New York Giants: Dave Gettleman likely to retire after season, claims report

The New York Giants were able to pick up a win this week against Philadelphia, but some fans may find another piece of recent news more exciting. Dave Gettleman is currently in an uncertain position thanks to the team’s poor start and overall under-performance with the roster he built, and next season, it looks more and more like Gettleman won’t be with the team at all. According to a report from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Gettleman is unlikely to continue into 2022.

The Giants may not have to fire Gettleman either – the report says that Gettleman himself choosing retirement is a likely outcome.

General manager Dave Gettleman, who has run the team’s personnel department since 2018, is unlikely to return in 2022, sources with knowledge of the situation and those with deep knowledge of the league say. With two first-round picks in the next draft and a critical offseason ahead, don’t be surprised if there is another voice making the final call alongside head coach Joe Judge.

The report also notes that Gettleman is 71 next season. And based on the circumstances, it’s not hard to see why Gettleman might choose retirement at that age. The job of the GM next season will include fixing one of the worst offensive lines in the league, answering the question of who will be the team’s long term quarterback, and dealing with a precarious salary cap situation.

It’s obviously a stressful job, and Gettleman is already under pressure due to his track record so far. At this point, walking away may be the more attractive option.

Finding the next New York Giants GM

Of course, if Gettleman does walk away, the Giants will have to pick a new GM and avoid the same poor outcome as last time.

Rapoport claims the team is likely to look at candidates closer to Joe Judge’s way of thinking, but also that the Giants have strong options in-house.

In the building, there would be some strong candidates to replace him, notably VP of football operations and assistant GM Kevin Abrams. Outside the building, the organization will likely look at some candidates with a background in the New England scouting system more in-line with Judge’s thinking, along with others.

For many who have followed the team’s decisions during the past decade, the idea of picking an in-house candidate will be alarming.

The team has consistently missed on high first round draft picks since their last Super Bowl win and, in general, struggled to continue winning with a more traditional approach. Even the hiring of Gettleman himself, a clearly unsuccessful move, has largely been blamed on the Giants’ bias towards candidates with a past history in the organization. It’s hard to imagine another hire with ties to the largely unsuccessful Giants organization receiving anything but an overwhelmingly negative reaction.

If there is a GM search this offseason, the franchise will stand at a crossroads with a couple of choices; go with the usual way of thinking and make a hire like Abrams, or follow in the model of some of the league’s more forward-thinking teams.

Popular sentiment right now leans heavily in favor of the latter option, but as usual, there’s scarce news at this point indicating which way John Mara and franchise ownership leans on the issue.

Knicks’ win over Hawks show Julius Randle can thrive in different role

Knicks Randle

The Atlanta Hawks loaded up on New York Knicks star Julius Randle again in their first meeting since their stirring win in last season’s playoffs. But this time, Randle knew better.

His line for the night — eight points on 3 of 14 shots, 11 rebounds, eight coming off the defensive glass, and four assists — didn’t tell the whole story.

Randle had his second straight single-digit scoring. But unlike last year’s first-round exit and last Saturday’s ugly loss to the Phoenix Suns, Randle did a lot of other stuff to impact winning.

Randle crashed the boards, set up good screens, played solid defense on switches, and made good decisions, especially in the second half when the Hawks threw double teams on him.

“When you’re that type of player, you’re going to command a lot of attention and I thought he made a lot of good plays for us. If a team overloads on you, you have to understand that there’s an advantage on the weak side. So we got to trust the pass. I thought he made a number of really good plays,” New York coach Tom Thibodeau said.

Randle could have ended up with more assists, but his teammates missed a chunk of the shots he generated. According to NBA.com’s tracking stats, Randle made 39 passes, 18 leading to a shot attempt. Alec Burks and Evan Fournier combined to shoot only 3 of 12 off Randle’s passes while Immanuel Quickley missed both.

RJ Barrett made 2 of 3, but only this shot was credited to Randle as an assist.

Randle was at his best in the third quarter. He complemented Burks’ 15-point explosion with six points on 3 of 6 shooting, grabbed four boards, and issued two assists, including a nifty pass to Jericho Sims. The Knicks avoided the dreaded third quarter of doom and outscored the Hawks, 34-24.

“I think when you play like that, everyone gets into a rhythm. It’s the right way to play,” Thibodeau said.

With Kemba Walker resting and Derrick Rose still nursing an ankle sprain, Randle returned to his last season’s role as a point forward alongside Burks in the starting lineup.

Burks, who is comfortable either on or off the ball, thrived, and it created more synergy in the starting lineup as both RJ Barrett and Fournier also got going offensively.

Burks had a season-high 23 points on 17 shots, seven rebounds, and three assists in his first start this season. Fournier added 20 points on 7 of 13 shooting while Barrett broke out of a 10-game slump with 15 points on 6 of 11 shooting.

“With Julius, even if he’s not scoring a lot, he’s doing so much out there,” Barrett said. “Just having him out there draws the attention of the whole defense. They got to focus on it and make it easier for all of us to play. So when we’re playing like that, hopefully, we can get him some easy buckets as well.”

Burks made 12 passes to Randle, which led to three attempts at the basket. But Randle missed all of them while he only made 1 of 5 off Barrett’s passes.

Despite the Hawks loading up on him, Randle still got some good looks at the basket that didn’t go in.

Four of his nine misses were wide open, with the closest defender from 4 to 6 feet away, according to NBA.com tracking stats. He was 2 for 7 on tight shots or with a defender 2 to 4 feet away and made 1 of 3 very tight shots (the defender is 0-2 feet away).

All three of his made field goals came within 10 feet from the basket. He was 0 for 3 from catch and shoot and missed all four pullups.

But even when his shots were not falling, Randle made his presence felt in a big way. The win in Atlanta showed how deep the Knicks are. But more than that, it also showed that Randle could thrive in a different role.

Forget about being LeBron James lite. A Draymond Green-type of role in a team loaded with gunners is better-suited for Randle. He can set the tone defensively with his versatility, especially on switches, and still be the offensive engine that keeps the Knicks chugging forward with his vision.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

New York Yankees Corey Kluber reportedly now with the Tampa Bay Rays

corey kluber, new york yankees

The New York Yankees will now have to swallow a move made by the Tampa Bay Rays that may come back to haunt them in 2022.  Ken Rosenthal of the Atlantic has reported that this morning starting pitcher Corey Kluber reached an agreement on a one-year deal for the MLB 2022 season.

Corey Kluber for the Yankees in 2021 put together a good season, even pitching a no-hitter before injuring his shoulder. He compiled a 3.83 ERA and 1.34 WHIP with 82 strikeouts in 80 innings across 16 starts.

Injuries have become a major factor for Kluber, when he was hired on a one-year deal with the Yankees, he hadn’t pitched for almost two years. In 2020 he pitched only one inning for the Texas Rangers after a shoulder injury ended the season for the 35-year-old starter.

Now he will continue to revive his career, but with the Tampa Bay Rays. It is likely that the Yankees will have to face him three or four times this coming season.

Knicks’ RJ Barrett comes to Julius Randle’s defense for lack of scoring production

rj barrett, julius randle, new york knicks

When the New York Knicks signed All-Star power forward Julius Randle to a four-year, $117 million extension, they expected him to be their primary leader, taking over games offensively and putting them in a position to win. However, Randle has been wildly inconsistent this season, posting -3.3 +/-, with 19.2 points, 5.0 assists, and 10.2 rebounds per game.

Overall, Randle has had his fair share of ups and downs this year, posting just eight points in the Knicks’ win over the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday evening. Over his last five games, Randle has showcased elite scoring capabilities and insufficient production at the same time. On November 21 against the Chicago Bulls, he earned 34 points.

The Knicks need a more reliable and consistent version of their All-Star, who in the month of November is shooting 32.9% from three-point range. On the year, he’s only hitting 33% of his shots from deep, far below his 41% clip from just a year ago. His inefficiency from deep has hurt his scoring production, despite his attempts seeing a slight increase compared to the 2020–21 campaign.

However, Julius has made an impact in different ways, specifically with his rebounding, matching his 10.2 from last season. Nonetheless, head coach Tom Thibodeau still sees positives from his game and what he’s able to contribute.

“I thought he made a lot of good plays for us,” Thibodeau said after the win against Atlanta.

Thibodeau was straight into the point with his review of Randle’s play. Whether he’s willing to say it or not, the veteran forward needs to be more consistent with his shooting and use his physicality to open up opportunities for his teammates. Randle isn’t playing being selfish at times, forcing isolation shots and trying to do too much on his own when he can curate higher probability attempts by just passing the ball one extra time.

Third-year guard RJ Barrett came to his defense as well, stating that he does a lot more for the team than just score points.

“Even if he’s not scoring a lot,” RJ Barrett added, “he’s doing so much out there.”

Barrett has a point, as Randle does a lot of the dirty work other players are not capable of doing. Posting double-digit rebounds per game is a serious statistic that shouldn’t be overlooked. Without his consistent bounding, the Knicks wouldn’t be in the top-15 in defensive rebounds this season. He’s also seen an astronomical increase in his block rate, more than doubling compared to last year.

It was anticipated that Randle would see a bit of natural regression after having his best season, but he’s still making a solid impact for a team that desperately needs him to be at the top of his game. The burden has gotten a bit heavier on his shoulders with the Knicks’ complementary players failing to make a significant impact, but the play Obi Toppin has convinced Thibodeau to utilize him more, especially for his transition abilities.

Toppin is having a steadfast second season in the NBA, averaging 8.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, 0.8 blocks, and shooting 52.9% from the field. He’s scored double-digit points in three of his last five games, playing a significant role off the bench. Interestingly, the second Thibodeau pulled Toppin from the game against Atlanta, the double-digit lead shrunk instantaneously with Randle on the floor.

Randle has struggled in the month of November to find a balanced game between his offense and defense, but his compliments haven’t done him any favors with lackluster positioning and ball movement. Oddly, I think the catalyst for New York is energy — the second team pushes the defense, creating opportunity in transition with fewer defenders when the starters seem to slow things down and allow opposing teams to close out shots. The up-tempo game isn’t necessarily sustainable, but the energy has been looking with the starters the past few weeks.

Yankees lose free-agent pitcher to rivals, who always seem to make the right moves

New York Yankees, Corey Kluber

The New York Yankees were willing to spend $25 million for just one year worth of Justin Verlander as of a few weeks ago, but since he signed with the Houston Astros on an extension, the Bombers have shifted their attention to other prospects. However, one of their own free agents this off-season has signed a one-year deal with an AL East rival.

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Corey Kluber will sign a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Rays:

Free-agent RHP Corey Kluber in agreement with Rays on one-year deal, pending physical, sources tell The Athletic. Kluber, 35, missed more than three months with right shoulder strain before rejoining Yankees in late August. Finished with 3.83 ERA in 80 IP, including no-hitter.

Tampa Bay always seems to make the right decisions, and with the 35-year-old Kluber coming off a down here with the Yanks, pitching in just 16 games and 80 innings, they’re likely getting him at a reduced price. Kluber posted a 3.83 ERA this past year, hosting a 9.23 strikeout rate per nine and a 42.5% ground-ball rate.

Given he is healthy, Kluber is still capable of being an adequate pitcher, even featuring a no-hitter against the Texas Rangers on May 20.

The Yankees might regret not offering him a minor deal for his services, despite his injury history. Looking at his pitches, Kluber’s fastball dropped to just 90.6 mph, the lowest of his career. He threw his fastball just 29.7% of the time, relying heavily on his cutter, curveball, and change-up. Every single one of his pitches saw a significant decline in velocity, but his curve is still adequate, giving him some efficiency.

Clearly, the Rays viewed this as an opportunity to gain a pitcher at the end of his career with just a bit of gas left in the tank to offer in a back-of-the-rotation role.

The Yankees desperately still need to find a new starter to inject into the rotation, but they haven’t been very active in the market as they wait for the December 1 lockout.

Yankees: Coach finds news home, blockbuster trade scenario for speedy outfielder

byron buxton, yankees

Top New York Yankees links, November 28:

Angels Planning To Hire Phil Nevin As Third Base Coach – MLB Trade Rumors

The Yankees immediately fired 3rd base coach Phil Nevins following the conclusion of the 2021 season and, for good reason, telling Aaron Judge to round the base baths just to get thrown out at home against Boston in the Wild Card. Nevins was loved by the players, bringing energy and intensity to the team, but his decision-making at times was reckless, forcing the front office’s hand on a firing.

Nevins spent the last four seasons with the boys in pinstripes but will now join the Los Angeles Angels as their 3rd base coach.

Yankees could trade for star outfielder in blockbuster deal – Pinstripe Alley

The Yankees have been connected to a variety of different trade rumors the past few weeks, and the latest revolves around outfielder Byron Buxton.

Buxton is a luxury, projected to make $7.3 million in 2022. As a speedy outfielder with All-Star potential, Buxton has only played 355 out of 708 possible games since 2017. This past season, Buxton finished with a .306 average, 19 homers, 50 runs, and 32 RBIs over 254 plate appearances. Buxton was an absolute monster in the batter’s box, but his health history undoubtedly creates a few questions.

The Yankees would likely stay away from him based on his reliability issues.

Yankees make the most sense for Corey Seager – MLB

The Yankees love to spend money on big names, and they desperately need a shortstop who can potentially shift to third base in the future. According to Will Leitch of MLB.com, the Yankees make the most sense for star shortstop Corey Seager. Considering Seager is a lefty, he would likely be able to increase his home-run totals with a short right porch in Yankee Stadium.

Seager fits the mold exactly with what the Yankees are looking for — solid defense and awesome power paired with contacting. In addition, they would avoid any disgruntled fans in a Carlos Correa signing. Staying away from Houston Astros players might be a solid idea.

New York Yankees news all in one place, what you need to know

Josh Breaux, yankees

Yankees could lose key prospect:

The New York Yankees made several moves to protect key prospects from the Rule 5 draft, but the bottom line is that they couldn’t protect all the players they might have wanted to, one of them is up and coming catcher Josh Breaux.

Losing a pivotal prospect to the Rule 5 draft can be serious, even devastating when they lose one to a division rival. Last season in the draft, they lost Garrett Whitlock, and that came back to haunt them in the season and Wild Card, that the Yankees lost to the Boston Red Sox. He became Boston’s best bullpen piece in 2021, posting a stellar 1.96 ERA in 46 regular-season appearances. Whitlock’s dominance continued in the playoffs, with a 2.16 ERA in five appearances.

The 24-year-old Breaux was a second-round pick of the Yankees in the 2018 draft by the Yankees. Since then, he has been making a name for himself. Here is MLB Pipeline’s scouting report:

Breaux has a lofty ceiling but is a long ways from reaching it. His well-above-average bat speed and strength coupled with an extremely aggressive approach give him the raw pop to deliver 35 or more homers per season.

Breaux is enticing because he has well above-average raw power and an arm that was once clocked up to 100 mph when he took the mound. Other than that, he is very similar to catcher Gary Sanchez, both in build as well defensive and hitting skills. Due to his progression through the minors, the Yankees won’t want to lose Breaux.

Who will be non-tendered?

The Yankees have three players that may be considered to be non-tendered. Miguel Andujar, Luke Voit, and Gary Sanchez. The Yankees already have rid themselves of three other players that they believe have little returning value going forward. Clint Frazier, Tyler Wade, and Rougned Odor have already been shown the door through assignment.

Of the three, Miguel Andujar is the most likely to be non-tendered, as the Yankees really don’t have a place for him to play. After losing his job at third to Gio Urshela, the Yankees have tried him in the outfield and even at first base. Unfortunately for Andujar, he underperformed.

CBA draws closer, an actual agreement doesn’t

The Baseball Collective Bargaining Agreement deadline is this coming Wednesday, and the sides are still far apart. Commissioner Rob Manfred stated last week that a lockout is not out of the picture. It’s all about the money, how much the players get and how much the owners get to keep.

One of the most significant sticking points seems to revolve around young players being paid more and earlier than the previous agreement allowed. The owners have pretty much had their own way with the players in the last several agreements, and the players are determined to get the upper hand this time.

Yankees just watching, Mets taking action

If you browse social media, Yankee fans are getting very frustrated with Brian Cashman seemingly sitting on his hands as other clubs are making moves to improve their teams, some of them big splashes.

What is most concerning to fans is that the cross-town New York Mets went on a Black Friday spending spree. The Mets’ new GM, Billy Eppler, picked up infielder and switch hitter Eduardo Escobar to a two-year deal reportedly worth $20 million, according to MLB Network. They signed first baseman and outfielder Mark Canha to a two-year deal worth $26.5 million, according to the New York Post. And late Friday night, they agreed to a four-year deal with outfielder Starling Marte knocking him out as a Yankee target at center.

Centerfield is still a question, Taylor or Buxton?

With Brett Gardner gone, at least for the moment, and the question looming, can Aaron Hicks remain healthy? Centerfield remains an area to be addressed.

Hicks, with the Yankees for six years, has only played in 100 or more games in two of those years. Last season was dreadful, with him only playing a few months due to a wrist injury and surgery, demonstrating the need for some solid backup in center.

The Yankees have reserves, but with the loss of Gardner,  Greg Allen, and Tim Locastro, it only leaves Joey Gallo and Aaron Judge to back up Hicks. Both of them are much better performers at the corners. Chris Taylor has often been mentioned, but in the trade market, the Yankees could go after Byron Buxton of the Twins. Possibly not a priority, but the Yankees clearly need help.

Buxton is an intriguing fit at center. His defense is not in question. This season, the dynamic, two-way center fielder hit .306/.358/.647 with 19 home runs, 50 runs, 32 RBI, and nine steals in just 254 plate appearances. Add to that his contact hitting from both sides of the plate, and the Yankees have the perfect fit if they want to trade for a quality centerfielder.

In other news of interest

After the 2021 season, the Yankees fired third base coach Phil Nevin. In one of the few moves the Yankees have made, they replaced him with ex-Mets manager Luis Rojas. The Los Angeles Angels have since hired Nevin as their new third-base coach replacing Brian Butterfield.

MLB Network’s Jon Heyman has reported that the Yankees are interested in the Baltimore Orioles center fielder Cedric Mullins, It is also reported that the O’s will listen to offers. If the Yankees are interested, they won’t be alone. The Phillies, Rangers, Astros, and Giants are also interested in the O’s star.

If the New York Yankees are still interested in superstar Carlos Correa, they will have to fight for him, as the Detroit Tigers seem to have the edge on procuring his services.  It would also match up Correa with his old cheating scandal manager A.J. Hinch.

Should Yankees jump in on unexpected shortstop free agent target?

javier baez, mets, yankees

New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is waiting patiently for the shortstop market to settle, especially with astronomical prices on every player. None of the top options have currently landed with a new team, as the expectation is that they will be a bit cheaper in the coming weeks, especially if deals commence after the December 1 lockout.

The Yankees have had success being patient in the past, and with Corey Seager and Carlos Correa still on the market, they don’t have to rush to find a solution at shortstop anytime soon. However, they could target an unexpected prospect, Javier Baez, who spent the 2021 season with the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets.

Baez hit a total of .265 with 31 homers and 87 RBIs this past season, including 18 stolen bases. Having struck out 184 times, good for a 33.6% strikeout rate, he undoubtedly fits the Yankees’ mold and what they prefer in their hitters.

Cashman loves sluggers with potential, and considering Baez has hit double-digit homers in five of his last six seasons, his services may be going under the radar for the Bombers.

With an adequate average and decent contact hitting, Baez shouldn’t be ruled out of a potential deal with a Yankees. The 28-year-old infielder is currently in talks with the Detroit Tigers, but the Mets are also involved, waiting for him to receive a price and an opportunity to match. However, the Yankees’ crosstown rivals just spent over $120 million on Friday, adding several new players.

The Yankees haven’t spent a dollar yet on a high-profile free agent, but Baez offers luxurious offense and solid defending. He featured primarily at second base for the Mets this past season but at shortstop for Chicago, recording a .954 fielding percentage with 18 errors (at SS). His defense is lackluster at short, which could be a deterrent for the Yankees who are moving on from Gleyber Torres for that reason exactly.

Baez seems to be a better fit at second base, but if they still view him as a player with an upward trajectory on defense, he could be a potential suitor in the Bronx. Nonetheless, if Cashman is willing to spend big on an acquisition, he’s better off finding a better defensive player like Correa or Seager, who pair with even better offensive capabilities. Both are looking for different types of deals and reassurances, so the Yankees have to be careful with the player they ultimately select.

Should the Knicks be reducing Kemba Walker’s minutes?

knicks, kemba walker

The New York Knicks played a dominant game against the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday evening, and one interesting factor that led to a more prominent defensive performance was the loss of point guard Kemba Walker, who elected to skip out on the game due to maintenance.

After the team was blown out by the Pheonix Suns, Walker indicated that needed to grow, and his squad did just that with him watching from the bench.

“It’s a great learning experience,’’ Walker said after the blowout loss to the Suns. “It’s a great team out there. We need to grow as a team.’’

Kemba has struggled considerably this season, scoring a career-low 11.7 points, 3.1 assists, 2.6 rebounds, and shooting 42.9% from the field. Overall, Walker has been a shell of his former self, primarily due to a lack of chemistry and experience with his teammates. However, he’s posting the worst +/- of his career at -6.8, as the Knicks have lost their identity at times as an elite defensive team.

However, with Walker riding the bench against Atlanta, the Knicks relied heavily on some of their youth players, including Immanuel Quickley and Quentin Grimes. Both played fantastic press defense, getting in the face of their assignments and forcing tough shooting opportunities. This led to just 90 total points from Atlanta, a team that hadn’t scored less than 100 since November 14 against the Milwaukee Bucks, when their seven-game win streak started.

The question needs to be asked: Are the Knicks better one Kemba Walker isn’t on the floor as often?

In the absence of the veteran PG, Alec Burks stepped in to fill his role, posting 23 points with the starting five, hitting 7-of-17 shots from the field and 4-of-7 shots from three-point range. Burks also contributed seven rebounds and three assists. Overall, he was far better on offense and provided adequate defense in combination, which helped the Knicks post a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter.

In the month of November, Walker has started in 12 games, in which the Knicks have lost eight, winning five. New York has won despite his lackluster offensive efficiency, posting double digits in the points category just once in those five wins. He’s also shot just 29.6% from three-point range in November, an insufficient number that isn’t a reflection of his regular-season total, which sits at 41.3%. Walker started off extremely hot in October, posting double-digit points in every single game, but has since tapered off in a significant way.

There’s an argument to be made that Immanuel Quickley should be earning more minutes, which should be taken away from Walker’s playing time. Looking at Quickley, he offers more as a defensive player and has also been extremely efficient this month. In November, Quickley is hitting 45.5% of his field-goal attempts and 43.8% from three-point range, recording double-digit points in 8-of-14 contests.

In fact, over his last five games, he has recorded a low of nine, which came against Atlanta on Saturday evening, and a high of 16 against Phoenix. Quickley has also been far more efficient as a facilitator, recording seven assists against Atlanta in the win.

Do you think that Walker should forfeit minutes to Quickley in the future? Comment here!