Cashman Conference Call Notes: Burnett, Yu, Montero, Martin, Cervelli, Posada, More

Yankees release Andrew Brackman
Yankees, Garcia have mutual interest in 2012 reunion
(AP Photo/John Marshall Mantel)

Brian Cashman held a conference call with reporters this afternoon following the announcement of his new three-year contract, and he downplayed the significance of running a New York team. “It’s an easier situation for me because I haven’t really been anywhere else,” said the Yankees-lifer. “This is all I know.”

The biggest piece of news to come out of the conference call was Andrew Brackman’s release. You win some and you lose some a lot in the draft, and in Brackman’s case, the Yankees spent nearly $11M (according to Pete Caldera) to have him face 13 big league hitters. Ouch. Cashman also confirmed that the starting rotation will continue to be the team’s priority this offseason (duh), though they could still add a second left-handed reliever as well. Here’s a list of the free agent lefty relievers, in case you’re wondering who might fill Damaso Marte‘s DL spot next season. Here are the rest of the notes from the press conference…


  • “We’re in a position now to take our time and explore and digest as well as pursue, but at our own pace, not in an emotional or reactive state,” said Cashman when asked about pursuing pitching. “It allows us to survey the landscape in a more conservative way. [Re-signing CC Sabathia] provides us a lot of security.” (Mark Feinsand, Chad Jennings & Marc Carig)
  • “He’s had to deal with adversity because of the inconsistent performance,”said Cashman when asked about A.J. Burnett. “He still was able to step up in October.” Cashman did laud Burnett’s ability to take the ball every five days and be accountable after his starts. Unless something unexpected happens, A.J will be in the rotation next season. (Kim Jones)
  • As for Yu Darvish, Cashman simply said: “I think like with anything else you learn over time. I think we’re more prepared today than we have been in the past.” I take that to mean the Yankees did more research on Darvish than they did with Kei Igawa, but that’s a quote open to (mis)interpretation. (Jon Lane)
  • Cashman confirmed that Rafael Soriano did not exercise his opt-out clause before last night’s deadline and will be with the team in 2012. (Anthony McCarron)


  • When asked about soon-to-be free agents like Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder, Cashman said: “I don’t anticipate a bat being a need at all. Offense is not a problem with this club despite what happened in the Detroit series.” (Bryan Hoch & Feinsand)
  • Picking up Nick Swisher‘s option was “an easy call,” and the GM isn’t concerned too much about his right fielder’s third straight poor postseason showing. (Feinsand)
  • As for Jesus Montero‘s role with the team next season, Cashman said: “He could be a catcher, he could be a DH, he could be a bat off the bench, depending on how the roster looks.” (Jones)


  • As for the trade market, Cashman said he’s open “to anybody’s ideas” and is willing to discuss a deal involving Burnett or pretty much anyone else on the roster. “If anybody wants to approach me on anybody on this roster, if they don’t have a full no-trade clause, worst I can tell em is no.” Burnett has a partial no-trade clause, but as yesterday’s Derek Lowe trade showed, A.J. has minimal trade value. (Jones, Hoch & Dan Barbarisi)
  • Cashman said that a long-term deal for Russell Martin is possible, but he likes the flexibility that their upper level catching depth provides. “He’s under our control [as an arbitration-eligible player]. He was fantastic, he didn’t disappoint … I’m a big fan.” (Kim Jones)
  • Cashman on Jorge Posada‘s future: “That’s something we’ll have to discuss here on the short term … it’s not something I’m prepared to talk about today.” (Barbarisi)
  • “[Frankie Cervelli] is fine,” said Cashman. “He’s full-bore, ready to go as a catcher.” That’s good news. Frankie suffered his third concussion in four years in early-September. (Jones)
  • Cashman also confirmed that no one big league roster needs any kind of offseason surgery. (Jennings)
Yankees release Andrew Brackman
Yankees, Garcia have mutual interest in 2012 reunion
  • Mike HC

    Using Montero as a bat off the bench next year would be ridiculous. I know Cash was just running down all the possible options, but I didn’t even like Montero on the bench this postseason, let alone all of next year.

    • Yazman

      I think Cash generally prefers to communicate that players have to earn it… (AJ statement notwithstanding).

      Watching Montero play full time will be a highlight of 2012!

      • Mike HC

        Yea, agreed. I wasn’t really getting all riled up about the comment. It did happen to stick out though.

    • Ted Nelson

      Yeah, I think it’s that he has to earn it and also not to put too much pressure on either side: the Yankees to play him or him to perform. Despite his white hot start in MLB, he could still hit an extended slump that makes him a bench-level player or even requires being sent back to AAA.

      Another small advantage could be in courting Andruw Jones to re-sign or a replacement, telling him that DH is still an open spot.

  • Dino Velvet

    Did Cash offer any comment on why they released Brackman?

    • Mike HC

      Does he have to? The guy was no going to be worth the money.

      • Brian S.

        His cutter looked really nasty though late in the season. I would have kept on to him and used him out of the bullpen.

        • Mike HC

          We can re sign him for far less than we would have had to pay him if we kept him.

          • Ted Nelson

            I think that’s a big part of the original question. I don’t know that Cashman could say this without being killed by the players association, but the big question is whether they cut him because they give up or intending to re-sign him.

  • Doc Holliday

    Jesus Montero a bat off the bench? Is Cashman serious? He needs to be starting everyday. If we can dump Teixera it would be nice to be able to pick up Pujols or Fielder. Both would be huge upgrades over our .830 OPS 1st baseman.

    • Brian S.

      As much as I would like him to, Teixeira is not going anywhere. He has a full NTC and a huge, untradeable contract.

      • Mike HC

        Yea, Tex is our guy for better or worse. Hopefully for the better.

        • Brian S.

          If he can fix his platoon split he will be worth the money. I hope Long works with him this winter.

    • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher (formerly Jorge)

      Let’s focus on the rest of what he had to say, shall we?

    • Mike Axisa

      If they sign Pujols or Fielder and trade Teixeira, then in three years you’ll be complaining about their new .830 OPS first baseman and how they should sign Votto. And then three years after that you’ll want them to sign Hosmer. And so it goes.

      • Mike HC

        Quite true. I was thinking the same.

      • Jesse

        That’s just how some fans roll.

        • Yazman

          I agree — Teixeira is about as good a “problem” as a team could have.

          By WAR, 3rd best 1B in the AL this year, 3rd best over the last 3 years. Always team first attitude.

          I don’t think this is where we need to upgrade.

  • Brian S.

    I’m not an AJ Burnett hater but if we could trade him I think you have to do that. No one will take his full salary but if you could find someone that wants to eat six-seven million over the next two years and gamble on his xFIP I think you have to do that. I’m pretty confident that Warren, Phelps, or Noesi could pitch as well as Burnett has the last two years.

    • Jesse

      The only team I think that may consider taking Burnett is the Padres.

      • Ted Nelson

        At $3 mill per season I think some teams would be interested. A situation would have to arise where it makes sense for the Yankees to eat so much $, though. Possible, just unlikely.

      • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

        The Rockies need arms.

        • Sarah

          But AJ would be awful in Coors Field. The long ball would kill him. Probably be easier to trade Freddy to them.

    • Mike HC

      At this point you basically have to keep him and just use him as a back end starter. You are not going to be able to get a usable prospect (especially the high standard to make the Yankees) even if you pay like his entire salary, and the Yanks have so much money that saving whatever extra money we don’t have to give the team we trade him to, is not going to really make any difference.

      • Brian S.

        I think having another seven million the next two years would make a huge difference. The Yankees may have the largest budget in baseball but they still have a budget. Seven million dollars not spent on a backend starter who blocks us from using one of our AAA prospects is seven million dollars spent towards Yu Darvish or another LOOGY since Cashman loves LOOGY’s so much.

        • Mike HC

          Yea, seven million is seven million, but I think you even agree that AJ is probably not going anywhere. We can dream though.

          • Brian S.

            Oh absolutely, I just figured since Cashman was asked about it I would just throw that out there.

        • Ted Nelson

          Yeah, if/when he’s blocking prospects it starts to become an issue and the situation might arise where it makes sense to eat a lot of his salary.

          I don’t think he’s quite there yet, though. There are basically 3 open rotation spots behind CC and Nova right now, so I’d wait to do anything in case all options fall through. Maybe if they re-sign Garcia and have another veteran (Yu, CJ, Colon or similar, trade, Hughes even, whoever), at some point it might become clear that AJ is blocking a better pitcher or enough similar pitchers that one is probably better.

          I don’t think it’s the worst thing to give the prospects (and Hughes) a little more time, though maybe now would be the time to trade AJ while hope springs eternally in the off-season rather than if he struggles again next season.

    •!/SteeeeveO Steve O.

      It looks like the Yankees would have to eat around 70% of his salary, and I’m not sure Cashman and co. would want to do that.

      • Ted Nelson

        I don’t think they’d want to do it until their hand was forced, nor should they probably.

        If it becomes clear that AJ is blocking a better pitcher(s) from the roster for the remainder of his contract, then I think they’d move him. To date I’m not sure that’s been the case, especially since he’s always teased enough to think maybe he can turn it around before the contract is over. Through continued suckitude and/or others being acquired/stepping up, maybe that will become the case.

    • Yazman

      By WAR, AJ was #48 among AL starters this year. Could be worse for a #4 or #5 starter (thanks in part to all those innings).

      And for what it’s worth, he was our best pitcher this postseason (non-Mo division).

      I hope other guys take AJ’s spot (CC, Darvish, Nova, Hughes, Noesi/Banuelos/Betances?), but there’s little benefit to tossing him for nothing in return.

  • Dino Velvet

    Cash is so tiny.

    Can’t they use a shorter table and microphone stand so he doesn’t end up looking like Lilly Tomlin in Laugh-In

    • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher (formerly Jorge)

      They should give him an elevated platform, ala Jon Lovitz as Michael Dukakis.

    • Foghorn Leghorn

      He’s still a giant compared to Ken Rosenthal. That dude looks like he’s under 4 ft tall. Same with Kirtjen…he’s so short his legs swing from the chair when he’s sitting at the desk.

      • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher (formerly Jorge)

        And half of Ken Rosenthal is ugly bow tie.

        • Foghorn Leghorn

          I’ve taken craps that are bigger than Ken Rosenthal

  • Bronx Byte

    Send Burnett to a Japanese team. Take the cash and apply it to Yu Darvish.

  • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher (formerly Jorge)

    Still hoping to see Brackman coming back (really, I’d give him extra chances until he’s 35, but that he no longer deserves that 2007 pedigree) but, other than that, this sounds like the blueprint for the offseason we should expect from the team.

    Here’s hoping they’ve done more research on Darvish than your average “Darvish for #2 starter” RAB commenter.

    • Mike HC

      ha … I think we can be pretty sure that the Yanks have done more research on Darvish than even RAB’s most superior commenter.

      • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher (formerly Jorge)

        How many commenters will wind up disagreeing with you if they pass on him?

        • Mike HC

          Claiming they made the wrong decision, and claiming that they did more research on Darvish than the entire Yankee organization are two different things.

          But I get what you are saying. RAB commenters most definitely know how to run the Yanks better than they do, including me, ha.

      • Johnny O

        the problem is their “sooo, what’s your best pitch” line to Igawa AFTER they signed him.

        • Ted Nelson

          I don’t think that’s likely to be on Cashman and the baseball people either way. It was reported to be ownership. It is still possible, however, to ask a new player what he thinks his strengths and weaknesses are even if you have your own opinion. Get an idea for his psyche and see how in line with reality his opinion of himself is. Heck, just make conversation even.

    • Ted Nelson

      Why single out the people in favor of Darvish? There are just as many comments along the lines of “no Japanese pitcher is worth the risk, Igawa, Irabu, blah, blah, blah…”

  • UncleArgyle

    and in Brackman’s case, the Yankees spent nearly $11M (according to Pete Caldera) to have him face 13 big league hitters

    Makes Sorianos contract look a little less horrible doesn’t it.

    • Andy In Sunny Daytona

      I think Caldera was off on his figures.

      Andrew Brackman rhp
      4 years/$4.55M (2007-10), plus club options through 2013

      4 years/$4.55M (2007-10), plus club options through 2013
      signed Major League contract 8/15/07
      $3.35M signing bonus (paid over 6 years)

      options and escalators may increase value to $13M
      if option is not exercised, club must release Brackman

      exercise of 2011 option triggers $1M bonus

      NY Yankees exercised 2011 option 10/27/10 (2011 salary of $1M in majors, $0.4M in minors)

      drafted by NY Yankees 2007 (1-30) (NC State)
      agent: Scott Boras

      ML service: 1.027

  • Yazman

    RE: Swisher

    I’m with the folks who say regular season play is the best predictor of post-season play.

    See postseason:

    Berra, Lawrence. First 5 years: .549 OPS (.811 WS lifetime)

    Lots of World Series MVPs had numerous horrible postseason records prior…

  • well you know

    Swisher hit .232 against RHP for the full year 2011.

    4 for 19/.211 (his ALDS) is in fact the most expected result for a .232 hitter getting 19 ABs against almost entirely RHP.

    .211 is 21 points under; one more hit (5 for 19) would be .260, or 28 points over his split for the year.

    • Brian S.

      Batting Average.

    • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher (formerly Jorge)

      The Swisher boobirds have arrived, I see.

    • Yazman

      that’s a good point

  • Dan

    Just curious, but out of the available LH Relievers available, who would people prefer the Yankees go after? It does not seem like the options are that great.

    • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher (formerly Jorge)

      Which ever one doesn’t want a contract longer than a year and you actually think would be better in 2012 than Logan.

    • Ted Nelson

      Probably someone cheap unless Wada’s any good.

    • Sarah

      I’m still not clear on why they let JC Romero go…wonder if he’d be available cheaply since no one has let him pitch in the majors recently.

  • Tom

    Folks need to stop with this 2nd lefty fascination.

    The Yankees had one of the best bullpens (if not the best) in the AL, with primarily one lefty in the pen all year. Sure there may be some regression (I expect good things from Robertson but it’s going to be difficult for him to repeat 2011), but you also have a potential boost if/when Joba comes back in the 2nd half.

    People are obsessed with lefty-lefty matchups but unless you have a good lefty throwing, an average lefty out there is not any better than most of the righty options currently in the pen (including Corey Wade who has decent splits against lefties).

    The other issue is Girardi’s lack of strategy deploying a LOOGY, using a lefty against a bottom of the order sub .700 OPS hitter in the 5th, 6th or 7th inning is not good strategy when the guy will be pinch hit for. With only one LOOGY, Girardi is at least more likely to wait for a higher leverage spot to deploy them.

    • Ted Nelson

      Who is obsessed with it?

      • Tom

        Cashman, Giradi, and everyone asking who the 2nd LOOGY will be when there is no need for one? It’s as if 2 lefties in the pen has become the standard expectation every offseason.

        With Co/Ro/So/Mo and Logan, take the best available arm for low leverage situations on a cheap 1 year deal. Trying to shoe horn yet another lefty in the pen so Girardi can micromanage the 5th and 6th inning with 2 lefties is a waste of time, money and resources.

        • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher (formerly Jorge)

          “They could still add a second left-handed reliever as well.” – Yup, that’s Glenn Close-level obsession to me.

    • Brian S.

      Strawman. Most of us actually don’t want the Yankees to waste any more money on middle relief.

      • Tom

        Forget wasting money… I’m talking about wasting a 25 man roster spot on a 2nd specialist and having 5/7 of your bullpen carrying the bulk of the workload because Girardi wants the crutch of having 2 lefty specialists (though I suspect with a 2nd lefty Logan would be less of a specialist).

        It’s not about money spent on the arm; I don’t really care how much money is wasted on guys like Feliciano or Marte.

    • Jose M. Vazquez..

      you can blame Casey Stengel for all of this lefty-righty matchup thing. I don’t really know if it was used before 1949 but that is about when Casey started platooning the outfielders. He also used Loogies in the WS. Of course, good hitters always hit no matter the side the pitcher threw from. I’m talking Joe DiMagio and Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Willy Mays, Hank Aaron all of which I saw play.

      • Monteroisdinero

        Don’t forget Montero in that group! lol

  • http://none Favrest

    I hope Jorge retires. If he signs with Tampa or Baltimore he’ll make everyone sick.

  • TomH

    I don’t anticipate a bat being a need at all. Offense is not a problem with this club despite what happened in the Detroit series.

    HA! What they need is a professional hitter to supplement Cano. It’s possible, but not probable, that Jeter will repeat his post-ASG performance. It’s probable that ARod will not return to anything like his old super-star form. As for Teixeira, when he comes to bat the sound system should play Sinatra singing “All Or Nothing At All.” Grandy strikes out too much. Too many rally-killers in that lineup.

    No, what they need is someone who can consistently hit, FOR AVERAGE. “Average,” that which Musial, Williams, Dimag, Tony G., Mays,et al. used to do, and that managers and GMs like McGraw, McCarthy, Alston, Barrow, Rickey and others respected.

    That doesn’t mean that the Yankees need to find a Dimag or Williams (a Henrich would be nice), but they do need someone who can consistently get base hits, move guys along, keep rallies humming.

    If they can’t find a solid #2, the rotation will need to have serious hitting to support it. My guess is that Toronto is more likely to get Darvish than NY. Or, to be more precise: if Toronto does go after Darvish, we’ll know that they, like Texas, is now willing to spend big dough to compete with New York and Boston. It’s not entirely clear yet that Toronto’s gazillionaire ownership will do that. Maybe a Banuelos will come through or Hughes will find his old stuff. But the team shouldn’t count on them.

    So, with a possibly problematical staff (AJ, Hughes, ?Garcia?), the Yanks continue to need hitters. Is it Montero who will provide that “professional hitter”? Hell, I wouldn’t know. We’ll see how the league deals with him the second and third times they see him.

  • gargoyle

    Dear God they can’t be seriously considering bringing back Posada can they? I expect that Cash would dance around this question but I hope they nip this thing with Posada in the bud very early this offseason. We know that Jorge isn’t going to make it easy and will likely try to pull a Bernie but they have to make it clear to him that he’s not in their plans.

  • David, Jr.

    And who exactly is this modern day Musial, Williams, Joe D. or Mays clone that they are likely to find?

    • Monteroisdinero

      Well you know, David…….

    • steve (different one)

      Seriously, if only Cashman could replace Swisher with a Ted Williams-type player.

  • http://None Ken

    Let’s face it, gals and guys. This is not a Yankee championship team. If Sabathia pitched in the David Cone days, at best he’d be a second or more probably third starter. Nick Swisher is not Paul O’Neil anymore than post season Granderson will ever be Bernie Williams, nor Gardner – Strawberry. Mariano Rivera is not who he once was. Sure, this team can and will probably get to the playoffs. But Derek Jeter will probably never have to be Mr November again. This is not a clutch, front line team.

    • Captain

      you’re right, 2009 wasnt a Yankee championship team.

      • gc

        And think of all those clutchy clutch players on that great 2001 New York Yankees World Championship team who won all those rings in 1998, 1999 and 2000 as well.

        Oh wait……

  • NYY

    The yanks have tones of players with bad contracts and others that are producing.I think the yanks should trade Romine in a few years have Gary Sanchez catch and put Montero in right.