The New York Yankees can’t repeat history at the 2021 deadline

New York Yankees, Aaron Boone, Brian Cashman

The New York Yankees bats came alive last night and they finally picked up a win. The bombers defeated the Twins 8-4 in a night where we saw the offense collect 14 hits and they slugged two home runs.

It was a much needed boost for the Yankees who came into the game limping after losing four straight. Not too mention the drama involving Gerrit Cole and sticky stuff that came around yesterday.

Simply put, this year for the Yankees has been a disaster. They entered the year on the shortlist of favorites to contend for a World Series. Now, they are sitting 6.5 games back of first place in the division just three games over 500.

If the season ended today, the Yankees would miss the playoffs. Aaron Boone has been a complete nightmare, the offense has been non-existent, and the pitching has been very up and down. There is no consistency with this team.

The Yankees need a boost in the worst way right now. With that in mind, a lot of people have been talking about the approaching trade deadline. Will Brian Cashman make any moves to upgrade the club? Well, if this team wants to contend, the Yankees cannot repeat recent history in 2021.

Yankees Must Do Something

The trade deadline brings excitement to the game of baseball in the month of July. Fans across the nation gather around the hot stove as they wonder whether or not their team will make that move that pushes them over the top.

However, for Yankees fans, the trade deadline has provided more annoyance than anything else over the past couple of seasons. Back in 2018, Brian Cashman made some moves to try and upgrade the pitching staff. This involved acquiring JA Happ, Lance Lynn, and Zach Britton. 

Obviously, the moves didn’t help as the Yankees were sent home in the first round of the playoffs. The last two seasons, the Yankees needed to make some moves to improve the roster for their postseason push, yet Brian Cashman did nothing outside of acquiring a pitcher named Alfredo.

Shockingly, the Yankees didn’t win anything either of the last two seasons. Now more than ever, the Yankees need to do something. They’ve been atrocious offensively from the left side of the plate. There are a ton of question marks surrounding the rotation and this team is awful at baseball fundamentals.

The bombers have to make a deal at the deadline. This is not a recommendation of something they should do, I’m saying they need to. If Brian Cashman sits on his hands like he has the last two deadlines, you might as well kiss the season goodbye.

The Yankees have been too complacent in depending on their current resources. This team cannot afford to hope the rotation stays in tact or hope the offense picks up. If things are slow, they must move. Enough of the hope, it’s time for action.

From Zero to Hero: Bullock’s steal saves Knicks from Magic’s spell

In a game they desperately needed to win, the New York Knicks found a way to pull through in the end.

Reggie Bullock turned from zero to hero, while Julius Randle took on the playmaking mantle.

The undermanned Knicks survived the Orlando Magic’s scare, 94-93, Thursday night in front of a delirious 2,000 crowd at The Garden.

For the second straight game, the Knicks lost a lead in the fourth quarter, and for the third consecutive game, it came down to the last possession. But this time, they did not cave in to pressure.

An Evan Fournier three-pointer off a Bullock turnover set up the dramatic finish.

Fournier won the tip after forcing Bullock to a jump ball with 22.4 seconds left. Coming from a Magic timeout, Bullock redeemed himself with a steal off Fournier in the final 5.9 seconds to seal the win.

“My mindset is that I just turned it over,” Bullock said after his teammates mobbed him. “I knew I had to step up on the defensive end and get a stop.”

Bullock also stepped up on the offensive end, firing 20 points with six triples to carry the Knicks’ bench as he swapped roles with Alec Burks, who also thrived as a starter.

Thibodeau was forced to make the switch as the Knicks played without their top three point guards—Elfrid Payton (hamstring), Derrick Rose (healthy and safety protocols), and Immanuel Quickley (ankle)—and with Frank Ntilikina struggling since the All-Star break.

Burks scored 21 and added 10 assists, but it was Randle who stepped up big time, dishing out a career-high 17 assists, the most by a non-guard in Knicks history.

Randle also completed his third triple-double of the season with 18 points and 10 rebounds, becoming the first Knicks player to have three or more triple-doubles in a season since Michael Ray Robinson had seven in 1981-82.

Ntilikina broke out of his slump and pumped in 13 points, mainly from Randle’s setup. The embattled French guard hit two three-pointers in rhythm in the second half to get it rolling before soaring for an And-1 play over Magic center Nikola Vucevic for his night’s highlight. He also hit a corner clutch three that put the Knicks on top, 88-87, with 3:49 left.

RJ Barrett also continued his solid play with 17 points and nine rebounds.

“We just said we need to win the game by any means necessary, and that’s what we did. Guys stepped up, and I’m proud of our team,” Randle said.

It was a character-building win for the Knicks, who almost squandered a 16-point lead in the second half.

After Randle’s three-pointer put them comfortably on top, 72-56, the Magic responded with a 10-0 run to end the third quarter only down by six.

Orlando continued to cast its magic spell and dropped a 9-2 run to take a 75-74 lead. The Magic held a five-point lead twice in the fourth quarter, but the Knicks kept on scratching and clawing back before snatching the much-needed win that moved them back to .500.

The Knicks (21-21) have now matched their total wins last season and move two victories away from breaking the Las Vegas preseason odds (22.5 wins) with still 30 games left.

“Look, I don’t care how we do it. I just want to win. But I thought, you know, just find a way to win,” Tom Thibodeau said.

And the Knicks did.

Their collective spirit pulled them out of the rabbit hole. Their chemistry made all the parts play as a whole.

It was a delight to see them celebrate with such joy. But things can change in an instant if the trade deadline brings a new fancy toy.

”This is the time of the year every team is talking to every team. ‘If [management] feels it can help our team, I’m sure they’ll take a hard look at it,” Thibodeau said before the game.

But he was quick to add: “I love the guys that we have, so that’s all I focus on. Whoever’s here, that’s what we’re working with. And if something’s good for us and they make a move, that’s great, too.”

Watching their special bond play out this night makes you think the front office will ride it out with this group.

But who knows?

We’ll know more what these Knicks are really made of when they take on the Philadelphia 76ers in a grudge rematch on Sunday night.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

New York Giants: Pros and cons of a potential Kevin Zeitler trade

The 2020 NFL trade deadline is right around the corner. The New York Giants have already gotten active, trading away edge rusher Markus Golden to the Arizona Cardinals for a sixth-round draft pick. The Giants have had a few other players’ names come up in trade discussions, too. Veteran wide receiver Golden Tate is a trade candidate whose value is increasing. Offensive guard Kevin Zeitler is another name that teams have called about.

Kevin Zeitler was traded to the Giants in 2019. Since then, he has started in all but one game for the Giants. Zeitler has been one of the team’s best players since his arrival in New Jersey. But with the Giants sitting at the bottom of the NFC East with a lowly 1-6 record, there is a chance they start to sell off their best players to the highest bidders. How would the Giants benefit from a potential Kevin Zeitler trade?

Pros

The Giants are a young, rebuilding football team. They invested heavily into their offensive line this offseason, particularly through the 2020 NFL Draft. New York drafted two offensive tackles and one interior offensive lineman in this year’s draft. That interior offensive lineman is Shane Lemieux out of Oregon, and he would be the new starting right guard if Kevin Zeitler were to be traded.

If Zeitler were to be traded, the Giants would be able to give Lemieux a starting role for the final 8 weeks of the season. This would allow them to have plenty of NFL film on Lemieux going into the offseason before deciding whether or not to sign or draft another offensive lineman.

Best case scenario, Lemieux impresses and instills confidence in the Giants that he can be a long-term starter at offensive guard. Worst case scenario, Lemieux struggles and proves not to be the long-term answer, indicating to the Giants that they need to find a new offensive guard in the offseason.

Regardless, Kevin Zeitler is not a long-term answer at offensive guard. He is 31-years-old and has not been the same player this year that he was the seasons prior. Moving on from Zeitler would also free up $10 million in salary cap for the Giants (Spotrac).

Trading away Kevin Zeitler would likely acquire the Giants a day-two pick in the NFL Draft. He is their best offensive player and most valuable trade asset. The Giants would be able to gain draft capital and give Shane Lemieux valuable game experience. These are great benefits to trading away Kevin Zeitler, but there are drawbacks also.

Cons

If the Giants do trade Kevin Zeitler away, their offensive line will be going from bad to worse. The Giants’ offensive line is one of the worst in the NFL despite having Kevin Zeitler in the starting five. Taking him away would put Daniel Jones in harm’s way.

Additionally, taking Kevin Zeitler out of the starting lineup and thrusting Shane Lemieux in there could be bad for the rookie out of Oregon. Lemieux was a mid-round draft pick that is being developed behind Kevin Zeitler at the moment.

If he is ready to take on a starting role, then the Giants would probably be excited to get him out there in some capacity. But Lemieux has not lined up at offensive guard once this season, just a few snaps at fullback. If he is not ready to play, the Giants might risk stunting his growth by forcing him into the starting lineup to face tough competition.

The Giants have about a week to get a deal done if they plan on trading away Kevin Zeitler. Zeitler is a valuable and talented player, but if Gettleman and the Giants want to play the long game, they might benefit from moving on from the veteran offensive guard.

New York Giants: Golden Tate trade value only increasing

New York Giants, Golden Tate

The New York Giants have some tough decisions to make with the 2020 NFL Trade Deadline quickly approaching. The deadline is on November 3 and the Giants have already started to move players for draft capital. Edge rusher Markus Golden was traded to the Arizona Cardinals for a 2021 sixth-round draft pick earlier this week.

But the Giants have had trade talks about multiple players with multiple teams. Sources have confirmed that teams have called about tight end Evan Engram. Ian Rapoport also confirmed reports stating that offensive guard Kevin Zeitler and wide receiver Golden Tate are available for trade.

These two veterans might be crucial to the offense’s success, but they are both the most valuable trade assets that the Giants can afford to part ways with. For veteran wide receiver Golden Tate, the Giants might not have been able to get much a few weeks ago, but his improved play and the multitude of injuries around the league may have increased his trade value.

Improved performance

While Golden Tate has not been heavily involved in the Giants’ offensive game plan, he was still able to put together a highlight-reel catch in Week Seven. Tate was targeted only twice on Thursday Night but he had one spectacular reception for a 39-yard touchdown.

Golden Tate has always proven to be a reliable, veteran receiving option for the Giants. But fans have recently started to question how much Tate has left in the gas tank. After seeing him make an incredible catch like that, there is reason to believe Golden Tate could still contribute meaningful games for an NFL offense. A team in the NFL in need of one more receiving weapon down the playoff stretch might value Tate’s services.

Injuries across the league

Another factor that could inflate Tate’s value is the number of injuries across the NFL. The 2020 NFL season has seen a huge number of star players suffer season-ending or season-lingering injuries. As Matt Lombardo of GMEN HQ pointed out, the Cleveland Browns recently lost superstar wide receiver, Odell Beckham Jr., to a season-ending injury. This could make Cleveland a potential landing spot for Golden Tate as they sit firmly in the playoff hunt.

The New Orleans Saints have been without Michael Thomas for some time and have recently lost Emmanuel Sanders for a couple of weeks as he tested positive for COVID-19. A Drew Brees to Golden Tate connection could be possible.

The New England Patriots, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons, and Pittsburgh Steelers all had wide receivers suffer or play through various injuries.

As the New York Giants sit at the bottom of the lowly NFC East with a putrid 1-6 record, a fire sale could be coming with the trade deadline approaching. Tate does not appear to be a long-term option for New York. It might be time for them to cut their losses and recoup a draft pick in exchange for Golden Tate.

The trade deadline passes, and the Yankees do nothing

New York Yankees, Yankees, Brian Cashman

There was a lot of chatter over the past week on what the New York Yankees would do at the trade deadline. The team has been decimated by injuries thus far and is performing below expectations. The Yankees are currently 3.5 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays.

There were rumors that the Yankees were making calls on starting pitchers, relievers, and outfielders to bolster their chances for a 28th World Series. Well, today’s trade deadline has come and passed, and for the second straight year, Brian Cashman didn’t make a move.

Pressure on Yankees GM Brian Cashman

Last year, the Yankees made no moves at the deadline. Despite being engaged in talks on multiple fronts, the team did nothing. The lack of a move ended up being one of their downfalls in the ALCS.

The Yankees had an exhausted bullpen and it showed. The lack of a move even prompted Zack Britton to point out that the Yankees were depleted in that series against the Astros last year.

Cashman with the Steinbrenner’s money went out and signed Gerrit Cole to a record deal in the offseason. Cole has been as advertised, but he’s not a miracle worker. The team still has massive holes this year due to injuries.

The Yankees bullpen has been shaky, their starting rotation has been shaky, and their offense has struggled massively over the past couple of weeks. This team desperately needed something to get them energized.

Deadline Moves

The Yankees were said to have had conversations regarding: Mike Clevinger, Taijuan Walker, Archie Bradley, Robbie Ray, Mychal Givens, Starling Marte, and Jonathan Villar. All of those players were dealt prior to the deadline, but the Yankees didn’t get anyone.

I’m sure Cashman will come out and state that the prices were just too high. Outside of the Clevinger deal, the Yankees could have acquired any of those players without hurting their farm system significantly.

Cashman has developed a reputation over the past few years as a severe prospect hugger. Deadlines like the last couple haven’t helped that reputation. Remember Cashman wouldn’t trade for Gerrit Cole a couple of years ago because the Pirates wanted Andujar and Chance Adams.

The pressure has to be turned way up on Brian Cashman and the Yankees. Cashman has had the Yankees financial resources and the team has made one World Series since the beginning of the 2004 season. That’s astonishingly bad.

At some point, the finger has to be pointed at the guy behind the controls. I don’t believe that Brian Cashman is a bad GM, but at some point he needs to be held accountable for the lack of success from the Yankees.

What to expect from the Yankees and Brian Cashman on deadline day

The New York Yankees bounced back over the weekend and won three straight over the Mets to get back on track. Tonight, Gerrit Cole takes the mound against the Rays hoping to finally get over the hump against Tampa Bay.

With all this going on, the eyes of fans everywhere surround today’s trade deadline. The Yankees have been fleeced with injuries this year that have taken a World Series favorite team to a shaky contender.

Despite the three straight wins over the Mets, the Yankees are still just 3-7 in their last ten games. They currently find themselves 3.5 games out of the division lead. The Yankees are in desperate need for a shot in the arm, and the deadline could provide that. But, what should we really expect from GM Brian Cashman and the Yankees?

Who are the Yankees looking at?

There have been multiple reports confirming that the Yankees have been talking to the D-Backs about the players listed above as well as the Brewers regarding Josh Hader. Of course, Hader would require Cashman to give up the cream of the crop in terms of Yankees prospects.

The Diamondbacks could be a partner that fits the bill for exactly what Cashman is looking for. The Yankees could use another outfielder with the injuries to Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. Starling Marte could fit in perfectly. They could also use some rotational help from Robbie Ray and bullpen help from Archie Bradley.

One single deal could help the Yankees in all areas. However, we know how stingy Cashman can be when it comes to dealing prospects. If he feels that it’s not a winning deal for the Yankees, he will not make it. This decision making has caused mass frustration from the fan base in the past.

So what do I expect? While it’s confirmed that the Yanks have been very active checking in on players, I’m not expecting much to get done today. Unfortunately for fans, when Cashman thinks the Yankees have a winning team, he tends to air on the side of optimism with what they have assuming the team gets healthy.

The D-Backs are the one team I could see a deal happening with. Would remind me of the Frazier, Robertson, Kahnle deal from a couple of years ago. However, I’m not sure Cashman is going to give up the Yankee prospect capital to get it done. Time will tell, but I’m hoping we see some big move that will give the bombers a much needed shot in the arm.

The pressure has turned up on Yankees GM Brian Cashman

New York Yankees, Brian Cashman

The New York Yankees have arguably hit the lowest point that they’ve hit over the last few seasons. In a shortened COVID 2020 baseball season, the Yankees have lost an astonishing seven consecutive games.

A seven game losing streak in a 60 game season equals out to about a 19 game losing streak in a regular 162 game season. The Yankees have lost Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, DJ LeMahieu, Giancarlo Stanton, James Paxton, Tommy Kahnle, Zack Britton, and others due to injuries during the year.

Aroldis Chapman didn’t start the year with the team due to COVID and Luis Severino was lost before the season started due to Tommy John. Last year’s 18 game winner for the Yankees, Domingo German, is missing the entire year due to suspension.

A year that was supposed to have the Yankees as a clear front runner to win their 28th world championship has seen the team take unprecedented hits. One of the only bright spots for the team has been their $324 million man Gerrit Cole.

The Yankees signed Cole in the off season to a record deal hoping he’d be the piece to push them over the top. He’s done his part despite a poor performance in his last start. Cole is 4-1 with a 3.51 ERA while striking out 11.6 batters per nine in seven starts.

Luke Voit has bounced back from last season’s injuries to be tremendous. However, Gary Sanchez has been a dumpster fire since the season started. That might be an insult to dumpster fires to be honest. The Yankees’ catcher is hitting .130 and his defense has regressed.

Heat turning up on Yankees GM

All this is to say that there is a ton of pressure on the shoulders of the Yankees GM, Brian Cashman. The trade deadline is two days away, and the Yankees have to make some kind of move. This team desperately needs a shot in the arm to get them going.

The sexy move would be to pull off some kind of blockbuster with Cleveland to get a starter like Mike Clevinger. Perhaps a big deal with Cincinnati to acquire Trevor Bauer although that appears unlikely at the moment.

Maybe the Yankees pull off something drastic at the deadline. Perhaps emptying the farm to acquire a guy like Francisco Lindor and a starter from Cleveland. Even acquiring someone like Mychal Givens from Baltimore would put some energy into the team although certainly not the sexiest move.

The GM cannot do anything about injuries. However, the Yankees have the resources to pull off something big at the deadline that won’t just impact this year, but can impact seasons down the road.

I’m not sure what they do, but Brian Cashman has to be feeling the pressure to get something done. The Yankees are in their eleventh year without a World Series appearance. The pressure is on the team to win now. Not next year or the year after, but right now.

New York Yankees: The Hot Stove will be back! MLB trade deadline set for August 31st

New York Yankees, Brian Cashman

One of the most exciting parts of the season is the trade deadline. Every year, New York Yankees fans all congregate around to figure out who the Yankees might make a deal for. In the past couple of years the deadline hasn’t been the most exciting for Yankees fans, but it always keeps fans on the edge of their seats. With the shortened season, many were wondering about the trade deadline. With a 60 game season, would there be a trade deadline or would teams lose the opportunity to try to improve their team? Well, Tuesday evening we got our answer per Jayson Stark.

A little over one month after the season gets underway, we will see a trade deadline. This might be one of the more fascinating deadlines we’ve ever seen. It’s either going to be filled with rapid transactions or nothing will happen. Every year, Yankees fans start thinking about the July deadline. They think about the moves that Cashman can make the team better. They also start demanding that some players get traded after slow start. Well, normally players have a couple of months to go through up and downs. A player might have a down April, but if they really turn it on in the later months, they become a hot commodity on the trade market. We also see players start out incredibly hot, but fade quickly which makes them less hot on the market. Well, those hot starters are going to be the ones that teams are targeting if they need a boost in September.

Will the Yankees make any moves?

Given the current configuration of the Yankees roster, I doubt they try to make any big deals when this August deadline rolls around. Now, the injury bug could rear it’s ugly head in the first month which obviously could change things. The first month of the season is going to be wild. We are going to see teams going all out from the jump, and we are going to see trade conversations begin almost immediately. Get ready Yankee fans because this season is going to be fast and furious.

New York Jets & Jamal Adams are in Tough Spot

New York Jets, Jamal Adams

The New York Jets bonafide leader and a vital piece of this team’s minimal success over the past two seasons. Jamal Adams is electric, energetic, charismatic and an all-pro safely. However for the first time in his time with New York his allegiance to the squad has been question and drama for the first time surrounds him.

Owners and Gase To Blame

It’s often stated that organizations that can’t keep classified information are weak and unprofessional. The New York Jets succumbed to that level on trade deadline day. If any event was the greatest depiction of where this organization is currently at the negotiations and the drama that has followed it just shows how poorly run this team is.

Christopher Johnson, the main management core, and even the coaching staff should take this as a sign that they need to get their act together. Joe Douglas the man who is just doing his job by answering calls, fielding offers and looking for the best possible deals and opportunities shouldn’t have to answer for his actions because information was leaked. You don’t see Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft having to answer questions about their negotiations. Coaching needs to do a better job of supporting the players and keeping their heads in the game. Christopher Johnson and the powers that be need to get this organization back on track because it looks like a joke. Douglas looked like a consummate professional that didn’t belong to be affiliated with the green and white.

Jamal Adams Shouldn’t Have Opened Up

Robby Anderson and Le’Veon Bell received word that they would be staying in New York despite trade rumors, they jumped on social media and expressed their pleasure for staying in the green and white. Jamal Adams took to social media to voice his disscontempt for the handling of the trade deadline situation. The Jets and Jamal handles it poorly. The Jets should’ve been honest and upfront, Jamal shouldn’t have exposed conversations to social media. The fact is, the situation is now drama filled and a distraction for an already messy squad. There is no doubt that if struggles continue Jamal could be gone in the offseason. Ultimately, I believe the Jets dug themselves into a hole. Jamal Adams is special but he plays a position that is a premium for a rebuilding squad. It may make sense to trade Adams. Jamal needs to be a pro and understand that. His frustration is understandable and I still love him as a Jets fan and for any fans to call him a clown is rude. In the end I hope all works out but right now drama is prominent.

New York Mets: Zack Wheeler to Return on Friday

Will the New York Yankees land Zack Wheeler in free agency?

The New York Mets top trade piece, Zack Wheeler, will start on Friday against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Wheeler had been sidelined since July 7 because of a shoulder impingement. He threw a bullpen session Friday and live batting practice Tuesday without any issues.

Wheeler will only have one start to prove his trade worth, due to the unfortunate timing of his injury. He drew interest from multiple teams before he landed on the injured list. Throughout the year Wheeler had plenty of life on his pitches, but struggled to find any consistency. This led to a 4.69 ERA and a higher home run rate than he had in 2018.

Wheeler’s Deceiving Numbers

The interesting part about Wheeler’s season is his ERA makes it look worse than it actually is. FIP is “Fielding independent Pitching” and it only takes into account pitcher’s three true outcomes (HR/BB/K). Wheeler’s FIP in 2018 and 2019 are 3.25 and 3.67, not too much of a difference. He has allowed multiple bloop hits this year and the Mets poor defense does not turn those bloop hits into outs.

Should Wheeler put together a good start Friday, there should still be a large amount of teams lining up to acquire him. If he struggles, teams might have interest, but their offers will be significantly lower. If he puts together a strong August, the Mets could put him on waivers and deal him before the August 31 deadline. Justin Verlander was a waiver trade and it worked out perfectly for the Houston Astros.

Can Wheeler Regain His Form?

Wheeler found success in the second half of 2018, in which he actually pitched to a lower ERA than Jacob deGrom. After receiving extra rest due to the All-Star break and recovery from his injury, he should expect to return to elite form.

The Mets can extend a qualifying offer to Wheeler during the offseason if they do not trade him. Wheeler was at his peak value last offseason, but the Mets kept him in hopes of winning this season. He has never made a postseason start and his start Friday could determine if he makes his first, this year.