Brian Cashman wants to tear down and rebuild, the Yankees brass doesn’t

Associated Press

The Yankees are seven and a half games out of first place in the AL East and five and a half back in the Wild Card. There are three teams ahead of them in the East, however, and seven teams ahead of them in the Wild Card hunt. Between that, their age and their injuries, it’d take a pretty optimistic sort to think that they’re truly contenders.

Unfortunately for the Yankees, there are two people who are optimistic: their owner, Hal Steinbrenner and their president Randy Levine. Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York says that they are the only two people in the organization who don’t want to sell at the deadline and rebuild while Brain Cashman and the baseball operations folks do:

According to a baseball source who spoke to ESPN on condition of anonymity, the opposing factions are composed of the baseball operations people, led by general manager Brian Cashman, who believe the team should sell off its assets and plan for the future, and the business side, which is led by owner Hal Steinbrenner and team president Randy Levine, who hold to the belief that the club is still in contention.

“There’s only two people in the tri-state area who think this team is still a contender,” the source said. “Hal Steinbrenner and Randy Levine.”

Read that article even remotely closely and it sounds A LOT like Brian Cashman or someone very close to him is the “baseball source.” In that light this should be read as something aimed at pressuring Steinbrenner and Levine to allow the baseball folks to sell at the deadline.

To that end, Matthews details all that the Yankees would try to sell, according to his source, and it’s a pretty thorough list. Not just relievers Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller, as many have speculated, but also Carlos Beltran, Mark Teixeira, Brian McCann, Ivan Nova, Nate Eovaldi and even Jacoby Ellsbury. Obviously a lot of those guys would be hard to move given their contracts, but it’s better to get something for them rather than nothing. As the Phillies showed last year, even a late rebuild can bring real talent back in return, and the Yankees have a lot of talent to offer contenders at the moment.

But they’ll have noting to sell if Steinbrenner and Levine remain stubborn and continue to cling to the old fiction that the Yankees must always be buyers and that they can perpetually contend. That’s simply a lie of the George Steinbrenner era that was more P.R. than reality. Personally, I’d listen to my experienced baseball operations department on this one. A baseball operations department which sounds like it really wants to sell off in the month of July and rebuild for the future.

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.