Press Conference Roundup: Girardi, Joba, Lee, Rangers, Montero, More


(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman held their annual end-of-the-season press conferences today, so as you’d expect there was plenty of news to come out of Yankee Stadium this afternoon. We’ll surely break everything down in detail throughout the offseason, but let’s round it all up here first and digest everything before moving on.

Obviously, the biggest news to come out of the presser was the announcement that pitching coach Dave Eiland will not return in 2011, but we covered that already. Ditto Andy Pettitte‘s various injuries. Everything else you see below comes from the various beat writers, who as usual did a bang-up job today. Seriously, we’re lucky to have such a great crew covering the team full-time. Those guys deserve their own appreciation thread. Anyway, on to the chatter.

  • Cashman spoke to Hal Steinbrenner about Girardi today, and he will meet with the manager’s agent tomorrow. Both sides want to work out a new deal as quickly as possible and get it out of the way.
  • Girardi on Joba Chamberlain: “We consider him a bullpen guy in the back end of the bullpen.” Well, so much for everyone hoping that they’d let him try the starting thing again next season. Maybe in a different uniform.
  • When asked about Cliff Lee, Girardi replied “I’m sure we’ll definitely look at a free agent market pitcher.” Remember, because Lee is still under contract with the Rangers, it would be tampering to talk about him directly.
  • Cashman on the Rangers: “[They were] a locomotive that we couldn’t withstand … You didn’t see the real Yankees at that point in time, but I think the Rangers had everything to do with that. We didn’t look old against Minnesota, and that was a week before. Texas made us look old.”
  • Cash on Cliff Lee: “Bottom line, pitching is the key to the kingdom.”
  • On Jesus Montero: “Is Montero ready for the big leagues? I have people who believe that. But he’s going to have to prove that.”
  • Cashman’s bland Derek Jeter quote: “”Derek has been – and will be – an important part of this organization … There’s still game left in that guy. He’s going to be a part of this franchise. We’ll work something out.” Blah blah blah.
  • On the contract negotiations with Jeter and Mariano Rivera: “These aren’t regular negotiations. These are legacy players.” I’m scared.
  • Cash owned up to his poor 2009-2010 offseason as well: “I didn’t have a great winter last season.” He added that Nick Johnson was Plan C at designated hitter behind Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui.
Categories : News


  1. Big Stein says:

    Looks like Girardi is saying, “it true, Brett Favre is that small”.

  2. chriskeo says:

    On the contract negotiations with Jeter and Mariano Rivera: “These aren’t regular negotiations. These are legacy players.” I’m scared.

    I think we should be scared, but as long as that money doesn’t prevent them from making other moves (Cliff Lee), then I don’t care, its not my money.

  3. Tom Zig says:

    9/10 in SB attempts will make you look old.

    The only caught stealing: Ian Kinsler being picked off by Kerry Wood in game 1.

  4. Johnny O says:

    Following up on the beat writers sarcasm, if they know that Cash and Girardi can’t answer questions about Cliff Lee because of tampering, then why bother asking??? Do they expect a real answer or are they trying to trick them into tampering?

    I didn’t watch but I’m curious as to Cashman’s comments about looking old? Was he being sarcastic saying that Texas only made them look old because they’re playing really well? Or that his team is old and can look it at times.

    If he meant the answer seriously, a legitimate follow would be: “so why do you sign all old guys, including a 36 yr old shortstop?” or “what will you do to get younger?”

    I think Girardi’s devotion to Cervelli deserves a question or two.

    • CP says:

      Only 4 players in the Yankees lineup were age 31 or over (Jeter, A-Rod, Posada and the DH). The Rangers had 3 players age 31 or over. The Yankees had 1 young regular (Gardner) and the Rangers had 2 (Andrus and Moreland). Everyone else in the lineup is pretty much in the peak 28-30 age range.

      That’s not a huge real difference in age, so it basically comes down to appearance and style of play. A team that is patient and plays station to station baseball looks old when it doesn’t work. A team that runs a lot looks young and inexperienced when it doesn’t work.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      ” if they know that Cash and Girardi can’t answer questions about Cliff Lee because of tampering, then why bother asking???”

      He can’t directly answer the question, but you can read into an answer like “we will look at free agent pitchers…” He could have said “we will not look to add any pitching this off-season.”

      “Texas only made them look old because they’re playing really well? Or that his team is old and can look it at times.”

      He’s saying that when you win no one criticizes you, but when you lose they blow weaknesses out of proportion. The Yankees got wiped on by the Rangers. Their young guys, their old guys… their hitters, their pitchers… They just got their butts kicked (anmd still took the series to 6 games…). About the only panacea you might point to is going out and acquiring a front-line starter who would have basically single-handedly won a game or two, but the Phillies still lost with Doc and Oswalt. Otherwise you can’t look at one at bat or one pitch or one player or their age as to why they got blown out over and over again.

      “I think Girardi’s devotion to Cervelli deserves a question or two.”

      I don’t. Once you decide Jorge’s innings behind the dish need to be limited, it was Cervelli or Moeller. Cashman is the one you want to question. Girardi didn’t have much of any other option. He can only play the guys on the roster.

    • Following up on the beat writers sarcasm, if they know that Cash and Girardi can’t answer questions about Cliff Lee because of tampering, then why bother asking???

      Because it’s their job to ask questions to give the interviewee a chance to get on the record, even if that chance is slim.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        I think he pretty much did get on the record… He could have simply said “no.” Even if there were no tampering rules, it’s doubtful from a negotiating stand-point that many GMs in many situations would say, “yes, that is the guy we want and this is how much we are willing to spend.” They’d probably usually go with a similarly generic, “we’re looking at starting pitching.”

  5. pat says:

    Say what you want about the DH situation, I didn’t have a problem with it. Matsui signed with Anaheim right away, Damon wanted a crazy deal and NJ came off a full productive season, a season where he played more than Thome and Vlad. Everyone will point to Javy once again shitting the bed, but I don’t think Cash could have predicted him losing almost two and a half mph off his fastball over the winter.

    • Tom Zig says:


      Just because it looks bad in hindsight, doesn’t mean the move didn’t make sense at the time.

      We were getting a strikeout pitcher who was coming off a dominant year to slot into the #4 spot.

      We were getting a hitter who was an OBP machine to put in the #2 spot. NJ’s 2009 OBP was 3rd in the league behind Pujols and Mauer

      • pat says:

        Javy just had to eat up some innings, strike some guys out, give up a dinger or two and it would all be gravy. But noooooooo, he had to turn into a pumpkin.

        • Murakami says:

          I don’t know how anyone expected him to be all that effective.

          I did not like that deal from “go”, but I was rooting for Javy, who took blame from people who are morons for the 2004 ALCS loss. I wanted to see Javy stick it to those people.

          But, Yankee Stadium is not the best park for Vazquez. He’s a RHP prone to the HR. Not a good combination, and I can’t say I even understand how they came to conclude he would eat innings for the Yankees. NL numbers, in his case, are irrelevant.

  6. Matthew says:

    minutes ago on the Fan with Mike Fran”met hommer” Joe just referred to Joba as a “backend guy”. Backend of the rotation? Maybe.

  7. yankthemike says:

    not that it maters now, but how was NJ plan C for DH? they clearly wanted damon, but not at the price and years he wanted. That leads us to Matsui. Is Cash really trying to make us believe he made an offer to Mats and was turned down? And if so, why would he?


    • CP says:

      Matsui signed very early with the Angels. The Yankees were waiting for the market to develop a little before signing a DH. I don’t think they made him an offer, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t in their plans.

      • You also can’t assume that the pricepoint that he signed with Anaheim for is the one he would have signed here for. Many players are more willing to take a paycut from a new employer than their old one, for reasons of pride.

        Matsui may have been Plan A or B but ruled himself out of the negotiations when he wouldn’t agree to the 5-6M range from New York (even though he took that same 5-6M range from LAANAAAA).

    • Andrew says:

      Matsui agreed to a contract pretty early on in the offseason (12/16). I think he may have been off the board by the time Cashman was making offers for the DH slot, hence how Johnson came into play as Option C.

  8. I don’t care if I sound like a broken record, but what the Joba situation has become is just horribly disappointing.

    • first time lawng time says:

      I don’t get it. If he’s been a starter his entire career, why don’t they continue to let him start and develop? or am I missing something?

      • CP says:

        That Joba doesn’t seem to exist anymore, and I don’t think the Yankees are the ones that ruined him. If he can’t get through one inning cleanly, then why would you expect him to go eight?

        • Ted Nelson says:

          This is a good point. Everyone assumes things would be different if the Yankees had handled things differently, but it’s pure speculation. If he was absolutely dominating in the bullpen still and showing up for camp in amazing shape… it would be a lot easier to say that the Yankees blew it/are blowing it.

          • Murakami says:

            Neither of you seem to grasp that the man pitched 89 innings in the minors….

            do you have any idea how much developmental time he’s been deprived of?

            He was never sent back. They tried to split the difference between his development here and having to compete in the AL East and ran up the white flag at the first sign of trouble.

            I don’t care which side of the debate one falls on – that’s an absurdly brief time in the minors to determine anything ultimate about a guy – especially one with his arsenal and velocity.

            The Yankees cut bait on Joba Chamberlain.

            • Ted Nelson says:

              Again, you can’t say he would have done x or y with more development time. Plenty of prospects flop no matter how they are handled… and Joba has still pitched pretty well, he’s no flop. He’s not getting totally shelled. The Yankees may just legitimately feel he has more value as a reliever.

              There are also examples of guys who spent no time in the minors and became successful ML starters. Jim Abbott literally spent no time in the minors, and the dude has only 1 hand. Ben McDonald. Maybe those guys would have been better with more time in the minors, but it’s pretty hard to say they would have been. Maybe Strasburg never blows out his arm in the minors, maybe he does. We’ll have to see how Aroldis Chapman does.

              Again, if Joba shows up to camp in great shape and pitches really well out of the pen… you have an argument. He hasn’t done everything in his power to be the best he can be, though, so you can’t just blame the team for everything.

              • The Big City of Dreams says:

                He’s no flop? He’s a middle reliever that didn’t pitch a meaningful inning once Kerry Wood joined the team.

                “He’s not getting totally shelled. The Yankees may just legitimately feel he has more value as a reliever. ”

                After one full yr of a starter they came to the conclusion that this was it. I could understand if he was starting for yrs but how many career starts does he have 43 lol this whole thing is a joke

              • jim p says:

                He didn’t prove he can locate his fastball. As Hughes did in ’09. If you are a stud pitcher, you locate your fastball and build off that. Almost always.

                He got his speed up in the lively range, and had periods of great location, but not as we entered September. He’ll be in the pen until he can consistently locate his fastball.

                He’s still pretty damn young.

          • Murakami says:

            Well that’s another mark against the Yankees. You don’t try to sneak a guy on and off the mound and hope he gets away with bad mechanics.

            Everyone doesn’t “assume things would be different”; people see that the Yankees just threw in the towel. Not like he didn’t pitch in a dominating fashion in the rotation in 2008. He did.

            • Ted Nelson says:

              I don’t know what you’re even talking about… throwing in the towel.

              • He’s talking about making a declaration that a good young starting pitching prospect won’t be a starting pitcher anymore at the age of 24, despite the fact that he hasn’t really had much time to develop as a starter.

                That’s “throwing in the towel”.

                • Murakami says:

                  That’s what I mean.

                  According to Eiland, he will “never” be a starting pitcher.


                • Ted Nelson says:

                  Or maybe developing him to take over as their closer in a couple of years… in part because they think they will have 5 better starters next season.

                  Without knowing why they are doing it, it’s hard to say they’re throwing in the towel.

                  I would prefer they give him another chance to start as well and was hoping he’d open as the 5th starter. I also accept that I don’t know everything and the Yankees have information and insight that I don’t. They still might be dead wrong, but I don’t feel comfortable saying they are as if it’s a fact.

                  • The Big City of Dreams says:

                    I feel comfortable saying that because you can’t hold stead fast yr after yr that he’s a starter and then when you play a role in his demise came out and state that he’s a reliever and that’s it. As a organization you have to create the atmosphere for your talent to mature and the Yankees didn’t do that with Joba especially last season

        • The Big City of Dreams says:

          The yankees messed him up by having him jump through hoops at the end of the 09 season. They had him go on long rest, normal rest, long rest, and then normal rest again. After that side show the Yanks put Joba in short relief starts. Is it a coincidence that his numbers slumped in those months? Is it a coincidence that he was never able to get back on track after that? Last yr Suszyn Waldman reported what CC and Jorge deal said about Joba dealing with the rules.

          CC: A veteran would have a hard time pitching under the circumstances that he has to.

          Jorge: He’s trying..he’s out the trying but it’s difficult for him.

          So I’m suppose to sit here and say the Yankees don’t take some of the blame for what has happened to Chamberlain c’mon now

          • Murakami says:

            I have watched baseball since the early 60s.

            Up until that point, I had never in my life seen such a pitching schedule as you describe and that the Yankees put Chamberlain through.

            In a word: bizarre.

            • The Big City of Dreams says:

              It was very bizarre and the worst thing is they expected him to make it through with flying colors. It’s obvious they learned from their mistake because they didn’t do the same thing with Hughes. All they did with Hughes was give him extended rest. On top of everything Joba is viewed as the bad guy. He’s painted as some arrogant uncaring jerk who doesn’t care about the game. The pitcher before he got injured played with a fire that many young athletes would love to have. It’s up to him to regain it but I’m hoping it’s with a another team and not the yankees

      • Kiersten says:

        Ugh, I remember that. I was in Boston and we watched that game on TV and afterward, my mom and I walked around the Common in our Joba shirts to rub it in.

        It makes me sad.

      • Tom Zig says:

        I remember like it was yesterday. I was at Calico Jack’s in NYC and I consumed many beverages. That was one of the most exciting wins.

        Oh 2008 Joba where have you gone.

        • pat says:

          Heh, I remember I was at Keats in the city watching my friends butcher some songs during kareoke. I believe they announced the Nady/Tabata trade that day too.

    • Murakami says:

      I’ll break records with you.

      The Yanks bungled Joba Chamberlain.

      If Scott Aldred gets Eiland’s job, I think there’s a chance he goes back into the starter-in-training factory, because he won’t have to be sent down to work with the pitcher who helped him find his mechanics.

      If that’s not the case, I hope Joba is dealt somewhere where he can start. He’s not a reliever.

      • Murakami says:

        …with the pitching COACH who helped him…

        • Dirty Pena says:

          Scott Aldred was Joba’s pitching coach for 7 total starts, three years ago. Joba didn’t start having “problems” until two years after he had been separated from Aldred. What the hell is the obsession with Scott Aldred?

          • I’ve never seen Murakami and Scott Aldred in the same place at the same time.

            Just sayin.’ (Jamal G. bait’d)

          • Murakami says:

            Aldred worked with Joba on his delivery. Not exactly top secret, and it’s not unreasonable to think that Joba can respond to him again.

            So, “obsession” is really a weird thing to call it.

            If some of us are focused on Joba being a starter again, it’s because if he could reclaim that 2008 form, he could uh, really help the Yankees.

            So, maybe “obsessed” with the starting pitching being good going forward. Maybe “obsessed” with the Yankees, lol.

            • Dirty Pena says:

              I never said I didn’t want Joba to be a starter. Also, my confusion stems not from the possibility Aldred could fix Joba (it is very possible.) Rather, my confusion comes from the fact that despite the many other candidates, all of whom could possibly fix Joba, you seem 100% sure that not only could Scott Aldred do it, but that because he can so certainly fix Joba (and I haven’t seen other positives listed) Scott Aldred is the absolute perfect man for the job of Yankees’ pitching coach.

              • Murakami says:

                No, I brought up Aldred in context of Joba, not the other way around.

                Another good reason for Aldred to be given the job: he’s worked guys coming up through our system.

                If we’re to indeed be a pitching-centric franchise, developing our own arms, we have to deal with the pain of nurturing those arms along. We’re not going to string championships together getting past-prime 30-plus free agents. That may work for a given season, but you need to develop these guys from within.

                Since Aldred has had a stake in the young guys’ development, there would be a certain continuity to giving him the job.

                That said, I’m not exactly evangelizing for Aldred. I think there’s addition by subtraction, and am glad to be rid of Eiland.

  9. Dick Whitman says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.

    Brian Cashman had an excellent winter. He rid this franchise of Melky Cabrera. All other moves were secondary.

    • first time lawng time says:

      Brian Cashman had an excellent winter. He rid this franchise of Melky Cabrera

      Whitman, you are a dick. I’m just joking obviously I didn’t mean that to be rude or anything.

      But seriously now, WHAT’S WITH THE MELKY HATE PEOPLE?!


      • Dick Whitman says:

        Melky Cabrera isn’t a good Major League baseball player, to put it nicely.


      • pat says:

        Because he was holding Cano down.

      • Murakami says:

        Maybe it’s because he hit .391 and had a .994 OPS in last year’s ALCS, driving in four runs?

        Just a guess…

        • pat says:

          And as you know having a good couple games in the playoffs >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> what you do during the regular season.

          • Beantown Bombers Fan says:

            Not to say post-season numbers should matter over regular season productivity, because it doesn’t (SSS), those at bats tend to remain in the forefront of our minds more. There’s a reason Brian Doyle still appears at card show in NYC to sign autographs. As much as the post-season is a crapshoot, it remains in our memories the longest, especially when the Yanks win. That said, Melky is at best a fourth OF’er.

        • Dirty Pena says:

          Or maybe because he has a career .312 wOBA, averaging a whopping 0.5 fWAR a season. Or, to play the playoffs game, his .135 Avg (and OBP) and .327 OPS in the 16 games that weren’t that ALCS.

          • Murakami says:

            For a guy who is so mediocre, and who is no longer even HERE, you certainly are working up a lot of frothy bile about him.

            It’s clear you are “obsessed” with him. :D

            Way more than I am “obsessed” with Scott Aldred salvaging Joba Chamberlain, but at least both guys are still actually in the organization.

            • Dirty Pena says:

              I’m only annoyed because this line of thinking leads to the type of people that want to “trade that clown Swisher” and the 63% of people on the Daily News that want to “dump” both CC and A-Rod.

  10. aRX says:

    Girardi on Joba Chamberlain: “We consider him a bullpen guy in the back end of the bullpen.” Well, so much for everyone hoping that they’d let him try the starting thing again next season. Maybe in a different uniform.

    ::sigh:: So does this mean Cashman is a B-Jobber? I don’t understand how an organization as smart as this one, always desperate for good pitching, makes this huge a blunder with a pitching prospect…

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Besides that, they might at least continue to say he’s a prospect to start to inflate his trade value a bit… Maybe they see him as a replacement to Mo, though, and that’s what Chasman means by “back-end” of the bullpen…

    • Ted Nelson says:

      I don’t think; however, you can call it a blunder. Things haven’t gone as well as people realistically hoped. However, Joba showed up to camp out of shape and struggled as a relief pitcher… it’s hard to put that on the Yankees. That’s on Joba. I get a bit tired of people acting like Joba is just a poor little victim in the Yankees sinister plot to ruin their prized prospects career. If he worked as hard as and pitched as well as Hughes, he’s be starting too. Or he’d at least be the top set-up man in baseball with a really bright future in either the rotation or pen. He hasn’t, so he’s not.

      • Murakami says:

        With all due respect, people get caught up in narratives.

        Saying that people who feel the Yankees bungled Chamberlain’s development is not really the same as painting Chamberlain as “a little victim”.

        That’s disingenous. It’s a legitimate criticism that this guy who was dealing two years ago and looked to be on the verge of possibly being a front-end type starter has been given up on in that role prematurely.

        Again, he has 89 innings of minor-league ball to his name. That is factual, and what it says is that the Yankees have not seen fit to send him back to work on mechanics.

        Considering where his arm was, that’s an indictment of the Yankees.

        • All of that.

          Do I think the Yankees handled Joba’s development atrociously? Yes.

          Do I think Joba handled his own development atrociously? Yes.

          Those concepts are not mutually exclusive. However, the organization’s failures irk me more than Joba’s do, because he’s just one kid who hasn’t done everything he could to be a great pitcher. They’re a multibillion dollar franchise that is supposed to be in the business of developing great pitchers. They’re the ones that should know better and should do the correct thing to maximize their asset.

          • Ted Nelson says:

            Again, you are assuming that a different route would have yielded different results. I am not saying they are right, I am just saying you can’t say they were wrong as if it’s a fact. For example, perhaps the Yankees send him back down, they lose him from their pen, and they’re in the exact same spot telling us he’s a reliever… Perhaps the multi-billion dollar franchise has some insight into the situation that the average fan does not. Perhaps they don’t and they’ve blown it. I don’t know, so I don’t pretend I do.

            • Had they done those things and he still failed, I would respect the fact that they tried and it didn’t work.

              They didn’t try.

              • Ted Nelson says:

                Perhaps they already have good reason to believe it will fail. Just like the Angels had good reason to believe Abbott didn’t need to pitch in the Minors. There’s no one size fits all approach.

                For the 1000000th time, if you don’t have all the information you can’t have an intelligent discussion on the issue. I’m not saying the Yankees are infallible, all I’m saying is that they have more info than we do. Perhaps that info has led them to this point. Perhaps Cashman deeply regrets his handling of this situation. Again, I have no idea. But, again, I don’t jump to conclusions.

          • Murakami says:

            That’s just it: they are NOT mutually exclusive.

            People play strawman and come up with these polarizations.

            My GF wants Indian food, so I’ll catch up with the fun and games later.


        • Ted Nelson says:

          Again, you’re making a ton of assumptions with no inside knowledge.

          The Yankees actually see him day-in-and-day out. Perhaps they have handled him poorly, but to simple state it as a fact is disingenuous. There is no guarantee a different approach would lead to different results. We don’t even know exactly what their plan has been/is and the logic behind it.

          It’s also factual that Jim Abbott had ZERO innings of minor league baseball before having a nice long career as a starting pitcher. What does that say?

          • It’s also factual that Jim Abbott had ZERO innings of minor league baseball before having a nice long career as a starting pitcher. What does that say?

            It says something about Jim Abbott is what it says. It says nothing of any meaningfulness about Joba Chamberlain, though.

            • Ted Nelson says:

              It says that there is no rule that development time = success. That’s my point. Abbott is just one example, but if there were a meaningful relationship between minor league development time and major league success you think someone wouldn’t have caught onto it by now?

              Every player is different. For whatever reason the Yankees feel this is the best thing for them and Joba. They may be wrong, but I doubt they have no reason for what they’re doing with him.

              My larger point is that unless you’ve spoken to Brian Cashman about his logic behind all this and have a crystal ball that would show the alternative scenario, you’re doing a lot of speculating. It’s useless and it bugs me for people to present their speculation as fact.

              • It says that there is no rule that development time = success. That’s my point.

                No, it doesn’t. It says that there’s a rule that development time = success, and that Jim Abbott is the exception that proves the rule.

                • Ted Nelson says:

                  What of all the career minor leagues with a decade plus of “development time?” Or the Eric Duncans and CJ Henry’s? What of the guys who shoot through the minors? I really don’t think there’s a rule, but that it’s more of a case by case basis. I don’t think you want to rush prospects, but in a case like Joba where he’s had a good deal of major league success I don’t know that he’s been rushed particularly.

                  • Ted Nelson says:

                    And I bring up Jim Abbott in the context of being insulted by Murakami about Joba’s 89 innings of minor league work. He has repeatedly cited that as conclusive proof that the Yankees have mishandled Joba and another way of doing things would have yielded different (better) results. It’s just not. You can say “based on x and y I think it would have yielded better results” but you can’t prove it.

                    • And I bring up Jim Abbott in the context of being insulted by Murakami about Joba’s 89 innings of minor league work. He has repeatedly cited that as conclusive proof that the Yankees have mishandled Joba and another way of doing things would have yielded different (better) results. It’s just not.

                      It’s pretty fuckin’ strong evidence, though.

                      You can say “based on x and y I think it would have yielded better results” but you can’t prove it.

                      I’m not asking for anyone to be sent to jail or fired here, so the “You can’t prove it” counterargument is a bit of a strawman. I’m not saying I can “prove” Joba has been mishandled, I’m saying the preponderance of evidence says he was mishandled. His development track was very short and was interrupted repeatedly with bullpen stints that very likely set him back, and the team repeatedly failed to give him a fixed role and innings with which to grow in that role.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          “With all due respect, people get caught up in narratives.”

          The Yankees have mishandled Joba is the #1 narrative Yankees fans are caught up in.

      • The Big City of Dreams says:

        True it’s up to Joba to come to camp in shape and rediscover the fire he once had but the Yankees had the task of putting him in the proper situation to succeed and unfortunately they didn’t do that.

    • Murakami says:

      Maybe they’ve been given too much credit for being smart?

      I think what happened was Joba’s initial kismet with the relief role. They were ardent, as amateurs tend to be, about developing him, protesting too much, but once he encountered the typical obstacles a developing starter inevitably does along the path, they, wit their lack of experience developing starters, didn’t have the requisite talent at pitching coach, or organizational patience, to cope with it.

      The problem for them is he is not a particularly inspiring relief pitcher.

    • The Big City of Dreams says:

      Yes Cashman has been swayed to the Dark Side lol. He was once the strongest line of defense against the B-Jobbers but now he is one of them. I think it will serve them well to trade him because he doesn’t have a role on the team

  11. first time lawng time says:

    •Cash owned up to his poor 2009-2010 offseason as well: “I didn’t have a great winter last season.” He added that Nick Johnson was Plan C at designated hitter behind Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui.

    At least he can admit that some of his moves didn’t work out. Admitting takes class.

    Also, I’m a little surprised that Johnson was “plan C behind Matsui.” It seemed like Hideki was pretty quick to sign with LAA. I didn’t hear any news of negotiations with him.

  12. nathan says:

    Obviously we dont get to read Joba’s medical history, the only reason I believe he doesnt get a shot anymore is because his shoulder cant take it.

    Otherwise there is no rational reason to give Ivan Nova a better shot at 5/6 th starter than Joba. It doesnt make sense at all.

    I can definitely see Joba becoming a CJ Wilson albeit for Oakland or KC

    • vin says:

      I agree. There’s no other logical reason for them to banish him to short relief. If they thought they had 5 better starters, and they didn’t want to send him down to SWB, then at least give him the multi-inning relief role. Try to keep him close to stretched out so he can fill in when AJ needed to miss a start, or when Javy had to be skipped because of awfulness, or when Phil needed innings relief, or when Pettitte went down for 2 full months. There’s always reasons to need a good 6th starter.

      Since 1905, only two teams have gone through an entire season with just 5 starters. The 1966 Dodgers (Drysdale, Koufax, Osteen, Moeller, Sutton) and the 2003 Mariners (Franklin, Garcia, Gil Meche, Jamie Moyer, Joel Pineiro). Obviously that little factoid is a bit skewed because plenty of teams prefer to give September starts to call-ups. However, the fact remains that nearly every team will rely on more than 5 starters over the course of the season.

    • Murakami says:

      The only thing wrong with this thinking is why was Joba “competing” for the fifth spot in the rotation in ST?

      Even though anyone paying attention knows that was a kangaroo competition all the way, why go to such lengths of deception?

      Please don’t tell me it was to sell possible trade partners that his health would allow him to start elsewhere, for, if that were the case, they wouldn’t have gone out of their way to publicly declare him a life-long relief pitcher soon after that.

      Also, his velocity, which Cashman said “I don’t know if we’ll ever see again,” may not be 100 mph, but he was routinely topping out at 96-97, and even 98 in some of those appearances.

      • The Big City of Dreams says:

        Yea the whole battle for the 5th starter thing was a joke. Why go through all that stuff just to give him the false hope of starting. If he was a reliever when the 09 season started why even make him compete for a spot

        • mike c (LETS GO YANK KEEZ) says:

          because he wasn’t good enough to start? phil hughes was a better choice and won the starting spot because he was better

          • The Big City of Dreams says:

            No no no Phil didn’t “win” the job they gave it to him. The plan to move him to the pen was set up months in advance. The minute the “battle” was over a number of beat writers stated it was Hughes’ job all along.

  13. ZZ says:

    Brian Cashman more or less just said, “When Joba lost out to Hughes, we told him he is a reliever and we have not looked back. He is a reliever”

    • Ted Nelson says:

      And “he lost out to Hughes because he didn’t work as hard and then after he lost out he proceeded to have a disappointing season, so we are not comfortable going into the season with a lazy porker coming off a mediocre relief season in our starting rotation. We plan to have 4 really strong starters and AJ Burnett, who we are basically financially obligated to give a shot.”

  14. first time lawng time says:

    Who a better defensive catcher next year: Montero or Jorge?

    • Tom Zig says:

      Probably Montero, only because he’s younger. Jorge will be 40. 40 year olds don’t move particularly well.

      • Esteban says:

        What were scouting reports on Jorge when he was coming up, because I’ve yet to see one that has done anything close to praising Montero’s defense

        • jim p says:

          On the other hand, praise of Jorge & Cervelli on defense doesn’t ever happen. Is Montero going to be that much worse for more than maybe the 1st weeks? But with a plus-bat?

          Wonder how his game-calling is. But he’d have Jorge tutoring.

    • Avi says:

      Anyone in baseball will tell you Jorge.
      Montero isn’t a catcher.

      • Slugger27 says:

        i couldnt disagree more… they may both suck, but i bet montero can handle a fastball missing its location without it popping out of his glove for a pass ball

      • larryf says:

        Disagree. How many times have you seen Montero catch a 9 inning game? I saw 3 excellent ones this year. I saw Jorge look awful umpteen times this year too.

        • Avi says:

          There were by far the most stolen base attempts in the International League this past year against him and he threw out the smallest percentage as well.
          Everything I’ve read says he’s not a catcher. Every scout and manager who’s ever seen him says so.
          TONY PENA doesn’t think he can catch.

          • larryf says:

            Don’t know/haven’t heard Pena. Would be more interested in hearing Wynegar who actually saw him catch all year.

          • JobaWockeeZ says:

            Right because obviously CS percentage equates to good fielder and obviously the pitcher has no effect on the percentage as well.

            And obviously there would be no effect if Mo were pitching than Andy Pettitte in regards to the running game.

            And I don’t honestly give a damn about scouts where fielders can have bad days fielding as well. Unless they watched Montero catch for more than 200 innings which I doubt anyone has done.

            This is probably the only time the ‘did you actually watch him’ argument works,

      • JobaWockeeZ says:

        I hate the eyes argument. Except I’m going to sue it because obviously statistics can’t cover this at all.

        So…did you ever watch him play?

        • Murakami says:

          I have seen Montero play a half dozen times.

          From the first to the last, he improved dramatically behind the plate.

          Montero will be fine, in the tradition of the Yankees, who prize catcher OPS over “framing a pitch well.” Thank goodness some of their thinking is clear.

  15. Reggie C. says:

    “Legacy players” … be afraid, be very afraid.

  16. nathan says:

    [b] On the contract negotiations with Jeter and Mariano Rivera: “These aren’t regular negotiations. These are legacy players.” I’m scared. [/b]

    That is a nice quote, but I hope he doesnt believe it when the contracts are being negotiated. Remember Cash these players have already been paid out very well, they performed very well for their contract, that doesnt entail them to an even more inflated contract when their performance can only go down.

    If Cash$$ succumbs to this legacy BS, then I would be disappointed because it would mean that he doesnt have ice in his veins. Make the right call Cash.

  17. Steve H says:

    “These aren’t regular negotiations. These are legacy players.”

    That’s the opposite of Negotiating 101.

    • Tom Zig says:

      That’s what Jeter’s, Jorge’s and Mo’s agents should be saying.

    • mike c says:

      it’s also surprisingly realistic

    • Slugger27 says:

      i wouldnt be shocked if they had come to an agreement on years and $$ already anyway

    • I totally disagree. That’s only the opposite of “Negotiating 101″ if you think you should enter every negotiation using the same tactics, regardless of the circumstances unique to the particular fact pattern at hand. In this case, entering negotiations with Jeter, for example, the same way you’d enter negotiations with any other player, would be an awful idea. The player and his agent know the situation and will not take kindly to Cashman walking into the negotiation and trying to negotiate in the same manner as he would with any other player. One important lesson, in “Negotiation 101,” is understanding who you’re dealing with and under what circumstances, and adjusting your actions appropriately.

      • Steve H says:

        By why give any leverage? I get that it’s not a normal negotation. Just say that they will be here, we will do what it takes to bring them back. Everyone knows it’s a “different” scenario with Jeter, no need to put that in the press.

        • He’s not “giving” anyone any leverage – that leverage exists whether you want him to act like it does or doesn’t. He’s just being honest and realistic and signaling to the other side that he’s negotiating in good faith. All of those things have value.

          • I think that statement probably means “Jeter and Mo’s agents already know we’re not going to give them a raise; Jeter and Mo’s agents already know we’re not going to insult them and cut their pay. No contract has been offered and no contract has been agreed to but both sides already know exactly what the contract we end up signing will look like.

            There’s no reason to avoid negotiating or tipping our hand to the press, because the negotiation is a formality. Both players will be resigned for the same money they were making before. There won’t be any ‘negotiations’.”

            • Right. There won’t be ‘negotiations’ in the sense of ‘meetings where these guys are haggling and fighting over these contracts.’ There will be meetings where they sit down and try to quickly and harmoniously reach a deal that makes everyone happy.

              • That.

                There’s no need to whine that “ZOMG CASHMAN IS GIVING AWAY TEH LEVERAGE!!!” because Jeter and Mo aren’t going to use any leverage anyway. They’re not trying to get phat raises or 6 year deals, they just want to reup for a year or two (or three, in Jeter’s case) to take a whack at ring #28/29.

                • And taking it to the next step and belaboring the point a bit… Since they’re not entering the more adversarial/competitive type of negotiation… There is nothing to be gained by not saying what Cashman said today and by acting like there is some sort of more competitive negotiation going on here. The most likely consequence is that you unnecessarily annoy/hurt the other side and really just create unnecessary problems for yourself.

                  In this scenario, being more honest and signaling to the other side that you’re willing to negotiate in good faith holds a lot of value.

        • rbizzler says:

          Maybe Cash is not trying to muddy the waters before sitting down with their agents. This way, he can keep things all rosy until they have to get down to the actual negotiations.

  18. Frank says:

    I’m inclined to think Joe saying Joba is a late inning reliever is more lip service and posturing to make him seem more appealing to other teams because the way Girardi used him at the end of the seasson says otherwise.

  19. Avi says:

    “Cash owned up to his poor 2009-2010 offseason as well: “I didn’t have a great winter last season.” He added that Nick Johnson was Plan C at designated hitter behind Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui.”

    Wished he owned up to Javier Vazquez too. I mean he screwed up TWICE with him.
    How about owning up to Burnett, Pavano, Igawa, Kevin Brown, Jaret Wright and Randy Johnson.
    I think the Yankees need to enlist someone else’s services when making pitching decisions. Cashman is clearly incapable in this area.

    • Okay, let me come to your job and point out all the bad decisions you made and ignore all the good ones. You won’t mind, right?

      • pat says:

        Ignore some that were made by his supervisor too.

      • Avi says:

        What good pitching decisions has cashman made?
        Remember he gave CC the biggest contract ever for a starter. Only the steinbrenners get credit on that one.

        • He deserves credit for Sabathia because he talked the Steinbrenners out of trading for Santana, knowing that CC would be available for just money the next year. That worked out pretty well, don’t you think?

          What about credit for Hughes? How about Mussina? How about how the farm system is littered with live arms?

          • Avi says:

            So you’re telling me he knew Johan would implode like this?
            If he had such a crystal ball how did he sign Burnett and trade for Vazquez again.
            He wanted Johan. He was negotiating with Minessotta for weeks to get him. just didn’t get it done.
            I agree, he deserves credit for Moose and some for Hughes but the negatives far outweight the positives.
            If I had the same good move to bad move ratio as Cashman in my job, I wouldn’t have one!

            • Of course he didn’t know Santana would fall apart, but he knew that when you can choose between giving up money or giving up money AND prospects you should always try for the former.

              And you know, if you want to be factually correct Vazquez was a great 1st half pitcher for the Yankees in 2004 and wasn’t the reason they lost that year.

            • He wanted Johan. He was negotiating with Minessotta for weeks to get him. just didn’t get it done.


              A.) He only wanted Johan at a discounted price, not a premium price, because Johan at a premium price is a really stupid gamble
              B.) He was in on Johan to keep the Sox from getting him at a premium price.

              He played Johan perfectly (as did Theo). He wouldn’t give up Montero, Hughes, Joba, AJax, etc. for him, but he stayed in the negotiations to ensure that the Sox wouldn’t be the only serious bidders, and both he and Theo got what they wanted (neither side strengthened themselves without giving up premium prospects.

          • Dirty Pena says:

            What about the random dudes (Chacon and Small come to mind) that have had to keep the rotation afloat when guys get hurt? Clemens, Wells, Wang, Gordon, etc.

        • Steve H says:

          What good pitching decisions has cashman made?


    • Slugger27 says:

      yes, the kevin brown/jaret wright/randy johnson era was brutal.

      it was also like 4-5 years ago. MOVE ON

      • Dirty Pena says:

        Randy Johnson wasn’t even bad as a Yankee. In 2005, he had a ridiculously low 61.8% strand rate (74.4% career.) His FIP in the 2 years was 3.78 and 4.27 and was a 3.6+ fWAR player in both years.

    • Thomas says:

      How about owning up to Burnett, Pavano, Igawa, Kevin Brown, Jaret Wright and Randy Johnson.

      He didn’t own up to some of those because according to some sources many of those moves were pushed by Steinbrenner and not him.

    • vin says:

      I can’t help myself…

      Burnett – the Yanks had a big hole in their rotation. It was pretty much either him or Lowe. Derek Lowe was 4 years older, and didn’t have the swing and miss stuff of AJ. They already had a sinkerballer (Wang) on the staff. Without AJ they probably don’t win the WS last year. The Braves were willing to spend nearly as much on Burnett as the Yanks. It was a good move at the time.

      Pavano – the Yanks were in major need of a couple of starters. Pavano was 29, and coming off a great season in Florida. Many teams were interested in signing him – so much so that they call it “Carl-a-palooza.” The Yanks got him for a VERY reasonable price. He got injured numerous times despite having a good track record health-wise. It was a very good move at the time.

      Igawa – the Yanks had a hole another hole in their rotation, and gambled. Every other pitcher on this list had at some point proven that he could pitch in the big leagues. They rolled the dice on Igawa and lost. This was the type of move that other teams (ie those with less resources who are forced to gamble) make, but not too smart for the Yanks.

      Brown – traded for Weaver. Kevin Brown was coming off a really good year with the Dodgers. Jeff Weaver badly needed a change of scenery (and to get out of the AL East). The Yanks got a 1st tier pitcher (albeit old) for so little because of Brown’s expensive contract. Cashman used the Yanks’ #1 resource to acquire a guy coming off a VERY strong season. It was a good move at the time.

      Jaret Wright – the Yanks hoped to catch lightning in a bottle with a guy who was 29 and seemed to have turned his career around. He always had a good K rate, and an unsustainable HR rate in ’04. I wasn’t a fan of this deal at the time, but the pickings were slim, and this Yankee team was in transition. It was a defendable move at the time.

      Randy Johnson – Steinbrenner felt Johnson would put them over the hump and preferred him to Carlos Beltran. Randy’s 2005 was very good for the Yanks. They don’t come close to the playoffs without him. His 2006 was much less effective, despite similar peripherals. His high ERA was probably due to bad luck more than anything. Acquiring a future HOFer coming off one of his best seasons is hardly a terrible idea. The problem is they needed both a stud starter and a new CFer. This was a very good move at the time – but they would’ve been better off going all-in like they did with CC AND Tex.

      A million words have been written about Javy over the past year. I’ll just say they were both great moves at the time.

      You can’t blame a GM for a trade in hindsight. You can only evaluate it based on what was known at the time.

    • Kiersten says:

      Ok you’re a moron, but this needs to be said for all the other morons out there:

      Signing A.J. Burnett was a good thing, no matter what happens the rest of the way. If you don’t recall, our pitching in 2008 was PUTRID. Our top starter that year, Mike Mussina, retired. Our top starter from 2007 suffered an essentially career-ending injury. The Yankees had no choice but to go out and sign the best starting pitching available. CC Sabathia was not enough, they needed someone else. You may also recall that the Yankees only went with 3 starters in the 2009 playoffs because they had nobody else. Without Burnett, Chad Gaudin would have started 5 playoff games. CHAD GAUDIN. You know, the dude we released during spring training and then came back and was awful? Did the Yankees overspend for A.J. Burnett? Of course they did. But they had to to even contend in 2009 and as we all know, not only did they contend, but they won the freaking World Series. Thanks in no small part to the pitching of A.J. Burnett.


      • Murakami says:

        I don’t regret the AJ signing and have said elsewhere here I see AJ having a strong year in 20011, provided the spike in velo we saw in Game 4 and the willingness to mix in his change continue.

        AJ still has the stuff, and he was basically humiliated this season. I think he will apply himself, perhaps for the first time in his career, to become more of a pitcher.

      • Avi says:

        I agree. There’s something to be said for a guy contributing to a championship. And it could be argued that even if Burnett doesn’t throw another pitch for the yanks it was a good signing for this reason.
        That being said, the yanks didn’t expect this from him and had they known he’d do this in year two of his contract they wouldn’t have signed him.

        • Dirty Pena says:

          Couldn’t have said it better myself. Cashman and the Yankees did the best they could with the information they had at the time. Obviously it wouldn’t make any sense to go back and say that Cashman is “incapable” of evaluating pitching, knowing that most of the moves made a ton of sense at the time.


          Oh, the exact opposite? Never mind.

  20. pat says:

    Island should be fired because he told Grandersen to stop switch hitting.

  21. Rob says:

    If NJ was “Plan C” for DH, I wonder why we didn’t resign Matsui (I thought the issue was more his knees) being that he signed at a similar rate to NJ..Unless he wouldn’t sign with us at the rate he signed with Anaheim and subsquently lowered his asking price (though he signed early in the offseason)..the only other thing I can think of, which I think could maybe be the reason, is if they waited out Damon too long as the “Plan A” (or “B”), ended up losing Matsui, Damon (Boras) was asking for too much, so we ended up having to having to fall back on NJ. Minus Matsui’s real injury concerns that had to be managed all ’09, he was the better option, though Cano in the 5 hole was great and we really needed a 2 hole hitter..batting Matsui 6 or 7 would’ve been great for our lineup too though.

    • vin says:

      I really think they were concerned about Hideki’s knees blowing up. Not sure I believe Cashman when he says that Matsui was as high as plan B.

      IIRC, Matsui signed early because Cashman told his agents that DH would be a low priority that they would tackle later on in the offseason. Hideki, wisely, took the Angels deal rather than wait on Cashman and lose all his leverage.

      I think Cashman saw the DH field as one that he could find a bargain in. And, to his credit, he did (except Nick went and got hurt).

    • Unless he wouldn’t sign with us at the rate he signed with Anaheim and subsquently lowered his asking price (though he signed early in the offseason)…

      That. With a little bit of “I want to play the field and Cashman/Girardi flatly told me they won’t let me” mixed in.

      Damon and Matsui were Plan A and B, and Johnson was Plan C. But none of them were getting a deal without agreeing to
      1.) taking 5-6M, tops, on a one year deal (or a two year deal with a team option so he can be dumped at a moment’s notice),
      2.) being the everyday DH and not futzing around in the field with his bad defense (and injury concerns),
      3.) as the everyday DH, know that you’re the first one to get benched for a day when we want to give ARod/Jeter/Posada a half-day off.

      Johnson is probably the only one that didn’t pitch a shitfit at those three bottom-line conditionals, which is why he ended up here and they took their act on the road. Tell Matsui #1, #2, and #3 and he probably told his agent to move quickly on whatever DH/OF everyday starter job was available, even if it was less than half of the 13M he was making the year before.

    • I don’t think Matsui was going to resign here for less than what he was making. The market for a DH really collapsed the last few years, the Yankees had to let go. It happens.

    • “If NJ was “Plan C” for DH, I wonder why we didn’t resign Matsui (I thought the issue was more his knees) being that he signed at a similar rate to NJ.”

      Because Damon was Plan A, and he was still available and the Yanks hadn’t exhausted what they considered to be their options with Damon yet. It’s as simple as that. When Matsui signed, the Yanks hadn’t yet moved on from their preferred option. Then Matsui signed, the Yanks made their run at Damon, and eventually they moved on to Johnson when Plans A and B had fallen by the wayside (Damon because he wouldn’t accept what the Yanks considered to be their best offer, and Matsui because he had already signed elsewhere by the time the Damon negotiations came to a head).

    • Steve H says:

      Yankees DH’s didn’t kill the team no matter who was batting there this year, so I see almost no reason to revisit Damon/Matsui. Johnson didn’t work out, but Thames did in a big way and picked up a lot of the slack.

  22. Jimmy McNulty says:

    Yeah I wasn’t too disappointed with Cashman’s Winter. Granderson’s a better player than e showed, Nick Johnson was a smart gamble (though I wanted Jim Thome), I didn’t like Javier Vazquez, I thought he wouldn’t be a good fit. I hope for that same reason they stay away from Ricky Nolasco.

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