Recapping the biggest stories from the past week at MLBTR…
The end of an era in the Bronx: The Brian Cashman-led Yankees chose not to re-sign manager Joe Girardi, which was quite surprising after the club came within one win of a World Series berth this season. Girardi’s 10-year run in New York’s dugout was a fruitful one, as the team went 910-710 during the regular season, made six playoff trips and won a World Series (2009).
Controversy mars the World Series: With Houston and Los Angeles even through four games, the Fall Classic has lived up to its name thus far, but Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel made headlines for the wrong reasons following Game 3. After hitting a second-inning home run off Dodgers starter Yu Darvish, Gurriel returned to the Astros’ dugout and made a racist gesture aimed at the right-hander. Gurriel was contrite after the game, but it still looked possible on Saturday that commissioner Rob Manfred would suspend him for at least one World Series contest. Instead, Manfred issued Gurriel a five-game ban to begin the 2018 season.
Washington elects a new leader: The Nationals moved quickly to replace manager Dusty Baker, whom they parted with Oct. 20, agreeing to a deal Sunday with Cubs bench coach Dave Martinez. Washington’s managerial job hasn’t been a stable one in recent years, as both Matt Williams and Baker were only at the helm for two seasons apiece, but it seems Martinez will have a longer leash. The Nationals gave the Joe Maddon disciple a three-year deal with a club option for 2021.
Dustin Pedroia goes under the knife: Boston’s star second baseman could miss the first two months of next season (and perhaps even more time) after undergoing left knee surgery this week. The procedure came on the heels of a campaign in which the 34-year-old franchise icon played in just 105 games – his third-lowest single-season total since his rookie year, 2007 – thanks in part to knee problems. With the offseason approaching in earnest, it’s worth noting that Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski doesn’t expect Pedroia’s absence to significantly affect the team’s plans this winter.
Milwaukee extends a core starter: Righty Chase Anderson broke out in 2017, his age-29 season, with a 2.74 ERA and 8.47 K/9 against 2.61 BB/9 across 141 1/3 innings. That was enough to convince the Brewers to award Anderson a two-year contract with club options for the 2020 and ’21 seasons. The pact could be worth up to $31.35MM for Anderson, who otherwise would have gone through arbitration for the second time this offseason. Milwaukee bought out one free agent year by extending Anderson.