Thursday, January 20, 2011

Changing of the Guard

The resent deal that has brought Rafael Soriano to the Yankees has been over shadowed by a potentially glaring issue in the front office.  Brian Cashman has admitted to not being on board the Soriano deal.  Hal Stienbrenner and Randy Levine headed up negotiations regarding Soriano. 

The question is whether or not the Yankees still have faith in their General Manager.  The organization released a statement saying that they have complete faith in their GM and the he is "one of the best in the game." 

One has to wonder what's really going on here.  When Cashman renegotiated his last contract, he drew up intricate details on how he would be in complete control of Baseball Operations.  This essentially eliminated ownership driven deals.  Such deals that George Stienbrenner was very famous for. Does the Soriano deal represent a changing of the guard?

The answer is unclear. Negotiations are under way to bring Andruw Jones to the Yankees as a utility outfielder. Those negotiations are being handled by Cashman and his Baseball Operations team.  That leads us to believe that things are business as usual over on River Avenue.  However, if Hal Steinbrenner does decide to follow in his father's footsteps and start pushing ownership driven deals, it may not be such a bad idea. 

The truth is, the Soriano deal is a smart move.  It gives the Yankees the greatest late inning one two punch since Mariano was setting up for Wetteland.  Cashman mainly disagreed with the move because he was unwilling to give up the Yankees' first round draft pick, a 31st overall pick.  Tyler Kepner had an interesting point on the topic. He said that since 1977, only twelve 31st overall picks have ever even made it to the majors.  So what was the big deal in giving up this pick?

Now, instead of the pick, the team has a rock solid bullpen.  The kind of late inning dominance that can take stress off of the less than stellar starting rotation.  All that needs to happen now is the team needs to solidify the starting rotation.  More likely, we will see the Yankees start the season with what they have and then look to make a trade for a viable starter mid season. 

Regardless of what happens now, the Yankees believe they are fielding a better team than they did last year.  

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