Feb
01

In Brian Cashman, we trust

By

It’s not easy being Brian Cashman. With numerous bosses and the weight of the epicenter of the baseball world on his shoulders, Cashman’s job is not one anyone should take for granted, and as Tyler Kepner masterfully details in The Times today, no one knows this better than Brian Cashman.

“I feel the responsibility of millions of Yankee fans on my shoulders, fans who take this very seriously and for which every game is very important. I think of that every day,” Cashman once said to Ernie Accorsi, and as we know, Yankee fans are very demanding, to say nothing of the Steinbrenners.

So here we sit, a few days after the first word of a plan to send Johan Santana to the Mets leaked out, and all eyes are on Brian Cashman. For the Yanks’ GM, too, it’s been a rough winter. He’s dealt with a new leadership structure at work, and last week, as his comments question popular Yankees, including long-time fan-favorite Bernie Williams hit the press, it seemed like this tumultuous off-season was finally catching up to Cashman.

But for all the talk of job troubles and personnel changes, for all the doubt surrounding the Santana trade and the pressures of having a real, actual baseball fan in the form of Hank Steinbrenner peering over his shoulder as much with his mouth as with his eyes, Cashman is right where he wants to be. The Yankees in 2008 are his team, and while many believe his fate will rise and fall with the Yankees, it’s not so simple for this 20-year veteran of the Yankee organization. Gone are the days when King George fired people at will.

Kepner details Cashman’s struggles:

Usually deft as the Yankees’ primary spokesman, Cashman is struggling with Hank Steinbrenner’s quick ascension to that role. At times, Cashman has seemed especially cautious; at other times, unusually candid…

Hank Steinbrenner, 50, is not as detail-oriented as his father; he is not apt to demand new carpeting in the training room. He is a passionate fan, in tune with the sport’s history, driven to win and often willing to speak his mind. Hal, 38, is considered more fiscally conservative, and he rarely speaks in public.

Cashman got what he wanted this winter. The Yankees re-signed their veterans while protecting their top prospects and also gaining a 2008 draft pick for letting reliever Luis Vizcaíno sign with Colorado. But there is a belief in the industry that it has been a trying winter for Cashman as he adjusts to the team’s new leadership, and the possibility that decisions could be made without his consent.

The pressure on Cashman — and make no mistake, a lot of it is self-induced — will be there all season, but we as fans shouldn’t be so critical as Cashman. And herein, my RAB friends, lies the rub: A few vocal Yankee bloggers have been ridiculous harsh in their treatment of Brian Cashman this year. They have questioned his every move as GM, and they don’t feel that the Yankees have three viable pitchers on their hands in Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes and Ian Patrick Kennedy because Jeff Cindrich or Sterling Hitchcock or Ryan Bradley never made it work in New York.

Let’s get one thing straight: Rare are the times when any Major League Baseball organization witnesses the meteoric rise of three pitchers with the pedigrees of Joba, Phil and Ian. Rare are the times when three pitchers are utterly dominant at every level of Minor League — and Major League — baseball. These guys are not your garden variety pitching prospects; these are three pitchers ready to contribute at the Major League level now and into the foreseeable future.

Yes, it’s true, the three of them may face innings caps this year. The Yankees have some valuable arms, and some caution at the start should pave the way for future success. But what they don’t have are question marks. It’s not a question of whether these pitchers will be good; it’s a question of just how good they will be. We — like Brian Cashman — know the ceilings. So when the New York Post says that Phil is pitching for Cashman’s job, it’s no big deal. Of course Phil is pitching for Brian’s job because Phil is a big part of Brian’s long-term plan to invest heavily — and wisely — into young arms. It’s going to work.

So as we sit here and watch the media swarm around the Yankees, we see questions and a General Manager under the most powerful of microscopes. But I’m comfortable with what Cashman has and hasn’t done this season. I believe in the young arms; I believe in Cashman.

Categories : Front Office
  • mehmattski

    Scenario:

    Santana’s talks with the Mets fall through. Trade is not completed. Now what?

    Clearly, the cards are on the table and Smith is already exposed as a buffoon. Do the Yankees make a really low-ball offer, like Horne-Gardner-McAllister-Whelan? More likely, I think there’s no reasonable way Santana gets traded at all if this deal falls through.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      I think the deal just doesn’t fall through. It will happen.

  • Rich

    I could be wrong, but I think the most underreported story of the offseason has been the degree to which Cash has been able to regain the decision making power that he was seemingly losing to Hank, when Hal started to assert himself by aligning himself with Cash.

  • E-ROC

    Ben K, I think your writing can cure cancer. :)

    I hope Cashman stays and everything works out for the Yanks, especially the Big 3. There is a lot of pressure on these kids. I’ll be rooting for them to rise to the occasion.

    Spring Training can’t get here any sooner.

    Oh yeah, Uncle Sam has us moving from Turkey to Idaho. How nice?!

  • billyballa

    Well thought out Ben. Nice piece to read. I can’t agree with you anymore. I trust the Cash as well!

  • bkight13

    Very well put. I’m glad Cashman is at the helm and not to take a shot at Torre, but I haven’t been this excited for the season in a long time. It’s time to trust the young guys and get the most out of the vets.

  • mike

    excellent post man. i’m a big fan of cash’s and it’s nice to see a well written objective piece on him that shows his human side

  • irving schlemiel

    The most striking part of this offering is “It’s not a question of whether these pitchers will be good; it’s a question of just how good they will be.” That’s just good writing and another reason to look forward to pitchers and catchers reporting.

    I see a new t-shirt slogan developing – “I Believe In Cash”

  • LiveFromNewYork

    I actually think that it’s amazing that all is in place the way most fans would want it right now. Everyone freaked out at the end of last season…the free agencies, the trade rumors, Torre leaving, Donnie leaving (still an ouch), the Arod debacle, what about Mo and Po? will Andy come back?

    The sky is falling ! The sky is falling !

    And then we had Hank antagonizing everyone every other day. I can see how Cashman’s job can be impossible.

    We have unknowns: what can these kids do? They’re electric but if one or more go on a slide (ala Wang in the playoffs..) what sort of patience are Yankee fans going to have?

    What about Girardi? Is he going to be the brilliant field manager we knew as a catcher or is he going to burn out some pitchers and alienate some veterans? What about 3rd base coaching? bench coaching?

    What the heck is happening at 1st base? Center field?

    Players? Healthy Matsui? Erratic Moose? Fat Damon? Hurting Jeter? Decline of Mo and Po?

    Not that Cashman is responsible for all of this….but all the Yankee unknowns translate into wins and playoffs or losses and no playoffs.

    I think that Brian Cashman has done a good job especially in the face of the Hank, the mouth of the south, breathing over his shoulder and being a loose cannon.

    I also love the farm system he’s built and continues to build and protect. I hope he can continue to do his job and stick to his philosophy.

    Like everything else in Yankeeland: it’s a wild ride to be sure.

    • steve (different one)

      i am NOT trying to pick on you here, but i would like to ask about this statement that i always see repeated:

      We have unknowns: what can these kids do? They’re electric but if one or more go on a slide (ala Wang in the playoffs..) what sort of patience are Yankee fans going to have?

      seriously, WTF are the fans going to do? piss and moan? boo? stop watching? stop buying tickets? not show up to the new stadium in 2009?

      the Yankee FO shouldn’t give 2 shits about whether the fans are patient or not.

      what happened in Boston in 2006? they collapsed and missed the playoffs.

      by this logic, Boston should have started trading all their prospects for veterans to quell the fans’ fears.

      if Yankee fans can’t deal with some hiccups from our youngsters this season, they aren’t real fans.

      again, this wasn’t directed at you, because i know you were just using a common expression. but i just don’t get this notion that Yankee fans can’t be subjected to a bumpy year after 13 straight trips to the playoffs.

      • JT Bk

        Preach on. As a life long Yankee fan I cannot stand some of the ridiculous expectations that some of our fans have. Have patience, and believe in Cash!!!

      • LiveFromNewYork

        I’m asking…I’m not saying *I’m impatient* but I”ve been at the stadium when the boo birds are out in full force.

        • steve (different one)

          i hear you. like i said, i wasn’t aiming that at you. just at this idea in the media that the Yankees are entitled to a world series every year.

  • Steve S

    I want to preface this by saying I’m in complete agreement about Brian Cashman and that he is the right GM for this team. And I think he made the right decision in this Santana deal. I think Hughes has the potential to be great. However, I think he and more specifically the writers and some of the commentators on RAB have to be prepared for these comments and possibility that Cashman could get fired. The Yankees have invested $200M in this team this year, and for the forseeable future. And there is a strong possibility that they miss the playoffs this year. And I dont mean they win 80 games and are out of it by August. But they could potentially have a year like the Tigers last year or the Indians the year before, and the miss October. for the steinbrenners and the fans of this team thats extremely hard to swallow, especially if Boston is in it and winning and the Mets are in it and winning. I know we shouldnt evaluate the team based on the Mets and the Sox. But its the reality of being a Yankee fan and more importantly being the Yankee General Manager

    With regards to this Santana deal and these pitchers. I give that these kids showed flashes of brilliance last year. And I think you are right, the question is how good will they be. But thats always been the question because you just walked away from the best pitcher in baseball for these kids. Its arguable but the Yankees would be a lock for the playoffs with Johan, Wang, Pettitte, Chamberlain and Kennedy. Granted, I think its a stretch to imagine that anyone in the AL can be a lock for the World Series, but the I think the realistic goal should be to get into October.

    And the other thing I would like to say is that Cashman has made a couple of awful decisions in the last couple of years. If he somehow gets credit for these kids then we have to be fair and bash him on failing to make the investment in Dice-K rather than Igawa. He also has to take the blame on Pavano and Wright. And more importantly, he has to take the blame for this bullpen. He has not had a representative bullpen in the last three or four years. And you can blame Torre for not using certain guys. But guess what Chris Britton, Colter Bean, and company have been awful when they did get chances. The Yankees dont have the luxury to let these kids learn on the major league level. And Torre didnt have that luxury either. And I am in no way a Torre apologist, but as much as the bullpen was his fault, it was Cashman’s fault as well for assembling something a little bit better.

    Im just saying, Cashman hasnt been that impressive. I like what he is doing now. But Im not going to give him credit for Hughes, JOba, and Kennedy (by the the way the Ian Patrick Kennedy thing is kind of annoying), just because he drafted them and paid overslot. With Hughes he showed patience, with these other kids, they didnt even get a full year in the minors. I want to see how everyone is reacting if the Yankees get into a pennant race and they extend Joba and Phil beyond their physical limitations. And then were left with Prior and Wood. And at that point it shouldnt be Girardi’s fault. He manages the team to win, Cashman runs the organization, so by putting these kids in this scenario he is endangering them.

    • KAnst

      You do have to consider Cashman’s faults with his good things. Its just very hard in the past to discern what was a Cashman decision and what was a Steinbrenner decision.

      Also I dont think you can fault Cashman for not getting Dice-K. No one thought that the bids would be so outlandish. The Yanks put up a very high bid and they lost because the Sox went nuts. He would have looked like an even bigger idiot had he bid 50 million and the next highest bid was 25.

      My biggest criticism of Cashman during his tenure is that he has often been reactionary. Just making moves in reaction to events instead of because he has some grander plan. This may have been due to the pressure to constantly win in NY, that is why I am very happy to see him hold the course on the Santana moves. We can argue whether or not it would have been a good trade, but Cashman had a plan and he stuck to it and that is a very good thing.

      As for the Yanks losing, that is one of the hardest parts of his job. We are the only market where one losing season is a catastrophe. In every league teams occasionally lose one year in order to set up for a good next year. The Yankees haven’t been able to do that.

    • Rob_in_CT

      I’m fine with blaming him for Igawa. I’m not sure you can really rip him for Matsuzaka, given what the Yankees bid for him. The Red Sox went nuts with the posting fee and won. Given what Matsuzaka did last season, had the yankees ponied up $50 million just to talk to him, there would’ve been quite a bit of bitching and moaning. He wasn’t an ace. He was good. We’ll see how he does this year.

      Pavano – clearly. Though of course other teams wanted him badly. Wright – absolutely. That deal sickened me at the time (whereas I was mildly optimistic about Pavano).

      Bullpen – crapshoot, really, and tough to build via free agency. He did well with the Gordon signing, but had to let Gordon walk when he wanted a 3-year deal. Good choice there. Farnsworth was a bad move. The lack of pitchers in the minors who could take a shot in the bullpen is indeed on Cash, but the group of such pitchers they have now are also (in part) his doing. We’ll see how that works out.

      As for the kids in a pennant race, yes that’s going to be difficult to balance. I for one hope that the organization keeps to the plan and holds the kids below reasonable innings caps, even if that hurts in ’08. We’ll see if they have the strength to do that.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

        “He did well with the Gordon signing, but had to let Gordon walk when he wanted a 3-year deal.”

        We got Joba and IPK because Gordon walked. That was a superb move all around.

      • tmcm650

        I think most would agree that the Igawa signing seemed to lack prior due diligence. I hope most would agree that it would have been absurd for the Yankees to outbid the Red Sox for the opportunity to talk with Matsuzaka, although I suppose there’s an outside chance that he’s going to be better than Beckett and become the ace of their staff. As for the bullpen, it’s easy to say he didn’t do his job, but how about some specifics? When they signed Farnsworth or his other not-so-stellar clones, what better choices were available at the time? How long has he had control over minor league development and drafting, and how long does it take to develop pitchers who can flourish as relievers at the major league level? It seems that simple math says that not every draft pick worked out, but the ones who have were drafted since Cashman was given greater power over development and drafting, and that prior to that there was no system because the drafting of young players who didn’t have any immediate marquee attraction was of very low priority. Pavano? How many of those who blame Cashman for signing Pavano predicted that he would be such an abysmal, total failure in every way, on the field and off? Had he been even league average, how much different would the years since he came aboard have been? Finally, Cashman doesn’t get credit for drafting the Kennedy and Joba? Don’t go to work today, I hear your company is conducting drug testing and it’s obvious you’re on something illegal. Clearly Cashman hasn’t been successful with every player he’s brought to the Yankees, whether by trade, free agent signing or the draft. Mistakes are going to happen whenever decisions are made, and they are part of the equation when evaluating his success as the Yankees GM. I have to wonder, though, at those bloggers and responders who blindly say these decisions sucked without offering better alternatives available when the decisions were made. I have to wonder, too, why they’re not employed by some professional baseball team in some area of player development or appraisal. A study of Teddy Roosevelt’s words about critics might be worthwhile. Criticism always has value, but the tenor and implied sense of superiority by the self-appointed critics have none.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

      You were doing fine until you got here:

      “If he somehow gets credit for these kids then we have to be fair and bash him on failing to make the investment in Dice-K rather than Igawa. He also has to take the blame on Pavano and Wright. And more importantly, he has to take the blame for this bullpen.”

      You can’t blame him for not getting Dice-K. No one — NO ONE — even fathomed the Red Sox would bid $50 million. Whatever. They wanted him desperately, and they muscled everyone else out. And if you’ve ever seen Cashman talk about Igawa, at least to me it’s clear that it wasn’t his idea to put up the $27 million posting fee. But you’re free to your opinion in that regard.

      We’ve debunked Cashman’s culpability with Pavano. Everyone wanted him. Bids were on the table. He could just as easily have chosen the Red Sox or Tigers. And I also thought it was pretty clear that Wright was a Tampa move. Once again, this isn’t me revising history. This is me remembering back to the times we made these moves and remembering the reactions.

      And please, you’re going to bash Chris Britton? He was awesome with the SWB Yanks last year, and he was pretty damn good in his 12+ innings with the Yanks. Remember the game against Chicago when he came in and pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings? Okay, yeah, he gave up a homer to Konerko after that, but the dude isn’t used to pitching three innings at a time.

      • Steve S

        See I dont think its out of the question to rip him on Dice K because in all honesty its his job to know the market and to have an idea. Now Dice K wasnt worth the posting fee or the total package, even with his current production (which could improve). BUT when looking at the contract in comparison to what they gave Igawa, then he seems foolish for not overbidding for Dice K. Or at least not having an idea of what the Red Sox were going to do. And at a minimum having scouting reports (that everyone seemed to have) on Dice K and Igawa. And it cant be this way. Im willing to give Cash the benefit of the doubt pre-2005. But he was in charge last year and its become obvious that George didnt have much to do with anything this year. SO Im wondering who actually made the decision on Igawa. Did big bad Billy Connors send the bid in?

        Im sorry this love affair with Britton is great but the guy was great in SWB. But he was a decent reliever for Baltimore, his perihperals were good, not great. Its ridiculous to believe that he was the missing link in the bullpen when the guy weighs 275 lbs and had 55 ml innings prior to coming here. And Ill give you that Chris Britton might be a solid middle reliever. My point is that it wasnt a reality to expect Chris Britton to get important ML innings last year when he hadnt gone more than 55 innings for Baltimore the year before. And anyway you look at it he wasnt the solution. Maybe he will be part of it. But they dont win the division or go further if Britton gets more innings.

        And I dont know how we have “debunked” his culpability for Pavano. He signed him, he made the push, and that was on his “watch”. I dont care that Boston and Seattle wanted him, we ended up signing him. And ultimately when he makes the signing he isnt evaluated on what the thought process was at the time of the signing, he is evaluated on the actual success of the player. Thats why Gene Michael gets credit for Paul Oneill and Jimmy Key and Wade Boggs and not Danny Tartabull. And all of that still doesnt explain Farnsworth and Wright who everyone knew at the time was a disaster.

        Again, I like Cashman, but I think were drinking the Koolaid if we believe he has taken on this heroic battle to restore the Yankees. If he gets the credit on Hughes and company, then he has to take the blame on everything else. And when you have this kind of payroll and these kinds of resources, then Im sorry but you cant avoid the fact that his rosters haven’t succeeded in October. Part of that is manager, part of that is the personnel which directly relates to Cashman.

        We can make excuses or we can be honest. I dont think its fair for the people who rip Cashman. Its remarkable that this team has won 90 plus games and making the playoffs for the entire decade (even the Red Sox cant claim that), its amazing that he was able to rebuild a farm system in what amounts to three years. However, its 2008 and after more than $1 billion being spent, he hasnt won a world series in this decade. He shouldn’t be fired, but its fair to evaluate him based on that. And now it is fair that he has staked his job on these kids.

        Cashman has a $200 M payroll, a first year manager, a first year owner, an arch rival with a young dominant rotation, a local rival who is the best team in the respective league, the American League which even sans Santana has by far the best teams and 60% of his rotation shouldnt go past 160 innings this year. He has big set. I also question whether he realistically believes he can control the innings for these kids. If they end up going 200 innings between the regular season and post season, whose fault is that? Is it Girardi’s, whose objective is to win games? Or is it Brian Cashman’s fault since he put Joe Girardi in that position? Brian Cashman has taken a huge gamble. Not only does he risk missing the playoffs but he is risking hurting these kids.

        Its easy to mock the new breed Yankee fans who want to win a World Series every year. But. is it realistic to believe that three young pitchers who show promise will end up winning multiple world series in the future? Even if all of them work out it doesnt mean anything. And its not limited to Sterling Hitchcock, Brien Taylor and Ryan Bradley. Look at Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder and Barry Zito. or how about John Smoltz, Steve Avery and Tom Glavine. I count 1 championship and those are the successful ones. Brian’ long term plan is great but only if he is here to employ it. And in NY with $200M on the line, I dont know if he deserves the benefit of the doubt, let alone if would actually get it.

        • steve (different one)

          See I dont think its out of the question to rip him on Dice K because in all honesty its his job to know the market and to have an idea. Now Dice K wasnt worth the posting fee or the total package, even with his current production (which could improve). BUT when looking at the contract in comparison to what they gave Igawa, then he seems foolish for not overbidding for Dice K. Or at least not having an idea of what the Red Sox were going to do

          this is absurd.

          how on earth should Cashman have known what the Red Sox were going to do??

          you are blaming for the sake of blaming.

          • Steve S

            Why is it so absurd? Its Cashman’s job to evaluate the market, to know the market value. And to know the financial capabilities of his team and I dont think its difficult to know what your competitor is doing. Im not blaming but it is a knock, there is no way to avoid the fact that he scewed up in this circumstance because Dice K at $9 million a year isnt too shabby, thats well below market.

            According to some reports the Yankee bid somewhere around $30M. They bid $26M on Igawa knowing that the Red Sox were out of it. So how did Cashman come to those figures? I dont care that much and I dont think Cashman should be fired for it. BUT the Igawa/Dice K scenario was a screw up considering the resources the Yankees have and its not limited to money but the ability to predict the market. And I dont think its absurd for him to investigate these bids, which its apparent he never really did. Otherwise he wouldn’t have gone that high on Igawa.

            • steve (different one)

              you are missing the very simple fact that the igawa posting was AFTER the matsuzaka posting. one bid influenced the other.

              also, saying Dice-K “makes” $9M/year doesn’t really make sense.

              if the Yankees DID know what the Sox were up to, they would have had to bid $55M-60M to win the posting.

              so, now Dice-K “makes” $18-19M/year.

              so that’s the question. is Dice-K worth $18-19M per year.

              i am not sure why you are ignoring the posting fee here.

            • JT Bk

              Steve S, stop being so irrational. We as Yankee fans need to stop being so spoiled and think that we are entitled to only good fortunes. There will be bad times, and if you aren’t willing to deal with it without bitching, moaning, calling for someones job, then you aren’t a real fan in my opinion.

              As for the Matsuzaka deal, The Red Sox overbid themselves and your blaming the Yankees for not predicting that… Understand the market you say… Cashman did understand the market, thats why he had the second highest bid. The Red Sox offer was almost double the market value. Who in the right mind does something like that.

              • Steve S

                Other Steve:

                Listen you can take the aav but in reality and according to the rules Dice K cost $60 mil last year and now costs $9 M, as it was made clear that the bid cant be paid over time as some teams had done in the past. And the whole argument I heard for Igawa over Ted Lilly who begged to sign here was the posting fee didnt count towards the luxury tax. Which makes it clear to me, that the Yankees didnt care that much about the bid and the dollars up front?

                And thats the whole point, it happened after the fact. What business sense did it make to bid that much for a soft tossing lefthander after the Red Sox had shot their preverbial load on Dice K. Thats a poor decision.

                JB:

                Im being spoiled? The popular sentiment here is that these three pitchers are going to be the key to a dynasty!!?? I am rooting for a championship, one championship. I dont think thats spoiled. How do you evaluate a GM? Im confused, so every time he makes a good move we just forget about the bad moves? Im happy with Brian Cashman overall, but Im not ready to get on my knees for him as this post and others are prepared to do. I mean I could sit here and justify every move he made but there comes a time when you say you screwed that one up, without qualifying it.

                • steve (different one)

                  i don’t think anyone here is defending the Igawa decision. i’m not at least. it was a mistake. it is on the mistake side of Cashman’s ledger. no doubt. just like JD Drew and Julio Lugo are on Theo’s mistake side.

                  all i am saying is that it is not relevant to your claim that the Yankees should have known what the Sox were submitting in their sealed bid. that’s asking a lot. that bid rocked the industry.

                  • Steve S

                    Then why did Mets bid $36 M and the Yankees bid slightly below that, thats a small difference when considering what these teams would pay on the open market. I dont think its out of the question for the Yankees to have a value for bidding on the player. If the Yankee bid was $30M+ the difference is minimal from $51M. Im sorry the economics dont make sense. We can look at the people in the media being shocked. But we had never seen a player of Dice K’s caliber posted since Ichiro and his posting fee was $12M. Was the Red Sox bid that insane considering what the scouting reports were on Dice K? And cosidering the fact that the Yankees and Mets were both within the vicinity.

                    And my point about Dice K is the fact that Cashman was ill prepared to make the bid which is evident by the Igawa bid. I dont think its that difficult to comprehend whats out there. The bid should be based on two things the quality of the player and what the market could bear for that player. And I think its naive to believe that a team who pays almost a quarter of a billion dollars in players salaries every year would have people who can project what the bid would have been. That is Cashman’s responsibility, considering the fact that this teams greatest need has been starting pitching.

                    • steve (different one)

                      And I think its naive to believe that a team who pays almost a quarter of a billion dollars in players salaries every year would have people who can project what the bid would have been.

                      we’re just going to have to agree to disagree on this one.

  • Bo

    There is no way the Mets can let the deal fall thru. They have to give him anything he wants. Santana has all the power right now. If they dont give him what he wants he goes back and becomes a free agent after the yr and you dont think he can get 180 mill in Nov??

    Met fans would tear down Shea if they quibble over dollars and yrs.

  • Bo

    You cannot nitpick a GM’s every move. We dont know if Igawa was him or just a marketing thing with Japan. Every team wanted Pavano. Not every GM bats 1000. You gamble on some moves. But name me a trade hes made that hasnt worked. Hows that farm system going since he got control?

    You are going to have moves that dont work out. The key is to have a healthy and productive farm system with players at all levels ready to move up and contribute. Cash has built that. Maybe the bombing on free agent pitchers finally got the attention of the front office to build thru the system. Thanks Pavano!

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

      See, you said what I wanted to say, but in a much nicer, more succinct. way.

  • Old Ranger

    Ben K…
    Very well done, about time someone stood up for the Cash man, No one is perfect.

    Joseph P/Bo…
    Also a good defence.
    I can remember when Cash was hired as GM asst. Then later as the youngest GM in the league. He had to work with the big Boss…you talk about reactionary, and lived through it. Then came the so called Tampa Cabal, they had The Bosses ear. Finally, Cash gets the control he wanted. Look what he has done; revamped the scouting system, put Oppy in charge of draft evaluation, gone out and gotten the picks that Oppy said to get, and has tried to hold on to them. Now, people say he can’t evaluate pitchers, that is not his job. His job is to organize and deal. When Stick or Oppy etc., come to him with someone we should go after, the light comes on , it’s show time

  • Larry

    Nice job, Ben, on the Cash piece. I hope the Stein’s keep him.
    Would Cash make a deal for Nathan now?

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

    Let’s get one thing straight about Carl Pavano: The disaster that is Pavano is not Brian Cashman’s fault.

    The Yankees were engaged in a competitive bidding war with three or four other teams for Pavano’s services, and when they signed him, that deal was viewed as a “win” for the Yankees who, as 2004 had shown, badly needed pitching. No one – and I mean literally no one in Major League Baseball – anticipated that Carl Pavano would make 19 starts over the course of a four-year contract.

    The deal looks bad in hindsight because Pavano wimped out on it, but it wasn’t bad then, and you can’t fault Cashman for giving Pavano that deal.

    • Steve S

      First of all there were people at the time who said it could be a mistake. Pavano had a history of arm problems and literally had put together one good season and a decent postseason. While I agree there were a lot of people in baseball pursuing him at the time (and we only know that because his agent publicized it every chance he got as “Carlpalooza”), we dont know how “everyone in MLB” perceived Carl Pavano. And Im sorry thats how Cashman has to be evaluated. Especially when there are indications that it could happen. Unlike Johan, who everyone here has proclaimed the guy will have elbow problems, when he has managed to go 200 innings ever since he was made into a full time starter. Im sorry but you guys are drinking way too much of the koolaid.

  • Count Zero

    Definitely one of your best posts Ben — loved the insight into the current situation and agree 100%. Keep up the good work!

  • Rich M.

    There is no way Cash could win on the Dice-k situation. Those people that criticize him for not making the highest bid or knowing what another teams sealed bid would be , are the same people that would be critical if we did get Dice-K and he put up the type of league average numbers that he did.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

    Steve, I’m going to start a new bit down here, since our block up top is a bit long.

    I’m not saying Cashman is blameless for Pavano. Yes, there were skeptics at the time, and they were right to be that way.

    What I’m saying is that I don’t hold that as a powerful negative. It’s certainly not adding points to Cashman’s legacy. But the full disaster of the move shouldn’t be placed on Cashman. Remember, we had just collapsed to Boston. Surely, George was doing everything he could to bring in more pitching.

    So yes, he takes blame. But there are enough positives in my mind to outweigh it.

    • Steve S

      And I think we are in agreement about his positives. But I dont think the positives absolve Cashman of his mistakes, which is what Ben is suggesting. I agree that he shouldn’t be fired. But I also dont think its fair to evaluate him on his long term plan. If he just started that would be fine. But he has had control since 2005 and he has still spent a lot of money. And in recent years when it was his call, he has made mistakes, while making some good decisions. I think Pavano is one of them regardless of what popular belief was at the time. He gets paid to avoid those problems. And if Pavano pitched the way he did in 2004, then he would be a bargain at $10 M a year. But he didnt so Brian has to suffer the consequences.

  • nick blasioli

    i used to think the world of mr cashman…but after the santana debacle..iam very disappointed in him…

    • Rob_in_CT

      Santana debacle, eh? Heh. I look at it as the Santana success. We’ll see who is right, I guess.

      As for Pavano, yes it’s on Cashman, but it doesn’t stick out like the Jaret Wright contract. Wright was obviously a bad idea at the time and, as far as I can remember, nobody else was much interested in his services. The Yanks go and sign him for what, 3 years? That’s just boneheaded, and although others give the “credit” to a faction in Tampa, I can’t say so I have to assign the blame to Cashman. Pavano was not obviously a bad idea at the time – though yes, there were those who saw warning signs, and they proved correct (moreso than even they believed, IIRC). Other teams wanted him, including smart teams (Red Sox, Tigers), but everything that could go wrong, did. Oof.

      I’m not at all claiming Cash is the best GM. He’s not. He’s solid, though, and I like his current plan. A lot.

  • billyballa

    Steve, you are so wrong its ridiculous. At the time of the bidding war for Pavano the Marlins wanted to keep him. There front office viewed him as an Ace along with Beckett. They knew they werent going to win in a bidding war with the top 4 market teams. So 4 top market teams went after Pavano and he picked NY. NY gave him the highest bid and he wanted NY all along as he grew up a Yankee fan in Conn. If you want to blame Cashman and his foreign Asian scouts for Igawa, fine but overall the Cash has been in the fire and took his lumps but got the ship back on course with his plan. Gene Michael rebuilt the team from the minors in the 90′s during Steinbrenners hiatus, Cashman is following suit except he was doing it in a time when the Yankees refused to give up on that dynasty bringing in the Giambis and Sheffields of the world. He didn’t have a say in either choice. The man is rebuilding the farm and the team from the bottom up and its refreshing because we all know that being consistent and building a dynasty comes from within and not by throwing money at the best free agent who will be payed until he is 40. The one knock on the Cash is his handling of the bullpen, but everyone knows that is a crapshoot. So leave the Cash alone, he’s steading the ship amongst turmoil all while keeping the Yankees a contending team.

    • Steve S

      First of all it all goes back to what everyone here likes to do. Blame George Steinbrenner for every bad signing in the past 10 years and give Cashman credit for every good move. Im arguing that he has to take his lumps while receiving his praise. The guy also traded Ted Lilly for Jeff Weaver, or was that George as well. He gave up Lowell for three pitchers who never amounted to anything.

      I also love the revisionist Yankee fan history. Gene Michael rebuilt the farm system but he also managed to make a series of brilliant trades and signings. And all those teams that won championships were led by starting pitching that were acquired through trade and free agency, except for Pettitte. Lets be honest there were a plethora of prospects in the 90′s that ended up flopping and we were fortunate to trade them: see Ruben Rivera, Ricky Ledee, Russ Davis, Bobby Munoz, Wily Mo Pena, Ed Yarnell, Mark Hutton, Sterling Hitchcock. I wont even delve into the Wade Taylor, Scott Kamenieki, Jeff Johnson disaster (who belong to Stick as well). And by the way Gene Michael gets his due because he managed to hold on to Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Bernie Williams, Andy Pettitte, and Mariano Rivera. Thats a small group amongst a lot of people who got a lot of hype. But you surrounded them with the right people. For example Joe Girardi, Jimmy Key, Wade Boggs, Paul Oneill, David Wells, and of course David Cone.

      And that is what is so offensive about this alleged dynasty building. Ill say it for the millionth time, how do you plan on building a dynasty before you actually win ONE CHAMPIONSHIP. And without the benefit of hindsight was the team in 1996 built for a dynasty? Or were we as fans simply happy to win it. And Ill say this, in 2003 and 2004 Baseball America had the Yankee system rated terribly (even though they produced Wang, Melky and Cano which is more than most teams can say). This year they were helped by three rookie pitchers, one of whom was drafted in 2005 and the other didnt spend an entire year in the minor leagues. And thats not even addressing the litany of other guys who are available. While that is remarkable, its clear that the Yankees can restock the farm system relatively quickly when they want. And I give Cashman all the credit in the world for that. However, no one has addressed the point I made regarding the current constitution of the roster for 2008 isnt a game of chess but Russian Roullette. He has a $200M 90 win team supported by kids who need another year of development and care before they can be the foundation of a championship team. I just dont know the reality of the New York Yankees in the midst of a pennant race keeping Phil Hughes to a 90 pitch count. And my greatest concern is that in 2009 Joba, Phil or IPK are shut down or injured (a la Mark Prior) because they pitched the Yankees into the ALCS but in the interim they destroyed their arms.

      Again since some people cant get it, just because Pavano was pursued by every team doesnt make it okay that Cashman did. I know it doesnt sound fair but thats the only way to evaluate him.

      • steve (different one)

        almost all of those prospects you listed were traded by Watson or Cashman, not Gene Michael.

        so i guess by being misinformed you are actually giving Cashman some credit.

        • Steve S

          Other Steve:

          I was addressing the point that everyone believes that Gene Michael somehow authored those championship teams with home grown talent. Those late 90
          ‘s teams were as much free agency and trades as they were young talent.

          And again, I like Cashman and I didnt like the Hughes/Johan deal, however I dont think Cashman deserves the praise he is getting in this post. And I dont think everyone is being fair to the Johan trade supporters when they no one is realistically evaluating how Cashman is willing start this season go with three kids with innings caps making up the majority of the rotation, and a bullpen filled with unknowns. Everyone is praising him for protecting the “big three” when his strategy may put them in harms way.

          • Steve S

            And i dont have a problem giving Cash credit but I dont know how that means we should ignore his terrible mistakes and pat him on the back for what amounts to nothing so far. He gets all the credit in the world for those trades but that doesnt mean is infallible.

            • steve (different one)

              i don’t think it’s fair to use the “putting the big 3 in harm’s way” argument until something like that actually happens.

              the Yankees have stated the kids will have innings caps, and i see no reason whatsoever to believe they will violate that.

          • steve (different one)

            I was addressing the point that everyone believes that Gene Michael somehow authored those championship teams with home grown talent. Those late 90’s teams were as much free agency and trades as they were young talent.

            fair enough. i was confused by that paragraph.

      • Count Zero

        “First of all it all goes back to what everyone here likes to do. Blame George Steinbrenner for every bad signing in the past 10 years and give Cashman credit for every good move. Im arguing that he has to take his lumps while receiving his praise.”

        That’s a valid criticism.

        However, you’re doing the same thing to some extent, I think. For example, you’re calling out Cashman on the Dice-K, Igawa scenario but just a few years earlier he reaped a coup named Matsui in a similar scenario. Posting numbers aside, Godzilla at $7.5MM/yr was a lot better value than Dice-K at $9MM/yr. Meanwhile some guys in Queens overpaid for the wrong Matsui just a year later. So…won one, lost one on the Japanese front.

        And while you point out the brilliance of Michael in picking up Girardi, Molina was a pretty similar success story for Cash last year. Abreu was just plain highway robbery in ’06. Again, I’m not calling Cashman a genius, but you’re choosing to ignore just as many of his successes as some are ignoring his failures.

        All in all, Cashman has won some and lost some. He’s not the greatest GM in baseball. But the overall strategy of the day seems sound to me, and as has been pointed out numerous times before, having a $200MM payroll doesn’t necessarily make a GM’s job easier as many people seem to believe. In fact, I would argue that it’s easier to have $90MM — because then no one is going to blame you for not trading away Hughes to get Santana since they all know you can’t afford him. If you’re the Oakland As, keeping Hughes is a no-brainer and cannot even be critiqued! Cashman must constantly balance the wisdom of spending on FAs vs. building from within.

        • Steve S

          Matsui was a straight free agent and was as much a business move as a baseball move. Ill give Cashman the credit but that probably one of those decisions that he didnt make. And I want to make this clear, I dont believe that the Dice K/ Igawa scenario is the worst thing in the world. But again its a mark against Brian which is being ignored here.

          And Steve, I agree but we all know how this team and this City works. What is the reality that they protect these kids arms if there is a chance at a World Series. And to me its Cashman’s fault, especially considering the question marks in the bullpen (Which could be answered).

  • E-ROC

    Didn’t Pavano take less when he signed with the Yankees? Where’s Miss Cleo? People must’ve predicted Pavano’s rash of injuries, so CashMoney’s fault for those injuries happen. I wonder if the same people would say the same thing years later if the Yanks acquired Santana. Paid him the money. Has the same rash of injuries like Pavano. Then his contract becomes an albatross. At a $25 million annual clip.

    People need to let it go. CashMoney finally has control of the franchise and Yanks reaping the benefits of it. See Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, IPK, Horne, Cano, Melky, etc.

  • Curramba

    I couldn’t agree more with this I also trust that Cash’s direction is the right one for the Yankees. The Giambis, Mooses, Vasquezs and others have not brought a championship to NYY why not give the kids a chance to prove Cash right. Santana by himself is not the answer and giving up that much talent for one player will only hurt the Yankees.

    • steve (different one)

      i don’t think it is fair to lump Moose in with the others.

      the original Mussina contract was one of the few ever successful long-term big money deals given to a pitcher.

      the Yankees got 1200 innings of 3.80 ERA in one of the greatest offensive environments in baseball history.

      now, i know what you meant, so this isn’t really directed at you. but think Yankees fans in general tend to underrate Mussina because he’s a little cranky with the media and also because in some of his better postseason starts, he didn’t get the run support so some of his better efforts have been forgotten.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    And I was a fan in the 80s so you’re preaching to the choir.

  • Moose

    Ben K,

    I’m assuming your the one who wants to be the lawyer? If so, what are you doing to further that goal? Are you in law school yet? Paralegal? Or just a great writer?

    I’m curious b/c i’m a lawyer myself, and if you can speak as well as you write, I really think you got something here.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      Thanks, Moose! Appreciate the praise.

      Right now, I’m working as a legal assistant for in-house counsel at a company whose name I’d rather keep quiet for now, and I just got my law school acceptance letter last week. Seems like that’s what I’ll be doing come the end of August.

      • Moose

        Good for you. What school?

        And what kind of law are you looking to practice? And please don’t say Sports Law, haha.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

          I’m heading off to NYU Law. As for what kind, right now, I have no idea really. I’ll have to see what interests me.

          • Moose

            That’s excellent. Congrats. You’ll be fine either way.

  • Curramba

    Steve S,
    How were the Yankees supposed to know that Boston would go nuts? Were the supposed have been a fly on the wall at Boston’s meetings? No other team even came close to stupid amount Boston bid on a pitcher who mediocre to say the least last year. No, you can’t blame Cash for being smart and over bidding for a pitcher like Dice-K

    • Jake

      No, but you can blame him for turning around and overbidding for a far inferior pitcher, who’s so bad his name doesn’t even come up in possible candidates for the 2008 rotation.

  • Jake

    I don’t think anyone here is saying Cashman is a bad GM. I happen to think he’s a really good GM in a tough front office in a tough city. But he’s hardly without his mistakes. I’m sure he would admit as much himself.

  • Curramba

    Steve,
    If that’s the case Cash also made a great trade in bringing in Justice, who btw helped us win the WS in 2000. No not all Cash’s moves have been brilliant like you mentioned the Lowell move and Cash himself admitted that was one of the worst moves he ever made but that is par for the course for any manager not all moves will be brilliant. Personally, I think the good moves he has made far out way the bad moves he’s made. You say that King George and Tampa contigent is not to blame for some the moves of the past 7 years and I disagree. The Shef signing had nothing to do with Cash nor did bringing in Johnson. The fact of the matter is that Cash’s watch really didn’t start until 05. Look closely how he’s done with the system and traded aging players and got back some quality for both Johnson and Shef.

  • Clayton

    I think the most overlooked aspect has been his in-season trades. We’ve gotten Betemit, Molina, Abreau, Chacon etc. for spare parts or less. He really shines when the lights are on during the season

  • Curramba

    Steve (different),
    I know that Moose has had several outstanding performances in the post season. I am not taking that away from him. He’s one of the reason we got to the 2001 WS but he’s also had his share of flops.

  • Curramba

    Jake,
    No, I didn’t say Cash wasn’t to blame for that signing and I think someone else already mentioned blame for that. Cash himself also accepted blame for it a while noting that the same scout that recommened EL Duque (anyone remember that guy) recommened Igawa so he listened to his people but it hasn’t worked out with this guy yet.

  • Curramba

    Steve,
    I love Stick Michael’s line of collecting as many gold nuggets as possible and letting the best one float to the top. Guess what during his rebuilding the best ones float to the top the Jeters, Bernies, Mo’s, Posada’s of the the minors and then he did supplement them with reasonable signings and trades. Like the Oneill trade and I think the Tino and Nelson trade were on his watch.

  • steve (different one)

    i think the other thing that people miss is that Cashman is a Gene Michael protege to some extent. since he regained his power in 2005, he has revived Michael’s role in the front office, which had been marginalized in previous years.

    Michael is one of Cashman’s advisors, and i think that is to Cashman’s credit. a lot of what happens to run a baseball team is NOT actually done by the GM. but it is the GM’s job to surround himself with good people.

  • Steve S

    I should also say Im tired of the hearkening back to the dynasty years as some kind of ubiquitous answer to why the Yankees haven’t won a World Series. Gene Michael did a great job but lets be honest there was some luck in involved that he drafted a hall of fame shortstop and signed a hall of fame closer. Additionally, the economic landscape of baseball was completely different. Its not an accurate assessment. The international and specifically the Latin market has been exploited by every team. teams are signing their star players at a much earlier stage. And guys like David Cone or Pedro Martnez or Roger Clemens do not become available through trade anymore (except this Johan scenario). So this Cashman youth movement – Stick comparison is ridiculous. Cashman has now found a major loop hole in the draft that he will be able to exploit for a long time. So there is nothing to say that he cant consistently have a deep farm system to BOTH add talent to the major league roster and trade for other talent. WHICH IS WHAT HE IS HOPEFULLY DOING AND I AGREE THAT I LIKE WHAT HE HAS DONE EXCEPT FOR THE FACT that he has put a huge burden on these kids which could lead to their exposure.

  • Old Ranger

    Amen to that Steve T.O.O.
    Would not have written it any better, good show. 27/08.

  • eric from morrisania

    I don’t blame Cashman for acquiring Pavano. It was a worth gamble; Pavano was an 28 year old potential ace coming off an 18-8 season with a 3.00 ERA and a postseason where he dominated (2-0, 1.40 ERA in 19 IP). Remember, before he became Mary Infirmary, he was thought of highly enough to be the jewel of the packages used to acquire Pedro Martinez and Cliff Floyd in their primes in ’97 and ’02, respectively, and that if the Marlins had been the Dodgers, they would have given him 5 years and 55 million and he never would have hit the market. What I do blame Cashman for is for not pulling the plug and dealing him to the Cardinals or the Rockies or some other pitching-desparate NL longshot in either of the past two winters and recouping some of our investment when we had the chance.

    And Dice-K… please, somebody shoot me if I hear one more person complain about that. Dice-K is an average major league pitcher…very slightly above average at best. In 2007, He went 15-12 with a 4.40 ERA and a 1.324 WHIP. He gave up 25 homers and 80 walks. He gave up 100 runs, all of ‘em earned, which was 6th worst in the AL, and tied with Tim Wakefield. He had 18 Quality Starts out of 32 overall, a percentage that was lower than Gil Meche, Jeremy Guthrie, Jake Westbrook, Carlos Silva, Miguel Batista, and ROGER CLEMENS. The gyroball is a myth, his fastball is flat and hittable, and the main reason he’s decent is that he throws a lot of innings, which allows his great Boston offense (5.72 run support, 14th best among all AL pitchers with at least 140 IP) to come back and get him off the hook.

    He’s a decent young pitcher who’s upside at being only 26 is counterbalanced by the fact that he’s already a polished pitcher not likely to improve dramatically, while MLB hitters will adjust to him (just like they adjusted to Nomo, Irabu, Ishii, Ohka, Otsuka, Yoshii, Okajima, etc., etc.) Would I take him over Mike Mussina, right now? Sure. But even if you put aside the $51M posting fee, he still got a contract for 6 years, $52M (with an extra $8M in incentives)…

    Almost $9M a year for an average pitcher who has just as good a chance at staying average or declining as he does of improving, PLUS $51M UP FRONT JUST TO TALK TO HIM, is not the worst thing in the world that Brian Cashman ever failed to do.

    You wanna blame Cash for something, blame him for Igawa. But remember that Igawa may have had Steinbrenner’s hand in it too… I’m sure I’m not alone in imagining Big Stein popping off at Cash and ordering him to “find us a Japanese stud too!”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJRNASYFYsY

    • dan

      Do you have a blog or something? I couldn’t agree more with your opinion on these issues. To add to Pavano– he was offered over $50million for 4 years from the Tigers and turned it down. Also, the two combined years before signing his Yankees contract, he pitched 423.1 innings. Someone with a B-Ref PI subscription could look up where that ranks among pitchers from 2003-2004, but I’d bet it’s very close to the top.

  • Curramba

    Steve,
    The Yankees will protect these kids. They are not going past pitch counts and innings or did you miss the Joba rules last year? No, these are not the Cubs with Dusty Baker. Man, he all by himself destroyed those golden arms. The Yankees have been protecting Hughes since he came into the system and have done the same with Chamberlain and Kennedy. This will continue this year and other guys will get to pitch while these kids get rested.

    • Steve S

      I didnt miss the Joba rules but did you miss how the Joba rules were consistently altered and evolved as he progressed and became more and more dominant? And again Brian can control things to an extent but in the end if lets say Hughes reaches 185 innings come September, assuming about 30-32 starts, and he puts up good if not great numbers. Theoretically he shouldn’t throw another pitch. Let alone start game 2 of a division series. BUT is Brian Cashman going to tell Girardi shut him down. That a completely likely scenario especially for Hughes who is on the team and already has a spot in the rotation. This isnt Dusty Baker, its Joe Girardi who I have high hopes for, but Brian has no idea how he will react to the pressure.

      And as for the Pavano stuff. he also managed to put together 648 innings from 1998-2002. And those were his age 22-26 seasons. Those are supposed to be the years he stays healthy. So it wasnt that crazy that he managed to put together two healthy seasons and then fell apart. And Ill say it again, just because Detrioit and Boston wanted him doesnt mean Cashman should have signed him.

      Additionally, George is in the midst of a terrible mental disease, and according to everyone here Cashman has only had the org in his hands from 2005. So the George qualification may work on certain things, it doesnt apply to Igawa, thats on Cash.

      And the point about Dice K isnt about how good he was, which by the way even at league average he would have been better than 3/5 of the rotation and would arguably be the #2 or # 3 starter on this team. And the stats you used are so misleading. Look at his peripherals, he struck out 200 in 204. He isnt worth $100 million. But thats my point, id rather have made that mistake then a $50 M mistake for a guy who isnt even on the team. And Dice K is what makes the Igawa move look so bad.

      I hate the fact that Im sitting here bashing Cash and stroking Dice K but its not being honest when we all collectively praise Cashman and ignore some of his major deficiencies. And Ill give him credit but Im concerned that he has been caught up in this whole reduce payroll thing. I feel as though the payroll should remain the same while they maintain a great farm system. In the past three years Josh Beckett and Johan Santana have been traded and he hasnt brought either one of these guys here. Im not saying at the cost of Hughes but perhaps he did owe these guys something to stem the tide. And if he is building for the future then I think my concerns are legitimate.

  • Curramba

    Eric,
    I am with you, I wouldn’t be surprised if he gave Cash some type of demand just because the Yankees had just lost the bidding (a ridiculous one at that) for Dice-K. I have feeling the Yankees are going to showcase this guy to trade him to NL and get something back for him.

  • CB

    If the Yankees had acquired Dice-K Yankee fans would be killing Cashman for having wasted so much money on him.

    Dice-K was not very good this year and was in no way worth the amount of money it took to get him in terms of the bid and his salary. He has poor command, walks too many hitters and pitches up in the zone. He’s an AL average pitcher who they are shelling out $17-18 million per year on.

    How is the yankees not getting him a bad thing?

    That’s the great thing about this Dice-K situation and why Cashman haters bring it up again and again. They could bash him for it either way – if he had gotten him they would have roasted him because Dice-K has underperformed. But when he didn’t get him – no problem – criticize him anyway and just ignore Dice-K’s performance.

    How can people on the one hand criticize him for getting Pavano and wasting money (who was the best pitcher available at that time) and at the same time criticize him for not getting Dice-K who has also been a relative waste of money?

  • Realsit

    Wow Cashman sucks! Well , not according to me but to some of you who undoubtedly managed at least a pee wee leauge team ;-)???

    Is it just me or does anyone in their right mind not see that Minny was asking for MUCH more for Santana than anyone else? How can any Yankee fan feel slighted over NOT paying more in prospects than the Mets and possibly RedSox??? This is good business and Cash knew the Yanks weren’t being dealt with on the same level as the other two teams.

    I see the DiceK nonsense has reared it’s head????? One question , IF the Yanks bid 50 mil AND payed him the same contract wouldn’t they be getting lambasted about now? I mean all this for a .500 pitcher with almost 4.00 ERA?????? The second time a team faced him he wasn’t nearly as successful and that trend is more probable than not. Plus how could any team see the 50 mil posting fee coming? That was nonsense and will come back to bite them in the ass.

    Pavano was the most sought after FA pitcher of that year and he could have signed anywhere. It was considered a victory at the time and I am sure there are a few hypocrites who were hailing the move then only to bash it now. Wow , hindsight is 20/20.

    Lastly, the direction the Yanks are going through in terms of farm development and actually improving the big league team with that infusion is incredible. It wasn’t that long ago that the farm was a joke and a return to the 80′s was in full return….one I lived through and was fearful of revisiting.

    Just give Cash a break is all I am trying to say , no one is perfect and he is far better than many of you are giving him credit for.

  • Realsit

    One further thing…………..how could any Yankee fan want the team to pay far more , in terms of prospects , than the competitors in the trade??? That makes absolutely no sense at all???????????????

    I wouldn’t , nor many sports writers I have read , trade Hughes for the Met’s package…..IPK either. I am sure there are many who would agree and there was no way The Twins weren’t getting one of them to center a package around…..at least that was what was reported even after the initial trade was ok’d by Minny and the Mets.

    • Old Ranger

      Realist…
      Thank goodness you showed up. I sometimes disagree with you, but in this case I find myself agreeing with you. Like I have said before, there are a few of you regular posters, that are much better than I at getting the point across. Thank you, you saved me a rant. Next post I will go out of my way to disagree, just kidding. 27/08

      • Realist

        Hi Old Ranger! I enjoy , though don’t always agree with , your comments as well….I agree more often than not though :-) .

        I guess some of us have seen enough over the years that we have to set things straight , that we don’t agree with? Us old timers have seen a thing or two and often see them reocurring in certain scenarios…hence , “he who does not learn from history is destined to relive it.”…or something to that effect ;-) ? So we try and educate those who seem more impulsive? Though some of them are thick headed as well ..lol , including myself ;-)

        Be well my friend!

  • Jeff

    Ben it seems like you have an opinion that Cashman is the all time hero of the Yankee universe and in my opinion it is a bit much… I really don’t care if you like him you are entitled to it and your opinion is your opinion but your arguments against those who don’t love him like you do are a bit condescending. Let me explain -
    “But we as fans shouldn’t be so critical as Cashman”. first off it is bullshit that you try to tell all your bloggers how to think, after all some of us like ot think for ourselves. Like Jeter says fans can boo if they want to… Not sure if you prefer everyone stroking eachother for saving the “Big Three” – who by the way will be pitching out of the bottom three pitching slots in the rotation… if thats the case cool its your site but Jesus man is it so bad to have some difference of opinion?
    Moreover -
    “And herein, my RAB friends, lies the rub: A few vocal Yankee bloggers have been ridiculous harsh in their treatment of Brian Cashman this year. They have questioned his every move as GM, and they don’t feel that the Yankees have three viable pitchers on their hands in Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes and Ian Patrick Kennedy.”
    – First off I don’t argue that we have a viable rotation but we missed out on having a dominant rotation at the price of a guy that will have to fight for the fifth spot and he only project to be a third starter. Its not a comparison of Hughes because getting Santana didn’t require Hughes.
    - Second questioning your GM, managers, players, is what people do. Isn’t that what this site is all about? If Santana does continue to dominate and our team shows he could have greatly helped us – Why is questioning this move wrong for those of us who think our lineup has gotten so much attention as we have walked out in years past an mediocre rotation with guys like Pavano and Igawa. I would have been for having an ace that could have taken the pressure off Joba and Hughes. My opinion and I’d like to think that its not that ridiculous.
    Just a last final thought… I think this blog has a lot of great minds you included but again it would be nice if everyone didn’t have pet each other for thinking alike.

  • Jake

    Some of you need to take a deep breath. No one here is bashing Cashman. But is it unacceptable to question any of his moves? Isn’t debating the merits of these moves part of what makes sports enjoyable (and the reason blogs like this exist)? When you start hysterically calling people “Cashman haters” or “hypocrites” you make any sort of meaningful dialogue impossible.

    Is it outlandish to say that Cashman is a good GM, but the Pavano and Igawa signings were mistakes? Or to say that it’s good he managed to keep Hughes, but a package for Santana built around Kennedy might have helped this team win now and served as a bridge to our youth-oriented future? Is that somehow disloyal to suggest?

    There’s room for disagreement.

    • Jake

      Looks like I stepped on Jeff’s toes a little.

  • Realsit

    Well I still say why would you want the Yankees to pay a higher price? It is not a question about loyalty , one of common sense….not trying to insult anyone , just wondering why anyone would want their team to pay more? It isn’t good business and questioning what Cash didn’t do should be addressed less than why Minny wanted more from the Yanks than Sox or even less the Mets. Its really quite simple and I am amazed more aren’t upset with Minny giving him away than the Yank’s refusal to pony up much more?

    As far as my “hypocrites” statement , it was pointed at people … no one on here , just in general , who screamed for the Pavano move to happen. Then when it went south , it was Cashman’s fault? It is a silly argument as no one could have seen Pavano turn into the pile of crap he is now. At the time it was a great move , in hindsight it wasn’t…you can’t blame Cashman for that as anyone who followed the Yanks back then was all for the signing ;-)

  • Realist

    Lol , I just noticed my moniker was wrong….doh! Fixed now…..please hurry up Spring Training :-) !!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jeff

    Realist… do you expect to win bids by paying a lower price? Common sense says to me that you have to come in just above the lowest bid. That the Twins were trying to stretch our offer is part of the process but in the end we were given a chance to submit a bid without Hughes and if that is what it was going to take I wouldn’t have been miles away from the table.
    You are right on Pavano I didn’t disagree with his signing. I do not hold this one against Cashman.
    Some of my complaints towards your hero is he can’t negotiate a contract. Clemens was the greatest example of this. I think this offseason was some more proof. Mo would have been in demand but we shot way through the roof. To Cashman’s credit he allowed the Sox to do it with Matsusaka. I do believe that if we won the bid Cashman would have gotten soaked by Boras much worse than the Sox did (that is just speculation however – but based on his track record). Last on the money I believe that you could go down most of our roster and shave a million or so to what each player makes annually… Santana becomes free.
    Another which I mentioned above is that our offense carries so much weight while the rotation isn’t the best by any stretch of the imagination. Perhaps through trades that he could have gotten creative with (while he commands such a large budget) the team could have attempted to become more balanced. If you look at a lot of other teams like the Angels for example they do a lot with so little offense. (The only big bat they have should have been taken over old Schef – but oh wait that was not him only the good things are) In my mind pitching has so much more of an impact on how a team will fare. The teams that we won with in the early Torre era were those that benifited from this.
    There are some things you can credit Cashman for but calling the guy who outspends the rest of the leage buy fortunes and puts out teams that aren’t geared for winning in the playoffs doesn’t make him so worthy of being considered great.

    • Realist

      Well the lowest bid DID win this trade…..so your point is obviously skewed? I know that the Twins supposedly offered a package around Melky and IPK , prior to accepting the Met’s ridiculous offer. That is still far superior to the Met’s package and if you or any other Yankee fan deems that plausible , then I am wasting my breath?

      I never said Cash was my hero….where in the hell did you read that in my comments? I clearly wrote , “Just give Cash a break is all I am trying to say , no one is perfect and he is far better than many of you are giving him credit for.”

      If you get he is my “hero” out of that then you either have me mistaken for someone else or didn’t read my entire comment? I don’t view people who play sports , run sports teams , act or the like as “heros”. That is a term reserved for people who actually make a differance to society…..

  • http://www.mcfarlandpub.com/book-2.php?id=978-0-7864-3211-0 yks_5

    Hmm, was this site created by a Cashman family member? Of course he has presided over playoff teams and the demands of his job are staggering. Also staggering is that the team is entering it’s 6th year without a major-league quality first baseman and to say the bullpen is a work in progress is an understatement. My argument against putting a bronze bust of Cashman in the new version of Monument Park (as it almost sounds like some commentators here would propose) is that everyone needs to recall the championship teams of 1998-2000 were assembled by Mr. Michael and Mr. Watson – not by Cashman. Trading for Clemens and Justice was just icing on championship cake teams that didn’t even require their presence to win. (and to really be a Monday-morning quarterback David Wells won 17 games for a 3rd place Toronto team in 1999 & 20 games in 2000 so you can say Yankee fans would have been better off – or at least spared all the Clemens embarrassment – Piazza & Mitchell mess – if that trade had not even taken place). Cashman deserves lots of credit but his hits are far, far outweighed by his misses.

  • Steve

    I wouldn’t take every word of this article as being truthful or without an agenda. This is Yankee office politics playing out in the NY press. I would prefer NOT to read such articles, but its always been done this way in NY so why should it stop now. I don’t take the threats of him leaving too seriously. He went all the way to the wire on his last contract, so he’ll likely do the same this time. Hank has already offered him and extension, so its already clear he wants him back.

    Of course Brian wants more power. I think everyone in America who has a boss would like the same thing. I think Hank and Hal have deferred to him so far in almost every instance. They gave him full authority to interview managerial candidates. They hired the manager he wanted them to hire. After some internal debate they ended up not trading Hughes. I can’t imagine he’d be too unhappy with how the off season went. And eventually Hank will learn to shut his piehole and then he’ll have nothing to complain about.

  • Pickett

    You are all missing the point here. No one is suggesting that everyone drink the Kool-aid. The point is that the trade did not happen because of the insanely high cost involved for a pitcher whose best days may be behind him. Did you notice the drop off in the last 6 weeks of the season? I did. So, Hughes, Melky, and another top prospect or two plus $150 million for ONE GUY and a pitcher at that? Pitchers’ arms have a tendency to fall off. Does anyone with half a brain really believe that the Red Sox were interested in Santana? They definitely were not and thats why in the end the Mets got him for diddly. There was no market for him, ultimately. This was an excellent business decision by Cashman which sets us up for next year when around $60 million comes off line. The problem with Yankee fans is a destructive lack of patience. Let Cashman do his job and slowly and carefully build the next championship team. He is not done yet. It may not come this year but it’s coming, and soon. Give the man some air and don’t steal all the oxygen. Check out next years’ list of potential free agents. BTW – Dice-K gets his comeuppance in 2008 as the league catches up with him and that flat no-movement fastball of his.

  • Bart

    I would offer that we stop arguing the historical Cashman and examine this one failure and what it wil mean for the 2008-2012 teams.

    Cashman may well be the best GM of the last 20 years and a true GM genius, but he blew this trade – like Tiger missing a 3 foot put for the US Open – or Steinbrat did — because they didn’t pay attention to the end game.

    Cashman’s job is to put a playoff competitive Yankee Team on the Field – there are no alternatives and there are no second or third measures of effectiveness. He has the major league core (good for 3 years — we desperately pray — before it is done), he has the farm system with prospects, and he has more cash to deploy with less future risk than any other GM.

    He has several opportunities every year to improve the team. He has said in the press that he is always looking to improve the team.

    Using Kennedy and Melky as the core of a Santana trade – Cash-Stein failed to improve the team in a significant way. Since we’re all (or many of us are) stat oriented — we can in November 2011 look back and determine who was wiser – those who wanted the trade and those who did not. My prediction is that Sanatana will have contributed more wins than IPK and Melky combined — some one else will have to wrry park and team adjustments — but like golf with no handicaps – straight up — Sanatana is worth more.

    As to the timing and critical nature of the deal, he Yankees will prove deperate for exactly what Sanatana has been a horse – #1 front line pitcher able to control the game.

    Those of us who have been fans for 50 years fear the dark ages of the late 60′s and post Reggie teams.

    Give Cashman a pass on all the deals he had no way of controlling – he could have controlled this one as he could have controlled Beltran. I would defend him as GM for the next three years to see if his strategy works — but i also fear the Steins will panic at the near misses and failures and then destroy any strategy and overpay for Sbathia or whoever. As to $ for the contract – it was nealy set by the Zito deal last year and the Yankees wil shed payroll during the Sanatana years making it lessof an issue for the team. Said differently id the Mets could afford Sanatana so too could the Yankees.

  • Raf

    About those $200m payrolls…

    top 10 salaries 2007
    Jason Giambi $ 23,428,571
    Alex Rodriguez $ 22,708,525
    Derek Jeter $ 21,600,000
    Andy Pettitte $ 16,000,000
    Bobby Abreu $ 15,000,000
    Johnny Damon $ 13,000,000
    Hideki Matsui $ 13,000,000
    Jorge Posada $ 12,000,000
    Mike Mussina $ 11,070,423
    Mariano Rivera $ 10,500,000

    2006
    Alex Rodriguez $ 21,680,727
    Derek Jeter $ 20,600,000
    Jason Giambi $ 20,428,571
    Mike Mussina $ 19,000,000
    Randy Johnson $ 15,661,427
    Johnny Damon $ 13,000,000
    Hideki Matsui $ 13,000,000
    Jorge Posada $ 12,000,000
    Gary Sheffield $ 10,756,171
    Mariano Rivera $ 10,500,000

    2005
    Alex Rodriguez $ 26,000,000
    Derek Jeter $ 19,600,000
    Mike Mussina $ 19,000,000
    Randy Johnson $ 16,000,000
    Kevin Brown $ 15,714,286
    Jason Giambi $ 13,428,571
    Gary Sheffield $ 13,000,000
    Bernie Williams $ 12,357,143
    Jorge Posada $ 11,000,000
    Mariano Rivera $ 10,500,000

    2004
    Alex Rodriguez $ 22,000,000
    Derek Jeter $ 18,600,000
    Mike Mussina $ 16,000,000
    Kevin Brown $ 15,714,286
    Gary Sheffield $ 13,000,000
    Jason Giambi $ 12,428,571
    Bernie Williams $ 12,357,143
    Mariano Rivera $ 10,890,000
    Jorge Posada $ 9,000,000
    Javier Vazquez $ 9,000,000

    2003
    Derek Jeter $ 15,600,000
    Raul Mondesi $ 13,000,000
    Bernie Williams $ 12,357,143
    Mike Mussina $ 12,000,000
    Andy Pettitte $ 11,500,000
    Jason Giambi $ 11,428,571
    Mariano Rivera $ 10,500,000
    Roger Clemens $ 10,100,000
    Jorge Posada $ 8,000,000
    Sterling Hitchcock $ 6,000,000

    The reason the payroll is so high, it seems, is because the Yanks have retained or otherwise acquired players that other teams would otherwise would not have for whatever reason.

  • mustang

    Our start by saying that I like Cashman. What he has done with our farm system alone has been great. However, I think he totally drop the ball on the Santana deal. He seems to be so caught up in the “Big Three” and putting his personnal stamp on this team that he is willing to risk the 2008 season. I realize the potential of the “Big Three”, but i’m not really to crown them like a lot of you on RAB are. I have seen enough baseball and the Kevin Mass and K-Generation of the world to no better. The worse part is that we could of had both Santana and the youth movement. Now we rest the 2008 season on three young arms with less than 200 MLB innings. So write all the beautiful things you want about Cashman if the Yankees don’t make the playoff or if the ” Big Three” fail he WILL BE FIRED. I for one hope that it works, but i just wouldn’t of taken the risk.