Over the past few decades, the GM of the New York Yankees has remained the quieter, sane..."/> Over the past few decades, the GM of the New York Yankees has remained the quieter, sane..."/>

Brian Cashman: Controversy Machine


Over the past few decades, the GM of the New York Yankees has remained the quieter, saner voice of the prominent franchise. Since the passing of George Steinbrenner, Hank has resumed the position of being a louder voice over the top of the crowd, until now. Over the past few weeks, Brian Cashman has put himself in the middle of a few controversial situations. The 1st situation came when the Yankees decided to sign reliever Rafael Soriano to a massive 3-year deal. There were reports that the Yankees front office was divided on the deal and it turned out that Cashman was not in support of the signing. The 2nd controversial moment happened just today, when the GM was speaking about Derek Jeter. He told the media he believed Jeter would need to move to the outfield before his contract was up because his skill-set best suited that position. (more after the jump)

The main issue with today’s comments was the fact that Jeter has in no way indicated he is open to the idea of playing another position and will likely be insulted with the comments made. Jeter has been the face of the Yankees franchise for 16 years and has manned the shortstop position for all of them. After some shaky negotiations this winter, Jeter signed a 3-year deal (plus a 4th year option) with the Yankees, only to now have his position questioned by Cashman. On top of the already shaky Jeter negotiations and the Soriano divide, the media is beginning to wonder what is truly happening behind closed doors. As the Yankees are getting ready to report for Spring Training in about 3 weeks, the GM is adding unnecessary attention and creating fault-lines that don’t need to exist.

Being a Red Sox fan, I have no issues with Yankees front office disagreements, because it only distracts from what is really important, the play on the field. That being said, these are bizarrely uncharacteristic mistakes from the veteran GM, especially when his contract is up after the 2011 season. I know Mr. Steinbrenner is no longer with us, but that doesn’t mean someone else needs to fill his shoes and cause unnecessary issues in the front office. Cashman is, and never will be, George Steinbrenner, but it almost seems like he wishes he was with his most recent comments. Ultimately, the media will treat this situation like they do any other in New York and scrutinize every word and every person involved. The outcome will likely not be good for Cashman.

To say that this will somehow distract the team during the season that begins in over 2 months is to not understand the Yankees organization, but it does raise some red flags about how the franchise is being run and the overall long-term vision. Obviously, like any other team, their goal is to be a contender every season, without exception, but how the team gets there seems to be where the discrepancy sits. This situation will pass like any other, but are we seeing the beginning of the end for Cashman in New York, or is this just a blip in the radar? Winning heals all wounds, but losing pours salt in them. The future of Cashman in the Big Apple rests on the shoulders of the 2011 version of the New York Yankees.