Yankees focus on re-signing Cashman

Yankees focus on re-signing Cashman

NEW YORK -- With Joe Torre's announcement that he will return to the Yankees in 2006, all eyes are now focused on general manager Brian Cashman, whose contract expires at the end of October.

Cashman hasn't commented publicly since the Yankees' American League Division Series loss to the Angels, but it appears New York is trying to sign its GM to a new deal that would keep the 38-year-old with the only organization he has ever worked for.

"We want Brian to return if we can get him," George Steinbrenner told The Associated Press as he left the team's complex in Tampa.

When asked if he thought there was a good possibility that Cashman would stay on the job, Steinbrenner told The AP simply, "I do."

"The Yankees want to get Brian done," Torre said. "This is the only place he's ever known, but that doesn't mean it's going to happen."

Cashman has been with the organization since 1986, when he was an intern at the age of 19. He has been the GM since 1998, when the Yankees won the first of three consecutive World Series titles. The Yankees have won the AL East in each of Cashman's eight seasons as GM, though they have not won the World Series since 2000.

"I'd be disappointed if Brian left, but with negotiations, you never know what's going to happen," Torre said. "Brian is like Bernie Williams; he's been here his whole life. He knows the workings of it here. He's as strong as any individual I know in doing the job he's had to do here. I'm still hopeful that he'll be signed."

There has been speculation that Cashman had grown tired of interference from the Tampa office, and that he would leave the club when his contract expired. With openings in several markets, most notably Philadelphia, Cashman would certainly have options if he were to leave the Yankees.

Indeed, earlier this month, a source with knowledge of Cashman's situation said that he was leaning toward a move away from New York, with Philadelphia being the most attractive option.

Torre had some of the same concerns as Cashman, so he flew to Tampa on Monday to sit down with Steinbrenner, general partner Steve Swindal and team president Randy Levine to discuss the state of the team.

Torre seemed convinced that the Tampa and New York factions will work together toward the same goal, eliminating some of the in-house controversy which has hovered over the Yankees in the past few years.

"Anybody that has worked someplace -- especially for the New York Yankees -- as long as I've worked here, who thinks it's always a day at the beach, that's not the case," Torre said. "But the rewards are so enormous, it's certainly worth what you put in here."

Torre said that Cashman's situation didn't play directly into his own decision to return for an 11th year as the Yankees' manager, but he made it clear that he hopes to see Cashman return to the Bronx.

"Brian is a separate situation; I certainly hope that gets worked out," Torre said. "I'm very comfortable working with Brian, and I hope they find a way to get it done."

Mark Feinsand is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.