Brian Cashman talks about being overruled on the Soriano deal

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Since the moment Rafael Soriano signed with the Yankees, people have been reporting that the Brian Cashman wasn’t the one who pulled the trigger on the deal.  It was his higher ups, it’s been said, going against Cashman’s wishes. Today Cashman confirmed that:

“I didn’t recommend it … I’m charged with obviously winning a championship. I’m charged with building a farm system. I’m charged with getting the payroll down, and this certainly will help us try to win a championship. There’s no doubt about that, so that’s in the plus column, but I didn’t recommend it, just because I didn’t think it was an efficient way to allocate the remaining resources we have, and we had a lot of debate about that … My plan would be patience and waiting. They obviously acted. And we are better, there’s no doubt about it.”

He was pretty up front about it all, actually, as was team president Randy Levine, who said that the Yankees have a “sacred obligation” to the fans.  That obligation is to win now, and that’s the case even if it comes at the expense of Cashman’s long term plans.

Like I said when it went down: it’s not that big of a deal. At least not on the Yankees.  If it was a battle for the soul of the team or if doing X prevents them from doing Y, sure, there’s an issue. But it’s not like signing Soriano will bankrupt the Yankees. It’s not like it’s going to make Brian Cashman an ineffective leader.  If he goes to Hal Steinbrenner and says “hey, we need $5 million more for player development this year because the Soriano deal blew our budget projection,” he’ll get his $5 million.

Why?  Because that’s all part of the “sacred trust” too.  A trust that will only be at risk if there isn’t enough money there to fulfill it.  Which, in the Yankees’ case, will be never.

Blue Jays release John Axford

John Axford
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The Blue Jays have released right-handed reliever John Axford from his minor league contract, per an announcement on Saturday. Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi speculates that the move could provide an avenue for the club to rework Axford’s contract, but the Blue Jays have yet to confirm or deny the report.

Axford, 35, was dealt a blow on Thursday after getting diagnosed with a stress reaction in the olecranon bone of his right elbow. Elbow soreness dogged the right-hander through much of his time in camp, and although he was scheduled for a follow-up examination later this spring, a definite return date had not been established.

Prior to the diagnosis, Axford was tabbed for a setup role with the team in 2019. He pitched to mixed results in 2018 (thanks in part to a late-season fracture of his right fibula) with a 5.27 ERA, 4.9 BB/9, and 9.8 SO/9 through 54 2/3 innings with the Blue Jays and Dodgers. Now, however, it’s not certain that he’ll return to the mound this season in any capacity.

Axford isn’t the only reliever the Blue Jays have lost to injury lately, either, as right-handers Ryan Tepera and Bud Norris have been sidelined with right elbow inflammation and forearm fatigue, respectively. Per Davidi, the Blue Jays offered Norris a $100,000 retention bonus to prevent him from opting out of the minor league contract he signed in February.