I don't know about anyone else, but I've been thinking a lot lately about how life would be without Brian Cashman. After Hank had his first Steinbrenner melt down about the rotation the other day, it seems that he has now calmed down after speaking with Cashman, and they are sticking to the original plan. Cashman also had to explain to him that the reason they put Joba in the bullpen last season was because of inning limits, not because they were making him a reliever. Steinbrenner stated that he wasn't around last season, so he didn't know, but c'mon. Everybody in the tri-state area knew about Joba's inning limits, the Joba rules, and the whole "we plan on keeping him as a starter" thing. Well, everybody except Hank.
With this likely being the first of many Steinbrenner melt downs, I started thinking about how good Cashman was at putting out fires. He did it with Sheffield during his walk year when he came into spring training running his mouth, and he did it dealing with George Steinbrenner all these years. Like the middle child, Cashman has been forced to resolve all the issues within the ever dysfunctional Yankee family, and it has to have gotten old by now. So what would happen if Cashman walked at the end of this year? Went to another team that can appreciate the kind of player development approach he has? What if Hank becomes the GM, or installs a puppet GM so that he can call all the real shots? What would life with the Yankees be like without Cashman?
For starters, you can say goodbye to the kids. Hank was very vocal about wanting Santana last season, which would have meant sending Hughes, Melky, and potentially Ian Kennedy to the Twins for him. This coming off season, you could expect Hank to go for free agents Sabathia and Teixeira, but the smart money says he tries a trade to fill the other spot in the rotation, or to find a true setup guy for Mariano Rivera. Remember when we were shopping Melky Cabrera for Mike Gonzalez a couple years back? And then we shopped him for Santana last season? I think Melky would be gone if Hank took over. Thankfully, next off season will have a good free agent crop, so he won't need to architect the trade of our entire tripple A roster to land somebody, but if someone becomes available through trade, Hank will be like his father, and will send away anyone he needs to.
Some people welcome this approach. They hate Cashman for preaching patience, and want him to just sign every big name that becomes available. This is probably because they don't remember our mercenary teams of the early part of this decade. When the Yankees went way over $200 million in payroll, for over the hill, under achieving veterans with no real allegiance to the Yankees, but some allegiance to their big pay check. The whole all-star at every position plan didn't work. If Cashman goes, I fear we'll be back to that. Remember Randy Johnson, Carl Pavano, Jaret Wright, Tony Womack, distraction crazy Sheffield, and Quantrill? We would be back to that in no time.