Lesnar Back to the UFC?

By Thomas Albano

A report came out today that current WWE Universal Champion and former UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar is reportedly back in the USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) Testing Pool, and rumors have begun to circulate that Lesnar may attempt a full-on UFC comeback.

In addition, to fuel that rumor, there is heavy speculation that Lesnar may be dropping the Universal Championship at SummerSlam in August.

The speculation and reports first began when an MMA insider with the Twitter account @TalkMMA claimed that he had been told about Lesnar’s return to the USADA pool by two sources.

However,Jeff Novitzky, UFC vice president of athlete health and performance has refuted this report.

“If he ever re-entered the program, he’d have to serve [the duration of the suspension] before he’d be able to compete,” Novitzky told MMA Fighting.

Lesnar made a one-time return appearance at UFC 200 in July 2016, when he took on Mark Hunt. Originally winning via unanimous decision, Lesnar tested positive for a banned substance. His win would be overturned to a No Contest, and USADA would suspended Lesnar until July 15, 2017.

Brock Lesnar Universal Champion

Lesnar previously teased a return to the UFC in early 2015, when he was reportedly in negotiations with both the UFC and WWE (this was right before WrestleMania 31, which Lesnar headlined as the defending WWE World Heavyweight Champion). Despite the UFC offering him a contract worth “ten times more” than his previous deal, he took a three-year deal with the WWE, which supposedly extends to WrestleMania 34 on April 8, 2018.

Supposedly, Lesnar was allowed to perform the UFC 200 bout with WWE’s approval, or there may be a clause in his contract that allows him to do functions such as UFC bouts when he wants to.

Since his suspension from the MMA cage, Lesnar has been involved in several high-profile bouts within the past year in WWE. From SummerSlam 2016 to the most-recent event (Great Balls of Fire 2017), Lesnar has feuded with the likes of Randy Orton, Goldberg and Samoa Joe. At WrestleMania 33, Lesnar defeated Goldberg in the co-main event to win the WWE Universal Championship, the main championship of WWE’s Raw brand.

Brock Lesnar UFC champion

While the UFC executive’s quote deals a blow, many still hope with this new rumor of a return, Lesnar could be able to perform at the next UFC event in Madison Square Garden, which is currently scheduled to be UFC 217 on Nov. 4. However, as Novtizky noted, Lesnar officially retired from MMA back in February; when a retirement happens, the USADA suspension clock essentially freezes.

As reported by Fightful.com’s Sean Ross Sapp on Twitter, Lesnar would need to complete the suspension and re-enter the testing pool before being allowed to fight again.

Now, as this Forbes article states: “Lesnar has yet to undergo any USADA drug tests in 2017, but there is also speculation that he could receive yet another exemption in order to bypass the fourth-month notification requirement (for retired fighters to notify UFC of their intent to come out of retirment) and make his way onto the MSG card, much like he did for his UFC 200 fight against Hunt. While that would be unprecedented, the thought is that Lesnar is such a draw (he helped UFC 200 generate an estimated 1.2 million pay-per-view buys) that anything is possible because, well, money talks.”

So, let’s hypothetically say Lesnar does come back for a UFC bout. If he re-enters the testing pool ASAP, his suspension could be up right before Christmas. While that would be too late for the tentative UFC 217 at MSG in November, there would still be one more pay-per-view event to go for the UFC in the calendar year. Currently scheduled for Dec. 30, 2017, is UFC 219 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

The UFC has been having a supercard event around New Year’s time every year since 2011 (with the exception of 2014). In fact, Lesnar headlined the 2011 card right before heading back to WWE. With that in mind, if Lesnar does come back for at least one more fight, maybe Lesnar is a headliner for the final UFC card of 2017.

Maybe what the UFC can do is something like they’re doing with UFC 213 and 214 this month. That would be UFC 217 in November (regardless of if it’s in NY or Vegas) and UFC 218 in early December can be treated like 213 this month — pretty good cards but not too stacked.

Then, UFC 219 — the final card of 2017 — they go all out with a massive card akin to UFC 200 or UFC 205. I’m talking Lesnar’s return, three title bouts, and a massive undercard. Now, what could main event this bout? Maybe not Lesnar considering he didn’t main event his first return bout at UFC 200.

BUT, Conor McGregor supposedly wants to return and have one UFC bout in 2017, defending his Lightweight Championship. And I could see it happening at this event — it could be against Khabib Nurmagomedov, against Tony Ferguson, or even a trilogy bout with Nick Diaz (yes, this time at lightweight and with the title on the line).

Either way, the sound of it looks sick. So, maybe patience needs to win out here. And maybe, if Lesnar comes back, it should be for the end of this year, not November.

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Shane McMahon Involved in Helicopter Emergency

By Thomas Albano

WWE Smackdown Live Commissioner and son of Vince and Linda McMahon, Shane McMahon, is known for taking extreme risks and dives in the ring. But not even he could expect what happened to him earlier today.

“Shane O’Mac” was in a helicopter that needed to make an emergency landing off the coast of Gilgo Beach — in Long Island, New York. Neither McMahon nor the pilot of the aircraft were injured in the landing.

The Robinson R44 helicopter came down into the Atlantic Ocean at about 10:30 this morning, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

“We heard some noise, and it became very clear to me that I could no longer continue flying the helicopter,” pilot Mario Regtien told ABC. “So I decided to do an auto-rotation landing in the water.”

Retigen sent out an emergency call before the plane came down, and it was picked up by a flight going towards John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, New York. That plane then relayed the message to the FAA, while two lifeguards went out in kayaks to assist McMahon and Retigen.

According to the FAA, the plane took off from Westchester County Airport in White Plains, New York, and made a stop in Manhattan. McMahon had chartered the flight to go from Manhattan to Westhampton to visit family.

“It’s very unsettling when all the sudden you have something happen,” McMahon said. “You hear a bang, and then you start saying, ‘We’re going to do an emergency landing in the water.’ So yes, it was very unnerving. But again, Mario was super calm, which made me super calm. And we landed perfectly.

“First of all, I’d like to thank the pilot, Mario. He did an amazing job. He was cool under pressure. I couldn’t have been in better hands. He explained everything as it was happening. I’d also like to thank the Coast Guard, who was there instantaneously, Suffolk County Marine, a bureau that was there, the lifeguards that came to the beach. Just thankful that everything worked out well and that we’re here.”

The Unspoken Podcast Ep. 26

**ORIGINAL AIR DATE: July 7, 2017**

If you missed this episode when it aired live last week, here’s your chance to catch up!

Today, Tom and Nick are once again joined by Nick Morgasen. The guys talk the Gary Sanchez/Logan Morrison situation, NBA Free Agency, and play a game of “Should It Be On TV?”

The Unspoken Podcast Ep. 25

**ORIGINAL AIR DATE: June 30, 2017**

If you missed this episode when it aired live on the YouTube channel, check it out here!

Lots of sports news from this past week, and in this episode, Tom and Nick will be discussing matters such as:
– Phil Jackson’s departure from the New York Knicks
– Chris Paul being traded to the Houston Rockets
– The MLB All-Star Game starting lineups

McGregor vs. Mayweather costs HOW MUCH?

By Thomas Albano

So, if you want to watch that big Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor superfight on pay-per-view, you’re going to have to cough up quite a bit of dough. Lance Pugmire of the LA Times has revealed the price of the event will be $89.95 ($99.95 for HD broadcasts).

To compare, a normal UFC PPV is about $50 ($60 for HD broadcasts). A pay-per-view boxing card can vary in price depending upon things like star power, title bouts, etc. And so, with one of the best in boxing against arguably the face of the UFC today, there’s no surprise this pay-per-view is more expensive than normal.

But…THIS much of an increase? I get it’s two big names, but this one fighter being taken out of his discipline and put into the other’s.

And then, the Mayweather tax situation happened.

For those of you who want a simplified summary, a Law360 report recently revealed that Mayweather still owes the IRS taxes from 2015, not to mention he has had run ins with the government agency plenty of times over the decade. ESPN just recently reported (a little while ago as of this article’s posting) the IRS’ claim that Mayweather still owes them $22.2 million from 2015.

Mayweather has asked the IRS to hold off payments until after the fight with McGregor, when he’ll have enough cash on hand to pay everything off. The government, meanwhile, argues that Mayweather has the ability to pay via selling off or liquidating assets; Mayweather just doesn’t want to, they say (which is believable when you consider how much money Mayweather has earned over his career).

So, this guy wants to avoid his tax paying and then use fight fans’ and loyal taxpayers’ money to pay off his own debts? As a member of the MMA community and an MMA journalist, I’d like to take a stance in that I don’t want to purchase this bout to help someone pay off Uncle Sam when he has the means to do so already and just doesn’t want to.

Plus, the last time a boxing pay-per-view cost $100, it was Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao, billed as the “Match of the Century” and then as one of the worst bouts of the century. So, that’s the same price as Mayweather vs. an MMA fighter who has never had a boxing bout before…brilliant.

So, to recap, here’s what this is like…

“Oh I wonder what the price of McGregor vs. Mayweather is going to be”
*Price revealed*
“What?!? For a boxer coming out of retirement vs. someone who has never had a pro boxing bout before. I mean, OK I gu-”
*Mayweather tax situation revealed*
“Oh no! He’s not getting away with this on my dollar! I’ll find a way to stream this PPV”
*That’s illegal*
“So…what Mayweather is doing isn’t right, but I can’t do that?”
*Yes*
“So, I’m supposed to not buy this pay-per-view?”
*But this is a Once in a Lifetime kind of fight*

So, there’s really no win here for fight fans, is there? It’s like when someone is trying to decide who to vote for and everyone in their life clutters together and rants no matter who they pick.

This situation just wants me to hope McGregor proves me and everyone else wrong and KO Mayweather.

Impact/GFW, WWA and Mae Young Classic

By Thomas Albano

You may not have noticed, but the second half of last week was somewhat newsworthy in pro wrestling.

For starters, the biggest news piece is that Impact Wrestling (previously known as Total Nonstop Action Wrestling) is officially done after exactly 15 years and two weeks — at least as a brand. Last night’s Slammiversary XV was the final event in the history books of Impact/TNA as we know it.

Impact:GFW

The company has merged with and acquired Global Force Wrestling (GFW), founded in 2014 and headed by Jeff and Karen Jarrett, the former of whom, ironically, co-founded Impact. And while the original reports were that Impact would absorb GFW, it now is officially going to be the other way around. Impact Wrestling (formerly TNA Impact), which airs on Thursday nights on Pop, will now be rebranded as GFW Impact Wrestling.

As much of the internet wrestling fan base has stated, Jeff Jarrett must be the smartest wrestling promoter alive. As he has taken back the company he originally founded with a three-year plan. And the irony that it all started with Jeff Jarrett and everything ends and changes with Jeff Jarrett.

When asked about the merger last week, Jeff Jarrett told The Tennessean: “We’re a global brand. We have partnerships in Mexico, Japan, other places. Collectively coming together, we’ve combined forces and basically the rebrand final touches happen at Slammiversary.”

Slammiversary XV

Slammiversary saw positive to mixed ratings across the board, a good sign considering Impact’s troubling times in recent years. In the main event, GFW Global Champion Alberto El Patron defeated Impact World Champion Bobby Lashley to become unified champion. Sienna unified both companies’ women’s belts, the Latin American Xchange (LAX) — entering as the tag team champions of both promotions — retained their titles, and Sonjay Dutt retained the Impact X-Division title.

It is unknown what the fate is for the X-Division and Impact Grand Championship, the two titles to not be unified at Slammiversary.

In other news:

World Wrestling All-Stars reborn?

WWA

The World Wrestling All-Stars (WWA), a touring wrestling organization that has been inactive and defunct since May 2003, has new ownership. Andrew McManus, an Australian concert promoter who founded the company, has sold WWA to a man named Wade Brewer.

The WWA was founded in 2001, following the closure of WCW and ECW, bringing the biggest names from said companies, and other noted independent workers and future stars, together for several tours in different continents. For a more in-depth look at the organization, check out this video from Brian Zane (Wrestling with Wregret):

“At the moment, the focus needs to be placed on brand awareness,” Brewer told 411Mania.com. “We’ve re-released our first two pay-per-view events for online streaming on our pivotshare account, and formed a partnership that also makes them available on the Highspots Wrestling Network. As for future events and tours, get connected with our social networks and when the time is right, you’ll be the first to receive the big announcements.”

Title Awarded in the Mae Young Classic?

Mae Young Classic

A profile on Stephanie McMahon in a recent AdWeek may have spoiled that the winner of WWE’s upcoming Mae Young Classic women’s wrestling tournament may win a championship. This would be similar to last year’s Cruiserweight Classic tournament, where TJ Perkins ended up walking away the first-ever Cruiserweight Champion (not counting the cruiserweight title quietly retired in 2008).

There is also some speculation that with this leak, current NXT Women’s Champion Asuka may be called up to the main roster, with the winner of this tournament becoming new NXT Women’s Champion.

The finale of the Mae Young Classic airs live on Tuesday, Sept. 12, at 10 p.m. — the current time slot of the cruiserweight-exclusive show, 205 Live. There’s no word on if this will result in 205 Live’s cancellation and replacing, or 205 Live being moved to before Smackdown Live — whether for the one night or on a permanent basis.

Who Should Start the 2017 MLB All-Star Game?

By Thomas Albano

You have mere hours left to get your final votes in for this year’s MLB All-Star Game starting lineups. No home-field advantage in the World Series on the line anymore, keep in mind.

I always do like to give a few votes for all my Yankees and Nationals who are up for nomination, I won’t lie. But, trying to do this from a neutral, journalistic standpoint, and trying to make the best lineup possible, here are the starting lineups I have come up with.

Screen Shot 2017-06-29 at 2.22.39 AM American League:
1B – Eric Hosmer (KC) – I was split between him, Jose Abreu and Justin Smoak. Bringing it down to Hosmer and Abreu, while I like how Abreu’s power has helped him contribute more, Hosmer is just a more pure hitter, and more popular for that matter.
2B – Jose Altuve (HOU) – I was a bit torn between him and Starlin Castro. However, with Castro now on the DL, this spot appears to be Altuve’s for the taking, in my opinion.
SS – Xander Bogaerts (BOS) – I was split between Bogaerts, Didi Gregorious, and Jean Segura. However, let’s face it, it’s Bogaerts, who has proven to be one of the best hitters and defensive shortstops this year.
3B – Jose Ramirez (CLE) – No contest.
C – Gary Sanchez (NYY) – No contest.
DH – Nelson Cruz (SEA) – I would say maybe Matt Holliday had a chance, but now Holliday is a member of the Yankees’ squad that is currently beaten down with injuries.
OF – Aaron Judge (NYY), Mookie Betts (BOS), and J.D. Martinez (DET) – No contest.

National League:
1B – Paul Goldschmidt (ARI) – Arizona is having one heck of a hot year, and Goldschmidt is making his case for NL MVP once again. But, so too is Ryan Zimmerman of Washington. Goldschmidt has my vote here, but you can expect Zimmerman (or Goldschmidt if he loses out here) to be the first NL reserve player named.
2B – Daniel Murphy (WAS) – No contest.
SS – Zack Cozart (CIN) – This one’s tricky. Cozart, Chris Owings of the Diamondbacks, and Corey Seager of the LA Dodgers have all staked some claim for this spot. Owings is having himself a good year (again, as all the Diamondbacks are), and Corey Seager is still one of the best youth in baseball. But, Cozart is a bit underrated here. Cozart is hitting .320 with 33 RBIs and a .966 OPS, and I think he’s earned some right in claiming the position, even if he’s on a sucky team like the Reds. Speaking of which, there must be at least one player per franchsie, so I assume Cozart or Joey Votto are getting it for the Reds.
3B – Nolan Arenado (COL) – This one’s the closest race supposedly, with Arenado and Kris Bryant of the Cubs going neck-to-neck. But to me, I think it’s pretty clear Arenado is having the much better season. Plus, now that Bryant has this ankle injury scare, it isn’t looking good for the Cubbie.
OF – Charlie Blackmon (COL), Bryce Harper (WAS), and Marcell Ozuna (MIA) – Blackmon and Harper are no contest. The only outfielder I would consider is David Peralta of the Diamondbacks, but Ozuna plays more days I think. Also, it’s Miami, so hometown pop. Now, I know what some of you may be thinking “What about Giancarlo Stanton?” Well, if you compare the two, Ozuna has produced similar numbers to Stanton while having a higher batting average. Truth be told, I think Ozuna has had such a big year, that maybe this time around, he deserves the starting slot a little bit more.

Some time after starting lineups are announced, I’ll get back with who I think should be each league’s starting pitcher and reserves!

Phil Jackson Leaves New York

By Thomas Albano

And the New York Knicks fans sang one of the following (or both)…

The New York Knicks and Phil Jackson agreed to part ways on Wednesday morning, prompting sighs of relief throughout New York and tears of joy spreading throughout Knicks nation.

This ends (for the most part) a tumultuous time in the organization that has seen Jackson — the now former president of the Knicks — clash with players including Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis, have an uncomfortable conflict with Charles Oakley, and give fans nothing but frustration after being brought in in an effort to rebuild and save the franchise.

For not just Knicks fans, but basketball folks in general, it’s a move long overdue.

James Dolan and Phil Jackson

At the very least, it should have been done before the draft, when Jackson drafted Frank Ntilikina with the team’s first pick in the 2017 NBA Draft — someone who can appropriately play the triangle offense Jackson wanted. Reports today have stated that if Jackson had been fired before the draft, the team would have taken NC State guard Dennis Smith Jr. (Side note: As I’m typing up this piece, I’ve learned Ntilikina has been injured in practice).

Where was Dolan the night of the draft? Playing with his band. So, shows you how much he cares for the franchise, I guess. Or, he used this as a smokescreen to ensure Jackson would get all the blame (but remember that he brought in Jackson in the first place!)

And keeping that in mind, Dolan wanted to honor Jackson’s contract the whole way through. This tells me there might still be some stuff we don’t know about that led to this sudden departure.

Regardless, it ticked me off last week to hear the likes of Bill Plaschke (and I love him and Around the Horn) to defend Jackson’s treatment of Porzingis by looking to trade him over a god damn exit interview. Plaschke said he was just doing a typical Phil Jackson thing of putting the young man through the ringer and trying to embarrass him after embarrassing the Knicks franchise (and to devalue his players so that way he can have a hold of them and not have to trade them).

Funny, considering all the Knicks fans I know, and all of the media, have given more beef to Jackson for what he’s doing than for the kid skipping the interview.

And even if you want to call KP a prima donna for doing that, if there are any people I can put angel’s wings and a halo on in this situation, it’s him and the fans. In fact, I’ll go as far as to say KP was the best player on the team last season because the whole Knicks team has been full of prima donnas.

Porzingis

Carmelo has been Mr. “Pass Me The Ball” (and though he wasn’t as bad this season, his little affair and getting ejected from quite a few games aren’t exactly “role model material”). Joakim Noah got suspended 20 games for an anti-doping violation. Derrick Rose is…well, Derrick Rose. And Jackson and Dolan don’t need explanations.

For all the “star power” this team had, last season was an absolute trainwreck. And it’s going to take a lot of time to recover.

But for now — ding dong, the wicked witch is dead.

That Time the Ball Family Got ‘Raw’

By Thomas Albano

Well, this was quite the interesting week in WWE now wasn’t it? From multiple segments on Raw to help build up to WWE Great Balls of Fire, to a Smackdown Live that featured a second women’s Money in the Bank Ladder match (because the first was god damn awful and had an ending that produced more backlash than the pay-per-view named as such), WWE programming was filled with memorable moments this week.

But none may be more memorable, or infamous for that matter, than when the Ball family showed up for a MizTV segment with WWE Intercontinental Champion The Miz.

I didn’t know what to expect with this segment, and I did not expect for LaVar and his sons to side with Ambrose and for LaVar to take off his shirt and nearly clash with Miz.

And it was during Ambrose’s entrance, when LaMelo Ball was heard over the microphone, where the figurative s*** hit the fan.

“Beat that n***a a**!” LaMelo shouted twice, picked up over the microphone and going through to and heard by the live TV audience. The video above with the segment was edited, but you can hear the audio in the following clip towards the end:

This, of course, prompted WWE to issue an apology for the incident, stating “The inappropriate language used by a guest during the ‘Miz TV’ segment was not scripted nor reflects WWE’s values.” Of course then the next night, Big E of The New Day makes reference an old Booker-T promo from WCW in which he accidentally used the slur against Hulk Hogan (think about it and you’ll understand the irony there).

Now, there is a good thing and a bad thing here. The bad thing? WWE may have gotten a bit of heat with LaMelo’s uncensored comments. And, well, some WWE personnel (namely Corey Graves and Braun Strowman for this piece) shared some fans’ thoughts in that they wanted the Ball Brand trio nowhere near the ring.

Am I the only one who drew this comparison last night? #lavarball #mamajune #raw @wwe @espn @bigballerbrand

A post shared by Corey Graves (@wwegraves) on Jun 27, 2017 at 12:58pm PDT

Screen Shot 2017-06-28 at 11.28.03 PM

The good thing? Well, I guess you can say this is one of those times controversy creates cash and that any publicity is good publicity. People are talking about it. Hell, you’re reading this piece!

But, honestly, as I’ve mentioned on previous editions of The Unspoken Podcast, I just want to see Lonzo play an NBA game. His dad’s the hype man, I get it, but I’ve gotten sick of him.

Let’s see if Lonzo can actually walk the walk in the bigs.

5 Things the Yankees Can Do to Turn Things Around

By Thomas Albano

This weekend, I got to experience my first live baseball game at Yankee Stadium (the one opened in 2009; I went to the old one a few times). As a New York Yankees fan, it brought me great joy and memorable moments from exploring the Yankees Museum, to observing Monument Park, and from running into a good friend to seeing an Aaron Judge home run.

The only thing that could have made it better was if the Yankees had won.

yankee-stadium.jpg

And the Yankees right now are colder than those leftovers you’ve got in your fridge. They have lost 10 of their last 12, they have lost sole possession of their first place standing in the AL East, and they are dealing with a few bad injuries to key players (most recently outfielder Aaron Hicks).

I said, along with others, that the 2017 season was going to be one where the Yanks weren’t going to win too much; however, it would all just be to help give the younger players experience. But now with how hot the Yankees had been, it felt like this season has the potential to be an amazing one. Right now, however, it feels like all a tease — just like the end of 2016 all over again.

But, fear not, Yankees fans. The Yankees can rebound and still be great, especially if they do these five things:

1. Get Rid of Headley and Clippard
Headley’s quality as a third baseman has definitely gone hill since his quality season with the Padres in 2012. While there are players in MLB that have worse than a .245 AVG, Headley has an OBP of just .335, and his WAR is only 0.4.

I’d suggest moving Didi Gregorious or Starlin Castro over to third and then find a way to get Gleyber Torres up to the bigs. But now that Torres is done until Spring Training, that’s out the window. So, hopefully Ronald Torreyes can help righten the ship (especially since Headley is out with an epidural)? If this doesn’t work, or heaven forbid Torreyes goes to the DL as well, then how much longer before the calls to promote Tyler Wade come

And since I was there on Saturday, I might as well say it. GOOD GOD, Clippard. Just like I said to you indirectly when I was doing fantasy baseball two years ago, it’s time for you to get lost.

Clippard has compiled an ERA of 4.85 so far this year, with his relief efforts earning him a win and four losses. While relief pitchers don’t get credit for wins and losses often, Clippard’s WAR is just -0.1. A pitcher who usually just pitches an inning per appearance, he has given up 12 hits and 12 earned runs (including four home runs) within the month of June. For a MRP/SU man, the Yankees can clearly do much better.

2. Get a starter
Credit where it’s due. The Yankees have sometimes had great starts. The keyword here is sometimes. But with Michael Pineda struggling, Masahiro Tanaka having an awful season, and C.C. Sabathia out with injury (thanks, Chris Carter…) it’s time to give the younger pitchers a break.

C.C.

Before the trade deadline, the Yanks need to make a move for a quality starter. I had previously thought perhaps Gerrit Cole, but the Pittsburgh Pirates reportedly have no interet in trading him. Ervin Santana? Alex Cobb? Maybe Chris Archer? I know it could be a stretch for a couple of guys with that kind of talent, but it wouldn’t hurt to try. Point is: the Yanks need another starting arm. The unfortunate price…?

3. Depart with talent?
Sometimes, we have to make sacrifices to the baseball gods to get to the great gold. And while the Yankees have a bunch of great, young talent waiting in the wings, if it comes down to the dire scenario, maybe some of them have to go.

It’s a problem — a good one, but a problem — with the situation the Yankees have. They have too much talent in one area (outfield): Clint Frazier, Blake Rutherford, Dustin Fowler, etc. And although you’d like all the young blood and talent in the world, sometimes sacrifices need to happen.

Frazier

You could also depart with Brett Gardner, even though he’s batting .262 this season. That could be more of a contract dump, and hey, if the price is right, someone will give him up for something. There are teams who probably could use a good-hitting veteran outfielder.

And what could you get in return? Well, maybe…

4. Hosmer and/or Moustakas
Oh, tell me you wouldn’t want that. It’s clear the Yankees have a problem at the corner infield slots. One first baseman is injured and Chris Carter is (thank God) gone. Meanwhile, I don’t want Headley over at third anymore, but Torres’ injury is a blow (especially with Headley not able to play himself). And if you’re going to make a big move, a potential preview for your next one or two off-seasons, go for some true talent.

Besides, the Royals might be willing to depart with a couple of stars. What a fall they have had since winning the World Series.

5. A Utility guy
Keeping on the theme of depth at the corner infield slots needed, or heck maybe just the entire infield already, it’d be good to have someone to fill whatever hole the team needs filled. Austin Romine plays catcher and first base, and Tyler Austin plays first base and outfield, which is good, but it’d be better to have someone who can play all over the infield, too. Think: what if Austin goes down? Then, Romine plays first but you better have some sort of backup, or else Sanchez plays every day.

Torreyes

I remember there being a plan that after Gregorious came back from injury, Torreyes would be someone to use whenever the likes of Castro, Headley or Gregorious needed a day off. Maybe that plan can finally come to fruition?