This Week in Yankees History: Brian Cashman becomes General Manager

For those Yankee fans that are about my age in their 20's (give or take a few years) it may be difficult to remember a time when Brian Cashman was not the General Manager and calling the shots in the Yankees’ front office. Such a time did occur however and even though he has occupied a few different roles in the organization throughout his tenure with the team, on February 3rd, 1998, Cashman was promoted to the role he has become synonymous with over the years, General Manager of the New York Yankees. 
Photo Via Bronx Pinstripes

Cashman has been with the Yankees organization for his entire professional career. He was able to get an internship with the team with the help of a mutual friend of George Steinbrenner and after graduating from college in 1989, was brought on as a member of the minor league scouting department. He moved up through the ranks becoming Assistant Farm Director in 1990 and getting promoted to Assistant General Manager in 1992. In 1998, the Yankees General Manager at the time Bob Watson resigned and it was Cashman who got the job on a one year deal. He was the second youngest GM in MLB history at the time and is still the only GM to win a World Series Championship in each of his first three seasons. On his watch, the Yankees have won four World Series titles and six American League Pennants.

In the years since his hiring, Cashman has solidified his status as one of the most respected and bold General Managers in the game. He was promoted to Senior Vice President in addition to retaining his role as GM in 2005. From the very beginning he went through a trial by fire unlike one any other executive in the sports world has had to go through, dealing with the day to day mood swings and random explosions of George Steinbrenner. He has had numerous high profile incidents with players and others, perhaps the most notable of those being his contentious negotiations with Derek Jeter during his free agency in 2010 and his indelicate way of telling Alex Rodriguez to keep quiet in 2013. 

I could go on for a while about the tenure of Brian Cashman and how truly remarkable it has been thus far. He is about to enter his 19th year as Yankees GM, which is nothing short of remarkable given the pressure to perform this franchise puts on its personnel. He has made friends and he has also made enemies and has most importantly, put together some incredible championship teams. At this point it would be hard to imagine him going elsewhere although you never do know when it comes to the Yankees. He is entering the last year of his current contract and if the Yankees were to choose to move on from him as GM, I could see him taking on another role within the organization. 

Even with all that he has accomplished, there is a lot riding on this season for Cashman and the Yankees, but I think he has done great work recently and the organization as a whole seems energized by young talent Cashman has brought in. It would certainly be surprising for me but if we are entering the final year of Brian Cashman as Yankees GM, it will be the end of a truly unique era.

Article by: Matt Graziano


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