From Buster Olney:
Contract negotiations between the New York Yankees and general manager Brian Cashman are going smoothly, according to sources, and could be concluded with a new deal in the week ahead.
Cashman, who has been the Yankees GM since February of 1998, could theoretically walk away from the Yankees at the end of the month when his contract expires.
But Cashman has made it clear he’d like to return. The Yankees say they want him back, and contract talks with club executives, including Hal Steinbrenner, have started.
On a simple, practical level, bringing Cashman back bodes well for the future because he is a good general manager. While he certainly makes mistakes and has a handful of abysmal decisions on his record, his overall body of work is strong. He has built a consistent winner that also has a stocked farm system, allowing him to make trades and promote prospects to supplement the current roster. Additionally, he handles the administrative portion of the job well, as he knows how to interact with the local media and has deftly survived a difficult to navigate internal hierarchy. Any man that could work for the Steinbrenners as long as he has and maintain his sanity is one who is cut out for the job.
On a more abstract level, though, the fact that ownership remains enamored with Cashman should fill Yankees fans with confidence regarding the long-term future of the organization. There are times when ownership makes decisions that look incredibly stupid, such that fans cringe and wonder what the team might look like down the road, under the stewardship of a different general manager. However, the Yankees’ continued relationship with Cashman suggests that when it comes to baseball operations, the current ownership group has the proper vision regarding what it takes to build a winner. They have had opportunities over the last decade to dump Cashman without facing terrible backlash from the fanbase or the media, but have stuck with him and his methodology. They have bought into the half-analytical half-scouting approach that he brings to the table, and I would expect them to look for someone who utilizes similar tools once Brian and the Yankees decide to part company. While it may not always be clear (see Alex Rodriguez’ extension), it seems that the Yankees are in good hands.
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