BRONX, N.Y. — On Monday, the New York Yankees re-signed general manager Brian Cashman to a four-year contract. The move came as GMs of other teams were, well, you know, signing actual players! While it was inevitable, the move is a head-scratcher.
Cashman, who in 1998, inherited a dynasty built by the likes of Gene “Stick” Michael, Bob Watson, Mark Newman, and Buck Showalter, has essentially one (2009) World Series title to his credit in 25 years and has yet to win a title without any players drafted by Michael. It’s the ultimate falling upward move and it makes one wonder if indeed Hal Steinbrenner was adopted. Say what you will about some of George’s moves but the man demanded accountability and results and championships!
Seriously. Cashman’s survival in New York may be more impressive than anything he’s actually accomplished with the club on the field. He remained after the 2004 ALCS collapse, three consecutive subsequent first-round exits from the postseason, and failing to reach the playoffs in 2008.
While everything clicked in 2009, the team seemingly underachieved for the next three seasons and was one more away (Cliff Lee) from cementing another dynastic run.
Since then with the “Core Four” out the door, the team hasn’t won a World Series or even an American League Pennant for that matter in 13 seasons! Heck, in the past 10 seasons, the club has a mere two American League East titles, the second of which came this past season.
It’s stunning he’s been able to remain in such a powerful position in New York with unlimited resources and do so little. By the end of this contract, he’ll have been here 29 years. No, he hasn’t had a losing record in his tenure but give me a $200+ million dollar payroll every season and I’ll piece together a contender.
From 1920 to 1944 (25 seasons) Ed Barrow’s squads won 10 World Series titles and 14 AL Pennants. From 1947 to 1961 (15 seasons) George Weiss’s clubs won nine World Series titles and 12 AL Pennants.
Even successful GMs in the New York area eventually wore out their welcome. After reviving the New York Giants and building a pair of Super Bowl titles, George Young “retired” following the 1997 season. Bill Torrey, the architect of four consecutive New York Islanders Stanley Cup title teams, was forced to resign after the team missed the playoffs in 1992. Lou Lamoriello built the New Jersey Devils into a dynasty and put together three Stanley Cup title teams but in 2015 ownership made him “team president” and he soon moved on. Neil Smith was the only GM in the modern era to build a Stanley Cup champion with the 1994 New York Rangers and he was out following the 1999-00 campaign.
It’s yet another move with no sense of accountability or any type of plan. Look at his gem of a response to what the team is going to do if Aaron Judge takes $360 million dollars from the San Francisco Giants.
Brian Cashman: "Listen, if Aaron Judge signs somewhere else, do we pivot and do something else? Do we remake ourselves completely? I have no idea. It's not what we want to do."