Cashman lacked authority to make offers during Winter Meetings

It turns out that Yankees GM Brian Cashman‘s frustration, that I wrote about this morning, was not just about missing out on free agents because of the Yankees budget situation, but it also has to do with him losing authority to even make offers, according to Dan Barbarisi of the Wall Street Journal.

Here is more from the WSJ:

On Thursday, people within the Yankees organization confirmed that this was in fact true: Cashman arrived in Nashville unable to make offers to players, and without that power, targets like Jeff Keppinger and Eric Chavez took deals elsewhere…

…Another Yankee official downplayed the seriousness of the situation, saying that most general managers would have to go back to ownership to vet potential deals.

“What does Scott Boras know? Are you kidding me?” the official said, arguing that Boras is trying to stir things up because he lacks good markets for his players. “The only reason that Cash didn’t have the authority at that point, if you want to use the word authority, is that he wasn’t making any offers, there was nobody out there that he thought, at these prices, that he should make offers on.”

But another official confirmed that this represents a departure for the Yankees, who have given Cashman more authority in the past.

Cashman has had to get permission to make offers in the past, but those are usually huge offers like Mark Teixeira‘s before 2009 or unique situations like signing Hiroki Kuroda last offseason before they were able to trade A.J. Burnett. Typically a $3 million offer to Eric Chavez wouldn’t need permission though.

The Yankees are different these days. Now even a $3 million offer is a big deal and Cashman’s hands are tied as he literally isn’t allowed to make offers.

This isn’t just about Cashman losing authority. It also brings to light questions of just how smart cutting payroll at this time really is. I get it, the Yankees are tired of being labeled as the team that just spends. The problem, though, is that they’ve already spent quite a bit and cutting payroll with $50 million already committed to Alex Rodriguez, and Mark Teixeira, neither of the two are going to even come close to earning their paycheck, it puts them in a rough spot.

It is also coming at a time when a lot of baseball teams are flush with cash. I mean, Shane Victorino is coming off the worst year of his career and just got $39 million. This is forcing the Yankees to miss out on even mediocre free agents.

Hal Steinbrenner needs to realize that the timing is not right. It was never really optimal, but the A-Rod injury changed things in a major way. When Hal is keeping Cashman from doing his job and filling four major holes in the lineup maybe he should realize it’s time to re-think their position on the budget.

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5 Responses to Cashman lacked authority to make offers during Winter Meetings

  1. jersey joe says:

    i could not possibly agree more.

  2. Tanned Tom says:

    Let's be honest here and say that brains, or at least baseball smarts, does not exactly run in this family. The father was one of the dumbest baseball men ever. Just remember the 80's when he more or less acted as his own GM, team won squat. Hank signed A-Roid to the most laughable contract in the history of the game. Only Hal is not a complete baseball retard, and he's a penny pinching pencil head. You let Cashman run the team (or Watson or Michael before him) and they do okay. Let the owners meddle and the team sucks.

    • JB 65 says:

      I agree with you on that one but I have to say the yankees are still throwing money away, I know you won't agree with me on this but I would never have given 12 mil to Andy and 10 mil to Mo. those 2 guy were great in there day but it's time to let go and take that money and get 2 YOUNGER arms in there, thats 22 mil plus that can go where they need it. there are to much in love with Andy and Mo, Andy may break down half way in the season and Mo just isn't the pitcher he was a few years ago. he gets hit a lot more than he used to. it's time to cut the cord.

      • Where are the alternatives? Which other pitcher and closer can they sign on one-year deals and remain competitive? Also your comment on Rivera not being the same pitcher is laughable. Concerns returning from the injury? Of course, but there has been zero regression on the mound.

  3. kay says:

    The Yankees don't want to be "labeled as the team that just spends." Who cares what they are labeled? Is it better to be labeled as a team that is a perennial third place loser?