Brian Cashman isn’t going anywhere.
The impending free agent general manager has agreed to a three-year contract extension with the Yankees, who’ve missed the playoffs in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1992/1993.
Cashman has been the GM since 1998, when he replaced Bob Watson and the Yankees made him an immediate winner with three consecutive World Series titles in 1998, 1999, and 2000 before losing the Diamondbacks in 2001.
During his run as GM the Yankees have advanced to the playoffs 14 times in 17 seasons, winning four World Series and six American League pennants.
His previous contract was also three years, signed in November of 2011. But this time around the challenge ahead of him is far different, as the “Core Four” is gone and the Yankees’ aging roster is in desperate need of a rebuild while the farm system is hardly overflowing with high-upside young talent.
At the end of this contract extension the now 47-year-old Cashman will have been the Yankees’ general manager for 20 seasons.
J.J. Hardy bypassing free agency to sign a three-year, $40 million contract extension with the Orioles yesterday has further weakened the always shallow pool of free agent shortstops.
All of which makes this interesting: Asdrubal Cabrera, who’s been a shortstop for most of his career, indicated that he’d like to re-sign with the Nationals after playing second base for Washington down the stretch.
Cabrera’s agent will probably get in his ear and point out that he’d be one of the only veteran shortstops on the market and might be able to coax some team into overpaying, but here’s what Cabrera told James Wagner of the Washington Post:
I really enjoy it to play with this team. Great guys. Good front office. I was really happy to be here and be in this moment with the team. I would love to stay here. A lot of good guys. A good team. I would love to stay here. But it’s not my decision.
Wagner specifically asked Cabrera if he’d be willing to play second base to remain with the Nationals and he replied “I don’t know, it depends” while mentioning wanting to win a World Series.
Cabrera is 29 years old and defensive metrics no longer think he’s much of a shortstop, so second base is where most teams should want him, but supply and demand may dictate remaining at shortstop and getting paid a whole bunch to do so.
Ubaldo Jimenez was included on the Orioles’ roster for the ALDS, but never actually pitched against the Tigers. And now he’s been dropped from the ALCS roster in favor of left-hander Brian Matusz.
It’s hard to imagine a scenario in which manager Buck Showalter would use Jimenez in a game that wasn’t completely lopsided and with off days there isn’t really much need for a bullpen-saving mop-up man in the playoffs.
Who knows if Showalter will find a use for Matusz, but there’s at least some chance he’ll call on the 27-year-old southpaw to face a left-handed hitter in a spot that matters. Matusz had a 3.48 ERA this season and a 3.53 ERA last season, with good secondary numbers to match, whereas Jimenez had a 4.81 ERA with 5.5 walks per nine innings in the first season of a $50 million contract.
Yesterday several reports indicated that the Dodgers were likely to keep Don Mattingly as manager for next season and today Mattingly told the media that he’s “assuming” he’ll be back.
Mattingly apparently came to that conclusion after meeting with the Dodgers’ front office, although he stopped short of saying he’s been given any kind of assurances.
Of course, if reports about general manager Ned Colletti’s job being in jeopardy are accurate it’d be tough for the front office’s assurances to Mattingly to mean anything anyway.
Mattingly has a 354-293 (.547) record in four seasons as Dodgers manager, including 94-68 this year.
Injuries limited right-hander Matt Albers to just 10 innings this season and the Astros have declined the reliever’s $3 million option for 2015, buying him out for $200,000.
Albers had a very effective two-season run for the Red Sox, Diamondbacks, and Indians in 2012 and 2013, throwing a total of 123 innings with a 2.77 ERA despite just 5.8 strikeouts per nine innings.
When healthy enough to take the mound this season he remained effective, allowing just one run in eight appearances, but shoulder problems make it likely that he’ll have to accept a minor-league deal as a free agent.