Dec
23

Cashman sports a successful track record

By

The winter of 2005-2006 proved to be a definitive one for the Yankees organization. After reaching the World Series in 2003, the team lost in the ALCS in 2004 and then, after getting off to an 11-19 start in 2005 lost in the ALDS, despite adding two expensive pitchers over the off-season. General Manager Brian Cashman‘s contract expired after the loss to the Angels, and it was unclear whether he’d return. As he told an audience earlier this month, the team had been doing things George Steinbrenner‘s way since the World Series loss in 2001.

Cashman got his autonomy after the 2005 season, and in the fourth year, after yet another new contract, he finally built a championship ballclub. While he had the advantage of baseball’s fattest checkbook, he also had to deal with aging players on long-term deals, a barren farm system, and a fan base that wants to win now at all costs. That’s not an easy balancing act, even when you can throw money at some problems.

So what has Cashman done with his authority? Here are the 12 pitchers and 13 position players who had the most playing time in 2005:

C: Jorge Posada
1B: Tino Martinez
2B: Robinson Cano
SS: Derek Jeter
3B: Alex Rodriguez
LF: Hideki Matsui
CF: Bernie Williams
RF: Gary Sheffield
DH: Jason Giambi
BENCH: Tony Womack
BENCH: Ruben Sierra
BENCH: John Flaherty
BENCH: Bubba Crosby
BENCH: Matt Lawton

SP: Randy Johnson
SP: Mike Mussina
SP: Chien-Ming Wang
SP: Carl Pavano
SP: Kevin Brown
SP: Jaret Wright
SP: Aaron Small
SP: Shawn Chacon
SP/RP: Al Leiter
RP: Mariano Rivera
RP: Tom Gordon
RP: Tanyon Sturtze

How did this group turn into the 2009 champions?

2005-2006 off-season

November 15: Re-signed Hideki Matsui
November 16: Traded Ben Julianel for Ron Villone
December 1: Signed Kelly Stinnett
December 5: Signed Kyle Farnsworth
December 8: Traded Tony Womack for a couple of scrubs
December 12: Signed Jose Veras
December 16: Signed Mike Myers
January 3: Signed Johnny Damon and Bernie Williams
January 4: Signed Octavio Dotel
January 6: Signed Miguel Cairo
February 10: Claimed Darrell Rasner off waivers

Four moves on three dates stick out here. First is the signing of Kyle Farnsworth. The Yankees reportedly made a run for B.J. Ryan, the top reliever on the market that off-season, but he ended up signing with Toronto to close. They moved on to Farnsworth, a questionable move at the time that didn’t work out at all. Farnsworth couldn’t even find his every other year magic in the Bronx. The other bullpen signings seemed to be low-risk enough. Mike Myers was the biggest otherwise, and the Yankees ended up cutting him a year and a half into the deal. They did also sign Octavio Dotel, who had undergone Tommy John surgery that past June.

The big move of the winter was to replace Bernie Williams with Johnny Damon. The Yankees got Damon at a price they considered fair, four years at $52 million, the same contract Hideki Matsui a little over a month earlier (January 3 was just the announcement date; the Yankees had agreed with Damon in December). Bernie Williams came back on a one-year, $1.5 million deal with $1.5 million in incentives. It upgraded the team in center field while providing depth. An outfield of Matsui, Damon, and Gary Sheffielded sounded good for 2006.

Cashman stayed away from the starting pitching market, which featured Kevin Millwood, A.J. Burnett, and Jarrod Washburn. They had Randy Johnson, Mike Mussina, and Chien-Ming Wang in the rotation, plus they expected Carl Pavano to return. With the 2006 payroll already above $200 million, there just wasn’t money, I guess, for yet another expensive starting pitcher.

2006 season

April 15: Signed Carlos Pena to a minor league deal
May 18: Signed Terrence Long
May 21: Signed Eribiel Durazo
May 24: Bought Nick Green from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays
July 1: Signed Brian Bruney as a free agent
July 5: Selected Aaron Guiel off waivers
July 14: Signed Sidney Ponson
July 26: Traded for Sal Fasano
July 30: Traded for Bobby Abreu
July 31: Traded for Craig Wilson

The 2006 Yankees dealt with injuries to both their starting corner outfielders, and again had pitching issues. Cashman used band-aids in most cases, but jumped on an opportunity to upgrade right field on the cheap with Bobby Abreu. Otherwise these were just standard roster-filling moves. A shame that Sidney Ponson made a few starts that year. Little did we know…

2006-2007 off-season

November 10: Traded Gary Sheffield to the Tigers
November 12: Traded Jaret Wright to the Orioles
November 27: Signed Mike Mussina to a two-year, $22 million contract
December 7: Selected Josh Phelps in the Rule 5 draft
December 8: Signed Andy Pettitte
December 19: Signed Kei Igawa
December 22: Signed Juan Miranda
January 8: Signed Doug Mientkiewicz
January 9: Traded Randy Johnson back to the Diamondbacks

The off-season began with Cashman trading two guys who otherwise would have been free agents. The Yankees could have declined Gary Sheffield’s option, making him a free agent, but instead picked it up and traded him to the Tigers. None of the prospects they received in return worked out, though Whelan and Sanchez are still in the system. Getting anything, even the mostly useless Chris Britton, for Jaret Wright was a positive. The Yankees otherwise would have used the opt-out clause, triggered by time spent on the DL, in Wright’s contract.

With Matsui, Damon, and now Abreu set in the outfield, and with the infield reasonably in order, Cashman focused on pitching. The team lost the bid on Daisuke Matsuzaka, but brought back Andy Pettitte. They also saw Cashman’s one big pitching blunder in this period, Kei Igawa. At least they figured out early that he was a sunk cost. Other than them, there weren’t many names on the market. The injury prone Gil Meche went to Kansas City (where he had a few healthy, effective seasons), and a greatly overrated Barry Zito signed a horribly expensive contract with San Fran. Cash stayed away, and for good reason.

2007 season

May 6: Signed Roger Clemens
July 21: Traded for Jose Molina
July 31: Traded for Wilson Betemit

The activity in 2007 had more to do with promotions from within than signings from outside, though the biggest move was an enormous deal. Desperate for pitching help, the Yankees signed Roger Clemens to a ridiculous contract. I guess they didn’t need the money that much. Clemens wasn’t a disaster, but he also didn’t come close to expectations. He was a decent starter, however, during a summer when the team needed a powerhouse offense to carry it to a Wild Card berth.

Thin on pitching, Cashman promoted Phil Hughes in April, only to see injuries keep him out until August. With the bullpen a shambles, and with Scott Proctor headed to L.A., Cashman promoted Joba Chamberlain to set up Mariano Rivera. When Mike Mussina pitched the worst stretch of his career, Cashman promoted Ian Kennedy, who worked through a successful September.

2007-2008 off-season

November 13: Signed Jorge Posada
November 19: Signed Mariano Rivera
December 3: Signed Jose Molina
December 4: Traded for Jon Albaladejo
December 12: Signed Andy Pettitte
December 13: Signed Alex Rodriguez
December 21: Signed LaTroy Hawkins
January 4: Signed Billy Traber
January 31: Signed Morgan Ensberg
February 1: Signed Alfredo Aceves (and ManBam!)

The 2007-2008 off-season will be remember not only for what the Yankees did — re-signing their high-priced veterans — but for what they didn’t do: trade for Johan Santana. Again the starting pitching market was bare, led by Carlos Silva and Hiroki Kuroda, and the Yankees weren’t biting. Santana made sense for the immediate future. It would cost them Phil Hughes and more, but it would give them the AL’s two winningest pitchers atop their rotation in Santana and Wang. With Mussina next in line, the Yankees could have added another fringe starter or two and headed into the season with a good rotation.

They refrained, though, noting their reluctance to pay for players in both prospects and big dollars. That meant starting the season with both Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy in the rotation. I’m sure that wasn’t an easy decision. No one thought it was a wise idea to just hand two rotation spots to two rookies, but were there any better options? It was clear that the Yankees didn’t want to lose their veterans, and perhaps they would have acted differently had A-Rod signed elsewhere. But given the empty 2007-2008 market and the fruitful 2008-2009 one, Cashman would take his chances the next year.

2008 season

June 19: Signed Sidney Ponson
July 26: Traded for Damaso Marte and Xavier Nady
July 30: Traded Kyle Farnsworth for Ivan Rodriguez
July 31: Traded for Jhonny Nunez

Despite a failed pitching experiment plus the injury to Chien-Ming Wang and the presences of both Darrell Rasner and Sidney Ponson in the rotation, the Yankees were just a game back of the Wild Card in late July. Cashman pulled off the trade for Marte and Nady, but it just wasn’t enough. The offense continued to falter, and once Joba Chamberlain hit the DL in early August it was all but over. The Yanks had failed to make the playoffs for the first time in 13 seasons. Despite this, Hal Steinbrenner expressed his desire to retain Cashman.

2008-2009 off-season

November 12: Signed Damaso Marte
November 13: Traded for Nick Swisher
December 10: Signed CC Sabathia
December 13: Signed A.J. Burnett
December 23: Signed Mark Teixeira
January 26: Signed Andy Pettitte

Jackpot. Cashman waited for this off-season, and he used his checkbook to land the market’s top three free agents. The Yankees instantly had an ace, a No. 2, and a real first baseman. Not only that, they were players they really liked. Adding Pettitte capped what projected to be an excellent rotation. It was the dream off-season.

2009 season

June 30: Traded for Eric Hinske
July 31: Traded for Jerry Hairston
August 7: Bought Chad Gaudin

The Yankees had enough pitching depth to absorb the loss of Chien-Ming Wang, and rejiggered the bullpen as they went along. The one weakness, the bench, Cashman addressed mid-season, bringing in Hinske for some pop and Hairston for versatility. Those are the types of move a championship team makes mid-season: complementary moves that give an extra edge to an already excellent team.

2009-2010 off-season

December 8: Traded for Curtis Granderson
December 9: Signed Andy Pettitte
December 18: Signed Nick Johnson
December 22: Traded for Javier Vazquez

Goodbye Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, and Chien-Ming Wang. Hello Granderson, Johnson, and Vazquez. These moves set up the Yankees well for 2010 without sacrificing too much of the future. Curtis Granderson is the only player signed for more than one year, and he remains affordable for the next few. Granderson and Vazquez cost prospects, but that’s going to happen. They did trade two of their top five, which does sting, but it’s part of a balance in trying to win now while keeping an eye on the future. Keep some, trade some. The Yankees have made those decisions this off-season.

Bad deals?

I left off most of the minor moves, mainly because they’re not that important. Taking a minor league flier on a player costs little and brings no negative consequence if it doesn’t work out. These are the more prominent moves, ones that affected the major league club. So how did Cashman do? There’s open debate on some of them (the Nady trade, the Clemens signing), but I don’t think any of the moves actively hurt. Except, of course, the Igawa signing. But, as you can see, Cashman has signed just four free agent pitchers since the 2005-2006 off-seasons: Sabathia, Burnett, Pettitte, and Igawa. No one bats 1.000.

Couldn’t have done this without Baseball Reference.

Categories : Front Office
  • CountryClub

    Jim Bowden was on the MLB radio network this morning speaking very highly of Cash. Said he’s a HOF general manager. He couldn’t say enough about the moves he made this year. he was all fired up about it too because people have been bashing Cash for just “buying” players. it was pretty funny.

    • http://deleted RollingWave

      it’s Jim Bowden though, that’s kinda like getting Steve Phillips to comment on you being a great sports analysist

      • CountryClub

        True. But it was good to hear somebody say something positive about the Yankees. On ESPN they reported about the trade and then immediately talked about the payroll.

        • Mike Pop

          Try not to let it even bother you. Let them hate or criticize, the Yankees are playing by the rules. If other teams could do it, they would too.

          • IRememberCelerinoSanchez

            You have to take it as funny. I have a Met fan friend who always predicts doom for the Yanks, but when good things happen, he immediately complains about the payroll. Makes me laugh.

            • The Scout

              Really? I know a Mets fan who does the same thing. Maybe it’s the same guy — or maybe all Mets fans whine alike.

              • IRememberCelerinoSanchez

                I think it’s the second one.

                Must suck to root for a team that has a huge payroll, but also has a crappy GM, a barren farm system and no hope.

              • http://www.workwithpete.com Pete

                Sox & Mets fans complaining about payroll is like a Mercedes owner talking smack about the guy driving the Bentley…

                • http://threequarters.cementhorizon.com/archives/kool%20aid%20man.bmp The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  Ha… My buddy recently complained to me that he feels like the poor-guy when he goes to his weekly tennis matches because the guys he plays with show up in nicer cars than his. He drives a Mercedes.

                  Everything’s relative, I guess.

        • John NY

          It’s funny you mentioned the ESPN report. The lead into the Vazquez trade was a big Red Sox logo and a video of Damon taking Vazquez deep. Then, it was reported about the possible irony of Atlanta going after Damon. And, as you mentioned, the payroll.

          What a joke.

      • SamVa

        or Steve Phillips to comment on how great your marriage is.

        • Thomas

          When I was watching the Yankees WS parade broadcast on MLB.com. There were two announcers and people kept calling in with hotstove questions. One of the announcers was saying the Yankees do have problems coming into the 2010 (at the time no DH, LF, etc. – all true criticism). Thus, one fan called up the show and called him a fool saying he was “the Steve Phillips of MLB.com.” Quickly, the non-insulted announcer goes “I’m pretty sure your wife wouldn’t like you being called the Steve Phillips of anything.”

      • Jai

        Analysist is not a word. Analyst is.

      • larryf

        or a faithful husband….

    • Davor

      Wasn’t Lilly available when they signed Igawa?

  • chriskeo

    Great work Joe, nice post, excellent read.

  • SamVa

    That was really cool to see laid out like that,
    Well done Joe.

  • Steve H

    So Cash isn’t teh suxor?!?!11!!!??

  • pete

    Hardest working guys in the blogosphere, right here. Well done.

  • http://twitter.com/JamalG_BB Jamal G.

    From Joel Sherman’s Hardball blog post that shined some light on the Yankees’ thought process in regards to the Javier Vazquez reacquisition: http://bit.ly/6579qr

    9. Youth matters to the Yankees. As recently as 2008, the Yanks were starting just two players younger than 32 in their everyday lineup: Cabrera and Robinson Cano.

    At this moment – with Gardner penciled in for left field — their projected lineup has just three players 32 or over next season: Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada.

    • A.D.

      I don’t like the Joba stuff at #4, but the youth renovation has been excellent.

      • IRememberCelerinoSanchez

        It seems like every beat writer I’ve read (Jennings, Klap, Feinsand, etc.) has said not just that Joba should be a reliever, but that he will be. The first part is fine. They’re entitled to their ignorant opinions. But what gets me is them pasting their idiocy onto the Yanks like it’s going to happen.

    • Steve H

      And of those 3 over 32, A-Rod won’t need to be replaced anytime soon. Posada is at this point a semi-part time catcher and the system is loaded with potential replacements. And Jeter is coming off of his best overall season in a while, it remains to be seen if/how long he can keep it up, but I’m sure they’ll replace him when the time is due.

    • http://twitter.com/JamalG_BB Jamal G.

      Oh, and just to poke fun at those Beantown bastards: If Mike Lowell is the starting third basemen, just two starters – Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia – will be under the *age of 31; and Lowell (36), Marco Scutaro (35), Mike Cameron (37), J.D. Drew (34), and David Ortiz (34), or the majority of Boston’s projected offense, will be at least 34.

      *All ages as of June 1, 2010.

      • Steve H

        But what’s a small-to-mid market team to do?

        • OkulaFan67

          Keep collecting the luxury tax from the Yankees!

    • Chris

      I know it’s popular to try to get young in baseball now, but the trend is for older teams to get to the world series. Teams like the Marlins in 2003 and the 2008 Rays are the rare exceptions.

    • vin

      I’m sick of this point:

      “3. The Yanks emphasized a starting pitcher because they are concerned about the workload put on CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Pettitte in order to win a championship with exclusively a three-man rotation.”

      AJ and Andy each made a grand total of 1 start on short rest. And that was their last start of the year. And neither had to throw a ton of pitches in their starts (for different reasons). CC did pitch more than once on 3 days rest… he did it 2 times!

      This is just lazy reporting. As a fan, if I was concerned about workload, it would be because they each made 5 extra starts at the end of the season… something CC and AJ have never done, and Andy hasn’t done in 4 years.

  • A.D.

    Right now figure Cash could have the inside track for Exec of the Year, of course depending on how the team does on the field.

    It seems basically since getting some autonomy Cash has either gone with small, low risk moves (outside of Farns) else made big splashes, which has all been recently. Partly their might have been less splashes earlier in the tenure was lack of farm system. Cash, Oppenheimer & Co have really been able to build up the farm, both allowing to supplement signings (i.e. not everyone has to be a FA making multi millions) and allowing them to have some prospects to go out and make these trades.

    The questionable:

    Clemens: It was just money, and he was serviceable, they needed a starter and not sure if there was another route, and if there was would it have been any better, probably not.

    Nady/Marte Trade: Overpaid for the production the actually got, but couldn’t expect Nady to get hurt. In terms of what they got, McCutchen & Ohlendorf seem like they could be decent back end of the rotation startes (definitely in the NL), which isn’t too much of a loss. Tabata seems to have rebounded, but still hasn’t shown any power, and Jeff Karstens is a AAAA player. Net in net no big loss unless Tabata breaks out.

    Igawa: Yeah he sucks and is a waste of 4M a year, but it’s only 4M a year, 20M overall isn’t great, but the Sox are paying Julio Lugo ~14M to play for the Cardinals over 2 seasons, so these things happen.

    • Thomas

      The thing about Tabata is he probably wouldn’t have done much with the Yankees. He had bought into all the hype surrounding him and thought he could do whatever he wanted. Thus, he started to not practice and throw temper-tantrums. He really needed a change of scenery and the trade to Pittsburgh helped him realize he needed change (both on and off the field).

      • Usty

        Plus he had that bat-shit insane wife.

  • aj

    Cash has been pretty good so far this offseason, I’m impressed. Btw, how can the phillies give 12 million to Fernando Rodney!!!??

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzeuvZc1KI8

  • Jake H

    It is pretty impressive to see what Cash has done since he has full control. I just wish that Jorge only got a 3 year deal instead of 4 but that is my only big beef.

    • IRememberCelerinoSanchez

      If the Yanks didn’t go four, Jorge would be playing in CitiField, and you have to wonder if the Yanks win it all in 2009.

      Sometimes you have to give an extra year to get a deal done. The key is to limit the number of times you do it, so you don’t end up like the mid-2000s Yanks. Cash has been careful.

      • Jake H

        I know but I wish they could have done an option that vested if he caught so many games and such.

        • Mike Pop

          I could be mistaken but didn’t Hank have a little bit to do with that 4th year?

  • Brian

    Great post- once Cash got the power, he built a championship squad, and has had a hell of an offseason. It certainly helps Cashman to have Minaya on the other side of town.

  • Michael Kay

    I hate to be one of “those guys” here but I have to disagree vehemently with this post. The true measures of one’s track record are Olympic Medals & world records, sorry guys.

  • BrooklynPaulie

    You guys are an enjoyable read. I love the in-depth analysis and discussion concerning topics that are uber important to us Yankee fans. If I need to see Dr. Ruth’s head Photo Shopped onto C.C. Sabathia’s body, that’s when I check in on No Maas. Keep up the great work.

  • steve s

    Cashman’s best move was getting the Steinbrenners to accept the 2008 results while giving him a chance to produce what he did in 2009. He’ll never get to prove as long as he is with the Yanks that he can work within the payroll restraints that hamstring the other GM’s but his ability to effectively spend won the day in 2009 and looks like it will win the day again in 2010. His HOF legacy is pretty solid now but since he is not really given much credit for the pre-2000 titles he may need to win one or two more titles to solidify his HOF credentials or at least make it a no-brainer.

  • Andy in Sunny Daytona

    I miss Aaron Guiel. What a talent.

    • vin

      What a cool name, too.

  • RichYF

    Joe,

    Excellent read. Most of my comments are douchebaggery or sarcasm (or both), but this was definitely some good stuff.

    A compliment: Your writing has always been solid, but I have seen a definite change starting around the postseason. Not that you need me to tell you, but I just figured I’d toss it out there.

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

      Thanks, Rich. I’ve been making a conscious effort to improve. It’s my career (well, not this site, yet, but I basically write for a living), so it was time to start actively honing my craft. It’s always nice to hear feedback.

  • Stryker

    a year ago today we nabbed tex from under boston’s nose. such a perfect fit for this team.

  • http://riveraveblues.com/2009/12/olney-yanks-working-hard-to-land-a-pitcher-tonight-21557/#comment-728142 Matt Imbrogno

    But Cashman doesn’t know how to build a bench.

    • Thomas

      He should hire a carpenter.

      • http://riveraveblues.com/2009/12/olney-yanks-working-hard-to-land-a-pitcher-tonight-21557/#comment-728142 Matt Imbrogno
      • http://threequarters.cementhorizon.com/archives/kool%20aid%20man.bmp The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        The carpenter’s starting in Scranton in 2010.

        http://www.hiyoooo.com/

        PS: Am I crazy, or is “The Carpenter” kind of an awesome nickname for Montero? You get the Jesus tie-in, and a carpenter works with wood, and Montero also works with wood (wink wink)… Seriously, I kinda like it.

        • Mike Pop

          I preferred ‘The Condor’ but I guess ‘The Carpenter’ isn’t bad.

          http://tinyurl.com/yj9k9qm

          • http://threequarters.cementhorizon.com/archives/kool%20aid%20man.bmp The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            The Condor is funny, but it really has nothing to do with Montero. The Carpenter, on the other hand, works for Montero on a couple of different levels.

            I vote for The Carpenter over the Condor, but I’ll yield the floor to debate.

            • Andy in Sunny Daytona

              A little known fact, but Jesus Christ was actually a terrible carpenter. His bearing walls couldn’t support much weight, and his miter cuts were always off.

              • Steve H

                He was in fact, often told not to quit his day job.

              • vin

                I’ve never been there, but I don’t see a lot of trees in Israel either. I think he was more like an out-of-work carpenter.

                • Andy in Sunny Daytona

                  That’s why he went into the ministry.

          • http://threequarters.cementhorizon.com/archives/kool%20aid%20man.bmp The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            Ask yourself if you prefer The Condor because of the origin of the idea or because of the value of the idea.

            Search deep in your soul.

            • Steve H

              Mike Pop has no soul. He sold it to make sure AJ ended up a Yankee.

        • http://riveraveblues.com/2009/12/olney-yanks-working-hard-to-land-a-pitcher-tonight-21557/#comment-728142 Matt Imbrogno

          I think you may have something here.

          • http://threequarters.cementhorizon.com/archives/kool%20aid%20man.bmp The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            Eh, I doubt it’ll catch on around here. I don’t think I could successfully push it on the masses.

            • Mike Pop

              Just do like tsjc does and constantly use it no matter if it catches or not.

              Like ‘Nails’

        • Andy in Sunny Daytona

          I prefer “Burul”.

          • http://threequarters.cementhorizon.com/archives/kool%20aid%20man.bmp The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            Well yeah, The Carpenter certainly wouldn’t replace his boyhood nickname. I think it’s just another fun nickname to add to his resume.

            • Andy in Sunny Daytona

              I like to pretend we’re old friends.

              The doctors feel that people should humor me, it’s for the best.

  • cheddar

    I have to give Cash a lot of credit for going after Javy again. If he underperforms, there will be thousands of fingers pointing at Cash for “making the same mistake twice.” He must have a lot of confidence in the guy.

    I also have to give Javy credit for waiving his no-trade to come back to NY. Lots of guys wouldn’t want to come back after being (unfairly, IMO) branded the poster child for the 2004 letdown.

    • Steve H

      Agree on the 1st part. I’m pretty sure Javy’s no-trade didn’t cover east coast teams though, but I still hope he is excited about coming back anyway.

      • cheddar

        I just saw that – you are correct. Thanks for pointing it out.

  • Tampa Yankee

    This would have been great and righted the only real “wrong” by Cashman (per MLBTR):

    Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News says (via Twitter) that the Cubs were willing to take on Kei Igawa’s salary (two years, $8MM) before the Yanks acquired Javier Vazquez.

    The only question I have is, why wouldn’t they still do that? The two moves seem mutually exclusive to me. That’d clear up $ and we could keep Guadin and Mitre who are >>>> of Igawa

    • A.D.

      Probably involved the Yanks taking on Zambrano’s contract

    • Steve H

      Maybe the potential deal with the Cubs included Melky and Zambrano. The only way the Cubs would eat that contract is if the Yankees were eating a ton of money elsewhere.

      • Tampa Yankee

        Steve and A.D. – didn’t think about that, thank you

  • toad

    I think this off-season is really a test for Cashman abilities. If you look down this list of transactions you see that only a few trades made a difference – Abreu, Swisher, potentially Marte, and the non-trade for Santana. Maybe Hinske and Hairston marginally. Mostly it was a question of signings.

    You can make a mistake there, of course, but as long as the guy is a good player you might pay too much, but don’t really weaken the team.

    This off-season has really been about weighing player against player rather than player against money. Granderson and Vasquez had significant costs in talent, and even signing Johnson was a sort-of trade decision – Matsui for Johnson, really. Mistakes here will show up on the field.

    I’m not criticizing Cashman, just saying that I think this year’s dealings have of a different flavor than past years’, and thus test Cashman’s judgment in a different way.

    • vin

      That’s a good point. Prior to this offseason, the only risky (in terms of public perception) trade Cashman made was the Nady/Marte deal. Besides the minor bench moves, everything else was either a salary dump or a change of scenery move (or a combination of the two – Abreu, Wright, Swisher, Johnson, Sheffield, etc.

  • jin

    Why doesn’t Cashman get any more heat for the utterly ridiculous A-Rod contract? Yes, he was coming off a monster MVP year, but he was also already 31 years old. How does he give a 31 year old player a 275 million dollar deal, with incentives that could push it up to 300? I cannot imagine any other team offering anything over say, 200 million (and even that seems high). In negotiations, did Cashman really think if he drew a line at 200 million, that some other team was really going to swoop in and beat that offer? If so, he is an horrifically bad negotiator, and that has to be a huge minus. Even the Yanks have a spending limit, and that money they used to overpay A-Rod (and Jorge and Mariano for that matter), could’ve been used to land a John Lackey.

    • ColoYank

      They Yanks re-signed Rodriguez against Cashman’s advice and wishes. It was Hank’s idea and Hank’s doing.