Brian Cashman Rumors

Reactions To The Nick Swisher Signing

Earlier today, we learned the Indians agreed to sign Nick Swisher to a four-year, $56MM deal, which is the largest free agent contract (in total value) in franchise history, according to ESPN (via Twitter). Here are the reactions to the Indians' big splash into the free agent pool:

  • Yankees GM Brian Cashman had kind words for Swisher, as tweeted by Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, "He was great for us. We’ll miss him, but I’m happy for him. I think Cleveland got a bargain."
  • The Swisher move is stunning but it reflects a willingness on the part of ownership to spend (signing Swisher and Mark Reynolds) and make bold moves (the Shin-Soo Choo trade and the hiring of Terry Francona), writes the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Terry Pluto
  • Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter) has yet to identify one other team on Swisher's free agent "tour" of prospective suitors.  Heyman adds that it's possible that there were other teams in the hunt, but it's a mystery as to who they could be.
  • Swisher and Jayson Werth have comparable regular season stats, but Werth got $70MM more in part because of his October play and defensive ability, Heyman tweets.
  • The Indians considered all of their free agent pursuits to be longshots, but the fact that Swisher is from Parkersburg, West Virginia and went to Ohio State helped to lure him to Cleveland, Ken Rosenthal tweets.  Manager Terry Francona's pitch also factored in for the veteran.
  • While the Indians’ decision to sign Swisher while entertaining trades for right-hander Justin Masterson, closer Chris Perez, and others seems curious, the club has an explanation, Rosenthal writes.  The Tribe is trying to thread the needle and improve the team both short- and long-term.
  • The Red Sox valued the second round draft pick they would have had to forfeit by signing Swisher more than Swisher himself given the new spending restrictions on draft choices, according to Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal. With that in mind, MacPherson wonders, in a second piece, if the Red Sox erred in not tendering a qualifying offer to Cody Ross
  • Swisher's deal is a bit startling in terms of free agent prices and makes B.J. Upton's $15MM/year agreement with Braves look better, opines the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's David O'Brien (Twitter links).  
  • Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer puts the Swisher contract into historical context by listing the Tribe's five best and five worst free agent signings.

Edward Creech contributed to this post.


Yankees Notes: Steinbrenner, Cashman, Girardi

The Yankees share the AL East lead with the Orioles after losing again to the Rays last night. It's been a rough week for the Yankees, who have lost five of six, but the team still has an 87.7% chance of making the postseason, according to Baseball Prospectus. Here’s the latest…

  • The Yankees have made it clear that they intend to reduce payroll below the $189MM luxury tax threshold by 2014. But Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports wonders if Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner will change his mind if the team misses the postseason this year. Promising young pitchers such as Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda and Manny Banuelos dealt with injuries in 2012, which will make it harder for GM Brain Cashman to build an affordable rotation.
  • Steinbrenner told Ken Davidoff of the New York Post that he's "frustrated" and still expects great things from his team. However, the jobs of Cashman and manager Joe Girardi aren't at stake, Davidoff reports. "No, not at all," Steinbrenner said.
  • Joel Sherman of the New York Post looks beyond the reasons often offered for the Yankees’ recent struggles — injuries and a lack of timely hitting — and suggests the team has an offensive attack that’s too one-dimensional and a rotation that surrenders too many home runs. New York’s starting pitchers have allowed 125 homers, more than any other MLB rotation.

Yankees Notes: Pineda, Cashman, Pettitte

Michael Pineda will miss the rest of the season to undergo and recover from arthroscopic shoulder surgery. The injury weakens the Yankees for the current season and creates questions about what the 23-year-old will contribute long-term. Here are the latest links regarding the Yankees and their pitching staff…

  • The Yankees were looking forward to strong pitching performances from Pineda at reasonable salaries that would help keep the team's payroll beneath the $189MM luxury tax threshold, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes. Yankees GM Brian Cashman says he regrets the injury, but not his team's decision-making process. “The deal we did I would do that ten times out of ten,” Cashman told Sherman. 
  • Andy Pettitte's return is suddenly much more vital to the Yankees, Sherman notes. The left-hander pitched five innings at Double-A Trenton last night, allowing three earned runs.
  • John Harper of the New York Daily News says it's not reasonable or fair to blame Cashman for Pineda's shoulder injury. The Yankees evaluated the right-hander's elbow and shoulder carefully at the time of the trade and his arm seemed fine. "He was strong as a bull in resistance testing," Cashman said. 
  • Harper points out that scouts and executives liked the Pineda-Jesus Montero trade for the Yankees back in January.


Yankees, Cashman Agree To Extension

TUESDAY: The Yankees officially announced Cashman's new three-year deal, tweets Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News.

FRIDAY: Theo Epstein is gone, Andy MacPhail isn't coming back, and Andrew Friedman appeared to entertain the idea of leaving. But the longest-tenured general manager in the American League East is staying put. The Yankees have agreed to an extension with GM Brian Cashman, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter). The sides agreed to a three-year deal, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (on Twitter) and they are waiting for the World Series to end before making any announcements.

The Yankees have won four championships under Cashman, who took over New York's baseball operations department before the 1998 season. The 44-year-old has built playoff teams in 13 out of a possible 14 seasons. MLBTR's Transaction Tracker offers a look back at his many moves. I looked ahead to the Yankees' offseason earlier in the week. Cashman's primary offseason goal will be acquiring starting pitching.


Yankees Notes: Beltran, Sabathia, Cashman, Montero

We heard this morning that Robinson Cano is looking to re-work his deal with the Yankees. Here’s more news about the defending American League East champions…

  • The Yankees are considering Carlos Beltran as a possible right fielder, according to Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com. The Yankees have a $10.25MM option for Nick Swisher that they have to make a decision on after the World Series, but they could pick up the option, sign Beltran and trade Swisher.
  • The Yankees’ negotiations with C.C. Sabathia could come down to the team's willingness to guarantee the left-hander a seventh year, according to George A. King III of the New York Post. While the Yankees would be comfortable with a five or six-year deal worth roughly $25MM per season, the Yankees would pause if Sabathia wants a seven or eight-year deal. Sabathia is expected to opt out of the four years and $92MM remaining on his contract.
  • Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News hears that Brian Cashman’s extension with the Yankees is “just about” complete. The GM’s deal, which appears to be for three years or more, could be announced as soon as the World Series ends.
  • Joel Sherman of the New York Post draws parallels between Mike Napoli of the Rangers and Yankees catching prospect Jesus Montero. Montero can hit despite questions about his defensive ability, so Sherman suggests it might be wise for the Yankees to keep Montero instead of trading him for starting pitching.

Front Office Notes: Red Sox, Minaya, Cashman

The Cubs and Red Sox introduced the new leaders of their respective baseball operations departments today. Theo Epstein met with the media in Chicago and Ben Cherington did the same in Boston. Here are some more notes from front offices around MLB…

  • Epstein sounded extremely confident in Cherington’s ability to bring the Red Sox back to the playoffs. “He’s had such a well-rounded development,” Epstein said of Cherington. “He’s got so much integrity. He’s so bright. He’s got great management skills of people. This guy is going to do a fantastic job.” Alex Speier of WEEI.com has more quotes from Epstein.
  • Speier hears from an insider who won't be surprised if the Red Sox and Cubs need the help of the commissioner's office to resolve the issue of compensation for Epstein.
  • Former Mets and Expos GM Omar Minaya is one of top candidates for the Angels’ GM job, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (on Twitter).
  • The Yankees expect to have a new deal with GM Brian Cashman by Monday, according to Andrew Marchand and Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com.
  • Newsday's Ken Davidoff explains that Rangers executive A.J. Preller rooted for the Yankees before getting his first job in professional baseball. MLBTR's Tim Dierkes spoke to Preller earlier this month for our GM Candidates series.
  • The Diamondbacks announced that they promoted Junior Noboa to VP of Latin Operations. Noboa, Arizona's first ever international hire, enters his 18th season with the organization. He has overseen the acquisition of players such as Miguel Montero and Gerardo Parra.
  • For the latest on the Orioles’ GM search, click here, for notes on MLB managers click here and for more front office rumors click here.

Front Office Notes: Orioles, Cashman, Cubs, Padres

Theo Epstein is officially the Cubs' president of baseball operations and the Red Sox have announced that Ben Cherington will be Boston's next GM, but there's still lots of front office turnover on the horizon. Here are the latest details from around MLB:

  • De Jon Watson's interview for the Orioles' GM job will take place on Wednesday, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (on Twitter). I spoke to Watson, the Dodgers' assistant GM, last month. He's up against Jerry Dipoto of the Diamondbacks and Tony LaCava of the Blue Jays.
  • Chase Headley and Heath Bell told Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune that they expect a smooth transition from Jed Hoyer to Josh Byrnes when Hoyer leaves the Padres to become the Cubs' new GM.
  • Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune explains that Cubs president Crane Kenney will move exclusively to the business side now that Epstein is the club's president of baseball operations. Kenney is a polarizing figure in Chicago and the role he played in obtaining Epstein is unclear, according to Sullivan.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times says letting assistant GM Randy Bush go would be a mistake for the Cubs.
  • Yankees GM Brian Cashman met with Hal Steinbrenner in New York today and Joel Sherman of the New York Post says the sides expect to be able to complete a new deal for Cashman with relative ease (Twitter link).

Cashman On Contract, Sabathia

MLB.com's Bryan Hoch talked with Yankees GM Brian Cashman, who is conducting the team's professional scouting meetings this week.

  • Cashman's contract expires on October 31st, but he told Hoch, "It'll get done between now and October 31st, I'm sure.  I can't promise, but I think that's what everybody expects. I know it's something that everybody has to follow. But that's not a pressing circumstance, as far as something I'm worried about right now."  Cashman feels his deal can be hammered out over the phone.
  • "I'm sure we'll talk before the World Series is over," Cashman said in reference to C.C. Sabathia's contract situation.  Sabathia is expected to opt out of the four years and $92MM remaining on the contract he signed in December of '08, but he hopes to re-sign.
  • Cashman said he's hopeful he has qualified people to take the place of Yankees executives Billy Eppler or Damon Oppenheimer if need be, as they have been granted permission to interview for the Angels' GM job.  ESPN's Buster Olney tweeted Oppenheimer's resume today: he's a Southern California native with five World Series rings and one of the best drafts in history (2006).  Click here to read Ben Nicholson-Smith's interview with Openheimer as part of our GM Candidates series.

AL East Notes: Cashman, CC, Blue Jays, Darvish

There's no shortage of news regarding AL East ballclubs so far this offseason, not the least of which is the Orioles' search for a new general manager. Click here for the latest on that story, and here are some other interesting items of note:

  • The Yankees will meet with GM Brian Cashman next week, and the sides are expected to hammer out a new contract without trouble, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Cashman's contract expired after this season.
  • Separately, Sherman examines which teams could be in on the bidding for Yankees starter CC Sabathia in the likely event of the left-hander opting out of his contract. As well, Sherman raises an interesting point: If some team swoops in with six- or seven-year offer, will the Yankees match? A case could be made against it, as the Bombers already have a few risky long-term deals on the books.
  • The Blue Jays do not require rival teams to seek permission to interview Toronto employees, explains Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca. As we have already seen in a couple instances this offseason (and in offseasons past), many teams are not as liberal with this policy, but the Jays feel that they can attract strong employees with the promise of being able to move on if another opportunity arises.
  • Orioles player development director John Stockstill is in Japan to scout Yu Darvish, among others, a club source tells Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter link). Stockstill signed Koji Uehara, according to Connolly.
  • Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com has compiled a retrospective of Theo Epstein's tenure as Red Sox GM, listing Epstein's best and worst moves in trades, free agency and draft picks.

Manager/GM Notes: Epstein, Sandberg, Cashman

The Cubs are on the brink of completing a deal with the GM Theo Epstein and the Red Sox. Here are the details and more managerial and GM notes from around MLB…

  • MLB.com's Carrie Muskat hears that chairman Tom Ricketts is handling compensation discussions for the Cubs. However, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that assistant GMs Ben Cherington and Randy Bush will do most of the negotiating with upper management signing off on the expected agreement.
  • John Dennis of WEEI hears that the Red Sox and Cubs won't start talks about compensation for Epstein until today (link via Rob Bradford of WEEI.com).
  • Epstein will earn $3MM or more on his new deal with the Cubs, but it still falls short of what Tigers president and GM Dave Dombrowski earns, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (Twitter links). Heyman noted earlier this week that Dombrowski, one of baseball's longest-tenured GMs, earns about $5MM.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times hears that the Cubs expect a reconciliation with Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg this week. Epstein interviewed Sandberg for Boston's Triple-A managerial position last offseason, but Sandberg turned the job down to manage in the Phillies' system. Cubs manager Mike Quade is under contract through 2012.
  • Joel Sherman of the New York Post explains the challenges GMs face in Boston and New York. One MLB executive is amazed that Yankees GM Brian Cashman has continued to do his job under such intense pressure for more than a decade.