Over the next few days I’m going to introduce players, and in this instance general managers and managers, who are on the bubble of returning next season to discuss the pros and cons of bringing them back.
I thought it made sense to start at the top with Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi, who are both free agents this offseason.
Cashman is a no brainer at this point. He pulled off an impressive rebuild of the organization and, while they were mediocre at times, they were never bad. Unlike the Houston Astros, this team is not the result of losing on purpose.
On the fence about Cashman? Consider the roster. He managed to add Didi Gregorius, Starlin Castro and Aaron Hicks for almost nothing. At this year’s deadline, he managed to add a bat, two relievers, and one of the top starting pitchers on the market without giving up any of the elite major-league-ready prospects (I’m not even going to get into the awesome deadline Cashman had in July 2016).
Sure there were misses along the way, such as going after Jacoby Ellsbury instead of Robinson Cano, or trading Cano when they could have (would have been a shrewd move considering their bid was less than $70 million than what the Mariners offered). But if Ellsbury’s bad contract is literally the only bad contract left on the team that gives them a fair amount of flexibility headed to the future with a solid core.
But what about Girardi?
I’ve gone back and forth on Girardi over the years where there were times I thought he sucked, and times I thought he was great. Right now is one of those times that I’m kinda low on him, but it feels pointless to fight the inevitable — he’s coming back.
Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner have always liked Girardi and certainly never sparred with him publicly. And he doesn’t make a ton of mistakes. Sure there were more than a handful of times he could have been second guessed in the playoffs alone (why not challenge that hit by pitch?), but if you look around there are a lot of managers making questionable moves every game. He’s not the best, but there are far worse.
There is also no clear replacement. If new Marlins owner Derek Jeter (weirdest thing I’ve ever typed) had fired Don Mattingly (weirder) than I could see the tabloids making a fuss, but that doesn’t appear to be likely. I’m sure there are plenty of names out there that maybe, could fit, but New York is still like no other place.
It just seems pointless to fight the inevitable with Girardi. But I’m curious — who is out there that could fit with the Yankees if they were to replace Joey G?