After successfully rebuilding the New York Yankees on the fly, general manager Brian Cashman has been rewarded with a new five-year contract.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports, as well as Jon Heyman, that the Yankees and Cashman are finalizing a new five-year contract worth $25 million. The team has yet to confirm the news. The five-year deal puts his annual salary a notch below what the Dodgers are paying president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman ($7 million annually), who changed the baseball executive salary scale a few years ago.
Cashman, now 50, had been working without a contract since Oct. 31. He had been working on what owner Hal Steinbrenner called a "handshake agreement" in the meantime. Cashman ran the team's managerial search and its (ultimately failed) pursuit of Shohei Ohtani without actually being under contract. There was never anything to suggest he would leave the Yankees at any point, however.
Each of Cashman's past four contracts had been three-year deals, so he is getting some more security with his new deal. He has been the team's GM since 1998 and has been with the Yankees since 1986. Cashman started with the team as an intern, and gradually worked his way up the ladder. He was at the helm for their 1998, '99, 2000, and '09 World Series titles.
The new five-year contract comes after Cashman and his staff successfully executed what amounts to a quick-fix rebuild. The Yankees got younger and more competitive without ever tanking or even finishing below .500. Their lowest win total in Cashman's two decades as GM is 84, amazingly. Sure, payroll played a part in that, but so many of their big contracts are dead weight.
While no GM ever truly has complete autonomy, Cashman has gained more power in recent years, which allowed him to convince Steinbrenner to sign off on trades that sent away Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman, among others, for prospects last year. Those prospects coupled with homegrown All-Stars Aaron Judge, Luis Severino and Gary Sanchez represent the team's new core.
The Yankees were considered a fringe contender going into 2017, but they won 91 games and advanced to within one game of the World Series. They seemed to arrive a year ahead of schedule. Now, with that young core in place, it's up to Cashman to supplement the roster with quality complementary players to help get the Yankees back over the top.