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.

New York Giants May Pay For Half Measures In Rebuilding

New York Giants, Dave Gettleman

The New York Giants aren’t going to go all the way with their rebuild process.

Head coach Pat Shurmur was fired on Monday, of course – to the relief of many fans. It’s not that Shurmur was a bad person or a coach that players didn’t like playing for, but as far as on the field results, Shurmur also failed to deliver in two years and didn’t look better at most points than the much maligned previous coach he’d been brought in to replace.

The Giants weren’t going to win with Shurmur. Making the move to replace him is one of the first steps in getting back to a winning record and eventually the playoffs. But while Shurmur was replaced, General Manager Dave Gettleman escaped with his job despite being the one behind constructing the roster that Shurmur coached this year.

For whatever reason, the one that led the team was fired but not the one that constructed it.

Sure, there have been some good things that have come out of Gettleman being the General Manager. The most notable would be the selection of Saquon Barkley. But there’s also been a lot of bad. The secondary isn’t better than it was when Gettleman took over, perhaps even taking a step back, trading up for DeAndre Baker and having a general trend of acquiring too many defensive line players look like bad moves, giving Nate Solder a large contract has turned out to be a mistake, and Gettleman’s veteran signings have been panned by fans.

And as for the biggest moves Gettleman has made, drafting Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones, it’s hard to give all of the credit to the General Manager for them. Sure, Gettleman selected Barkley. But that was the expected move for a team that had a chance to take the best player in the draft. It wasn’t a case of a General Manager making a tough call and taking a risk on a dark horse player who turns out to be as good as Barkley.

It was a good selection… But does it really say that much about the skill of the executive who made it, when compared to other executives? Most other General Managers in the same position would have done the same thing.

As for Jones, it can’t be said one way or another if he’ll turn into a franchise quarterback that looks good on Gettleman’s resume. Despite the early hype, his fumbles and interceptions do mean it will take some more time before truly giving him that title.

What’s already set in stone, though, are the numbers 5-11 and 4-12: the records of the New York Giants over the past couple of years. While it’s usually impossible to have a near immediate turnaround, the little improvement through Gettleman’s first two offseasons should concern the organization more than it has. As it stands now, it doesn’t look like the Giants are set to become the winning team in the third year of a rebuild.

Rather, based on Gettleman’s record so far with free agents, they look on pace to use their increased cap space to bring in a number of players who will likely attract some attention during the offseason but when things are said and done, will end up on their way out of the team in a couple of years after not making nearly enough actual impact on results.

You might not see things change too much for the Giants in 2020. Why? Because they’re taking half measures in a rebuild once again, just like firing Coughlin and keeping Reese in the past – something that in hindsight, a lot of fans would probably have liked the Giants to reverse.

The current leader of the team, the coach, is gone now and will be replaced this offseason. With the same architect at the top, though, can one really argue that change will happen?

New York Yankees: A Decade Without A Ring

New York Yankees

For just the second time since the 1910’s, the New York Yankees failed to win a World Series during a decade. The team won their first World Series in 1923, and the only other decade where they didn’t win one was the 1980’s.

In 2009, the team won their 27th ring, also in the inaugural season of the new Yankee Stadium. The 10 years following resulted in some success, just no World Series.

In 2010, the team swept the Minnesota Twins for the second consecutive year in the ALDS before falling to the Texas Rangers in the ALCS. A year later, the team lost their ALDS series to the Detroit Tigers in five games.

Come 2012, the Yankees beat the Orioles in five games in the ALDS before being manhandled by the Tigers in a four game sweep. That was when Derek Jeter broke his ankle in game one, the series spiraling downhill from there.

Mid Decade Struggles

The next two years were rough for the Yankees. Guys were getting older and battling injuries. Mariano Rivera retired in 2013 and Jeter retired in 2014.

With a bit of a younger team in 2015, the team qualified for the AL Wild Card game but lost to the Houston Astros 3-0.

The Yankees seemed to get a bit older again in 2016, and ended up going into a mini-rebuild and selling at the trade deadline. They shipped off guys like Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller for prospects.

A Fresh Identity

In 2017, the Yankees shocked all of baseball and qualified for the Wild Card game in a year where they were expected to go about .500. The team was young and very inexperienced, but that didn’t seem to matter.

They won the Wild Card game, and had an incredible comeback against the Cleveland Indians in the ALDS. They were down 2-0, but proceeded to win the next three games to advance to the ALCS against the Astros.

Against the Astros, the team went down 2-0 but won all three games in New York to take a 3-2 series lead. However, the Astros won games six and seven to eliminate the Yankees.

In 2018, the team got back to 100 wins but got eliminated by the Red Sox in the ALDS.

Now enter 2019, the last chance to win a World Series this decade. Despite their best record in 10 years, they failed again to get past the Astros in the ALCS following an ALDS sweep of the Twins.

Turning the page to 2020 and a new decade, the Yankees are hoping to win a few rings to make up for lost time.

New York Yankees: Diving behind the scenes to sneak a peak at Aaron Boone’s life

New York Yankees, Aaron Boone

Did you know that the manager of the New York Yankees is married to a former Playboy Playmate of the month? Or that the couple is parenting two adopted children? It’s true.

Aaron Boone was born into baseball.  He played for the Reds, Yankees,  Indians, Marlins, Nationals, and Astros during his career from 1997 through 2009. He is the son of catcher and manager Bob Boone, brother of All-Star and 4 time Gold Glove winner Brett Boone. Plus he’s the grandson of former ML player Matt Boone.

Given that background, who would think that this man would fail as the new manager of the Yankees? Plus the fact that he hit the walk-off homer in the 2003 Yankees ALCS that everyone remembers? No one would.

Boonie was also employed by ESPN from 2010 through 2017 as a game analyst and color commentator. Remember him?

Aaron Boone was hired by the Yankees organization to become their 33rd manager last year. Given the qualifications outlined previously, I was skeptical. Who is this guy who is married to a Playboy Playmate and hit a huge homer for the Yankees? How can he effectively manage the Yankees?

But he has more than proven himself. Aaron Boone has made himself the voice of the Yankees through his “we’re the ******** savages in the box.” Who would have thought that he would have stood up for his team as he did?

Who would have thought that he could manage his way through the injury-plagued Yankees to the tune of the most on the IL at 30 players? The Major League record is 28 by the Dodgers in 2018. However, Boone managed his way through this. And won 103 games in the process.

Aaron Boone. Father. Player. Manager of the New York Yankees. He’s the best.

Who will be the odd man out in the New York Mets’ rotation?

Some teams, as currently constructed, have to scramble to find three or four solid starting pitching options. However, the New York Mets made sure that happened to them.

They entered the offseason with the certainty that Zack Wheeler was going to walk. With four starters in Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman and Steven Matz, they knew they had to go to the open market to secure the services of a fifth starter.

They did that, and then some. They signed Michael Wacha and Rick Porcello within hours of distance between each other. That gave the Mets enviable depth, but also, a notorious problem.

Both Wacha and Porcello are established veterans that signed to be starters, not relievers. In fact, there are reports suggesting that both were promised starting gigs. Given that it is unlikely that the Mets deploy a six-man rotation, who will be the odd man out?

The New York Mets’ ace

If there is a safe spot for someone in the rotation, it is for Jacob deGrom. A two-time Cy Young winner, he has been the league’s best pitcher in the last two years.

Mets’ fans saw deGrom finish with a 11.25 K/9 and 1.94 BB/9 this season, not to mention his 2.43 ERA. He put up a 7.0 WAR season after finishing with 9.0 in 2018.

The sure things

Noah Syndergaard and Marcus Stroman, if they are healthy, will be in the Mets’ rotation. Period. The former is a strikeout artist with a powerful arsenal that is coming from a somewhat down 2019, but has dominated in the past. He finished with a 4.28 ERA and a 3.60 FIP in 197.2 frames last season.

Stroman, meanwhile, doesn’t rely on strikeouts to be successful. Instead, he uses a deep arsenal to produce groundouts at very high rates (53.7% in 2019.) Last season, he had a 3.22 ERA (3.72 FIP) between the Blue Jays and Mets. He is a rock-solid, mid-rotation performer.

Three guys for two spots to round out the Mets’ staff

Stephen Matz (4.21 ERA, 4.60 FIP in 160.1 innings) Michael Wacha (4.76 ERA, 5.61 FIP in 126.2 innings with the Cardinals) and Rick Porcello (5.52 ERA, 4.76 FIP in 174.1 frames with the Red Sox) will vie for the fourth and fifth spots.

Matz was a solid back-end starter for the Mets and is “homegrown,” but Wacha and Porcello, especially the latter, will want to start. The former Cardinal has lost some of the luster that made him a top prospect, while the former Cy Young winner is well-removed from his spectacular 2016 season (22-4, 3.15 ERA.)

Wacha will make a base salary of $3 million plus incentives, while Porcello will be paid $10 million with further add-ons. Porcello may occupy one of the two spots left for these three arms, leaving Matz and Wacha to compete for the fifth starter job.

Spring Training will tell us a lot. For now, it would appear that Wacha will pitch out of the bullpen if the season started today. Unless there is a trade, of course, or an injury to one of the Mets‘ more stable starters.

What the Yankees Should Learn from the Mets About Josh Hader

New York Yankees, Josha Hader

The Yankees offseason is now squarely rooted in relief pitcher, Josh Hader, of the Milwaukee Brewers. Hader is going to come with a hefty price tag, and, no, it’s not the generic “Yankee tax.” It’s “The Brewers know what they have, and they know everyone wants him. Why wouldn’t they ask for a king’s ransom for a guy who’s trade value is at ITS HIGHEST?!”

The Mets Went for Hader. Here’s What The Brewers Wanted

The Mets reportedly made a play for Josh Hader. The Brewers wanted first baseman Dominic Smith (.282/.355/.525 with 11 home runs in 89 games last season), Steven Matz (who plays a crucial part in the Mets rotation moving forward), and two “highly regarded prospects.” Could have been Ronny Mauricio, could have been Brett Baty, could have been Fransisco Alvarez, it could have been anyone. But with that kind of offer on the table, the Mets (understandably) went with Dellin Betances. 

Yankees Fans Should Take Note of This

The Brewers weren’t interested in Edwin Diaz, whom the Mets would probably like to unload after his abysmal 2019. They didn’t go for mediocre players who are, at best, average or over the hill. They didn’t go for guys who could be on the big club but aren’t because there isn’t room. They went for guys who are both A) Highly regarded, and B) Major League Ready.

That merely means offering Miguel Andujar, or Gio Urshela won’t cut it. And they won’t take Clint Frazier either because, with an outfield of Yelich, Cain, and former Yankee Ben Gamel, Frazier would downgrade their outfield. JA Happ wouldn’t interest them; they’d want Devi Garcia to go with the third baseman of their choice. They’d also want Johnathan Loaisiga, or Albert Abreu, as well as Estevan Florial, or Clarke Shmidt. 

The Brewers want a haul for one relief pitcher. We’re stocked to the gils with talent, and trading for a player shouldn’t require giving it all up. The Yankees realistically don’t need Hader. His effectiveness may plummet due to the fact he’s a National League pitcher, and his capabilities won’t fool American League hitters as much. 

If the Yankees need Hader, wait until mid-March to pull this trade. Striking when the value of a player is low makes more sense than giving up the farm for a relief arm that’s not a necessity. This only portrays the desperation of oner, Hal Steinbrenner.