NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — In a move mirroring those of his famous father, Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner overruled general manager Brian Cashman in giving a $35 million, three-year contract to Rafael Soriano.
Distancing himself from the decision after a news conference Wednesday to introduce Mariano Rivera’s new setup man, Cashman said he didn’t think it was worth playing closer money for a pitcher the team plans to use in the eighth inning.
And the general manager didn’t want to lose his first-round pick in June’s amateur draft, which will now go to Tampa Bay as compensation.
“I think it’s certainly a sign that at times if Hal feels that he wants to go in a different direction, that could happen,” Cashman said. “I think that’s certainly the case. This is their team. Does that happen often? Will it happen a lot? I just think it depends on the circumstances.”
LISTEN: Brian Cashman on signing Rafael Soriano
Cashman stayed with the Yankees after the 2005 season, in part because Steinbrenner gave him increased authority over baseball operations and removed interference from other factions in the organization.
But George Steinbrenner turned control of the team over to Hal in November 2008, and the owner died last July at age 80.
“Ultimately Hal is in charge of making a final call and what he feels is the best direction at that time frame, and Hal made the call,” Cashman said from the news conference room across from the Yankees’ clubhouse.
“It’s a part of business. This is Hal Steinbrenner and his family’s franchise. This is not mine,” he added. “It’s never been, obviously, and you never want to make it feel like it is. I’m charged with making recommendations. There’s a chain of command. It certainly was followed. This was not something that was done without me being aware of it. I had my say.”
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