Cashman’s persistence landed Teixeira

Game 4 spillover thread
Kennedy headlines night of dominant pitching performances

We knew that Brian Cashman had a pretty damn good off-season, and that was before today’s Kat O’Brien article. The Yankees played the situation perfectly, but that might have been more out of luck than out of design. For much of the off-season leading up to the December 23rd signing, the Yankees didn’t think they’d land Teixeira. In fact, Cashman went so far as to say that “Teixeira was never really an option.”

Yet the GM realized what a good fit he was for the team. While they did have Nick Swisher in tow, there’s no comparing him and Teixeira as hitters. The lineup, while potentially solid, was rife with question marks in December, and adding another bat, especially one as consistent as Teixeira, would help shore up that concern and give the Yankees another offensive powerhouse to go with their revamped rotation. Says Cashman:

“It was something I kept pushing, but it was not really being accepted by above me . . . I guess persistence paid off. I knocked on that door, I guess, just enough that someone finally answered. Hal really gave me the OK to pursue it over a few-day period. And at that point, I still thought the Red Sox were getting him.”

Then, to Hal:

“I know you’re not interested, but they’re going to get this guy. He’s going to fall in their lap, and he’s so perfect for us.”

While it’s generally a bad idea to make moves in reaction to an opponent, the Yanks did good here because the move went far beyond countering the Red Sox. It created a swing that could easily affect the outcome of the division this year and for many to come. Teixeira would have improved the Sox offense this year and given them another dependable bat. The alternative, as they’re learning now, is to rely on Mike Lowell to remain healthy and productive for the next two years. Even then, he won’t be as productive as Tex.

Locking Tex into the first base spot for eight years would have made top prospect Lars Anderson a bit more expendable. True, there’s always the chance they could remake him as an outfielder and give him time at DH in the majors, but that’s never an ideal scenario — who knows if Anderson could handle the outfield? This, along with some decent pitching talent throughout the minors, could have enabled the Sox to pull off yet another trade to improve their team now and in the future. Imagine if they were able to trot out a rotation this year of Beckett, Lester, Dice-K, and, say, Matt Cain, with Clay Buchholz and later John Smoltz ready to take the fifth spot from Tim Wakefield. That would give them a devastating lineup and a devastating rotation. I don’t think that many of us would argue with them being favorites for this season.

Things worked out in the Yanks favor, thankfully, and they reeled in the first baseman they’ve been searching for ever since Tino Martinez departed after the 2001 season. Tex can not only pick it at first, but he provides a first-rate bat which can easily replace the production of Jason Giambi‘s later years, and then some.

One last interesting quote from Teixeira from O’Brien’s article:

“If the Yankees were a last-place team going nowhere, I wouldn’t be here,” Teixeira said. “So obviously, a talented team helps, and the ability to compete every single year is one of the reasons I signed with the Yankees.”

Booing Orioles fans should think long and hard about that one. They’ve got a core of young talent on board and some pitching in the minors, so they’re not necessarily “going nowhere.” But they’re a last place team in by far the toughest division in baseball. Why would Teixeira sign up for at least two years of agony with only the possibility of a payoff when he could sign for more money with a far better team which has a chance every year? Every Orioles fan would make the same decision.

Game 4 spillover thread
Kennedy headlines night of dominant pitching performances
  • John

    Cashman is da bomb!

    • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

      Affleck, you da bomb in “Phantoms,” yo!

  • Drew

    I read about this earlier. It’s great that Cashman has almost full reign. I hope he stay’s with us for a long time. No one ever mentions the fact that like Mo, Jete, Andy, etc., Cash is homegrown too.

    • John

      from intern to GM

  • J.R.

    I really think the Jays will end the year in last. They dont have much young talent on the horizon and their rotation got destroyed by injury and free agency.

    • Steve O.

      Last; 4th. Potatoe; potato.

    • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

      Agreed.

      • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

        But you know who didn’t come in last place? Me when I won the tournament bracket.

        • Steve O.

          Not the time, nor place. Poor name drop in comparison to Tommie’s. Step it up, or be stepped on.

          • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

            Ask me if I care.

          • pat

            Yeah Matt, you need to be much extravagantly d-baggish and really flaunt that fucker out there to rub it in peoples faces.

          • Frank

            Ouch.

          • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

            Or, if you prefer: stepped on, eh? Just like I stepped over everyone to win the tournament bracket?

            • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

              Matt, act like you’ve been there.

              We’re not Mets fans, you know.

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

                Wow. Pwned.

        • Drew

          ietc.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            I love the fact that I was just wildly complimented over and over and didn’t do a freaking thing.

            Me losing is still awesome just because other people aren’t as good at winning as I am.

            • http://www.youtube.com/kevyyankees Kevin G.

              Hey, you got your wish and you were beaten by Yankeegirl.

  • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

    Joe, I don’t believe a word of this. I think it’s just damage control for his reputation.

    Cash was on the record numerous saying there was no chance they get Tex, how fans/writers who were calling for that were being unrealistic, and then what happens? He signs him to a huge deal.

    I never believed Cash when he said he wasn’t in, because the payroll was around 180 at the time, which told me he had room.

    The reality is that it’s in the Yanks interest to lie about who they are/aren’t interested in. They usually approach free agents one of two ways:

    1-The CC approach. Often used by George Stenbrenner in his heyday, you blow everyone else out of the water early with a huge bid. It looks extravagant, yet this can actually save you money by avoiding getting into bidding wars by scaring off competitors. Works best with a player who’s lukewarm on coming to NY. You make you bid irresistible.

    2-The Tex approach. Tell everyone you’re not interested in the player, lay in the weeds till the last minute and then sign him at just above the market rate. The idea here is to avoid the effect the Yanks can have on a marketplace, where teams raise their bids to compete with them. It also works best on a player you know really wants to play for you.

    Since the Red Sox were in on Tex, strategy #2 made the most sense. The Sox can keep pace with the Yanks in a bidding war, and will even keep bidding beyond the point where they’re serious just to screw the Yanks. By jumping in at the last minute, you pay the price the market has set without getting into any Red Sox shenanigans.

    • pat

      Wait, so what don’t you believe? That Cash wanted him the whole time and Hal said no?

      • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

        The WHOOOOOOLLEE story. It’s part of an off season plan to have a good BS story for the beat writers.

        • pat

          Hahah that’s quite the conspiracy theory.

          • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

            Lying to the press is a conspiracy? It’s part of Brian’s job.

            • pat

              I dunno man I don’t really see what they’re trying to cover up. Cashman wanted the guy all along and hal didn’t want to spend the loot.

        • Chris

          So you don’t believe that Tex signed with the Yankees?

          • Steve H

            IETC.

            • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

              Yes, nicely done.

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    So, then, the Nationals fans should just shut up, then, since there was zero chance at all that they could have gotten Tex?

    What’s that you say? There are no Nationals fans? Oh, then nevermind, my bad.

    • Tom Zig

      Didn’t the Nationals offer 200M over 10? Or is that a complete fabrication?

    • Chris

      They averaged 9000 viewers for their TV broadcasts. That would suggest that there are a couple Nationals fans out there…

  • Rich

    I really wish Cash had complete decision making authority (apart from general budget setting which is within any owner’s purview) rather than having to be dependent on Hal seeing the light.

    Tex was a more pressing need, and a more reasonable financial risk, than CC.

    • Ed

      Cash does have complete control. Before the signing, Cashman wasn’t going saying “We can’t sign Teixiera”, he was saying “We can’t sign 3 top free agents.” It was a budget issue.

      If you think signing CC wasn’t a need, you might want to take a look at the huge number of starts made by waiver wire type pitchers over the past 2 years. Tex is a great fit for the team, but he was a luxury, not a need.

      • Rich

        Really? If Cash has “complete control”:

        Why was A-Rod signed to a 10 year contract against his wishes?

        Why was Posada given a four year contract contrary to Cash’s recommendation?

        What you are saying is provably false according to virtually every media report out there. Cash himself always underscores that the Steinbrenners are the ultimate authority.

        I never said that CC wasn’t a need.

        Re-read what I typed:

        I said that Tex was a more pressing need, and a more reasonable financial risk.

        Why? Because they already had Wang, Pettitte, Joba, Hughes, Aceves, and other pitching prospects in the pipeline. Accumulating starters has been the cornerstone of their approach in the amateur draft since Cash got more (as opposed to complete) power.

        Meanwhile, Cano has been their only major position player under 30; they have no top position prospects who are ML ready, and only one (AJack) who is near ML ready.

        Their runs scored was down from 968 in 2007 to 789 in 2008, and the ability of Posada and Matsui to return from injury and be effective was in question.

        In contrast, their team ERA was in 4.49 2007, but it improved to 4.28 in 2008, and that was with Wang and Joba hurt for portions of the season, and Pettitte’s shoulder huting.

        Lastly, Tex is far more likely to remain healthy and effective than any pitcher, simply because pitchers are much more susceptible to injury.

        When you then factor in that he would have been in Boston if he didn’t sign here, the case for why he should have been the #1 priority is extremely compelling.

  • mike

    I do not believe Cash should get any extra credit for signing a top FA when he presents him with the best $/terms, especially for a player who is represented by Boras.

    He gets kudos for getting Swisher (as he could have helped Boston/Tampa just the same way), and some of his minor-league signings have really worked out- but dumping money on a player is nothing to be lauded.

    This is not the Yanks of the early 90’s with a crazy owner, collusive owners, a dumpy ballpark in a blighted neighborhood and a loser roster where star players had reasons to turn down beau-coup money. For reasons – most of which were outside of Cashman’s control – the Yankees are back on an even-playing field with other teams concerning the ancillary parts of their team, and now their ability to overpay cannot be ignored.

    Am I happy with Cashman’s signing of Tex? Of course- but to make him Branch Rickey because he threw $180 million dollars at a player who, in a few years, will likely crowd the Yankees other veteran star offensive players into uncomfortable defensive allignments is not a brainless coup.

    • Rich

      You are overlooking his role in setting priorities and persuading the owners to spend their abundant resources on the proper targets.

      Just a few years ago, in 2004, Cash wanted to sign Beltran instead of trading for Randy Johnson, but George ignored his advice.

      So bad decisions have consequences.

      To even mention Rickey is to invoke a strawman argument. No one is saying he is a legendary GM. The point is that he is a smart decision maker who should be making all the personnel calls and budget allocations on the Yankees.

  • Steve H

    Cash is teh suxor. How quickly we forget that he let Freddy Garcia go to the Mets.

  • Drew

    Wow, Ajax 2-2 tonight, IPK 4 innings 3 hits 7 k’s.

    • Drew

      Mcallister, 5 solid innings in front of shotty defense. Betances 5 innings 2 hits. :)

      • pat

        sick.

    • Drew

      5 innings 9 k’s for IPK. I wish he will translate to the bigs one of these years. He’s absolutely filthy vs. minor leaguers.

      • justin

        minor leaguers can’t hit changeups for the most part…if he gets that curveball going like everyone has been saying he will translate

      • Rich

        I’d like to see them boost his trade value, and then deal him for young position player or talented position prospect. It may take some time though.

        • Drew

          True. Him packaged with a guy like Miranda could fetch us something if their stats are good. And throw in Nady if the team can use a corner outfielder. Everyone saw how good he was in the NL last year.

    • Drew

      6 inn and 11 k. lol F’n gameday went down. I wanted to see what pitches he was working with and how many pitches he’s thrown but I can’t now.

  • beefy

    this all reads well for now, but what happens if Detroit is stinking it up come mid-season and Boston is able to pull off a butterball trade for Miggy. Next thing you know we’ve lost.

    I do believe Teix fits us like a glove, but you can’t deny that Miggy would do wonders for the Sox.

    • Drew

      If it’s a shitty package they send over for him then we can match it. Hello DH.

      • Drew

        **DH/Maybe corner outfield.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          I’m going to go out on a limb and say that even when the Tigers put Miguel Cabrera on the block, the chances we even make a half-hearted attempt at trading for him will be less than 1%.

          I don’t see it. Signing Tex precludes us from bidding on Miggy. No chance. We’re just not going to have two big-ticket first basemen PLUS ARod. Not gonna happen.

          • Drew

            That’s why I said DH. If he loses some weight there is no reason he can’t play a corner. If he was athletic enough to play third, not well but he still played it, he should be able to go to one of the corners. The Tiger’s need young pitching. Would you trade 3 minor leaguers for that 25 yr old freak, or one Wanger for him? It’s certainly debatable and if the Sux are goin after him I see us at least making an inquiry. After all, we don’t have a left fielder or DH for next year.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              Would you trade 3 minor leaguers for that 25 yr old freak, or one Wanger for him?

              In the abstract, yes.

              In the real world where I’m giving ARod and Tex about 400M over the next 8 years, and I’m not sure that I really even have a DH spot to spare for Miggy… no, I probably don’t.

              • Drew

                But TEH SOX!!1!!

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  No.

                  Can’t win ’em all. Moreover, we still win because we got Tex for nothing but money, they’ll have to empty some of the farm (including probably Lars Anderson) to get Miggy.

    • Tom Zig

      But teh Lars Anderson!

  • Drew

    NY METS=BULLPEN IMPLOSION

    • pat

      F*CK YES

  • rsam

    i think the team is better off without arod less soap opera try to trade him if possible

    • pat

      Well, you’re entitled to your own opinion but, I think a few more weeks of Cody Ransom not doing so well will have you singing a different tune. And for the record because of how long his contract is and how much money is owed to him he is what we would call untradable.

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

      The team is far better off with him than without him. If you don’t like the soap opera, stop reading tabloids and watching ESPN.

    • Drew

      Personally, I think you’re nuts.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        That’s insulting to actual nuts.

    • Tom Zig

      LoHud says come back to me young one, you have strayed too far from the herd!

    • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

      I’ve done this before, but I’m doing it again:

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

  • Drew

    I’d trade everything we got for HanRam.

  • Drew

    Angels just had a video tribute to the late Adenhart. That is such a damn shame.

  • Moose Man

    Great article. Gotta love Cashman, the man knows what he’s doing.

    Quick Joba question:

    If he can only pitch 150 innings this year, will he be able to pitch in the playoffs, or would he have to be shit down in August-September? Not trying to re-start the Joba debate, but was just curious. As of now, the numbers dont add up, unless he skips a start a month or something.

    Also, assuming he’d be able to pitch in the playoffs, how would he most likely be used? Relief pitcher to keep his innings down?

  • Drew

    This is fun watching Wakefield and his new catcher.

    • Drew

      3-0 Angels! Bay just threw home like a sissy.

  • UWS

    Mets bullpen: the gift that keeps on giving.

    • pat

      They lost. That’s so awesome.

  • pat

    Damn, wake’s getting a little thick in the waist.

    • dkidd

      did you hear the angel’s announcers say the red sox are clearly superior to the yankees because of the “depth of their rotation”

      this in a game where wakefield is the starter

      • pat

        I didn’t I’m actually watching it on NESN.

  • dkidd

    rem dog

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