LADY AT THE BAT: Yankees Off-Season Continues, In Earnest, This Weekend

Friday, November 3, 2017

Yankees Off-Season Continues, In Earnest, This Weekend

Today is the Houston Astros victory parade, the last vestige of the 2017 MLB season. For the Yankees, of course, their own vestige took place in that same Texas city a few weeks ago. Their off-season began then, and continues, in earnest, this weekend.

It will be a slow trek, however, until a new manager is hired. Indeed, if you believe what Jon Heyman believes, it will be even slower than that. According to one of his tweets, the candidate list has 20-25 names! That would mean the Yankees didn't know they weren't bringing Girardi back until the day they made the decision (practically). I cannot believe that was the case.

Heyman also wrote an article which included another incident that could have pushed the Yankees toward their decision: Dellin Betances and Gary Sanchez complained about Girardi to Brett Gardner and Todd Frazier, who in turn took those complaints directly to the skipper. I can see Sanchez doing it, but there's no way Betances wouldn't take any grievances directly to Joe Girardi. Betances is a native New Yorker, and I don't mean he's from the suburbs. He grew up in New York City, living in several inner city neighborhoods, including my own stomping grounds, the Lower East Side. There's no way he'd be too afraid to approach Girardi by himself.

Anyway, hiring a manager is job one this off-season for the New York Yankees. Probably 1A would be Masahiro Tanaka, and whether or not he will opt out. He must make his intentions known by tomorrow. I think he will opt out. After the post-season he had, he would be stupid not to. Of course, that means he will likely no longer be a Yankee. Is Shohei Otani on his way? Maybe not, since there appears to be a money dispute. I say forget about him and keep grooming kids like Chance Adams.

When/if Tanaka opts opt out, he will be eligible to receive the qualifying offer on Monday. This year it's $17.4 million. CC Sabathia is eligible too, but could they not offer it to him and sign him for less? The folks over at River Ave Blues seem to think so. (Todd Frazier is not eligible for the qualifying offer, since he was traded in mid-season.)

Aaron Judge will formerly be announced as an AL Rookie Of The Year finalist on Monday. Really, why not just give him the award then? He probably will be announced as an AL MVP finalist on the same day. Luis Severino could be named a finalist for the AL Cy Young Award as well.

Lots of exciting things on the off-season horizon. Get your popcorn ready!

Update: I was wrong. Now that Tanaka is staying, what's in store for CC Sabathia? The Yankees are not as desperate now.  There is really only one rotation spot open (barring injuries). We shall see what happens.

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