Cashman will take hard line on Cano

Updated: November 8, 2012, 9:18 AM ET
By Buster Olney

If New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman ran for president, he would have a draconian economic plan. Cut spending; reduce waste; balance the budget.

He has long credited the late George Steinbrenner for giving him his opportunity in Major League Baseball, but Cashman and The Boss had a very different philosophy when it came to operating a baseball team. Steinbrenner had a window-shopper's mentality and wanted the best on display: the brightest, the gaudiest. And, as the owner of baseball's richest team, he didn't really care much about the cost.

Cashman, on the other hand, has voted repeatedly against massive expenditures in his tenure as general manager. He wanted to hold the line on Bernie Williams in the fall of 1998, until Steinbrenner stepped in to make the deal and increased the Yankees' offer from $60 million to $87.5 million in the span of about 20 minutes.

Cashman spearheaded the acquisition of Alex Rodriguez in the winter of 2004, when the Rangers agreed to eat about 35 percent of his salary, but when Rodriguez opted out of his deal after the 2007 season Cashman advised his bosses to not re-sign him because he believed they could spend the $275 million more wisely.

Cashman was the bad cop in the Derek Jeter negotiations, arguing that the team shouldn't pay the future Hall of Famer way beyond his market value -- publicly inviting Jeter to test the market if he wasn't satisfied with the Yankees' offer.

Cashman has always believed that the Yankees should be able to do more with more, and that it's the responsibility of the baseball operations department to build a winning team with the sport's largest payroll. Hal Steinbrenner has stated he wants to get the Yankees' payroll in line with the luxury tax threshold of $189 million, a vision Cashman has long embraced.

This is why the Robinson Cano contract talks could have an outcome far different than anyone expects. Because the Yankees are the richest team, it stands to reason that they would work out a deal with their best player, regardless of cost.