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Saturday, August 20, 2011
Cashman an attractive candidate for Cubs

By Bruce Levine

CHICAGO -- Although New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman says he’s content with his job, speculation is that he could be a primary candidate for the Cubs’ vacancy when his contract expires Sept. 30.

Brian Cashman
Brian Cashman's track record would certainly appeal to Cubs' owner Tom Ricketts.

“I’m not looking to go anywhere,” Cashman told The New York Post on Saturday.

The Cubs, of course, are looking for a new general manager after the team announced Jim Hendry's firing on Friday.

Cashman, a 44-year-old Rockville, N.Y., native, has been with the Yankees' organization since beginning as an intern in 1986. Industry sources told ESPNChicago.com that Cashman was making around $2.5 million this season.

Cashman was named senior VP and general manager of the Yankees in February 1998. New York won three consecutive World Series and four consecutive AL Pennants in Cashman’s first four years as GM.

Having successfully handled the most stressful front-office position in all of sports the past 14 seasons, Cashman’s background makes him a perfect candidate for the Cubs' job. During his time in New York, Cashman worked effectively with George Steinbrenner before the legendary owners’ health began failing him.

Since Steinbrenner turned over control of the team to his son, Hank, Cashman has been a good soldier and respected ownership’s positions. Cashman, however, also held his ground on important issues. For instance, he balked at the team’s signing reliever Rafael Soriano to a contract that allowed him the option void the deal after each season. He went against ownership on the structure of the deal, when speaking about it to reporters over the offseason.

Working along with former GM Gene Michael, Cashman gets much credit for holding on to minor league players such as Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada and countless other important Yankees over the years. (Steinbrenner was serving a suspension from baseball in the early 1990s.) Prior to that era, the Yankees frequently traded top prospects for more established veterans under Steinbrenner. That formula resulted in disaster as the once-proud franchise failed to make a the playoffs from 1982-94.

Overall, Cashman’s record shows four World Series championships and six pennants. Most importantly for the Cubs, Cashman fills the bill as a GM with a sense for player development as well as statistical analysis. As Tom Ricketts highlighted Friday, the team is searching for a candidate with a winning background. Cashman certainly fits in to that classification.