Islam Makhachev runs through Bobby Green at UFC Vegas 49

In the main event of UFC Vegas 49, we saw a very fun and intriguing catchweight fight between top lightweight contenders. Lightweights Islam Makhachev (21-1) and Bobby Green (29-12-1) met at a catchweight of 160 pounds.

Originally, Makhachev was supposed to face Beneil Dariush in this UFC Vegas 49 main event. However, after Dariush got hurt at the last minute, Bobby Green stepped in on less than two weeks notice which is why the fight will happen at 160 pounds.

Bobby Green came into this fight on the heels of back-to-back wins. He just fought at UFC 271 where he completely outclassed Nasrat Haqparast. Going into tonight, Bobby Green had nothing to lose and everything to gain which made him incredibly dangerous.

However, he had a tall order in front of him. Many are already declaring that Islam Makhachev will be the UFC lightweight champion by the end of the year. The protégé and training partner of Khabib Nurmagomedov has nearly been perfect in his career.

He came into tonight riding a nine-fight win streak. He last fought at UFC 267 where he quickly submitted Dan Hooker. Makhachev and his camp were hoping that a win over Bobby Green tonight would vault him into the next lightweight title shot.

UFC Vegas 49 Recap

Round 1

The UFC Vegas 49 main event started with no touch of the gloves. Green immediately takes the center and Makhachev goes for a head kick. Low kick just misses from Makhachev. Green talking to Makhachev as Makhachev comes in and tries to get a body lock but Green shakes him off.

Both men whiff on kicks and Makhachev pushes forward. Green evading everything thus far. Body kick from Green lands but it’s caught and Makhachev pushes him back against the fence. However, Green defends well and he gets Makhachev off of him. Makhachev immediately reshoots and gets a double leg takedown.

Heavy top pressure here from Makhachev and he settles into half guard. Makhachev looking for a kimura here and he uses it to transition into mount. Green trying to defend but he gives up his back here. Green gets flattened out and Makhachev is raining down shots. Makhachev isn’t letting Green out of this and the referee stops it. Easy night at the office for Islam Makhachev at UFC Vegas 49.

Islam Makhachev def. Bobby Green by TKO – Round 1

New York Giants could land their next right tackle in second round of NFL Draft

max mitchell, giants

The New York Giants should be focusing on rebuilding their offensive line. For years, the Giants’ offensive line has been among the league’s worst. Joe Schoen is stepping in as the team’s new general manager with the intention of fixing the Giants’ offensive line. Offensive lines do not get fixed just by spending first-round picks, though. It’s what happens in the middle rounds that truly matters. The Giants have a need at right tackle, and they could potentially find their next starter at that position in the second round with Louisiana prospect Max Mitchell.

Max Mitchell is a right tackle prospect that is projected to be drafted in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft. The Giants’ right tackles, Nate Solder and Matt Peart struggled to provide their quarterback with solid pass protection in 2021. Max Mitchell might be a perfect prospect for the Giants to target in the second round if their ideal offensive linemen come off the board in round one this year.

Why the Giants should target Max Mitchell

Max Mitchell earned a 92.9 PFF grade this season, which ranked first among all offensive tackles in college football. Granted, Mitchell did not play the best of the best competition at Louisiana. However, Max dominated the competition that he faced and he also stood out at the 2022 Senior Bowl.

“The 6’6″ 299-pound tackle surrendered just five sacks across 1,112 pass-blocking snaps over three seasons, per PFF.”

Max Mitchell allowed a  2.1% pressure percentage (PFF) over the last two years, the third-best in the 2022 tackle class. Despite playing against lesser competition at Louisiana, Mitchell dominated the defensive linemen he faced in Mobile, Alabama at the 2022 Senior Bowl.

Max Mitchell is a projected second-round prospect with serious potential to become a starter in the NFL one day. Lance Zierlein of raves about Mitchell:

“Lauded by coaches and scouts for his toughness, consistency and leadership, Mitchell has the athletic traits and hand quickness to make a living as a left or right tackle.”

Max Mitchell is aggressive, athletic, and has great hand usage as an offensive tackle. The New York Giants would be wise to target Mitchell in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Knicks injury update: Grimes to be re-evaluated in 2 weeks, Rose may return in 1-2 weeks

New York Knicks dodged a bullet as rookie Quentin Grimes avoided surgery after a scary knee injury Friday night against Miami Heat.

Grimes will only need rest and undergo physical therapy to heal the subluxation of his right patella, according to multiple reports, and was first reported by Sports Illustrated’s Ashley Nicole Moss.

Shortly, the Knicks announced that the 3-and-D rookie would be re-evaluated in two weeks.

It could have been worse.

Grimes suffered the injury with 2:30 remaining in the first quarter. Video replayed showed Grimes was trying to fight off a PJ Tucker screen on the baseline moments after he checked in. He immediately grabbed his knee and was visibly in pain.

Grimes had been one of the few bright spots in what is quickly turning out to be a lost season for the Knicks. He’s averaging 6.3 points on 39.8 percent shooting behind the arc while providing the toughness on defense that earned him a rotation spot under Tom Thibodeau.

Meanwhile, there is optimism that Derrick Rose can return in one to two weeks, according to top ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Rose underwent a minor procedure on his right ankle Friday to address a skin infection in the area of his December surgery. The motivation to bring back Rose immediately might not be as strong as it was earlier, as the Knicks are quickly fading from contention.

They lost for the 14th time in their last 17 games and are now 10 games under .500 despite RJ Barrett’s career-high 46-point effort against the Heat. The Knicks are 3.5 games behind Atlanta Hawks for the final play-in spot with 22 games left, most of them against teams over .500.

Only three other players scored in double figures aside from Barrett. Center Mitchell Robinson was held scoreless and only attempted once in a one-sided matchup against Heat center Bam Adebayo, who had 16 points and 16 rebounds. It was Robinson’s first game since his father, Mitchell Robinson, Jr., was found safe in Missouri Tuesday morning after being reported missing since Feb. 11.

Following his first zero-point effort in the season, Robinson posted a video on his Instagram story, which appears to be a veiled shot at Knicks coaching staff. The video shows Charlotte Hornets center, Miles Plumlee, attacking the paint off the dribble, and Robinson put a cryptic caption: “I love it…. green light.”

Robinson was exclusively scoring off putbacks and lobs since he was drafted in the second round of the 2018 NBA Draft. He showed flashes of brilliance against weaker competition but frequently got overmatched against the elite big men in the league.

The 23-year old Robinson is eligible to sign a contract extension up to four years, $55.6 million before the end of the season. But the Knicks appear reluctant to pay him that much. He is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer but could be signed and traded to a new team.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

In a lost season, RJ Barrett finds out who he is: ‘He’s going to be the face of the Knicks’

After missing the last four games, RJ Barrett woke up Friday morning feeling excited.

Barrett’s return to the New York Knicks‘ lineup was welcome news after Kemba Walker decided to sit out the remainder of the season, and Derrick Rose experienced a setback from his ankle surgery recovery.

“I kind of felt good,” Barrett said.

It was an understatement.

Barrett was at his best. He almost singlehandedly willed the Knicks to a giant upset. He scored at will against Jimmy Butler and the league’s top-five defense. But his career-high 46 points was not enough to make up for the gap between the Knicks and the best team of the Eastern Conference.

The Miami Heat dropped the Knicks 10 games under .500 with a methodical 115-110 win but not without a hell of a fight, especially from Barrett.

“He was attacking every chance he got in transition — get into the cup, get into the free-throw line, making the three-ball like he had a hell of a game, all-around game at that,” Butler mused about Barrett after the hard-fought win. “But we all know that he’s capable of that. I don’t think anybody is surprised or should be surprised. He’s going to be playing in this league for a long time definitely, and he’s going to be the face of the Knicks.”

That’s who Barrett has become since the turn of the new year.

Over 15 games in January, Barrett averaged 21.8 points on 44 percent from the floor and 40 percent from behind the arc. Barrett took it to another level this February. After Friday night’s career game, Barrett is now averaging 29.2 points on 43 percent field goal shooting and 42 percent on a staggering 7.6 attempts from deep in five games.

“He had a great month last month. He’s playing great basketball. He played aggressively. It’s a good sign,” New York coach Tom Thibodeau said. “He’s growing.”

Barrett, indeed, is growing right before our eyes. On the floor, he’s making the right plays. Off the floor, he’s saying all the right things.

“It’s bittersweet, especially if you have a night like that. Of course, you want to get the win which is the most important thing,” Barrett said.

His early-season struggles feel like ages ago. At this time of the season, where the stakes are higher, especially for the Knicks, who are on a slump and 3.5 games behind the Atlanta Hawks for the final play-in spot, Barrett has embraced the pressure of growing into a leadership role in just his third season. He is no longer deferring. He is grabbing every opportunity.

“I think I’ve been able to figure out — adjusting to playing with new teammates,” Barrett said. “I kind of know my spots now. Trying to figure out how to score and be aggressive in other ways. Run the floor, post-ups, rebounds, just add little things to my game.”

It was pretty evident against the Heat. He was one fire. That was how Miami coach Erik Spoelstra’s described Barrett.

“He got some easy, clean looks in that first half — a couple of transitions, one on a miscue on a pick and roll, one on an over help. And so he had four threes on open looks, and that just kind of got him into a great rhythm, and then he got downhill a couple of times,” Spoelstra said. “He was able to draw fouls and just kept on putting pressure on us.”

Barrett credited his teammates, especially Julius Randle and Alec Burks, for finding him. Randle and Burks accounted for 34 direct passes to Barrett. Mitchell Robinson came in third with 10.

“My teammates made it easier for me. Julius had a couple of plays where I feel like he could have scored, and he kicked it to me. That one really, really got me going in the game. AB (Burks) hit me on top of the key, and I was able to go downhill,” Barrett said.

By halftime, Barrett had 30 points, his career-high in a single half. The rest of the team had only scored 25. They recognized he got the hot hands. He did not fail them as he was efficient, sinking nine of 13 shots and had no turnover.

“I feel like I’ve kind of spoken into existence,” Barrett said.

Like he always does, he went hard at practice in the week leading to his return from the unfortunate injury that struck him in Denver more than two weeks ago.

Barrett took over on the night Julius Randle snoozed into his annual post-All-Star break slumber. He was locked in. He was breathing fire. It didn’t matter if it was an open or a well-challenged shot. The three-level scorer, his critics thought he wouldn’t reach, showed up and was punishing one of the best defensive teams in the league.

“When you get rolling like that, it’s a different feeling,” Barrett said.

Tyler Herro, who broke through in the Orlando Bubble during his rookie year that had some fans wondering if the Knicks made a mistake on picking Barrett, praised Barrett for a great effort.

Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo offered a much better perspective.

“It’s confidence. You can see it in his body language. You can see it in his face like he wants to be that guy, and he wants to take this team to another level,” said Adebayo while marveling at the 22 free throws Barrett attempted. 

Barrett’s 14 of 22 trips to the line was a dampener aside from the three turnovers he coughed up in the fourth quarter.

“I just had terrible turnovers. I don’t know what I was doing. I’m going to watch the film and figure out those spots where to be effective. I had some silly mistakes that I wish I could take back and some free throws I wish I could take back,” Barrett said.

He came four points short of making history as the youngest Knicks player to score 50. That record still belongs to Knicks legend Willis Reed, who did it in 1967 at 25 years old. Barrett is only 21 and has four more years to rewrite it.

“I was just trying to get to 50. Man, I just missed free throws,” Barrett said.

True to his character, he went back hard at practice the following morning and did not stop until making 200 free throws, according to Fred Katz of The Athletic. Barrett is shooting 69 percent from the free-throw line this season, just half a shade above his career average (68.5 percent).

The Knicks have lost 14 of their last 17 games. Their remaining schedule is unforgiving. The play-in tournament is still mathematically reachable, but it is slipping away.

The present may seem dark, but the future looks brighter than ever. In what is quickly becoming a lost season for the Knicks, Barrett finds out who he is as a player.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

Giants Draft Scenarios: Trading back for value and still landing a 1st round tackle

trevor penning, giants

One way or another, the New York Giants need to allocate draft capital towards fixing the offensive line. Primarily, the right tackle position remains a major liability, but with the 5th overall pick, new general manager Joe Schoen has a variety of ways he can go.

However, Schoen will face stiff competition for offensive tackle support, and there’s a possibility his top options are off the board by the time he has a chance to make his selection. In that case, he could take a strategic avenue of trading back and acquiring a player who may not reside in the top tier of prospects at the position but would be a starter nonetheless in 2022.

In this scenario, let’s assume that Alabama tackle Evan Neal and NC State tackle Ikem Ekwonu are off the board by the time the Giants have their first pick. In that case, Schoen could elect to swing for Mississippi State OL Charles Cross or trade back and acquire a bit more value.

Giants’ Schoen recently expressed his desire for more draft ammo, stating:

I would say where we are right now, as many at-bats as you can get, as many swings as you can get. Again, I don’t think you’re ever one player away. But if it’s the second round and there’s a player you gave a first-round grade to, and you think that highly of him, then I think you go get him.

I’m open to moving up, moving back, whatever it may be, as long as I can sleep good at night with the decision that I make. If I move back and I end up losing out on a player I like, I have to be able to live with that, or stay and take a guy or go up and get him. Again, if you’re drafting good players and you’re confident and convicted in your decision, then you’ll sleep good at night.

Three teams that could fit the bill in a trade-back scenario are the Denver Broncos with the 9th overall pick, Washington at 11, and New Orleans at 18 (all QB-needy teams). The Giants would be targeting Northern Iowa tackle Trevor Penning, who stood out at the Senior Bowl and represents tier-2 of options in this draft class but has tremendous upside.

Given the Giants are left without many options at the top of the 1st round, they may be able to add a 2nd round pick and grab a 1st round talent to plug their right-tackle spot.

Penning is a monster of a human at 6’7″, 321-pounds, featuring immense power and anchor in the passing game. His demeanor as a run-blocker is superb, and is known for his hostile finishes as a blocker. Penning may struggle in passing sets due to poor bend and lateral agility, which may be problematic for faster edge rushers who can attack the edge. However, when Penning gets inside leverage and gets you in his clutches, he’s virtually unstoppable to break free from (as displayed in the video below).

If Penning can add a bit more flexibility to his frame and quicker reaction timing, he could develop into a powerful yet agile tackle who can lock down the right side for years to come. Joe Schoen loves players who give the extra effort, and Penning undoubtedly provides that intangible trait.

Yankees Free Agency: Brett Gardner reunion heating up with needs in the outfield

New York Yankees, Brett Gardner

The New York Yankees and veteran outfielder Brett Gardner have a special relationship that often relies on loyalty and trust. Last year, when Gardner signed a two-year extension with a player option for the 2022 season, Cashman called Gardy up at his home, asking him if he’d like to come back on another deal with free agency coming to a close.

Of course, the reliable outfielder elected to make a return to baseball, and he ended up playing a big part in the 2021 season due to injuries across the team.

Gardner made 140 appearances, hitting .222 with 10 homers and 39 RBIs. He recorded a 21.7% strikeout rate and 13% walk rate, showcasing his usual patience at the plate but a slight uptick in strikeout percentage compared to the 2019 and 2018 seasons.

Cashman has many different players to consider when the lockout finally comes to an end, ranging from shortstop Carlos Correa to star first baseman Freddie Freeman. If the Yankees are looking to drop big money on a prospective player, they will have to satisfy other needs with cost-efficient contracts.

When looking at shortstop, management is excited about the possibilities of Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza, so locking Correa into a 10-year deal at the position might not be their most strategic method. First-base is a bit more flexible, with Luke Voit battling injury last season and Anthony Rizzo hitting free agency after his contract expired.

In addition to both shortstop and first-base, the Yankees need support in the starting pitching rotation and outfield depth, which is where Gardner can make a return.

Aaron Boone currently has Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Joey Gallo, and Aaron Hicks at his disposal in the outfield but lost Tyler Wade, Clint Frazier, and Gardner this off-season.

Joel Sherman of the New York Post spoke to Gardner‘s agent, who indicated that he would like to continue playing in 2022 and prefers to stay with the Yankees for the rest of his career. Gardner has enjoyed 14 years of service in the MLB, and given the significant amount of injuries the Yankees have dealt with in the past, having a reliable backup who can run the bases well and provide above-average defense is always a benefit. However, the Yankees can’t afford for Brett to be a prominent starter moving forward, given his limitations.

New York Yankees News: Weekend news recap, check it out

hal steinbrenner, brian cashman

The New York Yankees and the other 29 teams are still suffering through a lockout that is now 88 days long, with no apparent quick resolution in the offing. MLB canceled more spring training games on Friday due to not reaching an agreement. Spring training games will not start at least until March 5 at the earliest.

“While negotiations have yet to result in an agreement, we are committed to working around the clock through Monday’s deadline,” MLB said in a statement.

CBA social media hoax, tweets that should be banned!

“BREAKING: MLB and the MLBPA have agreed to a new CBA that will cancel the next 5 seasons and remove the Tampa Bay Rays from MLB, via several sources”.

Those waking up early this morning likely saw an outrageous tweet saying that a new CBA has been reached with a ridiculous outcome.  The poster may have been mischievous or just thought it would be a funny joke. If that is the case, he failed miserably, with Twitter users scolding him without reluctance.

This Tweet, although not about politics or CDC guidelines, nevertheless is just as egregious and should be immediately removed from Twitter and the poster banned.

Yankee Joey Gallo sights the shift for his dropoff

Joey Gallo’s first foray into Yankees baseball didn’t turn out as he or the Yankees had hoped for. It had little impact and was just lousy. Now the 28-year-old power hitter believes he knows why and has spoken to the Athletic’s Jayson Stark about his dismal performance. Gallo blamed elements of the shift for his downturn in form.

“I get the defensive strategies. I do. I am 100 percent not against that… But I think at some point, you have to fix the game a little bit…” Gallo said. “I don’t understand how I’m supposed to hit a double or triple when I have six guys standing in the outfield.”

Although Gallo is saying that the shift was a contributing factor, he’s not advocating for banning the shift entirely. What he doesn’t like is the ability of infielders to stand in the outfield. This, of course, may not be the full reason that the shift made him suffer at the plate. His 38.6 strikeout rate certainly didn’t help his behind-the-plate performance.  He missed balls in the strike zone, time after time.

Yankee owner Steinbrenner influential in talks outcome

Make no mistake about it Commissioner Rob Manfred and players head Tony Clark have the final say about the outcome of the ongoing negotiations to resolve a lockout, holding up the new season. But also not to be overlooked, some involved in the negotiations have more pull than others. New York Yankee owner Hal Steinbrenner is one of those with influence.

Dick Monfort is the head of MLB’s labor committee, but if you’re looking for the actual most powerful owner in the game, Steinbrenner is the guy sitting beside Monfort this week in CBA talks. Hal Steinbrenner has been mostly silent on his thoughts, but make no mistake about it, he has more sway than many other owners on how the talks end.

All owners have a single vote on any issues, but those with influence have the ability to move the conversation on the intending outcome of the talks.

Hal Steinbrenner controls the sport’s richest baseball franchise in the biggest market in the states. Of course, Hal also often runs the near-highest payroll in the game. He may get pressure from his own players, like Gerrit Cole, who will lose 137 million dollars for every game lost due to no new agreement. Hal will certainly want to get the dollars rolling in with a new season. But, so far, his influence has not made that happen.

Yankees determined to keep top prospects

Due to the MLB lockout, the Yankees and all the other teams have not been able to make any deals, even not having the ability to talk to each other. But, in this dead period, the Yankees have revealed some strategies. We may know more about what they won’t do than what they will do. The Yankees front office has made it pretty clear they won’t be giving up some of their top prospects.

The Yankees have indicated that they will not use prospect Anthony Volpe in any trade. They also have said that Oswald Peraza and catcher Austin Wells likely will be protected but are more likely to be traded in any blockbuster deal to fill the holes in the team.

Even though there is a lockout, the Yankees may have lost another shortstop target!

The New York Yankees, doing nothing in Postseason 1.0, Yankees have already lost several of their options to fill the hole made by Gleyber Torres being moved to second base. The Yankees looked to Marcus Semien and Corey Seager as they were high on their list of shortstops to go after, but they have gone to another team before the lockout.

Their next move appeared to consider Isiah Kiner-Fakefa if the Texas Rangers were willing. But now, after Josh Jung’s injury, the Texas Rangers appear destined to hold onto him when the lockout ends, taking another shortstop option off the table for the Yankees.

UFC books rematch between Shogun Rua and Ovince St. Preux

Shogun Rua

One of the legends of the light heavyweight division isn’t done just yet. The UFC has booked the return of Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (27-12-1) and in his return, he will be taking on a familiar opponent. AG. Fight was the first to report yesterday that Shogun would be taking on Ovince St. Preux (25-16).

The two men will meet at UFC 274 on May 7th. For OSP, he’s going to be returning to the light heavyweight division and he’s looking to get back on track. The last time we saw OSP was back in June when he took on Tanner Boser at heavyweight.

Things didn’t go well for OSP as he was stopped in the second round. It was his second consecutive loss as he had lost to Jamahal Hill prior to that. Overall, OSP is just 2-5 in his last seven trips to the octagon.

That said, the opponent he’ll be taking on next is one he’s done very well against. OSP took on the former UFC light heavyweight champion Shogun back in 2014. That night, OSP was able to knock out Shogun in just 34 seconds. He’s hoping to have another impressive win against the legend when they fight in May.

UFC return for Shogun

After Shogun’s last fight, many thought he would hang it up. The former UFC champion looked like a shell of himself when he fought in November of 2020 in a rematch against Paul Craig. Craig ran through Shogun and stopped him in the second round.

Shogun admitted after the fight that he wasn’t sure if he’d keep going. Given the time away after that fight, many were led to believe that the former champion was hanging it up. However, he’s not ready to retire just yet and he will look to get a big win at UFC 274.

Let’s be honest, Shogun is not fighting to go on another run towards the title. He’s fighting because he loves fighting and he has a lot of pride. Should he have a big performance and win in May, I could see him hanging it up after that. Go out on a win which is how the former champion would love to go out.

New York Giants could land ‘slam dunk’ at 5th overall with a little bit of luck

ikem ekwonu, giants

The New York Giants need to hit a home run with the 5th and 7th overall picks in the 2022 NFL draft. Under new leadership and management, there is a glimmer of hope and light at the end of the tunnel, with Dave Gettleman parting ways and leaving a disaster behind.

New general manager Joe Schoen has been open to any moves the team might make this off-season, whether it be trading up or down in the NFL draft. However, we can make an educated guess that the Giants will be looking to add more draft capital and piece together the foundation of a rebuilt.

Establishing an offensive line is of the most importance, meaning one of their first-round picks should be allocated toward the position, and one player stands out as a potentially elite prospect.

NFL Analyst Daniel Jeremiah stated on Friday that if NC State standout Ikem Ekwonu slips to the 5th overall spot, he’d be a “slam dunk” for the Giants:

“They’re going to value physicality. Joe’s [new GM Joe Schoen] big on that. Joe’s really big on character and makeup, competitive, toughness,” Jeremiah said. “I think Ekwonu would be a slam dunk if he got to them. I don’t know that he’s gonna get there but if he did I think that would be one they’d probably just turn in the card.”

Physicality and intangible traits are two variables that Shane loves in players. He stated during his introductory press conference that you often miss on the person, not the player.

The Draft Network noted Ekwonu’s “devastating power” in their draft profile:

His tenacity, size, devastating power at the point of attack, and football intelligence position him well to become an entrenched starter in the NFL. The toughness and physicality of his NFL team will immediately be improved with his addition. Ekwonu took a notable step forward in 2021 but he does have room to grow when it comes to weight distribution, taking away inside pass rush moves, and occasionally being too aggressive, which leads to blocks not being sustained long enough.

Ekwonu is one of the best run blockers in the draft class, but he is still a more than adequate pass-protecting tackle. He projects as a starting left tackle in the NFL as a universal scheme fit, but the Giants would move him to the right side, opposite Andrew Thomas.

Solidifying two book-end tackles is exactly what the Giants need to help Daniel Jones reach his potential and spark development. Unless Jones can experience a bit of time in the pocket next year, they will be right back to square one with his growth, and they can’t afford for him to plateau.

Yankees Rumors: Interest in Carlos Correa is alive, home-town competition for Freddie Freeman

carlos correa, yankees

If the MLB owners and players union don’t come to a conclusion in the next four days, the 2022 regular season will have games canceled. How this will affect free agency 2.0 and players’ preparation is yet to be seen, but the New York Yankees are still heavily involved in the rumor mill.

Bombers have been connected to every player on the market this off-season, including a myriad of trades with the Oakland Athletics.

One name that hasn’t been mentioned all that much, though, is Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa, who is looking for a 10-year contract worth over $300 million. Correa is coming off a stellar season with Houston, hitting .279 with 26 homers and 92 RBIs.

If the Yankees are looking for an established postseason offensive weapon, Correa undoubtedly fits their mold, but his price tag may scare general manager Brian Cashman away, considering he has multiple prospects climbing the system.

Jon Heyman of the MLB Network stated that the Yankees called on Carlos Correa before the lockout, but they had Corey Seager a bit higher on their wish list. Cashman doesn’t have many options at this point in time after the majority of shortstops were plucked off the market before the lockout commenced.

If Cashman is confident that Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza can make an impact in the next two seasons, signing Correa may end up being a bad move. Nonetheless, Correa would solidify the shortstop position for years to come, potentially allowing Volpe and Peraza to switch positions or be involved in a potential trade down the line.

Aside from shortstop, first base remains another problem for the Yankees. They have Luke Voit under contract, and DJ LeMahieu served valiantly at the position last season, but recent rumors have connected the team with Freddie Freeman, who is coming off a World Series with the Atlanta Braves.

Buster Olney of ESPN recently indicated that the New York Mets checked in on Freeman’s availability before the lockout, so the Yankees could have some hometown competition for the big lefty bat.

The Yankees normally make one big move every off-season, so we should expect them to be aggressive coming out of the lockout, especially if regular-season games are expected to be played immediately.