General manager Brian Cashman finally persuaded owner Hal Steinbrenner in late July to start jettisoning veterans and initiate a youth movement.
New York has not won a postseason game since Derek Jeter broke his ankle in the 2012 AL Championship Series opener. The Yankees have failed to reach the playoffs in three of the last four seasons.
There were two celebrations at Yankee Stadium during the season’s final week — both in the visitors’ clubhouse.
This is not what New York and its fans
are accustomed to.
The Yankees like to spend the season wondering how deep they will go in the postseason, not whether they will reach it.
“The goal here is not to get into the playoffs. The goal is to win World Series,” manager Joe Girardi said before Sunday’s season finale.
“As an organization, we thought it was in our best interest to make trades and try to get back to the World Series-caliber type of team that we know that is going to take some work,” Girardi said.
Rookie catcher Gary Sanchez came up from the minors on Aug. 3 and finished with a .299 batting average, 20 homers and 42 RBIs in 53 games. Aaron Judge and Tyler Austin arrived 10 days later and made an instant impact — homering back-to-back in their first major league at-bats.
Girardi directed a blunt message to the young players on the final Friday of the season.
“There’s a lot of work to do to get to where we want and there’s younger kids knocking on older players’ doors, and for the younger kids that have had some success, the hard part is not getting here, the hard part is sticking,” he recalled telling them. “As people adjust to you, you have to make adjustments as a ballplayer. So I think next year’s camp could be extremely competitive and you need to be ready.”
New York scored 680 runs, more than only Kansas City, Oakland and Tampa Bay among AL teams, and was shut out an AL-high 13 times.
Greg Bird missed the entire season following shoulder surgery and is the favorite to start at first base next year; Girardi says Austin will be given a chance to win the job during spring training.
New York probably won’t offer a contract to Nathan Eovaldi, allowing him to become a free agent after the right-hander had Tommy John surgery for the second time. Relief pitchers Branden Pinder, Jacob Lindgren and Nick Rumbelow also will not be available for most or all of next season following elbow ligament replacements.
The 22-year-old right-hander followed a strong debut in 2015 with an awful 2016, and he could become the next Joba Chamberlain or Phil Hughes.
Source-CBS New York