Let’s Hear From Brian

Buster Olney has reaction to the Soriano deal in his column today (subscription required) and it includes this bit of analysis:

The deal comes less than a week after general manager Brian Cashman declared that he would not give up the Yankees’ first round pick for any pitcher on the market — and now that’s exactly what the Yankees are doing. The shift suggests that there is a major divide of opinion on Soriano within the organization, and that Cashman’s autonomy in matters of baseball operations may have eroded.

Personally, I don’t mind losing the first rounder. Yes, it could be a big deal down the road, but the Yankees have the financial muscle to pay over slot wherever they pick and international players are free to go to the highest bidder. They did it with Austin Jackson and Jesus Montero a few years ago and they will almost certainly do it again. That’s the way you make up for the lack of a first round pick.

But, the part about Cashman’s autonomy in baseball operations eroding does concern me though I’m not sure I agree. Yes, Brian Cashman went out and said he would not give up a first rounder last week, but how do we know that he wasn’t simply lying? Remember, Scott Boras, the master of misdirection, is Soriano’s agent. Perhaps Boras was seeking five years and $15 million per for his client and Cashman issued his proclamation to back him off a number. We may never know the truth, but I will be very interested to hear Cashman’s answer when he is asked to reconcile his previous statement to this signing.

UPDATE Buster Olney tweets that this was more of an “ownership-driven” deal while Peter Gammons fingers Randy Levine as the force behind the signing.