Yankees GM race wide open beyond initially thought Reese as successor to Cashman

Brian Cashman is participating in his annual sleep out event in Times Square on Nov 17, 2023.
John Allen
Saturday May 4, 2024

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Despite the Yankees’ good start to the 2024 season, general manager Brian Cashman is carrying the baggage of last season’s failure. As he is currently in the first year of his four-year deal signed in 2023, there is widespread speculation that the Yankees are lining up his potential successors to take over.

Media reports zero on Kevin Reese, a former Yankees outfielder and current vice president of player development, the race could be more wide open than projected. The prevalent belief is that if Cashman were to step down after the 2026 season or initiate a transition earlier, he would be comfortable endorsing Kevin Reese. The Yankees are likely to agree with his choice.

kevin-reese-new-york-yankees
nypost

Though this possibility is the strongest, it won’t be that easy for the Yankees to pick up Cashman’s successor. As of now, there is no concrete indication that Cashman has made a decision regarding his future beyond his current four-year contract, inked in late 2022. Also, the Yankees organization has several contenders, and members of the Steinbrenner are likely to have their preferences.

Potential contenders to succeed Cashman as Yankees GM

Kevin Reese, aged 46, presents a diverse background that mirrors the attributes the Yankees have traditionally prized in their baseball operations. Having previously served as an outfielder, Reese made appearances in 12 games for the Yankees between 2005 and 2006. Following his retirement from playing, he transitioned into a role within the pro scouting department under the leadership of former assistant GM Billy Eppler. He remains a strong contender to succeed Cashman.

In addition to his tenure in pro scouting, where he ascended to the position of director, Reese has overseen player development since November 2017. This dual expertise in scouting and player development evokes memories of a beloved figure in Yankees lore, Bill Livesey. Throughout the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, Livesey navigated between these realms. Cashman regards him as a pivotal and often overlooked figure in the establishment of the ’90s dynasty.

Aaron Boone and Cashman in a Yankees game in mlb
FOX

Next comes Michael Fishman, the VP and assistant GM, who commands a long-standing respect from both the Yankees and Cashman for his groundbreaking work in quantitative analysis. Matt Daley, the pro scouting director, who has garnered recognition in the sports world is also seen as a successor to Cashman.

Tim Naehring, VP of baseball operations, is also in the pipeline. The ex-MLB infielder was hired by Cashman in 2007 as a scout to create a scouting department that combined on-field experience with a receptivity to analytics. He is now a confidant of both Cashman and Eppler and has the qualities the Yankees seek for the top position.

Naehring has earned Cashman’s utmost trust over the years, often being likened to “my Gene Michael” by Cashman himself, drawing parallels to the revered former GM and scout. Naehring has turned down numerous opportunities to interview for GM roles elsewhere in the league. He is well-equipped to provide continuity within the organization.

The family factor in Yankees organization

In his capacity overseeing player development, Reese operates out of Tampa, a hub where many members of the Steinbrenner family reside. Sources indicate that he commands significant respect from the family.

Brian Cashman gestures while speaking on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2023 in New York.
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

Furthermore, Reese maintains close relationships with a younger cohort of team executives who are poised to shape the team’s direction for years to come. This includes Hal Steinbrenner’s nephew and potential successor, Stephen Swindal Jr., as well as director of baseball operations Matt Ferry. Swindal Jr. is the grandson of George Steinbrenner and the son of Yankees general partner Jennifer Steinbrenner Swindal.

However, within the Yankees, Hal Steinbrenner is facing heat from the fans for an overemphasis on analytics, a direction that many blame for the team’s failure to get a ring in the last 14 seasons. During the offseason meet in Tampa, sparks flew behind doors as the Yankees’ elite contingent of around 15 honchos convened there. This included general manager Brian Cashman and manager Aaron Boone. He noted that two of his nephews, who are also involved in Yankees management, attended, ensuring that the family was well represented.

This clearly indicates a required unanimity within the family before choosing any Yankees’ successor to Cashman. This keeps the race wide open for many within the organization.

The X-factor

Cashman’s association with the Yankees dates back to his internship in 1986, and he has held the role of GM since 1998. Many rivals admire the fact that the team has never posted a losing season under his stewardship. Their front office is characterized by an unparalleled continuity in both personnel and philosophy, and this may allow Cashman to give his preference for the person to succeed him.

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However, he is very unpopular among the Yankees fans owing to his trade decisions that ended in big failures. His inconsistent policies have also provoked fan backlash more than once. If the Yankees fail to win another championship in the coming seasons, it may hasten the downfall of Cashman. The team owners may also try to put someone with a complete break from the current GM’s legacy. In such a situation, recruiting an ex-legend, such as Derek Jeter or someone with a big fan following can’t be ruled out.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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2 thoughts on “Yankees GM race wide open beyond initially thought Reese as successor to Cashman

  1. My preference would be Derek Jeter, not because he was a HOF shortstop, but because he a very smart man who knows a billion times more about what it takes to build a championship team than ALL of the men COMBINED that were listed as potential GMs.

    As for Michael Fishman, he’s a HARD NO!!! He’s an inarticulate idiot, who, as the yanksgoyard.com site accurately reported “has been lacking in the communication department when he’s been presented to the general public over the years.”

    Moreover, Fishman is the Yankees’ supposed Analytics Expert, which means he was likely one of the idiots who voted in favor of such moronic moves as trading for Donaldson & IKF, trading Monty for BADer, trading for Montas, etc., etc. Someone that Stupid not only should NOT be a GM, he shouldn’t even still have a job with the Yankees, other than selling hot dogs at one of the concession stands.

  2. If Cashman is only kicked upstairs, is he really prepared to be Gene Michael: TGN? Plus, let’s not forget about Gene Michael, he told George off more than once, at times got fired for it, he was allowed to leave to manage the Cubs (Greg Maddux’s first big league skipper), then when George was suspended in 1990, he left behind a mess in the front office hoping to get his suspension shortened, but Stick told him , ‘give me the job or i will go to another team, take guys with me…’. George gave him the job. Naehring is not Stuck in any way shape or form.

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