Brian Cashman Rumors
Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts has been gathering information about Rays executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. The Cubs, who are on the hunt for a new general manager, also appear to have interest in Rick Hahn of the White Sox and Josh Byrnes of the Padres.
The Cubs are drawn to Colletti, a Chicago native and former Cubs employee, since they believe he could bring Hall of Fame second baseman turned minor league manager Ryne Sandberg back as the team’s Major League skipper. Sandberg has said he’d return to the Cubs now that former GM Jim Hendry has been fired, according to Wittenmyer.
Ricketts has also discussed the possibility of trying to lure Yankees GM Brian Cashman to Chicago along with New York manager Joe Girardi. Cashman’s contract expires after the season, but Girardi, a Peoria, Illinois native, is under contract with the Yankees through 2013.
Wittenmyer hears from associates of Friedman that the Rays executive isn’t likely to leave Tampa Bay for Chicago.
The Cubs dismissed GM Jim Hendry earlier today, cutting ties with the third longest tenured GM in the National League even though he's under contract through 2012. The team was one game better than .500 during his tenure, going 749-748. Let's round up the latest reactions, news, and notes surrounding the move...
- A reminder of the criteria for the next GM as laid out by owner Tom Ricketts, who will conduct the search: a commitment to player development, a stronger analytical background, and someone who's been in a winning culture and has a track record of success.
- "[Ricketts] told me he felt we needed a fresh start and he was going to look outside the organization," said interim GM Randy Bush to MLB.com's Carrie Muskat. "I really appreciated his honesty, to be honest."
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman shot down speculation about his candidacy for the job, reports Jack Curry of the YES Network (Twitter links). Cashman said that New York "has been home for quite some time," and he'd like that relationship to continue when his contract is up after the season.
- White Sox GM Kenny Williams said he would give assistant GM Rick Hahn the highest level of recommendation if asked about him by Ricketts, reports Mark Gonzales of The Chicago Tribune (on Twitter). Hahn was one of MLBTR's top 20 GM candidates.
- ESPN's Jim Bowden put together a list of potential GM replacements, including several names that appear on our list.
- Hendry admitted to reporters, including David Kaplan, that he was actually fired on July 22nd. He stayed on to help the team get all of their draft picks signed before the August 15th deadline because owner Tom Ricketts asked him to (Twitter links). Ricketts told Paul Sullivan of The Chicago Tribune that "[Hendry's] been terrific, [it's] a credit to his character."
- In a video for FOX Sports, Ken Rosenthal says that Hendry was done in by the bad contracts given to players like Alfonso Soriano, Carlos Zambrano, and Milton Bradley even though he had to spend the money at behest of the team's previous owner, the Tribune Company.
- The Chicago Sun-Times listed Hendry's highs and lows, a collection of the best and worst moments during his tenure as GM.
In today's Insider-only blog post, ESPN's Buster Olney spoke to executives that believe this will be Brian Cashman's last season as Yankees GM. His contract expires after the season, and it could just be a simple case of burnout. "I think maybe he's finally had it," said one GM. "That's a job that will take a lot out of you." Olney cites Cashman's recent stretch of brutal and uncharacteristic honestly as evidence, but also notes that there have been three other instances in which he's looked ready to leave, only to end up staying on three-year deals.
Here are the rest of Buster's rumors...
- A rival team official believes the Mets need to trade Francisco Rodriguez soon to keep his vesting option from becoming a problem. He's at 28 games finished now (needs 55 to vest a $17.5MM salary for next year), and the longer they keep him the less flexibility a team will have after acquiring him.
- The Rays have "sent signals that they're open for business" and are prepared to take offers according to rival executives. Olney notes that their tradeable pieces include Kyle Farnsworth and B.J. Upton.
- One GM told Olney that one position within the game without many young up-and-coming prospects is manager (Twitter link). That's why 80-year-old Jack McKeon and 68-year-old Davey Johnson landed jobs in the last week.
By now, I'm sure you've looked over our list of players that will be free agents after the 2011 season numerous times, but what about general managers? With some help from Cot's Baseball Contracts, here's the list of GMs without contracts for 2012...
- Andy MacPhail, Orioles - Technically, MacPhail isn't the GM, he's the president of baseball operations. He's still the guy calling the shots though. Last October we heard that he doesn't have any plans to approach owner Peter Angelos about a new deal before his current one expires.
- Neal Huntington, Pirates - Team president Frank Coonelly said he expects Huntington to be in Pittsburgh "for a long time" earlier this year.
- Walt Jocketty, Reds - Cincinnati is clearly a team on the rise, so it seems likely that ownership would want to bring Jocketty back after the season.
- Dave Dombrowski, Tigers - A few months ago we heard that the fates of Dombrowski and manager Jim Leyland could be a package deal based on the team's performance in 2011.
- Brian Cashman, Yankees - The third longest-tenured GM in the game would seem to be on rocky ground after being over-ruled by ownership on the Rafael Soriano signing, but we heard afterwards that he still has the "full backing" of the Steinbrenners.
Not long after the Yankees agreed to sign Rafael Soriano, we heard that the deal was driven more by ownership and not by GM Brian Cashman and his baseball operations staff. SI.com's Jon Heyman reports today that Cashman still has the "full backing" of the Steinbrenner family, a report echoed by ESPN's Buster Olney (Twitter links). Heyman adds (via Twitter) that while Cashman preferred to keep the team's first round draft choice, he made no attempt to "body block" the deal with Soriano and relented because he's a "team man."
Bill Madden and Roger Rubin of The New York Daily News reported this morning that ownership was "bothered by Cashman's blueprint," specifically with regards to Joba Chamberlain opening the season as Mariano Rivera's primary setup man. Soriano addresses that issue and then some, and the team is said to be willing to move Chamberlain in a package for a "viable starter."
Cashman has been the Yankees' GM since 1998, though he is not under contract beyond the 2011 season. His last three contracts have all been for three guaranteed years according to Cot's.
The latest on the Yankees, as GM Brian Cashman prepares to rappel down a building dressed as an elf on Sunday...
- Eduardo Nunez is the team's Plan B if they are unable to re-sign Derek Jeter, reports ESPN's Buster Olney. Rather than try to sign a veteran replacement, the Yankees would install Nunez and allocate the money elsewhere. Of course, Olney feels that the Yankees would remain flexible for potential upgrades if Nunez became their starting shortstop.
- SI's Tom Verducci looks at how other teams have compensated aging icons in recent years, with Cal Ripken, Barry Larkin, George Brett, Craig Biggio, and Paul Molitor serving as examples. It may be difficult to reduce Jeter's pay from his previous $18.9MM average annual value.
- Mike Axisa of River Ave. Blues estimates Joba Chamberlain's 2011 salary at a bit less than $2MM.
Links for Tuesday...
- Tim Lincecum passed his physical according to Henry Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle (via Twitter). Presumably his two-year, $23MM deal is official now.
- Yankees' GM Brian Cashman sat down for an interview with NoMaas.org. He discussed what went into some of their decision making this offseason, among other things.
- Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun projected the Orioles' Opening Day roster.
- Chien-Ming Wang has already passed his physical with the Nationals, reports Chico Harlan of The Washington Post. Given the righty's recent shoulder surgery, it was far from a formality.
- Joe Torre tells Mike Francesa of WFAN that the Dodgers are on the lookout for a fifth starter (audio here). Torre says the Dodgers could find that starter within their organization. He also says he and the Doders are talking about adding a year onto his contract, which expires after this season.
- Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos told Batter's Box that the Blue Jays will draft the best players available this June. Anthopoulos also said the Jays will be open to dealing from their pitching depth.
- MLB.com's Doug Miller shows that baseball's executives are getting younger as owners take a business-first approach to winning.
- Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune says he'd be willing to guarantee Joe Mauer eight or ten years if that's what it takes to keep the catcher in Minnesota, despite the fact that Mauer would almost certainly be playing another position by the end of a contract that long.
- Padres GM Jed Hoyer tells MLB.com's Corey Brock that he's pleased with his first offseason as a GM and the process that the Padres used this winter.
- Giants officials believe "the day is coming when legions of talented hitters will follow" Pablo Sandoval's path to the majors, according to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News.
- ESPN.com's Buster Olney says Felipe Lopez would be a "great, great fit" for the Mets.
Brendan Bianowicz has more updates to the GM Trade History series. Today he covers the AL East. Check out the Excel spreadsheets below to see trades, free agent signings, and notable draft picks for each GM.
- Baltimore Orioles - Andy MacPhail
- Boston Red Sox - Theo Epstein
- New York Yankees - Brian Cashman
- Tampa Bay Rays - Andrew Friedman
- Toronto Blue Jays - J.P. Ricciardi and Alex Anthopoulos
Some more links on a busy Saturday evening...
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman believes the trade deadline is "no longer even in existence" because teams can always use waivers to swap players in August: "Guys are going to get through because people are going to be afraid to claim and get stuck with money that they can’t afford," said the GM. "And so the July 31 trade deadline is more of a fictitious one now, anyway."
- According to MLB.com's Mark Sheldon, Reds manager Dusty Baker had a meeting with his players this week to discuss the looming trade deadline. "Dusty said... that if you continue to win, they can't remove pieces," noted trade candidate Bronson Arroyo.
- As Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune points out, using Rich Harden and Jason Marquis as prime examples, midseason trades don't always look as sweet a year later.
- According to the Associated Press, via ESPN.com, the Braves are interested in adding Greg Maddux as a spring training pitching instructor. Maddux worked in a similar capacity for the Padres last spring.
- For quick updates and a bit more discussion, follow MLBTR on Twitter. Hey, and while you're at it, go ahead and add your good buddy Drew Silva. I'll try not to let you down.
A fresh batch of links for your Saturday afternoon enjoyment...
- Sweeny Murti of WFAN gathered a quote from Yankees GM Brian Cashman on the club's starting pitching depth: "Right now I don't feel like we need a guy...because we're going internal and waiting to see how that works out." In other words, they probably won't take part in the Roy Halladay or Cliff Lee sweepstakes.
- Tracy Ringolsby, writing for FOXSports.com, notes how a change of scenery has benefited 30-year-old right-hander Jason Marquis, who was named to his first All-Star team earlier this month.
- Mike Lipka of the Associated Press, via the Cleveland Plain Dealer, suggests Jarrod Washburn's chances of being moved hinge on the Mariners' play over the next few weeks. If the M's begin to slip back in the AL West, the left-hander will almost definitely be wearing a different uniform in August.
- Rickey Henderson, 50, acknowledged Friday that his playing days are over. But, as the all-time stolen base leader told ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick, he would love to pursue a career in coaching.
- Crasnick appeared on Portland, Maine's CMSB this morning and touched on several of the topics we've been throwing around here the past few weeks. He, like other experts have echoed recently, called the chances of a Halladay deal "50-50."