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Brian Cashman, Cliff Lee, and Front Office Strategy

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"I would do the same thing again," Cashman said.

LoHud

Cliff Lee could have pitched the Yankees to the World Series. Instead, he took the Game 1 loss on behalf of the Rangers.

Over his career, Brian Cashman has shown a steadfast refusal to be played as a bogeyman. Either deal with him, or don't, but don't bring him into negotiations simply drive up the price on other bidders.  Scott Boras learned that lesson this past offseason, and Johnny Damon paid the price.

The Mariners, for their part, made the best baseball decision they thought they could.

I don't think there will be any sort of front office grudge (a la Arizona towards the Yanks after Wells changed his mind at the start of '02, that led to the Diamondbacks asking for Nick Johnson and Alfonso Soriano in exchange for Curt Schilling then taking Casey Fossum and a bag of balls to send him to the Red Sox).

As much it sucks to watch October baseball that doesn't involve the Yankees, I agree with Cashman's strategy, and I'm willing to accept the outcome.  This approach has led to more happy surprises (Abreu, Tex, Wood) than heartbreaks (Santana, Halladay, Lee).  And I'd rather have a GM willing to follow an "only if your serious" than see the Yankees constantly in the news dangling money and prospects for no return.