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Brian Cashman

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[edit] Biographical Information

Brian Cashman has been General Manager of the New York Yankees since 1998. Under his leadership, the Yankees have won four World Series championships and six American League pennants. He previously served as assistant GM from 1995 to 1997. He was lucky to be hired at a time when owner George Steinbrenner began to pull back from trying to influence the day-to-day operations of the ball club. Cashman's predecessors as GM over the past two-and-a-half decades had generally held very short tenures, and the same was predicted for the 31-year-old and relatively inexperienced Cashman, but he proved to be equal to the task, using the Yankees' vast resources agressively to sign free agents, but also pulling off a number of major trades, often taking advantage of other teams' lack of financial flexibility. As a result, not only did Cashman not get fired at the first misstep, but he has instead piloted the Yankees' front office through one of its most susccessful periods, especially given the much-more competitive business environment facing the club.

In 2010, Cashman was the victim of a bizare case of fraud and stalking perpetrated by a young woman of British origin, Louise Neathway, who attempted to shake him down for a large sum of money. She was indicted on those charges in early 2012. On March 4, 2013, with the Yankees in spring training reeling from a string of injuries to a number of key players, and others trying to come back from serious injuries, Cashman joined the fray with an injury of his own. He performed a charity parachute jump with the U.S. Army's Golden Knights skydiving team at the Homestead Air Force Base and enjoyed it so much he decided to go for a second jump. Unfortunately, he botched his landing that time, breaking his fibula and severely twistying his right ankle. From his hospital bed, he explained that it was worth it as it gave publicity to the "Wounded Warrior Project", the cause for which he was jumping.

The 2012-13 off-season marked a turn for the Yankees, who had missed the postseason only once between 1995 and 2012, and won five World Series titles during the period, with a strategy of building around a few key home-grown building blocks (SS Derek Jeter, CF Bernie Williams, C Jorge Posada, 2B Robinson Cano and Ps Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera), complemented by more experienced players acquired via trades and free agency, such as 1B Tino Martinez and Mark Teixeira, 3B Alex Rodriguez, OFs Paul O'Neill, Johnny Damon and Curtis Granderson, and Ps Roger Clemens, Mike Mussina and CC Sabathia. While the Yankees had won a division title in 2012, barely holding off the upstart Baltimore Orioles, that strategy was starting to show signs of wear and tear: Williams and Posada had retired, Jeter and Rivera were coming off season-ending injuries, Rodriguez was out for at least half the year and the health of Pettitte and Sabathia was a concern as well, while Granderson had suffered a broken arm in spring training, leaving Cano and Teixeira as the only two reliable members of the team's core. Worse, a number of key support pieces, such as C Russell Martin, RP Rafael Soriano and OFs Raul Ibanez, Nick Swisher and Andruw Jones, had left via free agency over the winter and had only been replaced by spare parts. At the same time, the Toronto Blue Jays had gone all out to acquire talent over the period, the Tampa Bay Rays were still packed with highly-talented young players, and the Orioles had kept together the team that had given the Yankees cold sweats the previous year. For the first time in two decades, the Yankees were playing under the constraint of a tight budget, and heading into a season as definite underdogs, placing Cashman in jeopardy if things were to unravel quickly, as they had done for the Boston Red Sox the previous season. More bad news came a few days after Cashman's sky-diving injury, when Teixeira had to be scratched from the line-up until at least mid-May, the result of a wrist injury. Things got so bad at that point that rumors began circulating that the Yankees were trying to coax three former starts out of retirement - 1B Derrek Lee and 3B Chipper Jones and Scott Rolen. To which Derek Jeter added jokingly that Cashman might as well "call Mike Schmidt too". In the end, he acquired overpaid veteran OF Vernon Wells from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to attempt to plug part of the hole in the line-up. While the Yankees started the year playing surprisingly well after losing their first two games, he got more bad news on April 18th when it was learned that Jeter had another fracture in his ankle and would be out until the second half. Cashman was strongly criticized for having failed to anticipate that possibility, given that Jeter was coming off a fracture sustained in the 2012 ALCS. He was left with two below-average players to fill the vacant slot, journeyman Jayson Nix and career back-up Eduardo Nunez.


Preceded by
Bob Watson
New York Yankees General Manager
1998-
Succeeded by
Current

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