As they do at the end of every season, the Yankee manager and general manager addressed the media to give their reactions to the 2018 season and take questions from the press. Aaron Boone spoke first, and he was followed by Brian Cashman. We live-tweeted the press conferences here:
🚨Yankees End of Season Press Conference LIVE Thread🚨
When the Yankees acquired Didi from the Diamondbacks, he had a partially torn UCL, but it did not present any issues at the time. According to Cashman, “It seems, based off [Gregorius’] dialogue and the feeling he felt on the tweak there — on that throw is where he pinpointed it — that was the finishing off of something that was a sleeping giant.”
The timeline for Didi’s return is not entirely clear. Gleyber Torres, as you may remember, had Tommy John on his non-throwing elbow, and was ready to return in about six months. Unfortunately, that timeline may not apply for Didi because the injury is to his throwing arm.
Jay Jaffe of Fangraphs wrote about previous position players who underwent Tommy John surgery. In recent years, the recovery time is anywhere from 6-10 months.
Aaron Boone is “optimistic that he’ll be back at some point during the season…we think there’s a realistic chance he plays the bulk of the season with us,” and Cashman noted “I’d rather not put a timeframe on it.” Hopefully Sir Didi returns soon and as good as ever. The real question is if he’ll continue with his post-win tweets while he is rehabbing.
You can watch the full video of Boone and Cashman discussing Didi here:
CC underwent knee surgery
Like he has each of the past two off-seasons, CC Sabathia had a cleanup procedure on his right knee. This surgery helps keep his knee in condition to pitch moving forward.
You can hear what Cashman said about CC here:
According to Cashman, “The expectation is he’ll be full-bore, ready to go, and the same type of pitcher that he’s been — which is successful. He’s had an amazing career and has a chance to continue.”
CC is once again a free agent, and by all accounts he wants to pitch at least one more year. Let’s all hope that it’s with pinstripes on.
When asked about Sonny Gray, holy crap was Cash honest.
“It hasn’t worked out thus far I think he’s extremely talented. I think that we’ll enter the winter, unfortunately, open-minded to a relocation. Probably, if he can maximize his abilities, it will more likely be best somewhere else. But then it comes down to the final decision of the price, in terms of trade acquisition and matching up with somebody. If we match up, then I think, yeah, it’s probably best to try this somewhere else.”
This quote is reminiscent of past times when Cashman was brutally honest about signings he did not agree with, but is interesting in its own way. Speaking so bluntly and directly this way makes it sound like Cashman has already begun talks with other teams. Otherwise, mentioning this idea so clearly takes away what little leverage the Yankees had in trade negotiations. You can listen to Cashman’s full remarks here:
For those who think something else may be up, you can count Scott among you:
I don’t think Cash is just being ‘refreshingly honest’ re: Gray.
More likely scenario: Sonny requested a trade through his agent (0% he did it himself—coward). The agent already blasted it across baseball w/ his own spun narrative, so now Cash has nothing to do but be wide open.
When asked about Severiono, Boone admitted that he has tipped his pitches in the past, but he did not address whether or not this was the case in game 3.
Ben Harris of The Athletic (subs req’d) found evidence of how Severino was tipping pitches in the playoffs. Essentially, when there was a runner on second, Severino would alter how he looked from the runner to the plate before delivering the pitch. The article has several videos showing this difference, and was able to predict 89% of Severino’s pitches based on this pre-pitch movement.
Odds and Ends
Boone was very comfortable answering questions. There were few, if any, pauses between questions and his answers. He was also very positive about all of his players. When discussing Gary Sanchez, he said “I think Gary is going to absolutely realize his potential. As tough as this year was at times for him, there’s no doubt in my mind he will benefit from all that he went through this year. I believe we’re seeing the strides. This offseason, the work continues for him. He knows that. I think the end result is we’re going to be talking about a very polished, elite-level player.” This statement and demeanor is in stark contrast to Joe Girardi, and shows why the Yankees hired Boone. They like his media presence and his ability to speak positively about his players in public.
Of course the news about Didi immediately led into questions about pursuing Many Machado. Cashman declined to directly talk about Machado, but don’t read into that. He is not allowed to speak about players currently under contract with another team. We know the Yankees have money to spend, and we’ll see where they spend it.
The news about Didi was not coordinated well. The Yankees mentioned it at the end of Boone’s presser, and he did not have clear answers about the situation. Ditto for Cashman. Of course they do not know the exact timeline, but the way this was handled seemed out of character for the way the Yankees do business.
David Adler of Yankees.com has a ton of other quotes and news from the press conferences. You can read his articles here,here, and here.
Other than the Didi and Gray bombshells, this press conference was pretty ordinary all things considered. Both Boone and Cashman spoke about how the season was a disappointment and that they are looking forward to improving for next year. Cashman mentioned “mission accomplished” in regards to resetting the luxury tax, now let’s hope they are all-in on preparing for the next mission, Mission World Series #28.