NEW YORK (WFAN) — If you are waiting for the Yankees to hold their players accountable for their dismal showing in the ALCS, you may be wasting your time.
WFAN’s Jon Heyman and Sweeny Murti have learned the front office appears to have no intention of making wholesale changes. In fact, it looks like the Bombers are about to offer some of their postseason culprits a lifeboat.
The Yankees hit just .188 during their nine-game stay in the playoffs, which ended with a dismal 8-1 loss in Detroit on Thursday, capping the Tigers’ four-game sweep. Alex Rodriguez, Nick Swisher and Curtis Granderson were among those to hit even less than that. Yet it’s possible all three could be back in pinstripes next season, with huge dollar amounts attached to them to boot.
Heyman has learned the Yankees are not planning on attempting to trade Rodriguez, who hit .120 (3-for-25), with 12 strikeouts and 0 RBI in seven postseason games (he was benched for the final two in Detroit). The most obvious reason is because he’s 37 and still owed $114 million over the next five years.
“He’s our third baseman,” general manager Brian Cashman said. “I’m going to focus on other areas.”
Pressed a bit further, Cashman repeated that he has no plans or expectations to talk about trades for A-Rod. “No, I’m not,” he said, flatly.
Rodriguez has 34 home runs and 119 RBI over his last two seasons combined, numbers that rival his career averages. He recently drew the ire of fans when he was caught flirting with women in the stands while his team was losing the opener of its series with Detroit.
Then there’s the curious case of soon-to-be free agent Swisher, a player once loved by the fans but is now running from them. Swisher has been a very productive regular season performer during his four years in the Bronx, but has hit .181 (15-for-83) with just 5 RBI over the last three postseasons.
The Yankees are still planning to make a qualifying offer, but only to protect the draft choice, not with any hope or expectation that Swisher would accept the offer and return to the Bronx, Heyman reported.
The Yankees were certain all season they’d extend the qualifying offer, which is expected to be for about $13.5 million in the new set-up, but the great likelihood seems to be that Swisher could beat that total on a multi-year deal elsewhere.
Competing executives told Heyman they see Swisher getting a three-year deal, or thereabouts, following a season in which he had 24 home runs, 93 RBI and a .272 batting average.
The Yankees have no interest in making Swisher a multi-year deal at the going rate, but that’s mostly about their desire to get their payroll below the luxury tax threshold of $189 million in 2014.
Swisher expressed great disappointment in the treatment of Yankees players at Yankee Stadium after the defeat in Game 2 of the ALCS.
“It’s hurts,” he said. “I’m a sensitive guy. I’m one of those guys you give me a hug and I’ll run through a wall for you. It’s tough, it’s really tough.”
Heyman has also learned the Yankees plan to pick up Granderson’s $15 million option.
The power-hitting center fielder batted .100 (3-for-30) during the playoffs, with 1 homer, 1 RBI and a team-high 16 strikeouts, this coming off a regular season in which he hit a career-high 43 homers, and drove in a team-high 106 runs.
As WFAN’s Murti reported, Granderson’s option was originally $13 million, but a clause in his contract added $2 million if he finished in the top 5 in MVP voting in either 2011 or 2012 (He finished 4th last year). That clause was in the contract he signed with the Tigers in 2008. The Yankees, typically, do not include such clauses in any of their contracts.
In case you are wondering about second baseman Robinson Cano, he of the .075 average (3-for-40) in the playoffs, the Yankees are almost certain to pick up his $15 million option, Murti reported.
The Yankees’ free agents are: Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Swisher, Russell Martin, Ichiro Suzuki, Hiroki Kuroda, Andruw Jones, Raul Ibanez, Eric Chavez, Freddy Garcia, and Derek Lowe, Murti reported.
Closer Rafael Soriano can opt out of his contract, which is expected and would make him a free agent also. The Yankees plan to pursue Kuroda, Heyman reported.
Pettitte said he will decide if he wants to pitch next season in about a month, but all signs point to him wanting to pitch again, Murti reported.
Also of note, Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain are both arbitration eligible for the last time. Assuming both spend all next season in the majors (including DL time), they will become free agents after next season.
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