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Good morning baseball fans. There was no baseball last night, but we are only one day from the start of the World Series between the Kansas City Royals and the New York Mets. For the other 28 teams, they are beginning their preparations for the offseason and the winter meetings.
One of those 28 teams is the New York Yankees, and in a rather shocking turn of events they aren't expected to go after the big name free agents. It has become sort of commonplace perception that the Yankees use their large wallets to sign the high-prized talent that hits the open market.
Even with high-price tag, big star names like Zack Greinke, David Price, Johnny Cueto and Yoenis Cespedes becoming free agents, the Yankees don't appear to be interested in handing over truck-fulls of money for these guys.
On the flip side, the Yankees have a ton of inexpensive pitching that has the potential to become absolutely dominant if (big if) they can stay healthy. Saving money here should help them in the long run when they need to fill second base and right field in the near future. Despite each of those pitchers likely providing stupendous results in 2016, it's the long-term portion of that contract that could end up hurting the Yankees in the long run. None of those three are without their own concerns as Price has already thrown a significant number of innings before turning 30, Greinke could soon begin his decline at 32, and Cueto could continue to struggle even on a new team.
It's clear that people in the industry are aware of New York's reluctance to add big contracts onto their payroll, but Heyman even went as far as to say that the organization isn't "high at the moment on $200 million deals for pitchers," a trend that started with Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer, and will most certainly take them out of the running for Price. Instead, expect the Yankees to purse mid-level alternatives like Mike Leake, Scott Kazmir, and–thanks to a down year–Jeff Samardzija, if they go after anyone at all.
The Tigers didn't have the year for which they probably hoped but they have the winter to address their needs, one of which is outfield. Rob Rogacki of Bless You Boys labeled Austin Jackson as a potential target for them to pick up.
Baseball is undergoing a suspicious new trend with hiring, as Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports points out. He calls it a troubling trend for the veterans in the league, with more and more general manager positions going to those with analytics backgrounds and Ivy-League degrees.
It's the pattern that troubles me. And it's a pattern that should trouble baseball, if the sport truly is interested in diversity for its top positions. Not just ethnic and racial diversity, but intellectual diversity, too.
I'm sorry, but as much as I recognize the importance of analytics, it is disrespectful for teams to overlook the value of experience when considering prospective managers. If the main prerequisite for managing is merely sharing and implementing the GM's vision, then a whole bunch of qualified people will continue to be shut out.
I'm talking about minor-league managers who spend years honing their skills but lack the requisite connections to advance.
I'm talking about longtime coaches such as the Giants' Ron Wotus and Dodgers' Tim Wallach who continue to wait for an opportunity.
I'm talking about minority candidates such as Blue Jays bench coach DeMarlo Hale, Cubs bench coach Dave Martinez and Indians first base coach Sandy Alomar Jr., who barely seem in the mix.
This Day in Baseball History: Edgar Renteria ends the 1997 World Series with a two out single in the bottom of the 11th in Game 7 against the Cleveland Indians to win the first championship in Marlins history. They also became the youngest expansion time to win a championship, doing it as a 5-year-old team.