The New York Yankees have come out of the gate firing in free agency, extending first baseman Anthony Rizzo on a three-year contract with an opt-out after the second season.
Rizzo will earn about $17 million per year, receiving the security he desired when he rejected the team’s qualifying offer of $19.65 million. Now, the Yankees will turn their attention to Aaron Judge, but the contract extension of general manager Brian Cashman also looms large.
Cashman‘s deal expires on December 31, and while they were reports indicating the Bombers could consider alternative options, owner Hal Steinbrenner seems to be committed to his longtime GM.
“It’s just a matter of salary. I’ve told him that I want him back. We’ve talked about it. We’re in the same neighborhood. It’s just semantics.”
Even Cashman seems to be looking for more money, helping the Yankees get to the postseason on a yearly basis. However, losing to a better-run Houston Astros club stings a bit more when you’re spending as much money as the team is on analytics and big-name talents.
This past season, the Yanks fell to the Astros once again in the ALCS, despite having a more potent roster. The Astros simply have the equation to reach the World Series and win it, even when they’re not cheating their way to the top.
The Yankees have gotten some good and bad from Brian Cashman:
Cashman has done a good job in some respects, notably finding cheap talent that provides more than their worth. Players like Jose Treviño, Clay Holmes, and Matt Carpenter have made Cashman look good, but he’s routinely made mistakes in the free agent/trade market. Aaron Hicks has offered next to nothing, and Josh Donaldson was a major dud with one year and $21 million left on his salary.
“I think he’s a good general manager. It’s a complex job. He’s got a handle on all of it.”
Clearly, Steinbrenner still believes that Cashman can get the job done, despite his shortcomings. Taming free agency is easier said than done, but retaining Judge remains a priority, given the value he brings to the clubhouse and the field.
If Yankee fans were hoping to see a front-office change, they may have to wait a few more years until Cashman royally messes things up, or he could finally get this team on track to winning a World Series and pushing beyond the ALCS.