Yankees GM of the future (?) Tim Naehring is reportedly staying in Brian Cashman’s shadow. That seems to predict big things for him.
Will the Yankees move on from Brian Cashman someday? Unlikely, with the amount of control he now exerts over the day-to-day and macro operations of the roster.
But will Brian Cashman move on from the Yankees? That’s far more realistic.
The 53-year-old Cashman (seriously, he’s still that young) will probably never bolt for another franchise, but at some point, the daily rigors of the general manager role will catch up to anyone.
Eventually, Cash will likely be elevated to a role that allows him to oversee operations without quite as much hands-on work required of him. And that’s why it’s so important that the Yanks seem likely to retain Tim Naehring, a former Red Sox infielder who’s done a lot of incredible personnel evaluation in their front office over the past several seasons.
The last Yankee executive to bolt for an open general manager job was Billy Eppler, considered one of Cash’s top lieutenants when he moved on to run the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. That didn’t quite work out; Eppler’s vacancy is one of the holes Naehring could’ve been considered for.
The buzz around Naehring’s contributions has grown louder over the past several seasons, when the Yankees appeared to get back to their halcyon days of turning stones into diamonds with the likes of Luke Voit and Gio Urshela.
How much of that evaluation was Naehring responsible for? Who can say? But seeing as he’s being spoken about with Stick Michael-like reverence, and Michael is often credited with creating the team’s most recent dynasty, then he must be a fairly instrumental component of their current operation.
And even though the Reds seemed tempting (he lives near Cincinnati!) and the Mets have called in the past, it’s a very good sign that Naehring seems unlikely to depart.
Is a former Red Sox utility infielder really the clubhouse favorite to succeed Brian Cashman?
Now that another offseason seems poised to pass without his departure, I’d confidently say that he is.