Thursday, May 11, 2017


Think the Yankees' white-flag garage sale sell-off at the trade deadline last year was a hard pitch for GM Brian Cashman to make to owner Hal Steinbrenner and his family of partners?

You betcha.

So how difficult will it be for Brian to get Hal and company to flip the script and cough up some capital for outside help if the team continues its torrid pace and looks like a contender at the same time this year?

Easy peasy, according to Brian.

All they have to do is keep winning and he'll take care of the rest.

In an interview on MLB Network Radio on Tuesday, Brian talked about how scope-locked the Steinbrenners always are on fielding a contender, which was why "they were so hesitant to go in the other direction last year despite our bad play" at the deadline.

But from that August 1st trade deadline until now, Brian pointed out, the team has the best record in the majors, which -- though he doesn't quite come right out and say it -- means he's carrying his balls in five-gallon buckets right now when it comes to his clout with the club.  and between that and the Steinbrenners yearning for a winner he can call his shots.

"I think as a general manager you're in both short-term and long-term planning, especially in New York," he said. "You've got to do both. Ultimately, last year our team declared itself in a way that we had to react to and recognize that it just wasn't going to be good enough. Now -- August through now, which includes spring training when we had the best record in baseball -- we've been playing superior baseball.

"So if this team declares itself in a positive way and it needs reinforcements, the opposite is going to come. We're full-service baseball operations. We'll recommend what's necessary, whether that's buy or sell. I'd be more than happy to be in a conversation with ownership about how we can finish off and improve upon what we already have and see if we can connect with someone on that."

You can hear the key excerpt from the interview HERE.

Personally, I got a kick out of the way Brian threw the team's spring-training dominance in there for good measure, as if  to underscore how the team's been on one long uninterrupted run of success since his bold deadline moves.

A bit of an unnecessary bat flip there, maybe. But then, you can't blame the man for a little over exuberance.

After years of being unfairly branded, in my view, with the tag of being strictly a spender of other people's money, he now sees the byproducts of  scouting and farm systems he revamped and stocked breaking scoreboards and winning games; player swaps  turning into essential pieces and -- if the team keeps confounding expectations -- perhaps he'll get to make an  acquisition or two this season that could potentially roll back the launch date for the next dynasty to this October.

No, I'm not a fan of bat-flipping. But if Brian is excited enough to go for it, I'm not going to criticize him for it.

In fact, if any of Brian's acquisitions involve a big hairy arm for some prospects, eating a bunch of cash and perhaps flipping CC, I'll flip a few bats myself -- and throw a few fist pumps in for good measure too.

 --Barry Millman
BYB Writer
Twitter: @nyyankeefanfore

American Eagle

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