Changes are coming for the New York Yankees. Some changes, however, have already been made.
The moves came this past Friday, as the Bronx Bombers decided to bring back current general manager Brian Cashman giving him a three-year extension on his contract.
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Last chance saloon
It is believed to be Cashman’s last chance to rebuild a team that has missed the postseason two straight seasons and to bring relevance of competition back in the American League East.
For a guy who’s been the GM for the Yankees since 1996, the Hail Mary theory is on stand-by if Cashman doesn’t make improvements in the next two off-seasons.
Coming off an unimpressive 84-78 finish in the 2014 season after bolstering their roster with big free agents signings in the offseason, the Yanks look for answers from their GM.
Kevin Long, who was fired as the teams hitting coach on Friday, was the first move made in an effort to bring a dramatic turnaround of the Yanks hitting performance.
The hitting production ceased to exist for most of the season: .245 team batting average and only 633 runs scored, both ranked 20th in the majors.
Seven teams that ended their campaign with an under-.500 record hit better than New York. (Colorado, Minnesota, Miami, Chicago White Sox, Texas, Tampa Bay, and Arizona).
Along with Long let go, the Yankees also fired first base coach Mick Kelleher. The team cleaned house on almost half of their coaching staff.
As of now, the one job that is safe is Joe Girardi’s stamp as manager. Four postseason appearances and one World Series victory is what is keeping Girardi in the dugout for now. The three postseason misses are also worth noting, considering the 14 straight playoff appearances before Girardi took over for Joe Torre in 2008.
How do you replace Jeter?
Cashman also has some moves to make player wise, with the big one replacing legendary shortstop Derek Jeter.
Nothing is clear as to what the Yankees will look to fill the void at shortstop but it is predicted that the team will trade or sign a potential big name (possibly Troy Tulowitzki).
Alex Rodriguez, although, is not a strong candidate to take over for Jeter. Even though A-Rod is naturally a shortstop, his age is a huge factor.
Rodriguez is coming off a year long suspension after issues with the major league baseball’s drug abuse policy. He is eligible to return for the 2015 season but might not play at third base, which has been his position since joining the Yankees in 2004.
New York recently asked him about playing first base to compensate for the injury issues their current first baseman Mark Teixeira is overcoming. Tex’s right wrist has been a problem for a while and nothing is guaranteed even though he went through surgery to repair the wrist.
The Yanks have Chase Headley as an option, now a free agent, to play third base if they can retain him. He is a quality veteran at third with his defense a big addition for the hot corner.
Headley may walk if there isn’t a possible promise of an every day playing role over the occasional start.
The shifting back into a winning ball club is on the mind of the Yankees and if all the pieces are put in the right place, it’s certain we’ll see NY back in the postseason.