Joe Girardi Rumors

Yankees Notes: Steinbrenner, Cashman, Girardi

The Yankees share the AL East lead with the Orioles after losing again to the Rays last night. It's been a rough week for the Yankees, who have lost five of six, but the team still has an 87.7% chance of making the postseason, according to Baseball Prospectus. Here’s the latest…

  • The Yankees have made it clear that they intend to reduce payroll below the $189MM luxury tax threshold by 2014. But Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports wonders if Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner will change his mind if the team misses the postseason this year. Promising young pitchers such as Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda and Manny Banuelos dealt with injuries in 2012, which will make it harder for GM Brain Cashman to build an affordable rotation.
  • Steinbrenner told Ken Davidoff of the New York Post that he's "frustrated" and still expects great things from his team. However, the jobs of Cashman and manager Joe Girardi aren't at stake, Davidoff reports. "No, not at all," Steinbrenner said.
  • Joel Sherman of the New York Post looks beyond the reasons often offered for the Yankees’ recent struggles — injuries and a lack of timely hitting — and suggests the team has an offensive attack that’s too one-dimensional and a rotation that surrenders too many home runs. New York’s starting pitchers have allowed 125 homers, more than any other MLB rotation.

Yankees Rumors: Girardi, Jeter, Rivera, Pettitte

The Yankees always have interesting offseasons, but this one figures to have a little extra something after the Rangers massively outplayed them in the ALCS. Three of their stalwart players, not to mention the manager, are scheduled to become free agents in a few weeks. Let's round up all the news that came out of Yankeeland following last night's loss, courtesy of Chad Jennings of The Journal News, MLB.com's Bryan Hoch, Mark Feinsand and Anthony McCarron of The Daily News, Marc Carig of The Star-Ledger, and Dom Amore of The Hartford Courant (Twitter link)… 

  • Re-signing manager Joe Girardi is "the first order of business," said GM Brian Cashman. Cashman also said he has yet to talk to ownership, which gives you an idea of how far along (or not) they are in the process.
  • Neither Mariano Rivera nor Derek Jeter would talk about their upcoming free agency after last night's loss. “This is where they belong,” said Cashman, and the general belief is that both will re-sign with the Yankees this winter.
  • Andy Pettitte's decision about whether to return for another year or retire will be based solely on his family, adding that he's already accomplished everything he wanted to in his career. Cashman said that they'll give Pettitte as much time as he needs. 
  • Yankee starting pitchers not named CC Sabathia posted a 5.91 ERA in the second half, so Cashman unsurprisingly said that starting pitching will be a priority in the offseason. They're expected to be major players for Cliff Lee, and will likely check in on Zack Greinke.

Rosenthal’s Full Count Video: Cubs, Valentine, Dunn

Ken Rosenthal's weekly Full Count video is up over at FOX Sports; here are your highlights:

  • The Cubs would be taking a risk if they choose to wait for the Yankees' season to end to interview Joe Girardi for their managerial opening. Given that six to ten managerial openings may arise, other candidates such as Eric Wedge and Bob Melvin (who's interviewing today), as well as their internal candidates (Mike Quade and Ryne Sandberg) could find work elsewhere.
  • Boston pitching coach John Farrell's contractual clause that prevents him from interviewing for managerial openings expires this offseason. Rosenthal says he's likely to interview with at least one club. He turned down a chance to interview with the Mariners years ago, but may be a fit once again.
  • Seattle, meanwhile, is also looking at Ted Simmons, Joey Cora, and others. They ultimately may prefer someone with more experience than Farrell.
  • Unsurprisingly, the Mets will hire a new GM before a new manager. Bobby Valentine could indeed return, but everyone involved would need to determine exactly what his responsibilities would be. Wally Backman could also be a candidate to manage the Mets, but his managerial experience comes in A-ball. If hired, the team would need to put a strong coaching staff in place around him.
  • Valentine is still a candidate for the Marlins' managerial opening, as is interim manager Edwin Rodriguez, Jim Fregosi, Tim Wallach, Bo Porter, and Simmons. 
  • There's still a chance that the Nationals could sign Adam Dunn to an extension, and the two sides will speak at least once more before the slugger hits the open market. At this point Dunn would require a deal at market value to return, which Rosenthal suggests could be four years, $60MM. As bad as his defense is, several metrics rate him better than Ryan Howard and Miguel Cabrera with the glove.


Odds & Ends: Dodgers, Overbay, Hawpe, Lilly, Marlins

Links for Friday…

  • Dylan Hernandez of The Los Angeles Times says (via Twitter) that Dodgers GM Ned Colletti hasn't asked anyone to waive their no-trade clause, which would include Manny Ramirez.
  • Lyle Overbay was pulled from tonight's game in the 6th inning, and Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com says there has been trade interest in the Jays' first baseman recently. However, Overbay left for precautionary reasons as he's been feeling under the weather according to MLB.com's Jordan Bastian (Twitter links).
  • Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports that Brad Hawpe chose the Rays over the Red Sox was because there was "a perceived better fit in terms of guaranteed playing time."
  • The Dodgers placed Ted Lilly on waivers today, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). ESPN.com's Jayson Stark reported yesterday that the Dodgers aren't inclined to trade Lilly.
  • Yahoo's Jeff Passan reports that Marlins president David Samsom directed millions of dollars to owner Jeffrey Loria. Samson has said publicly that he did no such thing, but Passan contests that "what Samson said was so provably false that it was akin to a 3-year-old trying to hide his peas under a pile of mashed potatoes."
  • Stephen Strasburg will probably need Tommy John surgery, according to the Nationals.
  • Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News says the idea of Joe Girardi leaving the Yankees for the Cubs this offseason is "pure insanity," since the Yankees will always provide Girardi with the chance to win.
  • However, Cubs sources confirmed to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times that the Cubs will pursue Girardi to manage, possibly as the leading candidate, if he is available.
  • Padres GM Jed Hoyer told MLB.com's Corey Brock that he and Red Sox GM Theo Epstein joked about the inevitable Adrian Gonzalez rumors last winter. As Brock shows, those rumors are a thing of the past for the first place Padres.

Girardi On the Outs in Florida

The Marlins’ front office appears to be feeding negative info to the press in an attempt to tarnish his reputation before he’s ultimately fired after the season.  The latest is a leak of a series of moves Girardi wanted to make. From David Hyde this morning:

"For instance, back in spring training, according to two Marlins sources, here’s some changes Girardi pushed for: Miguel Cabrera from third to first base; Dan Uggla not at second base but in left field; Josh Willingham at catcher, not Miguel Olivo; Alfredo Amezaga might not have made the team; and young pitchers like Ricky Nolasco and Josh Johnson would have started in the minor leagues."


According to Buster Olney, that kind of info could only have come from a front office leak.  If so, they’re doing a pretty poor job of taking Girardi down a peg.  Remember, it was Marlins’ upper management that screwed Girardi over by conducting an unexpected fire sale after his hiring.  He thought he signed on to manage a contender; he got 25 kids.  I didn’t hear much complaining.

Hindsight is 20/20, and those decisions did not look disastrous before the season began.  Is it really a bad thing to move Cabrera a bit further down the defensive spectrum?  He’s not Scott Rolen, either for defensive skills or effort. 

And the left field situation was a mess before the season began.  The Fish had Jeremy Hermida in right and open auditions for the rest of the outfield.  Whether Willingham could even handle left capably was a complete unknown.  And personally, I still like the idea of Willingham at catcher.  He’s hitting .265/.341/.470 this year.  That’s top-notch for a backstop, and average for a left fielder. Miguel Olivo has worked out behind the plate, but that doesn’t make Girardi a bad manager for considering other options. 

Alfredo Amezaga?  Who cares?  He’s versatile, but he’s 28 and hitting .266/.337/.345. 

It’s just plain unfair to suggest that starting Nolasco and Johnson in the minors would’ve been a bad decision.  Nolasco had shown zero ability to get out Triple A hitters.  Johnson skipped Triple A.  There’s nothing wrong with skipping that level, but it’s not bad for a player’s development to try it when he’s been less than dominant at Double A.

Girardi’s done a capable job managing a ridiculously inexperienced team.  He’s not entirely responsible for their success, but a ton of young guys have come along nicely under his watch.  That’s a feather in his cap.  I’d love to see the Cubs hire him.