With the Yankees finally sitting down to find out what their budget for next year looks like, we thought it would be a good time to call our good friend Brian Cashman and offer him our advice on the upcoming Winter Meetings, potential free agents and trade prospects. As always, he was gracious with his time. Below is a transcript of our conversation.
BC: [Whispering] Hello?
RJG: [singing loudly] Bronny the magic dragon, lived by the sea . . .
BC: [still whispering] Keep it down, I'm in a meeting right now.
RJG: [still singing] Why'd you answer then?
BC: [still whispering] Lonn Trost is giving some bullsh*t presentation on how we should air-condition the legends seats in order to sell more of them at full price.
RJG: Oh come on, Bronny, you know Lonn can't hear anything over the sound of his own voice.
BC: [no longer whispering] You're right. This may be a while and it's boring as hell, what's up?
RJG: Just wondering what next year's payroll is looking like and whe. . .
BC: Hal is right here, ask him. Hey Hal, phone call.
RJG: Um, hello Hal. So, what's the payroll? Should you be on the phone right now?
Hal: Yeah, Lonn's explaining the benefits of gold-plating the Legends Seats. The budget will be determined shortly. We'd like to drop payroll, but we have a bajillion dollars to work with.
RJG: A bajillion?
RJG: Can I speak with Cash again?
Hal: No problem, here you go Cashmanizstan.
RJG: Cashmanizstan! That's the best nickname ever. I'm hurt that I didn't think of it.
BC: Did he answer your questions?
RJG: I think Hal may be on drugs or something.
BC: That was Hank b--ch! [Laughs hysterically] I can't believe you thought Hal would talk to you. That's classic.
RJG: That's not nice. So are you trading for Halladay or what? Can you give him an extension with Jete and Rivera coming up for new contracts next year and still reduce payroll?
BC: Actually, according to my new proposal, yes.
RJG: What's that?
BC: Well, if we measure payroll in 1998 dollars, when the dollar was actually stronger, we're paying far less than we ever have before. So I could throw money at Halladay, Jete, Rivera and still "reduce" payroll.
RJG: I don't think they're going to go for that.
BC: Why not?
RJG: Because I'm pretty sure they want to reduce payroll regardless of the relative strength of our currency.
BC: Are you sure about that?
BC: You know what your problem is, Roberto?
BC: You're a bigot!
RJG: That doesn't make any sense! Can I speak to Hank again?
BC: Why don't you go to the "lame" store and buy yourself some more lameness since you're so lame?
RJG: Am I already talking to Hank?
RJG: Can I speak to Cash?
There you have it folks, the organizational meetings are underway. We will soon have a sense of what the Yankees are able to do this off-season in terms of payroll. Well, we won't but the Yankees will.