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In the couple days since Jim Hendry’s firing was made public, New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman has emerged as a vogue “favorite” to become the Chicago Cubs’ next GM (not to be confused with the apparent fans’ favorite (Andrew Friedman) or the media favorite (Rick Hahn)). He satisfies all of Tom Ricketts’ criteria – in spades – and he’s a free agent at the end of this season. That Ricketts would be interested makes plenty of sense.

And it turns out, he may have been interested in Cashman for months.

[A]ccording to reliable sources, the Cubs chairman privately was feeling out the postseason availability of Yankees general manager Brian Cashman sometime around the All-Star break, which is when Hendry originally was “fired.”

A very highly placed Major League Baseball official talked Rickets out of jettisoning Hendry completely at that time, according to the source. But his interest in Cashman may not have waned.

Obviously, Ricketts is not thinking second-city for his ballclub as he believes one of baseballs most highly coveted franchises deserves one of baseballs most successful general managers. chicagotribune.com.

I actually heard this rumor around the time it was allegedly happening, but was asked by the source not to share the information just yet. I wonder now if that is because Hendry’s future – i.e., whether he’d be booted immediately, or later, as he was – was still in doubt.

For his part, Cashman is denying any interest in leaving the Yankees, as all professionals do.

“I have a job and I’ve been proud to be associated with this franchise,” Cashman said. “I’m not looking to remove myself from this franchise …. Every year my contract has expired, there have been unnamed experts that throw hand grenades about their suspicions with what I’m gong to do. At some point, they’ve always been wrong.”

The Daily News reports that there is an “understanding” in the Yankees organization, which does not negotiate contracts during the season, that Cashman will return next year.

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  • Matt Murton

    Brett, per ESPN.com:

    “Yes, Darwin Barney is scrappy and “Kunane” is one of his two middle names. But don’t love him too much.
    Cubs fans like Barney, but he’s the kind of disposable middle infielder that second-division clubs give starting jobs to, not championship teams. Even if he hits .296 again — and that is unlikely — Barney has no power and doesn’t draw enough walks for a guy with no power. He’s OK as a stopgap, but it’s a big mistake if he’s still the starting second baseman in three years.”

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thanks, MM. I saw that this morning – I was doing some feverish Tweeting about Barney last night. It’s a dangerous game.

      • MichiganGoat

        So Barneys about to go in a tear, huh.

    • MichiganGoat

      It’s like he’s the Matt Murton of the infield, wink wink nudge nudge

      • Matt Murton

        Too soon man, too soon. He’s tearing it up in Japan right now… If you had to choose between him or Soriano right now, who would it be?

        The correct answer is: Brett Jackson. Always go with door number three. Always.

        • http://twitter.com/thomaswconroy TWC

          Didn’t Fukudome tear it up in Japan, too?

          • MichiganGoat

            The question on everyone’s mind is: How is Micah H doing? I hear we may need a 1B next year.

  • CUB5

    Can’t see Cashman leaving them. He has it too good and they are right in the thick of the division race right now and as always has a chance at the pennant. He’s done a great job and should be rewarded with another contract.

    Too nervous about the next pick to really put a name out there. I’m just hoping he’s an up-and-coming guy and not a has been with a big/safe name. We need an Epstein to bring a different atmosphere to this ball club.

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