Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Yankees "Absolutely" Bringing Back Cervelli Has To Mean The End Of Chris Stewart ... Right?

(Courtesy of the AP)

(Originally published at IIATMS/TYA)

With things heating up at the GM meetings and the Yankees being reported as the early favorites to land Brian McCann, Cash shed a little light on where the team's thoughts might be relative to the backup catcher position next year.  Talking to reporters yesterday, Cash said the Yankees will "absolutely" tender a contract to Francisco Cervelli this offseason.  Cervelli is in his first year of arbitration eligibility and MLBTR pegged him at an even $1 million for his projected salary next year, hardly a drop in the Yankee payroll bucket.

Whatever new deal the Yankees offer Cervelli will be in that range and Cash's stated commitment to make the offer should end any speculation about his future with the team after an injury and PED suspension-plagued 2013.  It should also come as a sign that the Chris Stewart era behind the plate is over, and regardless of what happens with McCann or any of the other free agent catchers on the market, that's great news.

If D-Rob Isn't Capable Of Handling The Closer Role Now, When Will He Be?

(I mean, come on.  He didn't get the AB4AR "Fireman" Photoshop treatment for nothing)

The most surprising thing to come out of Cash's session with the media yesterday was his statement on David Robertson's status as the heir apparent to Mo for next year's closer role.  Cash reiterated that the Yankees haven't decided to officially name D-Rob the closer yet, which is fair considering it's still early in the offseason and the Yanks are in the market for relief help, but he raised my eyebrows with this line about D-Rob's ability to handle the job:

“I’m not sure if Robertson is capable yet. He’s never done that before."

If by "done that before" Cash means "never had a full-time closing gig" before then I fully agree.  D-Rob has never been an official closer tasked with regularly pitching the 9th inning and saving wins and that's because he's had Mariano Rivera pitching in front of him every year of his career.  The preceding statement about Robertson's capability leads me to believe Cash didn't mean that, however, and that questioning of D-Rob's capability of being a regular closer raises some questions as to just how the Yankees are making that determination.

Joe Takes 4th In The AL Manager Of The Year Voting

He was never going to win the award, not after John Farrell took his club from worst to first in the division and then to a 3rd World Series title in 10 years and not after Terry Francona led his club to the playoffs and greatly overachieved what most thought they would do this season.  But Joe still had a solid showing for himself yesterday when the BBWAA announced the winners of the 2013 Manager of the Year awards.  He finished 4th overall, behind surprise winner Francona, Farrell, and Bob Melvin, and even managed to sneak into the top 3 on more than a few ballots.

It's good to see Joe get some of the recognition he deserved for a job well done this year.  Managing the Yankees always comes with a heaping helping of high expectations and precious few "atta boys" when the team does well, and Joe had a helluva lot to deal with this season.  It would have been interesting to see how much better he could have done on the ballots had the team managed to make it to the postseason, but all in all a 4th place finish and a couple of 2nd place votes for managing a club that finished 85-77 with a negative run differential is pretty damn good.  Plus it gave me another excuse to post the best Yankee-related gif of the year.

This Doesn't Make Any Sense

So let me get this straight.  The 2 guys in charge of the groups that have horrible recent track records in terms of drafting and developing amateur talent, who were also presumably heavily involved in developing and following the procedures that were already in place, are being rewarded for their departmental failures by getting to keep their jobs for another season?  Does that make any sense to you, Dean Ambrose?

I'm going to have to agree with you there, Dean Ambrose.  Procedural changes are all well and good, but the Yankees are still going to have the same people at the top enforcing those new procedures and those people have been proven to be ineffective in those roles.  The Yanks needed to take a big swing at revamping their MiL program and instead they squared around to bunt with 2 strikes.  Inexplicable.

P.S.- Guess that's what I get for deviating from my norm and praising Hal yesterday.