Andy writes: Does Alex Rodriguez’s new contract contain an opt-out clause? I didn’t see anything that would indicate it did. However, I hadn’t seen or heard any discussion about this possibility at all.
Answer: There is no opt-out clause, mainly because Scott Boras was not involved in the negotiations. Just a hunch, however, that the idea of Alex going to another team will come up at some point in the next 10 years.
Sunny writes: Given that Brian Cashman has admitted to a change in job status since Hank and Hal took over, do you think he’ll renew with the Yanks at the end of his contract or move on to other places that he’ll have more autonomy that he originally sought for this current contract? Also, do you think it’s a breach on the part of the owners to usurp the powers that were promised to Cashman in order to get him to agree to his current contract?
Answer: This is a question that will be asked repeatedly in the coming months. Gun to my head right now, Cashman will leave. Hank and Hal will be too much to deal with and he’s at just the right age to try something else. But if the Yankees have a good season, it’ll be hard to turn down the money they will offer him to stay. I don’t think the Yankees are breaching the current deal. Even if they were, Cash is not the kind of guy who would call them on it in public.
Ryan writes: I was just wondering; what’s the chances of the Yankees going after someone like Huston Street as a set-up man? Call me crazy but I’m not too confident in Hawkins and Farnsworth. I know I’ve heard talk about Joba moving back there to start the season but I don’t really wanna see that. With Oakland pretty much selling off all their players it seems, do you think Cashman and the Yankees would make a play for Street?
Answer: You’re not confident in Hawkins and Farnsworth? What a cynic. I still hope you’ll buy my new book: Can You Believe The Yankees Signed Us? The Story of Hawk and Farnsy. Huston Street would make sense. But Billy Beane has been already gotten a pile of good prospects from the Diamondbacks and White Sox. He’ll want a lot for Street. I bet he waits until July to deal him when teams are desperate.
Shane writes: What is your take on Humberto Sanchez’s role in 2008 given he is healthy and MLB ready by the All Star break? Is there a chance we could see him starting any games or does he project as a 7th/8th inning guy? Obviously we have plenty of starters going into the season, but injuries can change that very quickly.
Answer: The Yankees aren’t sure what they have in Sanchez because they haven’t seen him pitch. You always try and make a talented kid a starter first and Sanchez has that kind of ability. But he could well project best as a reliever, especially if he doesn’t get into better condition. The first year after Tommy John surgery is always a mystery as some guys regain their command faster than others. The best bet for Sanchez could be getting a look in September.