Joe Girardi Rumors
Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner commented on contract talks with second baseman Robinson Cano to David Lennon of Newsday on his way out of the MLB owners meetings today in Manhattan, saying, "We've had several conversations with [agent] Brodie [Van Wagenen], just as we did with [former agent] Scott [Boras] and a lot of it is procedural. But we're going to continue in the weeks to come to work through things and try to come to an agreement." Steinbrenner later added, "We want him to end his career here." Cano has sat atop our 2014 Free Agents Power Rankings since the beginning. More on the Yankees:
- Can a team with a $228MM payroll earn the designation "scrappy?" Steinbrenner used that adjective, expressing admiration for the Yankees' young players and cheap veterans that have allowed them to successfully weather injuries to key players so far. As for getting below the $189MM luxury tax threshold next year, Steinbrenner said, "The math works to me if the young kids do their job. It has to happen. And I've been saying that for over a year now -- that's the goal we're going to push for. But again, I'll reiterate what I always reiterate, which is we're always going to field a championship-caliber team. That's what the fans expect. That's what we expect. It's going to happen. Not going to win every year. Nobody ever does. But we're going to do what we can to field the best team we can."
- "We're going to sit down and figure out what to do when this season ends, hopefully the beginning of November," said Steinbrenner in regard to manager Joe Girardi and his expiring contract.
- Yankees outfielder Brennan Boesch says he left his agent, Scott Boras, and returned to his old agent, Van Wagenen of CAA, according to David Waldstein of the New York Times on May 1st. Boesch will be arbitration eligible for the first time after this season and can hit the open market after the 2015 season. Stay on top of the representation for over 1,000 players with MLBTR's agency database.
- "He’s a good guy and I think he can be a really good player, too. He’ll be back. I just wanted to let him know that it’s up to him," Yankees infielder Jayson Nix told Waldstein, recounting a conversation with the recently-designated Chris Nelson.
- The shift from center to left field shouldn't damage Curtis Granderson's free agent value much, opined multiple executives in speaking with Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. Granderson isn't concerned, saying, "Not an issue for me at all. Just want to help this team in any way I can. If they need me to go back to shortstop like I did in high school, I’ll do that."
Yankees co-owner Hal Steinbrenner talked to reporters (including Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal) about a number of topics related to the club. Here are some of the hot stove-related items....
- The Yankees haven't had any "real significant dialogue" with Robinson Cano and agent Scott Boras about a contract extension. Cano is a free agent next winter and said last month that he won't give the Yankees a "hometown discount" on a new deal.
- There also doesn't appear to have been any talks between the Yankees and manager Joe Girardi about a new contract. Girardi is heading into the last year of his three-year deal with New York. The Yankees' reluctance to discuss contracts before they expire is well-known, as Steinbrenner explains that he is "not a big believer in extensions," though "there are exceptions to every rule."
- The team's quest to get under the $189MM payroll limit by 2014 to avoid a major luxury tax payment isn't just a short-term goal, but rather about "being fiscally responsible" in general. "I believe that you don’t have to have a $220 million payroll to win a world championship, and you shouldn’t have to," Steinbrenner said.
- That said, Steinbrenner also left some room that the team's payroll could grow next year if the Yankees' young players don't perform as expected: "All I can continue to tell everyone is our commitment to the fans is never going to change. We will always field a championship-caliber team. Is our goal 189 [million] next year? Yes. But only if I’m convinced that the team I see we put together is a championship-caliber team."
- Steinbrenner is pleased with the team's offseason, noting that Andy Pettitte, Ichiro Suzuki, Hiroki Kuroda were all re-signed and Kevin Youkilis was brought into the fold. New York isn't done its winter shopping, as Steinbrenner said the Yankees "need another bat." The Yankees have recently been linked to free agent outfielder Scott Hairston and Nationals first baseman Michael Morse.
Yankees president Randy Levine addressed the team’s age, injuries, leadership and prospective free agents in a comprehensive interview with Barry Bloom of MLB.com. Here are some more highlights from his interview with Bloom:
- The Yankees aim to avoid the $189MM luxury tax threshold by 2014, Levine confirmed. “There are tremendous financial incentives to do it,” he said. “In addition to not paying the tax, there are tens of millions of dollars in revenue sharing rebates that will come back to teams like the Yankees if they stay under the threshold.”
- The Yankees must get younger to continue competing, Levine said. Baseball’s new collective bargaining agreement places additional importance on player development and changes to the CBA could also lead to a “very different free-agent market,” Levine said.
- Joe Girardi and his staff have done a “good job,” Levine said. He declined to discuss Girardi’s long-term future with the team, saying only that discussions would take place at the appropriate time.
- Levine expressed confidence in general manager Brian Cashman and the team’s other front office executives. “I think everybody is great.”
- The Yankees are doing “very, very well” from a business standpoint, Levine said. He made it clear that the Steinbrenner family has no intention of selling the club, but said the Dodgers’ sale price of $2 billion “gives us something to smile about.”
- The Yankees would “love to have” Mariano Rivera come back in 2013, Levine said. “If he wants to come back, we'll welcome him back.”
- The Yankees want Rafael Soriano in New York and believe he has done a tremendous job. The closer is expected to opt out of his contract with the Yankees after the season and elect free agency.
- The Yankees will talk to Andy Pettitte this offseason if the left-hander is interested in returning for another year.
- Ichiro Suzuki “has done a good job” in New York, Levine said. As of now, however, the team is focused on 2012, not Ichiro’s next contract.
- Levine acknowledged that he’s concerned about injuries, saying the frequency of disabled list stints is “troubling.”
Division leaders and their rivals are squaring off today in both the AL and NL East. With the Yankees looking to pad their four-game lead over the Rays in their rubber match and the Braves looking to pull within 5.5 games of the front-running Nationals with a sweep, here are the notes, quotes, and song lyrics from the East:
- GM Brian Cashman reiterated Joe Girardi will manage the Yankees next year, according to Ken Davidoff of the New York Post. Cashman was specifically asked, if in his mind, Girardi will be the manager regardless of what happens. "Yup," was Cashman's reply.
- The Nationals aren't letting the Stephen Strasburg controversy and the recent skid in Atlanta dampen their enthusiasm, according to the Washington Post's James Wagner. Mark DeRosa is the most vital presence in keeping the clubhouse loose with Wagner calling him part team dad and part team comedian.
- The Nationals' season is of historic proportions, writes Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post. With 1933 the last time a Washington franchise won a league title and the District of Columbia having seen two versions of the Senators come and go in the interim, Svrluga also gives a lesson in how to calculate magic numbers for those who might have already perfected the math behind RGIII's QB rating.
- In addition to trying to make the playoffs, September is also about playing for awards and new contracts for the Rays, opines Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.
- Jason Bay told Pat Borzi of the New York Times that he doesn't believe the effects of two concussions are the cause of his disappointing season. Manager Terry Collins hinted that was the case before the Mets' series in Milwaukee. Bay responded, "Terry’s asked me that, and I have nothing to quantify that with. How do you know? I don’t feel like it has. A lot of people look for a lot of reasons as to why things may or may not have come down as they historically have. Albeit that’s a viable scenario, but I can’t tell you from one day to the next how it felt. Those things did occur, but if I knew the answer, I would have fixed it by now.”
- There is no easy fix for the Red Sox as they begin the long task of rebuilding their roster, writes the Boston Herald's John Tomase who provided a critique of the franchise from ownership to the farm system.
- It has been a surprising year for Bobby Valentine and Buck Showalter, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. No one could have predicted, even himself Sherman admits, the seasons the two managers have experienced.
- In a separate article, Sherman believes starting pitching will determine the Yankees' post-season fate.
- GM Alex Anthopoulos confirmed to reporters the Blue Jays are exploring moving their Triple-A club to Buffalo from Las Vegas, writes Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca. This would, in effect, bump the Mets, currently affiliated with Buffalo, to Las Vegas.
- Rays' manager Joe Maddon summed up his team's offensive problems by turning to song, reports the Tampa Bay Times' Topkin. "Again, we've sang this song," Maddon said. "I'm sure we could make a nice country and western song out of this whole thing. Between your dog and your pickup, we came up short again. We came up short agin." Unfortunately, Maddon will not be eligible in the songwriting category at the Country Music Awards tomorrow night.
The Yankees enter play today with a one-game lead over the Orioles and four games over the Rays. And, it's a good thing this isn't your father's Yankees, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com. If George Steinbrenner was alive today, Rosenthal believes he might have fired manager Joe Girardi after blowing a ten-game lead in the AL East and replaced him with the likes of Lou Piniella. Hal Steinbrenner is almost the polar opposite of his father. So much so that, when Rosenthal asked Brian Cashman of the potential fallout that might occur if the team fails to reach the playoffs, the Yankees' GM said, "We have objective, patient ownership." Also from Rosenthal's column:
- The new schedule hasn't been a cure-all for small market teams like the Rays. Rosenthal suggests one way to mitigate the Rays’ disadvantage would be to scale revenue sharing so they would receive a greater percentage than a low-revenue club such as the Indians, who compete in a division with lower payrolls.
- A criticism of the new playoff system is Wild Card teams who have better records than division winners are penalized in the seeding of the Division Series. Rosenthal's solution is to wait until after the Wild Card game to seed the Division Series.
- The AL CY Young Award voting will be a test of how accepted advanced statistics are by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Rosenthal points out the last eight AL pitchers to either lead or tie for the lead in those categories, like the Rays' David Price this year, each have won the award. The Tigers' Justin Verlander meanwhile leads in wins above replacement and Chris Sale of the White Sox leads in ERA+. Price is tops, however, in quality of opponents faced, based on the rankings of Vince Gennaro, president of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).
- Larry Bowa's interview for the Astros' managerial vacancy is a good sign, as rival executives have worried that GM Jeff Luhnow is surrounding himself with too many like-minded sabermetric types rather than building a diverse baseball operations department.
- The Marlins may have difficulty in sticking with their plan to keep Emilio Bonifacio in center field, play Donovan Solano at second, and make the acquisition of a third baseman their top priority. Rosenthal points out the market for third basemen is bare, so one alternative for the Marlins is to acquire an outfielder and move Bonifacio back to third base.
- Look for the Rays to exercise their $2.5MM option on Fernando Rodney. Rodney is bidding to become only the second reliever in history (Dennis Eckersley in 1990) to have a season of 40 or more saves and an ERA under 1.00. Rodney leads baseball with 43 saves and his ERA is 0.66.
- The Cubs will look again this offseason to move Alfonso Soriano, who is one home run and one RBI shy of his first 30-homer, 100-RBI season since 2005. If the Cubs fail to receive a sufficient offer, they could always bring back Soriano, owed $36MM over the next two years, and try to move him at the deadline again. Rosenthal cited the example of Carlos Lee of how it is easier to deal an overpriced player the closer he gets to the end of his contract.
The Astros are the only team currently looking for a manager, but within a few weeks there’s a good chance other MLB teams will be in the market for managers of their own. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports lists those who could be managing for their jobs between now and the end of the regular season. Here are the highlights...
- Joe Girardi of the Yankees is a good manager who doesn’t deserve to be fired, Rosenthal writes. However, Girardi’s job security will be in question if the Yankees don’t win the AL East.
- It’d be reasonable to ask if Jim Leyland got enough out of the Tigers roster if Detroit misses the postseason. The Tigers could decide it’s time for a change after seven seasons under Leyland, Rosenthal writes.
- Though Mike Scioscia is under contract through 2018, Angels owner Arte Moreno would be disappointed to miss the playoffs after an offseason of aggressive moves.
- The Dodgers will likely pursue a contract extension with manager Don Mattingly no matter how their season ends, Rosenthal reports.
- Bobby Valentine won’t be back in Boston. If the Red Sox can’t pry John Farrell away from the Blue Jays, they’ll have to look elsewhere for a replacement.
- Some Marlins people believe their season started deteriorating when Guillen spoke publicly about Fidel Castro in April. However, it appears more likely the Marlins will re-structure their front office than fire Guillen.
- Rosenthal suggests Terry Francona could be a fit in Cleveland if the Indians dismiss Manny Acta following their disappointing second half. Francona will likely have options elsewhere and he might be prohibitively expensive for Cleveland.
- Fredi Gonzalez probably won’t have to worry about his job security as long as the Braves make the playoffs.
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.
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.
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.
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.