Cashman returning in 200510/21/2004 10:31 PM ET
By Mark Feinsand / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- Brian Cashman wasn't worried about his job status after watching the Yankees lose the American League Championship Series to the Red Sox on Wednesday night.
It turns out that he had no reason to worry, as George Steinbrenner informed his general manager that he would be returning for the 2005 season.
"My mindset is not to worry about things like that. I worry about what I can control, and those are decisions that are above me," Cashman said. "If it was an issue, it would have been an issue whether I was worrying about it or not. I chose not to think about it."
Cashman is closing out his seventh season as the Yankees' GM, and he has one more year remaining on his contract. Having watched his team blow a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven ALCS, Cashman knows that organizational meetings in Tampa are imminent, as the club will figure out a course of action to take this winter.
Hours after Wednesday's 10-3 loss to the Red Sox, Steinbrenner told Cashman that his job was safe, clearing up any questions as to whether or not he would be blamed for the playoff collapse.
"He told me last night that he had no intentions of making any changes with me -- and to be prepared to get after it this winter," Cashman said. "We'll assess the free-agent and trade markets, get some guidance from the Boss and everybody else in the organization and try to come up with a game plan."
Steinbrenner issued a statement through his publicist Thursday, congratulating Boston on its first AL pennant since 1986.
"I congratulate the Boston Red Sox on their great victory, and I want to thank our loyal fans for their enormous support," Steinbrenner said. "Of course I am disappointed, because I wanted a championship for them and for our city.
"You can be assured we will get to work and produce a great team next year."
Cashman said that Steinbrenner was "disappointed" with the Yankees' loss, but the GM refused to comment beyond that on the owner's mood.
"You know George, and he certainly didn't like the result last night, especially with a 3-0 lead against the Red Sox," said manager Joe Torre. "It's understandable."
Cashman will have a tough task ahead of him this winter, trying to retool a team with several hefty contracts weighing it down.
"Pitching is an area we always have to concentrate on, and it's obvious this winter. We have areas we need to fix," Cashman said. "There are certainly a number of names out there that have had their share of success, but more importantly, we'll see what our scouts say."
Among those names are Pedro Martinez and Carl Pavano, though Cashman wouldn't comment on any one player, citing baseball's tampering rules. There could be some players available on the trade market as well -- including Randy Johnson -- but whether or not the Yankees will have the chips to deal remains to be seen.
"With some organizations, the answer is going to be yes. With others, it will be no," Cashman said. "It depends on what their requests are. We're stronger at the lower levels than we are at the higher levels, so it depends if teams want immediate help vs. longer terms."
The Yankees' payroll, which was roughly $184 million this season, could top $200 million in 2005. Cashman said that Steinbrenner has yet to give him an indication of the payroll restrictions, adding that it is an issue for him every year, no matter how high the payroll is.
"When we win, it's not an issue. When we lose, it's an issue," Cashman said. "He wants a return on his investment, like any businessman."
No matter what the Yankees end up doing this winter, it will be Cashman pulling the trigger from the GM's office for an eighth consecutive season.
"I feel I know how to do this job. I feel I do a good job," Cashman said. "Sometimes the decisions work, and sometimes they don't. I'm comfortable in the job I'm doing, but it doesn't matter what I think. It only matters what he thinks, and he told me I'm coming back."
"I feel I know how to do this job. I feel I do a good job. Sometimes the decisions work, and sometimes they don't."
-- Brian Cashman
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.