Yankees GM: Ellsbury is just one part of putting it together
By Rich Mancuso
New York: Brian Cashman was smiling when he talked about his new outfielder. Jacoby Ellsbury was introduced to the media Friday afternoon in the Bronx and the Yankees General Manager said, “We invested heavily in him. We will invest heavily on others.
Yes, it was a heavy investment of seven years and another free agent player followed. Carlos Beltran will be unveiled in pinstripes after signing a three –year $45 million deal that gives New York more pop in the lineup and another addition of Yankees spending.
And with Robinson Cano off the books and the uncertainty of Alex Rodriguez, pending his appeal of a MLB illegal substance stigma, Cashman is open about the Yankees continuing this spending spree. In essence, they are not finished as the team looks to fill voids in the infield, bullpen, and add some more starting pitching.
“We are trying to regroup in what was a difficult season for us last year,” said Cashman after the formal introduction of Ellsbury. It does not have to be reiterated about the walking wounded Yankees of 2012 and through the circumstances, Cashman kept the reinforcements coming to the Bronx.
The manager Joe Girardi kept his team in the playoff hunt until the final week of the season.
So, Girardi is elated as well. Because he now has Ellsbury on his side and Brian McCann, who will quickly make the catching dilemma of this past season a short term memory. Beltran, either as a DH or everyday player adds more depth to the outfield and power at Yankee Stadium, though an aging player with ailing knees.
“We tried to take him (Ellsbury) off the board when it was clear Robbie wasn’t going to be here,” said Cashman referring to the reality that Robinson Cano was moving to Seattle. And it was all business for Cano, the type of monetary lesson that Yankees have learned to do over the years putting major numbers and years on contracts of players via free agency.
And let it be clear, Cano was not disrespected when the Yankees offered somewhere in excess of $175 million. As they say now, baseball and all of sports is a business like anything else. Loyalty is no longer an issue.
Cashman and the Yankees are moving on. Cano is a loss, and there is no doubting that his bat in the lineup and more importantly, that range at second base will be missed. Yes, this is a business and that’s why Ellsbury is a Yankee with McCann and Beltran.
And there is more to come according to Cashman. That $187 million salary threshold is no longer a priority, also according to Yankees principal owner Hal Steinbrenner.
Regarding the loss of Cano, Steinbrenner said, “It’s not going to be easy to replace him.” There was obvious disappointment and a sense of feeling disrespected when discussing the comments from Cano, that he was “disrespected” in the negotiation process of the contract.
Business is business, and after the long term $250 million contract to Alex Rodriguez, why would the Yankees take another risk and give Cano the same or equal billing?
Again, Steinbrenner and Cashman were on the same page. This was not about disrespect. The Yankees were willing to spend and get closer to their salary threshold, and go beyond, though not investing in another A-Rod type of contract. So throw away the theory of disrespect.
The Yankees spend, and when they do they don’t finish. McCann, Ellsbury, and Beltran are only the beginning of getting better and returning to the post season next October. There is plenty of time before Opening Day In April, and more time to spend the money via free agency or the trade market.
No team spends better than the Yankees. Just ask Jacoby Ellsbury.
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