Jan
30

Cashman playing an intense game of chess

By

I thought that once Johan was dished to the Mets, we’d kinda stop talking about him. We had some intense discussion about him yesterday, but I figured the mob would calm down and realize that this is far from the worst thing that could happen. In fact, as you know we’re going to argue, it’s a good thing.

If you’ve ever played chess, you know that a fatal downfall of any player is to constantly react to his opponent’s moves. If you don’t have a plan of your own and are constantly on the defensive, you’re eventually going to be crushed. Even if your opponent makes a blunder or two, if she’s got a plan and you don’t, you’re going to lose 95 times out of 100.


The Yankees very clearly have a plan. They’ve allocated more funds to the draft and international free agents, allowing them to build a team from the ground up. No, not every one of these prospects is going to work out. But if you start trading them away, you lessen the pool of potential players, thereby reducing the chances that you hang onto someone who’s going to stick.

Anyway, the Yankees have been playing the game according to this strategy, and finally we’re starting to see some success from it. They had a chance to break with the strategy back in July, but passed on sending IPK or Melky — or both — to the Rangers for Eric Gagne. Despite the need for another bullpen arm, the Yankees knew that they couldn’t break from their strategy.

In November, Bill Smith set us up with some bait in the form of Johan Santana. Once again, chess players know that sometimes you’re presented with an opportunity that warrants breaking with your strategy. The move is just too obvious. So you break from the strategy that has dictated your moves to this point in order to make what appears to be a no-brainer.

Sometimes it works out and you trump your opponent. Other times, your opponent was just baiting you, and instead of making a no-brainer move that should put you in a position to win, you end up falling for their trap. You find yourself in a compromised position. Worst of all, your original strategy has to go on hold while you figure out how to get yourself out of the hole you fell into.

What complicates this situation more is that this isn’t a one-on-one chess game. All 30 teams are in on it. Any one of them can make a move to bait you. So when the Twins moved their queen into a prone position, the games began. They were baiting anyone interested, so the Yankees, Red Sox, and Mets moved pieces into position for the capture.

(This is where the analogy gets a bit conflated, so bear with me.)

In order to capture the coveted queen, the Yanks would have had to give up a number of pieces. So the question is, do you sacrifice these piece to capture the queen, or do you stay the course?

Clearly, staying the course isn’t always the best option. But in this case, consider what you’d be sacrificing while changing strategies:

1) Young players. Even if they are pawns at this point, they still stand a chance to make it to the other end of the board and become something greater. The more pawns you have moving towards that end, the more of them that are going to become knights, bishops, rooks…even queens.

2) Maneuverability. Yes, adding another queen makes the team stronger in the short run, but what about down the line? You can say all you want about the Yankees “unlimited” money, but remember: a) you haven’t seen the Yankees books, so nothing you say on that point is objectively valid, and b) having a $20, $23 million a year pitcher on the staff is going to affect your ability to sign other players. I don’t care how much money you have. That’s a hefty and long-term commitment that clearly could backfire. And then you’re stuck.

(Example: Trading for Randy Johnson, and then having Steinbrenner reject acquiring Carlos Beltran, even at a discount.)

So in the end, the Yankees didn’t take the bait. You can argue that they should have, and you won’t necessarily be wrong. I welcome the thought that the Yanks should have jumped on this and strayed from their strategy. There are times that this works. You can then reevaluate where you stand and develop a new strategy.

What I can’t stand hearing is that this is somehow Cashman’s fault that the Twins accepted a package that the Yanks could ostensibly have topped without including Hughes. The Twins have their own M.O. They know what they want for their team, and they’ve clearly went through the rigors of evaluating the players they desire from the Yanks, Sox, and Mets farm systems.

It’s ludicrous to think that Cashman could “sell” a package to the Twins. A salesman baits his prospect with emotion. You sell them on the benefits of owning X product or Y service. You make him envision what it would feel like to have that product or service. And hopefully you can deflect his rational objections with more emotional appeals. Even then, you have to close the sale before the prospect’s sense of reason tells him that he doesn’t need your product or service.

This is not how it works in baseball. GMs don’t make trades based on emotion. “Not unless you’re a moron,” says Keith Law. So Cashman could have put on his best blue pinstriped suit and power red tie, and made the pitch of the century to Bill Smith. But he wasn’t going to buy it. The Twins as an organization worked too hard to get to this point to let Santana go because some other GM made an emotional appeal.

One has to remember, too, that we don’t necessarily know what the Twins think of our prospects. It doesn’t matter how we view our prospects, or even how the Yankees organizations views them. It only matters what the Twins think of them. And apparently, they think rather highly of Carlos Gomez:

“The Twins LOVE Gomez,” says Law. “You can even quote me on that.” He goes on to say that Gomez has quite the ceiling: a potential .320/.400/.470 guy in center with plus plus speed and good overall defensive skills. No, that’s not a guarantee in any sense. But the Twins clearly liked what they saw there.

So before you go levying blame on Cashman for this, realize that he only made one decision: To stay the course. To stick with the strategy that they’ve been going with for about two years now. To not abandon a plan just because someone dangled a shiny object in front of him.

I’ve been there on the chess board. I’ve seen a prone queen, and my first instinct is always to capture it. But sometimes you have to step back and realize that making that move messes up what you’ve worked so hard to achieve. Why not stick with what you’re doing? You’re more in control that way. You have flexibility and maneuverability.

Yeah, sometimes capturing the queen will change the tide of the game. But oftentimes it only cripples you, because you’re no longer on your turf. You’ve changed. And that means forming a new strategy.

Personally, I’m more than comfortable with the one we’re currently operating under.

Image credit: Metsblog

Categories : Rants

64 Comments»

  1. Nick-YF says:

    The most important part of your analysis (to me) is your point about maneuverability. I think this move, made during a transitional period (three top prospects becoming full-time contributors the following year) enables the Yanks to have the greatest roster flexibility moving forward. They might take a step back in 2008–I believe reports of their demise are greatly exaggerated–but in 2009 and going beyond, they will have pitchers such as Hughes and Kennedy coming into their own at cost-controlled prices, and they’ll be able to add, through free agency, parts to help thsi nucleus. Despite not winning the WS in 7 years, the Yanks are not in desperate circumstances. They can afford to take a gamble on their youth right now. They don’t need to mortgage it…just yet.

  2. zack says:

    Of course, the Chess analogy really breaks down over the “In order to capture the coveted queen, the Yanks would have had to give up a number of pieces. So the question is, do you sacrifice these piece to capture the queen, or do you stay the course?” question, where you rightly say it gets complicated. In chess, it is impossible NOT to sacrifice pieces to win the game, and the key to strategy is sacrificing the right pieces at the right time, which in turn forces the opponent to sacrifice even more…The question isn’t whether or not the Yanks should sacrifice the pieces, that is inevitable (and it does hold up, since at some point they will have to trade away parts of the farm), but whether it was the right time and the right pieces, which, to be fair, you have argued all along that the pieces were what was wrong…

    • Joseph P. says:

      It doesn’t break down the argument. It strengthens it. In order to control the game, you have to choose which pieces you sacrifice, when you’ll do it, and at what cost. By surrendering to the Twins demands, we’re playing their game. Cashman decided to keep playing his.

      So the whole point is, don’t kill Cashman for the move. He chose to keep playing his game. And when the time comes to sacrifice or bait, I’m sure that’s what he’ll do. But on the Yankees terms, not on the Twins terms.

      • zack says:

        I am no Cashman basher, but I’m still not sure the analogy holds up (not that it matters). Especially if the Twins were willing to take a lesser package. The other thing about Chess is that a main part of the game is balancing tactics and strategy. Because chess is an endgame, which baseball of course isn’t, If you see a way to quickly and ruthlessly achieve tactical advantage, thus pushing the game closer to its endgame (the king) you take it. The analogy for that here would be precisely going after Johan, because the opportunity is there to quickly improve your standing at the cost of the opponent. But, as I said, the analogy breaks down because baseball is far longer term…But that is being pedantic on my part. In the end, I agree with your overall argument…

  3. Jeff says:

    To bad no where in this chess game was the desire to improve the pitching staff.
    Anyways, I want to stay positive and look forward to the season because this is water under the bridge but if the accounts in the Bergen are correct and Cash didn’t attemt to pursue a deal with Hughes out of the trade then again I think our GM has really let us down.
    The rotation would have been:
    Santana
    Wang
    Pettit
    Hughes
    Chamberlain
    With our line up – I call that check mate.

  4. The Fallen Phoenix says:

    Just a great, well-reasoned post; the chess image, while not perfect, was a great analogy to make, in my opinion, and one that holds rather strongly.

    Something that’s interesting to me, however, is how just about everyone commenting on this situation is marginalizing the role that Hal Steinbrenner might have had in this process. It hasn’t been a secret in the last few weeks that Hal seemingly prefers to be rather tight with his pocketbook, and it would be interesting to speculate whether–in light of emerging evidence (or not, one can never implicitly and fully trust “anonymous sources”) of a reduced Minnesota demand–Cashman could have made a deal for Santana at this point, even if he wanted to.

    It’s all idle speculation, in my opinion–and I’m also inclined to think that this wasn’t at all the case, and that Santana might have been had by Cashman if he thought the price was right (and plausible)–but I kind of wonder why no one’s bothering to even look at that angle, though.

  5. YankCrank20 says:

    you are a master of the analogy my friend. very good post, and it all makes perfect sense. to even add to this giant game of chess, cashman kept his course knowing that chances are santana has a better year this year than hughes and Hank doesn’t renew the contract and lets cashman walk without finishing his original plan. thats like keeping your course on the chess board, making good progress, setting up your plan to win than have somebody walk up to you and knock all your pieces off the board and end it abruptly. hopefully, this doesn;t happen

  6. CB says:

    Didn’t Bobby Fisher sacrifice his queen in that famous match against Borris Spassky?

    Worked out pretty well for him.

    Ultimately we’ll never know what the Twins final demands were, especially because Smith kept shopping deals. We’ll also never know how much of this was Cashman and how much Hal.

    I’d guess it was a lot of Hal. If you’re going to lay out $140 million it always gets down to the owner.

    Whether passing on Santana works out or not, its good to see the yankees finally moving forward based on a rational development philosophy. That now feels secure and ingrained in the organization.

    Santana was the ultimate test of that – and I’d guess part of the reason why Smith vacillated was that in the back of his mind he thought ultimately when push came to shove the yankees would revert back to their old ways and make a short term, panic move.

    But they didn’t. Smith got burned. The yankees stuck with their plan.

    • Nefarious Jackson says:

      thats why you are the MAN CB, to be able to bring a specific Bobby Fisher game moment into the discussion… classic man, classic

    • Joseph P. says:

      Heh, yeah, he did. Fischer was nuts in the tournament. He showed up late, and ended up forfeiting one game, I believe. He definitely lost the first two. In any case, he totally threw off Spassky’s strategy by acting like a total eccentric. And we all know who came out on top in that duel.

      You can liken that to the Twins dangling Santana. They were prepared to sacrifice their queen, hoping that it would elicit huge returns from the Yanks, Mets, or Sox. They wanted to throw everyone off.

      Had the Twins implemented a deadline, the move might have worked…

    • CB says:

      I’m almost certain that Fischer went on to win the game in which he sacrificed his queen.

      Spassky (and the entire world I suppose) were so distracted trying to figure out why someone would give up a queen he went completely off kilter.

  7. Mike A. says:

    And of course in this metaphorical game of chess, when you capture the queen her arm my fall off in two years.

    • Nefarious Jackson says:

      exactly…

      because so many of these long term deals have just worked out so swell-

      Kevin Brown
      Hampton
      Zito
      etc
      etc
      etc

    • Ben B. says:

      More importantly, most queen chess pieces have no *arms*, so this whole analogy really breaks down for me there. What’s the point of capturing a queen if there’s nothing to take an MRI on??

  8. Nefarious Jackson says:

    the yankees will be fine in 2008, they will score 1,000 runs and that will help balance growing pains of the young starters— yes they have a young staff but they are very talented— yanks made the playoffs in 05′ 06′ 07′ while having to get starts from guys like Sean Henn, Sidney Ponson, Rasner, Chase Wright, t-clip, deSalvo, Pavano, Wright, a done Al Leither, and guys whose names I can’t even remember … I’m not Panicking about having to go with Andy, Wang, JoBa, Phil, Moose, IPK & if needed Horne, Karstens, Sanchez, White, Marquez…

    yanks will make the playoffs

  9. Bo says:

    In November I was gung ho for Santana.

    Now? Id love to have him but not at the expense of guys like Hughes.

    Especially when Sabathia is on the market next yr for free. Sheets for free. Bedard in 2 yrs for free.

  10. Bo says:

    I dont think this was Hal at all.

    This was Cashman.

    If Santana was a free agent I dont think there would be any hesitation about going 7 yrs 150 for him.

    It was giving up the quality players for a guy who you’re going to oay top dollar to.

    Thats Cashman. Hank obviously respects his opinion or he would have forced it.

  11. Rob says:

    One more note on the Yankees and taking chances: The Yankees are guaranteed to sell out the next two years of games no matter what happens on the field. This is the absolute best moment to give the kids a chance. They’ll still have full seats regardless.

  12. Bo says:

    These guys aren’t kids anymore. Hughes and Joba have intense pennant race/post season experience. Melky is barely 23 and already has over 1,000 at bats and also has post season experience. These guys aren’t prospects. They are legit major leaguers with even brighter futures.

    I’m glad Cashman has full authority here to continue his work.

  13. Bo says:

    I think only one long term deal for a pitcher worked out since 1995.

    Mussina.

    If I had to bet I would bet on Santana though. He’s young and athletic and his delivery is as clean as they come.

  14. Rob_in_CT says:

    And Moose wasn’t a big success relative to his deal. He was excellent in his first year, and then was somewhere between pretty good and mediocre for the rest of it.

    Santana is indeed a good risk relative to other pitchers. If you’re going to commit to a pitcher in a long term deal, he’s the guy. But I understand why the Yanks and Sox were reluctant.

    IPK+Melky+? though… if that was really offered, wow. I think I’d have done it.

  15. Dave says:

    Aren’t there concerns abut Santana’s elbow and why he stopped throwing his slider in the second half of last year?

    • Mike A. says:

      I dunno if there’s worries now, but I know he’s had elbow surgery in the past to remove bone chips. Supposedly that’s an injury that tends to reoccur, although it’s not super serious.

  16. mustang says:

    For the love of God I can take any argument you guys come up with for or against this deal. But the money argument is plain stupid. These are THE NEW YORK YANKEES folks…. what we want we buy period. If these kids turn out to be the next generation K i hope you guys that support this are men enough to admit your mistake. And not jump on the lets kill Cashman fall out that will happen.

    • Mike A. says:

      The Yankees aren’t a bottomless pit, they have a financial limit. Giving Santana 7 yrs $140M instantly becomes 7 yrs $196M because of the luxury tax.

      We (and by we I mean Joe, Ben and myself) understand the risk that’s involved with sticking by the kids. You can’t judge moves in hindsight though, it just doesn’t work like that. If they bomb, so be it, we’ll admit things didn’t work out, but we’ll never say it was the wrong move. We’ve written plenty about why we think skipping on Johan is the way to go.

      And besides, it’s not like Johan’s a sure thing either. It’s just as likely that he bombs and The Big Three prosper.

      • Count Zero says:

        Amen. No wallet is bottomless…no speculative business strategy can be fairly evaluated in hindsight.

        Sometimes you eat the bear…sometimes the bear eats you. Just ask the guys on Wall St.

  17. godfather says:

    thanks for remembering the gagne situation; that could have been messy; luck plays the major role in these doings, the smarts of gms and owners aside…fans have selective memory…had nyy elected to go after manny instead of moose the year they got him, who knows what would have happened thereafter? nyy did the right thing for them, but who’s to say getting manny wouldn’t have later forced them to address their pitching in other, maybe better ways? they were unlucky on pavano, for whom the red sox had their noses open, and also on contreras, for whom the sox package was more…careful what you wish for…johan could go on to continue his greatness — but at what he would have cost, it would be a necessity, not a perk; i’m happy to be stuck with phil and the gang

  18. mustang says:

    Guys if i came of too strong i didnt mean too… but the Yankees have the money. I also agree on the youth movement, but we could had both here. If the Bergen Record reports are true ” Ian Kennedy, Melky Cabrera, and a top prospect ” you don’t make that deal, come on. The Yankees history has been to sell out the kids and go for the big name for most part. Now we pass on a big name and hold on to kids. I just hope that we are not over valueing our on stock.

  19. mustang says:

    PS No one wants this more to work then I because if these kids successed the titles will just roll in.

  20. Curramba says:

    Just glad the Yankees held their guns and didn’t go after Santana. Look we have the big three already at the big league and more young pitching to come, if anything happens to any of the big three there is more help on the way that is pretty good and some would say on the same level as the big three. Why give up some much for one player?

  21. RobertGKramer says:

    Pass!

  22. Yankee1010 says:

    I haven’t been able to read all of the comments, but too many people are looking at the alleged $150 million extension to Santana in a vacuum. I’m pretty sure that most people would prefer to have Sabathia and some combination of Hughes, Kennedy, Melky and Horne in the system. I’m not saying that it would have taken those 4, or that other prospects couldn’t have gotten the deal done, but I’d much rather have those prospects and Sabathia after this year than give up those guys and a long-term deal for Santana.

    The Yanks have a ton of money coming off the books after this year and they’ll be very well positioned to make runs at C.C. and Teixeira. A rotation with Sabathia and the kids would be much better in the long run than one without the kids and with Santana. Everyone looking at this through a one-year prism would be well-served by looking at the kinds of acquisitions the Yanks have made over the last 7 years in the name of gunning for that particular year. Yes, Santana’s only going to be 29, but you’re going to be paying him approximately $25 million a year into his mid-30s. He also stopped throwing his slider the last couple of months last year, lost a few mphs off of his fastball and wasn’t quite the same pitcher. People seem to think that the Mets are getting the Santana of the last few years. Paying for past performance leads down a road of ruin. I for one am very glad that the Big 3 have been saved.

  23. Lanny says:

    If the front office thinks the kids are legit major league talents than so be it. Dynasty’s aren’t kept alive with mercenaries. The Merc’s add to it and keep it going but you don’t trade the wrong guys. The building blocks.

    And apparently they are convinced Hughes is the real deal (I agree) Melky is real, Ajax, Marquez etc.

    If Hughes is as good as they think, no yank fan will be saying anything.

  24. Lanny says:

    The Yanks werent scared off by the dough.

    It was the players plus the dough. You cant give up guys like Hughes and then pay full market rate for the player traded for. That is fiscally and baseball wise insane.

  25. Steve S says:

    I know its hard to say but if the Yankees arent in the ALCS next year then Cashman may have blown it, IF the Kennedy rumor is true, granted it could be a complete myth but I dont think its going out on a limb to say that.

    IF the rumor is true he gave up on a chance to get the best lefthanded pitcher in baseball for prospect that at best is a number 3 starter, average outfielder (who some would say is worse), and a prospect. I dont think its out of line to say that be made a bad move in that specific case.

    BUT not giving up Hughes was the right move. The offer Yankees pulled off the table was number 3 starter next year and their starting center fielder, and prospects. The Twins got a bunch of prospects and perhaps lefthanded side of a platoon in rightfield. There is no comparison between the two packages. And that doesnt even get to the fact that I thought the Red Sox Lester package was the best of the bunch for the Twins.

    All that being said, these analogies are unnecessary. Cashman screwed up if he did in fact say no to that deal. And I don’t care what his plan is. His plan included $46M for Kei Igawa. So while this complex analysis is great, relying on prospects is great, but if he isn’t around next year to protect them, which is the more likely senario if they miss the playoffs this year. So long term whats the best thing for th franchise. Not knowing who the next GM would be.

  26. Irving Schlemiel says:

    And studies have shown there have been too many studies done…

  27. LiveFromNewYork says:

    I would have traded IPK, Cabrera and “another prospect” (not Ajax) but at the same time I’m find with things the way they stand. If he went to Boston and THEN we learned we could have had him for IPK, Melky and “another” I would have freaked or if Andy didn’t come back I would have freaked, but right now I’m okay with the way it all turned out.

  28. Irving Schlemiel says:

    It’ll be a fun rebuilding year. Do Yankee fans have the patience for potentiallly 3 rookie starters in the rotation, only one of whom will be allowed to log 200 innings? Yanks’ll score 900+ runs again, so offense will be no prob.

  29. mustang says:

    I think Steve S nailed on the head. Put togather what the Twins got, the Bergen Record ( one of your stronger papers as far as rumors) report and the fact that GM Smith is not fool then the Ian Kennedy, Melky Cabrera, and a top prospect package was probably true. I like Cashman, but sometimes i get the feeling that he trying to put his personnal stamp on this team. He might be a little too self center for his own good. I get the same feel from Theo, but he is winning.

    • Steve S says:

      I also want to agree with Mustang the financial argument. Its ridiculous that this team would concern itself with that contract. Considering they just handed out the largest contract in the history of the sport to a 32 year old. And I understand that may be a reason for fiscal responsibility. But come on, they have the money coming off the books after next year. They are opening a NEW stadium. They have a cable network that prints money.

      And this idea that they are focusing on the youth doesnt make sense either. Lets be honest they rightfully overpaid for Mariano, Posada and Arod (regardless of what some may say). The back end of all three of those K’s will be laughable. And they did that this offseason. Im not criticizing them for it, because they didnt make those moves in order to be better in 2010 and beyond. They made those moves in order to be competitive this year. Thats this year. Thats why it cant be about the money.

      Its about winning a World Series. Its nice to think about a Dynasty but guess what you need to win one world series in order to start a Dynasty. And Im sorry, betting on Hughes is fine, still risky, but thats cool. But potentially betting on Kennedy and Melky over Johan, is ridiculous, both short term and long term.

      I will qualify this by saying in response to Mustang, as reputable as the Bergen record can be, Im skeptical that the Yankee hiearchy would have left that deal on the table. So I am skeptical.

  30. Old Ranger says:

    Joseph great post.

    One thing, have you people heard that the Daily News reported that the Twinks wanted Wang and IPK as the last offer from the yanks? Obviously the yanks said no. The lesser offer that some of you (and others) have talked of…may have been shot down by Hal, not Cash. I don’t think either one of them wanted to go 6/7 years at 20/25M. I believe the Yanks won by Check Mate.
    Also, if it was such a great deal, why didn’t the Red Spikes do it? Check Mate. 27/08.

  31. Old Ranger says:

    Giving up Major league pitchers and the CF+ prospect.
    OK! you have just added about $200m to the payroll. What do you do for CF this year? What do you do for 1st base and CF next year? Go out and buy them? With what it will cost for a 1st baseman (Tex) another 6/7 year contract for about $200m (Lux tax/rev. sharing). that’s $400m added to the payroll. I would respectfully say NOT GOOD. 27/08.

  32. Lanny says:

    How can Melky be average?

    Similar batters thru his age are ROberto Clemete and Chet Lemon.

    Thats average?

    Not to mention his defense.

  33. Lanny says:

    What the Twins should have done was asked for Wang and IPK in November.

    It would have been done. Then they could have spun Wang off and got a package like the A’s got for Haren since hes under lock and key.

    • Ben B. says:

      Lanny, I can’t see the Yankees trading Wang and IPK for one year of Santana, even on the day after the Red Sox won the WS last October. I just don’t see it.

  34. mustang says:

    Steve S this is why I believe the Bergen Record story. Let say Cashman told Hank of this deal and Hank said you make the call and he did. Hank is now in a win-win situation. If it works he signs Cashman and the Yanks are of into dynasty land. If it doesn’t work he can tell Cashman and his brother i told you so i’m now running the show. This is more then a simple deal or no deal. This situation if it works or it doesn’t well dictate the Yankees for years to come. Hank already has layed down the ground work with his recent comments. So I agree under normal condition Cashman would of been over riden but he being set up. That why i don’t understand why take the risk when you don’t have to. I’m done with Santana…….Go giants… LOL

    • Steve S says:

      Im not sure I can see that logic. I mean lets be honest does he really need to setup Cashman? He fired Torre and got torched in the media. If he wants to fire Cashman at the end of the year, Santana or not, Cashman is gone (and he might leave anyway since his contract is up). I agree there is no way to know. Lets be honest we dont know where these rumors come from. And these things only come out when someone wants it to come out. Otherwise we would have known about the Arod stuff before he had shown up at Hanks door. We would have known Cashman thought Torre started Bernie more than he should in 2006.

  35. bart says:

    Cashman blew it again. Stocking the minior leagues is part of a strategy designed to put 25 men in uniform who can win an opportunity to compete in the world series, be entertaining on the field, pay the bills. Some of those minor leaguers will be useful professionals – one or two in a hundred better than average

    Failing to get Beltran led to Damano which will llead to another costly – unproductive, panicky deal next year.

    The Yankees have pieces they could have used to beat the Mets offer without giving up IPK or Phil Hughes —

    No good manager in any line of business would quit dealing before he knew for certain that he couldn’t make the deal on reasonable terms.

    The TWINS CAVED and as with Beltran in the end game Casman was NOWHERE.

    • steve (different one) says:

      ah, so now the Yankees didn’t even need to part with Kennedy to get Santana?

      where do you come up with this crap?

      i guess you are right, Cashman blew it. the Twins asked for Chase Wright and Kei Igawa, and CASHMAN WAS NOWHERE TO BE FOUND!1!1!!!!!!

  36. billyballa says:

    Cashman is the MAN!

    This is for all you nay sayers and pretend Yankee fans! Regardless on how this trade shakes down for the Twins, the Mets, and our beloved Yankees, Cashman made the right choice. I shall explain this as easy as possible and hopefully some of you hot headed fans won’t call for Cashman’s head regardless if Santana goes off and wins 2 cy youngs, regardless if the Mets take 2 world series, regardless on how Hughes or IPK develop. Lets look into my comments some more:

    1- It is probably a fact that the Yankees were called on Monday night and IPK, Melky, and another top prospect was asked for by Bill Smith. It’s also probably a fact that the Yankees turned them down.

    IF the Twinkies asked for IPK, Melky, and either Tabata or Jackson would any of you make that trade?

    If you were a GM wouldn’t you rather have that package than the 4 prospects the Mets offered.
    Kennedy would be the best pitching prospect on the Mets hands down. Mulvey and Humber do not equal Kennedy’s value right now.

    Isn’t Tabata or Jackson as equal of a prospect of Carlos Gomez. In fact in some circles Gomez is thought to have a light bat, ex: Roger Cedeno. Do I think he will be better than Cedeno? YES! But Isn’t Tabata and Jackson right now better hitting prospects (without the plus speed).

    Lastly Melky is a major league CF whom plays above avg if not top notch defense. His bat will only get better. The Mets last prospect in the trade is the kid in single A with the electric arm. Well his arm dialed up a 2-6 record and an ERA above 4.

    Why in the world would we give up that package when the Mets did not have to give up Pelfry whom is a decent prospect (but still no Kennedy) and there outfielder Martinez? Why do we have to give up more than every organization to make a trade? ENOUGH CashMan said! Draw the line and stand by it.
    Now if that third player was a Marquez or an equal player not named Tabata, Jackson, Betances than you would have to consider it and make that trade. My gut feeling is that they wanted a higher caliber player after taking Hughes out of the equation. The Yankees felt that IPK is perhaps as equal value if not a notch below Hughes, and that 3rd prospect was the key to Cashman turning it down I bet!

    I hope that changes your opinion on Cashman and rather turn your anger towards the establishment that is Baseball GM’s that deal with the Yankees.

  37. Jeff says:

    If the Bergen was right Steve… IPK, Melky pluse one prospect and Cash walked away would that be delusional or is that just me again?
    Just to recap we’ve got a guy heading the trade that is going to have to fight for the fifth spot which he is not guaranteed or we could have gotten a guy that would head the rotation. This didn’t happen because Cashman left the table. To me that is ridiculous after we have spent the last couple of year watching the bats go cold against better starting pitching.
    Again, I’m not sure if anyone noticed this but pitching wins championships and with a rotation of Santana, Wang, Pettit, Chamberlain, Hughes would have just been what the doctor ordered.
    I ask others to be honest… do you not think with the rotation I just mentioned we would have been in a better position to win the WS not just this year but for some to come?

    • steve (different one) says:

      huh? are you talking to me? this is what i was addressing in Bart’s post:

      The Yankees have pieces they could have used to beat the Mets offer without giving up IPK or Phil Hughes

      sorry, but this is delusional.

  38. Jeff says:

    Yeah Steve I was refering to our posts last night… where you thought I was nuts to suggest ol Cash didn’t do a good job to make a deal that could have beaten the Mets without giving up Hughes. (Don’t remember? – you quoted me a couple of times- go check)
    If the deal was to be headed by IPK (read above post) am I still so out of line to think he dropped the ball?

    Billy – I think your argument only points what a loser I think Cash is… we had a winning trade that could have been made. A GM doesn’t say we’re not going to do business because we are asked to beat the other teams offer ( I really don’t even think your theory is true – Cash isn’t that stupid even in my eyes). You do what you think would give your team an advantage. In this case I think it came down to trying to run the team on a lower payroll. I’m sure the money will be spent on first base eventually and well offense always wins right?

    Alright guys – peace – will be up early in the morning.

    • steve (different one) says:

      Jeff, i apologized on Tuesday night for the tone of our argument.

      just to clear this up: i was never arguing your displeasure with the actual decision.

      i was arguing that you think the Yankees didn’t do their homework. i disagree and still disagree.

      there is a lot of stuff that happens behind the scenes that we don’t know about. that’s my point. if Smith called the Yankees with an offer, Cashman most likely has to then take that to Hal and Hank for debate.

      now, i would GUESS that Hal and Cashman outvoted Hank. and you feel that was the wrong decision. and i don’t even know if i disagree with you there (though i can’t say, because i don’t know exactly what the Twins were asking for and what they were planning to do with the Yankees’ offer. were they going to take it back to the Red Sox? i don’t know nor will i ever know).

      that’s really all i am saying, don’t assume we know everything about what happened.

      i don’t think that’s unreasonable. just like i don’t think it’s unreasonable for you to be disappointed.

      let’s leave it at that.

  39. billyballa says:

    THE FINAL STRAW! THANKYOU AND PROPS TO THE BEST YANKEE SITE ALIVE! IYANKEES.COM!
    The Santana Aftershock
    January 30, 2008, 1:52 pm
    Bill Smith knows what happened. He knows all too well what happened after he overplayed his hand in the Santana Sweepstakes. He was left reeling and now has Carlos Gomez in CF, while Philip Humber may get a chance to crack the rotation.

    Ben at RAB thinks that Smith didn’t overextend himself and is a good enough talent evaluator to gauge the ceiling of the players sent back to Minnesota. This is true, Smith knows what he’s getting and seems okay with that, yet I still believe that he himself knows the return on Santana wasn’t nearly as good as what he could have had (earlier).

    If Smith was content with the package, he wouldn’t have made a desperate phone call to the Yankees on Monday night (after all the proposals were in). He wouldn’t have conceded or caved, as reported in that article, which essentially states that he called the Yankees and asked for a combination of Kennedy-Melky and a top-prospect (Hughes, who would’ve been hard to bargain for, was simply left out of the deal altogether).

    The NY Daily News is reporting that Smith actually asked Brian Cashman for a combination of Ian Kennedy and Chien-Ming Wang, with the Yankees flat-out rejecting that offer (and laughing histerically). Here’s the text on that:

    According to sources familiar with the entire negotiations, after the Red Sox removed Lester, the Twins called the Yankees back and proposed a scenario in which Hughes would not have to be part of the deal. Instead, they asked for Chien-Ming Wang and Ian Kennedy. The Yankees flatly rejected that, leaving the Mets as the Twins’ only alternative.

    This still doesn’t indicate that Smith thought the Mets had the best offer. All it demonstrates is that the Twins called the Yankees on Monday morning, knowing Lester was now off the table (Olney reported that Lester was no longer being traded as of Sunday), and asked for the world (Wang and Kennedy). The Yankees balked and the Twins figured they’d crack if a deal was on the table later. Once Santana asked to be traded by Tuesday (or else), the Twins, under duress, had to make a move and chose the Mets (or, some would say that they were forced to choose the Mets).

    With that deal near completion, Smith immediately called the Yankees and asked for the lesser package of Kennedy, Melky and a fourth player (the desperate Monday night phone call). He knew this package, in itself, could be better for the Twins in terms of the future and the present. The Mets package is grounded in the future (win later, way later), as the players still have a long ways to go before they fully develop.

    So, in the end. I still think Smith got fleeced when you view the package in relation to the others that were offered weeks ago (by different teams). We cannot fully evaluate the deal until a few years from now, but, at first glance, this is what I see.

    Thanks to Bronx Liaison for the info.

  40. Sciorsci says:

    You guys know a lot about baseball here at RAB – much less about sales. Sales the way you describe it is the “used car salesman” approach, but I don’t think that’s what people necessarily meant by suggesting that Cashman could have “sold” Bill Smith on his proposal. Most often, sales simply comes down to explaining and articulating the buyer’s need for your product. It’s not necessarily about emotional appeal overcoming rational objection.

    That said, the Twins are the same front office that got Liriano, Bonser and Nathan for Pierzynski, so it’s fair to give them the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise. I realize that there’s no evidence that Bill Smith is on par with Terry Ryan, but there’s not a whole lot of evidence to the contrary, either. Clearly, part of the value of the Mets’ offer was that it would ultimately result in Santana leaving the AL for the NL. There was very likely a tax assessed to the Yankees (and Red Sox) for the negative opportunity cost, from the Twins’ perspective, associated with having to face Santana within their own league.

  41. nick blasioli says:

    in the end,,hughes was off of the table..cashman just plain blew this one..it seems to me that being his last year as a gm…he just didnt give a darn about improving the team…the yankees are surely outside looking in…thats what i believe….

    • steve (different one) says:

      we know you believe this. you post the exact same paragraph in every thread. no analysis, no facts. just the same old boring shit.

  42. nick blasioli says:

    screw you steve….if you were any kind of baseball fan..you would already know the facts…just wait until october and you will see that i was right all along even with my boring shit…

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