As was reported last night, Bill Neukom was forced out as the Giants CEO and he was replaced today by Larry Baer. There was a press conference about all of this earlier this afternoon and Mychael Urban of CSNBayArea.com was there to cover it. The highlights:
- Although the original reports of the ownership group’s displeasure with Neukom (that he didn’t communicate well with the other owners and that they learned about stuff in the newspaper first) were downplayed, they weren’t denied, either. No one said Neukom was “forced out,” but no one said he wasn’t either (Neukom quibbled with that characterization). Which, if you’ve been around business people for any amount of time in your life means that (a) there were communication problems; and (b) he was forced out;
- Payroll is not going to go down. This doesn’t mean it will go up, but it’s not going down; and
- There will be no change in the Giants’ views about the A’s in San Jose. Meaning: the Giants still don’t want the A’s in San Jose.
- Neukom is divesting his ownership interest. Which is sort of what happens when a guy gets shoved aside by his partners.
As a whole, this sounds like a primarily internal thing. It doesn’t sound like the ownership group had grave issues with what Neukom was doing in any way that will affect the fan experience.
Joe Longo, the agent of Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich, said his client’s relationship with the Marlins is “irretrievably broken,” ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports. He believes in the best interest of both Yelich and the Marlins to work out a trade before the start of spring training.
They have a plan. I respect that plan, but that plan shouldn’t include Christian at this point in his career. He’s in the middle of the best years of his career, and having him be part of a 100-loss season is not really where [we] want to see him going.
The relationship between player and team is irretrievably broken. It’s soured. He’s part of the old ownership regime. The new ownership regime needs to get new parts into this plan and move forward, and he needs to get on with his career where he’s got a chance to win. The big issue is him winning and winning now.
He loves the city of Miami. He loves the fans. He’s had nothing but a good experience in South Florida, and he feels sorry where they ended up. But I think having him report [to spring training] and attempting to include him moving forward is going to be uncomfortable for both sides. I don’t see how it’s going to work.
This certainly comes as no surprise considering the offseason the Marlins have had after installing new ownership, going from Jeffrey Loria to Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter. The club traded All-Star outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, who hit 59 home runs last season, as well as Dee Gordon and Marcell Ozuna. As Crasnick notes, Yelich isn’t the only player to express disappointment with the Marlins’ current direction — J.T. Realmuto and Starlin Castro have as well.
Yelich, 26, signed a seven-year, $49.57 million contract extension with the Marlins in March of 2015. Given his career performance, that’s a bargain of a contract, which is why more than a handful of teams have inquired with the Marlins about him this offseason. Yelich finished the past season with a .282/.369/.439 triple-slash line along with 18 home runs, 81 RBI, 100 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases in 695 plate appearances.