.

Knicks: Taj Gibson returns, Nerlens Noel doubtful to play vs Magic

knicks, taj gibson

Taj Gibson is expected to make his season debut for the New York Knicks Sunday night against the Orlando Magic.

Gibson missed the Knicks’ first two games after becoming a first-time father last Friday. Meanwhile, Nerlens Noel remains doubtful to play against the Magic. Noel has been nursing knee soreness though coach Tom Thibodeau hinted that he’s near to returning to the active lineup.

But even without their top two backup centers, the Knicks were too much for the rebuilding Magic. The Knicks set a franchise-record 24 three-pointers in a 121-96 victory over the Magic for their first 2-0 start in nine years.

“This is a very good Knicks basketball team. A very tough, physical basketball team,” Magic’s rookie coach Jamahl Mosley said after Friday’s embarrassing loss to the Knicks. “We got spread out a little bit too much… because (the Knicks) spread the floor so well. We talked about the guys that they have that are individually very talented. And they were, early on, were making the extra pass and knocking down shots.”

The Knicks’ offense had been juiced up by the addition of Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier and their small-ball lineup during non-Mitchell Robinson minutes.

It will be interesting to watch how Thibodeau will balance his rotation once Gibson and Noel return.

Julius Randle and the much-improved sophomore Obi Toppin have played together for 23 minutes during the Knicks’ impressive 2-0 start. The Randle-Toppin lineups have outscored their opponents by 21.

Robinson has also been stellar since his return from a foot injury. The 23-year old center averages 8.5 points on a staggering 80 percent shooting from the field, 13 rebounds, 1.5 assists, one block in 31.5 minutes.

Against the Magic, the third-youngest team in the league whose roster’s average age is 24.7 years, there is no rush to bring back Noel.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

Mets: Longtime Giants executive could be an option for baseball operations role

New York Mets

So far, the New York Mets have swung and missed with most of their top candidates for the president of baseball operations position. Theo Epstein, Billy Beane, and David Stearns were all discussed at some point, but the possibilities of one of them joining the team are now extremely remote.

Sandy Alderson, the Mets’ president, wants to fill the position with someone capable, with experience and proven ability to lead an MLB club to sustained success. The problem is that the candidates that fill the criteria are not abundant.

Brian Sabean, who is currently working as an advisor for the San Francisco Giants, has been mentioned as a potential contender for the role.

According to Deesha Thosar, who covers the Mets for the New York Daily News, the executive would welcome the opportunity.

He would sign for the Mets “in a heartbeat”

“A source close to Sabean confirmed to the Daily News that he very much would like another challenge in his life. He’s going stir crazy in San Francisco with essentially nothing to do (in the role of a special assistant) with the Giants. But the real attraction for Sabean would be the fact that it’s New York and it’s the Mets, the source said. Unlike Billy Beane, who was reluctant to uplift his family and roots from the West Coast to New York City, the source close to Sabean said he would do it in a heartbeat if the Mets offered him the job,” Thosar writes.

It’s not hard to see why Sabean would be qualified for the job. He won three World Series Championships with the Giants as the general manager, in 2010, 2012, and 2014, and had winning seasons in 13 of the 18 years he was at the helm.

The 77-85 Mets certainly need guidance, but have the resources to be a force in the National League for years to come.

Knicks: 3 keys to beating the Orlando Magic on Oct. 24

quentin grimes, knicks

The New York Knicks are preparing to take on the Orlando Magic for the second consecutive game after demolishing them down south on Friday evening. The Knicks showcased their scoring prowess and defensive intensity against Orlando, limiting them to just 96 points while New York tallied 121.

Thanks to the combination of Julius Randle and Evan Fournier once again, who combined for 39 points, the team is off to a hot start. However, the impressive win allowed head coach Tom Thibodeau to get some of his younger players a few minutes toward the end, as Immanuel Quickley enjoyed 20 minutes on the floor, scoring 16 points. Quentin Grimes logged five minutes, hitting one 3-PT shot, and even Miles McBride got on the floor.

This should be another walk in the park for the Knicks against Orlando, so let’s take a look at how they can walk away with another victory.

Three keys to beating Orlando for the Knicks:

1.) Limit Mo Bamba

The Knicks did a great job limiting Mo Bamba in the victory on Friday, as he scored 15 points and recorded 10 rebounds. He managed to connect on 3-of-5 shots from range, but his defensive qualities were put on the back burner as the Knicks completely tormented him in the paint with more aggressive bodies. Bamba was unable to stop Julius Randle all game, so his 15 points were negated by -8 +/-.

As long as they can continue to attack Bamba in the paint, the Knicks can easily create a nice cushion early on.

2.) Knock down 3-PT shots efficiently

The Knicks set a franchise record against Orlando, knocking down 24 three-point shots. The previous record was 20, as they connected on 44.4% of their attempts. While their free throws hovered at 52.9%, a disappointing number that Thibodeau indeed hit on after the game, they proved to be incredibly efficient from deep.

The additions of Fournier and Kemba Walker will provide immediate upticks in that category. Fournier shot over 50% from three over nine attempts, showcasing what he brings to the team.

Thibodeau hit on the desire to increase their three-point attempts this off-season but not take risky shots for the sake of it. The Knicks have curated good looks at the basket, and the stats reflect that.

3.) Play Knicks defense

The Knicks started off the season struggling defensively, but they turned things around entirely against Orlando. Through two games, they rank 11th in defensive efficiency and 4th in defensive rebounds. They’re also top 10 in steals and blocks, showing how individual statistics are piling on as the Knicks maintain quality defense.

Considering they are currently without Nerlens Noel and depending on Mitchell Robinson to pick up the slack despite his lack of stamina, it’s impressive to see how dominant the Knicks have been on the boards. Robinson is already averaging 13 rebounds per game this season and 8.5 points, and the expectations are that he will get better and better as the year progresses.

The Knicks’ sleight-of-hand has also been on display, getting into passing lanes and pre-determining where the opposition is going with the ball. If they continue to play at this level of confidence and build the chemistry and communication, the Knicks will be a tough team to beat.

3 starting pitchers the Yankees could pursue this off-season

robbie ray, yankees

One way or another, the New York Yankees must upgrade their starting pitching rotation, especially as they prepare to lose Corey Kluber this off-season. The Yankees have supplemented the position with players coming off injury on cost-efficient deals, which provided some production during the 2021 season, but ultimately traded in consistency and reliability.

With the Yankee struggling to maintain health last year, they might look to players with a better history in that area. However, unless the Steinbrenner’s are willing to open up their checkbook and push past the $210 million luxury tax threshold, general manager Brian Cashman will likely be searching in the used bin.

Let’s take a look at a few starters the Yankees could target, even if some of them represent higher-end options that would provide immediate results.

Three pitchers the Yankees could pursue this offseason:

1.) Robbie Ray

Robbie Ray was phenomenal for the Toronto Blue Jays this season, earning a 2.84 ERA and 13 wins. He also collected a 11.54 strikeouts per nine rate and career-low 2.47 walks per nine. His 90.1% left on-base percentage was also the best in his career, showcasing he has more potential left to untap after providing a 6.62 ERA in 2020.

Given he’s only experienced one year of phenomenal performance since 2017, he might be a bit cheaper than a star pitcher, which could open the door for the Yankees. Given the inconsistencies Ray has experienced throughout his career, this might not be the most efficient strategy for the Bombers. There are a few other free agents on the market that might be cheaper and offer similar value based on averages.

2.) Zack Greinke

The Houston Astros are going to have to make a decision on Zack Greinke and Justin Verlander. They will have the opportunity to present the qualifying offer to one of them, and it will likely go to Verlander.

With that being the case, Greinke could be an option for the Yankees at 38-years-old. As a veteran player coming off a big deal, the Yankees might be able to snag him at a discount, given he posted a 4.16 ERA with a 15-year low of 6.32 strikeouts per nine last season.

It is clear that Greinke is falling off a bit due to age, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be a solid middle-of-the-rotation starter on a cheaper contract. The Yankees need players with experience, and his relationship with Gerrit Cole might be the deciding factor.

3.) Michael Pineda

Another option is Michael Pineda of the Minnesota Twins. Pineda is 32-years-old and coming off a season where he posted a 3.62 ERA. He’s gotten better over the past few seasons, posting a 7.24 strikeouts per nine and 1.73 walks per nine rate last season.

His primary pitches are a fastball, slider, and change-up. While his fastball hovers in the low 90s, he has great break on his slider. Interestingly, his pitch velocity doesn’t exactly tell the full story of his statistics, but his success might garner a decent contract from the Bombers. He earned $11.3 million last season, so he might be hovering in that same price range this off-season.