Brian Cashman is currently an “at-will” employee of the New York Yankees. The 55-year-old general manager is running the Bronx Bombers while still not having a contract.
“I was just meeting with him for two hours at the [Yankee] Stadium,” Yankees’ owner Hal Steinbrenner told reporters on Tuesday. “I’ve told him that I want him back for all the reasons I cited a year ago, I think he’s a good general manager. It’s just a matter of salary.”
Cashman has been the general manager of the Yankees since 1998.
Fans have questioned whether Cashman should remain at the helm with the Yankees not appearing in a World Series since 2009 and concerns that the organization has stagnated.
“Stagnation is not acceptable,” Steinbrenner said. “Through the years Cash[man] has always been great about seeing what other clubs are doing, what’s the latest and greatest technology, what’s the latest and greatest method.
“There’s no stagnation with him, he’s always looking to be the best as far as doing everything we possibly can to make the right decisions.”
Steinbrenner vehemently defended the club Cashman put together, citing injuries — on multiple occasions — as a primary reason to their demise.
Andrew Benintendi and DJ LeMahieu were mentioned the most by Steinbrenner as key players the Bombers were missing when they were swept by the Astros in the ALCS.
“This year, without a doubt, you saw the club Cash[man] put together rolling into opening day with. It was one of the most dominant clubs in baseball for months, not for weeks, for months. And then we started getting a significant number of significant injuries.
“I don’t believe I said this last year and I don’t say it every year because injuries are a part of the game, but this year, they had a significant impact. And you can’t deny that if you’re going to try to figure out what the heck happened.”
One of the most criticized moves made by Cashman was the trade that brought Josh Donaldson’s two-year, $50 million salary and shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa from the Twins to the Yankees.
Donaldson heard the boo birds during October in the Bronx due to his season-long offensive struggles — where he posted a career-low .682 OPS — continuing in the postseason. Kiner-Falefa was benched for rookies Oswald Peraza and Oswaldo Cabrera in the postseason due to defensive struggles.
However, Steinbrenner believes the trade was overall successful because it improved the team’s defense.
“Donaldson, one of the big reasons we wanted him was for his defense. Obviously, he had an off-year offensively, I don’t think that will last. Isiah was exactly what we thought, .260 is what he batted, good defense, some bad plays but the really good above average plays don’t tend to get noticed much or talked about. But, we were happy with what he gave us for the most part.
“I think that trade was a success, especially from a defense standpoint.”