Postmortem Presser Notes: Didi, Gray, Sabathia, Stanton

Surprise surgeries for CC and Didi.

The Yankees made manager Aaron Boone and general manager Brian Cashman available today for their postmortem press conference. Here are the most important storylines:

  • Didi Gregorius tore his right ulnar collateral ligament during one of the first two games of the American League Division Series in Boston, and played through the injury for the rest of the series. A recent MRI determined the tear was bad enough to force the shortstop to undergo Tommy John surgery. Cashman told reporters that Gregorius had an “asymptomatic” partial tear of the ligament that came up in his December 2014 physical that was part of his trade from Arizona to New York. “Is it bring him back in June, July, August? I think all depends on how things play out,” Cashman said. “I’d rather not put a timeframe on it. We do expect to get him back, and we do expect to return to the player that obviously we’ve been enjoying for quite some time.” Cashman also said that Gleyber Torres was the “best internal option” to start the season at shortstop, though the Yankees will undoubtedly check in on free agent Manny Machado. Gregorius also tore cartilage in his right wrist on a head-first slide, and missed time with a bruised heel suffered August 19 against Toronto. He has batted .274./.319/.447 with 81 home runs and 299 RBIs in 2,314 plate appearances since debuting for the Yankees in 2015 – all with a partially torn ligament in his right elbow.
  • Sonny Gray will almost certainly begin the 2019 season in a different uniform, as Cashman said the Yankees will “enter the winter, unfortunately, open-minded to a relocation”. Gray was awful for the Yanks at home in 2018, pitching to a 6.98 ERA in 15 home games compared to 3.17 in 15 games away from the Bronx. “Someone, if they trade for him, is going to get the player that we wanted,” Cashman said. “If and when that happens, I fully expect that. But it just hasn’t worked out here.”
  • CC Sabathia had another operation on his balky right knee, just like the clean-out he had after last season. “He’s had an amazing career that has a chance to continue — whether it’s gonna be for us or not,” Cashman said. Sabathia owns a 129-80 record and 3.74 ERA in 284 starts for the Yankees since he first signed with the team in 2009.
  • Unprompted, Cashman said he has “no regrets” on swinging a trade for 2017 National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton. “We got one of the better players in the game from the offensive standpoint, period, we didn’t shy away from the opportunity of acquiring him,” the GM said. Stanton hit .266/.343/.509 with 38 home runs and 100 RBIs but also hit just .213/.306/.436 with five homers in September, and had a tough postseason slashing .238/.273/.381 against Oakland and Boston.

A note unrelated to today’s press conference: the Texas Rangers interviewed ex-Yankees manager Joe Girardi for their managerial opening today. He managed the Yanks to Game 7 of the ALCS in 2017 and spent 2018 working as an analyst for MLB Network.

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