A homegrown World Series

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New York is not Tampa Bay or even Philadelphia. In New York, our baseball team — or, at least, the one that plays in the Bronx — features the highest payroll around and is expected to win everything every year. But south down I-95, they do things a little slower and with a different philosophy than we do.

In Philadelphia, the Phillies have long enjoyed underdog status. They have just one World Series title in their 100-plus years of existence. While they drew the fifth most fans in the game this year, they had a payroll of just — just — $95 million, good for 13th overall. They’re not big players on the free agent market.

Rather, this team has succeeded by building up a core of talented players they’ve drafted and filling in around them. With Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard around the horn, they have an infield of homegrown stars. With Pat Burrell in left and Brett Myers and Cole Hamels on the mound, their most important cogs were all Philadelphia draft picks. In a way, this team is constructed in the mold of the 1996 Yankees with Brad Lidge playing the role of John Wetteland.

Tampa, a team with no fans and limited financial resources outside of those given to them through MLB’s revenue sharing system, has taken this model to the extreme. Their team features nearly an entire lineup of homegrown young stars and former top-round draft picks. Their free agent pick-ups — Troy Percival, Cliff Floyd, Carlos Peña — are there because 29 other teams passed on them. And somehow, they’re favored to win a World Series against a team with a payroll more than twice Tampa’s.

These teams are lessons in staying the course as they work to develop top prospects into Major League stars. Unlike the Yankees, these teams are constrained by their finances. The Phillies and Rays can’t go out and sign a CC Sabathia if their Ian Kennedy equivalent doesn’t pursue the path imagined for him. But they can still provide us with examples of what happens when front offices have a plan and are patient.

Over the last 19 months, we’ve tried to preach a New York version of that course. Sometimes, we’ve been right; sometimes, we’ve been wrong. It comes with the Minor League territory. But there’s no reason why the Yankees can’t attempt to rebuild a team in the mold they set for themselves 14 years ago.

Now, this doesn’t mean the Yanks should forego a Mark Teixeira because they have the Juan Mirandas of the world at AAA. One is hardly a suitable replacement for the other. But the Yanks shouldn’t pull the trigger on a trade that they’ll regret. Just ask the Phillies; I’m sure they’d love to have Gavin Floyd back.

For the next few days, the World Series will be the be-all and end-all of baseball. A-Rod has already opted out of his marriage, and he’s locked into his contract for ten years. So just sit back and enjoy the ride. While you’re doing so, appreciate how the Phillies and Rays combined patience and a farm system to get where they are today. If the Yanks can do this, with their resources to fill the holes, they could return to the dynastic levels they enjoyed a decade ago. And with the free agent signing period just ahead, this path could materialize sooner rather than later.

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  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    There’s 11 former first round picks on the Rays’ 25 man roster. That’s freaking insane. Even more insane is that only four – four! – of those first rounders were actually drafted by the Rays.

    The $200M freakin’ Yanks had a whopping seven different first rounders make an appearance on their roster all year, and the Rays have 11 on their playoff roster. That blows my mind.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

      Don’t forget that the Rays basically gave away Josh Hamilton and Elijah Dukes, two guys who have both recently been thought of by lots and lots of smart baseball men as “the future greatest player in all of the game.”

      • Chris C.

        I think there’s obvious reasons why those guys are gone. Can’t blame TB for that.

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Irrelevant Non-Sequitur Jones

          I’m not blaming them. Just saying, as sick and as deep as their organization is right now, they also had two other total studs and basically threw them in the garbage and said, “It’s okay, we’ll still make the Series without you.”

          Impressive.

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

            The guy they got for Dukes, LHP Glenn Gibson, is a damn fine player. He was brutal this year, but he’s got a good arm and is still a nice prospect.

            • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Irrelevant Non-Sequitur Jones

              I don’t know if that makes me feel better or worse.

              Yup, worse.

  • AlexCT

    while its nice to see the homegrown talent that the WS is showcasing, and its nice to highlight the slow and steady approach that these teams, the yankees can never subscribe to this philosophy, even if they wanted to.
    the rays have benefitted from having many of the top draft picks obtained from having horrible seasons. i doubt yanks fans would be willing to see a couple of seasons in the gutter to reap this benefit. the yanks fans demand a successful team every year. therefor the team has to sign FA contracts that cost money and those precious draft picks, making it even more difficult to benefit from drafts. the one thing they do have is their willingness to pay money for for difficult signing draftees, but i expect to see more teams following this rather than paying out $100MIL+ FA contracts.
    the fact is that the yanks are always expected to field a competitive team. they are never sellers at the trading deadline. this prevents them from sacrificing the season for future gain in prospect hauls. FA must be signed to fill holes that the draft/farm system could not, this cost tons of money and often you will get long contracts that backfire.
    further adding to the payroll problem is that the yanks can never be a team to let their successful homegrown players go. they get extremely popular and bring money in merchandising that can’t be lost, while their production on the field may diminish as they age. just look at derek jeter, mo, and posada. honestly, what are we to expect from posada in the final(4th!! nuts!!!) year of his contract. now he has had surgery on his shoulder. mo was unbelievable this year, but when he was negotiating his contract, i’ll be honest and admit that i wasn’t so sure that he was going to be so great 3 years from then. now, he’s had shoulder surgery. what are we to do with derek jeter on his next contract? pay him the 30 million we are paying arod just to not seem improper? i won’t even get into his diminishing performance(i blame a lot of this season on the hand injury) or the issue of his defense at SS. already in 2010 we have over 80MIL going to just arod, jete, mo, and posada, with them in their age 35,36,39,and 40 seasons respectively. are they going to give 80MIL worth of production in those years? no one can tell.
    now im not trying to complain that the yanks have it hard, simply that they can’t employ the same philosophy that some other teams can, they just can’t operate that way. when you weigh all the factors that the yanks have you realize just how tough being a GM in NY really is.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      they just can’t operate that way.

      Yes, they can. No GM should ever make a decision based on what the fans want, he should do what’s best for the franchise. If that involves passing on a free agent, selling at the deadline, whatever it is, that’s what they should do.

      The fans aren’t going to stop coming to games because the Yanks don’t make the playoffs or finish below .500 for a string of say, 3 yrs. And if they do, so be it. They’ll jump back on the bandwagon when they start winning again anyway.

      • Ben C

        Sorry, but while I agree with this from a fan perspective, I disagree from the business perspective. The goal of the organization is to put butts in the seats, and they would not forego 3+ years of red to rebuild the franchise and possibly create a dynasty. If the alternative is to field a competitive team that is in a playoff race every year that might not be as good as a rebuilt team, then that makes more economical sense. I don’t know what’s better from a financial perspective, rebuilding for 3 years and cutting player salaries could be more profitable. I’m just saying, the GM isn’t doing what is best to win championships in the long-run, he is doing what is best to make money in the long run.

        • Ben C

          that was very poorly written, but its 2am and i hope you get my point

          • Chris C.

            I get your point, but here’s the thing……..why do you think they’ve been able to put butts in the seats? Not because they scrape by and edge into the playoffs……….but because they DID have the patience to build a dynasty.

            4,000,000 aren’t showing up because the Yankees are “pretty good”. They’re showing up with the hopes that the late 90’s can happen all over again.

            Rebuilding the right way won’t keep the fans away. Ticket prices will.

    • chritospher

      totally agree that the team will be forcred to sign jeter and moreso play him at SS. This season, there are 2 gaping holes – 1B and CF and i thnk he could play either very well – the question of course is could the find a decent SS on the free agent market – they may not be able to do that this year unless the dodggers dont pick up furcal’s option, but who knows who becomes available.

      its a mute point though because jeter will be out there until he retires and play defense like Cal Ripken in his later years – a statue.

      I felt it then and still feel that ye Posada deal was a bad one – 4 years for a catcher at his age is too many. long contracts to older platyers is what got the tean into this problem in the first place which is why over the past 3 years we have gone into each with 3 DHs – at least.

      If anything the yanks may be too loyal to some players – i dont know if there is any interst, but could they deal damon or matsui or both and suffer a little offesuively for a year.

      This is an offseason where they can build a pitching staff for the next 5 or 66 years with Sabathia a possible trade for Peavy and the not mentioned Ben Sheets (I know the guy gets hurt a lot, but he has nasty stuff). Put two of those trhee – i dont want burnett – too eratic or lowe – too old – in front of Wang, Joba, and Mussina for a year while Hughes (unless traded for peavy) and/or Brackman are ready and you have a dominant staff.

      The Sox over the past few years have transitioned from an offesive juggernot to a pitching based team and the rays won on pitching this year.

      Get the pitching first and possibly one hitter – i cant for the life of me understand why there seems to be no interest in Adam Dunn who I think can be the bargain of this free agent class and if put in frot of AROD will hit 50 homeruns – and take care of hitting next year when carl crawford will be available and a perfect fit for this team.

      they cant build from within over the long term, but the can certainly build while winning using the red sox formula, but the scouting needs to improve. i see all these red sox players playing key roles for them this year picked behind yankees who ware toiling in AA. A team with this type of revenue needs to do a better job on drafting players and signing international free agents.

  • AlexCT

    you haven’t accounted for the whacked out ownership that doesn’t like to lose.

    • AlexCT

      also, what are you to do when you have a team like 2008’s? i know injuries hurt, but while they were still a 3rd place team, they weren’t that terrible. they had a chance at the deadline for the past few years. they clearly shouldn’t have been sellers, and they were not in a position in need of dumping players and rebuilding. to try to improve, they tested farm players, and some have worked, but not all. the other holes are filled with FAs. this costs draft picks, and money. continuing the cycle… this particular winter may turn out to be a little different as the yanks lose so many FAs that they have lots of money and may net a few extra draft picks, but this wont happen often.

  • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

    “But they can still provide us with examples of what happens when front offices have a plan and are patient. Over the last 19 months, we’ve tried to preach a New York version of that course. Sometimes, we’ve been right; sometimes, we’ve been wrong. It comes with the Minor League territory. But there’s no reason why the Yankees can’t attempt to rebuild a team in the mold they set for themselves 14 years ago.

    While I agree wholeheartedly with your larger overall point of keeping faith in and having patience with the quality young talent we’ve assembled to become the core of our competitive team going forward (including much maligned guys like Kennedy and Hughes), I have to take exception with that last sentence.

    The Yankees of 14 years ago (i.e. the title-teams) were not patiently built with homegrown prospects. They were built with equal parts good homegrown prospects, a series of effective (and lucky) trades for quality veteran talent, and several smart free agent additions, several of the big ticket variety.

    Full disclosure. I don’t want any pendulums swinging too far in any direction in a misguided attempt to follow a past recipe of success that never worked because it never existed in the first place.

    • chritospher

      much of their success came from home grown positional players and free agent pitchers —- a good gameplan considering how much more difficult it is to predict major league pitching success from a minore league player

      home grown positional players jeter – bernie – posada – soriano and many key role players

      home grown starters – Petitte

      there recent draft history has totally abandoned this philosophy as they seem to not care about hittters in the early rounds

      • steve (different one)

        there recent draft history has totally abandoned this philosophy as they seem to not care about hittters in the early rounds

        1. Jeter was the 6th pick in the draft overall. the Yankees had the 6th pick because in 1991, they finished 71-91.

        if the Yankees had the 6th pick in any of the last 5 years, they would probably have taken a position player.

        2. Posada was drafted in the 24th round. he was drafted in 1990 and didn’t become a regular until 1998.

        so, there may be a Posada that was drafted in the last 3 years and we won’t really know for another few years.

        3. Bernie and Soriano were NOT drafted.

        Bernie was signed as a teenager out of PR, just like Jesus Montero was signed as a teenager. Soriano was purchased from Japan.

        4. the yankees took CJ Henry in the first round in 2005.

        in other words, the Yankees haven’t “abandoned” anything. none of those guys were drafted at the end of any of the early rounds. the Yankees have one philosophy and it’s not different from the early 90’s: “take the best talent available”.

        • JohnnyC

          Also, given their draft position, the best value, not merely from a developmental point of view but from a future trade asset point of view, lay in selecting pitchers and catchers…the two most sought-after commodities in MLB. Fundamentally, if the strategy works, it limits your need to pursue high-priced, over 30 free agents…something that tends to spiral down and cripple your organization: it gets old, increases payroll exponentially, and restricts roster movement. Precisely where the Yankees have been for the last several seasons. We are only now digging out from under.

          • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Irrelevant Non-Sequitur Jones

            I’m too lazy to go crunch the numbers, but I’m sure if you looked at the draft classes from the early ’90s that became the “foundation” of our dynasty years and compared them to the draft classes of the past five years (or of any five year period, for that matter) that the ratios of pitchers to catchers to infielders to outfielders is largely the same. Any notion that we’re somehow “neglecting” position players is false.

            Nearly every draft (and not just Yankee drafts, but across baseball) is pitcher and catcher heavy, because there’s so much attrition development, and luck involved in those positions. It takes about 10 decent pitching prospects to create one viable major leaguer.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

          Another thing to consider is that hitters are generally safer bets on the free agent markets. Even Giambi, whose off-the-field issues were basically as bad as it could get, was a supremely productive hitter with the Yanks.

      • Steve S

        Revenue sharing has changed that approach. Bernie and Soriano were all international signings which were a product of scouting and financial resources. Now teams have more money to spend on the international market (see the Oakland A’s this year). Plus Posada was drafted in the late rounds and was converted into a catcher.

        And free agent pitching has gone the way of gasoline- overpriced and watered down. There are no longer any true salary dumps. Teams are locking up their young players, especially young pitching through their arbitration years at affordable prices and sometimes that stretches into the free agency years. Thats something that these smaller market teams never used to do. Think about this the Yankees acquired David Cone for Jason Arnold and a bag of balls. They signed David Wells in his prime years. They acquired Clemens because he wanted a raise that the Blue jays knew they couldnt afford and he forced his way into NY because he knew where the pay check was. And they managed to get El Duque because of their wallets, which at his cost, was a bargain. Teams have wised up to that.

        Look at the recent premium free agent signings- the big name free agents that have signed $100M contracts:

        Beltran
        Zito
        Carlos Lee
        Soriano
        Arod

        And now this year:

        Texeira & Manny

        Zito is the only premium name that went free agent and see how that worked out. Now look at the pitchers who have signed recent big free agent contracts

        Burnett
        Pavano
        Silva
        Meche
        Clement
        Lilly
        Millwood

        I’m leaving certain guys out, but none of the names even come close to a David Wells. And guys like Pedro Martinez or a David Cone dont become available through trade very often. Santana became available but we all know those circumstances and the price which doesn’t even come close to what the Yankees in the 90’s gave up for Cone or Clemens who were arguably as good.

        Free agent pitching is a disaster because the better guys- Zambrano, Halladay, Webb, Kazmir, Shields, etc… get signed up quickly. And the market has corrected itself for cost- eg.- Dan Haren who cost the D-Backs quite a bit.

        I think the Yankees are on the right path- you have to develop pitching. My only concern is who is developing these guys. In the last thirty years that organization hasn’t developed an ace (since Guidry). Pettitte has been a good starter but that is as far as it goes. I know everyone wants to point a finger at Cash or Girardi but the guys at the lower developmental levels need to answer for this stuff. Nardi Contreras and even Dave Eisland whose impact this year was hardly noticeable when it comes to the kids.

        • radnom

          Now look at the pitchers who have signed recent big free agent contracts

          Burnett
          Pavano
          Silva
          Meche
          Clement
          Lilly
          Millwood

          Wow, way to cherry pick your results

          • Steve S

            Okay so give me the free agent starters who have signed in the last five years that are aces or legitimate front end starters. I think Meche might be the closest.

            • Steve S

              Here are some more:

              Kyle Lohse
              Jarrod Washburn
              Kenny Rogers
              Jeff Weaver
              Matt Morris
              Jason Schmidt
              Derek Lowe

              Have I named one guy that would lead you to say had the Yankees signed that guy, that would have made the difference. How about this were any of these guys who were available guys who you said wow the Yankees really need to sign that guy.

            • radnom

              I’m not saying you didn’t have a legitimate point. Obviously free agent pitching is generally not the way to go. Every once in a while a Moose or CC will pop up, but usually you overpay for garbage.
              But you quite obviously went out of your way to just list the absolute worst contracts.

              • radnom

                Sorry I hit send to early.
                List the absolutely worst contracts, which generally were disasters for their teams. But a lot of guys who were signed to fill the 3-5 spots in rotations performed that job admirably, for a decent cost.
                The trouble comes when you need a #1 via free agency, and since there rarely is one out there, you take the best pitcher on the market and give him #1 money.

              • Steve S

                List the good ones, Im curious. You gave me CC which hasnt even come to fruition (and we dont know the outcome) and you gave me Moose which happened 8 years ago. Im not even discussing the recent extension on Moose.

                I probably gave you the best of the last five years in Meche and Lilly has been okay.

            • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Irrelevant Non-Sequitur Jones

              “Okay so give me the free agent starters who have signed in the last five years that are aces or legitimate front end starters.”

              For the legitimate front-end starters, I’d add Ted Lilly and Derek Lowe to the ever-short Gil Meche list of good-but-not-dominant free agent pitchers. I don’t think the Cubs, Dodgers, or Royals regret those deals.

              For “aces”, no. Because, as you said, most aces are now resigned by their teams (or traded to new teams who extend their contracts) before they ever hit the market.

              Which is why the rare ace who does come free (like Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling, Mike Mussina, or now, CC Sabathia) comes along, we should be going in full bore to snatch him up, and when guys who are just “good pitchers” and not aces, like A.J. Burnett and 2008 Derek Lowe, we should approach with caution. Because Lilly, Meche, and 2004 Derek Lowe are definitely the exception and not the rule.

              • Steve S

                And that was my point the post i was responded to was saying they should use their early draft picks for positional players. I was pointing to the free agent market to say look there are no real aces and all of those contracts had draw backs. Even the people who want Lowe now say that he would take a step back coming from the NL West. And I had no issue with Mussinabut Mussina happened before the 2002 collective bargaining agreement which we can all agree was the big FU to the Yankees as it implemented revenue sharing in its current status and adopted the luxury tax which at the time only one team had surpassed its threshold.

              • Steve S

                And I think his issue was that I cherry picked. I dont think my list was cherry picking, it was a balance of good, bad and even. I mean if you want to sit here and say I was misleading people because I left Lowe off that list then we have a different opinion of Derek Lowe.

                • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Irrelevant Non-Sequitur Jones

                  Yup, dude, I’m with ya wholeheartedly.

                • Steve S

                  Thank you, and I didnt even need steve (the different one) on this one.

                • radnom

                  Dude, I wasn’t disagreeing with you. You need to chill. I felt you were doing your point a disservice if anything by picking the most extreme contracts. Nevermind.

                • Steve S

                  And I am relaxed just bored at work and I dont think I picked the most extreme contracts. I even acknowledged in the original post that I am leaving certain guys out. But in the end I thought the list was a fair sample of the recent free agent signings. And you made it seem as if I was being misleading which I didnt appreciate. Im still waiting to see a list of five to six that would havent been so “extreme”.

                • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Irrelevant Non-Sequitur Jones

                  I’m always going to think of the Man-E-Faces action figure when you two get going on a topic together now…

                • Steve S

                  lol.

          • Steve S

            here is some more-

            Esteban Loaiza
            Mark Mulder
            Jeff Suppan
            Paul Byrd
            Tom Glavine
            Greg Maddux
            Jamie Moyer
            Woody Williams
            Brett Tomko
            Randy Wolf

            I’m still looking and waiting for some suggestion.

            • radnom

              Did you even read my comments?

              Actually looking at the time stamp you were probably compiling this list and hadnt had a chance yet.

              • Steve S

                Ive read them. And I dont think I cherry picked, I think I gave you a mix of both. I gave you Pavano and Clement which were probably the worst. Burnett was middle of the pack. And Meche and Lilly were probably the best. Silva was the only guy out there last year who got more than a one year deal. I thought my list was rather a brief but realistic.

        • Steve S

          not jason arnold- marty janzen

          • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Irrelevant Non-Sequitur Jones

            Marty Janzen, Jason Jarvis, and Mike Gordon.

            I believe they are now the Toronto lawfirm of Janzen, Jarvis, and Gordon, LLC.

            • Steve S

              I think Gord Ash has a hit out on them.

        • Chris C.

          “I think the Yankees are on the right path- you have to develop pitching. My only concern is who is developing these guys. In the last thirty years that organization hasn’t developed an ace (since Guidry).”

          That’s not entirely accurate. I felt Righetti was well on his way to becoming an ace before he was stupidely put in the bullpen, and Doug Drabek was a Cy Young winner. Jimmy Key was dealt to Toronto in the early 80’s, and Al Leiter did become an ace.

          Ace’s don’t grow on trees, and it’s very difficult to “develope” one. They usually have the stuff whether as an International signing, or a high draft pick.

          • Steve S

            Ill give you Drabek aned Rags. Jimmy Key was drafted by the Blue Jays in 1982, he never was a yankees until they signed him as a free agent.

            Leiter wasn’t developed here. He was run into the ground by Dallas Green but he really didnt become an ace till much later in his career. And thats my point, there seems to be a common theme where none of these guys are developed properly. I just dont know if its a coincidence that these guys flourished for other teams. take a look at Halladay who came up crashed and had to go back down to Single A to be recreated. have the Yankees ever done that?

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

      They were built with equal parts good homegrown prospects, a series of effective (and lucky) trades for quality veteran talent, and several smart free agent additions, several of the big ticket variety.

      That is exactly what I’m advocating for. No reason why the Yanks can’t do that again.

      • steve (different one)

        i agree, but the problem is that trades like the ones that were made during that run would probably never happen today.

        the Yankees built their championship teams from a series of lopsided heists that were largely made because there weren’t many teams competing with the Yankees for these players.

        the Tino/Nelson, Cone, and Clemens trades wouldn’t happen today.

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Irrelevant Non-Sequitur Jones

          Absolutely right. The game has changed and we can’t bully the weaker teams in the league into giving us their great players for free anymore.

          Which is why today’s Yankee fans have to be more patient and realistic, and acknowledge that Brian Cashman is not an idiot because he hasn’t been as effective a GM as Gene Michael or Bob Watson, because their jobs were a bit easier back then than his is now.

          • Chris C.

            Which is why today’s Yankee fans have to be more patient and realistic, and acknowledge that Brian Cashman is not an idiot because he hasn’t been as effective a GM as Gene Michael or Bob Watson, because their jobs were a bit easier back then than his is now.

            BOB WATSON????
            What the heck did Bob Watson do, besides take over the team Gene Michael and Buck Showalter already built??? Heck, the Tino Martinez deal was already on the table and sold to Seattle before Michael left his post. The only hold-up was that Michael was trying to squeeze a better pitcher than Jim Mecir out of the Mariners.

            Watson’s only contributions were being Steinbrenner’s patsy.

            • steve (different one)

              BOB WATSON????
              What the heck did Bob Watson do, besides take over the team Gene Michael and Buck Showalter already built???

              completely false.

              Watson’s tenure stretched from 10/23/95 – 2/2/98

              here are the deals that fell under his watch:

              Tino Martinez/Jeff Nelson/Jim Mecir – 12/7/1995
              Tim Raines – 12/28/1995
              Cecil Fielder – 7/31/1996
              Graeme Lloyd – 8/23/1996
              Joe Girardi – 12/3/1996
              Mike Stanton – 12/11/1996
              David Wells – 12/24/1996
              Chad Curtis – 6/9/1997
              Mariano Duncan – 12/11/1995
              Dwight Gooden – 2/20/1996
              Charlie Hayes – 8/30/1996
              Hideki Irabu – 5/29/1997
              Scott Brosius – 11/18/1997
              Chili Davis – 12/10/1997

              not a lot of “stars” in that list, but Watson was responsible for a HUGE chunk of those championship rosters.

              even if you are crediting Tino to Gene Michael, he still deserves way more credit than you are giving him.

              • Chris C.

                Dude, those were all role players who were given credit for being better than they actually were because their roles were very simple.
                Wells and Stanton were gems…….but they replaced Key and Lloud, so it wasn’t total addition.

                Also, some of those dates are incorrect. Joe Girardi got the big hit in Game 5 of the 1996 WS, yet you have the Yankees getting him 2 months later?

                • steve (different one)

                  you are correct. Girardi should be 11/20/1995. still on Watson’s watch. my bad.

                  as for those guys being role players, so what?

                  you said he did nothing.

                  i pointed out over a dozen average to above average players who all played important roles in winning 4 world series with the Yankees.

                  the only way you could call that “nothing” would be if you had some sort of agenda.

                  are you really trying to argue that the 1996 Yankees would have won the World Series with Girardi, Fielder, Duncan, etc??

                  that Brosius wasn’t an important member of the 1998-2000 WS teams?

                  the facts are that Watson turned over a large part of the roster that he inherited from Michael. that team won the World Series.

                • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Irrelevant Non-Sequitur Jones

                  Did Bob Watson steal your lunch money in grade school or something?

                  It’s well known that Watson, Michael, and Cashman all worked well together. They’re part of the same braintrust. Can’t really praise Michael without praising Watson and Cashman, and vice versa

                  Watson also is the one who handpicked Torre, FWIW.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

          i agree, but the problem is that trades like the ones that were made during that run would probably never happen today.

          They happen, look at the Tampa. Two of their starting pitchers, starting catcher and starting shortstop were acquired this way.

          • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Irrelevant Non-Sequitur Jones

            Touche. Perhaps this augurs well for us and we’re entering another great era of General Managing Stupidity that we can take advantage of.

            I propose we all start masquerading on other teams blogs, message boards, and talk radio stations to try and get a groundswell of support to get Dan Duquette, Steve Phillips, Bill Bavasi, Allard Baird and Cam Bonifay reemployed.

            Having Ned Colletti and Ed Wade around is nice, but we can’t settle for just “nice”. There are dozens of potential Dioner Navarro for Toby Hall numbskull trades waiting to happen, but they’re not going to fall out of the sky: we have to ensure that the guy on the other end of that phone CashMoney is calling is as dumb as Sarah Palin while we still have a chance to cash in on this championship window.

            DUQUETTE, PHILLIPS, BAVASI, BAIRD, AND BONIFAY ’08!
            PRICE TO THE PEN ’09!
            YES WE CAN! SI SE PUEDE!

            (I’m tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones, and I approved this message.)

            • Chris C.

              “Touche. Perhaps this augurs well for us and we’re entering another great era of General Managing Stupidity that we can take advantage of..”

              Wait a minute…….there’s a difference between “GM stupidity” and “salary dumping”.

              • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Irrelevant Non-Sequitur Jones

                Very true. (Doesn’t explaine Colletti trading Navarro and Seo for Hall and Hendrickson, but it’s true.)

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

                  Or Edwin Jackson for Danys Baez.

                • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Irrelevant Non-Sequitur Jones

                  Ned Colletti = Andrew Friedman’s bitch

          • Chris C.

            “They happen, look at the Tampa. Two of their starting pitchers, starting catcher and starting shortstop were acquired this way.”

            What way? Those were fair trades on paper.
            The trades TB made have absolutely NOTHING in common with the trades the YAnkees pulled off from 1996-2000.

        • Chris C.

          the Yankees built their championship teams from a series of lopsided heists that were largely made because there weren’t many teams competing with the Yankees for these players.

          The only guy I can think of who came to the YAnkees in a lopsided heist on the 1996 team was David Cone.
          The Tino trade wasn’t all that lopsided. Sterling Hitchcock was a hot young pitcher at that time, and showed it in 1995 for the Yankees…….and later for San Diego in 1998. And Russ Davis was the Yankees top minor league prospect, and a BaseballAmerica top 10 minor league player.

          In hindsight, that deal was a steal. But there were alot of people around baseball who thought Davis was going to have a big career at third.

      • Chris C.

        “That is exactly what I’m advocating for. No reason why the Yanks can’t do that again.”

        List of 10 reasons why the Yanks won’t do it again, in the current climate:

        1. George “Patton” Steinbrenner
        2. Hank Steinbrenner
        3. Cashman is terrible at IDing and trading for young, rising players.
        4. They can’t draft for shit. Everyone they pick is injured.
        5. New Stadium = high payroll, which means spending to spend.
        6. No patience. You want a rookie to develope in this environment?
        7. The only modern team in the AL East who hasn’t at least tried the blueprint laid out by Gene Michael…….is the YANKEES! So now the division makes it tougher for the Yankees to restrain from stupid spending.
        8. Years of bad signings has cost the Yankees numerous 1st and 2nd rounders, so their system is filled with “nice” players, but not stars.
        9. The fans are now spoiled rotten. Back in the early 90’s, the bar and expectations were so low, that the way Michael was building went under the radar.
        10. Players aren’t going to flock here to play for Joe Girardi. This is a guy who removed a candy machine from the clubhouse, just to tick people off. Grown-ups don’t generally like being treated like children.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

          Cashman is terrible at IDing and trading for young, rising players.

          What makes you say that? Who did he miss out on?

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

            They can’t draft for shit. Everyone they pick is injured.

            And what makes you say that? They took one guy high that was injured. Are you really complaining about the 9th round pick they used on Melancon? Yeah, they would have been better off drafted that senior 1B/DH from Miami (OH) because he was healthy.

            • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Irrelevant Non-Sequitur Jones

              My favorite is:

              3. Cashman is terrible at IDing and trading for young, rising players.
              4. They can’t draft for shit. Everyone they pick is injured.

              AND:

              6. No patience. You want a rookie to develope in this environment?

              So apparently, the problem is that we won’t wait for our young players to develop, AND we’ve got bad young players. But Chris, how do you know that we’ve got bad young players, if… we haven’t waited for them to develop yet?

              • Chris C.

                “So apparently, the problem is that we won’t wait for our young players to develop, AND we’ve got bad young players. But Chris, how do you know that we’ve got bad young players, if… we haven’t waited for them to develop yet?”

                I think it’s a little of both.
                The 2007 offseason did a number on Hughes and Kennedy. I’m convinced of that. And would Joba Chamberlain be the rock star he is now if he played anywhere else? It still remains to be seen whether he can handle it all.

                I never said the Yankees had bad young players. I said they don’t draft well.

                • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Irrelevant Non-Sequitur Jones

                  I never said the Yankees had bad young players. I said they don’t draft well.

                  Well, actually, you did say that we had bad young players, because you said we don’t draft well (meaning we’re not acquiring good young players through the draft) and you said that Cashman is incapable of identifying and acquiring good young players through trades.

                  If you think the young players we’ve drafted aren’t good and you think the young players we’ve acquired in trades aren’t good, then you’ve exhausted all possibilities. By your logic, every young player we have isn’t good.

                  But I digest.

                  You say the Yankees don’t draft well. I’d agree with you, for most of the recent past we haven’t drafted well. Do you feel this is Cashman’s fault? Because, it’s well documented that Cashman, Oppenheimer, and Michael didn’t have much control over the draft prior to ’05, when it was run from the numbskulls in Tampa. Now that they’ve taken it over, I think we’ve done a lot better, don’t you?

            • Chris C.

              “And what makes you say that? They took one guy high that was injured.”

              Two of their top three draft picks in June went under the knife already. One of them was so injured, the Yankees didn’t even offer him a contract. And the guy of that group who is healthy is heading to college, because his dad is a rich as Steinbrenner.
              The Yankees were unaware of all this?

              That’s a hell of a scouting department they have in place.

          • Chris C.

            What makes you say that? Who did he miss out on?

            Let’s see…….it would have been nice to give Lilly more of a chance, instead of dealing him for a guy who was smoking pot on his team’s flight a month earlier. We got nothing for Sheffield. Crap for Randy Johnson. Missed opportunity to get a young guy for Contreras, gave up on Jake Westbrook, released Carlos Pena after he hit about .330 as a minor league signee, dealt Lowell for Yarnel, and tossed stupid money at highly-touted flops like Henson, Morales, and Igawa.

            In fact, how about this……..give me a list of all the young, upcoming players that Cashman added to the Yankee roster over the past number of years?
            Because aside from the original homegrowns, the roster looks like a bunch of already-established former all-stars to me.

            • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

              gave up on Jake Westbrook

              Oh yeah, I’m sure they regret that. David Justice was totally not worth it.

              Plus you’re acting like RJ and Sheff had a ton of value. Old guys with injury and attitude problems signed to big money deals. Oh yeah, teams were lining up to get their hands on those guys. I consider getting seven players for those two a minor miracle. And the book’s not out on Humberto or Whelan yet, so stop acting like they’re busts.

              Is Billy Beane stupid for letting Pena go? Dave Dombrowski? theo Epstein? They all let him go too.

              give me a list of all the young, upcoming players that Cashman added to the Yankee roster over the past number of years?

              How many of those players have been traded in the last few years? Seriously, like, a dozen or so? Stop acting like Cash is sitting around twiddling his thumbs while everyone else is swapping young stars like it’s going out of style.

              • Chris C.

                Oh yeah, I’m sure they regret that. David Justice was totally not worth it.

                YEah, I realized that after I hit “add comment” Good trade.

                “Plus you’re acting like RJ and Sheff had a ton of value.”

                Turned down Micah Owings for RJ. HE chose quantity over quality, which was a mistake. He also dealt Dioneer Navarro to Zona to get Johnson, who would have been a nice heir to Posada.

                “I consider getting seven players for those two a minor miracle.”

                Not one of those 7 players has yet to show that he’s a young, up-in-coming player. When they do, then you can tell me how wrong I am.

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

                  Micah Owings??? The same Micah Owings that had a 5.93 ERA in the NL freaking West this year? Yeah, missed out on a gem there.

                • steve (different one)

                  Turned down Micah Owings for RJ.

                  says you.

                  can you back this claim?

                  i don’t think you can.

                • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Irrelevant Non-Sequitur Jones

                  Micah Owings just put up a 5.93 ERA in the NL, and the Diamondbacks gave up on him and shipped him to Cincy in the Dunn deal. If he didn’t hit homeruns, he’d be a virtual afterthought already. Picking Ohlendorf over him doesn’t look too bad in retrospect.

                  And Navarro was all we had to use to get RJ, and Big Stein ordered that deal. Can’t fault Cashman for that.

                • steve (different one)

                  also, and this is beating a dead horse:

                  it is HIGHLY likely, and has been pointed out in numerous places, that Cashman did NOT make the RJ trade.

                  if Cashman was running the show, the Yankees might still have Navarro.

                  and Beltran in CF. but that’s a different argument.

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

                  Plus, according to Fangraphs, Owings’ avg fastball velo this year was 88.9 mph. But, more importantly, he’s not Chinese.

                • Chris C.

                  Don’t judge Owings on one season……he’s got a higher ceiling than Ohlendorf.

                • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Irrelevant Non-Sequitur Jones

                  Owings probably does have a higher ceiling than Ohlendorf. But not enough to make a stink about it. They’re both decent pitchers who could probably be back end starters in the NL and not much more. And ultimately, their values were so similar both then and now that had you gone back in time and flipped Owings for Ohlendorf, then come 2008 both the Yankees and D-Bags would have still been willing to pull the plug on them, and Ohlendorf would have been traded to Cincy and Owings traded to Pittsburgh.

                  Neither of them is a stud. Let’s move on.

            • steve (different one)

              We got nothing for Sheffield.

              i love how you make this statement in the very same thread you blast Yankee fans for not having patience.

              Humberto Sanchez’s story has yet to be told. he has VERY good stuff.

              but you have already declared him nothing.

              very patient.

              Crap for Randy Johnson.

              well, they already spun Ohlendorf to help them get Nady and Marte. so that’s something. they also got a decent season of relief from Vizcaino and a sandwich pick. they also spun AGon off for a young reliever with pretty good stuff.

              but again, we have to wait and see what the outcome is on Bleich and Nunez. which requires patience.

              and what did you think RJ’s trade value was?

              this is just dumb. Johnson was 100 years old, had back surgery, was NOT GOOD in 2006, was owed $16M. he missed almost the entire 2007 season and you are ripping Cashman for not getting enough?

              they got about $14M in salary savings, a decent reliever for a year, a sandwich pick, a trade chip in Ohlendorf, and a minor league reliever with upside.

              get some perspective.

              Missed opportunity to get a young guy for Contreras,

              true. they could have had Jeremy Reed. except he is awful.

              gave up on Jake Westbrook

              wow. are you purposefully being obtuse? Westbrook was traded for Justice, in one of the best deadline deals in Yankee history.

              also, and this goes for Lilly too: Cashman ACQUIRED Lilly and Westbrook for Irabu.

              so, he obviously had a good eye for young players when he acquired them, yes?

              released Carlos Pena after he hit about .330 as a minor league signee

              well, he actually hit .260.

              but who needs facts?

              • Chris C.

                “Humberto Sanchez’s story has yet to be told. he has VERY good stuff.”

                Constantly injured……was injured with the Tigers, and has been injured here. Again, my point isn’t to bash Cashman’s strategy. Just the returns he gets. They’re lousy.

                “but you have already declared him nothing.”

                I’ve declared him injury-prone. Can you possibly argue that?
                You think Dave Dombrowsky, who absolutely owns Cashman, didn’t know what he was doing?

                “also, and this goes for Lilly too: Cashman ACQUIRED Lilly and Westbrook for Irabu.
                so, he obviously had a good eye for young players when he acquired them, yes?”

                And how have they helped the Yankees? As pawns in new trades for Veterans? How about we try hanging onto some of these guys. The Westbrook deal I’ll give you, because Justice was nice. But Lilly for Weaver had no point to it.

                “well, they already spun Ohlendorf to help them get Nady and Marte”

                Oh please. He was a throw-in. The biggies in that deal were McCucheon and Tabata. They could have replaced Ohlendorf in that deal with about 20 other guys.

                “well, he actually hit .260.”

                You’re right……….but at Columbus, he also had a .370 OBP, 19 homers, and 66 rbi……in just over 100 ballgames. And he plays a gold-glove calibre 1st base.
                Meanwhile, the Yankees wee pulling their hair out over the production they were getting at 1st base.
                How does this guy not get a chance?

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

                  Cashman said (somewhere, I can’t find it, I think it was on WFAN) that the two guys the Pirates wanted were Tabata and Ohlendorf. If McCutchen was such a key part of the deal, why wasn’t he in the original package?

                • Chris C.

                  No. The two guys the Pirates really wanted were Tabata and Coke. But the Yankees held Coke back, and the Pirates subbed McCutcheon for him.

                • steve (different one)

                  Oh please. He was a throw-in

                  and way to ignore EVERYTHING else that came back from trading Johnson:

                  1. A-Gon – traded for Jhonny Nunez
                  2. 1 season of Vizcaino
                  3. Jeremy Bleich
                  4. Steven Jackson

                  now, here is what AZ got:

                  1. 57 innings of RJ for $14M

                  You think Dave Dombrowsky, who absolutely owns Cashman, didn’t know what he was doing?

                  i think BOTH parties knew what they were doing. Cashman knew it was possible that Sanchez would need TJS, but liked hiis upside enough to take him and wait the extra year for the surgery.

                  and Dombrowski knew that Sanchez might need TJS so he could afford to trade him.

                  and you are missing one detail: Sheff has been a bust in Detroit.

                  so, i’m not really sure who got “owned” here. it wasn’t really a good trade for Detroit, b/c he are paying $39M to a player who looks washed up and can’t stay healthy.

                  And how have they helped the Yankees? As pawns in new trades for Veterans?

                  they don’t win the World Series in 2000 without Justice.

                  so, yeah, sometimes that’s EXACTLY how prospects can help the team sometimes.

                  Meanwhile, the Yankees wee pulling their hair out over the production they were getting at 1st base.
                  How does this guy not get a chance?

                  for a lot of reasons:

                  1. Pena had an opt out date in his contract. the Yankees had to release him by a certain date.
                  2. Sheffield got hurt and was replaced by Abreu. the Yankees wanted a RH bat, so they traded for Craig Wilson instead. Wilson had been a better hitter than Pena every step of his career
                  3. Andy Phillips had the only good stretch of his career at the exact same time Pena was in AAA.

                  Pena was a miss. no doubt. but it wasn’t nearly the mistake at the time it seems now.

                • Chris C.

                  You’re missing the point.

                  I have NO PROBLEM with Cashman’s plans to build the team the way he’s doing it, or the types of trades he’s making.
                  All this nonsense started out from one line in one of my posts were I said that Cashman doesn’t make very good trades, and he doesn’t get very good up-and -coming players back.

                  And I’m sorry, but he doesn’t. This needs to improve.

                  As does the scouting. The 2008 draft was a joke. Hopefully some gems pop out in the later rounds, because they wasted the top three picks.

                • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Irrelevant Non-Sequitur Jones

                  Pena was a miss that a lot of other GM’s, including the Mount Rushmore of general managing uberintelligence, William L. Beane, Theo N. Epstein, and David Dombrowski, also gave up on.

            • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Irrelevant Non-Sequitur Jones

              Fine. Some of that is bullshit (like the parts about getting nothing for Sheffield and Johnson), but whatever.

              None of those “failures” are particularly egregious, IMO. None of them are any different than the various fish that get away from all 30 teams in Major League Baseball – nobody is perfect.

              And some of these “failures” are good things. I have no problem with Cashman throwing money at Henson and Igawa, and you shouldn’t either. Henson and Igawa cost us nothing but money, and we have that as an advantage. For every few Hensons and Igawas there’s a Soriano or a Veras.

              (but sorry, I’ve got no clue who “Morales” is. Either you lost me or I’m brainfarting.)

              • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

                Andy Morales, a Cuban 3B they signed to a 4/4.1 deal back in 2001. The Yanks voided the contract after they discovered that he lied about his age. The plan was to have him take over Brosius in 2002.

                • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Irrelevant Non-Sequitur Jones

                  WHAT! WE DIDN’T GET ANDY MORALES!!?!?!??!?!?!?!

                  MULTIPLE INTERROBANGS!?!?!??!?!??!??!??!??!??!???!

                  BIG BANK HANK, FIRE CASHMAN IMMEDIATELY!!!!!!

                • steve (different one)

                  Andy Morales, a Cuban 3B they signed to a 4/4.1 deal back in 2001.

                  so, they signed a guy with upside for what amounts to peanuts for the Yankees on the chance he could be a major league regular?

                  isn’t this EXACTLY what we want the Yankees to do whenever and wherever possible???

              • steve (different one)

                “Morales” plays for the Yankees in the alternate universe where Carlos Pena hit .330 in AAA, the Justice trade was a bad move, and the Diamondbacks were offering Justin Upton for Randy Johnson but Cashman decided he preferred Ross Ohlendorf.

                • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Irrelevant Non-Sequitur Jones

                  And where Bob Watson is a soulless, heartless idiot. And where Hitman posts more or less for the intelligent fans.

              • Chris C.

                “And some of these “failures” are good things. I have no problem with Cashman throwing money at Henson and Igawa, and you shouldn’t either. Henson and Igawa cost us nothing but money, and we have that as an advantage.”

                See, here’s where you’re wrong. The Igawa signing cost us Ted Lilly, because the Yankees got the lefty they wanted, instead of Lilly, a guy who told his agent he wanted to come back to the Yankees.
                And I’m not 100% certain, but wasn’t the Drew Hensen signing a prelude to them dealing Lowell to the Marlins for Yarnel?
                How can you not care when the GM makes bad signings?

                • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Irrelevant Non-Sequitur Jones

                  The Igawa signing cost us Ted Lilly, because the Yankees got the lefty they wanted, instead of Lilly, a guy who told his agent he wanted to come back to the Yankees.

                  Well, considering that the Yankees were still in on the Ted Lilly contract offers well into the first week of December, 2008, even after winning the rights to Igawa, I can’t really say that Igawa “prevented” us from signing Lilly. We were clearly interested in both.

                  And no, Henson had nothing to do with the Lowell-Yarnall deal. We flipped Lowell because we’d just re-upped Scott Brosius and thought (foolishly) that Lowell was roadblocked at third, and tried to get value elsewhere for him. Yarnall was a very, very highly thought of big power lefty, and the trade looks much worse in hindsight than it did at the time.

                  I do care when the GM makes bad signings. But not all bad signings are identical. Barry Zito is a big bad signing that prevents the Giants from having the financial flexibility to do other things, for example. Kei Igawa and Drew Henson are good bad signings that have low risk and high reward.

                • steve (different one)

                  And I’m not 100% certain, but wasn’t the Drew Hensen signing a prelude to them dealing Lowell to the Marlins for Yarnel?

                  not really. Lowell was traded for what was considered at the time to be an excellent haul of pitching prospects. the Yankees were set at 3B with Brosius for the next 3 seasons, and wanted to restock their pitching pipeline.

                  Yarnell was thought of highly enough to be a key cog in the Piazza trade just 9 months earlier.

                  Igawa was a mistake. no doubt.

                  see, i don’t mind debating legitimate mistakes like Igawa and whiffing on Pena.

                  but for whatever reason, you feel the need to try to bolster your case with other nonsense, like Cashman should have got more for Randy Johnson or trading Jake Westbrook was dumb, or blaming Cashman for trading Navarro when he probably wasn’t even involved in the trade at all….

                  Cashman ain’t perfect.

                  but some of these other claims aren’t really valid either.

                • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Irrelevant Non-Sequitur Jones

                  DAMN! Lilly offers of December, 2006. I keep mistyping my dates, sorry.

                • Chris C.

                  “Well, considering that the Yankees were still in on the Ted Lilly contract offers well into the first week of December, 2008, even after winning the rights to Igawa, I can’t really say that Igawa “prevented” us from signing Lilly. We were clearly interested in both.”

                  This isn’t correct. Cashman was weighing the options between Igawa and Lilly, and chose Igawa because he wasn’t going to be taxed on the 26 million dollar signing fee he plunked down. And also, should either flop, since Igawa has a cheaper contract, he’d be easier to trade.
                  Never did the Yankees dream that Igawa would be so bad, he’s STILL be impossible to trade at about 5 mill a year!

                  But after they got Igawa, Lilly was out of the picture. It was one or the other.

                • Chris C.

                  “but for whatever reason, you feel the need to try to bolster your case with other nonsense, like Cashman should have got more for Randy Johnson”

                  Cashman COULD HAVE gotten more for Johnson. Micah Owings has a higher ceiling than Ohlendorf, and was a higher rated prospect as well. Cashman chose quantity over quality. I think it’s a mistake to do that.

                  “trading Jake Westbrook was dumb”

                  I forgot Westbrook was dealt for Justice. I’ve addressed that previously.

                  “blaming Cashman for trading Navarro when he probably wasn’t even involved in the trade at all….”

                  Of course he was! That was his deal! Steinbrenner gave him a choice of inking Beltran, or fashioning a trade for Randy Johnson. He chose Johnson, then made the deal…….and not before tacking on a 2 year, 34 million dollar extension. Ugghh.
                  Steinbrenner NEVER ordered him to trade for Johnson.
                  Cashman could have actually signed Beltran, AND kept Navarro.

              • Chris C.

                “Henson and Igawa cost us nothing but money, and we have that as an advantage.”

                It’s an advantage, until it’s not utilized properly. Then it can backfire. There’s only so many roster spots. If you toss big money at bad players, there’s no room to make the right deals. And you may end up getting rid of guys who should be getting a better look.

                “For every few Hensons and Igawas there’s a Soriano or a Veras.”

                Well, sure. If you throw enough shit against a wall, something’s gotta stick!
                Although I’m not sure what Veres has to do with that. He’s hardly a big money risk.

    • Chris C.

      But there’s no reason why the Yankees can’t attempt to rebuild a team in the mold they set for themselves 14 years ago.“

      Sure there is……..that reason is THE STEINBRENNER FAMILY.
      The team 14 years ago was built when Steinbrenner was suspended. So the person most responsible for their 4 championships in the 90’s……..is DAVE WINFIELD.

      “The Yankees of 14 years ago (i.e. the title-teams) were not patiently built with homegrown prospects. They were built with equal parts good homegrown prospects, a series of effective (and lucky) trades for quality veteran talent, and several smart free agent additions, several of the big ticket variety.”

      There’s a difference between “veteran talent” like the Yankees gathered then, and the “veteran talent” they’re inking now. Like, maybe, they were entering their mid-thirties AFTER they won 4 championships, not before! Also, the Yankee FA additions at that time were NOT big ticket guys. The only two I can recall at that time were Kenny Rogers and John Wetteland. And neither was really worth the scratch.
      Guys like Boggs and Key were NOT expensive.
      The Yankees added the bigger ticket FA’s AFTER they won that first championship, and only to fortify what already existed……not to become centerpieces.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

        David Winfield? I think you mean Bob Watson.

        • Chris C.

          WATSON????????????????

          Watson didn’t do anything.
          I said Winfield, because Winfield was the reason Steinbrenner got suspended in the early 90’s, enabling Michael to build the team with no interuptions.

        • ceciguante

          no, he means winfield.
          big stein’s smear campaign against winnie, when he paid that skell howie spira something like $75K to dig up dirt on winnie as part of their personal feud, was what got big stein booted from baseball by fay vincent and gave the stick unfettered control. when it happened, it was seen by many as a huge blessing, that george would be out of the way and couldn’t screw up the team anymore. i was over the moon that george was out of the picture — that really marked the beginning of the ascent for this team. by the time george came back, he was a little more humble, and the front office seemed far less dysfunctional.

          it’s true…in a perverse way, winnie is responsible for the 90s dynasty.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Irrelevant Non-Sequitur Jones

        Also, the Yankee FA additions at that time were NOT big ticket guys. The only two I can recall at that time were Kenny Rogers and John Wetteland. And neither was really worth the scratch.
        Guys like Boggs and Key were NOT expensive.
        The Yankees added the bigger ticket FA’s AFTER they won that first championship, and only to fortify what already existed……not to become centerpieces.

        Not quite.

        Here’s the 1996 Yankees millionares, listed by salary. Follow the free agent bucks.

        Cecil Fielder $ 9,237,500(remember, we signed Danny Tartabull to a fat 4 year, $20M plus deal back in 1992, making him one of the highest paid players in the game. We then flipped Tartabull for Ruben Sierra, one of the highest paid players in the game, and then flipped Sierra for Cecil, who in 1993 signed a 5yr $36M contract making him the highest paid player in baseball history at the time. He was on the hunt for a new lucrative contract extension when the trade went down.)
        Paul O’Neill $ 5,300,000(We traded our homegrown prospect, Roberto Kelly, for him, but remember that both O’Neill and Kelly were approaching free agency when the deal happened and we resigned Paulie to a fat 4-yr $19M contract after 1994)
        Kenny Rogers $ 5,000,000(Signed a fat 4 yr, $20M contract after 1995)
        David Cone $ 4,666,667(Traded because the Jays couldn’t afford him, signed a fat 3 yr $19.5M contract after 1995)
        John Wetteland $ 4,000,000(traded from the Expos to us for the somewhat highly-thought-of Fernando Seguignol before the ’05 season when, through arbitration, his salaries ballooned from the $300K range to the $3-4M range)
        Bernie Williams $ 3,000,000(homegrown and paid well)
        Joe Girardi $ 2,325,000(Dumped by the Rockies because, um, I guess they really liked Mike DeJean? Honestly, I got nothing here. That trade made never made any sense from Chicago’s stance.)
        Tino Martinez $ 2,300,000(Part of a pretty legit value trade between Seattle and NYY. But again, notice that Tino is in his arb years, getting raises, approaching free agency and signed a fat 5 yr, $20M upon arrival.)
        Tim Raines $ 2,100,000(He had signed a fairly large 3 yr $11M deal with Chicago, and they dumped him on us (for a nobody named Blaine Kozawhatchamacallit) to get out from under the salary.)
        Wade Boggs $ 2,050,000(Signed a 2 yr, $4M deal extension in ’95, mainly to allow us to use young 3B Russ Davis in the Tino trade)
        Jimmy Key $ 1,750,000(On the tail end of the fat 4 yr $17M deal he signed in 1992)
        Jim Leyritz $ 1,470,000(homegrown and paid well)
        Ricky Bones $ 1,425,000(part of the Graeme Lloyd deadline deal. Still, being able to accept a scrub reliever making a million and a half in 1996 is impressive.)
        Scott Kamieniecki $ 1,100,000(homegrown and paid well)

        Remember, the average MLB salary was $1.176M in 1996. 4 year deals in the $15-20M range were definitely big ticket. And yes, you can say that only Rogers and Key were true “free agent acquisitions”, but that requires a healthy dose of self delusion. To say that the free agencies of Coney, Tino, Fielder, Wetteland, etc. had nothing to do with them becoming (or remaining) Yankees is naive. The centerpieces and the core of the ’96 team was built mainly through big ticket free agent dollars and supplemented by good young players coming up through the pipeline, not the other way around.

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Irrelevant Non-Sequitur Jones

          Sorry, the Wetteland-Seguignol thing is supposed to say before the ’95 season, not before the ’05 season. My bad.

          • Steve S

            You’ve ru-end the whole point now. I cant understand anything.

        • Slugger27

          hes right, ppl dont realize how much they flexed their financial muscles during the dynasty… homegrown players didnt make that team, homegrown players COMPLETED that team…. trades made to acquire players right before free agency are still basically trades being made by the other team for salary relief… a salary obligation the yanks could handle

          they were simlar to johan santana deals… although they were trades, they were traded cuz one team could afford to CONTINUE paying them, while the other team couldnt

  • Old Ranger

    One must remember, 2009/2010 the other teams will not get any money from the Yanks. Teams such as Tampa will have to come up with their own money to pay their star players…ergo, a player like Carl Crawford may hit the market next year. Another point on Crawford, Tampa may put him up for trade this winter, they know they will lose him next year…just a thought.
    Ben has it right, this team must augment the players they have with creative FAs…only what is needed. When they (must) sign Tex and one of the top #1pitchers (CC), we should be set for next year…CC, CMW, Joba, Andy/Moose, Phil and (maybe) Pavano will do fine. IF Crawford becomes available, he also is on the must list…but not including our 5 SP or our next MO. 27/09.