It’s no secret that Yankees GM Brian Cashman is entering the final year of his contract. The normally reserved Yankees GM has been rather candid over the last few weeks. He¬†publicly¬†displayed his displeasure with the Rafael Soriano signing, told the media on Monday that he can see Derek Jeter moving to the center field one day, and revealed that Joba Chamberlain has not been the same since his injury in 2008. In addition to some Yankee insight, Cashman has stated that he would prefer to run a small-market team instead of a large market team. One question just begs to be answered:

Will Cashman return as Yankee General Manager after 2011?

Me Hanging Out With Cash at a Yankee Game

Ever since Cashman received full control of Baseball Operations in 2005, he has adopted a full, Moneyball statistical analysis approach to player evaluation. Cashman’s team of number crunchers provide him a vast array of new-age baseball statistics to make baseball decisions. Stats like BABIP, WAR, UZR, etc give baseball minds a brand new look at the game. Cashman has stated time and time again that he values his player development and minor league systems. Cashman wants to do things his way and his way only. This notion has been challenged by ownership ever since the late George Steinbrenner stepped away from team operations. Some key disagreements come to mind:

  • In 2005, the Yankees traded Javier Vazquez, Brad Halsey, Dioneer Navaro, and cash to the Diamondbacks for 41-year-old Randy Johnson. Johnson was coming off a 16-14, 290 K season with Arizona, but was owed $16 million for the 2005 season. Cashman did not want to deal Navaro or Vazquez and didn’t see the need to sacrifice young talent for the 41-year-old Hall of Famer. Cashman was overruled by his superiors, namely Randy Levine, as the lefty came to the Bronx. After knocking down a camera man in New York, Johnson went 34-20 with a 4.30 ERA for the Bombers in two seasons.
  • After the 2007 season, the Yankees agreed to a four-year, $52 million contract with catcher, Jorge Posada. Since signing that deal, Posada has failed to play more than 120 games in any of his first three seasons of the deal. Cashman wanted the Yankees to go only three-years with the 36-year-old catcher, but ownership opted to go a fourth year. Posada will be relegated to the full-time DH role for the 2011 season.
  • After Alex Rodriguez opted out of his contract during the 2007 World Series, Cashman was ready to let Rodriguez walk. Ownership was angry that Rodriguez ‘disrespected’ the Yankee tradition and wanted the third baseman to test free agency. A month later, the Yankees made Rodriguez the richest player in baseball history, inking a ten-year, $275 million deal with incentives built in that could net Rodriguez $300 million.
  • Recently, Cashman has publicly displayed his displeasure with the Rafael Soriano contract. Cashman did not want to surrender his first-round draft pick to sign a set-up man. Money was not the issue, but sacrificing the future of the team bothered Cashman. Once again, Cashman was overruled by ownership.

These moves are just the tip of the iceberg. Cashman can only present ownership with his statistical models and ideals about a certain player, but the Steinbrenners own the Yankees. It is their team and their money. After being overruled by the Steinbrenner family for the last 15 years, will Cashman finally walk away after the 2011 season? The Yankee GM job is one of the best, yet most stressful in sports. Cashman never gets a day off and must constantly interact with baseball’s toughest family, but he has unlimited funds. No player is off limits. Is that enough to keep Cash around beyond 2011?

We will see..