If the Yankees can't have Bruce Bochy in the dugout, they'd at least better take more advantage of having his former GM in the organization.
Prior to the 2023 season, reports circulated that both ex-San Francisco Giants dynasty crafter Brian Sabean and former Mets head honcho Omar Minaya would be joining the Yankees as advisors -- and, ostensibly, as old school checks on Michael Fishman's analytics team.
But during the final weeks of the season, Minaya traveled with the team, flanked by former Yankee Nick Swisher. It made us realize that:
A) Swisher might be more integral to personnel decisions than we realized, and
B) Sabean's role remained a mystery.
Thanks to The Athletic's Wednesday mailbag, we now know that it seemed like Sabean wasn't quite as hands-on in 2023 because ... well, he wasn't.
"Minaya has had an everyday presence around the Yankees, especially in the second half. Minaya was with the team on its first two road trips of the year in place of Cashman, who stayed back. It’s clear that Minaya and his long track record in MLB front offices is valued by the Yankees and that he’ll have a voice in the offseason when they look to turn things around. As far as Sabean, he’s had less involvement on the ground, spending more of his time at home in Florida and advising on the draft. But he’s also someone Cashman trusts. He, alongside Minaya, could be tapped for his wisdom, especially regarding roster construction philosophy."- Brendan Kuty, The Athletic
Yankees need Brian Sabean in closer contact with Brian Cashman
So ... the architect of the 2010, 2012 and 2014 Giants, one of the strongest drafting teams of the modern era and a franchise that wasn't afraid to start young gun Madison Bumgarner in crucial World Series games in 2010 (spoiler alert, it worked), is someone Cashman trusts. That's good!
But Minaya's the one who travels with the team. He was there for the Yankees' first two road trips. He had an "everyday presence" that only grew during a troublesome second half. Of the two additions, he's clearly the more hands-on participant.
It would be fantastic for that to change, and for Sabean to become a closer consort of Cashman. Ideally, he was a participant in Hal Steinbrenner's Floridian meeting of the minds and left his ego at the door. Even if he doesn't want to upend his life and bop around New York, he should at least be included in any crucial decision-maker summits.
Hopefully, in 2024, Sabean follows the Andy Pettitte track from "informal advisor" to "randomly wearing a uniform one weekday." Pettitte, as Aaron Boone communicated to us, was invited to return "whenever he felt he could" after stepping back as a part-time instructor, and made his presence known after returning midsummer. Whatever Sabean's able to give will be appreciated, but it would be comforting if he were able to formalize his role a little more clearly.