MLB, MLBPA considering going to a 26-man roster

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Ken Rosenthal reports that Major League Baseball and the MLBPA are talking about going from a 25-man to a 26-man roster during from April-August, and limiting the September roster to 28 players. Currently, clubs can use the entire 40-man roster in any game after rosters expand in September.

The move would address the concerns many around the game have about teams using far too many players in September, bringing games to a grinding halt and altering the competitive landscape during home stretch of the playoffs. Which, to be fair, hasn’t been proven to be responsible for costing anyone a specific playoff slot. It does create some uncomfortable optics, however, as some clubs use September as audition time while others are going with, more or less their full-season 25-man complement. It annoys people.

The addition of the 26th man is a tradeoff to the union as, in light of the September reduction, 12 fewer players per club would be eligible to accrue service time in September. Now one more will be able to accrue it all year. Given that most teams don’t actually call up 15 dudes when the rosters open up, however, it’s not as unfair a tradeoff as you might think.

A downside to all of this: that 26th man is almost certainly going to be used by teams to add a 14th reliever, encouraging more pitching changes and making games drag even more. But hey, I’m all for the employment of lefty specialists. What else are they going to do? Marketing? They have no skills other than getting lefties out and giving odd quotes. Lefties are almost unemployable in the real world.

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.