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Yankees GM Brian Cashman unfazed by his contract status entering final year of deal

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman looks on during

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman looks on during batting practice prior to the first inning against the Blue Jays June 16 in Buffalo. Credit: AP/Jeffrey T. Barnes

Brian Cashman is cognizant of the obvious.

He does not have a contract after next season. And whether he gets a new one from the Yankees is dependent on how the 2022 season plays out.

"That’s just the way it always is," Cashman said during a wide-ranging discussion with reporters Thursday night at Covenant House in Midtown Manhattan. Cashman was participating in the organization’s annual Sleep Out event to raise awareness and money for youth homelessness by sleeping outside.

The general manager was responding to comments made by Hal Steinbrenner Wednesday at the owners’ meetings in Chicago. Steinbrenner had been asked if he felt a need to sign Cashman to an extension before or during the 2022 season. Cashman signed a five-year, $25 million deal in December 2017.

"When a contract’s up a contract’s up," Steinbrenner said. "If I made a decision now, I’d have less information, less data. It doesn’t matter who we’re talking about. One less year of performance to analyze when I’m trying to make a decision. It’s just illogical to me."

According to Cashman, there is nothing out of the ordinary about Steinbrenner’s decision to wait.

"It’s always been that way since I’ve been with the Yanks," Cashman said. "Ultimately my job is to do a good job and if I can do a good job then [ownership] will have decisions to make. So we’ll see what happens."

To that end, Cashman said he has been "casting a wide net" in free agency, and is unconcerned whether a potential signing is splashy or not.

"The most important thing I can do with our baseball [operations] team is to try to run into some good, sound baseball decisions," Cashman said. During the general managers' meetings in Carlsbad, California, last week, Cashman said he has "some latitude" to add salary. According to data culled by Spotrac, the Yankees had a $205 million payroll last season.

"Whether that again is a big fish or not remains to be seen," he added.

Perhaps the biggest issue facing Cashman is the one he has no control over: The labor talks between Major League Baseball and the players’ association. The current CBA expires on Dec. 1, and there is a belief the league is driving headlong into its ninth work stoppage and its first since the strike that canceled the 1994 World Series.

Steinbrenner told reporters in Chicago there was a "unanimous" vote by the seven-owner labor policy committee, of which he is a member, to lower the luxury tax thresholdfrom $210 million in 2021 to $180 million for the upcoming season.

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