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.