Dec
11

Brian Cashman, Prevaricator Extraordinaire?

By

In recent days, while teams like the Marlins and Angels snapped up every big name free agent on the market, Brian Cashman preached patience and fiscal responsibility. When Yu Darvish was posted at the end of last week, Cashman said the following (courtesy of Chad Jennings):

“Sometimes, if you like somebody a great deal, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to be in a position to participate,” Cashman said. “I think, obviously he’s extremely talented. If he’s going to get posted, it’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out and how everybody on this side of the fence – meaning all Major League clubs – how they decide to or not to participate, and at what level. But that’s all for another day.”

“We’ve got a lot of depth (in the rotation),” Cashman said. “Can we add to it? We’d like to. But is it realistic? It’s not necessarily that realistic because for me to be able to push through something, I’m probably going to have to overpay to do that. And that’s a tough thing to do, especially when you’re sitting with a lot of talent, a lot of people you could slot in and (have them) do this job. It’s just, do you want to bet on somebody doing it significantly better at the expense of payroll flexibility going forward or (the loss of a prospect in a trade)? I’m OK with the balancing act. I’m OK with the decision making. I didn’t expect much, and it’s hard to improve on what we already have.”

Couple these quotes with the recent reports that the Yankees are trying to cut their payroll in anticipation of being below the luxury tax threshold in 2014, and you have the makings of another quiet offseason for a team that seems to need some established starting pitching. However, despite the fairly pervasive reports that the Yankees are unlikely to bid on Darvish, sign a free agent to a large deal, or give up major prospects to acquire a top starter, there is precedent to suggest that Cashman is simply working to muddy the informational waters.

The most famous example comes from late-2005, when Brian claimed that the Yankees were going to enter the 2006 season with Bubba Crosby as the center fielder. No one quite believed it at the time, but most fans were still stunned when Cashman stole Johnny Damon from the Red Sox a few weeks later. Prior to the 2009 season, the Yankees’ GM suggested that the rumors of the Yankees adding Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia, and either Derek Lowe or A.J. Burnett were “crazy talk” from a “fantasy land.” He suggested that even acquiring just Sabathia and Teixeira was a ridiculous idea that had no merit. A scant few weeks later, Sabathia, Teixeira, and Burnett were all in pinstripes.

On two other occasions, Cashman made forceful public statements only to later be overruled by management. He stated quite clearly that if A-Rod used the opt-out in his contract following the 2007 season, the Yankees would not participate in his free agency. And just last offseason, he declared that he would not surrender his first round pick, only to be effectively overruled by management a few days later when they signed Rafael Soriano.

The fact of the matter is that it is usually in Cashman’s best interests to be less than forthcoming with the entire and absolute truth. It does him nothing but harm to effusively express interest in a free agent or to suggest that the club has major holes that desperately need to be remedied. Furthermore, when it comes to this particular offseason, with Darvish finally on the market, it actually behooves him to actively spread misinformation:

The process of acquiring players from Japanese baseball includes a blind posting system. Interested teams get to make a single bid for the exclusive rights to negotiate with the player, without knowledge of the bids being made by other clubs. Essentially, clubs need to guess at the market and then make their bid accordingly. This can prove to be extremely difficult, as evidenced by the Red Sox’s $51 million bid for Daisuke Matsuzaka, which reportedly exceeded the next highest bid by at least $15 million.

The guesswork nature of this process lends itself towards misinformation. Teams that are interested in Darvish have an incentive to downplay their level of involvement, which could help suppress the market and lower the range of bids. Conversely, teams that have little interest might feign heavy internal consideration of a large bid, so as to drive up the price for rivals and generally push the market upwards. Taken together, this means that almost all of the information you might hear on Darvish, regarding any team, is likely to be filtered through the lens of self-interest and may be being released to influence the bidding environment. As we saw with the Daisuke situation, until the Nippon Ham Fighters announce the winner, everyone will be in the dark on the posting process.

I entered this offseason expecting the Yankees to add some pitching, and I still believe that all the talk of an austerity budget is a ruse designed to keep the bidding on Darvish reasonably low. That said, the events of last offseason, in which Cashman claimed not to feel a desperate need for pitching and then followed through by not adding a major starter all year, give me pause. The Yankees and Brian Cashman may actually feel that Ivan Nova, Freddy Garcia, Phil Hughes, A.J. Burnett, and Hector Noesi provide them with enough options to construct a quality rotation behind CC Sabathia. It’s also possible that they are running a misinformation campaign, but one targeted at next offseason and players like Cole Hamels. Whatever the truth is, Brian Cashman’s history suggests that we should not be too quick to believe what we read.

Categories : Musings
  • Jose M. Vazquez..

    Is Cashman a lawyer? With all due respect to lawyers (one of my sons is one), they have been known to tell a fib now and then or maybe just twist the truth a little. As do politicians. Yesterday I saw a column by Wallace Matthews (that hours later I could not recall ) where he says that the Yankees are nearing the 200M budget and have no more money to sign Darvish or Cespedes. Of course, I did not believe it.

    • Jose M. Vazquez..

      This in no way is attributed to Cashman, i.e., the Matthews column.

  • Gonzo

    Bidding ends Wednesday, but when is the winner announced? Is it set or is it just up to a week?

    • Bavarian Yankee

      I read on MLBTR that it takes like 4 days until the winner is announced. So Sunday sounds like a good guess.

      • T.O. Chris

        It’s 4 business days, so the winner should be announced Wednesday.

        • Sarah

          No, the bidding closes in 4 business days. It can take up to 4 business days after that for the winner to be announced because MLB and NPB have to inform the Japanese team, and the team decides to accept the bid. If you listen to Friday’s podcast, Mike and Joe discuss the process at some length. They estimate we might hear rumors in the days following Wednesday, but the winner probably won’t be announced until the following week.

          • T.O. Chris

            I don’t listen to any podcast but Joe Rogan’s. Even that I haven’t listened to in quite some time.

            Thanks for the information though. I didn’t know it would take another 4 business days to get the winner announced. That’s going to create some wild speculating I’m sure haha.

  • Jake H

    To me Darvish makes more sense because the posting system. I would guess he would get a 9 million a year contract. He has the upside of a #2 starter with some people thinking higher.

    • Jon

      and if it turns out hes a #3 or 4 then he wouldnt be impossible to trade

    • http://yankeeanalysts.com Matt Imbrogno

      I think he’ll get more than $9M AAV.

      • MannyGeee

        Got to… Isn’t he making like $10m in Japan now? My guess is $13m AAV with escalators for performance

        • JohnnyC

          He made $6.5 million in 2011.

      • Jake H

        Lets say he gets 10 million which on average is 1.4 million more then Dice K got if you average his out. +

  • Jamey

    I get the game, but if Cashman expects anyone to believe in returning essentially the exact same rotation from last year that they have “starting rotation depth” he’s on crack.

    • Steve (different one)

      The Yankees absolutely have depth. That is not the same thing as saying they don’t need to bolster the top of their rotation. But they have depth. Take the Sox last year, most people would admit their opening day rotation was superior to the Yankees. But they had no depth and it destroyed their season. The Yankees had built up enough depth to weather injuries to Hughes, Joba, Colon, etc. The Sox were ready to trade for Bruce Chen if they needed to play game 163. This was after trading for Bedard.

      • JAG

        This, exactly. Keep in mind: while it wouldn’t be the best thing in the world, any of the 5 (6, really) AAA starters could be called up and make a spot start for the Yankees and I don’t think any of us would be too worried about it. In fact, I wouldn’t even be concerned if one of them was called on for a longer stretch to cover for an injury. The same could not be said of Boston last season.

    • Ted Nelson

      I fully believe him.

      Certainly I think he’ll look to upgrade (is looking constantly), but he has zero control over what other teams bid on Darvish and are willing to trade their players to him for. He could bid $70 mill on Darvish only to get topped. He could make what we think is a slight overpay trade proposal for Danks or Gio or whoever only to be rejected.

    • T.O. Chris

      As Steve and JAG point out we don’t have premiere talent at the top outside of CC, but we have plenty of 3-5 depth. With Sabathia, Nova, Burnett, Hughes, Noesi, Warren, and Phelps we have at least 7 starters in which to make it to at least the trade deadline with. That’s depth.

      • Ted Nelson

        And Garcia. Not to mention that Betances and/or Banuelos might be ready by the second half or at least September. Plus DJ Mitchell.

        • T.O. Chris

          I forgot about Garcia.

          Let’s hope to god Betances and Banuelos don’t make ay starts this year. I don’t include them because I hope neither get anything but a September call up. They both need a full year in Scranton at least.

          • Ted Nelson

            They weren’t ready at the end of 2011, but they could develop between then and mid-to-late 2012. With a really strong off-season/ST/early season one or both could make it hard for the Yankees to keep him/them in AAA by mid-season.

            In all likelihood I agree that they’re more September options, but if they still have the innings left to start in September that could be exactly what the Yankees need. In sort of a bad case… if they go through a few veterans by mid-season, replace them with Noesi, Phelps, Warren, and/or veteran acquisition, then go through one or two of those guys by September… they might be in need of what Nova gave them in 2010 or what Matt Moore gave Tampa in 2011.

  • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Steve S.

    It appears we are both thinking along the same lines this morning.

    The Crosby and Tex examples are often cited, but largely unfair. All Brian said was “Bubba Crosby is our CF” which was a simple statement of fact at the time he said it. He never said “we have no interest in Damon” or anything to that effect.

    On Tex, he referred to it as “fantasy land” because at the time they weren’t pursuing him and there was no room in the Yankee budget. According to later reports, the Tex meeting with the Sox went bad, Boras approached Cashman and offered to deliver him, Brian went to Hal and asked to have the budget expanded and Hal approved. What he said was factual at the time, but circumstances changed dramatically.

    On Soriano, he stated his personal position on the matter. As we know, he was later overruled after Levine persuaded Hal to make the deal. The same thing happened on the A-Rod contract, which Cash publicly opposed.

    The problem Cashman has is getting what he says in the context he says it through the media filter and the minds of some fans. He doesn’t lie to the media, at least not on the record.

    • MannyGeee

      Old soft shoes Cashman…

    • Ted Nelson

      In this situation I think he’s lying even less. He/the Yankees as an org had a lot of control over topping the Red Sox offers for Damon and Tex. They have no control with Yu. They could make an aggressive bid and be topped… At which point they can’t counter. They can’t make Williams, Beane, or anyone else take their trade offers.

  • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Steve S.

    Another note. As Eric Boland reported earlier this week, there are factions within the Yankee brass that have different takes on this matter. So when you hear ‘Yanks downplaying interest in Darvish’ it could be completely true, but coming from a source that eventually gets overruled. And we should not assume every unnamed Yankee source is Brian Cashman. Stick, Levine, Eppler and others have been known to weigh in on these matters through media sources they’re friendly with.

  • http://yankeeanalysts.com Matt Imbrogno

    Darvish now, Hamels then, please.

    • Tom Swift

      Because of budget concerns, don’t see how Yanks can get both. It’s one or the other I think.

      • Dave203

        I don’t think that is accurate as long as we can keep Darvish less than $10 mil AAV. Since Darvish has little to no leverage in the negotiations, I don’t see how we couldn’t do that. Hammels would get something similar to Wilson’s contract at about 15-16/yr. We have a lot of salaries (AJ, Soriano, Mo) coming off the books by 2014. Not to mention AROD salary starts its decent now. It can definitely be done.

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

          Hamels’s contract will be closer to CC’s than Wilson’s.

          • Dave203

            No more than 20/season (Halladay’s contract). Either way, should be fine to do both with the large amount of payroll coming off.

            • T.O. Chris

              Halladay was in his 30’s when he signed that contract. Hamels will sign a deal much closer to CC’s original 7 year 161 million dollar deal. He’s a similar age as CC was and he’s left handed like CC, I wouldn’t expect 20 million to be the max he’s offered.

              He may take less to stay with the Phillies, which is where I think he will stay. but he won’t be giving any discounts to the Yankees.

              • Dave203

                Age will just play into the length — not necessary the AAV. I don’t think he’s getting more than 20/season. You can disagree, but we’ll see next year. I’m thinking around 6 yrs at 18-19 AAV with options/buyouts.

                • T.O. Chris

                  Age will play into both length and total value of contract. If CC was 32 when he signed the original deal he probably still gets 7 years, but there is no way he would’ve gotten 161.

                  The precedent was already set at 7 years 161 with CC, it’s going to be hard to go too much under that. 6 years 114 (19 per year) is a huge drop.

        • T.O. Chris

          Darvish is making 6 million per year in Japan, he could easily just go back to that if the max a MLB team wants to sign him to is 9 million per year. Especially when you consider he has to give part of this contract to his ex-wife in the divorce. He’s getting at least 10 if not 11-12 per year.

        • Ted Nelson

          The posting fee is not a pot of gold the Yankees find at the end of a rainbow… It’s real money. Discounted since no luxury tax, but that’s somewhat counter balanced by it being a lump sum due now.

          • T.O. Chris

            Thank you. Everyone acts like just because the posting fee doesn’t count against the LT it doesn’t matter to the Yankees, or it doesn’t exist. It’s still 50-60 million the Yankees have to give away, they aren’t just going to not factor that in.

            • Ted Nelson

              Yeah. I think a lot of people assume the Yankees would actually have a $300 or $400 million payroll if not for having to keep face and stear clear of a hard cap being imposed, so they’ve got tens or hundreds of millions lying around. Certainly possible, but far from assured.

              As you say I think they’re at least factoring it in. How exactly they weight it vs. regular payroll? I have no idea.

              • T.O. Chris

                Yeah I don’t think we have anyway of knowing how much of a factor it plays, but it’s certainly more than “just bid 100 million because it doesn’t count against the luxury tax”. The Yankees aren’t printing money, despite how much they make per year. It still matters to them.

      • Bavarian Yankee

        we shouldn’t forget that 2012 is likely Mo’s last season and Burnett’s, Soriano’s contracts are off the books after 2013. There should be enough space on the payroll for both Hamels and Darvish. Maybe they’ll have the highest payroll ever in 2013 but they should/could still be fine in 2014.

        • Urban

          We shouldn’t forget that it’s totally unknown if 2012 is likely Mo’s last season.

          • Bavarian Yankee

            sure but that’s what we have to assume.

            • Ted Nelson

              Why?

              • Bavarian Yankee

                really?

                • Ted Nelson

                  Yeah… why would you assume he retires if you have no inside information?

  • Richard Cutler

    I think the A-Rod comment is Cashman’s most cogent. In that he was expressing what he (and I) felt, that if a guy could walk away from that much money after finding a home, he wasn’t worth any more attention. I wish the Yankees had held to that position, and not because of reecent years. It would have marked a position against the most flagrant greed.

    • ROBTEN

      Why is it “flagrant greed” when a player, off whom the team makes millions and millions of dollars, uses a clause in his contract to try to get more of the money that would not be made were he not on the team?

      If you’re concerned about “flagrant greed,” I’d suggest looking at the owners rather than the players. Players only can get what teams pay them. It’s not like A-Rod held a gun to their heads. The way it was done, the animosity against A-Rod at the time, it would have been very easy for them to cut ties with him. If the Yankees’ ownership didn’t think they could make more by re-signing A-Rod than by letting him go they wouldn’t have done so.

      Yes, player’s salaries are far beyond what the average fan makes, but keep in mind that what the owners and league makes from the game is far, far larger. People tend to take up the owners’ perspective because it dominates the media and they can so successfully get people to focus on salaries without having to show how much they make from the players. I mean, if the owners are to be believed, professional sports are the world’s most charitable organizations.

      /sorry for the long post…just my two cents…feel free to disagree

      • TomH

        Who could disagree? It’s true, true, true. The owners are no different now in “greed” from their predecessors back in, say, the 1950s. In those days, just to take a Yankee example, George Weiss was one brutal negotiator (on behalf of management). One might even argue that the owners cleaned up even more (at the expense of players) in the pre-free agency days.

        Thus the truth (whether or not the story be apocryphal) that Dimag replied, when asked what he would say to Steinbrenner were the Clipper playing then: “I would put my arm around him and say, ‘Hi pardner.'” Or words to that effect.

        When we see the opening of any YES Yankees’ telecast, it isn’t photos of Col. Jake, or Topping-Webb, or George that we see. It’s photos of Ruth, Gehrig, ARod, Dimag, Mantle, et al.

        If they hadn’t wanted to face ARod again in a salary negotiation, they shouldn’t have offered him that opportunity when they first signed him.

      • Richard Cutler

        Robten, you’re right, no one compelled the Yankees to agree to A-Rod’s terms. I was just commenting on Cashman’s stated position, and I implied that the Yankees would have been better if they’d shown some backbone. I have no quarrel with the players getting as much as they can, I rather support it. But to say that flagrant is not that so long as someone is willing to pay doesn’t quite compute.

  • Qqqqq

    Finally a logical post on Darvish… Someone had to do it. Good work.

    I love how all the “insider” reports have all formed opinions that the Yankees and Red Sox are lukewarm, the Rangers are going to aim for no more than $100 million, and the Blue Jays/Nats are all in. Ironically, every GM of every one of those teams has said the EXACT same thing: “We like him but it might not be realistic.” Somehow that translates different depending on who said it… Not like they’re all trying to keep mum or anything.

  • Sal

    The Yankees are going to add a pitcher by the Wednesday Darvish deadline. I just have this feeling that is going to be their cut off date to pull the trigger on a trade.

  • Nathan

    If the Yankees don’t bid significantly on Darvish, I’ll be very disappointed because:

    1) It only costs the Yankees money, which is supposed to be their biggest strength and advantage over other clubs

    2) It would be for a very talented player at a position that they need help at

    Sabathia, Nova, Garcia, Hughes and Burnett? That’s putting a lot of hope and faith in last year’s rotation and hoping to get lucky again.

    • TomH

      Your final paragraph–“Sabathia, Nova, Garcia, Hughes and Burnett? That’s putting a lot of hope and faith in last year’s rotation and hoping to get lucky again.“–seems irrefutable. Garcia, Hughes, and AJ are seriously problematical, and it’s Polyanna-ism to count on various promising minor leaguers to come in to redeem a situation caused by the failures of one or more of those 3 problem guys.

      • T.O. Chris

        I love how people point our that we need to bid high on Darvish because everyone in the rotation has question marks… Wouldn’t Darvish become one of the biggest question marks of the group? Even if he does eventually become a great number 2 starter it’s not really reasonable to expect that in his first year.

        Signing Darvish doesn’t sure up the rotation 100%, it just adds another question mark into the rotation, hoping one of those questions becomes an exclamation.

      • Ted Nelson

        You don’t count on getting lucky. You project what normal luck dictates based on the probabilities of different situations then put a confidence interval around that to get an idea of what good and bad luck look like, and decide whether you’re comfortable with it or can make a cost-effective upgrade. I agree with Cashman that between the 11 or so options they have, they have a good chance of managing a solid rotation.

        And the Yankees had some bad luck as well as good last season. Hughes practically missed the whole season and got lit up a good number of the starts he made. AJ was terrible. Nova wasn’t very good early. Colon and Garcia collapsed down the stretch.
        2010 they had terrible luck with Javy and AJ falling apart while Pettitte missed significant time to be replaced my Moseley and other garbage.

  • well you know

    Cashman’s comments during the 2007 season about Alex had everything to do with the existing arrangement with Texas whereby the Rangers paid a substantial portion of Alex’s salary. If Alex opted out, that advantage was blown, so it was absolutely Cashman’s role on behalf of the organization to make the toughest public case that the Yanks would not renegotiate in that event.

    However, Cashman was himself always an Alex fan, and once the deed was done he was not an internal opponent of re-signing him. This is the same Cashman who was in favor of an 8-year deal for Tex at $22.5M. Why wouldn’t he favor Alex for 10 at $27.5M? At the time, coming off a great year and before the steroid disclosures, it did not seem that out of line.

    To think Cashman was offended that Alex would opt out is obviously inconsistent with his approach to CC. And to think that Cashman took it personally that Alex would defy his public threat is to misunderstand both the man and the circumstance.

    • Sweet Dick Willie

      Cashman who was in favor of an 8-year deal for Tex at $22.5M. Why wouldn’t he favor Alex for 10 at $27.5M?

      Teixeira’s 8-year deal signed him through his age 36 season; Alex’s 10 year deal had him signed through age 41.

      BIG difference.

  • Rey22

    Well I learned a new word today. Prevaricator.

  • Bronx Byte

    No surprise if Cashman gets a pitcher from the non tender list after Monday night. Saunders ? Gorzelanny ? Jettison Burnett ASAP. Go after Hamels next year.

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/.....dates.html

    • T.O. Chris

      I highly doubt Burnett gets jettisoned. If they are only willing to eat 8 million in a trade, which no team will be willing to do, why would they DFA him for the whole thing?

    • Sweet Dick Willie

      I get the AJ hate, but how the hell are Saunders and/or Gorzelanny better options, especially when you have to pay them AND Burnett?

  • Prevaricator11

    Can the Japanese team share the posting fee with the player? Then the MLB team can bid higher to get the negotiation rights.

    • Dave203

      They can do whatever they want with the money…

      Buy sushi, drink saki, give it the player as a “leaving our team without the best SP in Japan” gift…

      Sure, its possible…

  • Preston

    I think that Cash thinks really highly of Noesi, Warren and Phelps. I think he truly believes they could be adequate 4th or 5th starters right now. So going into the season we have three back up plans to all of the question marks in the rotation. And if we can’t find four out of first seven non CC options we have Betances and Banuelos who could be ready to come up around mid-season. That’s a lot of options. Maybe he’s overvaluing what he has in house, but they don’t cost anything, so anyone we get is going to have to be significantly better than anything we have.

    • Jose M. Vazquez..

      I agree completely with your statements.

    • Urban

      …and since Noesi, Warren, Phelps and Mitchell have all had a year at AAA (or in Noesi’s case, time in the majors), he no doubt feels more comfortable having them on the depth charts, where last year he didn’t.

    • T.O. Chris

      God I hope we don’t see Betances or Banuelos mid-season. Neither one is ready for major league duties as a starter, and I pray neither one gets the Joba treatment and gets thrown in the pen.

      Both have major control problems and need a full season in Scranton before I would put either in the rotation.

      • Ted Nelson

        That they weren’t ready to end 2011 doesn’t mean they can’t make big strides with a full off-season, full spring training, and half a season in AAA. By that time they might be more than ready… they might not. I don’t see much value in deciding now.

        Even if they’re not ready, one could argue a spot start or two could be fine. The Braves are very highly regarded for developing SP, and it’s a common practice for them to give MLB spot starts to prospects who aren’t ready. Let them get their butts handed to them to see why they need to keep working hard… a little humble pie which Dellin might have already tasted in his first MLB inning.

        • T.O. Chris

          At 20 years old Banuelos probably shouldn’t have even been promoted to Scranton last year. He showed nothing in Trenton to suggest he was ready for the next level and then showed nothing in Scranton to suggest he had earned the call up.

          It’ll be best for his development to get a full years worth of starts under his belt. I’m not in favor of bringing him up mid year so he can see what he should already know, he’s not dominating anyone. Manny isn’t like Dellin, he isn’t holding the whole league to a miniscule BAA but walking the park, the league is still hitting over 9 per 9 against Banuelos.

          If the Yankees want to push Betances faster I’m more OK with that because of his age, but leave Banuelos in Sranton.

          • Ted Nelson

            There’s no one right formula with prospects.

        • CMP

          I agree that the idea of getting Darvish at any cost is wrong but the lack of front end starting pitching burned them 2 years ago against Texas and again last year against Detroit. The last time the Yankees had someone perform like a true #2 behind CC, they won the WS. Cashman’s inability to acquire a legitimate number 2 after Burnett went into the tank cost the Yankees a chance at the last 2.

          If they can’t acquire a front end starter by the trade deadline 2012 that number will grow to 3. If Cashman thinks it’ll take $50 million to win the post then that’s what he should bid. I have a bad feeling however he’s gonna make a cursory offer of around $35 million that pretty much has no chance.

          • Ted Nelson

            It’s Cashman’s fault that Nova got injured in Game 5? Really? It’s his fault that they loaded the bases multiple times to get no hits?

            Interesting stuff…

            Again… he could bid $50 million to win, and the Rangers could bid $51 million. He could bid $70 million, and someone could bid $71 million. He’s got no control over what other teams bid.

  • Ted Nelson

    I totally agree it could be misinformation; however, I disagree about the current rotation and level of need for a veteran starter. Could add one, but don’t care if they don’t.

    The depth goes much deeper than you suggest with Phelps, Warren, Betances, and Banuelos all possibilities at various points this season. They’ve got 10 candidates for 5 spots.

    I also think the whole #1-5 thing gets overstated. If you keep your RA under 5 you should win more than you lose for the Yanks with their offense and pen. The playoffs have shown us stinkers from guys like CC and Cliff Lee with good outings from guys like Burnett… lots of volatility. Yanks were one hit in any number of PAs from the ALCS last season even with Colon and Garcia fading down the stretch and Nova getting hurt in Game 5.

    • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

      Exactly. Just because you are a fan of the richest team in the sport, it doesn’t mean you’re excluded from having to watch the team do things on a fly sometimes. They don’t NEED to add another starter in the least.

      Excellent comment.

    • CMP

      If they don’t add a front end starter, Cashman is asking for serious trouble. They were plain old lucky last year to get so much out of Garcia and Colon. Burnett is pretty much guaranteed to suck, Hughes is totally unreliable, Nova has been a pretty much league average pitcher except for a few good months in the 2nd half of last year and everyone else is totally unproven. If they’re serious about winning a WS they need to upgrade the rotation which really has no sure thing besides CC.

      Darvish seems like the perfect move since it wont cost the a pick or players and probably 50% of the cost won’t count against the luxury tax.

      • Ted Nelson

        Again, I totally disagree.

        There are no locks. It’s all about probabilities. The probabilities of all their current options outside of CC is less than ideal to us fans. However this is counter-balanced by the depth.

        I think we’re all comfortable with CC. No guarantees, but he’s about as close as it gets. He could get hurt, but so could anyone, anytime. Now you don’t need Nova and Hughes to succeed… Just one or the other. Burnett OR Garcia. Noesi Or Phelps. Warren OR Mitchell. Betances OR Banuelos. Those pairings are totally subjective, but the idea is that you only need 1/2 your other options to succeed. Even if 1/2 their options bust, they’ll still be 6 men deep.

        So I don’t think it takes good luck. Just regular luck. And if they have bad luck, they can always trade mid-season.

        I think Darvish is an intriguing option, sure. However, the Yankees have zero control over how much other teams bid and theoretically no way to know until it’s too late. The Yankees could bid what they think is WAY too much and still lose.

        • T.O. Chris

          Agree. Plus paying 100 million FOR Darvish doesn’t guarantee anything about his production. He could end up playing this year with a 4.5-5.00 ERA, at which point the rotation really isn’t improved. Even if he becomes a great number 2 it doesn’t mean he’ll be great, or even good this year.

    • David, Jr.

      This is excellent.

      I would add that the lack of panic about acquiring a starter is a definite sign of Cashman’s confidence in the young pitchers that they have. If you assume that they know what they are doing, which I do, this is extremely positive for the future of the organization.

  • Rich in NJ

    Austerity is often counterproductive because cutting spending tends to reduce revenue, i.e., the paradox of thrift.

    Sign Yu!

  • http://jukeofurl.wordpress.com Juke Early

    That luxury tax is bullshit. If the NYY ever have a losing season on & off field, the rest of those punks will be dancing in the streets. While their “fans” will be looting, over-turning police cars & killing girls in mob crushes. Cashman is to be commended for not putting a hit out on some of those jags who big time him. Though I’d still like him to find a way to bust a move.

  • James Stanford

    When CC goes down with an injury this year (yes, it’s going to happen). Cashman is going to wish to GOD he had gotten Yu or a solid #2 for next year. They won’t win 80 games this year without one, I promise.

  • kevin

    It seems to me that if Cashman doesn’t want Darvish, but knows teams like the Rangers do, he should feign interest to drive up the price. I mean, if I (the Rangers, for instance) have to bid in a silent auction for Darvish, and I really want the guy, and I think the Yankees will bid too, then I’ll up my offer. So, by feigning interest, Cashman drives up the price to competitors.

    If he does want Darvish, he should absolutely claim he doesn’t want him. Thus, other teams that believe him will keep their bids down and we are more likely to win the auction.

    Ultimately, Cashman’s success as a bluffer is that he has to claim no interest sometimes when he really has no interest, so that if he claims it when he does, people won’t know what to believe. Cashman has faults as a GM, but he’s the best poker player in the majors, I think. Thus, as he wants, we simply don’t know what to make of his comments!

    • Tom Swift

      What if the opposition assumes this is true? Then Cashman should express interest only if he is really interested. Unless the other teams are on to that as well. And so on. The truth is that Cashman isn’t trading baseball cards with your nephew. All the participants are sophisticated adults. So we shouldn’t assume that bluffing is a huge part of the game. Or at least that’s what Cashman wants you to think.

  • Ralph

    I completely agree with this article I have been saying this since sept .. The yankees Will try to post the best BID but if that fails they Will trade swisher and prospect for Gio of the As!!!! And yes cashman is bluffing but they will try to keep payroll down for the 2014 season!!!

    • Tamir M

      Don’t believe Cash!