The New York Giants will play another huge game this week, I don't think this one is do or die but they really would like to win this one. I can't believe this but the Giants will be in first place in the NFC East if they win this game and Dallas loses. They would have the tiebreakers even though they would all have the same record. Dallas is at home but they are playing a very good Chargers team. I think the Giants are going to bring the same passion and intensity they brought last week and it is going to be a old school smashmouth type of game. The game is Sunday night football and it will be very very cold in the meadowlands. The Giants are going to need to get Jacobs going and play ball control and hopefully their defense will get some pressure on Mcnabb and be able to do a pretty good job at shutting them down. I think the Giants are going to win this game in a squeaker. Giants 24- Eagles 21.
The New York Jets will travel to Tampa Bay to play the hapless Bucs who are 1-11. This is one of those games where you could say same old Jets but I don't think they will lose this one. Their quarterback is injured and Kellen Clemons will get the start but I think the Jets will mainly run the ball and their defense will have no problems shutting down Tampa. I see the Jets winning this one 20-7.
I am going to go with Chicago beating Green Bay in Chicago for my third and final pick of the week. Green Bay is a good team and they are battling for a playoff spot but this is a old rivalry game and it is in Chicago. I think the Bears will win 17-14.
The Winter meetings have ended but the Hot Stove is still burning brightly. The Chicago White Sox signed former Seattle Mariner closer and most recently Met J.J. Putz. The deal is for one year and 3 million. He will be a setup man but give the White Sox another option to close other then Bobby Jenks.
The Boston Red Sox are really coming hard after Adrian Beltre even though the Mike Lowell trade to Texas is not yet finalized.
There is a report on ESPN.com today that the Blue Jays are seeking either Joba Chamberlain or Phil Hughes and Jesus Montero as well as others from the Yankees for Roy Halladay. That price is too steep for the Yankees at this time and I can't blame them. If the Red Sox don't get him which looks like they won't and they don't end up with him they can still sign another pitcher as the 4th starter and be in good shape.
The Cardinals have made a formal offer to Matt Holliday today but terms of the deal are not known. The Cardinals GM said he expects a response from agent Scott Boras within the next 48 hours. If he resigns with St. Louis the market for Jason Bay will really heat up as he will be the only significant position player left on the market.
There were no major free agent signings over the last few days from the Winter Meetings. The Yankees were the big movers, as they traded Brian Bruney to Washington for their Rule 5 pick which ended up being Jaime Hoffman and outfielder from the Dodgers and then of course the big 3 team trade. The Yankees now have Curtis Granderson as their center fielder but I think they may still bring back Johnny Damon and if that is the case Melky or Brett Gardner would become expendable. I dont see Matsui coming back as they really don't have a place for him but there doesn't seem to be a big market for him so maybe he will come back on a cheap 1 year deal.
The Mets tonight were offering Jason Bay a contract for 4 years and 65 million. I know they could use him as they have a hole in left field but wouldn't they be better off getting a #2 starter to put behind Johan Santana?? They were also offering Bengie Molina a contract and I think that is fine as they could use a good catcher.
The Tampa Bay Rays added Rafael Soriano from the Atlanta Braves. This is a very good move for them as their bullpen was a real problem last season and he will definitely help.
There was a report that the Yankees were negotiating with Johnny Damon today but the Yankees shot that report down.
It also looks like right now the Angels and Phillies are the front runners for Roy Halladay and the Yankees are backing off and going to look to solidify the back end of their rotation.
The New York Yankees completed their trade with the Washington Nationals this morning by obtaining their Rule 5 pick that the Yankees had them choose. The pick was from the Dodgers Jamie Hoffman a outfielder. He has some pop and is a good defender, what the Yankees really liked about him is that he hits lefthanders well and he will have a chance to stick as a bench player out of spring training. I find this kind of curious because he seems like a Shelly Duncan type and why didn't the Yankees just keep Shelly. I think Shelly never got a fair shot after him coming up in 2007 and becoming a fan favorite and belting all of those homeruns. We will see how this works out.
I have one other thought which is thinking outside of the box. I have no knowledge of this at all but could the Yankees include Brett Gardner or Melky Cabrera in a trade with the Blue Jays for Roy Halladay and have him as the extra outfielder. If Johnny Damon does come back I can see him more of a DH now, I guess we will wait and see what happens.
Here is some of what Andy Pettitte had to say today courtesy of Chad Jennings of the Journal News and Lohud Yankees blog. It was Thanksgiving weekend that Pettitte informed the Yankees he was going to play this season. Andy said "It's great, it really is." " I wanted to get home, get this decision made and get it behind me. I didn't want to hold up the Yankees in any way." Andy said retirement definitely crossed his mind, " There is no doubt it did, for me I couldn't have written it up any better. I just couldn't have wrote up a script any better then last year ended. I was like what else is there to do? Why do you want to continue to play? But then you start talking to guys and your like I want to make sure I am done. I want to make sure I fully exhaust myself and I don't regret not playing. I want to come back and help this organization win another one, basically. That is what you play for."
Andy also said he usually starts throwing right after the new year but may push that back a couple of weeks. He said he will talk to pitching coach Dave Eiland and come up with a offseason plan. He also said he is happy with what they team has now for pitching but would welcome another arm.
The New York Yankees were busy again today as they resigned Andy Pettitte to a 1 year 11.75 million dollar deal. They now have the top 3 pitchers in their rotation set and with Granderson in CF they have done what they wanted to get done to set up the rest of the winter. The Yankees will most likely now offer Damon a 1 year 10 million dollar deal at most and maybe give him an option. It looks like Damon could come back and play DH a lot. I know a lot of people say why bring Damon back at all now with Granderson but remember Granderson is bad against lefties and Damon is a clutch player, they can make it all work with Damon and Posada splitting most of the DH duties and then playing Damon in the OF at times with Granderson on the bench and Melky in CF. I think it isn't the worst thing but they don't have to offer too much to Damon and if he leaves they will be fine also with Melky and Granderson in the outfield and Brett Gardner as the 4th OF and they will still split up the DH duties between A-rod, Posada, Tex, Jeter if Matsui doesn't come back which I don't think he will. I believe someone will offer him more then a 1 year deal that the yankees will and they will give him more money and maybe even let him play the outfield some. I know the Angels have shown some interest.
The Milwaukee Brewers officially signed Randy Wolf to a 3 year anywhere between 27 and 30 million. This deal isn't official but is being reported first by Yahoo sports via Twitter and now by others.
It looks like the Angels have made a very good aggressive offer to the Blue Jays for Roy Halladay. They have offered Joe Saunders, Erik Aybar and a top prospect the question now is would he go to the west coast??
The Red Sox have talked about Milton Bradley, which is interesting he is so talented but a disaster waiting to happen, he would destroy that clubhouse. I think they will end up with Bay or Holliday but it is looking more and more like Bay may go to Anaheim or Seattle.
The Yankees are prepared to offer Damon and Matsui 1 year deals and I think they will say whoever accepts first comes back. I don't have anything official on this but I am taking a good guess on that.
The Baltimore Orioles made a nice move this evening aquiring starting pitcher Kevin Millwood from the Texas Rangers for Chris Ray and some cash.
The Texas Rangers are prepared to sign Rich Harden to a 1 year deal for 7.5 million with a 11.5 million dollar option for 2011.
I like Austin Jackson but at this point he is a minor league prospect only, he hasn't proved anything yet. I know he can be good but we won't know that for at least a couple of more years. He is fast and a good outfielder, he seems to be a good hitter but has no power at all at this point. Curtis Granderson is young, a good outfielder, fast and has lots of power. The Yankees can slide him into the 2 hole if Damon leaves and put him or Melky Cabrera in left field. The Yankees got better defensively and also got younger which is a good thing. I also can see them maybe going for Doc Halladay but can they do that without giving up Hughes or Joba?? I am not sure if they can I see Hughes as the 5th starter with Pettitte and Halladay in the rotation and Joba back to the pen. It looks like they are angling for Joba back to the pen with Coke and Bruney gone in the last 2 days. I know Granderson doesn't hit lefties well or at least didn't last year but how often do you face a lefty?? It isn't very often and also he is a pull hitter and will love the short porch in Yankee Stadium. Phil Coke and Ian Kennedy are not a big deal, they have Marte and also have Mike Dunn still as a lefty reliever. They have other starters they like better then Kennedy in Andrew Brackman, Zach McAllister, Ivan Nova etc. They also have Gaudin, Mitre and Aceves still. I like this trade and think the Yankees made themselves better, I also like the fact that the evil empire is back. The Yankees are back on top and plan on staying there and everyone is back to complaining about them.
I didn't get a chance to get to the Terry Francona press conference notes from yesterday. Here they are coming from Lohud Yankees Blog and Journal News writer Chad Jennings who is at the Winter Meetings. Francona the manager of the Red Sox was asked about the Yankees and said this: " They have a couple of things that make life difficult for us. They have a lot of money and they have smart people deciding what they are doing." I say yes but don't the Red Sox also??
Francona has talked to Jason Bay this winter but just casually and hasn't asked him about his plans.
Francona was asked about interest in Hideki Matsui and he said where would we put him?
Daisuke Matsuzaka will prepare as he always does for a role in the rotation with Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, Tim Wakefield and Clay Bucholz. "We like our starters," Francona said. " At the same time, we have to be realistic enough to know you need more than five." They have Michael Bowden and Junichi Tazawa in reserve.
Jon Heyman is tweeting that he is hearing the Red Sox won't give up Clay Bucholz or Casey Kelly for Doc Halladay, hello Yankees and could the demands really plummett??
This is why I love baseball, it is neverending and always interesting. A NFL game can only be analyzed for so many days but there is always something to talk about with baseball even in the offseason.
There is a lot of buzz coming out of the Winter Meetings and the Yankees are involved. Last night there was a rumor about a three was trade involving the Yankees, Diamondbacks and Tigers. The proposed trade had the Yankees getting Granderson, Mike Dunn, Phil Coke, Austin Jackson and Ian Kennedy leaving the Yankees and Max Sherzer leaving the Diamondbacks. The deal had appeared to be dead late last night but has picked up steam again this morning and now a couple of sources have indicated it is getting close. The new deal that is being tossed around has the Yankees giving up Austin Jackson to Detroit getting Granderson and giving up Ian Kennedy and Phil Coke and maybe a lesser prospect then Mike Dunn to Arizona. The Tigers would still get Max Sherzer from Arizona. I don't know this for sure but seems to me that the Yankees may get Granderson to play CF, keep Damon to play LF and now that makes Melky or Gardner expendable and I can see one of them being put into a Doc Halladay deal. It also looks to me that they are clearing out space in the bullpen starting with trading Brian Bruney to put Hughes or most likely Joba in the pen if they don't get traded. I wish the Yankees would have Edwin Jackson put into this deal and then I would really like it and they wouldn't need to get Doc Halladay, i can see the Yankees getting a 4th starter and having Phil Hughes as the 5th and Joba as the main setup man for MO with David Robertson, they also really like Mark Melancon to step up this year and be a main bullpen piece.
The Angels appear interested in Hideki Matsui as well as Jason Bay. The main teams for Jason Bay are the Angels, Red Sox and Mariners.
The St. Louis Cardinals have signed Brad Penny.
The Washington Nationals have signed C Pudge Rodriguez for 2 years and 6 million.
It looks like the Brewers will sign Randy Wolf but nothing is official yet.
UPDATE: 4:25PM- The Yankees have traded OF prospect Austin Jackson and lefty relief pitcher Phil Coke to the Detroit Tigers for CF Curtis Granderson. The Yankees will send right handed pitcher Ian Kennedy to Arizona and Edwin Jackson will go from Detroit to Arizona. Arizona will send pitchers Max Sherzer and Daniel Schlereth.The Chicago White Sox finalized a deal for 3B Mark Teahen for 3 years and 14 million.
There has been no real action but a lot of talking and rumors are running rampant. The New York Yankees though did make some noise, they have traded right handed relief pitcher Brian Bruney to the Washington Nationals for a player to be named later. He was a pretty good relief pitcher for the team but in the playoffs he lost his setup role and they have more guys just like him in the organization so I don't think this is that big of a deal. He was due for arbitration so maybe the Yankees save a few bucks here.
The New York Mets have stepped up their efforts to aquire catcher Bengie Molina. The Mets are also said to be interested in Adam Kennedy for second base if they can get someone to take Luis Castillo off of their hands.
Mark Feinsand of the Daily News is reporting that he believes the player to be named later in the Bruney trade will be the Nationals first Rule 5 pick.
There was a lot of stuff coming out with the media meeting with Red Sox manager Terry Francona earlier and the media will be meeting with Yankees GM Brian Cashman shortly. I will be back later with the news and notes from those sessions.
The annual Baseball Winter Meetings will start tomorrow and run through Thursday. I thought I should do a little preview especially focusing on the Mets and Yankees and what their needs are and what they may do. I am going to start with the New York Mets since they have more holes to fill.
The New York Mets are looking for:
The Mets have been stockpiling catchers with the signings of Henry Blanco and Chris Coste to go with Omir Santos but they are still looking to sign Bengie Molina who would become their starting catcher. I personally think finding a #2 starter to put behind Johan Santana should be their main priority and really they should get in on the Roy Halladay sweepstakes and see if they can make that work. If they were able to get Roy Halladay to put with Johan Santana right there they would have something and it would energize their fan base. If they can't get Halladay I think they should look at John Lackey which I am sure they are going to check in on.
I do think the Mets need to find a leftfielder, I saw last week where they were requesting medical records on Hideki Matsui but I just don't see that being a fit with him not playing the outfield in a year and a half. I think Marlon Byrd would be good but if the Mets want to really do something big they should sign Matt Holliday. I don't think they are going to be in on Holliday but we will see.
The Mets are claiming they are going to take a look at bringing back Carlos Delgado for a year if he is healthy but I am not so sure about that, i can see them platooning someone like a Mark DeRosa with Daniel Murphy. The Mets feel that top prospect Ike Davis who is the son of Ron Davis who played with the Yankees is going to be ready next year. They don't want to sign someone big for first base since he will be taking over their as early as next season.
I really don't know what to expect from the Mets as we still don't know what they are willing or able to spend. I think we may get a good idea of what is possible for them this week.
The New York Yankees are coming off a World Championship but they do have a couple of needs. Their main priority is going to be resigning their #3 starter Andy Pettitte which I think may get done this week. They are sure to check in with the Blue Jays about Roy Halladay but I think they are skeptical of trading prospects and giving him big money for an extension. I wouldn't rule out the Yankees for anything though so it will be interesting to see if they are serious or just trying to stop the Red Sox from getting him. I could see the Yankees signing a Joel Piniero for the 4th spot in their rotation and then using Phil Hughes as a 5th and having Joba go back to the bullpen.
The Yankees right now need a leftfielder and I think they will try to resign Johnny Damon but they will not go more then 2 years with him. If he thinks he can get more then 2 years he will leave but I am not so sure anyone is going to give it to him. I can see him resigning for 2 years and between 16-18 million. If the Yankees don't resign him then I can see them jumping in for Jason Bay or Matt Holliday but I don't think that will happen.
They may try to resign World Series MVP Hideki Matsui to a 1 year deal where he will get less then he was making this past season but I don't think he will come back. I think the Yankees will really like to use a revolving door with the DH position. They could use Posada, Damon, A-rod, Jeter, Tex as DH's giving them rest in the field. I think Francisco Cervelli will be the backup and catch from 50-60 games leaving Jorge Posada to catch no more then 110 games.
This free agent class is considered weak and the big names are John Lackey, Jason Bay and Matt Holliday. I am not so sure anything major will get done this week but teams will put things in motion and I am sure you will get a flurry of activity with the middle tier guys. It should be a fun week of rumors and stories and hopefully some activity to talk about.
The New York Giants rose to the occasion and defeated the Dallas Cowboys this afternoon in a game they had to win. The final score was 31-24, the Giants defense was much better today and played with a passion and intensity we haven't seen since early in the season. There were some changes on the defense at least with the starters and it seemed to have worked. Dallas running game got nothing going after torching the Giants defense in their first meeting earlier in the season. The Giants offense looked much better especially running the ball, they just seemed to have an extra jump in their steps and this is how they should be playing every week.
Eli Manning wasn't great but also his receivers did drop a few passes, when the weather gets cold usually the passing game isn't as good but the offense did a good job. Hakeem Nicks had a touchdown catch and Brandon Jacobs had a huge touchdown run after getting a short pass in the 4th quarter. The Giants will remain at home and play another divisional foe next week in the Philadelphia Eagles. The Giants are now 7-5 and one game behind the Eagles and Cowboys who are both 8-4, if the Giants defeat the Eagles next week and the Cowboys lose things will really get interesting in the NFC East with all three teams having the same record. I think the Giants defense learned a lot from this game and they should be able to keep up this intensity for the rest of the season and hopefully the postseason.
I am a diehard New York Yankees fan,season ticket holder and a sportsnut. I also like the New York Giants and Rangers. I am married with a beautiful babygirl. I am a caremanager for passaic county and graduated from William Paterson University in Wayne,NJ. I have always wanted to be a sportswriter and thought this blog would help me live my dream. I cover the Yankees/Mets Giants and Jets for www.worldnewsvine.com and also will be writing for numberonebaseball.com so check me out there, thanks.