Brian Cashman has played a major role within the New York Yankees organization over the past 20 years. As a guest on Buster Olney’s “Call to the Legend” podcast on ESPN Radio, Cashman took some time to reflect on his tenure with the Bronx Bombers.
A special podcast: Brian Cashman tells stories from his 20 years as Yankees’ GM. https://t.co/cQxzDSUXOn About George Steinbrenner; industry shifts; about his evolution of thought; the best deal he made.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) January 30, 2018
In the interview, Cashman discusses some of his early memories with the Yankees. He goes into detail about how he ultimately became the team’s general manager, and recalls some memories he has of the late George Steinbrenner.
Although there were times that they didn’t see eye-to-eye, Cashman understands and appreciates the opportunity that Steinbrenner provided him with the Yankee family.
“Everything I am today is because he (Steinbrenner) gave me this opportunity. Everything I am today is because he invested his time, effort and money in developing me as a person in business. For all of that, I have been unwilling to leave the Yankee family out of respect and appreciation. I feel like I owe the Steinbrenner family everything because of the opportunities they provide.”
Cashman was asked if any specific players have had a special meaning for him over the years. Cashman begins to name some players that stood out to him, and mentions how he has had the ability to work alongside some amazing athletes over the years.
However, two players quickly jumped off Cashman’s tongue: Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera.
“When it’s all said and done, I really have a fondness Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera. Those guys get everything: they get about the performance on the field individually, collectively on the team side, and had a great respect for all aspects of the operation. They just treated people the way they deserved to be treated, always, and they never changed over time.”
When you’re a general manager, acquisitions are a huge part of your job. In order to put your team in the best position to win, you must make moves (especially trades) to enhance your chances for success.
In regards to trades, Olney asked which trade Cashman was most proud of during his career thus far. The response might not surprise you, but Cashman feels that the trade to Alex Rodriguez from the Texas Rangers was a “tremendous” trade for the organization.
When asked if there was a specific turning point or moment that changed how he did his job on a regular basis, Cashman pointed to the club’s biggest rival, the Boston Red Sox.
At the end of the 2002 season, Theo Epstein became the general manager of the Red Sox. From there, the Red Sox started utilizing saber-metrics and analytics to their advantage, and Cashman noticed that his biggest foe was starting to out perform his club in terms of scouting, drafting and free agent signings.
Seeing the Red Sox improvements, Cashman knew that he had to make some adjustments.
“You’re always open-minded to what someone else is doing, and if they are doing it better you have to try to figure out what it is and how you can incorporate it. We started going through an internal assessment, and my attitude is that the New York Yankees should have every tool in the toolbox, and should be used to the best of our abilities. No one in baseball should have a better department in any aspect than the New York Yankees.”
From there, the Yankees way of thinking altered, and it has benefitted the club in many ways. Currently, the organization has one of the top ranked farm systems, and has seen major contributions from some of their young talent at the big league level.
Cashman has been with the Yankees organization for a long time, and feels that there are “more chapters to write.” This off-season, the 50-year-old signed a five-year extension that will take him through the 2022 season.
If you’d like to hear the entire interview, go to the Twitter link above, or click here for the direct link to the podcast.