New York Giants news, 12/31 – Matt Rhule seems to be the clear favorite at head coach

New York Giants considering Matt Rhule for head coach.

Good Morning, New York Giants Fans!

Flashback to the 2017 season, one year before Baylor head coach and New York Giants HC candidate, Matt Rhule, took over the program — the team finished 1-11 on the year, plummeting to the bottom of the barrel in college football and proving critics right.

Fast forward to the end of 2018, Baylor finished with a 7-6 record, taking a significant step forward in their progression and establishing a culture. This past year, Baylor earned an 11-2 record, on the back of Matt Rhule, their esteemed coach, and leader. The New York Giants are in the market for a new head coach, and Rhule has quickly jumped to the front of the line, as rumors have indicated it would be his “dream job” post-Pat Shurmur.

Shurmur finished with nine total wins in two years, continuing the disappointing collapse of a once-great franchise. Owners John Mara and Steve Tisch spoke to the media on Monday morning after Shurmur’s release, advocating for GM Dave Gettleman and his transition to a more modern system. Embodying analytics and relying less on his “gut,” to be exact.

To Gettleman’s defense, he did draft generational running back Saquon Barkley and blew everyone’s mind with Daniel Jones at the 7th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Mara made sure to mention his lack of success in free agency, though, detailing his misses, but harping primarily on his draft picks.

The team will now enter the offseason with approximately $80 million in cap space, the 4th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, and the heir apparent at quarterback. Some would say they’re in an advantageous position and require a true leader and coach. Shurmur didn’t seem to have it in him to overhaul the culture of the team and win with the talent Gettleman provided him.

Ideally, the New York Giants would shy away from hiring another offensive coordinator, but rather a proven head coach that has re-developed an entire program, similar to Rhule. To add to his resume, he spent the 2012 season as an assistant under Tom Coughlin, so he understands the expectations of being a member of the Giants coaching staff.

Nonetheless–

Your top news of the day:

Sam Blum – Baylor head coach Matt Rhule held team meeting to discuss interest from NFL

Anthony Rivardo – BREAKING: New York Giants Fire Head Coach Pat Shurmur

Paul Schwartz – Steve Tisch pushing for more say in Giants’ football decisions

Michael Eisen – Giants ownership explains decision to make coaching change
Dan Benton – Giants head coaching search: 15 potential candidates

New York Yankees news, rumors: Yanks make changes to improve player health

New York Yankees, Luke Voit

One of the biggest concerns the New York Yankees faced in 2019 was player health and the longevity of individual success. A majority of the outfield was plagued with the injury bug, as Aaron Judge missed significant time, Giancarlo Stanton remained sidelined for virtually the entire season, and Aaron Hicks is recovering from Tommy John surgery. Clearly, whatever the Yankees were doing in the health and wellness department was wayward, as the team broke the record for most time spent on the injured list by a large margin.

Due to the high number of injuries, the Bombers had no choice but to fire Matt Krause, who served as the team’s director of strength and conditioning since 2014. With 30 players spending time on the injured list last season, a move needed to be made.

However, the emergence of several reserve options helped drag the team to 103 total wins and an ALCS appearance. Aside from the outfield, the pitching was hit by the bug as well as the infield. Ace Luis Severino and relief arm Dellin Betances both picked up shoulder injuries in spring training, with the latter tearing his Achilles in his first action of the season on September 15.

More news and rumors from the New York Yankees:

I don’t want to beat a dead horse, but the Josh Hader talks continue. Of course, we will update you on any urgent news, but as of now, things are progressing slowly. The latest information indicates that the Brewers are willing to drop their price a bit, but they’re keen on adding Miguel Andujar and a quality prospect at the very least.

The Yankees’ No. 1 pitching prospect, Deivi Garcia, could be an option in a potential trade, as scouts have indicated that his ceiling might not be as high as some may think.

In all honesty, I don’t understand the hype. I’ve seen him pitch a few times and the stuff just doesn’t grade out to be a top of the line starter. Maybe with time he can develop since he’s really young, but I just don’t see top arm talent when I see him.”

With the stuff he currently has, he’s projecting to be a back-end starter. I think he could be good at the MLB level, but nothing special.

Click here for yesterday’s news/rumors!

New York Yankees: Is Luis Severino a true ace?

New York Yankees, Luis Severino

It’s no question that Gerrit Cole will take over the New York Yankees rotation as the ace of the staff. However, I believe that the Yankees will have a similar plan like the Houston Astros did last year. Cole will be the number one starter but Luis Severino will be the “1B” starter, just like Justin Verlander and Cole were on the Astros.

There’s been talk that Severino will never be a true ace and I couldn’t disagree more. Sure, he’s had struggles in the postseason but that wouldn’t immediately make him not an ace. Verlander, who’s thought by many to be the best arm in baseball, has had his struggles in October but still remains an ace of his staff.

This tweet put a real good perspective on Severino:

Severino is only 25 years old and is putting up All-Star numbers each year, except for last season obviously. Besides his quality numbers, Severino’s arsenal of pitches is what separates him from other pitchers. His average fastball is 97.4  mph while the rest of the MLB averages 92.3 mph.

With his high strikeout rate and high consistent fastball velocity, Severino is an ace. He’s going to progress even more too. Max Scherzer, one of the most feared pitchers in baseball, didn’t hit his full stride until five years into his career. Severino is already matching numbers that Scherzer put up when he started being selected as an All-Star and winning Cy Youngs, but way earlier in his career.

Cole will undoubtedly be the number one in ace in the rotation, but Severino will serve that role too when it’s his time on the bump. When Sevy is healthy, he’s one of the best pitchers in the Major League.

New York Giants: Head coach candidates update – who are the favorites?

New York Giants considering Matt Rhule for head coach.

The New York Giants fired head coach Pat Shurmur on Monday morning, hitting the restart button after two seasons of porous play. During Shurmur’s tenure, Big Blue managed only nine wins, most of which came towards the end of the season against sub-.500 teams.

The latest two victories against the Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins put the team in the right direction. Still, owner John Mara stated that he and Steve Tisch had been mulling the head coaching position over for weeks.

The two co-owners were reported as being divided on the state of the Giants, with Tisch in favor of a full-restructuring of the front-office. However, Mara advocated for their similar approach:

“Our relationship, contrary to what I read the other day, has never been better. We communicate on any issues regarding the team all the time. This has been a conversation we’ve been having for at least the last few weeks, anyway.”

With the head coach search underway, we can assume that the process will go quickly, considering how fast the Washington Redskins locked up Ron Rivera. Reports of Baylor stud HC Matt Rhule being a suitable option have bubbled to the surface.

Rhule, who completely revitalized the Baylor Football Program in three years, taking them from a 1-11 record to an 11-1 record this season, is considered to be a top candidate with the Giants. He has past connections with GM Dave Gettleman and would hold the vacant head coaching position with the Giants in high regard. Some have said that Rhule would consider it his “dream job.”

Just last season, the New York Jets took a stab at Rhule, who turned them down to remain with Baylor. However, reports have indicated that Baylor players wouldn’t be surprised if he walked in favor of the NFL, and he even told them as much. Having grown up in New York, the connection with Big Blue makes perfect sense, and his progressive eye would give the Giants an advantage moving forward.

Mara mentioned the increase in analytical depth this season, and Gettleman has been at the forefront, even after his “nerd” comment upon his inception in East Rutherford. Nonetheless, the beginning of a new age might be upon us, but it all starts with Gettleman, who, according to the two owners, needs to improve in free agency, especially with approximately $80 million available this offseason.

Could the Yankees keep J.A Happ in the starting rotation?

New York Yankees, J.A. Happ

One season is usually not the end-all, be-all for any given player, and that testament is no different for New York Yankees pitcher, J.A. Happ. The former Toronto Blue Jay was traded to the Yankees in 2018, where he posted an impressive 7-0 record with a 2.69 ERA and 1.052 WHIP.

However, last season, he resorted to negative ways, falling out of favor with manager Aaron Boone and plummeting into a seldom-used relief arm. Over 20 outings, Happ logged a 12-8 record with a 4.91 ERA and 1.295 WHIP. His inefficiency across the board was evident, and it has made him a candidate to be traded this offseason.

The Yankees starting pitching rotation is strong:

Signing Gerrit Cole to a nine-year, $324 million deal spelled the end for Happ, but if he would have performed well in 2019, you could justify keeping him and letting a different option go. The issue — Happ is set to earn $17 million next season, a number far too costly for the quality he produced in the most recent campaign.

General manager Brian Cashman is looking to open up more salary cap after the Cole signing, and Happ fits the bill. However, they may retain him.

As I mentioned before, Happ endured one terrible season and is already on the chopping block. Maybe Cashman should be looking to trade Giancarlo Stanton and his massive contract too, by that logic? The argument here is the depth of the starting rotation, but there are two unknowns to consider.

Both Domingo German and Jordan Montgomery are capable of being quality pitchers. Still, the former will likely miss a significant chunk of 2020, and the latter is one-year removed from any live-game action. There’s no guarantee Montgomery will prove useful in the coming season, as bouncing back from Tommy John surgery can be catastrophic for a pitcher, despite the injury becoming a formality in baseball.

If I were to place a bet, it would be that Cashman finds a new home for Happ, but with German and Montgomery entering the 2020 season with question marks on their heads, he could elect to take a safer route and retain Happ for the final year on his contract.