Is Cashman losing power?

I’m not really interested in what the latest Jon Heyman piece has to say about the state of the slow-developing Johan Santana sweepstakes. Here’s a summary: He’s the best pitcher in baseball and the Twins want to get something valuable in return. There are teams that are talking to the Twins about this. Anyway, the interesting part to me is the following passage:

As for the Yankees, GM Brian Cashman has always seemed uneasy about surrendering the coveted Hughes, and used Andy Pettitte‘s return to persuade new boss Hank Steinbrenner not to overbid for Santana. But Steinbrenner the junior has already overruled Cashman this offseason in giving catcher Jorge Posada a fourth year, closer Mariano Rivera a third year and Alex Rodriguez a record contract after swearing he was out of the A-Rod Sweepstakes.

So
if the Twins are waiting for Hank the Yank to change his mind again and
get back into the Santana Sweepstakes in a big way, you can’t blame
them. A lot of baseball folks think he probably will.

This is the first time I’ve heard that Cashman was overruled in the Mariano and Posada decisions. A few days ago, there was a report that the Steinbrenners wanted to extend Cashman’s contract which is set to end after 2008. Cashman reportedly wanted to put off the extension talks until later. I forgot his reason for postponing the discussion, but if you wanted to stay with a team, wouldn’t you jump at the opportunity to ink an extension immediately? The Steinbrenners have been in a generous mood of late. You probably could make a lot right now.

So here I am speculating, and I wonder if Cashman is wondering if he wants to stay on for the new stadium. Perhaps, the new boss is getting on his nerves. I don’t know.  In a week, this could be a moot point. Cash could sign on for another three years. For all we know, Heyman could be making up the whole thing about Hanks overturning Cashman’s decision.

But there’s a part of me that thinks that Cashman isn’t happy with the new management team.

48 comments… add one
  • “part of me”
    Yeah, the logical part. People defend him, but I get the feeling that baseball people, fans, and pretty much everyone involved sees right through his folly bravado. I repeat, it’s pretty comical.
    Is there anyone out there who doesn’t think Cashman is going to be overruled when it comes to what Hank wants? He is the GM, but only to the extent that he agrees with the Steinbrenners; I would imagine this is the way more than a few teams are run, so it’s not like this is only a Yankee dynamic.

    Brad December 11, 2007, 4:55 pm
  • This does seem to refute the idea that Steinbrenner is just a mouthpiece or spokesman for the organization, making the news while he lets Cashman run the show in anonymity — a theory floated around these parts not long ago.
    But then where are Heyman’s sources? It’s all pretty shady considering it’s totally unsourced. Also not encouraging that he misspells Justin Masterson’s name.

    Paul SF December 11, 2007, 4:55 pm
  • He doesn’t really strike me as the kind of person who is willing to be the mouthpiece of anything he’s not in control of. If he’s talking (which, heaven knows, he is), he’s pulling the ropes. If it fails, Cashman will be the goat, maybe unfairly.

    Brad December 11, 2007, 5:00 pm
  • lack of sources is concerning, Paul.

    Brad December 11, 2007, 5:01 pm
  • without sources its hard to tell if any of this is true. It seems to me to be speculation just like people around here do. As far as I can remember this is the first time that we have heard that Cashman didnt want to give Mo and Posada the extra year. By overruled does this mean that Cashman really would have let all 3 of these guys walk this year? I highly doubt that and if it were true damn good thing he was overruled. This excerpt bothers me in that it will fuel the Hank-hating fire without really offering much in the way of evidence.
    So far as a YF Im comfortable with the way Hank et al are running the team and I dont really understand all of the noise from the SF contingent on him.

    sam-YF December 11, 2007, 5:07 pm
  • I wouldn’t read too much into Cashman putting off talks until he’s done making off-season moves (which is what he reportedly told the Yankees when offered the extension). The fact of the matter is that Brian Cashman is going to want to do some serious negotiating when it comes to his contract (i.e. assurances of power, degrees of control over operations and decisions, money, money, money, revenues of money, and some money).
    He may also want to test what this relationship is going to mean over the next few months, to make sure he knows what he’s in for. Did he tell Hank to keep his mouth shut? Did he tell Hank it was a good idea to “tamper” by voicing his mis-givings with the Twins?
    I don’t think we know and I AM ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE that Jon Heyman has no idea.

    Anonymous December 11, 2007, 5:16 pm
  • Whatever blows your hair back, I say. If you’re happy with the things he does and says, then more power to you.
    I happen to think it’s hilarious, and it reminds me of the kid who takes his ball with him when he doesn’t get picked by either team. Screaming deadlines and flinging insults the whole way.

    Brad December 11, 2007, 5:16 pm
  • I agree, Anon. To some extent, we’ll see a lot more of what kind of relationship really exists if the Yankees stumble for a little while, or worse yet, the Red Sox get Santana and come out at .750 for the first two months.
    We’ve yet to have the wonderful glimpse of Hank’s venom when things aren’t going his way. That’s the point we can offer Heyman his due or laugh at the idea of this article.

    Brad December 11, 2007, 5:19 pm
  • Not at all Brad. He was vicing an opinion that so far has proven to be 100 percent true. The Twins are playing the Sox “dubious” interest in Santana in order to get the Yankees to give up more and more. They may very well have said initially “If you give us Hughes you’ve got yourself a deal” only to completely back out of it (which in business negotiation is infuriating and happens all the time but is not acceptable all of the time).
    ALso, maybe HAnk and the Yankees believe that Johan wants to come to the Yankees and really doesn’t care to go to the Red Sox (for whatever reason…) and Hank’s posturing was indeed “tampering” in order to get Santana to press on the Twins.
    The fact of the matter is that Hank was dead right. The Red Sox don’t have Santana and definitely have not been able to sell the Twins on the packages we have read and speculated about.

    Anonymous December 11, 2007, 5:23 pm
  • crap…those anon’s were me. walein.

    walein December 11, 2007, 5:24 pm
  • That’s very true too Brad.

    walein December 11, 2007, 5:31 pm
  • Can we all agree that the Red Sox actually do want Johan Santana? I don’t understand why everyone thinks this this is a play just to keep him away from/jacking the price up the Yankees.
    I agree that part of the Sox’ interest lies in the Yankee aspect of the dual value Santana would present (not having him play for your closest competitor), and forcing the Yankees to pay more to get him is just smart gamesmanship. But that doesn’t mean the Sox are in it just because of the Yankees, or that their interest is “dubious.” Their interest is genuine. Santana would carry a great deal of value for the Red Sox and would essentially allow the team (barring injury or ineffectiveness) to focus on finding offensive replacements for Manny and Papi over the next five years.
    It makes sense for the Sox to try hard to get Santana, yet many people (I assume you were speaking in the context of Heyman’s opinion, walein) continue to treat the Sox’ interest as if its solely to drive up the cost on the Yankees. They haven’t learned their lesson from the Matsuzaka negotiations.

    Paul SF December 11, 2007, 5:41 pm
  • Walein. I see your point, but “to this point” has only been a little more than a month, and it’s not the Red Sox who don’t have Santana, it’s that nobody does. Deals haven’t been worked out because the Twins ultimately feel that they haven’t been offered fair value for their ace. That’s not a slight on anyone, but to assume that Hank made the “right move” by telling the Twins to kiss off is premature. Ultimately, when it all boils down to the bare essentials of a deal getting done, and the Twins feel that they have gotten all their going to get from team A or B, the team with the owner who lased out at them, tampered with their player, and made them to look like the inferior little brother in front of a nation isn’t going to get the upper hand.
    You don’t command respect and admiration from your peers, you earn it. Daily interviews where you stomp your feet and state the “its our way or the highway” attitude towards all that isn’t in agreement will eventually garnish little, if any respect from anyone.
    Of course, that’s my opinion. Like I said, “up till now” has been a very short time frame, and he could work out fine. The moves he made were no brainers as far as contracts…it’s more interesting to see the moves he makes that take a little thought. Like Santana, and Cashman, and others along the way.

    Brad December 11, 2007, 5:43 pm
  • edit: lashed out at them…

    Brad December 11, 2007, 5:45 pm
  • Hank Hearts Cash
    From Kat O’Brien –
    http://www.newsday.com/sports/baseball/yankees/ny-spyside075491318dec07,0,5598267.story
    “We haven’t discussed [Brian Cashman’s] extension yet, but he’s part of the Yankee family and has been for 21 years. I don’t see any reason to not continue that.”
    “He’s busy, we’re busy, there just hasn’t been any detailed discussion about that,” Steinbrenner said. “Is Brian’s job on the line because of what the team does this year? No, that’s sensationalism to say it’s based on 2008 … I’m very pleased with what Brian and Damon [Oppenheimer] and Mark Newman and all the scouts and people have done with the drafts, with the last three drafts.”

    Dj_@Yf December 11, 2007, 5:51 pm
  • And, as we’ve seen – Hank means exactly what he says, when he says it.

    Brad December 11, 2007, 5:55 pm
  • Nothing Hank has said has been contradicted by actions. Nothing. Saying he undercut Cahsman by signing A-Rod as Heyman’s article states is flat out false. He did not want to bid for A-Rod against other teams. He mad that clear and he avoided ever having to do that because A-Rod came back to him directly.
    The only thing Hank has done is annoy people like you Brad by calling your (and every other non-NYY team) the Toledo Mudhens. And on that, I agree with you – it was hilarious.
    As for Cashman, there may be something to the fact that he prefers to work quietly and is eminently patient and Hank seems to be very different in both regards. At the same time, as I think Jackie (SF) pointed out in a recent post, if they are in fact on the same page, the good cop-bad cop approach can be extremely effective. It remains to be seen whether they are on the same page. Cashman’s decision regarding a possible contract extension will be much more telling in that regard than anything Heyman has written.

    IronHorse (yf) December 11, 2007, 6:00 pm
  • “the team with the owner who lased out at them, tampered with their player, and made them to look like the inferior little brother in front of a nation isn’t going to get the upper hand.”
    All that (overstated on your part, IMO) won’t even be considered in the end – the team that offers the twins the package they like best will get Santana. End of story.

    Anonymous December 11, 2007, 6:04 pm
  • IH, you are more than aware that I think the guy is a liar, a baffoon, and quite possibly the worst kind pompous rich kid on the block there is. There is no way I’ll ever be convinced he hasn’t gone back on what he’s said by Yankee fans using the “bid against other teams” argument.
    We’re not going to go down this road again, so we can just keep our own views.
    Play the cards where there flung. He’s got a lot to prove since words mean absolutely nothing. I’m curious to what is going to happen when the Twins make that call. If he holds his ground, says no to Hughes (after all this “we love Phil” stuff), I’ll never say anything about it again.
    Till then, we’ll wait.

    Brad December 11, 2007, 6:07 pm
  • End of story.
    Well, at least I know where the end of the story is.
    I disagree. All things being equal, personal preferences are going to play into it. Do we do business with the guys who worked with us, or do we do business with the loudmouth idiot who gave us the ultimatum? All things being equal on the board, I think they take the former. But, like you, it’s my opinion.

    Brad December 11, 2007, 6:09 pm
  • edit: where they’re flung.

    Brad December 11, 2007, 6:10 pm
  • “If he holds his ground, says no to Hughes (after all this “we love Phil” stuff), I’ll never say anything about it again.”
    I’m sure it will just morph into some other insult thrown his way, Brad. Yeesh, give me a break.

    The Sheriff (Andrews) December 11, 2007, 6:12 pm
  • “Do we do business with the guys who worked with us, or do we do business with the loudmouth idiot who gave us the ultimatum?”
    If you’re a smart businessman, I think you do business with the guys who give you what you want.

    The Sheriff (Andrews) December 11, 2007, 6:14 pm
  • Wait, you mean I shouldn’t throw insults on his behalf if Hughes ends up in Minny? After all the “we came together and talked about it” and “we have three number ones” and “we feel that we have a number one right now in Hughes” and “Phil is the future of this team” and “we’re building from within in our rotation”…
    Oh and lest we forget “we’re out of it”..
    Yeah, I think I’ll point it out. I mean, it’s the right move to make, and he’s more of a moron that I think if he doesn’t make it, but yeah, I’m not going to let that slide on “brilliant negotiating”.
    Okay, later guys.

    Brad December 11, 2007, 6:16 pm
  • If you’re a smart businessman, I think you do business with the guys who give you what you want.
    Which is why I said “all things being equal” as in two (2) equal packages. Neither package has an advantage over the other. What is the decision based on?

    Brad December 11, 2007, 6:17 pm
  • and what happens if they do go get Santana and in combination with all of the signings the yanks go on to win it all? Is he still a loudmouth idiot? Is he still making bad decisions?

    sam-YF December 11, 2007, 6:18 pm
  • Basically there is nothing that can be done in Brad’s eyes that makes anything Hank says or does good or redeeming. Its essentially pointless to argue the points with him. If he wants to troll with insults against Hank and the yankee FO there is nothing to stop him from doing so. YFs we should just disengage

    sam-YF December 11, 2007, 6:20 pm
  • Brad, look man, no matter what I think of John Henry, I keep it to myself – airing it out here is not going to lead to anything good. I can respect that you don’t like Hank, don’t agree with him, etc, but please LAY OFF THE NAME CALLING. It just pisses people off and doesn’t lead to anything constructive.

    The Sheriff (Andrews) December 11, 2007, 6:22 pm
  • Anyone else unable to post?

    IronHorse (yf) December 11, 2007, 6:40 pm
  • Brad,
    You say you don’t want to go down the road again but the rest of your comment travels right down that road at warp speed.
    While you repeatedly attack Hank’s verbosity and extreme statements, whenever this subject comes up you make more statements (including some of the most extreme name-calling ones) than any other commentator on this site. As of this comment, on this thread alone you have made 50% of the comments until now. While you say you laugh at Hank for blathering, etc. your own engagement on this issue is, frankly, not that different from what you critique. In other words, this issue brings out the Hank Steinbrenner in you.
    A consistent approach you take on this issue seems to be to set up black-and-white mutually exclusive dichotomies around Hank statements and then jumping on it when he lands on the other side of one of the false dichotomies you have established. So now Hank can’t say he loves Phil and is glad to keep him and then turn around and trade him – and if he does, you are clearly right. Why can’t he say and mean both things 100%??? Let’s again look at words and actions: he said Santana was the only player he would have offered Melky and Hughes for and that he loves Hughes. He said that AFTER having already offered Melky and Hughes, so he has never even insinuated that he would never deal Hughes for Santana – just the opposite. Where is the contradiction? He wants to keep Hughes, but if he can get Santana for him, he will. And yet you want to paint that as him reversing course somehow.

    IronHorse (yf) December 11, 2007, 6:50 pm
  • ‘You don’t command respect and admiration from your peers, you earn it. Daily interviews where you stomp your feet and state the “its our way or the highway” attitude towards all that isn’t in agreement will eventually garnish little, if any respect from anyone.”
    The problem with the above sentiment in the world of baseball is that in the end there is only one person that needs to care and that’s Johan Santana. Players have never had a big problem signing with the Yankees even though Steinbrenner (George) did some god awful things to players.

    Anonymous December 11, 2007, 7:18 pm
  • can’t get my name on those anon posts.
    Also, the TWins ownership is not someone “earning” anyone’s respect amongst big market teams like the Sox and Yankees. The guy pocketed 35 million of their “luxury” dollars and doesn’t seem interested at all in spending it anywhere but towards himself.
    Paul-
    I honestly don’t think the Red Sox are pursuing Johan very seriously at all. I think that they are 1 of 2 possible teams that Johan has allowed the Twins to realistically talk to because they can afford to pay him the kind of long term contract he wants. However, There is nothing in Red Sox history, inside of their GM and ownership’s philosophy that makes me think they want to spend that kind of money on a long term contract with a pitcher who will turn 30 at the beginning of said contract.

    walein December 11, 2007, 7:23 pm
  • That being said the red sox would be idiots not to at least offer up what they would be willing to part with and if that makes the Yankees pay more it is indeed good gamesmenship (word?).

    walein December 11, 2007, 7:24 pm
  • Excellent points, Walein…

    The Sheriff (Andrews) December 11, 2007, 8:13 pm
  • That being said the red sox would be idiots not to at least offer up what they would be willing to part with and if that makes the Yankees pay more it is indeed good gamesmenship (word?).
    They should be doing this regardless of the Yankees, as far as I am concerned. It’s Johan Santana!

    SF December 11, 2007, 8:51 pm
  • I wonder how Brad can stand Larry Lucchino.

    AndrewYF December 11, 2007, 8:53 pm
  • There is nothing in Red Sox history, inside of their GM and ownership’s philosophy that makes me think they want to spend that kind of money on a long term contract with a pitcher who will turn 30 at the beginning of said contract.
    Uh, Pedro Martinez anyone?! Different GM, Ownership obviously, but a perfect case study in why you make deals like this.
    Has the current Sox’ ownership group been cheap? I don’t really see a justification for this statement — the Sox will spend money if they think it wise, and we have no idea what they think about Santana’s situation: have they made any public statements of substance about it? I would personally be shocked if they weren’t very serious about JS, with a set internal limit at how far they would go for him.

    SF December 11, 2007, 8:57 pm
  • Re: Lucchino
    He’s been far more tolerable since the Sox put a muzzle on him.

    SF December 11, 2007, 8:59 pm
  • its crazy to think that the sox arent interested at all in Santana. The question is really how interested they are. As SF said they have set a limit as to how far they will go, the question is how realistic the limit is. Why would they not want to add him at the right price?
    The only way we would know they werent serious about actually signing him would be if we saw them pull a long standing offer off the table or lowballed Santana if they had a 72 hr window. Otherwise, I find no reason to believe the second richest team in baseball with a desire to win every year wouldnt want to add the best pitcher in baseball…

    sam-YF December 11, 2007, 9:04 pm
  • J.D. Drew. Julio Lugo. Daisuke Matsuzaka. Edgar Renteria. Jason Varitek.
    There’s nothing from my following of the current ownership group and management team that would lead me to believe they WOULDN’T seriously make a run after Santana. They wouldn’t overpay for him — or commit what they felt was an overpayment (because we would probably all agree that J.D. Drew for one example received a crazy-high contract none of us was expecting) — but I can see Santana fitting into a plan in which they have the starting rotation all young and locked in (2009 oldest player would be Santana at age 30), leaving them the resources to focus on retooling their aging lineup and finding the power to replace Manny/supplement Ortiz.

    Paul SF December 11, 2007, 9:26 pm
  • If they gins Johan he will the biggest signing buy this ownership group by almost $6-7 million per year, and a significant amount over a long term in payroll. This is not to say they won’t do it, but it would represent a significant leap in their pay-scale. Again, this doesn’t mean they’d be acting against their philosophy. There is plenty of money coming off the books soon. And they’ve developed young talent at some key positions, so, in fact, a huge signing like this might actually be the result of several years of Theo and Company’s efforts. Nevertheless, it will be, by a lot, the most they paid any one single player.

    Nick-YF December 11, 2007, 10:01 pm
  • jesus, I need to preview before I post! Sorry about the typos.

    Nick-YF December 11, 2007, 10:02 pm
  • A little gin might go a long way in the contract negotiations, Nick!

    Paul SF December 12, 2007, 12:48 am
  • I can’t believe it.
    When asked yesterday whether he or the Yankees club were made aware of the contents of the Mitchell report, Hank Steinbrenner apparently said “No, we really haven’t, I think we’re speculating about it as much as everybody else. We really have no idea. I’m sure every team, every owner every general manager is wondering the same things.”
    Next thing you know, it will be Thursday after the report’s release and he’ll be saying he knows what’s in the report.
    What a double-talking bombastic idiot.

    IronHorse (yf) December 12, 2007, 7:46 am
  • And they’ve developed young talent at some key positions, so, in fact, a huge signing like this might actually be the result of several years of Theo and Company’s efforts. Nevertheless, it will be, by a lot, the most they paid any one single player.
    This is why I love Pedroia/Youk/Papelbon/Lester so much… they give us so much financial flexibility. Like Paul said, getting Santana allows us to focus on the Manny-Ortiz replacements several years down the line, and in the mean time makes us extremely dominant. Considering how much revenue is pouring into Major League Baseball–and considering how player prices have inflated over the last decade–it wouldn’t be outrageous to tie up so much money in him. Santana is probably the only player I would say that about. Except for A-Rod, of course.
    All of this is assuming that Santana doesn’t go down with a freakish injury. And considering how healthy he has been during his career I think an injury would be freakish. *knock on wood*
    IH–that made me laugh! As a Sox Fan I think Hank is entertaining, and certainly big-mouthed (I personally believe that you should keep quiet to the media until AFTER a deal is made), but he’s no idiot.

    Atheose December 12, 2007, 9:01 am
  • Fine, guys. I’ll leave your owner alone. No need to be upset about someone stating an opinion on what he/she thinks about another person.
    And, for the record, I’ve absolutely killed Lucchino in the past on this site. I never liked him that much, and always thought he did more harm than good, then Henry put the zip on him, and all has been better. We don’t even hear from him anymore (at least not like we used to).

    Brad December 12, 2007, 10:20 am
  • “But there’s a part of me that thinks that Cashman isn’t happy with the new management team.”
    when has Cashman EVER been happy? he’s the Steinbrenners personal punching bag, whether it’s the Junior or the Senior. He’s high profile enough that he could definitely get a GM gig elsewhere. hmm, wonder why he stays…

    Lyndsay December 12, 2007, 11:26 am
  • Id love to know how he is a personal punching bag for either of the steinbrenners. Maybe he stays because he is the GM for the yankees, the richest team in baseball and the only team he has ever worked for.

    sam-YF December 12, 2007, 11:29 am

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