George King (the third in a line of cigar-chomping sports scribes) relays the rumor:
While Brian Cashman remained mum about his future, the buzz smothering the Yankees’ universe yesterday focused on the GM telling the Steinbrenner family he wants to return.
An announcement could come as soon as tomorrow…
With Hank Steinbrenner fading from the picture, Hal has been in touch
with Cashman more than his older brother. Cashman and Hal work very
well together and Hank hasn’t been involved in meetings with Hal and
Cashman and his involvement has decreased.
Hank fading from the picture? Sounds like he’s fishing on Lake Tahoe.
Let’s assume that this is happening and Cashman is returning. What does this mean for the coming off-season? It is my feeling that New York is a good team that has the misfortune of playing in the same division as Boston and Tampa. My guess is that both these teams will be 95 win teams or better next year. Can the Yanks improve to this level by next season if Cashman is aggressive on the free agent front this off-season? Does it make sense to invest in expensive win-now contracts given the highly competitive nature of the AL East at this moment? Or does it make more sense to go the rebuilding route and reload for 2010 and beyond? Is that even possible in New York? And are the these two paths necessarily at odds with each other?
Okay, my thoughts are scattered today and I’m not making sense, which is to say that I think Cashman’s off-season will be one of the more fascinating story lines of the winter.