A Yankees demise? Not so fast ...

A year of frustration to the Yankees wasn't a disaster by the standards of most teams. Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

The Yankees’ final salary offer to Joe Girardi was presented last Thursday, and now that we know how it turned out -- like a televised poker game in which we see the cards -- it’s evident that the past week has been about negotiating, about trying to extract more from the Yankees. The Cubs never really had a shot unless Girardi made it all about the money and allowed himself to be offended by the Yankees’ intransigence in recent days.

This is what the Cubs suspected all along, that it was extremely unlikely that the former catcher would return to Illinois. Girardi has a longstanding relationship with the Steinbrenners and with general manager Brian Cashman, and although Girardi is a Northwestern product who has history with the Cubs’ organization, he doesn’t really know the Ricketts family or president Theo Epstein or GM Jed Hoyer.

So Girardi remains with an organization that faces many questions this offseason, but in the eyes of many rival evaluators, the notion that the Yankees are in a steep and irretrievable decline is viewed as incredibly naïve and overstated.