Rosenthal on Girardi:
Girardi has not distinguished himself these past few weeks, but the Yankees’ split personality also reflects the input of GM Brian Cashman. The Yankees are more concerned with keeping their players healthy than winning the division title, and Cashman does not apologize for it.
As for Girardi’s future, some in the industry believe that he has irritated the Yankees’ front office and ownership by refusing to rule out the possibility of going to the Cubs. But such is not the case.
Girardi and his little black binder have been a major cause for consternation around the Yankosphere lately. Girardi has every right to refuse to rule out any potential future employer, particularly when his current employer will not discuss his 2011 role until after the season is complete. I’d like to have him back but if he goes to Chicago, I’ll put my Ivan Drago face on.
Alex Speier of WEEI touched on some Yanks stuff as well:
The emergence of those two outfielders in 2010 – Gardner all year, Granderson in the second half – has reshaped the Yankees, both this year and perhaps into the offseason. Their performances could have a great deal to do with what happens to the Red Sox this coming offseason.
Outfielders Carl Crawford and Jayson Werth represent the prize position players of the free-agent class. The Yankees had been widely expected to spend liberally in order to acquire the services of one of those players.
Yet given the skill sets of left fielder Gardner, center fielder Granderson and right fielder Nick Swisher, the Yankees may well exercise restraint in any exploration of a deal for an outfielder.
“Widely expected” by those not really watching this team day in, day out. I think most Yankee watchers have realized for some time now that Cliff Lee was the big fish and that Cashman will not look to replace Granderson with someone 2x his salary, given the pending contracts to Jeter, Mo, etc. I said as much just the other day. The only outside chance I see is if someone is willing to pay full ride for Granderson, and even then…I just don’t see it. Some folks believe Cashman needs Granderson’s 2nd half to spill over to the post-season and 2011 to validate the trading of Austin Jackson. Me, not so much.
Speier adds some supporting data:
Swisher earned an All-Star berth. He is now hitting .288/.360/.512/.872 with 28 homers and 88 RBI. Granderson started slowly, then was sidelined by injuries, but is enjoying a strong finishing kick (he has eight homers and an OPS over 1.000 in September) to bring his season totals to .251/.326/.469/.795 with 23 homers.
Gardner, meanwhile, has emerged into a valuable weapon, with excellent on-base skills and tremendous speed that impacts the Yankees both on the bases and in the outfield. He is hitting .276/.382/.376/.758 with 42 steals, with the 26-year-old exceeding the Yankees’ expectations of what he might do in an everyday role. His OBP nearly matches that of Werth (.385) and exceeds Crawford’s (.360).
I’d personally like to see Gardner slide into CF and Granderson to LF, but we’ll wait on that debate until we know if Girardi is back with his Cubs or remains in pinstripes.