“What our guys were when they went into October, that’s what they still are,” Cashman told a large contingent of reporters, including about 30 journalists from Japan, at an O’Hare Airport hotel. “Regardless of how good or how poorly they played in October.”

Cashman added: “Over the last number of years, we’ve tried to improve over how we go about our decision-making. Part of that is sample size. I think you look at the broader perspective of what someone’s abilities are.

“Jerry Hairston, if he hit .700 over the World Series, it doesn’t mean he’d get an A-Rod contract. We’re thankful for the guys who did what they did, and if you had a great postseason, terrific. If you had a poor postseason, … Mark Teixeira was a great Yankee (who had a poor postseason). It doesn’t change our evaluation of Mark Teixeira. It is what it is.”

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What a long way we’ve come since our origins in 2005. We would have paid money for Yankees’ leadership to talk like this back then, now it’s commonplace.

Not only should playoff performance not be taken into consideration when examining trade targets, free agent decisions, and contract negotiations, but neither should nostalgia or history. If a player, no matter how good his Yankee career may have been, no longer fits the goals of the team, then he should be let go.

In our opinion, the #1 goal of the 2009 offseason should be for the Yankees to get younger. I’m not sure if we truly appreciate how fortunate the Yankees were to be relatively injury- and decline-free in the 2009 season, despite having 5 of their regular hitters age 34 and above. You even had AJ Burnett throw 200 innings and Andy Pettitte be above league-average at the tender age of 37. Talk about best case scenario.

Point is that the front office shouldn’t bank on all this happening again, and should take steps to get in front of these issues.

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Brian Cashman sitting in the lobby of his Chicago hotel at the GM meetings.