My “Brian Cashman is trying to get himself fired” comment from yesterday was meant as a joke. Not a good one — a bit too dry; I think I told it better on Twitter before repurposing it for the post — but I don’t honestly think that the man is trying to get canned.
My real issue was that because of the other stuff that has happened lately — and because of how easy it is to turn a couple of data points of oddness into some big b.s. trend — eventually someone was going to make that sort of connection. Someone would list the random things like Cashman scaling down a building, losing out on Cliff Lee, hating the Rafael Soriano deal and all of that, and draw some distraction-inducing conclusion from it.
And someone did. Lupica, natch:
And there are people in baseball who wonder if Cashman has begun moving toward the door, if he really does want to go somewhere else and show the whole world that he is more a general manager than a money manager, that he doesn’t need to spend $200 million a year to build winning baseball teams.
Look at the wild, weird baseball winter Cashman has had already …
Then, as I suspected someone would, Lupica cites the highlights of Cashman’s winter, throws in extended recitation of that “Seinfeld” episode in which George tried to get fired by the Yankees and voila, Questions Have Been Raised.
And maybe it doesn’t matter because it’s just Lupica and that’s what he does. But a few days ago Brian Cashman said that dealing with the media garbage is the hardest part of his job. I presume this is the stuff he’s talking about. How nothing can be taken at face value. It all has to mean something. I don’t blame him for chafing at it. I know it’s silly to base your moves off of what the media might do, but I did kind of wish that Cashman wasn’t fueling the haters’ fire.
I know this is going to sound silly coming from someone who posts 20 times a day about all manner of unimportant topics, but sometimes things don’t demand a grand unification theory. Things just happen. Maybe they’re worth a few sentences on a blog here and there, but a full-blown 750-word column lends itself to grander explanations. Oftentimes ones that are purely illusionary.
MASN’s Roch Kubatko is reporting that the Orioles have “some level” of interest in free agent outfielder Denard Span. The Nationals did not make a $15.8 million qualifying offer to Span, which means he doesn’t come attached with draft pick compensation unlike other free agents such as Alex Gordon and Dexter Fowler.
Span, who turns 32 in February, hit a solid .301/.365/.431 with five home runs, 22 RBI, 38 runs scored, and 11 stolen bases, but took only 275 plate appearances due to back and hip injuries. He underwent season-ending hip surgery in September but is expected to be ready to participate in spring training.
The Mets and Royals have also reportedly shown interest in Span’s services.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Blue Jays are on the prowl for relievers with closing experience. Ryan Madson is one of the names on their list.
Madson, 35, had a career rebirth with the Royals in 2015. He signed a minor league deal with the club that paid him a salary of $850,000 if he made it back to the majors. Due to a plethora of arm injuries, Madson hadn’t pitched in the majors since Game 5 of the 2011 NLDS against the Cardinals as a member of the Phillies. For the Royals, he wound up becoming a crucial member of the bullpen, finishing with a 2.13 ERA and a 58/14 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings.
While Madson allowed five runs in 8 1/3 post-season innings, he pitched well when it mattered most, as he hurled three scoreless frames in three appearances in the World Series against the Mets.
Madson has closing experience, with 55 career saves. 32 of them came in 2011 when he took over the closer’s role from Brad Lidge.
After signing Marco Estrada and J.A. Happ, and trading for Jesse Chavez, the Jays have bolstered their rotation but it was reported on Saturday that interim GM Tony LaCava is still focused on upgrading the pitching staff.
ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that free agent pitcher Trevor Cahill is looking for a one-year, bounce-back deal. The Pirates are one of the potential teams he is considering.
It’s no surprise that the Pirates are on Cahill’s list. Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage has garnered a reputation as a miracle worker after turning around the careers of a handful of pitchers, including Edinson Volquez, Francisco Liriano, and J.A. Happ. Volquez parlayed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Pirates into a two-year, $20 million deal with the Royals last December. Liriano signed with the Pirates on a one-year, $1 million contract and turned that into a three-year, $39 million deal. Happ, dealt to the Pirates from the Mariners at the most recent trade deadline, just signed a three-year, $39 million contract with the Blue Jays.
Cahill, once a highly-regarded pitching prospect, has scuffled over parts of seven seasons in the majors. The 27-year-old owns a career 4.13 ERA with a 754/427 K/BB ratio in 1,083 2/3 innings. Cahill had some brief success after signing with the Cubs as a free agent in mid-August, compiling a 2.12 ERA in 11 appearances out of the bullpen.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Blue Jays have narrowed their search for a new general manager down to two candidates: current interim GM Tony LaCava, and Indians vice president of player personnel Ross Atkins. Former Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos resigned last month.
LaCava was promoted to interim GM on November 2 and has already made a handful of moves along with new president Mark Shapiro. The club acquired Jesse Chavez in a trade and signed pitchers Marco Estrada and J.A. Happ to multi-year deals.
Atkins worked under Shapiro in the Indians organization for 15 seasons, so it is no surprise that he is a finalist for the open GM position.