Very worthwhile Q&A with Brian Cashman over at Index Universe,  an online finance and investment publication. The questions are centered around the ways a baseball general manager’s decision making process is similar to those in business and investing.
Two of Cashman’s responses that stand out:
Asked about the advantages of having a high payroll…
“Being in the position to have the highest payroll means you can support that payroll. So it gives you full access to all pools of talent, but with that access comes exponential pressure to perform. A lot of times, payroll will not translate into performance, because ultimately, when you commit to long-term multiyear contracts, there is always a declining value of the player over the course of time, but the value of the contract stays the same or gets worse. Sometimes you want to have the payroll that might be No. 1, but the production from individual players that make up a large percentage of that payroll will be in decline as they age, so most of the time it won’t match up.”
Asked about his relationship with Joe Girardi…
“I’m the head of baseball operations, so I set policy on the baseball side and I’ve hired the manager. In this case it’s Joe Girardi, and he is an extension of my philosophy. I hired someone that I knew thought along the same lines as I do. I acquire the players. I put the roster together, and then he takes that roster on the field. When I hire a player or replace a player, I define the role to Joe, such as, this guy is going to be our everyday center fielder, right fielder, first baseman, what have you. Then he executes. He does the lineups. I’ll make suggestions on lineups and we may disagree at times, but ultimately he puts forth the lineup and the construction of the lineup the way he sees it, but plays the players that clearly I have acquired and for the reasons I have acquired them.”
• Michael Pineda will throw off a half mound tomorrow. Cashman confirmed that Pineda has progressed to that stage of his rehab after extensive flat ground work. Just another step in the process. Still a long way from game action.
• Freddy Garcia has found a home. The former Yankees starter/reliever/punching bag has signed a minor league deal with the Padres.
• Nick Johnson is calling it a career. According to Sweeny Murti, Johnson has decided to retire after 10 big league seasons . He might be best remembered for all of the injuries, but he will retire with a .399 on-base percentage.
• Scott Lauber writes that Boston GM Ben Cherington believes the Red Sox might surprise some people  this season and make a run at the American League East.
• The Rays have signed free agent Kelly Johnson. The left-handed hitter was one of the better players still on the market, but the Yankees roster already has a left-handed second baseman and three left-handed outfielders, so his fit in New York would have been minimal. Doesn’t exactly strike me as the DH type.
• Still waiting for the Yankees to announce their full list of non-roster invites. Today the Marlins announced theirs, including John Maine (who pitched for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last year) and the Cardinals announced theirs (including Justin Christian, the speedy outfielder who got some big league time with the Yankees in 2008 and played some for the Giants the past two years).
• Michael Kay has signed an extension with YES Network. From a press release: “Michael Kay, whose voice has been synonymous with the YES Network since its launch in 2002, has signed a multi-year extension with the network to remain its lead New York Yankees play-by-play voice. Kay, who has earned 21 Emmy nominations and 3 Emmy wins while at YES, will also continue hosting YES’ award-winning CenterStage with Michael Kay show, along with other shows and specials on the network.”
• Speaking of TV networks, pay attention to what’s happening out in Los Angeles where the Dodgers have announced the launch of their own network. Several factors, including which company is taking the risk in creating the network, will determine how much of that revenue is subject to revenue sharing.
Associated Press photo