Courtesy of Yankees ‘n More

Turns out GM Brian Cashman meant what he said a few days ago when declaring he would not be giving up the New York Yankees’ No. 1 pick for any of the players remaining on the free-agent market.

He just didn’t bother to check first with ownership, and they held a differing view.

ESPN’s Buster Olney has confirmed that there was “a split” within the Yankees organization regarding the signing of former Tampa closer Rafael Soriano, with baseball operations leaning against and ownership pushing for the deal.

It has been widely reported that Cashman has, since the mid-2000s, had autonomy when it comes to baseball decisions, so long as they fit within the ownership-specified budget. Obviously, that kind of control only lasts as long as those who sign the checks allow for, as it ended Thursday night when the Yankees agreed to terms on a three-year deal with Soriano.

As far as we’re concerned, Cashman’s vice-like lock on the baseball side of this organization didn’t end soon enough. It’s too bad ownership didn’t put their foot down before Cliff Lee slid off to Philly. But at least the Yankees’ winter of nothing is over, even if Cashman didn’t want it to be.

There is also word that Andy Pettitte is working out. Perhaps, in the lack of any action from Cashman, the ownership of this franchise stepping up and improving the team will spur Pettitte into a 2011 return.

Regardless, adding Soriano improves this team significantly more than anything Cashman has done since last July.

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