Just a few links from the past week. If you missed any of these, give them a look.
• My good friend Mark Feinsand — who’s probably mad at me for not posting a link to this sooner — took a look at the struggles of the Yankees farm system, exploring what’s gone wrong with player selection and player development, and whether the situation is going to get better any time soon. “One of the things I hope we can do is be rational and objective with where we are,” Mark Newman told Feinsand. “We don’t have a shortstop or third base option for 2014; that’s the way it is. But we have some other things we can do; a pitcher, an outfielder, so maybe we can figure out third base and shortstop in another way.”
• Looking beyond the farm system and into the free agent market, Buster Olney notes that the Yankees might be cutting payroll, but “rival executives would love to have the Yankees’ problems.” Olney notes that the Yankees still have a payroll advantage in the American League East, especially if Alex Rodriguez is suspended.
• Speaking of spending money, Joel Sherman sat down with Hal Steinbrenner to discuss the approach to $189 million. Steinbrenner did a couple of radio interviews this week, so you’ve heard a lot of what he has to say, but Sherman’s piece is still well worth reading.
• And speaking of Sherman, he’s hearing that a qualifying offer will be a little more than $14 million this offseason. It was $13.3 million last winter, but an increase was inevitable and anticipated.
•This one is pretty old, and it’s been bookmarked on my computer for a while, but it’s still interesting: Spurred by the outside-the-box brain of Dan Barbarisi, the Wall Street Journal published a first-person story by Mark Teixeira, who explained his injury, his rehab and his frustration throughout this lost season. It’s interesting if only for the unique perspective.
• It’s interesting to me that, while Joe Girardi seems to have never seriously considered moving back to Chicago, the city of Chicago — or at least the Chicago media — seemed fairly obsessed with the idea of Girardi coming back to manage the Cubs. The New York media market has the reputation for being over-the-top, but there was daily speculation coming out of Chicago while more New York outlets seemed to recognize it was just a matter of time before Girardi re-signed with the Yankees.
• Speaking of managerial openings in the National League Centeral — who knew there would be two of those with Yankees connections — Paul O’Neill told ESPN New York that he’s at least curious about the possibility of managing the Reds. “I would love to sit down and find out what their thoughts are,” he said. Most of you know that I grew up as a Cardinals fan in the ’80s and ’90s, and I honestly associate O’Neill with the Reds almost as much as with the Yankees. Obviously his best years were in New York — and he’s first and foremost a Yankee in my mind — but his years with the Reds are pretty clear in my memory. He was an everyday player there for five years, which is longer than Girardi played for the Yankees. No surprise that there’s still a legitimate connection there.
Associated Press photo