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Report: Yankees GM Brian Cashman was against acquiring Alfonso Soriano

Jul 27, 2013, 4:12 PM EDT

Brian Cashman Getty Getty Images

The Yankees brought Alfonso Soriano back to the Bronx yesterday after completing a trade with the Cubs. But if GM Brian Cashman had his way, the deal wouldn’t have happened.

Joel Sherman of the New York Post was told by “two executives not affiliated with the Yankees” that Cashman believed the team’s assets could be better spent. While Cashman wouldn’t confirm that publicly yesterday, he did indicate that managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner pushed for acquiring Soriano.

“I would say we are in a desperate time. Ownership wants to go for it. I didn’t want to give up a young arm [Corey Black]. But I understand the desperate need we have for offense. And Soriano will help us. The bottom line is this guy makes us better. Did ownership want him? Absolutely, yes. Does he make us better? Absolutely, yes. This is what Hal wants, and this is why we are doing it.”

Cashman has been overruled before, perhaps most prominently when he said he was against signing reliever Rafael Soriano to a three-year, $35 million contract in January of 2011. But Sherman details other instances where his ideas have been shot down, including his interest in keeping Russell Martin and letting Ichiro Suzuki walk this past offseason. This dynamic isn’t altogether unusual for MLB teams, as general managers routinely make recommendations and leave it up to ownership to sign off. Sometime they see eye-to-eye, sometimes they don’t.

Giving up Black was likely only a small part of Cashman’s hesitation, as the Yankees will be on the hook for $5 million of Soriano’s salary next season. That gives him less wiggle room to work with if the Yankees intend to keep their payroll under $189 million.

  1. imnotyourbuddyguy - Jul 27, 2013 at 4:18 PM

    Never a dull moment

    • proudlycanadian - Jul 27, 2013 at 4:49 PM

      Great Soap Opera.

      • fanofevilempire - Jul 27, 2013 at 9:49 PM

        yeah, scandalous!

      • dirtyharry1971 - Jul 28, 2013 at 1:15 AM

        You haven’t seen anything yet son, watch for the AX in Toronto after this season is over!! hahahahhahaa bye bye gays!

    • dickclydesdale - Jul 28, 2013 at 1:49 AM

      Worst GM in MLB history! Little midget should be in the circus.

      • imnotyourbuddyguy - Jul 28, 2013 at 1:54 AM

        In history? He’s not even the worst in baseball currently Dayton Moore has a firm hold on that title.

      • fanofthegame79 - Jul 28, 2013 at 11:01 AM

        Cashman is a putz. Actually, he’s more than a putz, he’s a diva. He always has some comment to make about his team. Instead of releasing media quotes, he should worry about running his team. Again, highest payroll in baseball and they suck.

    • fredith57 - Jul 28, 2013 at 8:24 PM

      The smartest off-season move the Yankees should do is hire the folks who find and develop the Rays pitching staff. The Rays seem to find a young ace virtually every year – Archer this year, Moore last year, etc. I also am beginning to think the Yankees need to shut down CC for the rest of this year – I believe there is a major problem with him this year, He hasn’t pitched a decent game since May something. And – I will be very surprised if the Yankees sign another contract for more than five years. Go Jeter.

  2. dondada10 - Jul 27, 2013 at 4:21 PM

    Cashman can be pretty unprofessional at times. I feel like he releases these snippets as if to say “It’s not my fault if it doesn’t work out.” Hal should tell him to shut the fuck up.

    • thebadguyswon - Jul 27, 2013 at 4:42 PM

      I’d fire him if I owned the Yanks.

      • basedrum777 - Jul 27, 2013 at 8:32 PM

        And you’d both be idiots. Cashman does a lot with the albatrosses he’s been provided. Every job in the world pays more to work in NYC and he deals with that constantly. And the number of players who were great elsewhere and couldn’t do shit in NYC could fill an allstar team in the MLB. He’s easily a top 5 GM and people just love to bitch.

  3. thebadguyswon - Jul 27, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    I’d love to see Brian Cashman try to win with a small payroll like Billy Beane.

    • twenty1miles - Jul 27, 2013 at 4:31 PM

      Give him a decade of losing seasons and very high draft picks and I’m sure he’d be capable. I’m generally a fan of his; the problem comes when ownership starts making decisions.

      • tfbuckfutter - Jul 27, 2013 at 4:38 PM

        I’m curious….aside from signing the clear consensus top free agents to contracts that well exceeded their value on the open market….what has he done that really shows he’s more capable than an average GM?

        Granted, he got lucky on some moves like Shawn Chacon, but he also relied on him longer than he ought to have based on aberrant performance.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 27, 2013 at 5:13 PM

        what has he done that really shows he’s more capable than an average GM?

        Give me a number of acceptable trades/signings/draftings that would make him an “average” GM, and we’ll see. I’m not going to list a bunch only to have you move the goalposts. So number first.

        But here’s a freebie:

        Hiroki Kuroda – 352.1 IP of 3.01 ERA (136 ERA+) and counting the last year and a half. 5.5 rWAR last year and 3.9 rWAR so far this year all for $25M (9.4 rWAR is worth roughly $47M in value on the FA market).

      • tfbuckfutter - Jul 27, 2013 at 6:11 PM

        So you’re saying Kuroda would have cost more for another franchise to sign him, but for Cashman’s shrewd negotiating?

        Or that Cashman wisely prognisticated that a guy with a 113 ERA+ would perform well enough to be worth a 1 year gamble? If he was so smart why didn’t he sign him for a longer term deal initially for less money annually? The gamble actually cost him $4,000,000 extra this year because of his lack of faith in the pitcher, no? And what’s it going to cost to resign him NOW?

        That’s a far cry from a small market team that is unable to sign ANY pitcher for $11 million, especially when you know full well if he bombs it’s no skin off your back.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 27, 2013 at 7:45 PM

        So you’re saying Kuroda would have cost more for another franchise to sign him, but for Cashman’s shrewd negotiating?

        No, I didn’t say anything of the sort. You asked for good moves, I mentioned someone who has the ninth best ERA in the third most innings in the last year in a half. It’s not like the Yanks offered him a $25M contract, they got him for $10M last year. There was serious misgivings on whether his stuff would play up in the ALE. Shouldn’t Cashman get credit for that?

        Or that Cashman wisely prognisticated that a guy with a 113 ERA+ would perform well enough to be worth a 1 year gamble?

        Name the number of GM’s who willingly sign a player who’s above average going into the age 37 season, and the person has performed even better, in a tougher league?

        That’s a far cry from a small market team that is unable to sign ANY pitcher for $11 million, especially when you know full well if he bombs it’s no skin off your back.

        Who said anything about small market? You’ve moved the goal posts already. Here’s a hint, there’s no such thing as a small market team. The worst teams by payroll get $20-$30M annually from the national TV contract. They get an additional $10M+ from luxury tax sharing. It’s going to go up even higher with the latest network deals. That’s almost $40M without selling a single ticket.

        So i ask again, give me a number of trades/signings/draftings Cashman needs to make to satisfy your “average” GM…

      • tfbuckfutter - Jul 27, 2013 at 8:02 PM

        Your question is odd.

        If you want something quantifiable, ok….let’s say the average GM is successful on 50% of their moves….and since the Yankees have much more flexibility due to their far superior financial resources, you kind of have to add some weight to that number, wouldn’t you agree?

        So negating salary, altogether, show me a season when Cashman’s moves have been 75% successful.

        However, since we are negating salary, you get credit for moves like signing Giambi and Texeira….but you also suffer from misses like Lillibridge, Youkilis, Ivan Rodriguez, Xavier Nady (don’t forget, that one counts for TWO years)….

      • basedrum777 - Jul 27, 2013 at 8:57 PM

        Wins: Pettitte, Kuroda, Mariano Rivera, Hafner (3months for nothing basically), traded for Shawn Kelley who’s been fantastic, Wells, Overbay,

        Push: Suzuki, Boesch Soriano (since we don’t know yet)

        Loss: Youkilis, Suzuki

        Made about a dozen trades this year giving up NOTHING and getting role players back (lillibridge, Tateyama, Brignac, Gonzalez, etc.)

        That’s like 7-3-2. So if its 7/9 then its greater than 75%. Just saying.

      • tfbuckfutter - Jul 27, 2013 at 9:09 PM

        Going strictly by OPS+ to determine if a batter is average or not….Wells, Suzuki and Hafner are HUGE losses. Overbay is on the wrong side too.

        So even taking you on your math (where you counted Suzuki twice in two different categories, nicely done)….

        You have 2 wins and a push in the loss column (although I think one of those was already IN the loss column also), pushing your record to something like 5-4-2 (Again, I think….your numbering is a little fuzzy and also losses come before ties).

        Which isn’t 75%.

        Just sayin.

        (Church I know that wasn’t your post.)

      • drewsylvania - Jul 27, 2013 at 10:54 PM

        Actually, the funny thing is that the A’s are competitive most years. Unlike, say, the Rays, who got good by finishing in the basement every singe year for nearly forever.

    • tfbuckfutter - Jul 27, 2013 at 4:32 PM

      Why would you love to see a guy be one-and-done?

    • dirtyharry1971 - Jul 28, 2013 at 1:16 AM

      Id love to see Billy Beane win just once…

    • senioreditor2 - Jul 28, 2013 at 3:55 AM

      What has Beane ever won???????????????????

  4. buffalo65 - Jul 27, 2013 at 4:26 PM

    Cue the circus music. The league laughing stock is back. Good job yanks loading up for a last place finish.

  5. jonrox - Jul 27, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    It sounds like the moves Cashman wants to make, but gets overruled on, would have been the right moves.

    • tfbuckfutter - Jul 27, 2013 at 4:39 PM

      According to Cashman.

  6. twenty1miles - Jul 27, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    Uh-oh another Yankees post. Proudlycanadian must be fuming. You should know better, D.J.

    • proudlycanadian - Jul 27, 2013 at 4:51 PM

      Not fuming. I am cheering. Is this a soap opera or a Shakespearian tragedy?

      • twenty1miles - Jul 27, 2013 at 5:53 PM

        Haha.

      • sumerduckman - Jul 27, 2013 at 6:01 PM

        Neither, it’s a Douglas Adams short story.

      • nbjays - Jul 27, 2013 at 6:49 PM

        Or a Monty Python sketch.

      • proudlycanadian - Jul 27, 2013 at 7:03 PM

        I think that you have nailed it.

  7. drewzducks - Jul 27, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    At least during the run of the original Bronx Zoo the team was winning and we were talking about THE Steinbrenner, not this watered down pansy. This team is soon approaching the realm of chaotic irrelevance and somewhere Jim Buss is smiling and nodding in approval.

  8. pisano - Jul 27, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    Kind of like closing the barn door after the horses have already run off. Just one question, why not Alex Rios instead of Soriano? oh, how stupid of me, Rios isn’t 35+ and on the down side of his career.

    • dondada10 - Jul 27, 2013 at 5:35 PM

      Or Marlon Byrd.

  9. cackalackyank - Jul 27, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    Stick a fork in Cashman. He is done. (With NYY anyway) One need look no further than the Youkilis signing to see what he has done for the farm system.

    • Old Gator - Jul 27, 2013 at 5:20 PM

      That’s because gazing on Youkilis can turn a man to stone. He definitely needs a face transplant. Haven’t any tapirs been killed crossing the Bronx River Parkway lately?

      • cackalackyank - Jul 27, 2013 at 5:46 PM

        OG his face is one thing…it may well turn people to stone, but it was fairly well known for a couple years now that his back had already turned in to stone.

    • lonnie49 - Jul 27, 2013 at 5:29 PM

      @cack, your ignorance is shining brightly, as the Youkilis signing had zero effect on the farm system

      • cackalackyank - Jul 27, 2013 at 5:36 PM

        Actually NO it’s your ignorance that is shining brightly. If our farm system was worth a crap we would not have signed him for 13 mil to be a theoretical half year replacement for A-rod and part time DH. A descent 3B prospect=Youkilis in pinstripes NEVER happens.

  10. brewer3 - Jul 27, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    Wouldn’t resigning A-Rod after he opted out after the 2007 season be the most prominent example of Hal and Cashman disagreeing on what to do with a player?

    • cackalackyank - Jul 27, 2013 at 5:41 PM

      Very likely you are correct…but it isn’t July 31st yet. Also, the way Sabathia is pitching…they might be fighting about his extension soon, too.

    • henryd3rd - Jul 27, 2013 at 5:42 PM

      The Yankees were bidding against themselves in that A-Fraud fiasco and it was Hank who pushed to that deal and we’ve not heard from him since that time. Now they trade for Soriano knowing full well he a liability in the field and has been known to admire doubles off the wall and play them into singles.

      • Kevin S. - Jul 27, 2013 at 6:38 PM

        Shhhh! If you point out historical facts, turdfergeson will call you a Cashman apologist.

  11. mikejr80 - Jul 28, 2013 at 5:11 AM

    All the money in the world and still unhappy. I couldn’t be happier lol

  12. chlstn - Jul 28, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    Maybe Hal should go help run the Dallas Cowboys.

  13. straightouttavtown - Jul 28, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    Cashman is an idiot and should be fired. This is a great trade for the Yankees given that the Cubs are covering most of Soriano’s salary and he still has tons of power albeit bad plate discipline. Who is Corey Black? He’s never been a big prospect, not even in the Yankees’ own system. Never even heard of him until this trade. At best, he’s a dimes a dozen middle reliever in the future. At worst, he’ll be out of baseball and bagging groceries in 3 years. Why should the Yankees keep Russ Martin at that price? The Pirates bid against themselves for Martin but I thought the Yankees should had gone after AJ Pierzynski, who is cheaper and better than Martin anyway, instead of going with Cervelli and Chris Stewart.

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