Owen Hetherington makes the case for the Yankees to avoid temptation and
keep Luke Voit. These resilient dividend stocks are custom-made for you if you fear stock market volatility. A perfect storm was created as renters became buyers choosing the suburbs of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. The Houston Texans reportedly added a seventh round draft pick for 2022 by trading defensive tackle Eli Ankou. 2-5 means it’s time to build for 2021.
Why the Yankees Should NOT Consider Trading Luke Voit this Offseason
by Owen Hetherington
This off-season, Yankee fans are putting on their General Manager hats to think of the best-case scenarios entering the 2020 season. If one thing is for sure, the Yankees should make some adjustments before the start of 2021 Spring Training to get themselves back in the Fall Classic for the first time in over a decade.
One thought that has shaken up Yankee fans the past few weeks is whether or not the Bombers should consider trading Luke Voit. Every time I see someone tweeting or talking about the possibility of trading Voit before the 2021 season makes me cringe. If there was one thing consistent about all the madness of the 2020 60-game season, it was Luke Voit. Trading Voit would be taking a complete 180 at trying to bring a championship back to New York because of his power bat and his leadership presence in the locker room.
Ideas and theories have been thrown around to justify the rationale for trading Voit. Some people think that by opening up first base, the Yankees will have the option to move Gleyber Torres back to second and extend DJ LeMahieu to start at first. This would leave shortstop with a big question mark that I think the Yankees can avoid by keeping Voit.
One person who has jumped on the bandwagon with this idea is none other than former Yankees’ first baseman, Mark Teixeira. Over a week ago, Teixeria joined The Michael Kay Show to talk about his opinion to trade Luke Voit and gave his insight on how the Yankees can fill the hole. His justification: the Yankees can replace Voit by signing Didi Gregorius.
Now I know your initial thought that the Yankees should bring back Gregorius is likely to be excited. In his run with the pinstripes, I don’t there could have been a better player to replace the Captain at shortstop than Didi. However, Didi is entering his age 31 season and will likely look for a contract worth 4-5 years. Gregorius spent his entire 2020 season with the Philadelphia Phillies after the Yankees did not offer him a one-year qualifying offer after the 2019 season. Last season, Didi hit .284/.339/.488 in 60 games with the Phillies. I am happy for Didi because of his run with the Yankees and he deserves a multi-year deal. However, I don’t think the addition of Didi helps this team win a championship by any means.
I hate the idea of the Yankees wanting to sign a shortstop this off-season. Lindor and Gregorius are only two of the names being thrown around by Yankees fans. Rather than look somewhere else, I think the Yankees need to stick it out with Voit to help them win a championship. Here’s my take on why trading Voit this offseason is off the table for the Yankees.
He’s One of Baseball’s Top Hitters at First Base
There’s no denying Voit’s contributions at the plate have played a crucial role in the team’s success since joining the big-league roster on August 2, 2018. Since he joined the Yankees roster, only Freddie Freeman has out-hit Voit when looking at wRC+. Weighted Runs created plus quantifies run creation and normalizes it, so position players who play in different ballparks/eras can be compared on an equal playing field. Here’s a look at the top first basemen when comparing wRC+:
145 wRC+// Freddie Freeman
144 wRC+// Luke Voit
137 wRC+// Pete Alonso
135 wRC+// Anthony Rizzo
131 wRC+// Max Muncy
131 wRC+// Jose Abreu
Voit’s ability to create runs offensively ranks toward the top in all of baseball since Voit was traded to the Yankees. Aside from just wRC+, Voit ranks third in SLG% (.543) and sixth in home runs (57) among qualified first basemen. He can create offensive and has been one of the best at it since joining the pinstripes.
He Hits the Ball…Very hard
Instead of looking at how Voit compares to first basemen in the league, let’s see how he stacks up against the entire league. Since joining the Yankees, Voit ranks towards the top of baseball in barrel % (combines exit velo and launch angle to examine how well someone makes contact).
Barrel % Leaders since Voit Joined the Yankees (Fangraphs)
17.0% // Mike Trout
16.7% // Nelson Cruz
15.6% // Christian Yelich
14.4% // Luke Voit
14.2% // Pete Alonso
13.5% // Matt Olsen
13.3% // Ronald Acuna Jr.
13.1% // Franmil Reyes
13.1%// Kyle Schwarber
12.9%// Bryce Harper
Between the three players above Voit, they have combined for 16 All-Star games and 2 MVPs over their careers. How hard Voit hits the ball is impressive when seeing where he stacks up against other players. Stats like these are what drew the Yankees to trade for Voit back in 2018 and represent Voit as the complete hitter he is.
His Leadership Presence in the Locker Room
One thing I picked up on from watching the 2020 season and ultimately my reason not to trade Voit is his presence in the locker room and desire to win a world championship. If there was any guy during the Yankees’ rough stretch in 2020 who took accountability and showed a desire to win was Luke Voit. Here’s a look at one of his postgame conferences, coming off a loss from Toronto:
Just look at his tone of voice and desire to win. There wasn’t another player on the roster that took accountability and wanted to win as much as Voit. It was extremely encouraging to see someone this season when injuries overtook the Yankees’ lineup. Voit was that guy for us this season and anyone who wants to see him go is just a part of the issue. Since there is a possibility the Yankees don’t bring back Brett Gardner this offseason with their club option, Luke Voit might be that guy to take on the leadership role with Aaron Judge. This is not a guy you want to see in another uniform.
All being said, I think the Yankees would be making a huge mistake even considering trading Luke Voit this offseason. His value offensively is toward the top of baseball and his leadership in the clubhouse is too valuable. Rather than trade Voit and sign a position player this offseason, the Yankees need to focus on rebuilding their bullpen and adding another starter. If you’re still on the fence about Voit, enjoy this little highlight reel to change your mind.
Author: Owen Hetherington
Worried About a Stock Market Crash? Buy These Recession-Proof Dividend Stocks
It’s been a volatile year in the stock market. Several factors point at an imminent stock market crash, and the very thought is enough to make investors jittery. However, instead of panicking, it’s time you prepare yourself and recession-proof your portfolio by adding some stocks that can withstand the storm.
How about buying some dividend stocks that can pay out stable dividends? This way, you can earn passive income even during a recession. If that sounds like a great idea, check out these three top recession-resilient dividend stocks right away.
NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE) is an incredible dividend stock to own at all times, as it offers the stability that comes with utility stocks — much sought after during a recession — as well as solid growth potential to power up your portfolio.
NextEra’s core business includes its two electric companies that provide electricity to more than 5 million customers in Florida. It’s a typical utility business with regulated revenues and stable cash flows.
NextEra’s clean energy business, NextEra Energy Resources, is where the growth potential lies — it’s already the world’s largest producer of wind and solar energy. Scaling up its clean-energy portfolio should lower costs and boost earnings for the company, supporting stronger dividend growth in the years to come.
Image source: Getty Images.
In the past, NextEra’s dividends grew at a compound annual rate of 9.4% between 2004 and 2019, driven by annualized growth of 8.4% in its adjusted earnings per share (EPS). NextEra’s dividends have historically grown pretty much in-line with earnings, which means management’s medium-term financial goal of growing adjusted EPS by high-single-digit percentages through 2023 should be followed with similar dividend raises.
The trend, in fact, should continue well beyond 2023, as the renewable energy industry is expected to attract investments worth trillions of dollars in coming decades as the adoption of clean energy gathers steam. NextEra is well poised to exploit any opportunity — its renewables backlog in the latest quarter crossed 15 gigawatts, which is larger than the company’s existing renewable capacity. If you let NextEra’s modest dividend yield of 1.9% deter you, you could miss out on solid potential stock price gains backed by dividend growth.
Waste Connections’ (NYSE:WCN) business makes it one the best recession-proof stocks you could find. It’s simple: Whether boom or recession, we don’t stop generating trash, keeping a trash-management company like Waste Connections almost always busy. As evidence, despite the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting business because of lockdown, Waste Connections projected 2020 revenue to be $5.33 billion last quarter, down barely 1% from 2019. It expects to generate operating cash flow worth $1.6 billion at the midpoint this year.
Thanks to the resiliency of its revenue and cash flow, Waste Connections has consistently returned a good chunk of its cash flow to shareholders in the form of dividends. Last October, it increased its dividend by a good 15.9%, marking its ninth consecutive year of dividend increases. “The Board intends to review the quarterly dividend each October, with a long-term objective of increasing the amount of the dividend,” said the press release. By the time this article is published, I believe Waste Connections should’ve already announced its tenth annual dividend increase.
Management’s goal to not just pay but increase its dividend in the long run should ring in bountiful returns for shareholders like in the past. Not many know about Waste Connections’ incredible stock performance: With reinvested dividends, the stock has gained a whopping 522% in the past decade, hugely outperforming industry leader Waste Management. While past performance doesn’t guarantee future returns, the durability and resiliency of Waste Connections’ dividends, even during tough times, is indisputable.
An infrastructure company is far from being recession-resistant, but Brookfield Infrastructure (NYSE:BIP)(NYSE:BIPC) is a fine exception, thanks to its line of business and portfolio mix. And it’s one heck of a dividend stock, as well.
Brookfield owns and operates assets in utilities, transport, data, and energy. Since cash flows from most of these assets are regulated or contracted under long-term fixed-rate agreements, an economic downturn may not hit Brookfield that hard. Moreover, its stable, predictable, and steadily rising cash flow has comfortably supported strong dividends over the years. Between 2009 and 2020, Brookfield’s dividends grew at a compound annual rate of 11%. That’s resulted in hefty returns for shareholders.
BIP data by YCharts.
Brookfield has a long-term goal of 5%-9% annual dividend increases, backed by regular asset rotation. Brookfield typically acquires value assets, operates them profitably, and sells mature assets periodically to reinvest the proceeds. The company is presently eyeing high-growth areas like 5G technology — it recently acquired 135,000 telecom towers from India’s largest conglomerate for roughly $600 million to enter the huge addressable telecom market.
With an eye on growth areas and a proven business model, Brookfield Infrastructure is the perfect stock for investors seeking wealth-compounding dividend growth in good times and reliable dividends during a recession. The stock currently yields 4.3%.
Author: Neha Chamaria
Manhattan’s Rental Market Is All About Concessions And More Concessions
New York City’s rental market is all about concessions
Manhattan’s rental market is all about concessions and more concessions. “In markets that are more favorable for renters (more available units than demand to fill these units), landlords may offer concessions to entice renters to pick their property,” explains Senior Managing Editor of Apartment Guide Brian Carberry.
The pandemic combined with historically low-interest rates and work from home mandates fueled the path to homeownership for Millennials exiting the city. A perfect storm was created as renters became buyers choosing the suburbs of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. According to data from StreetEasy median rent prices in Manhattan have fallen below $3,000 per month (they’re now $2,990) for the first time since 2011.
Despite significant rent decreases the over-supply of available units make this a renter’s market. Currently even these lower prices aren’t luring an abundance of renters to sign leases. Here’s what some landlords are doing to attract those elusive tenants who for now can easily make a deal.
“Some of the most common concessions include a month of free rent, which is likely prorated and offered as a discount each month, access to luxury amenities at a reduced or no charge, reduced security deposits, longer or shorter lease terms, free parking or upgraded features,” Carberry notes.
No fees: It’s hard enough to attract renters — apartments with attached broker fees only act as a further barrier to getting a lease signed.
Free-rent: A month or two of free rent was typical for many Manhattan apartments before the pandemic. Now, it’s essential.
Wiggle room: Even with rent prices low, tenants are still looking to secure a deal and negotiate. Landlords who are unwilling to do so may see an interested tenant slip away to a competitor.
In-unit amenities: With an emphasis on social distancing, in-unit amenities — such as washers and dryers — are going to attract the most attention. If a unit (or a building) doesn’t have laundry facilities, it may be a tough sell, as people are likely concerned about using a laundromat due to COVID.
It’s lets make a deal for New York City renters
June Gottlieb a top broker at Warburg Realty has real-time negotiation experience. “In today’s market, that has almost triple the number of rental listings that we would normally see, landlords must pay the broker fee. We won’t take a listing unless we can say “no fee.” Also, landlords should be prepared to hear offers from tenants who ask for anywhere from 1-3 months of free rent as part of their offer,” Gottlieb notes.
“In one of our most recent deals, tenants also requested that the landlord install privacy shades and customize closets. We negotiated a credit for the closets, and the tenant agreed to take on the project of custom-fitting the master bedroom’s closet, but the landlord retained pre-approval of design and materials before the tenant proceeded with the project. We did not agree to order and install shades, but we did agree to not require the tenant to remove what they installed prior to vacating at the end of the lease,” Gottlieb adds.
Edgar Romero owner of a luxury condo at 100 Barclay Street in Tribeca understands the current climate. “In these difficult times, flexibility on both sides of the rental market is necessary.” Romero’s unit will soon be on the rental market listed by agent Karen Kostiw of Warburg Realty.
“Concessions must be made to keep the market moving on some level with the exodus we have seen from the city, I have confidence that New York will again shine as the epicenter of the world and demand will again be there in a couple of years. Patience and flexibility must be the focus now, in real estate as well with the pandemic,” Romero concludes.
For an in-depth look at rental markets around the country check out Apartment Guide’s latest 2020 Rent Report. Carberry offers a take-away. “It never hurts as a renter to ask or negotiate for some of these concessions, the worst that can happen is the landlord will say no.”
Apartment Living Tips – Apartment Tips from ApartmentGuide.comRent Report, October 2020: The State of the Rental Market | ApartmentGuide.com
Author: Ellen Paris
Houston Texans adding for future; trade Eli Ankou
defensive tackle Eli Ankou now of the Houston Texans Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
defensive tackle Eli Ankou now of the Houston Texans Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
The Houston Texans added to their draft, not for 2021, but for 2022, according to reports, as they are set to trade Eli Ankou to the Dallas Cowboys for a seventh-round pick in 2022.
Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reported first on Twitter and in an article the Cowboys are making the trade with the Texans this coming Monday. Ankou didn’t play in a game with the Texans this season, as he was originally under contract with the Indianapolis Colts, before he joined Houston.
This isn’t a franchise-changing trade or anything like that, but the Houston Texans showed they are willing to make some moves if they feel the price is right.
The 6’3” defensive tackle Eli Ankou has played in 20 regular-season games from 2017-19 with the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Cleveland Browns. Even with two stints with the Texans, he never played in a regular-season game with the franchise.
From the 2017-19 seasons with his two former teams Ankou had made two starts (both with the Browns in 2019), and has 1.5 sacks, which both came in ’17 with the Jaguars. For his career, the DT has collected 15 solo tackles, one tackle for loss and has two QB hits.
Ankou has never played in more than 17 percent of defensive snaps in a season, so it will be doubtful how much the Cowboys will use him even after releasing Dontari Poe earlier this week.
The Houston Texans didn’t draft a player in the seventh round this year, and their most recent pick in the round was in 2019 when they selected Cullen Gillaspia, a fullback with the 220th overall pick. He’s played in 21 games for the Texans and is still a member of the roster.
Other past seventh-round picks for the franchise since 2014 include: Jermaine Kelley Jr. (2018), Kyle Fuller (2017), Kenny Hillard (2015), Andre Hal (2014) and Lonnie Ballentine (2014). Also, don’t forget the Texans drafted Derek Newton in 2011 in the seventh round, and he was maybe the second-best tackle to ever play for the franchise.
Hal is the one of the very best seventh-round pick in Texans history, joining there team after being selected 216th overall back in 2014. In five seasons with the Texans — and after overcoming cancer while in the middle of his career — Hal was was a true inspiration for many.
In his on-the-field time, the safety played in 69 games and made 40 starts. In those games, Hal totaled 12 career interceptions (including three in his final season of 2018), plus 31 passes defensed, two forced fumbles, one sack and even six tackles for loss.
Even though this trade for the ’22 seventh-round pick isn’t exciting in the least, it could become an important player to the franchise line Hal was, or it could be added into a potential trade deal one day to help the Texans gain a needed player, which is what is most important in the trade that will be finalized on Monday.
Author: by Stephen Forsha
If the Broncos lose to the Chargers, it’s time to sell before the NFL Trade Deadline
Earlier this week I asked the gang at Mile High Report if they thought the Broncos should make a move before the NFL Trade Deadline. Most agreed that they didn’t want to watch Elway make a move while they stood in line to vote.
Since then it’s been in the back of my mind as I went back over the Broncos game against the Chiefs. Even while I looked ahead to Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers, it’s up there gnawing away.
In the end, I can’t help but feel the Broncos need to sell whatever they can if they drop to 2-5. As it currently stands the Broncos have a 5.2% chance at the postseason according to Football Outsiders Playoff Odds report. Across 30,000 the simulations, they never won a playoff game. Which means standing pat and hitting their absolute ceiling gets them a quick ouster from the dance.
Since the Broncos aren’t really chasing a Super Bowl this season, they need to prioritize the long terms goals: evaluate Drew Lock and make sure they have a starting caliber quarterback in place for 2021. It is possible to accomplish both goals simultaneously.
In 20.7% of the Football Outsiders’ 30,000 simulations they landed a top 5 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. In 300 simulations they bottomed out with the worst record in football. Beating the New York Jets means it will be hard to “tank” harder than them for Trevor Lawrence as they look hapless. Hard, but not impossible.
As it currently stands only one unit on the Broncos is playing like a playoff team. Trading off parts of the defense won’t directly interfere with evaluating Drew Lock, even if it drastically increases the Broncos odds at losing games. It just so happens the defense also has a number of veteran pieces who could be valued contributors around the NFL as well as murky futures in Denver.
Even before the 2020 season began I had my doubts that Elway could keep this defense together longer than one season.
If you look across the Broncos defense, there are ___ players who have expiring contracts or look like prime candidates for cap cutting measures in 2021. All numbers are courtesy of OvertheCap.
Alexander Johnson and Bryce Callahan are probably the least likely to move and for good reason. Johnson is a Restricted Free Agent after the year and so the Broncos shouldn’t have much issue holding onto him next season. With the way Callahan’s contract is structured he carries significant dead money if cut or traded right now.
As for Kareem Jackson and A.J. Bouye, it’d make a ton of sense to deal both. Jackson’s going to be 33-years old in 2021 and showing signs of a decline in his play. Bouye’s 29, healthy, and carries no dead money on his contract after he was acquired from the Jacksonville Jaguars.
I want to be clear that I don’t want the Broncos to trade all the players listed above. As recently as Monday I said if Elway loses either Garett Bolles or Justin Simmons to free agency in 2021 he should be fired. My point is that if Elway and the Broncos do not believe Simmons is in their long term plans the smart move is to recoup whatever value they can before he leaves after the year. It’s a similar thought with Shelby Harris, who has looked like one of the best tackles in football this season.
It’s not as if Elway’s prone to standing pat when his team clearly isn’t contending: Denver traded Demaryius Thomas right before a week 9 showdown with the Houston Texans in 2018, and dumped Emmanuel Sanders to the highest bidder last season.
It isn’t necessarily a popular with the players, but one of Elway’s best traits as a GM has been the way he can take emotion out of the equation when he evaluates players. Trading D.T. and Sanders is proof of that. With the way this season is headed, it’d make sense for him to consider it once again.
If Drew Lock fails with the rest of his 2020 audition, they need to keep swinging at QB. Extra draft picks help in that endeavor.
Joe reached out to Bolts from the Blues’ Michael Peterson to find out where the Broncos could attack LA.
The Denver Broncos have reported their first player COVID-19 positive since Andrew Beck back in training camp.
Can the ground game save the Denver Broncos offense from its own ineptitude?
The Denver Broncos could be without a couple of key offensive players when they take on the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 8.
Drew Lock needs to bounce back from a poor showing against the Chiefs, and Melvin Gordon would probably like to run all over his former team.
Chargers at Broncos The Chargers will wait to make calls on T Bryan Bulaga (back), T Storm Norton (knee), and QB Tyrod Taylor (ribs) after listing them as questionable. G Trai Turner (groin) will not play on Sunday.
TE Andrew Beck (hamstring) and WR Diontae Spencer (shoulder) are out for the Broncos. LB Jeremiah Attaochu (quadricep), TE Jake Butt (hamstring), T Demar Dotson (not injury related), RB Phillip Lindsay (concussion), WR Tim Patrick (hamstring), and G Austin Schlottmann (not injury related) are listed as questionable. Per reports, Dotson and Schlottmann were identified as contacts of G Graham Glasgow after Glasgow tested positive for COVID-19. If their Friday test’s are negative, Dotson and Schlottmann should be back with the team.
Bolles is going to make some real money if the Broncos extend him.
As NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported recently, Bengals WR John Ross wants out of Cincinnati. He’s not afraid to express that desire on Twitter, either.
Broncos OL Graham Glasgow and Vikings LB Todd Davis tested positive for COVID-19, Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero report. Sunday games featuring the Broncos versus the Chargers and Vikings versus the Packers remain unchanged.