I understand that Robbie Cano and Joe are very important parts to the Yankees' future plans, guys. But can we not get overboard excited about what their contract "demands" are and what they may or may not do this early in the offseason game? Please?
I'll admit, there were a lot of little things happening yesterday that could have made it appear as though Joe was jumping ship. He wouldn't commit to coming back to the Yankees beyond saying he had to sit down and discuss it with his family, Buster Olney reported that it would take a significant raise from his current $3 million salary to bring him back to New York, his hometown Cubs fired Dale Sveum after 2 relatively unproductive seasons, and the roster he could be looking at in 2014 could be worse than what he just got done managing. Still, if you think his decision is that simple to leave a potentially sinking ship to return home and become a hero, it's not.
For starters, the Cubs aren't any closer to being contenders next year than the Yankees are. They may actually be in worse shape next year than the Yankees and are at least 2 years away from being relevant again. Joe has built a reputation as a veterans' manager during his time in New York and he's proven himself to be very adept at managing veterans. Not so much with kids though, at least according to the on-field results of this year's crop of Yankee rookies, which doesn't make him the best fit for a young, rebuilding Cubs club. And as much as Chicago may be his home, he and his family have settled down in the New York area in the time he's been Yankee manager. Joe may not want to uproot them again for another cross-country move.
In the end, the better fit for Joe's style is with the Yankees and the best offer he's going to get is going to come from the Yankees. Cash likes him, the Steinbrenners like him, and they've already made it known that they'd like to bring him back. It would take a whopper of a counteroffer from the Cubs to override all of that, and I don't see Theo Epstein making that kind of offer to a manager. Regardless, it's way too early to start putting pieces together that aren't there. Let Joe finish coming down from this season, let him spend some time with his family, and let him and the Yankee front office come together to start negotiations.
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