Photo: Screengrab va MLB.com
The Yankees introduced Rafael Soriano, their first big offseason acquisition, in a press conference today.It was expected to be a quiet afternoon affair; after all, the New York media is accustomed to being introduced to Alex Rodriguezes and CC Sabathias for the annual “honored to put on the Pinstripes” comments, not a measly middle reliever.
But nothing in Yankee Universe can ever pass that quietly, and Soriano’s introduction was no different. Minutes after the pitcher stepped down from the dais, general manager Brian Cashman told reporters “he didn’t recommend the deal.”
This is no surprise to anyone who’s followed the Yankees offseason closely. Two weeks ago Cashman said he didn’t think it was worth relinquishing a first round pick to sign any of the remaining Type A free agents. Five days later, word spread that the Yankees did exactly that to sign Soriano.
Cashman’s explanation for not wanting to make the move makes perfect sense. He doesn’t believe it is worth sacrificing a first round pick (and potential franchise cornerstone) to overpay a middle reliever. Even the Yankees don’t have unlimited resources, and he simply didn’t think this was the proper course of action.
But the Steinbrenners overruled Cashman, as is their right, and went ahead and made the move anyway. As Cashman noted, general managers suffer far worse fates than having an elite reliever “thrown down their throats.”
Really, it’s a non-story. So the next question is, why did Cashman have to bring this up at all?
Obviously, reporters were going to ask him to address the sudden reversal, but Cashman could have attributed it to scouts or organizational executives convincing him to alter his stance. That could have squashed the whole story right there.
Instead, we’ll be subject to at least two more days of stories speculating that there’s a rift between Yankee ownership and the front office.
Then again, maybe that’s exactly how the Steinbrenners want it. They can only allow the Jets to hog the back page of the Post for so long.
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