Danny Abriano

Brooklyn, NY native. SJU alum, Writer, Editor. Beatlemaniac who plays drums, piano. 

Dec 2, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) scores a touchdown against the Chicago Bears during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Dec 2, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) scores a touchdown against the Chicago Bears during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Giants were "really close" to trading Odell Beckham Jr. last offseason, NFL analyst Chris Simms claimed Monday during an appearance on PFT Live, adding that "the Giants were going to trade him and I think they were really looking and listening to all offers."

According to Simms -- who cited 'multiple sources,' the trade conversation stopped "because the team that was most aggressive in pursuing him was the New England Patriots. The New England Patriots were trying to get Odell Beckham Jr. all last offseason."

Simms suggested that the Giants became scared when it was the Patriots who showed the most interest in Beckham, surmising that such a successful team having interest in Beckham made them reevaluate things...

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr., Danny Abriano
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New York Mets Noah Syndergaard delivers a pitch during the third inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. (Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Mets Noah Syndergaard delivers a pitch during the third inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. (Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports)

The Mets' primary focus at the moment is on a potential long-term extension for Jacob deGrom, but another one of their prized starters also appears open to a long-term deal. Enter Noah Syndergaard.

"Yeah, I think so," Syndergaard told NJ.com's Matt Ehalt on Sunday when asked about signing long-term. "I love being a Met, I love New York City, the fan base is great and has been very kind to me. I see kind of the routes the game is going with (Bryce) Harper and (Manny) Machado have still yet to sign, and it's kind of scary, honestly. It's definitely something different than I'm used to. Only time will tell."

While deGrom's extension deadline and a potential self-imposed innings limit if he doesn't get the extension has sent shockwaves through Mets camp ("Go out and pay deGrom," Syndergaard told Ehalt. "Give him what he's worth"), the easier play for the Mets would almost certainly be locking up Syndergaard...

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Danny Abriano
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GM Brodie Van Wagenen sets tone 00:01:10
Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto have nothing but praise for new GM Brodie Van Wagenen and the tone he set this offseason

Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen's 'Come get us' declaration to the rest of the NL East a few weeks ago was a bit surprising, but it has gone over well in the clubhouse at Spring Training as the team prepares for the 2019 season.

"I love that mantra," Michael Conforto said Monday morning. "...If you're not showing up to be the best team in the league, there is no point showing up."

The comments from Conforto have been echoed by others, including Brandon Nimmo, who repeated another one of Van Wagenen's mantras -- one he uttered for the first time during his introductory press conference...

Tags: Michael Conforto, Danny Abriano
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Dec 9, 2018; Detroit, MI, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) during the game against the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)
Dec 9, 2018; Detroit, MI, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) during the game against the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)

Pelicans star Anthony Davis has requested a trade, informing the team he has no interest in re-signing. With news of Davis wanting out came reports that the Knicks have strong interest in trading for him. Here are the latest rumors...


Feb. 16, 12:25 PM:

With All-Star Weekend underway in Charlotte, Davis told the Daily News' Stefan Bondy he is "focused on winning on this point of my career and wherever that may be." So why would he want the Knicks to be on his desired list?

Tags: Kristaps Porzingis, Danny Abriano
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Callaway clarifies McNeil's role 00:02:06
Mickey Callaway clarified what the Mets see as Jeff McNeil's role for the 2019 season.

We know Jeff McNeil's role with the Mets in 2019 will be primarily as an outfielder. We know his former college coach thinks he can handle it. We know McNeil thinks he can handle it. And now we know another player it will impact.

Mets manager Mickey Callaway said Thursday that McNeil will probably be in left field most of the time, with the team wanting him to get comfortable "with all those angles."

And when asked if McNeil would play every day against right-handed starting pitchers and whether that means Brandon Nimmo in center field and Michael Conforto in right field on the days McNeil starts, Callaway answered in the affirmative...

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, Danny Abriano
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deGrom, Van Wagenen on extension 00:02:40
deGrom's answer on maybe limiting innings or pitches headlines the latest on a potential extension deal being reached in Spring Training.

Minutes after Jacob deGrom told reporters that he would like the feeling to be mutual from the Mets regarding an extension and wouldn't rule out limiting his innings if he didn't get one, GM Brodie Van Wagenen sat behind the same microphone for his first presser of Spring Training. 

"Yes, Jacob is 100 percent a part of our future now and hopefully for years to come," Van Wagenen said at the start of his roughly 20 minute session (with all but one question about deGrom). 

Van Wagenen was expansive while discussing the deGrom situation, and gave a forthcoming response when asked how much of a priority it is to get a deal done with deGrom before the March 28 deadline the deGrom camp has set. 

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Jan 12, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) dribbles the ball during the second half at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Jan 12, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) dribbles the ball during the second half at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Celtics star Kyrie Irving can be a free agent after the season, and the idea that he could team up with fellow free agent Kevin Durant on the Knicks this summer has picked up steam since the Kristaps Porzingis trade cleared two max slots for New York. Here are the latest rumors...


Feb. 14, 12:47 PM:

The Celtics believe Klutch Sports, whose staff includes Anthony Davis' agent Rich Paul, spread rumors about Irving's potential interest in the Knicks after their blockbuster Porzingis trade cleared enough cap space for New York to land two max free agents, according to the New York Post's Justin Terranova.

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Reacting to deGrom's comments 00:01:07
New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom proved he is an elite pitcher but with a contract extension up in the air, will he limit his innings?

Jacob deGrom said Thursday that he won't call himself frustrated, but the Mets' ace seems perturbed at the lack of movement when it comes to a potential contract extension. And he isn't ruling out placing innings restrictions on himself this season if a deal isn't struck.

"The line of communication is still open," deGrom said Thursday in Port St. Lucie. "We have not received an offer. ... I really enjoy playing here and would like to be here, but that's kind of up to them."

The "kind of up to them" line from deGrom was a telling one, as he reiterated multiple times what he also said multiple times last season: He wants to be here, but the Mets have not yet made an official offer to keep him in New York beyond 2020...

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Danny Abriano
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Smith Jr. addresses Simmons 00:00:22
Dennis Smith Jr. speaks on incident with Ben Simmons. Dennis says that Ben was doing a lot of things that weren't related to basketball.

Dennis Smith Jr. exchanged words with Ben Simmons during the Knicks' loss to the Sixers on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden. After the game, Smith weighed in.

"He was just, you know, doing a lof of things that wasn't really related to basketball," Smith said. "He knows me . ... I'm just saying, just keep it hooping. If there's anything else, just let it be known. But other than that, just play basketball."

Smith and Simmons first got into it Wednesday when Kevin Knox posterized Simmons. After Knox rose over Simmons and threw down a ferocious dunk right in his face, Smith ran over and taunted him as Simmons was laying on the floor under the basket...

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A general view from the press box of First Data Field, home of the St. Lucie Mets (Jasen Vinlove (USA Today))
A general view from the press box of First Data Field, home of the St. Lucie Mets (Jasen Vinlove (USA Today))

The Mets are "on the verge of blowing up their stadium renovation deal" with St. Lucie and looking for a new Spring Training home, reports Keona Gardner of the TC Palm.

According to Gardner, the potential of the Mets looking for a new Spring Training home comes amid the ongoing renovation plans for First Data Field -- something Gardner reports has gotten contentious with St. Lucie county blowing through their original budget and demanding more money from the Mets.

Gardner notes that the Mets have already given an extra $2 million toward the renovation costs, but have so far balked at a request for more. 

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Jan 28, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) reacts by pounding on his chest after making a play against the Indiana Pacers during the first quarter at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports (Brian Spurlock)
Jan 28, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) reacts by pounding on his chest after making a play against the Indiana Pacers during the first quarter at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports (Brian Spurlock)

Warriors star Kevin Durant can be a free agent after the season, and the idea that he could team up with fellow free agent Kyrie Irving on the Knicks this summer has picked up steam since the Kristaps Porzingis trade cleared two max slots for New York. Here are the latest rumors...


Feb. 14, 10:36 AM:

Ethan Strauss of The Athletic -- who Durant called out by name during his recent tense presser with reporters -- said during his podcast Thursday that "There is infrastructure being laid down in New York, for him to go to New York -- if we're just completely real about it."

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 (Gary A. Vasquez)
(Gary A. Vasquez)

Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen has boldly said "come get us" about the team's competitors in the NL East this season. And when it comes to the Mets' odds to win the World Series, they're on pretty equal footing.

The Mets, Nationals, and Braves all have 16/1 odds to win the World Series, while the Phillies -- strangely -- have 10/1 odds, according to BetOnline

BetOnline must be gambling that the Phillies land one of the megastar free agents still on the market -- Bryce Harper or Manny Machado. But landing one of those players might not even vault the Phillies to the top of the division.

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Best of Mickey Callaway 00:02:44
For the first time this spring, Mickey Callaway officially talked to the press. He discussed lessons learned, Cespedes and deGrom's status.

Mets manager Mickey Callaway spoke with reporters Wednesday afternoon for the first time since arrivnig at Spring Training.

Here are the takeaways...

Lessons he learned in 2018

Tags: Jason Vargas, Juan Lagares, Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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Severino optimistic about 2019 00:01:47
Luis Severino addressed the media, talking about learning from a disappointing 2018, changing his diet and how good the Yankees can be.

The Yankees have had extension talks with Luis Severino, reported FanCred's Jon Heyman on Wednesday, adding that it isn't known whether the two sides are close to a deal.

Severino is scheduled to have an arbitration hearing before the season to determine his salary for 2019, and any extension would likely cover this season and the remainder of his arbitration years (in 2020, 2021, and 2022).

The 24-year-old Severino struggled badly in the second half of 2018 after a dominant first half, winding up with a 3.39 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in 191.1 innings (32 starts).

Tags: CC Sabathia, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Danny Abriano
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The Mets have four players on the new FanGraphs Top 100 Prospects list, with 1B Peter Alonso (No. 48), INF Andres Gimenez (No. 52), SS Ronny Mauricio (No. 68) and 3B Mark Vientos (No. 92) making the cut.

New York had two players on new Baseball Prospectus Top 101 Prospects list, and the same players were their only two representatives on MLB Pipeline's new Top 100 Prospects list. Meanwhile, Keith Law of ESPN, who had Vientos ranked as his best Mets prospect, ranked the Mets' farm system No. 14 in baseball

On the new FanGraphs list, compiled by Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel, there was an eye-popping player comparison made regarding the 17-year-old Mauricio, with FanGraphs writing that "This is what Fernando Tatis, Jr. looked like at age 17."

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Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter | Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen said Tuesday that Jacob deGrom setting an Opening Day deadline on contract extension talks was a "mutual understanding," suggesting it shouldn't be viewed as a negative.

However, this situation certainly can't be viewed as a positive -- not on the heels of deGrom being disappointed last week with how the negotiations were going.

So now the Mets are in a precarious spot, under pressure to get something done with deGrom. And if they don't, there's a chance their dream rotation -- the area they've built their entire team around in an effort to contend now -- will fall apart sooner rather than later...

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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Van Wagenen talks deGrom 00:02:32
Brodie Van Wagenen held an impromptu media scrum to discuss the status of Jacob deGrom's possible contract extension.

Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen weighed in Tuesday on Jacob deGrom setting an Opening Day deadline on contract extension talks, saying that the team and deGrom's camp came to a "mutual understanding" about the negotiation. 

"The last thing either side wants to do is have it be a distraction once the season starts," Van Wagenen said from Port St. Lucie during a scrum with reporters at Spring Training. 

"I think it's for everyone's best interest so that the focus when the season starts is on the performance of the team," Van Wagenen added...

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Danny Abriano
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deGrom dominates report day 00:01:14
deGrom announced he won't negotiate a long-term deal once the season starts. Anthony DiComo tells us his take on the situation.

Brodie Van Wagenen reiterated on Tuesday that the Mets want to keep Jacob deGrom for the long-term. Now, there's a deadline.

DeGrom -- who is under team control for two more seasons -- has set an Opening Day deadline to get a potential extension done, SNY's Andy Martino confirmed. The Mets open the season March 28 against the Nationals. 

Mets brass met with deGrom's representatives from CAA at the Winter Meetings this past December in Las Vegas (minus Van Wagenen, who was recused because he used to be deGrom's agent), and left with the expectation that a long-term offer was coming. The offer still hasn't come...

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Danny Abriano
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Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter | With Spring Training for the Mets in Port St. Lucie about to get underway, who will be on the 25-man roster when the team heads north? And what will their roles be? Here's how we see things shaking out...

Starting Rotation (5)

  1. Jacob deGrom, RHP
  2. Noah Syndergaard, RHP
  3. Steven Matz, LHP
  4. Zack Wheeler, RHP
  5. Jason Vargas, LHP
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Sep 19, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) reacts after the top of the seventh inning against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 19, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) reacts after the top of the seventh inning against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Baseball Prospectus' 2019 PECOTA (Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm) projections are out. For the Yankees, they see a big year on the horizon.. 

PECOTA is a system that "takes a player's past performance and tries to project the most likely outcome for the following season. It looks at all of the numbers, and all the numbers that make up the numbers, to see which players are more likely to repeat their success and which ones benefited from good fortune."

When it comes to how Luis Severino will rebound from the putrid second half he had in 2018 and James Paxton potentially becoming an ace during his first season in pinstripes, PECOTA -- a projection system that is notoriously conservative -- sees things shaking out like this...

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, CC Sabathia, Dellin Betances, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Danny Abriano
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Mets starters get their work in 00:00:32
Mets pitchers Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom and Zack Wheeler throw bullpen sessions in Port St. Lucie

Baseball Prospectus' 2019 PECOTA (Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm) projections are out, and they foresee big things from the Mets -- especially the starting rotation.

PECOTA is a system that "takes a player's past performance and tries to project the most likely outcome for the following season. It looks at all of the numbers, and all the numbers that make up the numbers, to see which players are more likely to repeat their success and which ones benefited from good fortune."

When it comes to the Mets' starting pitchers, PECOTA -- a projection system that is notoriously conservative -- sees things shaking out like this...

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Jason Vargas, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (2) controls the ball as he is watched closely by Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) (Tom Szczerbowski)
Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (2) controls the ball as he is watched closely by Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) (Tom Szczerbowski)

Along with the decisions coming from pending free agents Kevin DurantKyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, and others, the decision Kawhi Leonard makes could have huge ramifications for the Knicks. 

The Knicks haven't been heavily connected to Leonard, but where he winds up could potentially have the biggest impact on the man rumored to be their main target -- Durant.

And if you were expecting Kawhi Leonard -- one of the quietest superstars ever -- to give away what he's thinking about his pending free agency, you should probably adjust your expectations.

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Knicks quiet at trade deadline 00:01:28
The trade deadline came and went without the Knicks making a move. They did waive Enes Kanter and Wesley Matthews, what?s next for NY?

After the blockbuster trade that sent Kristaps Porzingis to the Mavericks and made the possibilities for the summer of 2019 tantalizing, the Knicks remained silent all the way until the NBA trade deadline passed Thursday afternoon.

Here's what's next...

The Anthony Davis saga continues

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The Mets had been aggressive in their efforts to trade for Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto before eventually deeming the price too high and signing Wilson Ramos. The Marlins are still expected to deal Realmuto, and two other NL East teams have checked in. Here's the latest...


Feb. 7, 2:25 PM:

The Phillies and Marlins have reportedly agreed to a deal to land Realmuto, SNY's Andy Martino confirmed. Four players will be headed to Miami including RHP Sixto Sanchez, Jorge Alfaro, LHP Will Stewart, and an international bonus slot.

Tags: Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, Miguel Andujar, Noah Syndergaard, Danny Abriano
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Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant between plays against the Portland Trail Blazers during the fourth quarter at Oracle Arena. (Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports)
Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant between plays against the Portland Trail Blazers during the fourth quarter at Oracle Arena. (Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports)

Speaking to reporters Wednesday night for the first time in over a week, Warriors star Kevin Durant ripped the media's recent coverage of him -- coverage where many speculated his silence had to do with the Knicks recently opening up two max free agency slots for this summer.

Durant had been largely silent since the Knicks traded Kristaps Porzingis, and recently went on a Twitter liking spree of users who were bashing an article that connected his silence to his pending free agency and the Knicks. 

When Durant broke his silence on Wednesday night, he didn't hold back...

Tags: Kristaps Porzingis, Danny Abriano
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Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter | When news broke that the National League was closer than ever to adding the designated hitter, my first instinct -- as a traditionalist when it has come to keeping the DH out of the NL -- was to recoil in horror.

Instead, I thought about all the ways the DH in the NL could help the Mets -- both soon and further down the road -- and stopped caring about NL tradition being ruined.

While the universal DH will likely not be implemented for the 2019 season (though there's still a chance), it seems like it has a strong chance of happening for the 2020 season. And there are three big reasons why the DH in the NL becoming a reality would be huge for the Mets...

Tags: Yoenis Cespedes, Danny Abriano
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Feb 3, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Wesley Matthews (23) reacts during the first quarter against the Memphis Grizzlies at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Feb 3, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Wesley Matthews (23) reacts during the first quarter against the Memphis Grizzlies at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The 76ers have reached out to the Knicks about trading for Wesley Matthews, reports Jon Johnson of SportsRadioWIP in Philadelphia.

The Knicks have been "exploring the trade market" for the recently-acquired Matthews, Marc Stein of The New York Times reported on Monday.

While the Knicks are attempting to trade Matthews, there are plenty of teams -- including the Rockets, Thunder, Raptors, and Warriors -- who are hoping the Knicks simply buy Matthews out so they can pounce, adds Stein...

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Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant celebrates against the Washington Wizards during the third quarter at Oracle Arena. (Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports)
Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant celebrates against the Washington Wizards during the third quarter at Oracle Arena. (Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports)

The Kevin Durant to the Knicks rumors started flying before the season and have reached a fever pitch since the trade of Kristaps Porzingis freed two max slots for New York for the summer of 2019.

As Durant ducks the media in Golden State and league executives whisper that they expect him to bolt for the Knicks, is there another sign that KD could be Big-Apple-bound?

A Kevin Durant Charity Foundation (KDCF) billboard is up on East 11th street in Manhattan...

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Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant between plays against the Portland Trail Blazers during the fourth quarter at Oracle Arena. (Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports)
Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant between plays against the Portland Trail Blazers during the fourth quarter at Oracle Arena. (Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports)

The Knicks seem to have their sights set on pending free agent Kevin Durant, and even before the Kristaps Porzingis trade that cleared space for two max free agents this summer, Durant (and his brother) were dropping hints that he could be on his way out of Golden State. 

After the Porzingis trade, Knicks officials are now reportedly "highly optimistic" that they'll land Durant via free agency. And Durant has been "nowhere to be found" in the Warriors' locker room after the last two games -- something Mercury News writer Dieter Kurtenbach finds odd.

"Durant is almost always around postgame -- he's usually one of the last guys to leave the locker room after a game," Kurtenbach wrote Monday morning. "But over the last two contests, he's been nowhere to be found. And you can't convince me that has nothing to do with the Knicks."

Tags: Kristaps Porzingis, Danny Abriano
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Jul 15, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; USA infielder Peter Alonso (34) hits a two run home run in seventh inning against the World Team during the 2018 All Star Futures Game at Nationals Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)
Jul 15, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; USA infielder Peter Alonso (34) hits a two run home run in seventh inning against the World Team during the 2018 All Star Futures Game at Nationals Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)

There was an expectation after the Mets dealt away multiple key prospects this offseason that their farm system might slip into the bottom third of the league -- or even be ranked among the absolute worst in baseball. That didn't happen. They actually rose seven spots from where they were before the 2018 season. 

On his new list, ESPN's Keith Law ranks the Mets' system 14th, writing:

"The Mets would easily have had a top-10 system had they not traded away their top two prospects, Jarred Kelenic and Justin Dunn, as well as other valuable prospects such as Luis Santana, in a bid to make the 2019 team a contender -- a bid that might very well work if their starters are healthy enough, but that could just as easily lead to a fourth-place finish. Despite the trades, it's still no worse than an average system thanks to a lot of hits on draft picks beyond the first round and some successes in the international market over the past two years."

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Sep 30, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado (28) celebrates his second home run of the game a solo home run in the seventh inning against the Washington Nationals at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports (Ron Chenoy)
Sep 30, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado (28) celebrates his second home run of the game a solo home run in the seventh inning against the Washington Nationals at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports (Ron Chenoy)

If the Yankees' real third base target is Nolan Arenado -- as SNY's Andy Martino reported on Jan. 18 could be the case -- they might want to rethink that strategy.

Arenado, who is in the final year of team control with the Rockies, recently avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $26 million. And the nature of the negotiations left Rockies owner Dick Monfort feeling confident the team will be able to sign Arenado long-term before he gets a chance to taste free agency.

Monfort said the two sides avoiding arbitration "sort of put to rest on both sides that we want Nolan and Nolan wants to be with us."

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New Knicks on their debut 00:01:09
DeAndre Jordan, Dennis Smith Jr. and Wesley Matthews talk about their Knicks debut in a 96-84 loss to the Grizzlies on Sunday at MSG.

In the second game since the Knicks sent Kristaps Porzingis to the Mavericks in a blockbuster deal, Dennis Smith Jr. and DeAndre Jordan made their debut as New York fell to the Grizzlies, 96-84 at Madison Square Garden.>> Box score

Things to know about Sunday's game

1) Smith had eight points and six assists while getting the start at point guard and playing just over 25 minutes in his Knicks debut.

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Dec 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) celebrates a third quarter touchdown against the New England Patriots at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports (Philip G. Pavely)
Dec 17, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) celebrates a third quarter touchdown against the New England Patriots at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports (Philip G. Pavely)

Armed with roughly $100 million in cap space, the Jets could make free agent RB Le'Veon Bell one of their top targets. But the Steelers are still considering doing something that could throw a wrench into things for the Jets and any other interested team.

After Bell sat out the entire 2018 season due to a contract dispute, the Steelers are still considering using the transition tag on him for the 2019 season, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN.

If the Steelers place the transition tag on Bell, it would give them the opportunity to match any offer sheet Bell signs with another team...

.

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New York Knicks president Phil Jackson, left, and general manager Steve Mills answer questions during a news conference at the team's training facility, Friday, July 8, 2016, in Greenburgh, N.Y. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson) (Julie Jacobson/AP)
New York Knicks president Phil Jackson, left, and general manager Steve Mills answer questions during a news conference at the team's training facility, Friday, July 8, 2016, in Greenburgh, N.Y. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson) (Julie Jacobson/AP)

Knicks president Steve Mills opened up on Sunday about the Kristaps Porzingis trade, going into detail about why the team felt it had to act quickly and what they needed in return.

While the Knicks have been criticized in some circles for acting as quickly as they did while trading Porzingis, Mills said the team didn't want to let things go beyond the Feb. 7 trade deadline out of fear that the team would lose leverage.

"We felt the 7th was really important because if we let this go beyond the 7th, the leverage completely shifted. We would not have control of the situation. We weren't sure what Kristaps was gonna come in and tell us. We didn't know if he'd come in and tell us he wanted to be traded, or he may have come in and said he wanted to do a one-year contract with a player option, which would then have made him untradable and he would have had all the leverage."

Tags: Kristaps Porzingis, Danny Abriano
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Kristaps Porzingis (6) Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)
Kristaps Porzingis (6) Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)

After bidding farewell to the fans, Kristaps Porzingis has been sounding off on social media since the Knicks traded him to the Mavericks Thursday in the deal that shook the NBA world. But his most cryptic message was posted on his Instagram story on Sunday morning:

"The city deserves better than that... My suggestion for Knicks fans is to STAY WOKE!! Peace"

It's not clear what KP is saying the city "deserves better than," nor is it clear why Knicks fans should be staying "woke." 

Tags: Kristaps Porzingis, Danny Abriano
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Aug 19, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez (47) throws to the Miami Marlins during the second inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
Aug 19, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez (47) throws to the Miami Marlins during the second inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

The Mets have interest in signing free agent LHP Gio Gonzalez and have remained in touch with his camp, but that interest is not currently at a multiyear level, reports SNY's Andy Martino, who notes that Gonzalez is still holding out for more than a one-year deal. 

Martino reported earlier this week that the Mets and Yankees were both still interested in rotation depth, but that neither team was involved in negotations for Wade Miley, who recently signed a one-year deal with the Astros worth $4.5 million.

Because the Mets have their top five rotation spots currently locked in, Martino suggested it could be easier for them to convince a free agent pitcher such as Doug Fister or Brett Anderson to sign and audtion for a "swingman" role than it could be to sign Gonzalez.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Jason Vargas, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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The Unicorn is out 00:01:26
The Knicks are trading Porzingis to the Mavericks. The news broke shortly after Porzingis met with the team and voiced his displeasure.

The Knicks have agreed to a trade that will send Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr.Courtney Lee and Trey Burke to the Mavericks, the team announced on Thursday.

In return, the Knicks will receive Dennis Smith Jr., two future first-round picks, and the expiring contracts of DeAndre Jordan and Wes Matthews.

In an official statement released by the Knicks, GM Scott Perry confirmed that Porzingis did indeed request a trade, and the team granted his wish...

Tags: Courtney Lee, Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Trey Burke, Danny Abriano
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Apr 3, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; General view of fans outside Citi Field before a game between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 3, 2017; New York City, NY, USA; General view of fans outside Citi Field before a game between the New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Mets have added another key piece to their front office, hiring Baseball Prospectus analyst and writer Russell Carleton.

GM Brodie Van Wagenen had stressed the importance of bolstering the team's analytics department. After hiring assistant GM Adam Guttridge in an analytics role, Carleton is another big hire in that area. 

Carleton said during an appearance on Thursday's Effectively Wild podcast on FanGraphs that Guttridge reached out to him roughly a month ago about a position the team was creating and that they thought Carleton would be a good fit for...

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New York Giants Dave Gettleman speaks to reporters during a press conference ahead of next week's NFL football draft, Thursday, April 19, 2018, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Giants have the second overall pick in the draft scheduled to start on April 26 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Giants Dave Gettleman speaks to reporters during a press conference ahead of next week's NFL football draft, Thursday, April 19, 2018, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Giants have the second overall pick in the draft scheduled to start on April 26 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

If Dwayne Haskins is on the board when the Giants make their pick in the upcoming NFL Draft and the team wants a quarterback with the pick, would they really pass on him?

NFL.com's first Mock has the Giants doing just that -- selecting Duke QB Daniel Jones instead and letting Haskins slip to the Buccaneers at No. 7.

Jones, 21, completed 237 of 392 passes (60.5 percent) for 2,674 yards with 22 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 11 games last season for Duke...

Tags: Eli Manning, Danny Abriano
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Feb 14, 2018; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; A general view of a New York Mets hat and glove on the grass during a workout at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Feb 14, 2018; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; A general view of a New York Mets hat and glove on the grass during a workout at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

19-year-old Mets third base prospect Mark Vientos wasn't named among the Top 100 prospects by MLB Pipeline and wasn't named among the Top 101 prospects by Baseball Prospectus.

But ESPN's Keith Law had Vientos ranked No. 60 on his Top 100 prospects list -- ahead of Peter Alonso (No. 90), Andres Gimenez (No. 97), Ronny Mauricio (No. 99), and almost certainly any other Mets prospect (Law's No. 1through No. 50 rankings haven't come out yet).

Alonso and Gimenez appear on pretty much every Top 100 list, and Mauricio is seen by some as the highest-upside prospect in the organization...

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Apr 27, 2018; San Diego, CA, USA; New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson looks on before a game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports (Jake Roth)
Apr 27, 2018; San Diego, CA, USA; New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson looks on before a game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports (Jake Roth)

Former Mets GM Sandy Alderson is back in baseball, joining the Athletics as a Senior Advisor to Baseball Operations.

"I am really excited to return to the A's and the Bay Area," Alderson said in a statement. "I look forward to being as helpful as I can to Billy, David, and the rest of the Baseball Operations staff."

Alderson, who stepped down as Mets GM this past June after a recurrence of cancer, announced last week that he had been cancer-free for four months.

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A general view of a New York Giants helmet on the turf before the game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. (Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports)
A general view of a New York Giants helmet on the turf before the game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. (Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports)

The Giants are parting ways with veteran OLB Connor Barwin, with the Giants informing him that they will offically be releasing him, reports SNY's Ralph Vacchiano.

Barwin posted Tuesday on Instagram:

"The journey continues," Barwin wrote. "Thankful for it all!"

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Sep 17, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets left fielder Michael Conforto (30) hits an RBI double during the seventh inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)
Sep 17, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets left fielder Michael Conforto (30) hits an RBI double during the seventh inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)

Michael Conforto is expecting a huge 2019 after shaking off the rust in 2018 while getting back to form following shoulder surgery. 

After having surgery, Conforto was initially expected to return to the Mets in May of 2018 at the earliest. Instead, he returned on April 5 -- having played just two Spring Training games and a handful of simulated games.

Conforto doesn't regret returning that early, but said he might have been overly ambitious.

Tags: Michael Conforto, Danny Abriano
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Jun 19, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; New York Mets second baseman Gavin Cecchini (2) hits a two-run home run during the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports (Richard Mackson)
Jun 19, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; New York Mets second baseman Gavin Cecchini (2) hits a two-run home run during the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports (Richard Mackson)

To make room on the roster for newly-signed Justin Wilson, the Mets DFA'd infielder Gavin Cecchini -- the team's first round pick (12th overall) in the 2012 MLB Draft.

The 25-year-old Cecchini, who missed most of the 2018 season due to a foot injury, hit .217/.270/.301 in 36 games for the Mets (four in 2016, 32 in 2017).

In seven minor league seasons with the Mets, Cecchini hit .284/.348/.399 with 17 homers and 135 doubles in 602 games. 

Tags: Gavin Cecchini, Danny Abriano
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Aug 25, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Justin Wilson (37) pitches during the seventh inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports (Patrick Gorski)
Aug 25, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Justin Wilson (37) pitches during the seventh inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports (Patrick Gorski)

Lefty reliever Justin Wilson said he had other offers on the table before signing with the Mets, explaining that he wanted to play for a contender.

"Clearly, the Mets are gonna be a contender," Wilson said Monday during a conference call with reporters.

Asked specifically what he thinks will make the Mets contenders, Wilson cited the back-end of the bullpen and a starting rotation he would "put up against any starting rotation in the league.

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Jan 12, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) looks on during the second half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)
Jan 12, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) looks on during the second half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)

Pelicans star Anthony Davis has requested a trade, his agent told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, and the Celtics and Lakers might already be at the forefront when it comes to a potential deal. But Wojnarowski also said the Knicks are prepared to be "aggressive" in pursuit of Davis.

"You're gonna see the Knicks try to be aggressive here now," Wojnarowski said Monday morning during an appearance on Golic and Wingo on ESPN radio. "If you're the Knicks, Kristaps Porzingis is a player who New Orleans would have to believe they could re-sign if they traded for him. And he may not be open to that. So, if you're the Knicks, the best chance you have is getting the number one overall pick and being in a position post-lottery time where you could tell the Pelicans 'hey, you can have Zion Williamson, you could rebuild with him.'"

As far as the potential that Davis is open to signing an extension with teams other than the Celtics or Lakers, Wojnarowski said that "teams in New York believe that."

Tags: Kristaps Porzingis, Danny Abriano
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Oct 26, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Trey Burke (23) controls the ball against Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 26, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks guard Trey Burke (23) controls the ball against Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Knicks PG Trey Burke -- a pending free agent -- said in early-December that he wanted to re-sign with the Knicks

"I know how the business goes and if that is not an option, you're always auditioning for other teams. But personally, on record, I want to be here in New York City," Burke said. "You just never know, man. You never know in this league. Try not to put all your eggs in one basket because it is a business at the end of the day."

After making that statement, Burke fell out of the Knicks' rotation for most of December, but he has been getting some burn lately with Emmanuel Mudiay hurt -- including playing 33 minutes (and scoring 25 points) against the Celtics on Friday as the team potentially showcases him for interested teams.

Tags: Emmanuel Mudiay, Frank Ntilikina, Trey Burke, Danny Abriano
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Peter Alonso joins Hot Stove 00:01:22
Peter Alonso joined Mets Hot Stove to talk about his Opening Day goals and how his offseason has been going.

The Mets had two players named to the new Baseball Prospectus Top 101 Prospects list, and the same players were their only two representatives on MLB Pipeline's new Top 100 Prospects list.

1B Peter Alonso (No. 51) and INF Andres Gimenez (No. 58) made the cut for the Mets. Gimenez was No. 38 on the Baseball Prospectus list, while Alonso was No. 40.

Alonso is the No. 1 first base prospect in baseball, per MLB Pipeline's list. 

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Would you rather: Bell or Brown 00:00:54
In a game of 'Would You Rather,' Jets wideout Quincy Enunwa answers who should be a Jet, Le'Veon Bell or Antonio Brown.

The Steelers are still exploring trade options for star WR Antonio Brown, but he hasn't "closed the door on returning," reports Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, who says Brown remains in contact with the organization.

Rapoport notes that Brown should draw heavy interest on the market, but that the Steelers have not yet given him and his agent permission to find a team to help facilitate a trade. 

The polarizing Brown, whose off-field issues have at times overshadowed his star-level play, was benched for the Steelers' final game of the season after skipping the prior day's game preparation. After Week 17, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin suggestedf the situation could be coming to a head.

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Yankees RHP Jonathan Loaisiga (Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports)
Yankees RHP Jonathan Loaisiga (Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports)

The Yankees had two players named to the new Baseball Prospectus Top 101 Prospects list, and the same players were their only two representatives on MLB Pipeline's new Top 100 Prospects list.

OF Estevan Florial (No. 57) and RHP Jonathan Loaisiga (No. 66) made the cut for the Yanks. Florial was No. 66 on the Baseball Prospectus list, while Florial was No. 66.

Former Yankees prospect Justus Sheffield -- who was dealt to the Mariners in the trade for LHP James Paxton -- came in at No. 43 on MLB Pipeline's list. 

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