Hal Steinbrenner: the Brian Cashman stuff is “a bunch of drummed-up drama”

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Joel Sherman of the New York Post has an exclusive interview with Hal Steinbrenner this morning. The unequivocal upshot: there is no rift between Brian Cashman and the Yankees’ top brass:

“[Cashman] and I have a great working relationship.  There is no problem, right now. I think we have had a bunch of drummed-up drama.”

The public sparring with Derek Jeter?  Steinbrenner says that he — not Cashman — wrote the statement critical of Jeter that Cashman gave following Casey Close’s comments describing the team’s negotiating stance being “baffling.”  Cashman’s dissension from ownership following the Rafael Soriano signing? No biggie:

“I keep reading about dissension and discord. We are a well-functioning company. The bosses have a decision to make. Sometimes people don’t agree with those decisions. So I told him, ‘You are always honest with the media, be honest now. Tell them what you have to tell them.’ I was already onto the next decision. I told him, ‘You and I are fine. Answer in any way you want.'”

Steinbrenner says that “there are no problems at all” between he and Cashman and that it  “has been a very good relationship.”  He says that, while it’s too early to discuss a contract extension, he would very much like Cashman back after his deal is up this fall.

One would assume that this should put all of the Brian Cashman criticism and speculation to rest.  But given that the criticism and speculation was unreasonable to begin with, maybe it won’t.

Report: Giants showed some interest in Phillies’ Maikel Franco at Winter Meetings

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Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that the Giants were “sniffing around” on Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco at the recently completed Winter Meetings.

Franco, 25, would be a nice buy-low candidate for the Giants, who don’t have a reliable third baseman yet. Currently, Pablo Sandoval would get the lion’s share of starts at the hot corner. Franco was a consensus top-100 prospect going into the 2014 and ’15 seasons, but hasn’t lived up to the hype over the last two seasons. In 2017, he hit .230/.281/.409 with 24 home runs and 76 RBI in 623 plate appearances.

Moving Franco wouldn’t necessarily solve any problems for the Phillies. After signing first baseman Carlos Santana, Rhys Hoskins is expected to play in the outfield full-time. As a result, the Phillies have too many outfielders with Odubel Herrera, Nick Williams, and Aaron Altherr. Technically, the Phillies could move Santana to third base as he has experience there, but he hasn’t played the hot corner since 2014.

Franco is arbitration eligible over the next four seasons, which might be the most attractive thing about him to other teams.