Thursday, November 2, 2017


Source: Abbie Parr/Getty Images North America
I'm not ready for the long winter's nap that is now here. I don't embrace other sports like I do baseball. I can't believe it's all over until February. I may go crazy by then but I really hope not. I never imagined it to end this way but regardless, congratulations to the Houston Astros.

Photo: Getty Images
If it couldn't be us I am glad to see another young team go out there and get their first World Series title.

So here we are, first day in the off-season. The only thing that will keep me sane (for now) is to start thinking about 2018 and what will be different. I thought 2017 was going to be the year of change and as different and new as this Yankees team was I don't think it will compare to what we will see next year.

Photo: Getty Images
This team will have a serious makeover and not just players. We already know that Joe Girardi is out and that could mean that the entire coaching staff is turned over. The Yankees already gave their coaches permission to speak to other teams and their contracts technically expired yesterday. That doesn't necessarily mean anything but it is a professional courtesy every team grants when they change managers.

Source: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images North America
As much as we have heard that Brian Cashman wants the next Yankees manager to be someone he has an existing relationship with I don't necessarily believe that means it has to be a former Yankee. There is a new trend in baseball and I think the Yankees will follow it. We have already seen Gabe Kapler and Dave Martinez hired with teams they have had no connections with. Recently Joe Maddon left Tampa for Chicago, and after winning in Boston Terry Francona was dismissed and landed in Cleveland. Baseball is looking for new blood. The Yankees are looking for a new analytical manager to work with our young players. I think we will see a lot more "NEW" this coming season.

Source: Brian Blanco/Getty Images North America
So that makes me wonder about Rob Thomson, the Yankees bench coach. He's been with the Yankees for 28 years now and 10 of those years working directly with Girardi. He is the in-house managerial candidate with the longest Yankee tenure. If the Yankees really are looking for a fresh start with new managers, is he out? It's hard to imagine him not being a part of the organization and I hope that isn't the case. He's got a good reputation for being an effective communicator and working well with young talent. We have a lot of that, I hope he's still a part of it but I wouldn't be surprised if our coaching staff is entirely new.

Photo: Getty Images
And my off-season predictions are that Masahiro Tanaka does end up opting out of his contract and Jacoby Ellsbury actually ends up getting traded. After watching Tanaka pitch like an ace in the postseason his stock rose despite the ugly start to the season. He did well in the second half and the playoffs he was an ace. His demand rises a little more especially after Yu Darvish basically tanks in the playoffs. He and Jake Arrieta are the most desirable free agent starts and Darvish's stock just dropped a lot.

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Jacoby Ellsbury is also less valuable at this point. He appeared in 6 of the Yankees 13 postseason games and there's no nice way to explain why....the Yankees have three better outfielders in Brett Gardner, Aaron Hicks and Aaron Judge.

Photo: Getty Images
Oh, then there is that other big problem of finding a way to make room for Clint Frazier who is ready and waiting for his spot again after getting a taste of the action this season. Ellsbury has been phased out. I can see the Yankees making an expensive decision to eat a lot of contract and work around his no-trade clause. I think his days in pinstripes are numbered and even he knows it.

The Yankees made a strong statement by not re-signing Girardi. Who knows what will happen with our roster and managerial positions this season but this will be a very active off-season. Is this a "out with the old and in with the new" mentality? It might be.

MORE change is coming...

--Jeana Bellezza
BYB Managing Editor 
Follow me on Twitter: @NYPrincess

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