The New York Yankees announced on Monday that longtime general manager Brian Cashman had been signed to a four-year contract. Clearly, re-signing Aaron Judge is the top priority of the offseason. But what happens if the Yankees can’t do that? Apparently, Cashman hasn’t gotten that far in his thinking.
“Listen, if Aaron Judge signs somewhere else, do we pivot and do something else?” Cashman said, per MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch. “Do we remake ourselves completely? I have no idea. It’s not what we want to do.”
Brian Cashman: "Listen, if Aaron Judge signs somewhere else, do we pivot and do something else? Do we remake ourselves completely? I have no idea. It's not what we want to do."
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) December 6, 2022
If you’re a fan of the Yankees, not wanting to even think about Judge going elsewhere would be understandable. Heck, that holds true if you’re a player — or maybe even a coach — on the Yankees. But Judge doesn’t lack for interested suitors. Big market teams have made it clear that his lofty price tag will not be what keeps them from signing the superstar.
So, it’s baffling that the general manager of the team — the guy whose job is to put the roster together — would essentially acknowledge not having a Plan B that could easily be needed at literally any moment.
Not surprisingly, Cashman’s words drew criticism — a lot of criticism.
This man just got a 4-year extension off 13 years without a pennant and one of the worst offseasons/deadlines of his career. https://t.co/e0v2fpDWR6
— Stephen Meyer (@StephenMeyerRDC) December 6, 2022
Yankees just extended this guy too lol https://t.co/WEF1OyXnu0
— Andrew Pasquini (@pasquiniandrew) December 6, 2022
How do you not know what to do…how do you not have any backup plans…oh my goodness I don’t know what to even say https://t.co/GMYXZdMgIs
— CJ PUKALA™ (@CJPukala) December 6, 2022
Hal: “What’s your offseason plan? How are you going to make this team better?”
Cashman: “I have no idea”
Hal: “Hired! 4 more years!!!” https://t.co/YmsdErYBJF
— Andrew (@AndrewwM_) December 6, 2022
What other GM can say they have no idea what’s next in public the day they sign a multi-year deal? https://t.co/BlheonTYLM
— Joe Randazzo (@Yankeelibrarian) December 6, 2022
Lost in all of this is another issue. As great as Judge has been, the Yankees have not enjoyed a lot of playoff success with him. They have not won or even reached a World Series since 2009. Since Judge’s rookie year, the Yankees have reached the ALCS three times. Each time, they lost to the Houston Astros, falling in seven games in 2017, six games in 2019 and four games in 2022. So, even if they do re-sign Judge, more work needs to be done if the Yankees are going to get back to the World Series.
This could be a matter of Cashman just playing it close to the vest, not wanting to discuss specific plans publicly. But if that was the case, he should have said that. A general manager saying “I have no idea” heading into the Winter Meetings is troubling.
[Bryan Hoch on Twitter]