In a story published yesterday by Gary Phillips at the New York Daily News, Yankees' GM Brian Cashman decided to continue the offseason drama by discussing Yankees' slugger Giancarlo Stanton, "I'm not gonna tell you he's gonna play every game next year because he's not. He's going to wind up getting hurt more likely than not because it seems to be part of his game."
Stanton's agent, Joel Wolfe, responded as stated in the tweet above, "I read the context of the entire interview. I think it's a reminder for all free agents considering signing in New York both foreign and domestic that to play for that team you have to be made of Teflon, both mentally and physically because you can never let your guard down even in the offseason."
I don't even know where to start with this New York Yankees controversy so let's just start with this: neither one of them are necessarily wrong.
I guess let's start with the genesis of this public displeasure: Brian Cashman's comments. Now, Stanton has certainly struggled with injuries in his career, so saying he expects Stanton to be injured is something that I think every Yankees fan also believes. However, you're the GM of this team, and Stanton gets enough flack from the fans and media ... and now he has to deal with sly remarks from his own GM? Not something you want to be happening inside your organization.
Brian Cashman knew about Stanton's injury history, he knew he was a high strike out, low contact, high home run guy, and he took on his massive contract anyway. It feels hypocritical of Cashman to sit here now and criticize Stanton's health problems when he is the guy that pursued him in the first place. Blaming a guy for something that is out of his control, no matter how true it is, is unbecoming of someone as high up in the Yankees organization as Brian Cashman, who at this time is not very well liked amongst the fan base. Mind you, this is all coming off a completely childish tirade from Cashman after failing to accept criticism for the Yankees shortcomings this past season.
As for Stanton's agent, Joel Wolfe, I would say his response to Cashman was as tame as it could have been. He is protecting his client from a GM who made remarks about something that, while true, are completely out of Stanton's control. Forewarning free agents about signing with the Yankees is about the kindest way to say, "this organization is a mess."
These comments alone by Brian Cashman are borderline fireable. Despite his shiny, questionable extension he got last offseason, if he fails to acquire any significant pieces to improve the Yankees roster and it leads to the same outcome as this past season, Cashman could find himself out of a job. Wolfe didn't even need to say anything for this to effect the Yankees, but he did, and his words carry a lot of weight. Players pay attention to these things, and you know other agents are seeing this too. "If a former MVP is being blamed for his own injuries, how will they treat my client?" is what you can safely assume most agents are thinking right now.
Thus far this offeason, Cashman seems to have allowed his feelings to get the better of him, deflecting blame and refusing to acknowledge the core of what has been plaguing the Yankees. The media has been critical of him, the fans have been critical of him, and after his comments about Giancarlo Stanton (a beloved locker room guy and teammate), he better hope the players don't turn on him too.