Cashman: ‘Our team is, for the most part, set’


The headline is what Brian Cashman said to The Record’s Pete Caldera. But Cashman didn’t leave it at that. He got a bit more specific about the teams plans.

On left field: “We have a left fielder. We do like Brett Gardner.”
On any further acquisitions: “We’re just playing with the bench right now.”

Though there’s no quote for it, Caldera notes that the team is not quite done: “Cashman acknowledged that he’s searching for a right-handed hitter.” That would seemingly take Johnny Damon out of play, but I’ll drop the never say never cliche with that. It seems more and more likely that the Yankees will sign, or attempt to sign, Reed Johnson.

Categories : Hot Stove League


  1. Doug says:

    “It seems more and more likely that the Yankees will sign, or attempt to sign, Reed Johnson.”

    or nady perhaps, if his price drops sufficiently enough (and he proves to be healthy of course)

  2. JMK aka The Overshare's Excessive Back Hair Complex says:

    I’m not worried. This team, Damon or no Damon, looks really good. Reed Johnson can spot start in CF if need be and kills lefties. Sounds like a promising platoon with Gardy.

    Defensively, an OF of Don’t-Hassle-The-Gardhoff, Reed Johnson, Nick Swisher, Curtis Ganderson may be the most versatile in the majors.

  3. Rob says:

    The Sox have Brett Gardner in LF. The Yankees will do just fine.

    • That’s a far too rational approach for Yankee fans.

      • JMK aka The Overshare's Excessive Back Hair Complex says:

        Not for nothing, but Ellsbury is actually a fairly good hitter but a terrible (according to stats) defensive player.

        Gardner is more likely to be an excellent defender and a poor offensive player.

        Other than that, I sort of agree, based on skill sets.

        • Doug says:

          Gardner’s WAR (2.1) was actually higher than Ellsbury’s (1.9)

          Personally found this surprising

          • Thats because WAR puts too much emphasis imo on defense. The way it defense is calculated imperfect also. I find it ridiculous someone with his speed is a terrible defender. If he were even a plus defender he would be worth more than Gardner.As much as I love WAR lets not make it holay grail of player value.

            Basically Ellsburys ceiling>>Gardners

            • I find it ridiculous someone with his speed is a terrible defender.

              Have you ever watched the Oakland Raiders play football? I rest my case.

            • CountryClub says:

              I’m not sure we can say that yet. Ellsbury has had some pretty big struggles at the plate in his short career. He’s also had some great hot streaks. I’d personally love to see Gardner play a full season before I compare the two. And even then it may be unfair to Gardner. hopefully, he can hold his own this yr at the plate.

              • JMK aka The Overshare's Excessive Back Hair Complex says:

                He’s not other-worldly or anything, but Yo Quiero Tocoboy Pillsbury has put up a career line of


                Very little power, but a .300 hitter with an OPB over .350 and 70-steal potential isn’t exactly a big struggle. That’s pretty good, particularly from CF. The big issue is his defense, not his offense.

                I’ll agree that I’d like to see Gardner play a full season before rushing to judgment, but I’ll be straight-up socked if he puts up anything better than .260/.330/.360./.690 next year.

                My hatred of Gardner is already immense and irrational. Wait ’til you see me when he struggles to hit anything next year. Uppercutting at everything or taking pitch after pitch down the middle. I’ll need a psychiatric team to control my rage.

  4. DontmesswiththeJesus says:

    Maybe Jerry Hairston Jr. as a right handed caddy w/Gardner. Bats not that much worse, and he has the added infield versatility to complement Pena. Plus the price is right.

  5. A.D. says:

    Really no reason for Cashman to say anything else, any player they woo at this point is because he needs a job and is running out of options.

  6. ADam says:

    I’d like to see Cash pull the trigger on Jonny Gomes. Fits in Left, Fits on the bench, fits in a platoon and has played in the AL East. He makes the bench stronger and adds depth and pop… some what of a Shane Spencer role.

  7. Opening day roster:

    1- SS Jeter (R)
    2- DH Johnson (L)
    3- 1B Teixeira (S)
    4- 3B Rodriguez (R)
    5- C Posada (S)
    6- CF Granderson (L)
    7- 2B Canó (L)
    8- RF Swisher (S)
    9- LF Gardner (L)

    C Cervelli (R)
    2B/3B/SS Peña (S)
    LF/CF/RF Reed Johnson (R)
    LF/CF/RF Hoffmann (R)

    LHP Sabathia
    RHP Burnett
    LHP Pettitte
    RHP Vazquez
    RHP Chamberlain

    RHP Rivera
    RHP Hughes (sigh)
    LHP Marte
    RHP Aceves
    RHP Robertson
    RHP Gaudin
    RHP Mitre

    Edwar’s out of options, so I imagine he gets foisted on someone during training camp for a marginal prospect. I believe Albaladejo still has one left, so he stays in Scranton. One of Gaudin or Mitre probably gets dealt by midseason to make room for one of Melancon/McAllister/Nova/WDLR.

    I think Hoffmann stays. I know he and Reed Johnson are kind of duplicates, and I’m sure Girardi would prefer to move Hoffmann down to Scranton and give that 4th bench spot to another infielder (he likes to carry two) like Russo or Miranda, but, all things considered, we probably need two bench outfielders more than we need two bench infielders. Two of ARod/Jeter/Cano aren’t going to be sitting simultaneously, and Swisher/Johnson can both back up first.

    Perhaps if we could agree on a deal to trade a fringe prospect to the Dodgers to be able to send Hoffmann down, maybe… but I think he sticks and makes it out of camp with the final roster spot. That may be our best option, all things considered: return Hoffmann to the Dodgers and then trade them like a Colin Curtis or something on that level to get him back but regain his minor league flexibility.


    • Doug says:

      like it, save for the following questions/points:
      1. do we really have a need for both gaudin and mitre in the pen?
      2. wouldn’t a left-handed bat come in handy on the bench?

      • 1.) They’re both out of minor league options, IIRC, so we kinda have to have them both in the pen. Besides, of the guys immediately behind them in the current bullpen pecking order (Albaladejo, Edwar, Melancon, Romulo, WDLR, McAllister, Nova), Melancon is the only one who is probably better than them, but there’s no need to jettison one of the two immediately just to make a spot for him. Better to be patient and wait for the inevitable bullpen weeding out process.
        2.) Perhaps, which is the biggest reason why Hoffmann may be returned/traded for to make a spot for Miranda. But, realistically, where is Miranda playing and whom is he pinch hitting for? We don’t really need a lefty pinch hitter except for interleague play where we’re lifting the pitcher. If we had a lefty bat readily available who could play something other than 1B/DH, perhaps, but otherwise, it’s probably better off to just roll with our 5 man OF team of Swish (S) Granderson (L) Gardner (L) Johnson (R) Hoffmann (R). That’s good balance and flexibility.

        If we add Reed Johnson, Miranda’s probably still more redundant than Hoffmann is, all things considered.

        • Doug says:

          as i commented to the yw, would try and deal gaudin/mitre in ST, opening a spot up for boone logan as a 2nd lefty in the pen

        • Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

          I would think with the horses they have in the starting rotation, they mat be able to go with an 11 man bullpen too.

          • Doug says:

            good thought. trade mitre/gaudin and add miranda to the bench?

          • Perhaps, but again:

            RHP Rivera – obviously a lock
            RHP Hughes
            LHP Marte – obviously a lock
            RHP Aceves – being counted on as part of the Bridge to Mowhere
            RHP Robertson – being counted on as part of the Bridge to Mowhere
            RHP Gaudin – out of options
            RHP Mitre – out of options

            If you want to only carry a 6 man pen instead of a 7 man pen, the only guy you can realistically kick out of it is Hughes, which puts him in Scranton. We all know that that idea is one with merit, but I just don’t see it happening.

        • Doug says:

          as far as when to ph miranda, how about for gardner with runners on base, down a couple in the 9th, with a righty closer on the mound

        • king of fruitless hypotheticals says:

          great post, but i disagree with three things:

          the sigh should be emboldened or just flat out exchanged for @#$@#$!!!

          i’m feeling much better about our starters but a little less strong about our bench–molina, hinske, hairston feels a lot better than pena, cervelli, hoffmann (i know its end of last year to beginning of this year, and it most likely wont remain that way, and etc etc, but while i’m significantly more baseball informed this year than last, i’m still not experienced enough to have the patience that Cashmoneybajillionaire has)

          if you’re going to do the work to say whom, just go ahead and say ‘for whom’ to avoid ending the sentence in the preposition that the word whom was seemingly designed to support. (yeah, i know, nits, but…i got nothin. so nits is it.)

          • Thanks, bro.

            Ending a sentence with a preposition is the part of grammar I constantly mess up on.


            • JMK aka The Overshare's Excessive Back Hair Complex says:

              Card I gave my mother for her birthday:

              Two girls are on the front, sitting at a table. One asks the other, “Where’s your birthday party at?”

              The second girl says, “Don’t end a sentence with a preposition.”

              When you open the card, the first girl replies, “Where’s your birthday party at, bitch?”

              • king of fruitless hypotheticals says:

                I’m not your bro, man.

                you didnt address my bench comment, which means you either that it was so asinine that it didnt deserve a response or it was correct prime fascia.*

                *not to be confused with latin, on its face, but actually prime fascia, as in grade A edging for your roof.

        • JMK aka The Overshare's Excessive Back Hair Complex says:

          Speculating on the bullpen now is purely academic. It will be absolutely different by the mid-point of the season from what it projects to be. I don’t even worry about that stuff. Outside of Mo and Marte, there’s no guarantee any of those guys will be there (even Robertson). Whatevs.

      • Zack says:

        What would the LHB be used for? The only players you would potential PH for are Gardner and Granderson against LHP, so you replace 2 LHB with another LHB

    • Thomas says:

      From what I heard, the Dodgers really like Hoffman and probably would reject a trade of a fringe prospect for him, hoping that they would eventually get Hoffman back.

    • theyankeewarrior says:

      I like it too, my only difference is that I think Girardi will give Logan a shot out of ST (assuming he doesn’t get pounded into the Tampa dirt while he’s there).

      Does Logan have any options left? Because if he does, then I can see him starting in Scranton, but if he doesn’t, then they might be inclined to see what they have in him.

      Also, I’d like to see the Yankees trade one of Mitre/Gaudin for some salary relief and use that cash to get Damon.

      1 yr/7M. Do iiiiiiiiiiiet.

      • Doug says:

        i too can see a mitre/gaudin ST trade, opening a spot up for logan

        • king of fruitless hypotheticals says:

          i dont think the damon 1/7 contract idea got any further than my desk. i never sent it to scott, and now, well, you should see my desk. not gonna happen. my bad.

    • Other than flipping JoPo and Granderson in the lineup, I agree.

    • Ballpark says:

      Team looks very good,Cashman has done great job.I wouldn’t mind HAIRSTON back and don’t think they will keep both Gaudin and Mitre maybe an upgrade in pen is still out there .

    • santa says:

      “I think Hoffmann stays. I know he and Reed Johnson are kind of duplicates, and I’m sure Girardi would prefer to move Hoffmann down to Scranton”

      Maybe I need a refresher on rule 5 guys, but doesn’t the Hoff need to stay on the ML roster lest he be dealt back to the Dodgers? Lil’ help pleez.

      That being said, I’m very much intrigued by what we got going on in left. It’s funny because I feel like I’m in the overwhelming minority in this regard. I never liked or wanted Damon. I get his value and appreciate his tenure, but he’s no longer what he was when we got him. He’s neither a CF or a lead-off hitter. He doesn’t run much any more and is not a 10-13 million dollar ballplayer anymore IMO. I can remember an article from mid-summer when Damon seemed to realize this and was expecting a diminished role, I obviously can’t find it or I would have shared it, but his about face after a weak Sept/Oct just pleases me to no extent now that the Yankees have filed him under Giambi/Abreu-types – once valued and now overpriced shadows of themselves.

  8. Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

    I’ll believe Damon’s NOT coming back when he signs with another team, until then, he’s still a Yankee in my mind.

  9. larryf says:

    Agree with letting Nady go. The guy has a big/roundhouse swing and plays corner OF only-not a good risk with that elbow…There will always be someone to pick up in June/July if Gardner isn’t getting it done…

  10. mryankee says:

    Is Cashman being a little stingy with Damon if the deal could be done at 2 years 20 mill? then why not do it? I dont know if damon would accept that but if so I wuld think that would be affordable.

  11. grassnot paper says:

    Cashmans recent record

    essentially dumped Matsui for nick Johnson
    Damon for Gardner and a name to be played later
    Melky/Austin Jackson for Granderson on the apparent assumption that strike outs are ok and all the lefthanders in the al will never pitch again
    picked up a fourth starter on the apparent assumption that he will never have to pitch against Boston or in an important game

    he has left Rodriguez exposed in the lineup and continued the Hughes/Joba confusion

    good job

  12. The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

    This has all been covered here in this thread, but I want to add that while I agree with the usual suspects that this team looks really good right now, they do actually have an outfield depth deficiency. I don’t think it’s a fatal flaw by any means, as depth is certainly something that can change either by having unexpected options pop up through the system (or by having Gardner or Hoffman break out a bit), but really, this roster right now is pretty thin in the outfield. I love Swisher and Granderson, and I’m interested to see what Gardner can do with another year under his belt, but with the current roster, what happens if Swisher or Granderson, Mo forbid, suffer some sort of serious injury and have to miss significant time? Gardner and Hoffman as two members of the everyday outfield is a pretty scary thought.

    Obviously you can never build a good enough bench to replace your regulars such that you don’t miss them while they’re out, but this roster right now would be particularly weak in the outfield if something should happen to either Granderson or Swisher. I think they have a pretty strong need to grab another OF option, whether it be Reed Johnson, possibly Nady, or someone else we maybe haven’t discussed much. It’s easier to grab someone like that for nothing but money today than to be forced to deal for someone later.

    • Steve H says:

      I agree they should grab someone from the Johnson/Nady bunch. Even if Gardner is starting, I’d want Hoffman to be a true #5 to start the year. If there is an injury, or just horrible production, I think they can relatively easily fill the hole in June/July. Your LF is basically your #9 hitter, so all you really would need at that point is what, an average to good fielder who can put up a 90-100 OPS+.

    • JMK aka The Overshare's Excessive Back Hair Complex says:

      Yup. In short, we need depth, no doubt. I’m not sure you can run out an OF without Granderson or Swish for any extended period of time without it necessitating a big trade with our current roster construction. I heard Nady was doing more auditioning for 1B, which tells me his arm is still pretty weak.

      We have a spot open and I think Reed Johnson fills the void best (unless Damon’s still an option).

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

      PS: Obviously I didn’t see Ben’s Hinske/depth post when I wrote this comment here… This comment, while relevant here, is really covered by that post. Oops.

    • thurdonpaul says:

      i agree with everything you said

  13. kimonizer says:

    Our team will only be set when we sign Chapman

    / mryankee’d

    • JMK aka The Overshare's Excessive Back Hair Complex says:

      You’re thinking more Andy In Sunny, not mryankee. But to complete the deal for him you need to make a remark about Sano or Cyclops Mateo.

      MrYankee would be more, “Our team will only be set when it resembles my roster in MLB ’09 The Show.”

      We’ll have Pujols DHing, BJ Upton in CF, Matt Holliday in LF, Mauer at C.

  14. Jai says:

    Just remember: “Bubba Crosby is our opening day centerfielder.”

  15. AJ says:

    At BEST what is Brett Gardner’s numbers in 2009? .270, .350, .400, 30SB? Am I being generous?

  16. AJ says:

    He could probably steal more than that though.

  17. Joseph M says:

    For reasons known only to Cashman and perhaps the family the Yankees have made some of the idiotic moves of any team in baseball. I guess we’ll all find this out the hard way, Gardner is not a starting player. Sometime in May people will be visiting this site screaming for outfield help and then we can all acknowledge Gardner is not a starting player. To be honest I’m not even sure he much of a major league player.

    We’ll also find out that Vazquez is nothing more than a highly overpaid .500 pitcher. Granderson is going to disappoint big time especially in the field. I think the best we can hope for is Nick Johnson not injuring himself putting his batting helmet on.

    Bad moves and now we can only hope. At least we’ll have 2009.

  18. [...] A potential bench piece vanished when Eric Hinske landed in Atlanta, thought the Yanks are interested in bringing back utility man Jerry Hairston Jr. and they appear to be in serious talks with him. However, they’re in no rush to find a righty hitting leftfielder, and Brian Cashman said the team was pretty much set. [...]

  19. [...] recently said that the team “is, for the most part, set.” He went on to say that the team likes Brett [...]

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