Mike Ashmore’s Q&A with Brian Cashman

Yankees call up Steve Garrison; Mitre to the DL
Game 94: Bartday

Mike Ashmore ran into Brian Cashman at Waterfront Park in Trenton last night while he watched Dellin Betances‘ start, and the GM was kind enough to answer a few questions. They spoke mostly about the farm system, specifically the value in seeing what other teams are asking for in trades, surprise players (hint: it’s an Almonte), Jesus Montero‘s season, Manny Banuelos‘ season, and plenty more. When asked if any players were untouchable, Cash responded: “Realistically, there are guys that are untouchable for me. But I’ve got bosses, so.” That’s a little twist of the knife right there. Anyway, make sure you give it a read.

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Yankees call up Steve Garrison; Mitre to the DL
Game 94: Bartday
  • David, Jr.

    A great read. He says just what you would expect about his own prospects. However, he is the ninja, and I expect plenty of fireworks. Unless the cost is just ridiculous, they aren’t going to go into the playoffs with Hughes or Burnett to face somebody like Jon Lester.

    • YankeesJunkie

      Agreed, while the Yanks may not get a top of line guy like Ubaldo I could definitely see a #2 or #3 guy step in for the Yanks. Also the Yanks need Hughes to step up for the rest of year and be a solid #3 guy for the Yanks.

      • David, Jr.

        I agree. They may be able to do something that would improve a couple of positions without gutting the farm system, like take a chance on Liriano if it also brings back Michael Cuddyer, for maybe Romine and Nova.

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

          Edwin Jackson?

          • David, Jr.

            I can see it. Keep Montero, Banuelos and Betances. Take their shot this year and be loaded going forward.

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

              The problem with Jackson is that the White Sox have climbed back into the ALC race, so they might not move him for prospects-only. Kenny Williams might insist on big league players they can use this year (like, say, an OF?), which probably rules us out.

              Maybe if they pulled off a prospect-for player deal elsewhere (Jake Pericka for Ryan Ludwick?) we could then get Jackson for prospects to restock their farm (Warren and Laird?)

              • David, Jr.

                Similar to Minnesota. The division is absolutely awful. It could be won with a .500 record, which keeps everybody except Kansas City moderately in contention and could reduce the number of sellers.

  • http://www.twitter.com/ngoral Jake LaMotta’s Left Hook

    Seems much more loose and relaxed in that interview than some other recent ones.

  • Zach

    I’m mildly fascinated with his new found honesty. I also like his moves, and that he seems to have learned and improved over the years.

    • YankeesJunkie

      Cashman has had his good and bad moves. Feliciano was pretty bad move on his part this last year, but then there have been other moves such as Granderson and especially Swisher that have really worked to the Yankees advantage. While Cashman is probably not the best GM in the game, he is the best for the Yankees at this point in time I hope he stays past 2011.

      • Zach

        Right, it’s a unique job, and I’d rather have Cash that someone new at this point.

        • YankeesJunkie

          Unless Oppenheimer were to get the job the new GM would probably have much less power than Cashman and the Yankee brass, especially Levine, don’t strike me as good analysts of talent.

      • Tom Swift

        As others have noted, his startling frankness makes me think he’s ready to hang it up and try something else. He’s still young, and he’s basically had just one employer during his career. He needs a break from the Yankees.

        • David, Jr.

          An interesting take.

          He made it clear that he didn’t want to sign Jeter for what they did.

          He made it clear that he wasn’t in favor of signing Soriano.

          Now says that he would keep the prospects, but alludes to the fact that his employers might overrule that.

      • Nuke LaDoosh

        I would think you have to blame Feliciano on whoever signed off on the physical. Cash isn’t a doctor, and somebody should have been able to pick up issues in the medical exam.

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

          And losing a LOOGY making 4M a year to injury is far from the worst thing in the world. Cash bet big that Feliciano (if healthy) would give much better production than the other LOOGY options available, and if he did flame out with injury, other options (like Flores and Romero) would make themselves available.

        • Angryankee

          And, we needed a lefty…

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

    When asked if any players were untouchable, Cash responded: “Realistically, there are guys that are untouchable for me. But I’ve got bosses, so.

    2011: The Year of Living Tactlessly

    http://cf1.imgobject.com/poste.....iginal.jpg

    • Zach

      I think you have to take into account the difficulty and strategic importance of taking a hard line in public as a posture, but also being willing to listen in private. This is often best achieved with a good cop/bad cop, or “I’ll check with my boss” rhetorical device. Hal doesn’t seem the sort to care or it gets the Yankees an extra 5% on the deal.

  • Nuke LaDoosh

    “that’s a little twist of the knife right there”

    Do you think Cash is gone after the season?

    • murakami

      Let’s hope Levine is instead.

  • Mike Ashmore

    Thanks to RAB (and Mike, specifically) for posting this, and to you guys for all the kind words.

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

      Thanks for all your reporting on the minors over the years; you’re a great info source.

    • YankeesJunkie

      Nice interview and keep up the great job blogging for the Thunder.

    • Zach

      Thank you.

    • Reggie C.

      Keep it coming Mike. Trenton is the prospect hotbed of the farm so all updates are welcome.

      • Mike Ashmore

        Glad everyone enjoys the work. If anyone ever has any questions, just ask.

        • YankeesJunkie

          Be able to see Banuelos for part of last year and this year do you notice something different in his mechanics or his approach to batters to explain the increase in the walk rate. Obviously the stuff is still there considering he is striking out more than a batter an inning, but the walks have not been a problem for Banuelos till this year.

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

          I have a two-part question:

          1.) Political scientist Kenneth Waltz recently argued that the conventional goal of nuclear nonproliferation is not worth pursuing as a feasible strategy, as increasing nuclear rivalries paradoxically help keep peace as they “discourage states from starting any wars that would lead to the use of such weapons.” In his view, nuclear arms are thus inherently defensive, not aggressive, and the countries that want them do so for good reasons, and that a more nuclear world––even in the Middle East and South Asia––leads to greater restraint and caution, causing irresponsible regimes to behave more responsibly.
          In your view, should the West abandon nonproliferation as a foreign policy aim, and how would such a shift in strategy alter the relationships with India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the global war on terror?

          2.) What’s Dellin Betances’s training regimen like?

          • Mike Ashmore

            1) Frank: [Frank takes a drink of water, makes a funny face and grunts] Recent research has shown that empirical evidence for globalization of corporate innovation is very limited and as a corollary the market for technologies is shrinking. As a world leader, it’s important for America to provide systematic research grants for our scientists. I believe strongly there will always be a need for us to have a well articulated innovation policy with emphasis on human resource development. Thank you.
            Frank: [Frank grunts, makes a face and goes limp]
            [audience applauds]
            Frank: What happened? I blacked out.

            2) Not any different than the others, really. Bullpen inbetween starts, participates in PFP, etc.

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

              Well played, Mauer.

  • Nuke LaDoosh

    very possible that it’s the development of guys like Romine and Murphy that is making it easier to consider dealing Montero

    • David, Jr.

      Absolutely. And Gary Sanchez. Lots of depth at two positions, pitcher and catcher, makes it much easier to take what you have to give up to get something.

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

      Most definitely.

    • murakami

      Murphy will ever catch. You think Montero’s got issues? None of those guys will ever approximate Montero’s bat (except perhaps Sanchez).

      • David, Jr.

        Romine will definitely catch. I’m betting that they get lots of calls about him.

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

        Murphy will never catch.

        Murphy, on the other hand, has shown “significant improvement as a backstop” and “enough diligence and desire to catch [that] the organization gave him another shot.” The Yankees had him work out at third base and in the outfield during Instructional League last year, and he still plays there on occasion now. “Murphy has shown significant improvement in his receiving and his throwing, to the point where he is clearly more advanced on defense than Sanchez is right now,” says Cooper.
        May 23, 2011

        http://riveraveblues.com/2011/.....uch-48789/

        • David, Jr.

          Never seen Murphy. I have seen Romine twice, and he looked great to me. Potential defensive animal. Completely took charge and didn’t seem to have any holes in his game at all.

          • murakami

            I see Romine a lot. He’s inconsistent. His throws are sometimes on the money, sometimes they drift on him. His decision making needs work as well in terms of when he should throw. Threw a ball into left last night he never should have thrown in the first place. He’s got a solid foundation, though, and he is really squaring up the AA pitchers.

            I’d trade him over Montero though without a second thought. Romine’s never going to draw comparisons to Piazza and Howard.

            • David, Jr.

              I like him a lot defensively. I can’t see him not being a MLB quality defensive catcher with some normal development. Not a spectacular bat, as you say, but I see him holding his own.

        • murakami

          There’s a reason he’s worked out at 3B and OF.

          His receiving and throwing were not just weak when I saw him, they were disastrous. The most routine plays for him are adventures. The worst was a perfect hop on a great throw by DeLeon that had arrived well in advance of the runner. He not only didn’t get in front of it, he waved at it and windmilled it. He spent a lot of time chasing balls to the backstop as well.

          He’s not good back there, and that’s being kind. He does have a superb stick, that’s why they’re trying to find somewhere else for him to play. He also has enough speed to make it at COF.

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

            And as the quote said, he was bad, they worked him out at 3B and OF, but then this year he’s improved and now they’re giving him another shot.

            • YankeesJunkie

              It is good to see JR Murphy make some strides on defense behind the plate considering the solid bat. The thing going for him compared to a Montero or a Sanchez is he is still athletic enough to play at 3B or the OF.

            • murakami

              Yeah, saw him this year. Not good.

  • 28 this year

    I find this honestly to be a good thing going forward. While tension in the front office isn’t good, with Cashman, you can be sure that his voice is heard. Whether or not they follow it is different but with a new GM, I worry about the balance of power. I think Cashman is going to stay, he’s just posturing in order to gain more control of baseball ops. Last time, he got control of the farm and this time, he will ask for more control over contracts. Its a step by step process that can only be aided by the removal of vocal cords in a certain Randy Levine.

  • Reggie C.

    Zolio Almonte for the 2012 prospect watch!

    /too soon

  • Mark

    Cashman in last year of contract mode. Really can’t blame him if he leaves, has loads of money, loads of rings, and any team would probably be happy to hire him as an executive if he wanted to take a break from being general manager. I would have loved to have seen his reaction when Levine told him to sign Soriano.

    • murakami

      If he does bolt, that probably was the last indignity for him.

  • leftylarry

    Actually, Yankees do need a top of the rotation type guy and would have to trade their top prospects to get one.
    After CC, there’s nobody to win q big game in a playoff series or WS and this is an aging team that needs to win now.
    I would gladly trade MONTERO and BAnuelous TO GET A BIG TIME #1 or real #2 type pitcher.
    Love TO hold on to Betances but ……….

    • The Big City of Dreams

      this is an aging team that needs to win now.

      ————————-

      What happens if they don’t?

      • Rich in NJ

        Then they make even more stupid short-sighed moves over the winter.

        • The Big City of Dreams

          Lol ppl make it seem like if the team doesn’t win this yr then Hank and Hal will blow it up. I’m not doubting that the team is in a transition but at the same time it’s not as if this is the last dance for everyone on the club. It will be for a couple of guys though

      • murakami

        Good point. There’s no guarantee for this team in 2011. Which makes giving up your only young hitting prospect close to the majors who also has great power, um, insane.

        If it was two years ago, that lineup had Posada catching. Very different lineup. The idea that Jimenez is some deux ex machina slam dunk to deliver a World Series is extremely naive. I would not move either good B or Montero. Offer them a secondary package or in response to O’Dowd’s “Blow me away” we can just respond with “Blow me.”

        • David, Jr.

          Easier to say Blow Me (LOL, by the way) if we think Montero can catch.

          Assume that you have seen him. What do you think about that? Can he do it at the MLB level?

          • murakami

            I haven’t gotten to see Jesus since AA, but using that as my base, I think he would be functional enough behind the plate. He’s not nimble like, say, Sanchez (who has been dealing with some injuries during his regression), but he’s a better athlete than reported and he blocks pitches pretty well and has a good arm. I think way too much is made of his release not being quick enough. I don’t know what they’re doing with his footwork since AA., but improved on that while he was still down there.

            • Monteroisdinero

              I’ve seen Montero plenty. He throws as well as our current catchers, doesn’t fist pump as well. He will be average defensively. Good enough for the Yanks.

        • The Big City of Dreams

          You made some very good points. I understand the need to upgrade the rotation and if a pitcher like Felix was available I would understand the move but I’m not sure if UJ is the guy you gut the farm for. I’m not sure if it’s wise to move a bat like Montero when the bats on the big league level are aging. I know the belief is it’s easy to replace bats but look around the league hitters are being locked up just like pitchers are.

  • Dennis

    If Cashman leaves and the new GM is not Oppenhiemer I think that person will trade our prospects for a veteran starter(a Carpenter type) in order to impress the masses.

  • Midland TX

    I don’t get why so many commentators and commenters seem to think that a bunch of pushy New Yorker colleagues disagreeing publicly about business decisions is in any way unusual or indicative of one party’s likelihood to separate from the organization.

  • nycsportzfan

    I’m glad he gave a shout out to Zolio Almonte.. I remember asking MIke.A what ALMONTE he liked more and he said Abraham because Zolio was old for his class, i dissagread, i guess Cashman agrees with me as well.. YA!!! j/k!

    Its time we start figuring out what catchers we can trade, and who we can keep, we also got that BIRD 5th rounder this past draft, and i certainly don’t want these guys to stick around untill they start losing Value.. I would figure on keeping 2 of em, and try to trade 2 for some nice pieces, maybe call HOUSTON and see what it would cost for Hunter Pence..