Joe Girardi is remaining as manager of the New York Yankees. Joe just inked a new four-year contract, with plenty more bucks than his old one.. So, we can scratch rumors of Don Mattingly going there, speculation primarily fueled by the team's failure to extend his option yet. That said, I see that as merely being a formality because of the Dodgers still being in the postseason. Unless new Dodgers ownership, besides Magic Johnson possibly breaking tampering rules by saying the Bums won't make a free-agent bid for Robinson Cano, is really that dumb.
Speaking of ...
What's in store for the Bronx Bombers next year?
They've already said that his original request for 10 years/$300M is a non-starter. Indeed, Hal Steinbrenner has said he's not necessarily a must-sign player. (Even with free-agent prices going up and the market being thin this year, I can't see more than 7/$200, and even that, or very close to it, would be an overpay. He's never had an OPS+ above 150 and he'll be on the far side of 30.)
C.C. Sabathia showed noticeable fall-off this year. I'll assume he won't bounce back 100 percent, which means resigning Hiroki Kuroda is vital. Because, after that, especially with Mariano Rivera's retirement, their pitching staff is a sack of hammers. And, that's even without noting Andy Pettitte also needs to be replaced.
Speaking of sacks of hammers, I know Hal would love for Alex Rodriguez to get suspended as long as possible to free up free agent money. But, they're got sacks of hammers at 3B, even more so if Derek Jeter has to DH much of next year, assuming he exercises the player option on his contract. A-Rod, injuries and all, still had an OPS+ of 111.
And, they still have to figure out what to do with Curtis Granderson. Even if they re-ink him, and he's healthy, that means Ichiro plus Vernon Wells are your third outfielder. Given that Ichiro's relatively cheap, Wells has most of his salary still coming out of the Haloes' pocket, and Travis Hafner will NOT be back to DH, is it possible that Carlos Beltran could be on the Yankee radar? That's a definite, if he doesn't get a Cards contract and Granderson talks go slow. Not so definite if Granderson re-signs. With Alfonso Soriano still there, that's a lot of limited at-bats, especially if Jeter needs some time at DH.
Have fun juggling those lineups, Joe!
Yeah, the Yanks were above .500 this year, even though their Pythagorean said they should have had a losing record. Some of that was Girardi, I don't doubt, but some of that may have been plain luck. If the Jays do in 2014 what people thought they would this year, it could be a long summer in the Bronx.
Also, it means the Chicago Flubs are on Plan B in their managerial search. Which also looks like a sack of hammers, when a retread like Manny Acta is getting touted.
And, while Cal Ripken now indicates he's available, I don't see him going to the Windy City.