Report: Cashman not allowed to make offers

Rumors to this effect were brewing yesterday, but I held off on posting anything on it because it seemed to be coming mostly from agents. Dan Barbirisi just added some details however and, well, read for yourself:

In a situation that highlights how much has changed for the big-budget Yankees, Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman came to the winter meetings in Nashville with his hands so fully tied that he lacked the authority to make offers to free agents.

The situation was first brought to light by agent Scott Boras, who quietly suggested Wednesday that Cashman lacked the power to make offers.

[...]

On Thursday, people within the Yankees organization confirmed that this was in fact true: Cashman arrived in Nashville unable to make offers to players, and without that power, targets like Jeff Keppinger and Eric Chavez took deals elsewhere.

[...]

Another Yankee official downplayed the seriousness of the situation, saying that most general managers would have to go back to ownership to vet potential deals.

“What does Scott Boras know? Are you kidding me?” the official said, arguing that Boras is trying to stir things up because he lacks good markets for his players. “The only reason that Cash didn’t have the authority at that point, if you want to use the word authority, is that he wasn’t making any offers, there was nobody out there that he thought, at these prices, that he should make offers on.”

But another official confirmed that this represents a departure for the Yankees, who have given Cashman more authority in the past.

I don’t know exactly what to make of this, yet, but suffice it to say the idea that this is commonplace is absurd. General managers may need to rope in ownership on major/long term signings or moves hat may be controversial for one reason or another, but the idea that they can’t make mundane acquisitions within their budgetary framework is ridiculous. Far more likely is that ownership is focused on dollars and cents more than anything else right now, even before the 2014 budget ostensibly goes into effect. That is, of course, assuming that this report is accurate.

16 thoughts on “Report: Cashman not allowed to make offers

  1. "Ladies and gentlemen… Now playing third base… Eduardo Nunez… Nunez."

  2. ScotT

    I've hesitated to comment on this winter's proceedings, or lack thereof. My more pessimistic nature thinks something terrible frightening is in the works, at least for those of us used to consistent winning & consistent spending. However, in this case, I tend to think Boras is stirring the pot a little bit. It may be true that the brass wants to tighten things up, but I don't think they completely hamstring their GM like this. Typically the truth is somewhere in the middle.

  3. James

    It is so frustrating to see the off season taking place like this year. I just hope that the front office is able to pull out the best team possible for the upcoming season.

  4. Dan

    This really isn't fair to Pettitte, Kuroda and Mo at all, not to mention the fans. You bring these three guys back on one year contracts, the expectation is that you're going for it all this year before having to scale back. The fact that they're unwilling to spend an extra $10-20m to have a MLB caliber C, 3B and RF (not to mention some depth) on the opening day roster is ridiculous. They're the New York Yankees, they're the biggest team in the biggest market with one of the top 3 the largest streams of television revenue (if not the largest). I'm fine with getting below $189m and spending smarter. But, they should be doing whatever it takes to win this year, regardless of payroll, as long as they can get below $189m next season–that's fairest to the returning players and the fans. It's ridiculous to have two years of austerity when they'd still be paying the luxury tax this year, and the only year that the austerity actually matters is next season. While still charging obscene amounts for tickets.

    If I'm Hal I'd be willing to spend any number on a 1 year contract for major league talent to fill out this roster. You can't be letting supporting guys like Chavez and Schierholtz get away because you're unwilling to spend an extra million on a 1 year deal. At least the Youklis offer is promising.

    The only way they shouldn't be doing the aforementioned plan, is if they made the decision that the luxury tax threshold of $178m is attainable this year. I read in a Joel Sherman article today that they already have $168m on the books for this year, so it appears that number is in reach (especially if they trade Granderson and/or Hughes). If they do that, they could trade from their surplus of SP to fill out the roster, and then maybe stay below $189m again next season and get two years of savings before a huge FA class (or spike above it a year early). But if $178m isn't attainable (and it seems like a stretch), they should be going all in this year.

  5. Jacques

    Seems like this all started when Cashman did not make an offer to Soriano and Levine took over

  6. This Year

    I did not understand all this penny pinching nonsense until I happened to walk by New Yankee Stadium and saw a “For Sale” sign outside. Hal and Hank want to cash in, and thus cash man cannot do an effing thing. I miss The Boss big time.

  7. Johnny Callison 1964

    Hey, folks, let's get real:

    The pitching staff is in terrific shape. Anybody can catch this bunch! Is anybody really going to miss Russell Martin hitting below the Mendoza line for an entire season? Losing him is much ado about nothing. Romine and Franky will both hit 30 points higher than Martin and still catch a decent game. So, in my mind, THE YANKEES DON'T HAVE A CATCHING PROBLEM.

    Chavez had exactly two good weeks last season, so he is no great loss, and believe me, after what I saw of Adams in the AFL, he will go north as a good glove/bat option at 3rd and 2nd unless he completely craps out in ST.

    There has been far too much made of the Yankees lack of action during the WMs, and I can't believe Boras is doing anything but talking TISH, because this is the weakest free agent market in memory.

    I still think Ichiro is a viable right field candidate, and I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to see Slade Heathcott in right field sometime in 2013.

    I also want to remind everyone that (their complete meltdown in the ALCS aside) 2012 was a great year and we still have the nucleus of a terrific team, lead by a GREAT PITCHING STAFF AND BULLPEN (especially with the addition of Mark Montgomery who is going to be the next great thing).

    So, relax everyone! what is actually happening, IMHO, is the Yankees are retooling for another spectacular run of championships in the next 5-7 years with plenty of exceptional lower rung minor-leaguers on their way north in the next 2-3 seasons.

    116 days to spring training, and in spite of all the money Toronto has spent, the Yankees still win 95 games and the division.

    Go argue with that!

    • Sorry, you lost me at “Romine and Cervelli are better hitters than Martin.”

    • Dan

      Eric Duncan dominated the AFL too.

  8. ProfRobert

    How does story this purportedly square with the $12 million-to-Youkilis offer described two items ago?

    My suspicion — "authority" is a silly concept here. If Cashman wants to make an offer, he calls Tampa and gets authority, or Tampa says no. How is that any different from the Boss years?

  9. Mike

    Quietly suggesting that Cashman didn't have the authority to make offers would mark the very first time Scott Boras "quietly" did anything. I think this is more about Boras manipulating things to his advantage than anything else.

  10. you move Jeter to third Nunez to short & IF Arod come back he'll be the full time DH

    • Allen

      I don't think Jeter can transition to a new position this year b/c he is spending his offseason rehabing, and won't have time to work on becoming a third baseman.

  11. Derpy

    The Yankees are in a rough situation right now for a few reasons, but really it can be simplified to one really big, stupid mistake:

    Signing ARod to this monster deal was a terrible, terrible, terrible decision.

    ARod isn't the only big contract on the team, I understand, but ARod, moreso than the other contracts, had a few issues that were easily foreseeable BEFORE the Yankees offered him this absurd contract.

    A: Age. ARod was 31-32 years old when the Yankees signed him

    B: Length. TEN years?!

    C: Money: 275 MILLION!?!?

    This was a bad deal then, it is a bad deal now, and, guess what, there are five years left! The Yankees KNEW injuries were going to be a big factor in his contract, they KNEW his skill and natural talent were going to diminish, and yet they gave him ten years, 275 million at age 32. Insanity. Pure insanity.

    Well, now the new CBA is going into full effect, the soft salary cap (which is how I consider this new CBA to be, maybe that is a controversial term) is holding the Yankees payroll back, and they are paying ARod 29 million dollars to sit on the DL for, potentially, the entire season. Imagine how much that money could do to help fill some holes right now.

    You can say CC is a good contract, I'm not sure I would agree but it is a fair statement. You could say Tex is a good contract, again I'm not sure I would agree but it is a fair statement. But the ARod contract is a JOKE. It was from the second they signed it.

    • ProfRobert

      It wouldn't have been as bad if ARod had still been allowed to juice.

      But seriously, I agree with you. What makes it even worse is there was no market for him at those kinds of prices. They could have forced him six years at $20-$25 million a year and shoved the opt-out down Boras's throat. It still would be an overpay in hindsight (ARod was actually coming off a very good season when they re-signed him), but at least he'd be coming off the books after next year.

    • Allen

      I read that if he misses the whole season, there is an insurance policy that will cover about 80% of his salary. I wonder is they pushed his surgery to January in order to try to capitalize on that.

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