Brian Cashman met with fans this morning at a breakfast event put on by New York sports radio station WFAN. Surprisingly, the Yankees general manager pulled no punches during a Q&A session with those gathered.
I don’t want to read too much into Cashman’s sudden willingness to share, I’m sure the New York tabloids will take care of that, but the timing of his openness seems somewhat curious given recent events.
Earlier this offseason, Cashman was infamously overruled by Yankees ownership when it came to signing former Tampa Bay Rays closer Rafael Soriano to become the team’s set up guy. Cashman believed that giving up the team’s first round draft pick to their division rival Rays as compensation was too high of a cost for signing Soriano, while his bosses viewed it as little more than collateral damage.
During the press conference to introduce Soriano, Cashman was quite open about being overruled, coming close on several occasions to making the team’s newest reliever sound unwelcome. His uncensored approach continued at today’s breakfast.
From the get go, Cashman seemed ready and willing to give candid answers to questions. His first of the day merely asked how he was doing. Cashman responded:
I’d be better if I could get a starter. We’re one starter away from being a World Series contender.
The Yankees GM further revealed that:
- The media coverage in New York can be taxing.
- “The higher up the tree the monkey climbs, the more you see of his ass.”
- Pettite is working out, but still hasn’t agreed to play for the Yankees in 2011. It’s unlikely that Pettitte would join the team midseason.
- A.J. Burnett knows he has a problem and he’s going to do all he can to fix it.
- There’s no chance that Joba Chamberlain joins the rotation because he hasn’t been the same pitcher since his injury in 2008.
- The starting catcher’s role will be competed for in Spring Training between Jussell Martin and Jesus Montero. Jorge Posada will be the team’s designated hitter.
- Andruw Jones is like Marcus Thames but with better defense.
- The Red Sox have a better team than the Yankees, but New York’s bullpen is superior.
- Derek Jeter likely won’t spend all four years of his contract playing shortstop. The outfield is his most likely future option.
There are two ways of looking at Cashman’s candor. 1) He feels secure enough in his job that he’s comfortable being transparent with all of this information. 2) He’s questioning his job security after the Soriano overruling to the point where he doesn’t care about optics anymore at all.
Time will tell which one it is as Cashman’s contract with the Yankees is up at the end of the season.
Special thanks to Amanda Rykoff for her coverage.