"The Yankees made a hairpin turn when they decided Thursday to sign All-Star closer Rafael Soriano to become a set-up man and perhaps their closer-in-waiting.
Less than a week earlier, GM Brian Cashman had said he wouldn't give up the first-round draft pick required to ink Soriano. But Hal and Hank Steinbrenner didn't agree with his game plan - according to a source familiar with the Yankees' thinking - and overruled him, giving the righthander a deal that could ultimately go to three years and pay him $35 million."
What a foreign concept for Nationals fans. In the case of the New York Yankees, the clubs ownership were upset that their general manager wasn't spending enough money. For years we heard rumors that then Nationals president Stan Kasten was begging for the club owners, the Lerner's, to open their pockets to get a winner in Washington. It wasn't until 2010 that we saw that happen. Perhaps a taste of winning is all the Lerner's need to get to gain the same mentality of the Steinbrenners.
That being said, Cashman was probably in the right here. $35 million and a first round pick for a set-up man is rather absurd, especially for a team that already has the pieces in place that the Yankees do. Of course, this wasn't about money, it was about principle. Cashman knows he will never be strapped for spending money, so even if Soriano does turn out to be a bad investment fiscally, he will live to see another day. No this was about the Yankees talent institution and their general managers firm belief that they need to start an internal rebuilding process.
The Bronx Bombers are getting older and older each year and as their old gaurd fades into retirement, they will need to have a youthful base to rebuild upon. People forget that while the Yankees have often reloaded, they were building upon a solid base of Derek Jeter, Andy Pettite, Mariano Rivera, and Jorge Posada. If they don't build through the draft again soon...all that will be left to do are steal the Nationals young stars...
The Yankees made plays for top free-agents Cliff Lee and Carl Crawford, but could not reel in any of the big fish this offseason. As a result, their projected payroll before arbitration is $188,360,000 next year. That numbers is down from $213,000,000 last year, and their lowest total since 2004.