Joe Girardi made it clear during a conference call this afternoon that he’s well aware the Yankees could be a significantly different team at the end of his new contract. Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte have retired, Derek Jeter is surely close to doing the same, and there’s no guarantee Robinson Cano will be back next season.
The only current Yankees players signed through 2017 are Alex Rodriguez (the final year of his contract) and CC Sabathia (the vesting option of his contract), and it seems the Yankees might not simply outspend the competition to find replacements.
“Our minor-league system is going to have to play a role,” Girardi said. “That’s how I believe we were able to sustain such a long run. Guys came up and played in our organization for a long time.”
A big part of Girardi’s role for these next four years will be helping to guide the Yankees through that sort of transition.
During his previous six years, he’s developed a reputation as a manager who trusts veterans and remains suspicious of untested, unproven prospects. Does Girardi consider that a fair label?
“I favor the best players, is what I favor,” he said. “Sometimes it’s an older player, sometimes it’s a younger player. I had a chance to manage in Miami, and I think during the course of the year we had 23 or 25 rookies. I loved it. I loved working with the kids. Me favoring one player over the other because of age, I’m not sure where that came about. To me, I want the best player, and I think youth can serve you really well on a club because they respond day after day and you don’t have to manage some of the other things you have to manage with older players. Whatever makes us the best, I’m all in favor of.”
Associated Press photo