At the end of the 2005 season, Brian Cashman had resolved to end his tenure as the Yankees’ general manager. On what he thought was going to be one of his last days on the job, he gave Yankees owner George Steinbrenner — with whom Cashman had many battles — a recommendation about what Steinbrenner would need in terms of structure going forward.
Steinbrenner asked him to stay on, and now Cashman is in his 14th year as the Yankees’ GM. His contract is set to expire at the end of this season, and many of Cashman’s professional colleagues are starting to believe this will be his last with the team.
“I think maybe he’s finally had it,” said one GM. “That’s a job that will take a lot out of you.”
Cashman said on Friday night that he’s not thinking about his future with the Yankees, and that in keeping with his own approach to contract situations with the likes of Joe Girardi and Mariano Rivera last year, he will not talk about his own future with his bosses until after the Yankees finish play this year. “I have no idea,” Cashman said. “I’m not looking to leave. I’m not looking to go anywhere. I firmly believe this will be the best job I’ll ever have.
“We’ll have conversations at the right time.”
On at least three other occasions, there appeared to be a good chance that Cashman would walk away, and he decided to stay. It’s possible this could happen again, because the Yankees are the only baseball team for which Cashman has ever worked and he has always felt a responsibility to the organization.
But he has already long outlasted the typical expiration date for a Yankees general manager. Some of his peers wonder if he’ll finally walk away, to start a new chapter in his life. “I don’t think he has any idea how different his life would be if he wasn’t general manager of the Yankees,” said one high-ranking executive.
Me? I think this could be interesting. I suspect that Hal Stein likes Cashman. But, what about Hank Stein and Randy Levine? The former is a loose cannon and the latter may fear Cashman usurping him someday. Not that this would mean Cashman is out – but, I could see the Yankees not giving him a raise and/or the years he wants in a new deal. And, how would that sit with Brian? Then again, what leverage does Cashman have outside of a gig with ESPN?