Though control of the Yankees has been turned over to his son the legacy of George Steinbrenner lives on. Yesterday the team signed first baseman Mark Teixeira to an 8 year, $180 million contract. This comes on the heals of signing CC Sabathia for 7 years at $161 million and A.J. Burnett for 5 years at $82.5 million earlier this month. Add to that the contracts for Alex Rodriguez & Derek Jeter and the Yankees have the top 4 salaried players in the game as well as the leagues highest payroll. And the rumors are still hot about a Manny Ramirez deal in the works.
This got me thinking about Yankees general manager Brian Cashman. Cashman has received all kinds of accolades during his tenure. But how good is he really? He’s obviously a good people person to have been able to deal with the Steinbrenners this long and have achieved such control over baseball operations. But when ownership is willing and able to open the wallet the way Yankees ownership traditionally has been it makes the job of general manager a lot easier. Being able to sign high priced free agents (like Teixeira) and taking on bad contracts as parts of trades is a tremendous advantage. But how well would Cashman do in a smaller market such as Pittsburgh, Milwaukee or Oakland?
Just a thought.