Blog Entry

Did Lee damage Yankees -- and front office?

Posted on: January 19, 2011 4:33 pm
  •  
 
It's no surprise to hear someone say the Yankees overpaid for a free agent.

But it sure is a little strange when that someone is the general manager of the Yankees.

That would be the same general manager of the Yankees who joked to reporters just six weeks ago that his real title should be "director of spending."

Of course, that was before Cliff Lee said no.

What's going on here? Did Lee really do that much damage to this Yankee winter -- or to the Yankee front office?

It may be that he did, and it may be that what we heard from Brian Cashman on Wednesday is the surest sign that he did.

While it's not at all unusual for a general manager to get overruled by his owner, it is highly unusual for a GM to air the disagreement publicly. And that's exactly what Cashman did.

He admitted that he didn't want to sign Rafael Soriano as a setup man for Mariano Rivera -- not for $35 million over three years, anyway. He admitted that he took no part in Soriano negotiations, leaving that to club president Randy Levine.

He even strongly suggested that Soriano was signed in large part to appease fans and sell tickets.

Asked if the Yankees felt the need to respond to what the Red Sox had done this winter, Cashman said, "I think [owner Hal Steinbrenner] felt we needed to do something regardless. We were not going to go into spring training without doing something big."

Cashman said he spoke out Wednesday only because he wanted to be "transparent." But some people who know him believe his strong comments were a sign of larger disputes within the Yankee front office.

Some people within the organization were telling friends that the divide between Cashman and the team's Tampa operation is growing again, and even that ownership wasn't happy with some of Cashman's recent moves.

Last winter, Cashman traded for Javier Vazquez and signed Nick Johnson and Randy Winn as free agents, and none of those moves worked out well.

There was even talk that Cashman had mishandled the Lee negotiations by showing too much patience, rather than pushing to get a deal done quickly.

It's hard to say whether pushing the pace would have helped the Yankees, because some people who know Lee believe that he had no interest at all in coming to New York. But had the Yankees known earlier about Lee, perhaps they would have tried to spend their money on Carl Crawford or Jayson Werth -- rather than on Soriano.

And, of course, had Cashman found a way to sign Lee, then there never would have been a discussion on whether to sign Soriano.

Cashman agreed Wednesday that the late Lee decision had left the Yankees few options on the free-agent market.

He also admitted that signing Soriano made them a better team in 2011. And that's exactly why his strong public opposition to the move made so little sense.

These are the Yankees, after all. Even with the Soriano signing (and after the expected signing of Andruw Jones as a fourth outfielder), they're well below their payroll budget. They'll be under-budget even if Andy Pettitte decides to pitch (and Cashman said again Wednesday that Pettitte is "not in play").

Who cares that $35 million is a lot to pay for someone to pitch the eighth inning?

Well, Cashman cares, and he was willing to say it.

Some people who know him believe it's because Cashman wants people in the game to say he makes smart baseball moves, rather than just spend the most money. They point to his friendship with A's general manager Billy Beane.

"He wants to be the guy the book is written about," one baseball official who knows Cashman well said Wednesday.

He doesn't want to simply be the "director of spending."

And he didn't want to spend all that money on Rafael Soriano.


  •  
Comments

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: February 20, 2012 6:27 am
 

Did Lee damage Yankees -- and front office?




Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 14, 2012 5:29 pm
 

Did Lee damage Yankees -- and front office?

Will probably be doing a satisfying status on the extremely service web portal, person. I've been continually a good solid book lover from the blog page.



Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 30, 2011 8:55 pm
 

Did Lee damage Yankees -- and front office?

Handy special expertise of this key fact an individual visibly is contained about high of that may since handled of course will set in which the person in my small take note of determined!



Since: Nov 19, 2011
Posted on: December 23, 2011 6:05 pm
 

Did Lee damage Yankees -- and front office?

Perfectly carried out about this submit! I arrived across that particularly very helpful. I??ve rescued the true hyperlink on your web-site and i am optimistic during which I??ll revisit when yet again in potential.



Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 12:32 pm
 

Did Lee damage Yankees -- and front office?




Since: Nov 19, 2011
Posted on: December 3, 2011 6:09 pm
 

Did Lee damage Yankees -- and front office?



Tomly
Since: Oct 21, 2011
Posted on: October 22, 2011 6:00 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Jan 2, 2008
Posted on: January 21, 2011 4:02 pm
 

Did Lee damage Yankees -- and front office?

TWO DAYS ..  and SoxCrshz is still goin strong on his LIVID RANT   LOL    PWNED!  Tongue out
____________

Funny thing is your still following everything I write!!!! Howd the Pats do? Dohhhh! No championships since SPYGATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA! LOLOLOLOL~!!!!!!!!! Fistpump!



Since: Feb 10, 2007
Posted on: January 21, 2011 3:59 pm
 

Did Lee damage Yankees -- and front office?

TWO DAYS ..  and SoxCrshz is still goin strong on his LIVID RANT   LOL    PWNED!  Tongue out



Since: Jan 2, 2008
Posted on: January 21, 2011 3:29 pm
 

Did Lee damage Yankees -- and front office?

It happens EVERYWHERE buddy, I didn't deny that

_______

More so in Philly then anywhere else BUDDY.......


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com