It's been a while since we've had the opportunity to dissect the subtext of some Cash commentary, so I was pretty excited to see he had plenty to say on ESPN Radio this past weekend. Naturally, the topic was Alex Rodriguez, because that's all the guys at ESPN NY care about, and while he tried not to give in to their craving for cheap ratings and pageviews, Cash did set the stage pretty well for what the Yankees intend to do with Alex this offseason and what their mindset is when it comes to keeping or moving him. If there was still any doubt in anybody's mind about how this organization views A-Rod these days, that was certainly cleared up in this interview.
What Cash said, Via ESPN:
"It's not like I'm going to hang phones up on anybody who wants to make any overtures about anything. You're talking about realistic stuff and unrealistic stuff. I don't think it's realistic at all for us to be moving forward with anything but Alex Rodriguez at third base.
He's still an above-average third baseman. ... That means despite the contract that we had committed to him, that he's an asset at this stage still. I don't see us doing anything there. I don't anticipate it. If someone wants to make phone calls, we're more than willing to do all that stuff with any of our players, and that's fine. You can run into something that way."
What he meant:
"Look, I know how incredibly shitty this contract is, and I know no GM in his right mind would be willing to take it on unless we were picking up the bulk of it and he didn't have to give up anything valuable in return. Why would I waste my time, and the time of my fellow GMs trying to trade somebody this untradeable?
Having said that, fellas, I know some of you have had dreams in the past where you had the opportunity to add Alex Rodriguez to your team. If any of you out there, ANY of you, still have any of those thoughts kicking around the old melon from time to time, give me a call. We'll talk."
Not exactly as mysteriously ninjariffic as his talks last offseason, but still enough to not ruffle any feathers. I guess in this situation that's as good a job as any. Everybody knows The Horse is an anchor on the payroll and the roster right now, and there's probably some regret finally starting to seep into the minds of the Steinbrenners for signing him to this contract. He would be that same anchor on any other team's roster, so Cash knows it's not worth spending a lot of time trying to move him, especially when he still does have some value.
Expect this to be how it goes all offseason with Rodriguez and Cash. Rumor will pop up about some team, Cash will deny, say the team's plan is to move forward with A-Rod at third, the end, repeat when next rumor comes up. Once he finds his center, maybe Ninja Cash can use this as a distraction to keep the MSM off his tail while he sets up another deal.