The great part about having both rookies and veterans in the clubhouse is having the veterans be a source of guidance for the young players paving their way through the Major Leagues.
Over the course of the seasons, the younger players had veteran voices to rely on. Andrew Miller, Carlos Beltran, Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, CC Sabathia, Brett Gardner and Brian McCann were all veteran players who lent their expertise to the young kids.
But over the course of a year, the Yankees lost most of those veteran voices.
Miller, Beltran and McCann were traded last season, and Teixeira & Rodriguez retired. Gardner is still with the team for two more seasons (barring a trade either at the deadline or next offseason), and Sabathia is in the final year of his contract.
With the Yankees losing veteran voices, third baseman Chase Headley hopes to be one of those players to fill the void, especially since he believes he has some knowledge to offer to the young players.
“I am excited about the opportunity to have a little bit more leadership in the clubhouse,” Headley said. “We had tremendous leaders on this team last year and obviously the years before that, but we had some older guys, and I felt like I needed to be a little more hands off in some of the things I said.”
Although Brian Cashman hasn’t announced a new captain since Derek Jeter‘s retirement, the younger players heavily rely on Gardner and Sabathia, who had a “captain-like” role.
“Now that some of those guys have moved on, I’m excited to be able to be a little bit more vocal and speak my mind a little bit more in a positive way to hopefully help these guys reach their potential and help us reach our potential,” Headley said.
Before Headley was certain he was going to come to Spring Training as a Yankee, Brian Cashman admitted he was gauging interest for the third baseman. The GM ultimately decided to retain Headley for the 2017 season, and despite the Yankees attempting to trade him, Headley has no hard feelings.
“I don’t get upset about it,” Headley said. “I don’t think, ‘Man, I’m mad at the Yankees, they’re trying to trade me.’ There’s none of that. They’re trying to put the best club that they possibly can in the near term and the long term together. They’re going to do what they feel is best for that. I don’t pay a whole lot of attention to it.”