Yankees giving key players access to influence offseason direction

MLB: New York Yankees-Aaron Judge press conference
Jessica Alcheh-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Judge and Gerrit Cole are expected to have a major say-so in the decisions that the New York Yankees make this winter as the franchise gears up for a comeback season in 2024.

Yankees’ Judge Dissatisfied With Younger Teammates’ Work Ethic

Bryan Hoch of MLB.com detailed the All-Stars’ likely role in the affairs of the team with this tidbit from Judge, saying:

“One topic likely to arise: Judge noticed some young players bypassing extra pregame reps, offering this pointed statement:” ‘Just because you get to the big leagues and you get to New York, you’ve still got to improve.’ “It was no coincidence that Judge insisted on continuing to play, even after the club’s slim playoff hopes had been extinguished,” Hoch noted.

Judge has set the standard for the Yankees, leading them to five straight playoff appearances. His gradual ascent to MVP status is a testament to his work ethic and dedication to becoming the best baseball player possible.

In all fairness, the Yankees’ young talent was largely responsible for a respectable 16-11 finish down the stretch of the final month of the season. Nevertheless, in order to maintain excellence, satisfaction is never something that’s attainable. The Yankees are known for their uniformity and continual pursuit of excellence, and their standards are not expected to change or be lightened for any individual player.

Yankees Ace Also Expected to Have Sway in Front Office Decisions

Hoch also pointed out Cole’s assumed role in influencing front-office decisions after his Cy Young caliber season went to waste. Cole is undoubtedly the Yankees’ ace and carried the team on the mound, posting a career-best .789 win percentage.

Cole spoke earlier this season about the stark contrast between the Pittsburgh Pirates’ approach to enhancing their pitching staff as opposed to that of the Houston Astros. Having played for both franchises, Cole’s satisfaction with Houston’s management during his tenure was made clear, per The Pittsburgh Post Gazette:

“We [Pirates] executed those really well. But all of a sudden you could objectively identify who has a good fastball. We just didn’t have that. We were not even discussing that. Then when I got to the Astros, obviously they were on the cutting edge of the sport in general. There was a wide chasm. I don’t think that’s quite the same anymore.”

The Yankees have a cutting-edge front office of their own. Collectively, the team fell apart for more reasons than just analytics. Nevertheless, from owner Hal Steinbrenner on down, the primary decision-makers for the Yankees will confer with their two superstar franchise players when re-tooling this offseason.

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