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Cashman to Jeter in 2010: I’d rather have Troy Tulowitzki at shortstop

New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman on Wednesday would not confirm or deny a story in an upcoming profile piece in Sports Illustrated written by S.L. Price that he told Derek Jeter in 2010 that he would rather have had Troy Tulowitzki as the team’s shortstop.

The Yankees and Jeter were involved in some pretty contentious contract negotiations at the time of the purported conversation. Jeter was coming off one of his worst seasons and made the mistake of asking Cashman whom he’d rather have anchoring the infield. Cashman allegedly said then-Colorado Rockies star Tulowitzki.

“Do you really want me to answer that?” Cashman told Jeter, according to the Sports Illustrated profile, as quoted by ESPN. “We’re not paying extra money for popularity. We’re paying for performance.”

Jeter eventually signed a four-year, $51 million deal but reportedly was seeking a deal in the range of four to six years at over $20 million per season. Cashman said such negotiations are part of the deal when it comes to being an general manager.

“Sometimes honesty hurts. But if you’re being paid to do a job, do the job,” Cashman told SI. “You have to honor the job description; if not, you’re a fraud or stealing money. You can’t fake your way doing this. You either do it or you don’t.”

Cashman said on Wednesday that he never provided quotes about the supposed discussion, but didn’t deny that is how it occurred, either.

“I didn’t provide the information,” Cashman told the New York Daily News. “I didn’t confirm it or deny it. He (Price) asked me about it. I said it was a private meeting.”

Price writes in the piece that Cashman grew impatient with Jeter’s “diva-like tendencies” and he relished being “one of the few to tell the Captain no.”

The Yankees general manager denied using such a term in describing Jeter.

“I didn’t say he had diva-like tendencies,” Cashman contended. “It’s a piece he wrote. He put it together. You’d have to ask him about that. There’s no quotes about that from me.”

(image via New York Post)