On this day 20 years ago, the Yankees announced Brian Cashman would take over for the resigned Bob Watson as their general manager. The 50-year-old Cashman remains in that post today, making him the game’s longest-tenured GM, and it’s no surprise he has hung around when you consider the team’s accomplishments on his watch. The Cashman-led Yankees have gone to the playoffs 16 times, earning six American League pennants and four World Series championships along the way. The fact that Cashman has lasted as long as he has in the sport’s biggest market makes his run all the more impressive, a rival GM suggested to Buster Olney of ESPN. “Twenty years, in New York,” he said. “That’s, what, 140 dog years? Two hundred years?” Olney’s piece is worth checking out for more on Cashman first two decades as a GM, including the relationship he had with former boss and late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.
More from around baseball as this historically slow offseason continues to plod along…
- Tyler Kepner of the New York Times discussed this inactive winter with with a free agent who, like many other veterans, hasn’t enjoyed his trip to the open market. While commissioner Rob Manfred is zeroing in on implementing pace-of-play changes, the players themselves have bigger concerns, according to the free agent. “The players are so much more focused on what’s always been the crown jewel of our union, which is free agency, and the way that’s kind of been taken away,” he said. “It’s something you once fought and strove for — you wanted to become a free agent desperately.” Saturday looks set to pass without any major league free agent signings, continuing to leave upward of 110 players without deals.
- The Astros, Cubs and Nationals have pulled off model rebuilds in recent years, observes Jim Bowden of The Athletic (subscription required), who goes on to rank the majors’ current rebuilding clubs based on how well they’re executing their plans. No one is doing a better job than the White Sox, Bowden opines, in part because of the recent returns they’ve received in trades for such veterans as Chris Sale, Jose Quintana and Adam Eaton. The ChiSox have five top 100 prospects, per Baseball America, and three – Eloy Jimenez, Michael Kopech and Dane Dunning – joined the organization via those deals (as did second baseman Yoan Moncada, who has graduated from top prospect status). The other two – Alec Hansen and Luis Robert – came from the draft and international free agency, respectively, which Bowden also highlights as important avenues in which rebuilding teams must hit the jackpot.
- Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia will sit out some of 2018 after undergoing left knee surgery in October, but there’s hope he won’t miss much time. As per his rehab schedule, Pedroia is lining up for a late-April or early May return, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe estimates. Pedroia told Cafado that he hasn’t suffered any setbacks in his rehab, adding that his “knee has responded well” to running and strength exercises. After roughly six more weeks of running and then, as Cafardo writes, “a period of agility work,” Pedroia will be able to start baseball activities. The 34-year-old franchise stalwart also explained to Cafardo that knee problems weighed on him both physically and mentally in 2017, when he appeared in just 105 games, but he’s currently pain-free.