Evidently, the Yankees decided pitching played a large part in their not making it to the World Series in 2010. General Manager Brian Cashman fired pitching coach Dave Eiland, and contacted free agent pitcher Cliff Lee’s agent, David Braunecker, on the first day of free agency.
Pitching Coach, Dave Eiland
Cashman said he fired Eiland for “private” reasons that had nothing to do with the Yankees post-season failure against the Texas Rangers, according to an article on ESPN.com. However, if you’re satisfied with the performance of your pitchers why fire the pitching coach?
Rumorville has it that conflict between Eiland and manager Joe Girardi led to the firing. Eiland took a month leave of absence for personal reasons about the middle of the season, which was the time pitcher A. J. Burnett’s game fell apart. When Eiland returned he was unable to coach Burnett back to his successful form, and the Yankees sorely missed him in the post-season. Eiland’s complaint was that after his return he didn’t feel Girardi paid attention to his suggestions.
Free Agent, Cliff Lee
The first day of free agency dawned bright for Cliff Lee, as the New York Yankees were among those contacting his agent about his services, says an article by Wallace Matthews. Lee faced the Yankees in two playoff series and defeated them three times, thus maybe they want him on their side so they don’t have to worry about facing him again. Besides, Lee is the prime prospect in this year’s free agency. It’s no secret the Yankees need a strong starter to back up C.C. Sabathia and Andy Pettitte, if he returns. Pettitte is 38, had injury problems in 2010 and thinking about retiring. The other two Yankee starters, A.J. Burnett and Javier Vazquez were unreliable in 2010, and the Yankees did not renew Vasquez’s contract.
Speculation is Lee will want a contract similar to Sabathia’s, which is seven years, and $161 million. The Texas Rangers, though, reportedly want to resign their ace and have money to compete with the Yankees. In addition, the Los Angeles Dodgers may have an interest in acquiring Lee.
Andrew Marchland: Source: Dave Eiland felt De-emphasized: go-com
Wallace Matthews: Report: Yankees call Cliff Lee’s Agent: go.com