Tag: Rookie of the Year

Could Bryce Harper be an Option for the Mets?

Mets General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen has spoken about bringing a “culture of positivity” to Queens by bringing in established stars in the league that would instantly transform their offensive production. One free agent that would meet these dreams would be the 2018 Home Run Derby Champion, Bryce Harper.

Some fans are skeptical that the Mets have any interest in the phenom, but Mike Puma of the New York Post has set the record straight.

“Van Wagenen has made it clear, according to sources, that he is interested in the All-Star outfielder,” Puma wrote. “But there is skepticism within the industry that team owner Fred Wilpon would approve an outlay of $300 million-plus for that type of acquisition.”

New York hasn’t exactly made a habit of giving out monster contracts to superstar players, but opportunities to land players of the same caliber as Bryce Harper don’t come around every day. It’s time that the Mets embrace a “carpe diem” mentality, which translates to “seize the day.”

Harper, 26, has been a top player in the MLB since he entered the league in his early 20s. In his short seven years in the league, Harper has put together quite the resumé. He has been named an All-Star 6-times and has taken home the Rookie of the Year Award, among other accolades.

His best season by far came in 2015 when he batted an outstanding .330 to go along with a league-high 42 home runs and 99 RBIs. In recognition of his fantastic performance that season, Harper was bestowed with the NL Hank Aaron Award, Silver Slugger Award, and the NL MVP Award.

Although he hasn’t duplicated this kind of output in the past few years, Harper has still been a productive player. Last season, he posted a .249 BA with 34 HRs and a career-high 100 RBIs.

 

Harper is a five-tool player who is able to field, throw, run the bases, hit, and hit with power. This unique combination does not come around that often, and the Mets should recognize that signing Harper could be a complete 180 for the organization. They should take advantage of the opportunity before them, no matter what the cost.

 

Featured Image via Flickr/ Matthew Straubmuller

Damian Lillard Could Be Eyeing Trade to Knicks

The Portland Trail Blazers have struggled to make noise in the postseason for a long time. Since the arrival of Damian Lillard, who has propelled them to the playoffs in each of his last five seasons, they have yet to make it past the Western Conference Semifinals, and that likely isn’t going to change.

In the current climate of NBA basketball, stars are flocking to already established organizations to increase their chances of winning a championship, and Portland isn’t on the list of desired destinations. In this day in age, no NBA superstar is going to bypass the opportunity to win a ring to join Rip City in a conference that is already stacked with talent. With that being said, it is more than likely that the Blazers will take action to begin the rebuilding process in hopes of being a relevant franchise one day. To accommodate this, it seems as though Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard is the most likely to be dealt as he is by far the most valuable asset that this team has to offer.

The only question is: Where could he be traded to?

According to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, “Damian Lillard, even though he loves Portland, wouldn’t mind being in L.A. but even more so wouldn’t mind being in New York.”

Lillard has often been overlooked during his stellar NBA career. He was snubbed of two NBA All-Star Games in 2016 and 2017, seasons in which he averaged 25.1 and 27 points per game, respectively. The fact that he prefers to be dealt to LA or New York tells us that he is looking to break that vicious cycle. These cities are the two biggest markets that the NBA has to offer and playing for either team would bring much more attention to his game than Portland ever did.

Dame is a top talent in this league, and its time he is recognized by the entire NBA community as such. Lillard is a former Rookie of the Year, a three-time NBA All-Star, and has been named to three All-NBA teams including being selected to the All-NBA First Team last season. Just to put into perspective how much of an honor this is, the only other players to receive such recognition in 2018 were LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, and James Harden.

Bringing Lillard to New York would come at a hefty price, likely costing the organization several young players and draft picks, but acquiring Dame could be an opportunity that the Knicks front office needs to seize to take over the Eastern Conference.

 

Featured Image via Google Images/Wikimedia Commons