Brian Cashman Rumors
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."
Talking to Newsday's Arthur Staple, Yankees GM Brian Cashman discussed the team's approach toward the trade market. Cashman said that if the team fixes itself by getting Brian Bruney healthy and Chien-Ming Wang right, there may not be a need to make a deal. Bruney returns from the DL Tuesday, while Wang's last-chance start comes Wednesday against John Lannan and the Nationals. Seems odd to me to place so much emphasis on a single start.
Staple also learned that Cashman intends to talk to Hal Steinbrenner if he seeks approval to add to the payroll. I'd be surprised to see money become an impediment for a deadline acquisition.
What are the team's needs? The Yankees' rotation currently ranks 12th in the AL with a 4.98 ERA. The question is whether Cashman could come up with a starter who'd be definitively better than Phil Hughes. As for the pen, Ken Rosenthal wrote Friday that the Yanks have already expressed interest in Colorado closer Huston Street and "eventually will target the best available late-inning relievers." The Angels are also known to be eyeing Street, having lost Scot Shields for the season.
Links for Thursday...
- Forbes' MLB team valuations are out. The Yankees top the list at $1.5 billion, while the Marlins are 30th at $277 million.
- Adam Rubin of the New York Daily News says Nelson Figueroa will refuse the Mets' assignment to Triple A and become a free agent.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports talked to Jim Thome about many topics, including his future and the Cleveland discussion with Manny.
- Peter Gammons spoke to Yankees GM Brian Cashman yesterday at Southern Connecticut State University. This AP article has a few tidbits, but let me know if you find a transcript. Dom Amore of the Hartford Courant has a few quotes.
- MLB.com's David Singh has the story of Darren O'Day's interesting day.