With the progression of this season, I have come to terms with the very real possibility that we may not make the playoffs. It will suck, but honestly, with all the obstacles we have had to face this season, the fact that they are even making a chase makes me happy. Still, I have to be realistic about our chances.
Knowing that we may not make it to the post season, the question becomes, what happens next? Clearly, the front office will have to make major changes if they want a different result next season, correct? There are plenty of contracts coming to an end, and several fans asking for a few heads to roll. So, who stays, and who goes?
Kevin Long, Larry Rothschild, and Joe Girardi are all guys being looked at. This season the Yankees have undoubtedly struggled with leaving runners stranded, and our pitching has been sub par. Of course a great majority of the time, Joe takes the blame for that. Despite that, both Long, and Rothschild's past success with the team will see them both back in the Bronx next season. Joe is a horse of a different color.
Facing the last year of his contract with the Yankees, the cries to get rid of him have started long ago. If we don't make it to the playoffs, this will be the first season since 2008. The fact that we are making a run at the playoffs speaks volumes of Joe. Let's face it, with all of our injuries, we should have been done a long time ago. Joe is doing a phenomenal job with what he has. It is likely he will also be back next season.
Three names I am looking at are Curtis Granderson, Robinson Cano, and Derek Jeter. Grandy is at the end of his contract, and while we all love him, I think this will be his last season in pinstripes. While an excellent home run hitter, his strike out ratio is cringe worthy, having finished last season with the second most strike outs. Add to that the fact we have Ichiro Suzuki, and Alfonso Soriano in the corners, and where would we have room for Grandy. Unfortunately, Grandy draws the proverbial short straw.
Cano is a little iffy. It can really go either way. Ideally, the Yankees front office will shower him with any amount of money he ask for just to retain him. But if last post season has taught us anything, it is that the exact opposite will be the case. Granted, they will absolutely go into talks with Cano, and try to work something out. But if the asking price is too high, they will have no problem letting him walk.
Jeter is a sore subject. After the broken ankle that left us all in shock last season, and the re-occurring injuries this season, the last one that landed him on the DL for the remainder of the season, it's a little bit of a sticky spot talking about him. This is the last year of his contract, and the truth is, when he came back, he wasn't giving 100%. Not because he didn't want to, but because he was told by his doctors not to. He even admitted that he had to learn how to not give everything; to tone down his game play, so to speak. Even with that, he couldn't stay off the DL. If the Yankees do resign him, it may not be for more than a year. Enough time to play one more season, and retire. Let's face it, in the world of sports, Jeter is no spring chicken.
I'm looking at you Phil Hughes, and Joba Chamberlain. Both are pitchers I really want to see succeed, but so far have been a disappointment to me. I have mentioned it time, and again that their pitching style would be better suited for an NL park. And it has not gone unnoticed by the Yankees front office. My best guess is they won't be back next season. I wish them the best in their future endeavors.
Of course, these are my guesses. I don't have any inside information. Whatever the case may be, one thing is for certain, the club needs to get younger.
--Erica Morales BYB Senior Writer
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