Brian Cashman and Aaron Boone spoke to the press today. The New York Yankees’ offseason is going to be a busy one.
The New York Yankees held a press conference at Yankee Stadium today, and both manager Aaron Boone and general manager Brian Cashman spoke. Everything from losing to the Boston Red Sox in the ALDS to the upcoming offseason was discussed. Needless to say, expect New York to have a productive winter.
And the Yankees have some big decisions to make. Shortstop Didi Gregorius needs Tommy John surgery on his throwing arm and is expected to miss time in 2019. The pitching staff also has a lot of question marks, namely in who will or won’t be back next season.
Both men gave productive press conferences. Each gave fans and pundits alike plenty to digest. Thus, though few major bombshells were dropped, there’s plenty to take away from today’s pressers.
Aaron Boone gets it
Aaron Boone was thrown out of the frying pan and into the fire the moment he was hired as Yankees manager. No matter what decision he made as a first-time skipper, not to mention one with no experience, he was going to be criticized. That said, Boone addressing his inexperience was the best part of his speaking to the media.
He acknowledged decisions that “came under the microscope” and admitted he was “a little aggressive” in leaving starters in the game. Most importantly, Boone admitted leaving Luis Severino in as long as he did in Game 3 was a mistake.
Aaron Boone admits he should have pulled Luis Severino after three innings in Game 3 pic.twitter.com/GFtaAr2HQF
— SportsNet New York (@SNYtv) October 12, 2018
Boone also said he wanted to improve “communicating with coaches” and “getting information to players,” which is very telling. He knows part of his job is changing clubhouse culture, and that process is a long one. Not only that, his choice of words lends credence to the theory of Severino getting Game 3’s start time wrong. Severino tipping his pitches was also mentioned, but this story may not be dead just yet.
The Yankees’ manager added how he was “all in” on catcher Gary Sanchez. Boone also thinks the team is “very close” to winning the World Series again.
Long story short, look to see a different type of Aaron Boone in 2019 now that he has his first year as manager finished.
Changes are coming
This is more of an addendum to the above takeaway, but it’s important that it be said. The New York Yankees had a strong season of which the team should be very proud. There were multiple moments of adversity and, for the most part, the roster currently in place is built to win.
That all being said, the 2019 season is going to be leagues different from this year. Boone sounds like he is going to be a bit more assertive in his role instead of deferring to more experienced coaches. Players will probably be added on an as-needed basis. Boone said there would be “tweaks in personnel as the roster unfolds.”
Translation: there are a lot of hard decisions management will have to make this winter. Each one will be met with scrutiny. Cashman said he was “pleased with our personnel,” but that just leads into the final and greatest takeaway.
Expect a busy offseason
Brian Cashman is a smart enough GM that he didn’t show his hand entirely. The man clearly knows what he wants to do this offseason and didn’t want to put the Yankees at a disadvantage. Like the great general he is, he kept his battle plans close to the chest.
The only real decision Cashman committed to was trading Sonny Gray, who has a year of arbitration left and was, in a word, awful in 2018.
Yankees are open-minded to trading Sonny Gray, says Brian Cashman. pic.twitter.com/CbezfLuhRQ
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) October 12, 2018
Cashman also touched on veteran CC Sabathia, who is also a free agent and had a small operation on his balky right knee today. However, without saying so, Cashman all but implied what the Yankees may do this offseason.
Let’s go back to Didi Gregorius and his upcoming surgery. It’s on his throwing arm, and there won’t be a timetable for his return until after the operation. This isn’t like when Gleyber Torres needed Tommy John on his non-throwing arm and was back by Spring Training. In Gregorius’ case, the Yankees may soon have to make a hard decision.
I’ll save what the team should do for after Gregorius’ surgery, but we’re all wondering the same thing. Does this mean the New York Yankees are in play for Manny Machado? Cashman said the team would “do what we always do,” again not showing his hand.
Granted, George A. King of the New York Post reported New York as offering significant prospects for Machado, but the Baltimore Orioles traded him to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Now, consider the potential hole at shortstop and Gregorius only having a year of team control left. Could the Bronx Bombers break the bank for Machado?
We could go on and on about what to expect from the Yankees following Boone and Cashman’s words, but it’d all be speculation. It’s easy to have a conversation about what we think the team should do, but harder to actually predict each move. What we do know is that the team is built to win now and will enter next season looking to build off of 2018.
In short, the takeaways from today’s press conferences can be summed up in one sentence.
Fasten your seatbelts, Yankees fans. The team’s coming back with a vengeance in 2019.