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Cashman’s Plan Thwarted By Soriano Signing



By Frank Russo ~ January 21st, 2011. Filed under: Rumor Mill.

In reaching out to my Tampa source, we received some clarification on the Rafael Soriano/Brian Cashman/Steinbrenner circus that has been discussed since the press conference earlier this week.

Yes, as has been reported in numerous outlets, the Soriano signing was the work of Hal Steinbrenner. In a move reminiscent of his father, he actually contacted Scott Boras the second week of January to inform him to negotiate with ownership, not Cashman, on the contract. Some in the organization believe this is fallout from Cliff Lee as Hal was aware of the critics stating that “George” would have never let Lee get away.

It’s not that Cashman doesn’t want Soriano, but believes the price of 3 years/$35 million, with a player opt out, is too steep. Word is that Cashman was in the early stages of contacting teams about starting pitching, and this deal potentially took away some of the financial flexibility he believed to have. Cashman had recently reached out to the White Sox to see if they were interested in talking about Mark Buehrle and John Danks. He also was looking at St. Louis as a possible trade partner, since they may need to move some payroll in order to satisfy Albert Pujols contract demands. Of course, all this was just in a “discovery phase,” no deals were discussed, but the Soriano contract now makes it necessary to reevaluate the Yankees budget.

Despite reports this incident doesn’t change the Cashman/Steinbrenner relationship, some wouldn’t be surprised if he moved on at the end of the year. Remember, if he wasn’t given autonomy by George Steinbrenner after 2005, Cashman was prepared to possibly become the Phillies general manager. He was serious about leaving the club then, and could possibly feel the same way now.

Don’t Count Pettitte Out Yet

It’s good news to hear that Andy Pettitte is trying to keep himself in baseball shape. Even better news is the word that Pettitte’s family wouldn’t stand in his way if he decided to pitch in 2011. I was told yesterday not to be surprised if you see Pettitte in pinstripes this season. Of course, the big question is when, which no one but Pettitte ultimately knows.

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Frank is a resident of East Brunswick, NJ and former radio announcer. He is a 4th generation Republican and Yankees Fan. He also enjoys listening to talk radio. His favorite announcer is Shawn Hannity of “Hannity” on FOX and enjoys reading about military history. In addition to rooting for the Yankees, he also has a passion for the New York Islanders. You can enjoy Frank’s work at The Dead Ball Era and his book “Bury My Heart at Cooperstown”. Check out his “Rants and Raves” on New York Baseball Digest.

2 Responses to Cashman’s Plan Thwarted By Soriano Signing

  1. Michael Maggi

    Frank,

    Are the reports about their stepping up their pursuit of Justin Duchscherer true? Any word on other starters they are pursuing right now (Wandy Rodriguez? etc). Will they add a utility infielder? I think Felipe Lopez would be a good low-cost, high upside suggestion.

  2. Frank Russo

    Michael,

    From what I’ve heard, they’re nto interested in Duchscherer at all. I was told that Cashman is still looking around for the “right fit” for the rotation. If Pettitte comes back, then the need for a starter is really not necessary.

    Also, as far as the utility infielder, that job apparently still belongs to Pena, although I think your suggestion of Felipe Lopez is much better! I think Pena stays because he is more affordable.

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