Brian Cashman didn't refute anything Derek Jeter said Wednesday morning -- and, really, there wasn't anything controversial the shortstop said that needed refuting -- other than to stress what is quickly becoming known as "the policy" isn't a new one. He also wasn't interested in going through the explanation behind it.
"I don’t want to go through the reasoning on it to be honest but I believe it does make sense for a lot of different reasons," Cashman said outside the Yankees clubhouse here. "I don’t need to justify it publicly but I do think it makes sense for a lot of reasons. It’s not new and it’s not unique and it’s something we’ve had in place for quite some time now."
Cashman backed up what Jeter said this morning -- that his agent, Casey Close, called during the offseason.
"Casey reached out, we had a quick conversation," Cashman said. "It was like, ‘Hey, how do you want to handle it? You want to handle it early, handle it late?’ I restated our position, it was no big deal. My sense on the phone was, 'That’s fine; just wanted to get ahead of it knowing everybody’s going to be asking about it so let’s just find out what your plan is.' And that’s the plan.”
Cashman said the policy wasn't "ironclad" but then made it sound pretty ironclad. If an exception isn't made for Derek Jeter, it's hard to imagine who it would be made for.
"If we choose to make an exception we choose to make an exception," Cashman said. "Right now we’re not choosing to make any exceptions. We’re building on that policy. It’s not the first time I’ve said it this winter, but it’s the first time I’m talking about it with everyone in front of me. Our players know about it [the policy]. Mariano Rivera already went through it once. So has A-Rod, so has Posada; players of a much smaller stature. No biggie."
While sounding hardline about the policy, Cashman didn't sound that way talking about the players involved.
"These guys are special and that’s why I think they’re very secure," Cashman said. "I don’t think there’s any sweat off any of these guys’ backs, they know they’ve been Yankees for life and that’s what we intend to see happen. But again, you start those conversations at a different time and place that you feel is appropriate. And it’s not relative to them; this is just the practice we’ve had in place for a long time now. I think these guys are pretty secure in their abilities, their knowledge in how we feel about them, the place they want to be in, and that lines up for another discussion for another day."