Joe Girardi gave his first in-depth interview since being dismissed by the New York Yankees the other day. It was to Ken Rosenthal at The Athletic. While that’s a subscription site, this story is open to anyone to read until 8AM Eastern tomorrow morning.
In the interview, Girardi said that he was “surprised” that the Yankees let his contract expire and let him leave:
“I was surprised. With the year that we had and the progress the team had made, I thought I would be back. Obviously, there is a ton of talent there, a ton of great young talent. I was excited about that. I thought I’d be back.”
That aside, there is nothing controversial or combative in the interview. Girardi seems to be pretty zen about it all, more thankful that he had ten years in New York than upset at the fact that his time is over. He thanked Hal Steinbrenner specifically for telling him that, whenever he feels like coming back to be a larger part of the Yankees family in some other role, he can give him a call. Girardi, for his part, said that would come later, though, as he still wants to manage someplace. Not that there are any openings right now aside from the Yankees gig.
Girardi also tells Rosenthal that he’s opening to doing TV. My guess is that, until managers start getting fired next season, that’s where we’ll be seeing Girardi.
The Padres may have some interest in acquiring Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco, according to a recent report from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. It seems unlikely that the team would deal their starting third baseman with J.P. Crawford (fractured left hand) sidelined through July; to that end, however, they signed infielder Danny Espinosa as minor league depth on Friday and have reportedly been eying the Rangers’ Adrian Beltre, among other veteran options.
Franco, 25, entered Sunday batting .255/.297/.425 with nine home runs and a .721 OPS in 229 plate appearances this season. While he has yet to live up to the .280+ average, 1.9+ fWAR he posted during his rookie campaign, he’s been a solid 20+ home run producer over the last few years and shown some stability at the hot corner. He’s also under team control for the next three years and could provide some much-needed insurance behind the Padres’ current third base option, 27-year-old Christian Villanueva.
Rosenthal notes that the Phillies could strike a deal for one of San Diego’s relievers, though no one specific has been connected to the team yet — and the club probably wouldn’t be able to finesse a one-for-one deal given the quality of the Padres’ pitchers. The Phillies’ bullpen has looked downright abysmal over the last month, placing 11th-worst in the league with a collective 5.34 ERA and 0.3 fWAR. Their failure to procure a viable reliever beyond Seranthony Dominguez, Victor Arano and Edubray Ramos lends a certain urgency to any potential deal they make over the next few weeks, though the official trade deadline is still over a month away.