Thirteen men have served as Yankee general manager since George Steinbrenner purchased the team from CBS in 1973. None has lasted as long as Brian Cashman.
Now he will get three more years with a contract extension that runs through the 2014 season. The general manager was paid about $2 million per year on his last contract and will reportedly receive a small raise.
It was considered only a matter of time, but Cashman will return to the position he has held since replacing Bob Watson for the 1998 season.
Even as Cashman’s contract expired Monday, it was apparent he was returning. The biggest indicator was that he spearheaded the negotiations on pitcher CC Sabathia’s reworked contract that was agreed to Monday night, four and a half hours before the lefty could have opted out.
“Securing CC in that way allows us to be very open minded and conservative in our approach,” Cashman said yesterday during a conference call announcing his contract extension. “I think we’re in a position now to take our time and explore and digest, as well as pursue, but at our own pace, not in an emotional or reactive state.”
That seems to indicate the Yankees will approach the offseason slowly and not throw a $100 million contract at former Texas starting pitcher C.J. Wilson or any other prominent free agent. Though they will explore a market that also includes Japanese star Yu Darvish, former White Sox left Mark Buehrle and former Astro and Phillie Roy Oswalt among the notable starters.
“It is pitching, pitching, pitching,” Cashman said. “That will be the main thrust of this stuff.”
Yankees won’t sign big offensive stars
If the Yankees do look to make any signings on the free agent market, don’t expect a big bat such as Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder.
Other than the lack of timely hitting in the playoffs, offense was not a problem for the club. Designated hitter is an open slot, though the Yankees prefer to rotate players in and out of the position.
“Offense is not a problem with this club,” he said.
In fact, Cashman doesn’t seem to be leaning toward adding any type of hitter in the market, let alone a name slugger.
Cashman said he doesn’t “anticipate a bat being a need at all.”
Francisco Cervelli, who missed the end of the season with at least his second concussion, will be back and healthy according to Cashman.
“Cervelli is fine. He’s full bore, ready to go as a catcher.”
Promising young hitter Jesus Montero will likely see time at multiple positions. He batted .328 with four home runs after a September call up.
Burnett trade is possible
On other topics, Cashman said he is open-minded to trades, including Burnett, who has a limited no-trade clause in his five-year deal.
“I think it would be hard to replace his innings," Cashman said. "I am open-minded to if anyone wants to approach me on anyone on this roster that doesn't have a full no-trade clause. The worst I can tell them is no.
Posada decision to come
Cashman also said that he was not ready to discuss Jorge Posada’s future.
"That is something we will have to discuss in the short term, but it is not something I'm prepared to talk about today."
Cashman did say he will bring Russell Martin back.