- Matt Ehalt, ESPN New York contributor
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He would play hardball again.
Prior to the 2011 season, Yankees GM Brian Cashman took a hard line with the team's captain and shortstop, Derek Jeter, as the two tried to work on a new deal for the veteran.
When asked on Tuesday whether he would have done anything differently in hindsight, the GM didn't have any alternative negotiating strategy in mind.
"Umm … no," Cashman said, eliciting laughs and applause from the sold-out crowed at Sacred Heart University that was attending "A Conversation with Brian Cashman and Theo Epstein."
Before the two sides agreed on a three-year, $51 million contract, things got ugly between the negotiators. Cashman told ESPNNewYork.com that he felt the Yankees made a "fair and appropriate" offer to Jeter, and encouraged him to test the market to see if there was another deal out there that he preferred. Ian O'Connor's book, "The Captain: The Journey of Derek Jeter" said that the contract negotiations damaged the relations between the two.
At Jeter's news conference for the contract, the shortstop said he was not happy that details from the negotiations were leaked to the public, even using the word "angry" to describe his feelings. He said he was uncomfortable and the process was not enjoyable for him.
Despite that, Cashman wouldn't have changed how it all went down.
NO DEAL FOR JORGE: Former catcher Jorge Posada retired last week after 17 seasons with the Yankees, not getting offered a deal from the team after his contract expired this season. Cashman said Tuesday that it was not tough for him to sit through the retirement knowing that Posada could still be playing if the Yankees had decided to offer a contract.
"It was more of a celebration of what he had done for us. It was an hour-long bouquet-throwing ceremony to what Jorge had meant to the franchise. It wasn't tough, really, I would say being there," Cashman said before the event. "A decision at his age and what he was doing and how he would fit with this club moving forward, it just didn't look like a fit. He made a decision because he wanted to retire in a Yankee uniform. It wasn't hard, it was just time. I understood that and I guess he did, too, but he was an amazing Yankee. One of the best catchers in our history and strength up the middle."
HENDRY ON BOARD: The Yankees hired former Cubs GM Jim Hendry as a special assignment scout on Wednesday, a move Cashman was pleased with.
"He can scout amateur players, he scouts pro players for us, he's as connected in the game as you can possibly be," Cashman said before the event. "Everybody loves this man. He's wired with the agents, he's wired with the media, he's wired with the baseball community in the college ranks as well as the pro ranks, so he's just going to be an invaluable resource for me and for this franchise. I have a great deal of respect for Jim and he had a lot of choices and I'm glad he chose us."
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