The past week was filled with a bunch of little things. Coaches were re-hired, a few awards were handed out, the Alex Rodriguez saga continued. For the time being, nothing about the past week was as significant as the qualifying offers.
As expected, the Yankees made three qualifying offers: Robinson Cano, Hiroki Kuroda and Curtis Granderson. Every indication is that all three will decline and hit the open market with the added weight of draft pick compensation. They have until Monday to accept or decline.
Ten other players were given qualifying offers: Carlos Beltran, Shin-Soo Choo, Nelson Cruz, Stephen Drew, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann, Kendrys Morales, Mike Napoli, Ubaldo Jimenez and Ervin Santana. These are — predictably — some of the top players on the market, and assuming all turn down the qualifying offers, the Yankees will have to decide which ones are worth sacrificing a first-round pick.
Whether any player is worth such a sacrifice might depend on other moves: If Cano comes back, and the pitching staff comes together, it may be that one big bat could make all the difference. But if that same big bat is only going to make an 80-win team into an 85-win team, that might not be worth the trade off.
• Silver Slugger for Robinson Cano. It’s his fourth in a row. He’s a great hitter, in case you’d forgotten. Still no sign of real progress on a new contract, though. A few other award announcements from last week: Mariano Rivera was named both the Comeback Player of the Year and the Marvin Miller Man of the Year.
• As expected, the Yankees have brought back their coaching staff. At his end-of-the-season press conference, Brian Cashman said that if Joe Girardi returned, the Yankees would try to bring back the coaches. That much became official on Friday.
• Speaking of Girardi, he participated at a USO event last week and addressed a few Yankees issues. He didn’t drop much news, but he did say that Derek Jeter has started his offseason workouts and the Yankees are planning to have Jeter at shortstop next season.
• CC Sabathia said that he’s started throwing. Seems like he’s taking steps forward since that end-of-the-year hamstring injury.
• Of course, there were A-Rod moments. His side want the lawsuit against MLB moved out of federal court, while MLB wants it dismissed completely. Both sides yelled at one another in press releases and in a pretrial conference. The Times reported that Rodriguez failed a test for a banned stimulant in 2006. Pretty much more of the same, unfortunately.
• The New York chapter of the BBWAA announced its local awards, including two for Yankees. Dave Robertson was given the Good Guy Award and Rivera and Andy Pettitte were given the Toast of the Town Award. Both are pretty self-explanatory.
• The ALS Association honored Rivera last week, and at the event, Rivera said he’s trying to get the Yankees to travel to Panama for an exhibition game this spring. If it matters to anyone in charge, I’m on Rivera’s side on this one.
• Even though no Yankees are among the finalists, don’t forget that the offseason awards are handed out this coming week. Finalists were announced last week, and it was no surprise that no Yankees made the cut. Girardi seemed to have a chance of finishing top three in Manager of the Year voting, but it’s not exactly a shock that it didn’t happen.
Associated Press photos