For those of us who thought the New York Yankees deal with Rafael Soriano was ridiculous and wondered how a smart (albeit, overspending) baseball guy like Brian Cashman could do something so outrageous, we may now have our answer.
Apparently Cashman didn’t want to pay Soriano anything close to the three-year, $35 million deal he agreed to and also refused to surrender a first-round draft choice to acquire him. Instead, as negotiations deteriorated, Cashman began working on a sign-and-trade deal for Grant Balfour.
But that’s when Hank and Hal Steinbrenner rejected Cashman’s plan and closed a deal with Soriano. Apparently the Steinbrenners were not happy with Cashman’s plan to stick with Joba Chamberlain as the team’s setup guy and rejected the advice of their people in baseball operations.
So there is apparently a huge rift in the Yankees front office right now over the right way to do things. The Steinbrenners are apparently willing to just throw money at all the team’s problems, while Cashman wants to make smart baseball moves while still keeping options for the future open via the draft.
The 2011 MLB draft is supposed to be one of the deepest in years, therefore the team had a legitimate shot to land a great prospect with the 31st pick. Instead, that pick now goes to the Tampa Bay Rays, a divisional rival.
Bill Madden of the New York Daily News points out that the Yankees have had horrible success with high profile setup men in the past.
Will Soriano just be the next in a long line of relief failures for the Yankees? Cashman certainly wasn’t convinced he was worth the risk, or the cash.