The Athletic | Evan Drellich and Ken Rosenthal (subscription required): The biggest day of the North American sports calendar was a resounding success last night with the Rams narrowly beating the Bengals in a 23-20 thriller, capping off the most exciting NFL playoffs in recent memory. Meanwhile, MLB continues to make a mockery of itself as the owners seem more interested in winning the PR war than actually starting the 2022 season on time. With their latest non-starter economic proposal on the table, losing Opening Day feels like a given at this point. Against the backdrop of the Super Bowl, Drellich and Rosenthal summed up the state of affairs perfectly:
Super Bowl Sunday in the NFL marks Day 74 of the owners’ lockout in baseball, and the current juxtaposition of the two sports in the American consciousness is jarring.
NJ Advance Media | Brendan Kuty: Five days prior to the 2021 trade deadline, the Yankees acquired Clay Holmes for Diego Castillo and Hoy Park. Suffice to say, the move paid off, with Holmes transforming into one of the best relievers in baseball, including the third-best xFIP (2.18) among all relievers through the end of the season. Holmes credits Matt Blake and the rest of the Yankees’ pitching coaches in guiding him to find consistency with his pitches, and he said that former Pirates teammate Jameson Taillon was instrumental in helping get him acclimated in the clubhouse. He is looking forward to carrying this success into the new season.
Sports Illustrated | Max Goodman: It feels like we’ve gone over every iteration of a prospective Matt Olson trade to the Yankees, but today we’ve got a real doozy. Former GM Jim Bowden proposed an eight-player blockbuster that would send Matt Olson, Chris Bassitt, and Ramón Laureano to the Yankees in exchange for a package of five top-25 prospects headlined by either Anthony Volpe, Oswald Peraza, or Trey Sweeney. Trades involving this many prospects departing have never been GM Brian Cashman’s MO, so color me skeptical.
Twitter | Max Mannis: This one’s not a full news item, but it’s nice to end things on an optimistic note. Jameson Taillon threw off a mound for the first time since his October ankle surgery. He appeared in a video shot from Adam Ottavino’s Harlem pitching lab alongside fellow Yankees pitcher Mike King. It appears that Taillon is progressing well in his rehab from the surgery to repair a torn ankle tendon, though it is unclear if he would be ready for Opening Day should the season start on time.