Could the release of Logan Ryan lead the Giants to draft safety Kyle Hamilton?

kyle hamilton, giants

The New York Giants are in the process of meticulously rebuilding their roster. New general manager Joe Schoen inherited a mess when he took on the Giants’ job. New York was strapped for cash, over $12 million over the salary cap entering this offseason. Schoen has released players, restructured contracts, and been very lowkey with the spending in free agency. In this process, though, new holes have opened on the roster. A major hole has opened up at safety after the recent release of Logan Ryan.

The Giants released Logan Ryan after two seasons with the team. The move did not free up much salary cap space, but it did create another hole on the roster. Xavier McKinney and Julian Love are now the projected starters at the safety positions. What was once a positional strength has now become a weakness. Could this lead the Giants to draft superstar safety Kyle Hamilton in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft?

What Kyle Hamilton could bring to the New York Giants

Notre Dame product Kyle Hamilton is considered by many to be the best player available in this year’s draft class. Hamilton is ranked number one on The Draft Network’s Prospect Rankings and number two on PFF’s Big Board. But due to the nature of Hamilton’s position, safety, he is not expected to be the top selection in the draft. Kyle Hamilton is a very realistic option for the Giants at both the fifth and seventh overall picks that they possess.

Kyle Crabbs of TDN says, “Kyle Hamilton might just be the best NFL draft prospect I’ve personally studied since entering into the draft space in 2014.” Rather high praise from a top draft analyst in the business. Hamilton has been described as an “elite tackler” with “tremendous range” at the safety position.

Kyle Hamilton measured out at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine. He has freakish size and length at his position and enough athleticism to tie it all together. Hamilton only allowed 1 TD and a 25.6 passer rating when targeted in his college career (819 coverage snaps), according to PFF. In three years at Notre Dame, Kyle Hamilton totaled 8 interceptions, 16 passes defended, and 138 total tackles in 31 career games.

The New York Giants are thin at the safety position and could also use some superstar firepower on defense. With James Bradberry likely to be traded at some point, the Giants’ secondary is only getting worse. Drafting Kyle Hamilton in the first round would be a major boost. Hamilton has the ability to play the single-high safety role that Wink Martindale is known to utilize. This could allow Xavier McKinney to play more slot cornerback. The Giants might have greater needs at other positions. But if the Giants are looking to draft the best player available, Kyle Hamilton will be one of their top targets in the first round.

The Mets’ Future is Bright, Get To Know Some Of The Prospects

Francisco Alvarez, mets

With the recent purchase of the New York Mets by billionaire Steve Cohen, the team has shifted to a win-now mindset. Cohen has expressed his willingness to spend big money on free agents and go past the salary cap if he feels it is needed. This resulted in the Mets acquiring multiple new players over the offseason, most notably Max Scherzer. The addition of proven players significantly helps the major league team but derails the progress of minor league prospects. These prospects will eventually get their chance with the major league team as many of the key players are aging, deGrom is 33, Scherzer is 37, and Bassitt is 33. So, it is important to have prospects ready to replace these players once they retire or become no longer effective.

The Mets have been working to restore their farm system as it had been fractured from a series of moves under the past ownership, sending Jarred Kelenic and Justin Dunn to Seattle. Currently, MLB Pipeline has the Mets’ farm system ranked 22nd. Even though the ranking is lower than the organization and fans would want, some talented prospects have upside.

A prospect that has gone under the radar in the Mets’ system is RHP Jose Butto. The talented righty put up a very impressive stat line in 2021: 3.12 ERA, 11.16 K/9, 2.01 BB/9. Butto signed out of Venezuela when he was 19 for a signing bonus of only $5,000. His fastball can reach 96 mph and has a very sneaky changeup, leaving him only with the need for a consistent breaking ball. Jose Butto is a name to look for in the future Mets’ bullpen as he could be a weapon for the bullpen that needs improvements.

Another prospect to keep tabs on is LHP Franklin Parra. Mets’ minor league reporter Ernest Dove is impressed by the prospect, “Parra has a lot to learn as a work in progress, but I like his potential.” Parra had a 6 ERA in single-A but impressed in a small sample size in double-A, posting an ERA of 3.00. The lefty was an 11th round pick and became rule 5 eligible in December. With the Mets in need of left-handed pitching, it is important to retain Parra and monitor his development.

The Mets’ top prospect Francisco Alvarez is making rapid progress through the minors and could be called up soon. Ernest Dove believes Alvarez could sniff triple-A in 2022 and get some at-bats there. It is essential not to rush the catcher up, making sure he is fully developed before being called up. Alvarez has been ranked the 10th best prospect in the MLB due to his explosive power and strength. In 2021, Alvarez hit 22 home runs and put up a 132 wRC+ in high-A. However, he has work to do defensively with blocking and catch-and-throw skills. Alvarez has a strong arm and has seen improvements in his speed and mobility. Francisco Alvarez has potential to be one of the best catchers in the MLB, small defensive improvements just need to be made in the minors.

Yankees sign veteran shortstop, but miss out on Trevor Story as Red Sox swoop in

Marwin Gonzalez, yankees, houston astros

The New York Yankees missed out on every big-name shortstop free agent this off-season after indicating they needed to upgrade the position significantly. While they did trade for Isiah Kiner-Falefa from the Minnesota Twins, who acquired him from the Texas Rangers, the Yanks are taking a chance on his offensive qualities.

Kiner-Falefa doesn’t exactly fit the power-hitting mold the Yankees prefer, smashing just eight homers last season with Texas. General manager Brian Cashman had an opportunity to snag Carlos Correa, Trevor Story, Marcus Semien, and a bevy of other options but elected to keep his money and look to the near future with Anthony Volpe climbing the system.

However, Cashman did make a signing on Sunday just to rub it in the face of Yankee fans. He inked utilityman Marwin Gonzalez to a minor league contract, projecting to earn $1.15 million if he reaches the Major League roster. At 33 years old, Gonzalez is coming off a poor season with Houston and Boston.

He hit a collective .199 with five homers and 28 RBIs last season, featuring the highest strikeout percentage of his career at 25.4%. His offensive qualities have decreased significantly with age, but he is still a solid defensive player who can fill a reserve role if need be.

Gonzalez’s best season came back in 2017 when he hit .303 with 23 homers and 90 RBIs.

Gonzalez has experience at multiple positions, including first base, second base, shortstop, and third base. He’s also spent some time in every outfield spot, which is extremely valuable. Gonzalez can replace Tyler Wade on the roster minus his speed on the bases, but his defensive acumen is worth a minor league contract at the very least.

While this isn’t exactly the high-profile move we hoped the Yankees would make this off-season, it is clear they are investing heavily in the potential of their prospects, which could end up biting them in the butt down the road. Just take a look at Gary Sanchez, Miguel Andujar, and Gleyber Torres as prime examples of sticking with players for too long and suffering through continuous growing pains.

Do the New York Yankees have a Brian Cashman problem?

New York Yankees, Brian Cashman

When you have an owner like Hal Steinbrenner that keeps the checkbook open for management, you expect to see better results over a large sample size of seasons. The New York Yankees have failed to make a World Series appearance in over a decade, being knocked out of the Wild Card by the Boston Red Sox last year.

Under the leadership of Aaron Boone, the team has made it close to the World Series but has failed to overcome the Houston Astros on multiple occasions. Despite aimless spending and monstrous trades, the Yankees once again find their roster filled with holes and deficiencies that haven’t been plugged by developmental talent.

Cashman has been extremely persistent with his confidence in players like Gary Sanchez, Gleyber Torres, and more. In fact, he’s dragged on their tenure for far too long in some instances, finally parting ways with Sanchez this off-season in a blockbuster deal with the Minnesota Twins.

However, Cashman remains conservative with his approach, refusing to part ways with any of his young talent, notably Oswald Peraza or Anthony Volpe. Keeping Volpe as the team’s future shortstop seems like a good move, but leveraging Peraza at this point for starting pitching support and team control may be viewed as a net-positive strategy.

Nonetheless, the Yankees general manager continues to strike out on big contracts. Over the years, he’s opened the checkbook for players like Jacoby Ellsbury, Aaron Hicks, and more. Even Giancarlo Stanton’s grotesque deal, which he acquired from the Miami Marlins, seems overzealous given his lack of defensive production.

So by all accounts, is it fair to say that the Yankees have a Brian Cashman problem?

Based on the considerable sample size of seasons pushed aside due to injury and failure to reach expectations, Cashman has done an underwhelming job at this point. Youth development has stalled, coaching shifts have been frequent, and forcing analytical methods is one of his biggest negatives. Focusing on home run hitting isn’t a bad strategy, but finding quality contact hitters who can get on base and maximize home runs is essential.

Cashman has wholly ignored the batting average statistic, which is understandable given the way baseball is going, but teams with far fewer sluggers have enjoyed success recently, including the Tampa Bay Rays and Astros.

Acquiring Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Josh Donaldson contribute towards a minor shift. Kiner-Falefa is better known for his contact-hitting then slugging abilities, hitting just eight homers last year with the Texas Rangers. Every year, Donaldson is a double-digit HR hitter player, but the Yankees balanced his qualities with Isiah.

The injection of better baserunners would also go a long way toward getting players in scoring position. In addition, clutch hitting has also been a deficiency for the Yankees, as relying on the home run can have its cons.

As you can tell, the Bombers lack in multiple categories, but Cashman remains steadfast in his ways. Given he was recently outsmarted by the Twins, who unloaded Donaldson’s two-year and $50 million contract on the Yanks, signing Carlos Correa to a short-term, high AAV deal, maybe it’s time for Steinbrenner to go in a different direction.

New York Giants: Is it too little, too late for Daniel Jones?

brian daboll, giants, bills, daniel jones

The question that keeps coming to mind for New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones is: Is it too little, too late for him to establish himself as the franchise piece on the roster?

Jones has been one of the most polarizing players on the team since being drafted back in 2019 under Dave Gettleman‘s leadership. During his rookie season, Jones looked the part of a developmental quarterback with tremendous upside, tossing 24 touchdowns and throwing for over 3000 yards. However, poor decision-making and turnovers plagued his statistics, but he slowly reduced those numbers to a manageable level over the past two seasons.

However, Jones’s statistics took a hit with Jason Garrett calling plays and developing a system around him that simply did not extrapolate on his strengths. In addition, management failed miserably to build an offensive line that complimented his talents.

Some make the argument that good quarterbacks elevate everybody around them. Jones failed to help his protection scheme and offensive weapons improve, which is noted in most negative reviews of the quarterback.

Former NFL scout Tom Rudawsky broke down Jones on The 33rd Team blog:

When you put the tape on, it’s easy to see why so many remain steadfast on the 24-year old. Jones has the prototypical QB frame at 6-foot-5, 230 pounds, and possesses top-tier mechanics. At Duke, he was coached by the man who helped groom Peyton and Eli Manning in college — David Cutcliffe. Cutcliffe is highly respected in league circles due to his work with quarterbacks, something that also attracted the Giants to Jones in 2019. Jones has textbook lower body mechanics and footwork, a trait that often leads to very good accuracy to all three levels. He’s got good arm strength — he can drive it into tight windows and deliver it on time across-field. He’s proven to be a very effective deep ball thrower as well. Per NextGenStats, he was the best deep ball thrower (passes 20 yards or more) in the NFL in 2020.

Rudawsky continued, noting Jones’s negatives:

From a scouting standpoint, he still has issues seeing the field at times, forcing the ball into inopportune situations and struggling to hold onto the ball in the pocket when hit. The decision-making makes you scratch your head at times, as he tries to do too much too often. While there are many factors that contribute to the losing (and to some of his turnovers, for that matter), make no mistake about it: Jones rightfully deserves to be held accountable for the 12-25 record and his 49 turnovers. It’s an ugly part of his résumé as a pro, and if he wants to be viewed as a foundational player and mainstay starter, he must show he can escape both labels.

There is no question that Jones possesses the athletic traits to be a solid passer in the NFL, featuring mobility and efficient arm strength at all levels of the field. It is his mental capabilities that often let him down, flailing the football around like a ragdoll with incoming pass rushers and making poor decisions when his protection breaks down.

His inability to get through progressions and happy feet in the pocket remind me of Eli Manning toward the end of his career when the OL broke down and failed to provide sufficient protection.

The problem moving forward is that the Giants are in the middle of a full rebuild under new management. With that being the case, they’ve cut multiple players and have taken a more cost-efficient strategy toward free agency. Jones may be set up to fail once again as the OL will be littered with new players that lack chemistry.

The team also won’t have Sterling Shepard for the start of the season and Kenny Golladay underwhelmed significantly during his first year with Big Blue. Jones’s best chance of increasing his production is by helping Brian Daboll develop a strong scheme that attacks player strengths.

“One of the things that I asked him to do,” Daboll said shortly after being hired. “Give me some things you really like in your last three years, or if you did them at Duke, that’s where [the system] is going to start. With some foundational pieces that he feels comfortable with.”

Of course, it is easier said than done to accomplish that feat, but Jones has the work ethic to get it done. The Giants have to make a tough decision in May regarding Jones’s 5th-year option, which they will likely decline. They can easily extend him or slap him with the franchise tag next year if he excels during the 2022 season. The Giants do have a bit of leverage, but Jones is going to have to outplay his first three seasons significantly if he wants to convince the front office that he can be the future quarterback in East Rutherford.

As next contract looms, Knicks’ Mitchell Robinson faces acid test vs Rudy Gobert

All eyes will be on Donovan Mitchell when the Utah Jazz visit the New York Knicks Sunday night in a critical matchup for both teams.

Mitchell, the native New Yorker who grew up in Westchester County, has been perpetually linked to the Knicks ever since they pried away Johnnie Bryant, his mentor in Utah, and Walter Perrin, the draft guru who moved heaven and earth to trade up for the Jazz star on draft night.

But while Mitchell will be the apple of the eye of most Knicks fans on Sunday, their own Mitchell — Mitchell Robinson — will have an acid test that may decide his future with the team.

Robinson’s future is hanging over the Knicks’ cloudy season. He is set to become an unrestricted free agent as his camp, and the Knicks couldn’t agree to an extension. They have until June 30 to strike a deal, and this matchup against the three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert will carry much weight.

Gobert was absent when Robinson dominated whatever was left in the Jazz frontline last month. Robinson went off for a career-high 21 rebounds, 19 points, three blocks, and two steals in a performance worthy of a lucrative multi-year extension.

That’s the Robinson conundrum. Against backup bigs, he is a dominant force. But against elite big men, he still has a lot to prove.

Robinson had a zero-point dud against Bam Adebayo nearly three weeks after his career night in Salt Lake City. He also fouled against Karl-Anthony Towns in January, producing only six points and eight rebounds in a Knicks’ loss. Reigning MVP Nikola Jokic toyed around him also last January. His four-point and six-rebound effort was a head-scratcher.

On Sunday night, Robinson will brace for a big test. Gobert is coming off four straight monster games. His last two led to Jazz’s back-to-back win.  He had 14 points, 20 rebounds, and four blocks against the Bulls last Wednesday. Gobert gobbled up the Los Angeles Clippers two nights later with 16 points, 19 assists, and two blocks.

For his part, Robinson came up big Friday night against the Washington Wizards. He churned up 15 points and 12 rebounds after a pair of duds against Brooklyn and Portland. Robinson played a pivotal in the fourth quarter, where the Knicks built a 15-point lead and held on for a three-point win. He scored seven points, made all three free throws, and grabbed three rebounds.

“Huge, huge, huge,” Thibodeau said of Robinson’s performance against the Wizards. “Making those two free throws, those effort plays inspire your team. Our rebounding has been off the charts. That’s a big part of winning.”

The Knicks have won five of their last seven games, with Robinson producing four double-doubles. He had five over their last eight games. The Knicks have been the top defensive team in the league over their last seven games, netting 102.6 defensive rating in that span. Robinson was a huge part of it, and the Knicks’ found a stable backup in rookie Jericho Sims, who is holding up his own.

“Mitch has great feet. I think there are situations that allow us to switch. We can trap. Jericho has great feet. And I thought Jericho’s minutes were very productive,” Thibodeau said.

Sims averaged 2.9 points and 6.3 rebounds in only 14.8 minutes over the Knicks’ last seven games. But the Knicks have been winning the Sims minutes, outscoring their opponents by 7.1 points. In contrast, Robinson has a negative 1.0 net rating despite his big numbers: 8.9 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks.

Robinson and Sims will take turns on Gobert. But Robinson, with his next contract hanging in the balance, is expected to show up with a big chip on his shoulder.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

How much money are the New York Giants projected to have in 2023?

New York Giants, Leonard Williams

New York Giants general manager Joe Schoen is taking a conservative approach the season to clear salary cap for future years. Cutting several players and restructuring the contracts of Sterling Shepard and Blake Martinez has given them a bit of room to work with in the short term, but Schoen is eyeing a long-term strategy that focuses on foundational growth.

The Giants learned under the leadership of Dave Gettleman if you do not draft well, there’s virtually no chance of developing a good roster. Gettleman tried to supplement deficiencies in the draft with free-agent signings, but that backfired tremendously with poor coaching and back-loaded contracts.

However, new management hopes that the coaching has far improved and the scouting process provides results rather than a graveyard of selections in the middle rounds.

Looking ahead to 2023, the Giants have a projected $87.7 million before signing any draft picks. Cutting Logan Ryan and restructuring Shepard and Martinez’s contracts should lower their dead-money hit significantly.

In fact, the Giants could have upward of $100 million if they cut a few big-money players, including Leonard Williams, Kenny Golladay, and Adoree Jackson. They could also release Graham Gano, who has been a solid kicker for them up to this point, which would save the team $3.75 million in salary space.

Altogether, they could theoretically add $18 million from Williams, $6.7 million from Golladay, and $12 million from Jackson, amounting to $36.7 million on top of the $87.7 million they’re already projected to have. That would give them a whopping $123 million to spend, focusing on foundational building and coaching young players up.

However, Schoen isn’t in the business of spending all his money at once on monster contracts that are unsustainable. He will look to bring back homegrown players developed over the years but plug essential holes with efficient free agent signings.

In the past, Gettleman made overzealous decisions, spending luxurious amounts on Nate Solder and Patrick Omameh, both of whom failed to live up to their contracts. Schoen has done a much better job finding value options this off-season, including Mark Glowinski from the Indianapolis Colts and Jon Feliciano from the Buffalo Bills and Las Vegas Raiders.

Looking ahead, the Giants will have plenty of talent to choose from next season, with players like Tyreek Hill, Grady Jarrett, Cam Robinson, Orlando Brown Jr., and many more hitting the open market. Of course, teams often release players due to cap situations, providing even more talent to choose from.

Overall, the Giants have a tremendous amount of money to spend, but using all of it aimlessly is not a recipe for success, and hopefully they learned that from Gettleman’s failures.

Yankees could flip Gleyber Torres in trade if they sign the last great shortstop on the market

New York Yankees, Gleyber Torres

The New York Yankees have already renewed their interest in a potential shortstop signing in free agency. After missing out on Carlos Correa, who signed a three-year, $103.5 million deal with the Minnesota Twins, general manager, Brian Cashman could immediately shift his attention to Trevor Story, the last remaining great shortstop on the market.

Despite the fact the Yankees have already acquired Isiah Kiner-Falefa in the trade with Minnesota, they may have a different infield combination in mind, which could be at the expense of Gleyber Torres. Kiner-Falefa, who is just 26 years old, has experience playing multiple infield spots, including third base and second base.

At the Major League level, Kiner-Falefa has 925 innings of experience on the hot corner but has predominantly featured at shortstop during his four-year professional career.

However, the Yankees could feel confident that Kiner-Falefa would hold down the hot corner sufficiently, recording a .962 fielding percentage at the position and accruing 12 errors. Alternatively, they have Josh Donaldson on the roster, but he only played 92 games in the field last season — he could fit a designated hitter role more predominantly moving forward.

If that is the case, the Yankees could easily swoop in and sign Story, who is coming off a solid year with Colorado, hitting .251 with 24 homers and 75 RBIs.

Story isn’t only a quality power hitter, but he also provides phenomenal defensive qualities. Last season, Story recorded a .975 fielding percentage at shortstop over 1175 innings, totaling 14 errors and 85 double plays turned. Some are concerned about Story’s arm strength moving forward, but he would only serve a stopgap role until Anthony Volpe is ready to make the jump to the big leagues.

What should the Yankees do with Gleyber Torres if they do end up signing Story?

Torres has had an up-and-down career up to this point, hitting just nine homers last year over 127 games. Back in 2019, Torres smacked 38 homers, and the Yankees desperately need him to return to that version of himself.

Defensively, they’ve already had to exile him from shortstop, moving him back to second base where he has better success. However, Torres features a .971 fielding percentage at a position where DJ LeMahieu features a .991 fielding percentage, an astronomical difference. It would be borderline malpractice not to host DJ at second.

If the Yankees do end up going that route, flipping Torres in a package deal for a starting pitcher would be a perfect sequence of events. Torres is projected to earn $4 million this upcoming season and an estimated $5.75 million in 2022. Considering the Oakland Athletics are trying to bring in low price players/prospects, Torres might not fit the bill for Sean Manaea or Frankie Montas. Maybe the Cincinnati Reds would be intrigued by a bigger haul for Luis Castillo, who’s coming off another solid campaign in 2021.

While sending Torres on his way would be tough, the Yankees need more starting pitching support, and adding a big name like Castillo or either of Oakland’s starters would give them a World Series caliber rotation.