KANSAS CITY, Mo. - There is sure to be a casualty or two as a result of the Yankees missing the playoffs a second straight season but Brian Cashman won't be one of them.
According to a source, the club has started putting the wheels in motion on a new contract for Cashman, who just finished his 17th season as the general manager.
The news is not surprising.
Back in early August when it became apparent the Yankees were likely to miss the postseason again, word emerged from club insiders that Cashman's job was safe. Cashman, whose three-year, $9-million contract expires at the end of the month, is liked by Hal Steinbrenner, though the Yankees managing general partner raised some eyebrows within the organization in mid-August when he gave the GM a lukewarm endorsement at the owners' meetings in Baltimore.
"No," Steinbrenner said Aug. 13, when asked if he had made any decisions regarding his GM. "We're so busy right now trying to figure out who's going to be playing in any given game. We'll be talking about that soon enough. But you know me, we have enough things to worry about during the season. That's where our focus needs to be."
The Yankees finished 84-78, the main culprit in the disappointing season an underperforming offense. But it's difficult to place all of the blame for that on Cashman.
After all, his moves to sign big-money players such as Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann last offseason drew near unanimous praise but both, for a variety of reasons, had down years.
Less headline-grabbing acquisitions such as Brian Roberts and Kelley Johnson didn't pan out, but Cashman made several in-season moves, a couple of which were widely ridiculed at the time, that ended up helping keep the club in contention until the last week.
The first was July 6 when Cashman acquired righthander Brandon McCarthy from the Diamondbacks, with whom he was 3-10 with a 5.01 ERA. But the 31-year-old righthander, a free agent who has an interest in returning (and early indications are the interest is mutual), went 7-5 with a 2.89 ERA in 14 starts for the Yankees.
Chase Headley arrived in a deal with the Padres July 22 and helped solidify what had been a struggling infield, playing a solid third base and, on occasion, more than adequately backing up Mark Teixeira at first. The 30-year-old Headley is also a free agent and the club likely will have an interest in bringing him back as well.
The Yankees have a myriad of issues to address this offseason -- finding a third baseman, a shortstop, deciding if they want to spend big on retaining closer David Robertson, to name a few -- but first things first.
A general manager needs to oversee all of it and the Yankees have started the process of securing theirs.
Beltran has surgery. Beltran underwent surgery Tuesday at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital to remove loose pieces of bone and a bone spur from his right elbow, according to the team. The club said he can start hitting and throwing in six weeks and can begin playing in approximately 12. The bone spur was an issue much of the season for the 37-year-old Beltran, who hit .233 with 15 homers and 49 RBIs in 109 games.