Dave Stewart, Tony La Russa and the laughingstock that is the Diamondbacks front office

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ESPN’s Keith Law wrote a column today (Insider only) ripping the Diamondbacks’ front office under Tony La Russa and Dave Stewart, whom he says have undertaken a “Reign of Error” in Arizona.

This is not your typical “Dave Stewart shouldn’t have traded Dansby Swanson or Touki Toussaint” or “The Dbacks never should have signed Zack Greinke” kind of thing. Law accuses Stewart and La Russa of basic incompetence, arguing that they have a limited understanding of the draft, bonus pools and the international signing rules and that they seem to have a poor grasp of the players in their own system, all of which has cost the club dearly.

And then there’s stuff like this:

Stewart’s unfamiliarity with the rules hasn’t just applied to the international pools. According to multiple sources, in early 2015 he tried to make a trade with another team that would have violated MLB rules, and the GM of the other team had to explain to him that such a move was not allowed.

Law says that La Russa has been no better, pointing out comments he made about Shelby Miller which “were totally inappropriate for a club official to make, whatever he was trying to imply.” He says “[t]here are good, competent people in the Diamondbacks’ baseball ops department, but they appear to have no sway over the decisions La Russa and Stewart are making.”

It’s one thing to take issue with the decisions a front office makes. It’s a totally different deal when the matter is incompetence rather than poor judgment. Law is clearly making both arguments here and, if his sources on the matter of incompetence are correct, it’s a pretty damning indictment of the La Russa-Stewart regime.

Not that I expect this to be the end of it. Given La Russa’s recent track record when it comes to criticsand given his past displeasure, however misguided it was, with Law himself — I would expect a sharp retort from the Dbacks brass about all of this.

Someone get me some popcorn.

Brian Cashman signs 4-year contract to remain Yankees GM

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SAN DIEGO — Brian Cashman has signed a four-year contract to remain the New York Yankees Senior Vice President and General Manager. The announcement was made during the first day of baseball’s Winter Meetings.

Cashman, New York’s GM since 1998, had been working on a handshake agreement since early November, when his five-year contract expired.

The Yankees were swept by four games in the AL Championship Series and haven’t reached the World Series since winning in 2009. It is the franchise’s longest title drought since an 18-year gap between 1978-96.

Cashman’s main goal during the offseason is trying to re-sign AL MVP Aaron Judge.

Judge hit an American League-record 62 homers this season with a .311 batting average and 131 RBIs. He turned down the Yankees’ offer on the eve of opening day of a seven-year contract that would have paid $213.5 million from 2023-29.

While Judge remains on the market, Cashman was able to re-sign Anthony Rizzo on Nov. 15 to a two-year contract worth $40 million after turning down a $16 million player option.

Cashman has been the Yankees general manager since 1998. He has been with the organization since 1986, when he was a 19-year old intern in the scouting department. In his 25 seasons as GM, the Yankees have reached the postseason 21 times, including four World Series championships and six American League titles.