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GM turnover will reach epic proportions this offseason


GM turnover will reach epic proportions this offseason
One veteran general manager, pondering all of the GM jobs that could open, mused, "There might not be enough quality candidates to go around."

At least nine clubs face decisions on their general managers. Not all of those positions will become available. But the movement among executives this offseason could rival the movement among top free agents.

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Going nowhere

Brian Cashman, Yankees
Signed through this season

An extension for Cashman remains likely, even though the Yankees almost certainly will miss the postseason for the first time since 1993. Owner Hank Steinbrenner said Thursday that he was "leaning" toward bringing back Cashman, but here's the catch: The Yankees are about to embark upon another philosophical shift, aggressively pursuing free agents in repudiation of Cashman's recent approach.

Cashman has tried to build from within and hold down payroll — you know, act like a real GM. But the Yankees' farm system still isn't producing quality position players, and the futures of their best young pitchers remain uncertain. So, the Yankees are ready to plunge back into the market, signing free agents to excessive contracts, forfeiting high draft picks.

Does Cashman want to lose his hard-earned authority and revert back to being the Donald Trump of general managers, buying every property in sight? Probably not, but he has never been with any other organization and enjoys living in New York. Call him a glutton for punishment, but it would be a shocker if he left on his own.

Omar Minaya, Mets
Signed through 2009

The Mets intend for Minaya to be their long-term GM; the bigger question is whether interim manager Jerry Manuel will return if the team fails to make the playoffs. Still, another September meltdown would increase the fan and media pressure on Minaya, raising the question of whether the Mets would offer him an extension.

A lame-duck GM would be the last thing the Mets would want in their first season at Citi Field, but the alternatives — dismissing Minaya or awarding him an extension he does not necessarily deserve — would be equally unnerving.

As it stands, the Mets will need to find at least two new starting pitchers this offseason, decide on first baseman Carlos Delgado's $16 million option and perhaps secure a long-term replacement for closer Billy Wagner.

It's not the time to hire a new GM.

Theo Epstein, Red Sox
Signed through this season

Are you kidding? Epstein can name his price in his next contract.

Say farewell

Pat Gillick, Phillies
Retiring after this season

The job is expected to go to one of Gillick's assistants, Ruben Amaro Jr. or Mike Arbuckle. The equation would change if Cashman was interested — the Phillies are the closest high-revenue team to New York — but the real question is where Gillick will land. Speculation persists that he could return to the Mariners as club president.

Such a move would make sense, considering that Gillick owns a home in Seattle and a club president's role would remove him from the day-to-day hassles of being a GM. The Mariners hardly are a quick fix, but Gillick is a baseball lifer. Even though he is 71, few envision him simply walking away.

Lee Pelekoudas, Mariners
Interim GM

No one really has any idea what the Mariners will do, but the permanent hiring of Pelekoudas seems unlikely. If Pelekoudas lacked the authority to trade left-hander Jarrod Washburn, ownership doesn't view him as the long-term solution. And if Pelekoudas actually wanted to keep Washburn at $10.35 million for next season, he shouldn't be GM.

The job is highly attractive — rival executives envy the Mariners' financial resources, hands-off ownership and beautiful ballpark. The arrival of Gillick would create one set of candidates; otherwise, the position appears wide open. The Mariners have opted for experience in past hires.

Their current list of possibilities is said to be extensive.

Don't get comfy

J.P. Ricciardi, Blue Jays
Signed through 2010

Ricciardi seemed doomed two months ago when the Jays brought back Cito Gaston as manager, a move that appeared to be initiated by ownership. Since then, the Jays are 33-26 after going 35-39 under John Gibbons. They could finish ahead of the fading Yankees and produce their third straight winning season in the AL East.

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Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: August 30, 2008

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