The Yankees’ offseason officially kicks off today after getting bounced from the post-season last night. Here’s the latest out of New York and the rest of the AL East:
- GM Brian Cashman acknowledged the evident fact that the Yankees weren’t quite “good enough” this year, as Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com writes. While things turned out better than many expected, says Heyman, there’s still plenty that will need to get done heading into 2016. Adding a significant starter is at the top of that list, he writes, though the team could also stand to fill out its relief corps. Otherwise, New York needs to keep plugging away at developing its young talent and focus in on a solution at second base, in Heyman’s estimation.
- Also taking a look at the Yankees‘ offseason needs is Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (Insider link). His priority list is somewhat different, especially at the top. For Bowden, adding a big, right-handed bat is the most important need.
- The Blue Jays are now the only AL East club left standing, but the offseason could only be days away if they fail to advance. Baseball teams are always looking ahead, of course, and Toronto is no different, as Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca writes. GM Alex Anthopoulos says he’s “already stressed out of [his] mind” dealing with playoff pressure, but has already begun working on possible winter moves. “We have a sense from July conversations of who might be available in trade, but there’ll be another wave of players that no one’s expecting as we talk to clubs that we’ll get a sense of. That can be exciting,” Anthopoulos said. “The off-season can come up fast on you, so you don’t end up shutting it down.”
- One notable factor in the Blue Jays‘ success this year was the durability of its pitching. As Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca writes, the organization changed its approach to handling arms after the 2013 season, switching out of an innings-based system. “Generally speaking, we try to watch our players, we don’t treat everybody the same, which is maybe what we did early on,” Anthopoulos explained. He went on to say that he is “pleased with the results” of the club’s experimentation, though he wasn’t too interested in sharing the details. As Davidi writes, subtle reductions of stress and careful monitoring of effort that goes beyond innings thrown appears to be at the base of the effort. There’s a ton of information in the piece, so you’ll want to give it a full read.