The firing of Cubs general manager Jim Hendry yesterday has immediately led to speculation about some potential high-profile successors. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is in the final year of his contract and while there hasn’t been any talk about an extension yet, he told the New York Daily News yesterday that he has no desire to walk away.
“I have a job and I’ve been proud to be associated with this franchise,” Cashman said Friday. “I’m not looking to remove myself from this franchise.”
“Every year my contract has expired, there have been unnamed experts that throw hand grenades about their suspicions with what I’m going to do,” Cashman said. “At some point, they’ve always been wrong.”
We have also heard speculation linking the Cubs to Pat Gillick, but Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reported yesterday that “it’s doubtful that he would even consider the Cubs” because the Hall of Fame GM “is happy as a special advisor with the Phillies.”
We’ll likely hear plenty of names in the days ahead, but one of the early favorites is White Sox assistant general manager Rick Hahn, who interviewed for the Mets’ general manager vacancy last year. According to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com, White Sox GM Ken Williams called Hahn “one of the most qualified men to assume the position moving forward.”
The Red Sox and Mariners left nothing on the table Friday night, going head-to-head in a series opener that eventually ended 14-10 in the Sox’ favor. Led by Steven Wright and Wade LeBlanc — neither of whom made it past the fifth inning — the teams combined for 34 hits and four home runs, including two moonshots from Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and a five-run rally that gave Boston the edge in the seventh.
In the sixth inning, however, the Red Sox were still scrambling to make up a four-run deficit. Left fielder J.D. Martinez cut it in half with one swing, pouncing on an 89.5-mph fastball from Seattle right-hander Nick Vincent and posting it to dead center field for a two-run shot.
The 427-foot blast was Martinez’s 23rd of the season, tying Mike Trout for the most home runs in the league this year. While he still has a ways to go before eclipsing the career-best 45-HR mark he set in 2017, he’s off to a strong start this season: Entering Friday’s game, the 30-year-old slugger was batting .315/.386/.623 with a 1.009 OPS and AL-leading 55 RBI in 308 PA. He finished Friday’s game 4-for-5 with five RBI, just one triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
Heading into the All-Star Break, both Martinez and Trout still have some competition for the home run title. Jose Ramirez is sitting at 22 homers, while Nelson Cruz and Khris Davis are tied at 20 apiece.