Higher-Ups Don't Think Big-Spending Team's 2014 Failures Are 17-Year Exec's Fault

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It looks like it might be the status quo for the Yankees next season.

Not on the field, of course. You know they’ll do what they must to attempt to improve this disappointing ball club. But as far as general manager Brian Cashman’s job goes, it appears the Steinbrenners will try to bring him back in 2015, CBSSports.com and WFAN baseball insider Jon Heyman reported on Thursday.

Now, that might not be welcome news to everyone. Under Cashman, who was named Senior Vice President and GM in February of 1998, the Yankees have won four World Series championships and qualified for the playoffs in 14 of 16 years heading into this season.

But it’s looking more and more like the Yankees will miss the playoff for the second straight season, something they haven’t done since 1992 and ’93, and that’s despite spending more than $450 million this past offseason. The Bombers (71-66) entered the finale of their three-game series against the visiting Red Sox on Thursday 9 1/2 games out of first in the AL East and four games out of the second wild card spot.

And while it’s true the Yankees had lost at one point four of the five pitchers that started the season in the rotation due to injuries, pitching has not been the team’s problem this season. New York’s collective ERA is eighth in the AL at 3.83, and it boasts one of the better bullpens in baseball.

The Yankees’ problem has come on the offensive end, where big free agent signings Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran have not lived up to their contracts the way Jacoby Ellsbury has. Add their struggles to the disappearing act pulled by Alfonso Soriano and the continual physical breakdown of Mark Teixeira and you have a Bombers’ offense that is very old and tied for 13th in the AL in runs scored.

Since Cashman handed out those deals the finger would figure to be pointed at him, but it appears the Yankees are putting the blame more on their players, with a source telling Heyman the season never really turning around “isn’t (Cashman’s) fault.”

So, Heyman reported, expect the Yankees to offer Cashman a new contract.

Yankees higher-ups are actually impressed with Cashman’s in-season pickups, including starter Brandon McCarthy, infielder/outfielder Martin Prado and third baseman Chase Headley. Only Prado is signed beyond 2014, and with Alex Rodriguez expected back from suspension next season, Headley may not fit.

Managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner clearly put the onus for the team’s woes on the players during a missive he issued a few weeks ago. And as is their policy, the Yankees do not discuss expiring contracts until they actually expire. Cashman’s current deal runs out at the end of the year.

Cashman told Heyman by phone last week that his contract status for 2015 and beyond is not high on his list of concerns.

“We’ve never done a deal until it’s close to being up. There’s nothing more to say,” Cashman said. “All our focus is to try to win as many games as is necessary to qualify for the postseason. As Hal said, that’s his focus. And that’s our focus.”

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