A pair of former Yankees – Derek Jeter and Aaron Boone – have been in the news this week: Jeter because he may trade NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton and Boone because he has replaced Joe Girardi as Yankees manager.
We’ll start with Jeter, who could say sayonara to Stanton – and his baseball-leading 59 home runs. This will be Jeter’s first major decision as Marlins CEO, and make no mistake: it’s a franchise-altering move either way.
John Smoltz is confident Jeter will make the right choice.
“If I was magically give the keys to an organization and somebody said you’re going to buy this organization, you’re going to run it, I would absolutely entrust my leadership into a guy that I know knows all the bells and whistles and he’s going to make a lot of decisions for me,” the Hall of Fame pitcher and MLB Network analyst said on Tiki and Tierney. “He’s going to know what I desire. Derek is the face.”
But is dealing Stanton the right move for Miami? In a word, yes. Stanton, 28, is one of the best players in baseball, but he also signed a 13-year, $325 million contract after the 2014 season.
There are still 10 years and about $295 million left on that contract.
“For Stanton, when this contract was signed, I don’t think anybody in the industry thought it was going to be a good contract for the Marlins,” Smoltz said, “based on where they were, based on their inability to sustain winning and certainly get that stadium. I think he’s going to have to end up in either St. Louis or San Francisco.”
Stanton, who is from Los Angeles, would probably prefer the Giants.
“He’s a California guy,” Smoltz said. “I think that at some point they’re going to work this out, but anytime a player signs this magnitude of a contract – and along the way thinks you’re going to win – you need somebody to bail you out. Similar to a Alex Rodriguez contract and the Texas Rangers. The Yankees bailed out the Rangers, they were able to win a championship and absorb that huge deal. I think this is a similar scenario.”
The 44-year-old Boone, meanwhile, has an unenviable task: get the Yankees to the World Series or potentially get fired. Giradi got the Yankees to Game 7 of the ACLS this season, but that wasn’t enough to save his job.
“If you’re talking about someone jumping into the hottest seat in the history of baseball, Aaron Boone has got a great challenge in front of him,” Smoltz said. “The legacy of the general manager (is on the line. Brian Cashman) has put himself in a very risky situation, which I applaud him. If it works, it works. If it doesn’t, he’ll own it and say it didn’t. But this is a team that’s supposed to go to the World Series next year. That is probably the biggest expectation challenge that most managers who jump into a spot maybe don’t have that right away.”