CC Sabathia Agrees to 1-year, $8 million deal with Yankees

According to reports, the New York Yankees have re-signed veteran starting pitcher CC Sabathia to a one-year, $8 million contract.

The left-hander did not have much interest in testing the free-agent market, enticing the veteran to take less money to return to New York after making  $25 million in 2017 to $10 million in 2018. Sabathia has been with the Yanks for ten seasons, and would presumably like to retire in the same uniform.

Sabathia was 9-7 with a 3.65 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, and 140 strikeouts in perhaps his best season on the Bronx Bombers in the last five years, showing the MLB community that he still has some gas left in the tank.

In addition to locking up Sabathia, the Yankees also recently re-signed Brett Gardner to a one-year deal.  “These are known commodities,” said Yankees GM Brian Cashman. “We know exactly who they are in that clubhouse, who they are dealing with our press and our fans, and obviously — most importantly — competing on the field of play.”

 

The 38-year-old lefty has built quite the resumé throughout his 18-year career. Since his debut in 2001, Sabathia has been named an All-Star six times, three of which came as a member of the Yankees. Furthermore, he won the AL Cy Young Award in 2007 when he posted a 3.21 ERA with 19 wins and 209 strikeouts. In 2009, he also was named the ALCS MVP for two strong starts against the Angels. In Game 1, he limited his opponent to one run on four hits and a walk in eight innings, striking out seven in a 4–1 Yankees victory. His start in Game 4 was just as impressive, pitching another eight strong innings, allowing only one earned run on five hits and two walks while striking out five. New York would go on to defeat the Phillies in six games to take home the World Series Championship.

Although CC Sabathia isn’t the ace he once was, he is still a valuable asset to have at the back-end of the rotation as the Yankees look to make a postseason run in 2019.

 

Featured Image via Flickr/Keith Allison

Introducing Mets General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen

The New York Mets recently filled their front office vacancy by hiring Brodie Van Wagenen to replace Sandy Alderson as the organization’s GM.

Van Wagenen has established himself as one of the most prominent professionals in the sports business industry as an agent with the Creative Artists Agency. As the Co-Head of CAA’s Sports’ Baseball division, Brodie has represented many high profile clients, including  Ryan Howard, Robinson Canó, and Ryan Zimmerman. He has also had a number of current Mets as clients such as Yoenis Céspedes, Noah Syndergaard, Tim Tebow, and Cy Young candidate Jacob deGrom.

Although he does not have any front office experience, the Mets have the utmost confidence that Van Wagenen will be able to use the skills he has acquired over his career to guide the Mets’ front office, making the team relevant in the MLB landscape once again.

His knowledge of all things baseball makes him a perfect candidate for his new role, any many professionals in the industry agree.

“He’s built to run things; he’s built to lead,” said his ex-teammate Kyle Peterson. ““In many ways, he’s been preparing for this role for the last 25 years. He was one of the leaders in his industry. It’s not like he needed a job and I know he wouldn’t have taken any job. He’s going to surprise people who don’t think he’s ready. He has a million things to learn, but if you’re assuming he can’t learn them, you’d be wrong.’’

“He lives in this market, he knows our team, knows the pace of the city, said Mets Assistant GM John Ricco.” “So he doesn’t have the institutional knowledge, well, we have a lot of people in-house that do. Can we cover it? Those are the questions I was asking myself. I’m a little less a believer that this is a real leap of faith. I think he brings a lot of the things the good GMs have already and we can cover the things he doesn’t have.”

While being a front office member of a New York team is never easy, the consensus is that his transition into his new position will be relatively smooth and will bring the same impact he had on his clients as an agent to the entire Mets franchise as their leader.

 

Featured Image via Flickr/ Doug Kerr

Enes Kanter Plans to be a WWE Superstar One Day

Enes Kanter has established himself as one of the most productive big men in the NBA. During the 2018 season, he was 6th in the league in rebounds per game (11.0), 4th in offensive rebounds per game (3.8), and 3rd in rebounds per 48 minutes (20.5).

In the midst of his 8th season in the league, Kanter has gotten off to an auspicious start, averaging 22.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. The evolution of his game over the past five years has made him a premier player in the league who will be around for years to come, but he is already planning on a career change once his time as a professional basketball player is up.

So what’s next from the Turkish center? Professional wrestling.

Kanter is an avid fan of the WWE and has made several connections in the industry including wrestlers and executives.

“I’m actually talking to the people over there now. Vince McMahon, he knows me,” said Kanter. “I had dinner with [Paul Heyman] two, three days ago. I asked him how long he’s gonna do this and he said ‘as long as Brock [Lesnar] goes, I go, and then I’m with you.’ I’m like yes! Seriously. I’m really serious about it.”

Kanter’s fandom of the WWE, which he describes as his”most intense obsession,” can be traced back to 2010 when he introduced himself as The Undertaker during Kentucky’s Big Blue Madness. “It was funny as hell, and the fans flipped out,” said Kentucky head coach John Calipari. “There were people falling from the upper deck to the lower deck when he came out.”

Years later, he was actually able to meet The Undertaker, which made him so nervous that his knees began to shake.

As one of the top trash talkers in the game, coupled with his fiery personality, Enes Kanter is an ideal candidate for a career in the ring. Don’t be surprised if you here the name “The UnderKanter” in the future.

 

Featured Image via Wikimedia Commons

Knicks Fans Can Cross Kyrie Irving Off Their Wish List

The Knicks have made it known that they want to make a big splash in 2019 free agency as the team is expected to have plenty of cap room. There are several high profile stars who they planned on pursuing, a list that had Kyrie Irving at the top.

This dream appears to be dead as Irving has announced his intention to re-sign with the Boston Celtics this offseason.

Irving is a member of one of the most storied franchises in NBA history, and bringing a championship to Boston would solidify his elite status. Former Celtics standout Paul Pierce agrees with this assertion, saying, “I think that’s a legacy decision and for him to see the potential of that team moving forward in Boston,” Pierce said. “Winning a championship in Boston is different than winning one in Cleveland. He will be immortalized if he wins in Boston.”

Kyrie is a 5-time All-Star and a former All-NBA selection and would have undoubtedly helped the Knicks make another trip to the playoffs. However, this clearly is out of the question after declaring his allegiance to the C’s.

So what’s next for the Knicks?

With Kyrie out of the picture, the Knicks will have all hands on deck to go after Kevin Durant and Jimmy Butler. Although several skeptics around the NBA believe this is only a pipedream, the fact of the matter is that New York has a legitimate shot at both of these premier players.

Durant has already won two championships with Golden State and may decide to leave the team to improve his image. The Knicks are a possible destination simply because of the allure the franchise offers. Madison Square Garden is one of the most electrifying arenas in the league and is in the center of the greatest city in the world. This is the same reason that LeBron went to the Lakers. Playing in a big-time city where basketball is at the heart of the city’s culture is a great experience, to say the least. Also, KD’s longtime business partner/agent Rich Kleiman is based on New York and is big Knicks fan, along with Durant’s father.

As for Jimmy Butler, he has expressed a degree of interest in coming to New York. A few weeks ago, Butler formally requested a trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves and gave the organization a list of his three preferred destinations, one being the Knicks. He would add the defensive pedigree that the team has been lacking for several years and would fit in nicely with Fizdale’s offensive system.

Although losing out on Kyrie is a big blow, there are plenty of other viable options to revitalize the Mecca of basketball.

The Jets Have Interest in Trading for Le’Veon Bell

Disgruntled star Le’Veon Bell has continued his holdout into Week 4 of the NFL season, and the Steelers have had enough. Pittsburgh has made it clear that they are not willing to give Bell the contract he desires, and have decided to explore possible trade options for their franchise player. Three teams appear to be in the running for the halfback, including the New York Jets.

The Jets haven’t had a star running back on their roster for some time now, and could be seeking to acquire Le’Veon to bolster their subpar offensive unit. Bell would undoubtedly uplift the organization’s run game as he is widely considered the best RB in the NFL when he is between the white lines. Bell is a three-time Pro-Bowler and three-time All-Pro honoree, which only begins to describe his abilities on the football field. He is an extremely patient ball-handler who is able to wait for holes to open up in the opposing team’s defense and attack them with aggression. His combination of speed and elusiveness is unmatched.

If you’re a Jets fan, it’s hard to not get excited when you hear your favorite team is in the conversation for the league’s top running back, but I wouldn’t say it’s time to celebrate just yet. Although it is a possibility, Bell has publicly stated that it would take a lot of cash for him to come to New York. In an interview earlier in the year, he said he would have to receive at least $95 million to join Gang Green.

Whether Bell ends up sporting green and white remains to be seen but only time will tell where Le’Veon continues his already accomplished playing career.

 

Featured Image via Flickr/Jack Kurzenknabe

David Wright to Play in Final Home Stand Before Likely Retiring

David Wright hasn’t played an MLB game since 2016, and many fans around the league thought he might never make a return to the field after battling lingering back and shoulder injuries, but the Mets have announced their intentions to start the captain one final time on September 29th before he likely retires from the game.

Wright has been the face of the Mets franchise for a long time. He has been on the club since 2004 and has experienced his share of success during his years in the Big Apple. Over the course of his career, he has been selected to seven All-Star Games while winning the Gold Glove Award and the Silver Slugger Award twice. He has shown tremendous dedication and loyalty to the Mets organization which earned him the title of “Captain” in 2013.

You can’t deny the impact that Wright has had both on and off the field. From day one, he has dedicated himself to the organization and making it the best possible place to play the sport he loves.

He has solidified himself as one of the best players in Mets history. He is the franchise’s career leader in RBIs (970), hits (1,777), runs (949), and stolen bases (196), all while batting .296 in his career.

This will be the end of the road for “Captain America,” but it is impossible to undervalue the effect he has had New York Mets baseball. He will forever bleed orange and blue.

David Wright is a Mets icon, one of the finest players and people ever to wear the uniform, Mets uniform or any uniform, and clearly our fan favorite,” said COO Jeff Wilpon.

 

Featured Image via Keith Allison

 

Could Joakim Noah be Headed to the Timberwolves?

Tom Thibodeau, the head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves, has displayed his affinity for the players on his old Chicago team. In addition to having Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler, and Taj Gibson on his roster, the Timberwolves also recently signed former Bull Luol Deng. Accordingly, people around the league are calling them the TimberBulls. The only piece left of the puzzle is Joakim Noah, and the Wolves reportedly have some interest in acquiring him as well.

The Timberwolves are full of young talent that is in need of some direction by seasoned veterans, and Joakim Noah fits that bill. The two-time All-Star has a high basketball IQ and could undoubtedly impart some wisdom onto players like Karl Anthony Towns. Noah is also a former Defensive Player of the Year, and anyone who knows anything about basketball knows that being a good defensive player is more mental toughness than physical. It’s about being in the right spots, knowing when to go over and under screens, when to switch, and always communicating with your teammates. The Wolves have struggled to play good defense in the past and adding Noah could help them improve in that department even if it isn’t through Noah’s contributions on the floor.

The Knicks are ready to move on from Joakim after their fallout last year, and it seems that the T-Wolves are the only team that have interest in the center who is clearly past his prime. If he does wind up in Minnesota, the TimberBulls roster will be complete.

 

Featured Image via Flickr/Jeff Villanueva