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What’s next for the Yankees?

Oct 23, 2010, 10:20 AM EDT

Alex Rodriguez

It’s probably a little early for this sort of talk, but the futures of impending free agents Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera and manager Joe Girardi are sure to be a popular topic of conversation during the winter. The thing is, aside from the chance that Pettitte retires, they are all pretty much locks to return in pinstripes next season.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told Chad Jennings of the Journal News that signing Girardi to a new contract is his first priority this winter.

“I would think that would be the first order of business,” Cashman said. “But I haven’t even talked to our owners yet.”

As for Pettitte, the Yankees re-signed him to a one-year deal last December. The veteran left-hander told Sam Borden of the Journal News that whether he decides to retire or not, he would like a quick resolution this offseason, as well.

“I don’t want to drag it out,” Pettitte said.

Rivera, who turns 41 next month, was just as brilliant as ever this season. His three-year, $45 million contract is up, but it would be tough to envision a scenario where he signs elsewhere.

“We’ll see,” Rivera said. “That I will tell you guys later on, when it happens.”

And, of course, Jeter. Nobody actually expects the shortstop to leave via free agency, but he wasn’t ready to talk about his future after last night’s loss.

“I haven’t even really thought about it,” Jeter said. “We just lost. Coming in tonight I wasn’t planning on this being the end of the season.”

Many are going to focus on how much money Jeter will make on his next contract. It’s irrelevant, really. Yankees’ money isn’t normal money. This is an organization that can pay mistakes like Kei Igawa to be in the witness relocation program. Ignore it.

No, the tricky part will be how the Yankees decide to handle their franchise player as he moves into his late-30s. He already took a huge step back this season at age 36, both offensively and defensively. Is it possible that we could see another resurgence like 2009? Maybe. But such occurrences are much less likely as a player ages. Eventually, someone is going to have to make the delicate decision to set aside legacy for the sake of wins and losses. He’ll get his contract this winter — and deservedly so, I might add — but let’s hope this situation doesn’t get ugly a couple years from now.

  1. pisano - Oct 23, 2010 at 2:15 PM

    The core four is now the sore core . Posada cannot be the every day catcher , it’s over for him .Free agent John Buck of the Jays would be super for the Yanks . Jeter has lost alot and should really be replaced , but with his popularity in New York they can carry him for one more year . Rivera , is Rivera , his endurance is rightly starting to show , but with that being said he can go another strong year , but if the Yankees have a chance to get the free agent Soriano from the Rays , I say get him the guy is lights out . The two big questions for me is what do with A.J. and Joba , both are under achievers and you have to do something about both .They may have to bite the bullet with A.J. , but they need to trade Joba while they can . It all boils down to age , they should have started to replace the vets before this , they got old real fast . If Pettite wants to come back for One more year I think he would help , But Posada , and Jeter should both be replaced with youth . Good Luck this winter .

  2. 013hip - Oct 23, 2010 at 4:50 PM

    There were some “BAD” deals done by the Yankees that can’t easily be un-done.
    Listen, Granderson & Marcus both was fan favorites here, but while Marcus could hit it a country mile when he connected……he just didn’t connect enough.
    And Curtis was a very good outfielder,but his on-base % just didn’t add up.
    For a lead off hitter he just didn’t draw enough walks,and he struck-out way to much on bad pitches. Between the two of them, I can remember alot of “swing and a miss” and that’s another strike out for (insert just about any pitcher’s name here)!
    Sorry Yank’s, but, “What were you Thinking?”

    • pisano - Oct 23, 2010 at 5:54 PM

      Ditto , good post .

  3. proudlycanadian - Oct 23, 2010 at 6:53 PM

    The Yankees will have to spend megabucks on free agents to be relevant next year. Cliff Lee by himself is not the answer. The 4 geezers are wearing down. Arod is OK, but his skills are diminished compared to his his peak years. Good luck Yankee fans – Not!

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