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Cashman not worried about job status, nor should he be

Photo - Getty Images
Photo – Getty Images

When the boss speaks, everyone listens. That includes general manager Brian Cashman, who’s contract is up after this season. Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner sounded off Wednesday during the owners vote for the next MLB commissioner, and talked about Cashman’s status. Steinbrenner said he will wait till the off-season before turning his attention to general manager position. He made some comments that can be interpreted in a few different ways. Via David Lennon “Let me get to October,” Steinbrenner said. “Hopefully, the end of October, the beginning of November, and we’ll go from there.” At first glance It certainly wasn’t a ringing endorsement, but it is also the way the Yankees do business. The team for the most part doesn’t talk contract extensions during the season, especially during a season that’s been a big disappointment thus far.

Cashman didn’t seem to take the comments to heart either. On his conference call yesterday, he responded to Steinbrenber’s words. “It’s the process,” Cashman said. “I’m used to it. I’ve been through it before. All my previous deals weren’t done until my contract expired. I take nothing from it other than that’s the process.” Cashman’s three-year, $9-million dollar contract is up at the end of the year, but is he really to blame for all the troubles the team has had this year. The answer is pretty simple, no he isn’t. Cashman makes the deals that Hal and Hank want him to make. I wouldn’t go as far as saying he’s just theย figure-head, but for the most part Hal and sometimes Hank are really the ones calling all the shots, and why not they own the team. The power that Cashman does have, he makes use of as best he can. Take this year’s trade deadline and the moves leading up to it, Cashman was able to bolster the team with the acquisitions of pitcher Brandon McCarthy and third baseman Chase Headley. For the most part those two deals alone have yielded the best results. The perception is that Cashman is always trading away young talent, but this year he was able to make moves that didn’t put a dent in farm. That also includes the Stephen Drew and Martin Prado deals.

While Steinbrenner complains about the under performing offense, who is really at fault? The man that writes the checks. If we go back to 2007 it was Hank Steinbrenner that pushed for the massive 10-year, $275 million dollar Alex Rodriguez contract extension, while Cashman was openly against it. If we want to analyze every deal that’s been made since Cashman took over the job in 1998, we’d be here for days. But if Hal is going to base his decision solely on the team making the postseason this year, that certainly isn’t fair. You can spread the blame around if you want, from the coaching staff to the front office. The simple fact is the players brought in this year have not gotten the job done, and all of those deals had the Steinbrenner seal of approval written on them.

Being the GM of the New York Yankees is no easy job, it’s also the one job that most baseball executives aren’t salivating over either. If Steinbrenner doesn’t retain Cashman’s services that’s fine, but the next GM will be under the same pressures and will still have to deal with the Steinbrenner’s. I still think Cashman will be back next year, but if Hal isn’t happy with the state of franchise, then he should be looking in mirror for the answers. Whatever decision is made it will certainly be one of the interesting story lines to watch this offseason. There will be changes if the team doesn’t make the playoffs for the second straight year, but getting rid of Cashman won’t change the way the Yankees continue do business.