The Cashman conundrum

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The report on Phil Hughes's Wednesday start

Fact: Since 2005, when Brian Cashman supposedly “took control” of the Yankees, the team has gotten, record-wise, progressively worse.

Fact: The Yankees are witnessing a lot of money coming off the books in about two months. Jason Giambi‘s contract, minus an option, will be up. Mike Mussina and Andy Pettitte will be free agents. Bobby Abreu will no longer be a ward of the Yankees. The list goes on, but the savings are quite alluring.

Fact: Brian Cashman on Thursday both took blame for this season and expressed his support for the Yankees youth movement.

So where is this leading? Why, to a discussion, albeit a brief one, on Brian Cashman of course.

With this confluence of circumstances all arriving at the same time on September’s doorstep, the anti-Cashman voices will continue to make their cases. I’ll admit it; right now, these folks have some compelling arguments. The Yankees aren’t very good this year; they’re going to miss the playoffs for the first time since the first years of the Clinton Administration; and the kids — as Melky, Phil and Ian have shown — weren’t really all right.

There are, of course, other reasons for the Yanks’ disappointing season. They’ve been hamstrung by injuries. No one expected Phil Hughes to throw just 22 innings and then come down with an injury. Chien-Ming Wang‘s Lisfranc disaster has resulted in more Sidney Ponson outings than I ever hoped to see. Jorge Posada‘s shoulder problem has been more disastrous than anyone expected, and Hideki Matsui‘s aching knee cost the Yankees these years as well. Now with Joba — nearly the Yankee ace in July — has been MIA for a few weeks, that the Yanks are even as close as they are is a minor miracle.

So as the Yanks head into a stretch drive and a postseason with lots of alluring free agents and lots of money coming off the books, questions abound about the team. Do they keep following the youth movement? Probably. But, as Jayson Stark reported this week, the Yanks plan a full court press on Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia and, if they don’t land Sabathia, Ben Sheets. They’re going to spend the money they have available to them.

When all is said and done, it comes back to Cashman. Is his autonomy on the wane? Should he even still be around? I’ve long said yes, and I’ll hold to that position. But the masses are growing restless, and the Yankees will again heading into November have the weight of the world on their shoulders as they look to rebuild and retool for a brand new stadium.

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The report on Phil Hughes's Wednesday start
  • Dylan

    I think you can always expect a slight decline in production when you quickly switch to the youth movement, but the plethora of injuries is really the story of ’08. Stick with Cash, stick with the plan. Hope ’09 progresses with more health.

  • pete c.

    I don’t think anyone else could have done better over the years dealing with the ownership and win now at all cost attitude he’s had to deal with. I say give him a three year deal. By then it will be obvious whether he did his job or not.

  • Reggie C.

    Well put Dylan. The season took a turn for the unexpected when Hughes went down with that sneeze/cough/whatver rib injury. That guaranteed another lost season of development. The season then turned downright ugly when we lost Wang on a running injury. Injuries to Posada and Matsui and downright ineffectiveness from Cano and Melky essentially sealed our fate. If we werent gonna hit our way to several wins, this team was simply not gonna make the playoffs.

    • bklynJT

      I wonder how many more games we would have won if Cano and Melky were giving us the production of 2007, regardless of the fact that Arod is having a down year in clutch hitting. We would probably be right in the mix of things in the wild card race…

      Everything is going wrong for the Yankees this year. I’m scared to even think that this may be a curse for tearing down Yankee Stadium.

  • Neil

    what about Wayne Kresky(sp) (former reds g.m. currently working w/ the mets) for GM?

    • whozat

      So, you

      a) provide no reasoning why Cashman should go,
      b) toss the name of a fired GM from a perennially losing organization into the ring, and
      c) give no reasons for or against his hiring.

      Awesome comment. Two thumbs up. Would buy again.

      • Bo

        The Reds are awful. Because he drafted Jay Bruce he should get a job somewhere?

      • Count Zero

        rofl – nice summary!

      • Andy In Sunny Daytona

        Dr. Whozat -” Shutting up idiots since 2008″.

        Well said, my friend.

    • jsbrendog


  • Stephen

    Yea, the Red Sox should have fired Theo Epstein after ’06 too…

  • Cam

    I think ultimately it’s tough to judge. For every Wilson Betemit or Kei Igawa, there’s been a David Justice or a Bobby Abreu. Even someone like Theo who has been put on a pedestal recently for developing within has had his mistakes with the likes of Coco Crisp and Julio Lugo. What you really need is a GM who has a plan, as Cashman does, but who also understands his own shortcomings. Maybe Cash is a good negotiator but a poor evaluator of talent. He needs to ability to hire people who fill in his holes while also staying as a voice of reason to a family who has never had a censor button anywhere near their office. Like Pete said, he’s been in a tough situation dealing with this family and has done a very admirable job. I say keep him around. Many feel his plan is on the right track so lets hope he surrounds himself with the right people and see what happens.

    • JohnnyC

      You hit the nail on the head. I like Cashman and would vote to keep him but it’s obvious he is not a great evaluator (the way Gene Michael was) and relies too much on the “baseball” people around him (see Igawa) for scouting not only the opposition but his own players and prospects. How do you fix that? He needs to find a super scout at the major league level (leave Oppenheimer where he is, he’s doing a good job with amateur draft) that he can trust. I thought Tino Martinez was being groomed for that but really haven’t heard much about what he’s doing in the organization this year. Maybe it’s Tino.

      • Rich

        You write he relies too much on “baseball” people (though I don’t see the significance of the quotation marks) but you want him to find a super scout at the ML level. Wouldn’t that person be a baseball person?

        • JohnnyC

          I was being sarcastic about the “baseball” people he has around him. He fired Gene Michael’s staff of advance scouts after the 2006 season and, honestly, the results haven’t been any better. He just recently fired the guy responsible for urging him to bid on Igawa (replacing him with Hideo Nomo). I am not questioning the wisdom of consulting “baseball” people I’m questionning the wisdom OF the particular “baseball” people he’s consulting.

          • JohnnyC

            It is ironic that everyone villifies scouts from the Tampa faction for hindering Cashman’s efforts to run the organization his way but it was Bill Emslie, one of the figures of ridicule, who suggested we sign David Ortiz before Bill Lajoie ever whispered his name in Larry Lucchino’s ear. George was excited. He asked Cashman about Ortiz. Cashman replied: we already have Giambi and Nick Johnson at first base. Pass. That turned out well.

            • Jamal G.

              And with Jason Giambi and Nick Johnson there, where would David Ortiz have played? Nick Johnson was a better player than David Ortiz at that point. Better defense, much better OBP skills, ad comparable production (Johnson had an 138-OPS+ in 2003, Ortiz had an 144-OPS+ in that same season).

              So you wanted them to sign David Ortiz after they gave $120M to Jason Giambi the previous off-season and Nick Johnson, who had four years of cost-controlled service ahead of him. What sense does that make?

              • rbizzler

                Let’s not forget that Papi started ’04 on the bench behind…JEREMY GIAMBI! I think the evolution of Ortiz took everyone by surprise, including the Red Sox, who, I ‘m sure, saw him as a useful part, but could never have imagined he would mash like he has.

                • Currambayankees

                  I think his evolution had a lot to do with that Guy Ramirez batting behind him and the Green Monster.

              • ceciguante

                you’re missing the point: it’s called scouting because you don’t judge the players on what they did that year, you judge them on what you think they’ll become.

                anyone who said “we have johnson and giambi, pass on ortiz” missed a huge opportunity. to go back in time and say “so and so had nearly the same OPS” misses the point of scouting (and GMing) entirely. cashman failed huge on that one.

                • tommiesmithjohncarlos


                  Cashman may well have expected Ortiz to improve and pass on him anyway, because he didn’t expect Giambi to decline as he did. Remember, this decision was made pre-Giambi’s steriods related injuries and fiascoes.

                  Remember, Ortiz became available in the winter of ’02-’03. At that point, Giambi was coming off four straight seasons of .315/.422/.553, .333/.476/.647, .342/.477/.660 and .314/.435/.598, with three straight top-5 AL MVP finishes AND he was signed for 6 more years…. plus we had Nick Johnson as our top positional prospect, struggling to find a place to play him.

                  So don’t equate the “we have johnson and giambi, pass on ortiz” comment as evidence of poor foresight… there were many more reasons to assume Giambi and Johnson would outperform Ortiz over he next half-decade than vice versa.

                • ceciguante

                  fair point, but giambi was 32 or 33 after the ’02 season. ortiz was 27, and his power was evident (he slugged .500 the prior season). johnson was young and promising, but it is cashman’s job to find the best players, and he was wrong in this instance.

                  was it an easy call? maybe not, since other teams were passing on ortiz too. but cash had a recommendation on him, and he got it wrong.

                • tommiesmithjohncarlos

                  But he didn’t “get it wrong”. He just didn’t make it a high priority, because he had good reasons not to – namely, that he already had one high-level prospect (who was even YOUNGER than Ortiz) backing up a perennial MVP candidate who was locked in as the offensive centerpiece of the team. You don’t just sign every single prospect with a modicum of potential just because they hit the market… there’s only 25 major league roster spots.

                  Not capitalizing on every possible opportunity is not a workable definition of failure.

      • Currambayankees

        I’m sure Stick relied on his scouts as well as his own ability. Cashman brought in Igawa because he relied on the scout who brought in El Duque. Did you forget about that guy? Would the Yankees have won a couple of those titles in the late 90’s without that guy? Scouting is not exact sciences sometimes you find the the diamond in the rough and at other times you just find a lump of coal. I truelly hope the Yankees keep Cash. Has he made mistakes? Yes but tell me what GM hasn’t.

        • rbizzler

          You are bringing up El Duque?! I mean the guy hadn’t pitched in three years and the Yankees had only see him in a tryout. He wasn’t exactly ‘scouted’ extensively.

          As for Ortiz, you can’t really rip the org. for that b/c Minny non-tendered the guy and Boston picked him up for nothing and didn;t even start him right away. Hindsight = 20/20.

    • andy

      And Matt Clement and Edgar Renteria. Hah, I love those guys.

  • Dan

    I like Cash personally and and I’m on-board with the youth movement, but some of his moves, particularly with pitchers, have been awful. Pavano, Karsay, Brown, Weaver, and even Randy Johnson, have failed miserably in the Bronx.

    Name me one good SP the Yankees have signed/traded for in the last 4 years. Pettitte doesn’t count.

    • pat

      those trades for the people listed were forced by George. Pavano would have been a great sign if all the injuries hadnt limited his playing time. Pavano-PAlooza saw about 10 teams competing for his service that offseason.

      • Bo

        forced by george?

        Cashman gets credit for success but gets a pass on the failures?

        • pat

          Its the truth man. It’s common knowledge that stein was behind all those signings.

          • ceciguante

            i doubt stein was behind all those signings. i agree, cashman seems to get credit for success but at least a partial pass on the failures.

    • Jamal G.

      Name me five good SP in all of baseball who have lived up to their free agent contracts in the past four years.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos


        Mike Hamp– no, wait…
        Kevin Br–
        Oh, Darren Drei–
        Chan H–

        Russ Ort…
        Barry Z…

        • Andy In Sunny Daytona

          Carl Pavano. He won a game the other day. Well worth $40 mil.

      • 27 this year

        Jamal, all I got is one pitcher by the name of Mike Mussina. At the end of 2000, I believe, he signed a 6 year 88.5 mil contract whihc was huge at the time and I think he averaged 30 starts a year, never really hit the DL, consistently gave them around 15 wins and provided innings. Other than that, no free agaent ever works out.

      • Mike A.

        I’ve got one: Derek Lowe.

  • pat

    I definitely think you have to bring back cashman. Once the philsophical change from using the farm as trade bait to cultivating players was made, I think people wanted immediate results. A farm system is truly what the name states a place where you take players and give them the coaching and innings they need to grow into great mlb talen. Unfortunately this doesnt happen overnight and people have already labeled it as a failure. The big thing for me with cash is his success with taking spare parts and essentially turning them into solid mlb talent. Obviously the abreu trade a few yrs ago is a good example and currently the nady marte trade has been producing good dividends. I really think hes underrated because people see the payroll and assume he just goes out and buys whatever he wants. He cant forsee the injuries and stuff but keeping them in mind I think hes done a good job plugging the holes without going into panic mode and selling the farm.
    I really like this interview with cash and Ken Davidoff. Inside he talks about CC and states “We’re still big game hunters” meaning maybe 3 big offseason signs.

    • ChrisS

      Abreu was strictly a cash dump by the Phillies and Cashman fleeced them (in hindsight, especially). I still the Nady trade was a poor one, but the future will judge that. If Tabata turns out like Hanley Ramirez that trade will certainly look different than if he turns out like Ruben Rivera. My main problem was that he traded Tabata when his value was lowest for a player whose value was at the highest. What could he have gotten for Tabata last off-season?

      • pat

        I definately agree that tabata was sold at an all time low, but they must have seen something in him that didnt bode well for the future. Whether it was the discipline problems, or the way his body was developing (getting very thick legged while the upper half stayed the same) im thinking something didnt project right. I know tabata is killing it since recovering from his injury but so is X. Only time will tell.

      • rbizzler

        Tabata will never ‘turn out like Hanley Ramirez, because he doesn’t run all that well and doesn’t play an up-the-middle defensive position. Also, he hasn’t shown any sort of consistent power his entire career.

        • ChrisS

          because he doesn’t run all that well

          Tabata’s 68/88(77%) for SBs in his 334 minor league games compared to Hanley’s 99/144 (68%) in 400 minor league games

          The only thing is that Tabata is corner OF, not a SS. Shrug.

          Tabata’s no joke, but everyone is missing the point of post anyway. Cashman traded a guy that was their #2 prospect at his lowest possible value for a guy having a career year. Go back 5 months and tell me you make that trade. The team is sorely lacking in good positional prospects and one of their best has a few bad months and is kicked out the door and the consolation is more draft picks? Xavier Nady will be hosting little league clinics in Gilroy long before any positional player drafted is ready from the farm before Tabata may be.

          But that’s my only gripe with Cashman, I still think he stays, but man that trade sticks in my craw.

          • cult of basebaal

            cashman made the team better this year and next in both the outfield and in the bullpen.

            nady may be a 1 year wonder, he may be the next paul o’neil (well, likely o’neil-lite), i imagine we’ll know better after next year, but even if he returns to his previous performance as league average, he replaces abreu in right and provides essentially the same *overall* performance.

            tabata may turn out to be a good major league player, he may be the next reuben rivera … we’ll know more about that as time passes as well.

            but even if tabata does end up having a good major league career, i’d still make that trade. just me, but i’ll take 4 player seasons of average to above average major league production plus a potential 4 protected high drafts picks over tabata.

            i reckon this is a “agree to disagree” topic

          • rbizzler

            So you think that Tabata will steal a comparable amount of bases in the bigs as Hanley? We’ll see.

            Not too mention that he is a corner outfielder that lets balls drop in fromt of him on the regular b/c he doesn’t give a shit.

            I wanted the guy to succeed but if he needed a wakeup call, he sure got it.

            Nothing worse than a gunshy GM.

      • cult of basebaal

        please make sure to include in your calculation of the scoring, the likely 4 1st and supplemental picks the yankees can get if all they do is keep both nady and marte through their option years and then let them walk after 2009.

  • radnom

    But the *idiots* are growing restless, and the Yankees will again heading into November have the weight of the world on their shoulders

    There, fixed that for ya

  • Casey

    I’d rather see them bring back Giambi at a discount and get CC AND Sheets or Dempster or Burnett rather than bring in Teixeira for the salary he’s looking for.

  • ChrisS

    There are exactly two alluring free agents: CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira. Sheets, Bradley, Burnett (were he to become a FA), etc. have a plethora of associated issues.

    CC Sabathia is the smartest sign and Cashman will pay dearly for his services. I think Sabathia is going to best Santana’s deal. And as for Teixeira, while an attractive player, I don’t see the wisdom in overpaying in years and money for a very good player at a non-premium position (C,2B,SS,CF).

    A lot of the problems on this team, and last year’s team, are hangovers from the front office wars. For example, signing Damon was a necessity because they didn’t get Beltran and Melky hasn’t panned out (not that he was expected to be some top flight CF). Damon/Matsui come off the books next year. The Giambi signing didn’t fail as badly as it could have, but I don’t think that Cashman would make that deal again (he seems to limit deals to 4 years).

    The win-now mentality eventually catches up with a team and, well, it’s here. The Yankees, I think, are in a better position than they could be in thanks to Cashman’s and Oppenheimer’s focus on young pitching.

    • andy

      Very well put.

    • pat

      definitely man they are pointing us in the right direction.

    • cult of basebaal

      i don’t think cashman would have signed giambi in the first place. that was pretty clearly a george mandated signing after we lost in 2001.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos

      Chris – brilliant post. I agree wholeheartedly.

      One tiny nitpick: You say you “don’t see the wisdom in overpaying in years and money for a very good player at a non-premium position”… While I’ll agree with you that 1B isn’t a premium defensive position, it is certainly a premium offensive position, and that’s what we’d really be paying for. The reason that having great bats at defensive positions like Jeter at short, Cano at 2B, or Posada at C is so awesome is because it makes your lineup much deeper, but that’s only if you still have good offensive production from the classical offensive spots like 1B, 3B, DH, and the corner OF spots. If you throw out guys like a Doug Meitkeiwicz, Aaron Boone, Raul Mondesi or junk like that, it negates the value of having good offensive production from defensive positions in the first place, you’re just robbing Peter to pay Paul.

      As evidenced by this year, even with all the struggles to find offense from spots like CF and C, had we just had reliable production from the heart of our order, ARod and Giambi, who both play non-defensive positions, we’d have been much better off. The wisdom in putting big dollars and big years in a non-defensive-premium position is that it’s still a position where you must depend on good offense, and Texy is the head of the class in terms of offensive production at that spot. 1B is far from non-crucial to a team’s success.

      Plus, he’s got the added benefit of being an excellent defender at a position often manned by subpar defenders, so he’s like Jeter/Cano/Posada in reverse. They’re great because they give you great offense AND defense in a position where you usually only get defense; Texy gives you great offense AND defense in a position where you usually only get offense. No small potatoes.

      • ceciguante

        good posts, chris and TSJC.
        i worry about both CC and Tex’s durability over long term deals, but i esp agree that Tex’s defense is nothing to sneeze at. to think we could get better on O and D at 1B — and get younger — is a nice upgrade.

        CF is going to be the tricky part. while the yanks would have to pay dearly in $$$ for CC and Tex, they’ll be swimming in dough with the new stadium. cashman can cover up a lot of mistakes with all that money, but if we don’t have a capable CFer, that’s trouble.

  • Rob – CT

    Personally, I’d love Sabbathia, plug him in with Job and Wang and that is an impressive top 3. Still a backer of Hughes and Mussina basically deserves another shot. Package Kennedy, try to get a young outfielder, Dejesus even, something along those lines. I’m lettin Pettitte go, Abreu go, Giambi go – unless comes back for wicked cheap. If we could move Matsui I’m all for it, still hate that they signed him and Damon to 4 yr deals. Also would try to get a first baseman who can pick it but can also be a decent stick, tho Texiera is a solid option, who knows what he’d cost. I’m sticking with the youth movement and I’m giving A-Jax a solid shot in spring to be our centerfielder next year, unless they find a viable option. I personally like where Cashman has been going the past few years, it will only help. The Yankees obviously have way to many everyday players in their mid-30’s and that has to change.

    • ChrisS

      Dejesus isn’t going anywhere. The Royals have made that pretty clear and he’s signed through 2011 (an option at $6 mill/year) for dirt cheap.

      Damon is having a solid year and has the highest value of any player on the team that Cashman would trade, but he has a partial no-trade clause. Matsui makes a good DH, but can’t play the field much anymore.

      • Rob – CT

        Chris, I figure he isn’t goin anywhere, but that’s the type of player we need, defensive minded but has offensive ability and some speed, soemthing we lack and will only get worse as Jeter, Damon and A-Rod get older.
        MAtsui is a good dh but the fact remains that Posada is eventually gonna need to get out from behind the plate and if he’s not at first he’s the dh, i’m dumping matsui for something.

        • ChrisS

          Absolutely, I’d love to have DeJesus. Matsui has a full no-trade and I’d like to move him, too, but I don’t see him going to an NL team because he has to DH (which is what I was getting at above). That leaves the three AL teams on the west coast and mainly Seattle (Cashman doesn’t want to help LAA and I think Beane fleeces Cashman in any kind of trade). And Seattle doesn’t have a GM yet and haven’t been serious in their trade demands.

      • cult of basebaal

        They aren’t shopping Dejesus, but he could be had, dayton moore is smart enough to listen to offers that would improve his team, and lord knows the royals have plenty of holes.

        problem is, we don’t match up very well with them, in part because we don’t match up very well with anyone. pitching is our major trading resource and we don’t really have a surplus of it that’s advanced enough or healthy and performing. having both IPK and Horne essentially have lost seasons really hurt us in that regard.

    • andy

      At this point, what could IPK even net? As a previous commenter said re: Tabata, it would be trading him at his lowest value. If the Yankees have indeed given up on him, which I am not sold on, then at least let him get some good starts in AAA next year to up his value.

    • Rich

      Who are these 1B who can pick it and also be a decent stick and are available? Or do you want to create one in a laboratory?

    • Currambayankees

      I’d let Moose go and get the two picks. I’ll take my lefty Pettite on the mound any day over Moose. Two things Moose is older and has done great in what a contract year.

      • 27 this year

        I don’t think Moose would be two picks. He is probably a Type-B because last year, he wasn’t great. However, I think we offer him arb, because either we get a pick or we get him back at aorund 11 or 12 mil but only one year which is a win-win for us.

        • Currambayankees

          Moose is a type A free agent.

  • THU

    I hope we can get BOTH Sheets and CC. Let Moose and Pettitte go. I’d trade Damon and Veras, sell high on both of them. Brubey, Ramirez andhopefully Melancon will make up a very nice middle of the pen. Bring back Marte though.

    • andy

      Do you let Abreu walk then? If so, what’s the outfield going to look like: Nady, Gardner, and Matsui/Ajax?

      • 27 this year

        You’re right Andy, Matsui can’t play the field so maybe you got to get a good outfielder in those Damon, Veras, or Kennedy deals or something because an outfield of Melky, Gardner adn Nady don’t cut it. Also, we don’t quite know exactly how great nady will be next year. He will be good just whether he is this good that is teh question.

  • Bo

    A youth movement is great if the youth is actually GOOD. Otherwise you are the Royals.

  • Ed

    I was totally against Cashman after the ’04 season. Until then, it seemed like the plan was to evaluate players by how big a name they were and their past performance rather than by expected future performance. Since then though, Cashman seems to have a plan. And it hasn’t been long enough to see if that plan works, so I don’t think it makes sense to get rid of him now.

    Also, I always had the feeling that they weren’t expecting to win it all this year – they’d put up a fight and make reasonable moves to help, but they wouldn’t hurt the future to win this year. I felt like next year was more the year they were shooting for.

    • Rob – CT

      I agree, getting rid of cashman, which i don’t think they will do, is a step back. Especially with Torre not here, have to give him a shot, it was hard for them to part with a lot of veterans with Torre cuz he had such a connection with them and he probably had more say on player movement than we will ever know. Lets see how Cashman handles all the potential players we have leaving and see how he plugs their holes. I’d be so disappointed if he resigns abreu to a multi-yr deal and gives pettitte 15mil again. They are only gonna reduce production.

      • Rich

        I call BS on this. You’re guessing that Torre had a big say in personnel matters to make your argument.

        • Rob – CT

          I’m just saying, Cashman made his decisions, i’m assuming, with knowing Torre’s feeling towards everything, considering he was a major cog in the organization for so long. I don’t think it’s farfetched to believe Cashman has a bit more freedom with the personnel than before, when Torre was still the manager.

          • cult of basebaal

            well, there’s also the fact that as cashman solidified his power after 2005, he began to actively make moves in spite of joe torre. last year had several of them. dumping cairo after it became apparent that joe was going to keep playing him at first instead of giving phelps a chance and then trading EDSP for betemit to try and force joe to spread the load around the bullpen better.

          • Rich

            OK, I agree with that reasoning.

      • pat

        id say abreu definately gets offered arbitration as he is firmly entrenched as Type A. If he declines we get the picks but if he accepts we get him on a moderately priced 1 year deal. Its almost a win win. His fielding has beengetting bad but he has been one of our most consistent hitters all year.

        • jsbrendog


    • Currambayankees

      That was George’s and the Tampa faction’s plan not Cash’s. Evaluating on the how big the name was is the reason we ended up with Randy Johnson instead of an above average CF like Beltran who Cash wanted.

  • Bo

    You cannot blame injuries. You really can’t. Every team has them. Boston has lost Beckett, Dice K, Lowell, Ortiz, and gave away their clean up hitter. They’ve had young guys under perform in Bucholz, Ellsbury.

    The Rays lost Percival, Longoria and Crawford. Their offense hasn’t clicked all year.

    The Mets start Tatis in RF and two rookies in LF and have a bullpen made up of waiver wire cast offs.

    Injuries are a huge excuse. You grind out wins.

    • pat

      the PLAYERS grind out wins not the GM

      • Hybrid Moments

        Who puts the team together?

        • pat

          GM, but who plays the games, who doesnt hit w/ risp who gets injured.. players. Theres only so much a gm can be blamed for.

    • Nady Nation

      You’re dead on with Tampa and Boston, but the Mets are a terrible example to use in this scenario. The Mets have somehow hung tough and “grinded” out wins, while we’ve been a complete failure? The Mets are 2 games ahead of us in the standings and they play in the completely inferior National League.

    • Chris

      The problem is that Boston and Tampa have lost a lot of players for a short time. Most of those injuries you mention are from August. The Yankees lost Matsui, Posada, Hughes and Wang for most of the year.

  • pounder

    Fire Zeppo Girardi.Hire Bowa and Willie.

    • Glen L

      because either of them have won anywhere as managers??

      girardi is not the problem – managers RARELY are (dusty baker aside)

    • jsbrendog

      WILLIE IS A TERRIBLE MANAGER and should never be above bench coach

    • Currambayankees

      No, keep Girardi but I wouldn’t mind bringing Bowa back to coach third and light a fire under Cano’s ass.

  • jsbrendog

    kennedy for nick johnson lol

  • Hybrid Moments

    Cashman has never put together a good pitching staff and he has never had anything close to a respectable bench.

    • pat

      The bullpen pitching staff is pretty good. The molina trade turned out to work well for us, jchristian is a nice piece off the bench betemit’s raw ability it tantalizing but unfortunately cant Put it together. I think putting together a solid pitching staff is a little more difficult than meets the eye. Especially early in his career when we had nothing to trade with and with the general trend in free agent pitchers being a little too old and a little too expensive thats a very difficuly proposition for every GM.

  • pat

    Santana is pretty much going to be his litmus test for the near future. Right now he looks like a dope for not making the trade bc none of the players wanted are currently on the mlb roster. You gotta look a little deeper than that though I looked up his pitch f/x and saw that this season he has averaged 92.75 mph on his fastball (nothing to scoff at but not what we’ve seen in the past). I think that a far cry from his days of 95-96mph. Johan is also in the first year of a 6 yr 140 million dollar contact. I dont think its too crazy to say that in 2 or 3 yrs it will be looked at as one of the worst contracts in baseball. IPk and Hughes could also be tremendous failures as well but chances are they develop into 2 solid MLB pitchers.

    • cult of basebaal

      and don’t forget, a 6 year 140 million dollar contract doesn’t cost us 140 million dollars, it’s probably more like 200 million dollars, once you figure in the likely luxury tax implications …

      • pat


    • ChrisS

      Hughes, IPK, Wang, and Melky and all on the ML 40-man roster. But the argument was the trade was never about this year. Sure it looks worse because Hughes didn’t turn in a performance like Lester has this season (then again Hughes is two full years younger).

      But like you said, all that’s not going to stop people thinking that Santana was one thing the kept this team from winning this year and calling for Cashman’s head.

      • Andy In Sunny Daytona

        I heard that Lester had cancer, any truth to that?

        • Currambayankees

          Where have you been? Yes, his first yr up in the bigs he was diagnosed with cancer.

          • Andy In Sunny Daytona

            Is it true that Beckett has been diagnosed with “extra grittiness” in his elbow?

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos

          Actually, Andy, Jon Lester volunteered to give himself cancer just so he could be a volunteer to be a test subject for new, experimental cancer treatments for indigent refugees and nuns. That’s how committed he is to finding a cure.

          And that’s why he got my 2006 and 2007 Cy Young votes.

          For Diamond Cutters, I’m Peter Gammons, ESPN.

          • Doug


    • tommiesmithjohncarlos

      I can’t remember who on here first said it, but if we get Sabathia in the offseason, that means we basically got Santana’s equivalent AND got to keep Hughes/IPK/AJax/Melky/Marquez/Hilligoss/fill-in-the-black-prospect-X just in exchange for waiting one year.

      A year where we’ve been so injury-unlucky, Santana probably wouldn’t have mattered anyway.

      Even if you have little-to-no faith in some or all of those prospects, that sounds like a Cashman win to me.

      • Andy In Sunny Daytona


        tommiesmithjohncarlos, you are one bad mother….

  • K.V.C

    Kill Girardi and Cashman all you want, but they lost 4 starting pitchers, the starting catcher as well as A(choke)rod, Jeter, Matsui & Damon for parts of the season and are in striking distance of the wildcard.

    If Choke-Rod and Cano played to their baseball cards it would be even closer.

    Keep Cash and find him an advisor/scout who knows pitching.

  • Joey

    I’ve been reading the above posts about if we should keep Cash-money or not, but I failed to see any discussion on would he even want to come back. I read something to that extent earlier this year, and I surely hope he does (and I hope we bring him back)

  • Currambayankees

    I think Cash is doing a great job and I hope the Yankees keep him as the GM. Our Bullpen is almost all homegrown and has done a great job this year. There are also additional peices coming along in the minors some which might contribute as early as next year and others which will arrive within the next 2-3yrs to go along with some FA.

    The major injuries this team suffered throughout the year and the big money players inhability to produce when most needed is the reason he Yankees may not be in the post season this year. Starting with the likes of ARod (who should just shut up and perform), Jeter (who’s turned into Mr Doubleplay) and Giambi among others.

  • Pops

    but we have to win now and if we get the best we can from tex and CC for 5 or 6 of those 7 or 8(tex) yr deals its well worth it. I think Texiera is such a real deal and is only starting to get better… Id love both of them and Burnett… Thats my wish list..

    • Currambayankees

      I want CC and Tex but want no part of oft injured Sheets.

  • The Fallen Phoenix

    If Cashman feels appreciated – and I think Hal and Hank will make him feel appreciated – I’d think he’ll want to finish what he started.

  • Pops

    Also CC and Tex are 2 of the main pieces we are missing in order to have a great great team… I might even try to get Salty if it wasnt too steep.. maybe a kennedy type package… CC and Tex additions make us the favored to win the east in my opinion as long as you bring back one of pettite or Muss or let em both go and get sheets or burnett with that cash.. i know im thinking huge but you been hearing hank you been hearing the fans and the new ballpark.. we want to win more thany anyone and lets be honest money really isnt an option with that new ballpark its just that i have to watch games from the couch and not from the stands

  • tools of ignorance

    My problem with Cash was the make up of the team coming out of Spring Training. Our only LH in the bullpen was Traber, are you kidding me? He sucks! Then we go 3/4 of the season without a LH until we get Marte. The bench was also very weak coming into the season (we had NO SPEED until we brought up Christian & Gardner).

    Cash. went into the season with No LH’s in the pen, no speed off the bench, gambling on 2 rookie starters, & an old lineup where 7 of the starters are over 30 including a 36 yr. old starting catcher? Is that how you put a winning MLB team together?

    • Currambayankees

      Who may I ask would you have brought in as lefty for the pen? Or where you going to overpay for Marte in the offseason?

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos

      tools of ignorance: You, sir, have the best name-to-content-of-post ratio ever.

  • daneptizl

    So Aceves was already on the 40-man?

    • Currambayankees

      I think he is now.

  • Frank

    Jason Stark doesn’t know his elbow from his asshole.

    He’s simply finding a way to write more Yankee-hating rhetoric by prematurely blaming the Yankees for how outrageous the free agent market is (or will be).

    He has no idea what Cashman will do in the offseason.

  • Doug

    Get CC and Texiera and we are set.

  • Hitman

    As bad as Cashman has been I don’t want to get rid of a guy just because he believes in player development. If the yankees get someone else in here I want a GM with the exact same mindset. I don’t want some doofus yes man that just wants to sign one FA after another all the while losing important draft picks year after year. As you can see from the last 7 years that has not been the answer. Signing CC, Sheets, Texiera and Dunn are nothing short of suicide. These players are in all likelyhood the next Giambi, Damon, Randy Johnson and Kevin Brown.

  • Brad K

    Hahahahahahaha. Can’t stop laughing at the idea of this blog discussing Cashman’s future. Every comment that is negative about Cashman is met with the same kill the messenger attitude. After all this is the official apology site for Brian Cashman, isn’t it? I love the comments. If it was a bad trade then it was George’s fault. The GM doesn’t play the games, we had injuries, it was the Tampa guys…blah blah blah. If I read that right why do we even need a GM?

    • Currambayankees

      I don’t think anyone here is saying that Cash hasn’t made mistakes because he has like every GM but the one thing that people shouldn’t try to do is blame everything on Cash prior to 05. Look the fact still remains that Cash wanted Vlad and King George got Sheff, Cash wanted Beltran and King George wanted Johnson and the list goes on. The Farnsy signing in hindsight wasn’t great on the other hand everyone wanted Pavanot during that winter. Now, you tell me what moves Cash has made aside from those have been really bad?

    • Old Ranger

      The GM doesn’t play the games, we had injuries, it was the Tampa guys…blah blah blah. If I read that right why do we even need a GM?

      Because of the first part of your two sentences. Until Cashman took over as the boss, able to override the Tampa team, there was no GM. And no, the GM can’t play for the guys and yes, players do get hurt and others don’t pan out as one wished…that’s why the game is so humbling. No apologies for Cashman, just being a realist.

  • http://RiverAve.Blues Joseph M

    WHat is the conundrum? Cashman’s contract is up at the end of the year it’s time to move on. Cashman has a seven figure salary in a very competitive business where results matter. The on the field product has been in decline over the past three years and he has done nothing to reverse it. He had an opportunity last year to get a number 1 starter and he didn’t. Look at the results of 2007, what goodies did Boston bring back from Japan, what did Cashman bring back.

    To sign Cashman up for another three years would be a case of throwing good money after bad. Cashman has failed. We have an old team that needs major retooling, a minor league system that produced not one major league worthy position player. Torre should have been fired after 2006 and he couldn’t even pull that off (we might have been able to get Pinella back).

    • Old Ranger

      To sign Cashman up for another three years would be a case of throwing good money after bad. Cashman has failed. We have an old team that needs major retooling, a minor league system that produced not one major league worthy position player. Torre should have been fired after 2006 and he couldn’t even pull that off (we might have been able to get Pinella back).
      The last part of you post answers your own post.
      As far as worthy position players in the draft…when one drafts as late as we have the last few years, the possibility of a very good player falling to us is remote.
      As for Torre, he was still under contract…they didn’t want to embarrass him by firing him, a simple sign of respect.
      Yes, we have a lot of slow older players on their way down…what was Cash to do with them? They all had contracts, some of which he had little to do with.

      • http://RiverAve.Blues Joseph M

        Interesting comments.

        There is a point where someone making a seven figure salary has to be evaluated on some criteria. Keep in mind this is not the assistant manager position at the local 7 11, it’s not the night plant manager at the widget factory. This is a big job in a big spotlight, the rewards are great, but the pressure to produce is also very great, that’s why he’s paid so much money.

        Starting with Joe Torre, let’s keep in mind that the Torre decision had already been made by George as reported in area newspapers, he was gone it was Cashman and others (including Rudy G) who prevailed on George to let Torre retain the manager’s position. Cashman should have had the courage to fire a manager who blew a three game lead in 2004 championship series (greatest single collapse in sports history), lost in the first round the very next season and lost again the following year against a team they were favored against. It’s not only the losing it’s the way they lost showing no heart whatsoever.

        The Yankees lead all of baseball in Latin America scouting and developing talent, with all the talent available they have harvested three players in the last decade, Soriano, Melky and the baffling Cano. What explanation is there results like this.

        The Yanks top three picks in the draft this year were a complete bust, one didn’t sign, one needs surgery, one has arm problems and the Yanks elected not to deal with him. Who do we hold responsible for those results?

        Who do we hold responsible for Jeff Weaver, Kevin Brown, Vasquez?

        Who let Larry Bowa, one of the few people who could get through to Cano go without even exploring the possibility of retaining him in the organization?

        Who takes the responsibility for the Igawa signing?

        Abreu wasn’t under contract this year who decided to bring him back, who went out and picked up Sexson.

        This isn’t meant to be a witch hunt, Cashman has done some good things but we have to ask do we want to put the task of rebuilding this team (and let’s face it, that is where the team is now) in the hands of Cashman. I don’t, I don’t have confidence in his ability to make the best moves for this organization going forward. That is my point. For the salary the Yankees are willing to pay, for the financial investment the organization is willing to make for on field talent and for player development, the organization can find someone better than Cashman.

        • Currambayankees

          Who would you bring in that you think would be soo great at this job? Beane? He’s made his share of mistakes in the draft and has mainly rebuilt that team through trades because many of the extra picks he’s had since loosing soo many FA haven’t pained out. Oh, he’s traded players that are tradeable which the Yankees don’t have too many of thanks to some contract decisions made by King George. The Yankees farm system is on the way up again thanks to Cash and his vision of how the team should be built. We have some young starting pitchers who haven’t performed as well as NY would want but most young pitchers don’t develop in a NY minute. They take time and some will take their lumps before turning into a Smoltz, Glavine, Maddox, Hudson, or Mulder. (check out their rookie records and you’ll find it wasn’t pretty and probably their second year wasnt’ all that pretty either) We do have some young home grown relievers who have done a great job. As for the position players you’ll need to look a little further down the minor league chain to A and A+ but they are coming as well. It’s not easy to rebuild a minor league system when you’ve basically ignored it for like 8yrs thanks to the owner. In three years Cash and Co have done a great job while picking very low in the draft unlike the Rays who’ve picked in the top five since they became an MLB team. No, they didn’t sign the first round pick this year but if you read info on it, it was Cole who wouldn’t hear the Yankees offer but had lead them to believe he would sign. The Yankees took a gamble on this kid thinking he would sign and it didn’t work out. I recall a few years ago the Yankees took a gamble on a guy named Joba while others wouldn’t . How’s that turned out? They signed this years second round pick. Probably would have signed the 3rd round pick for less money than he wanted or if his arm trouble had been with his elbow and not the shoulder. Taking a gamlbe on those picks knowing full well that next year they get similar picks back which are protected not matter what.
          You want to blame someone for the problems that the Yankees have now then why not bother to blame the owner who was also playing GM for quite a few years and over ruling Cash. You don’t believe it? Just look at the Sheff signing and Johnson trades to name a few also look back at the 80’s and you’ll find that this team resembles some of those overpaid aging teams. Cash almost left during the winter of 2005 until King George gave him control. I for one will give Cash the benifit of the doubt and wait to see just how his vision turns out within the next 1-4yrs. He has a similar vision to what Stick had during the early 90’s. Which is when guess who was suspended from the game? You’ve got it King George. Sticks team really didn’t start contending until the mid 90’s and finally brought the WS back to NY in 96.

          • http://RiverAve.Blues Joseph M

            I think Beane has a very special arrangement with Oakland, he may have even been given a small percentage in the team so I assume he is not available. I will tell youthis, if he is interested I would be very interested in the Yankees having a talk with him.

            What about Buck, he might be interested.

            My point, why not explore other options. I’m not as sold on the farm system as you seem to be and you know what, I hope your right and I’m wrong. I don’t see it, and Brian’s contract is up this year, the question on the table is whether or not to give him another three years. I just don’t think he has earned it and for what the Yanks are paying I think they can find someone better.

  • Old Ranger

    It seems as though there are as many against Cashman as for him. This is no suprise, as we have a very deverse group of people on this blog.
    The one thing that I don’t understand is how someone can be pro or con conserning Cash, just…because! Jee, is this the last word on this?