[Yankees general manager Brian Cashman] did not want to sign [Rafael Soriano], but was overruled by the Steinbrenners. The team and the pitcher agreed to a three-year, $35 million deal Thursday, pending a physical.
According to the source, ownership was worried about the bullpen’s depth should Mariano Rivera suffer an injury. Cashman felt Joba Chamberlain or David Robertson could fill the closer’s role if needed. But the Steinbrenners, along with team president Randy Levine, wanted Soriano.
“He stated his case,” the source said of Cashman. “But he understood. It’s not like he threw a body block to stop it.”
This is an isolated case, the source said, and in no way reflects a lack of confidence in Cashman or his plans for the 2011 team…
…The Yankees executive said nothing has changed, but the Steinbrenners ultimately sign off on all decisions. In this regard, the Yankees are like every other team and every other business. There are levels of management, but the owners make the final call.
It may be true, maybe nothing is wrong here and that it is business as usual for the Yankees. After all, Cashman saying the Yankees are not willing to give up their pick may have just been posturing to get Soriano to backoff previous demands on a four-year, $56 million deal.
Or maybe there is something wrong here. Maybe Cashman did throw his body in front of this deal and this is the Yankees trying to spin it so that he, or the organization, don’t look bad.
Either way, the best way we are going to be able to tell is if this kind of thing continues to occur in the future. And, if Cashman, who is a free agent at the end of this year, re-signs with them. At this point it is hard to tell because neither scenario is really shocking. We’ll just have to wait and see.
When the Yankees hold a press conference to officially announce the Soriano signing there may be more light shed on to this.
One other interesting thing about this article I’d like to point out. It seems that Cashman has full faith in Joba Chamberlain, but ownership doesn’t. Cash’s stance was that if Rivera got hurt then Joba or Robertson could step in, but ownerships insistence in signing Soriano seems to suggest that they don’t feel the same way.
- January 14, 2011: Decision to Sign Soriano Was Not Cashman’s
- January 15, 2011: Yankees Soriano Deal Puzzling: The Ups and Downs
- January 15, 2011: Rivera Convinced Yankees to Sign Soriano & Plans to Act as Mentor
- January 14, 2011: Rafael Soriano Gives The Yankees A Great Bullpen