Cashman discusses decision to pass on Johan Santana

Eduardo Nunez's Big Chance
2013 Season Preview: The Relievers

It’s a (very) old story by now, but I thought this was interesting. Brian Cashman brought up the Yankees’ decision to pass on Johan Santana prior to the 2008 season while talking to Andy McCullough about the team’s blend of stats and scouts recently. “We had data that indicated that this was a high-risk player going forward, health-wise,” said the GM, citing the left-hander’s velocity and slider usage in particular. “I fought hard … It was a public bloodbath because Hank Steinbrenner was very adamant about wanting him. But we did the right thing. We stood down. We listened to the information we had at hand, and trusted it. And were rewarded for doing so.”

As you may remember, the asking price for the then-29-year-old Santana involved some combination of Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy, Chien-Ming Wang, Melky Cabrera, Mitch Hilligoss, and others. That doesn’t include the nine-figure contract extension he would have required. The Yankees passed and instead decided to wait a year and use the money to sign CC Sabathia, a very risky decision — Sabathia could have easily signed an extension and skipped free agency — that has worked out beautifully. Santana, now 34, is likely to start the season on the DL with continued shoulder woes and has started just 109 games during his five years with the Mets due to various injury problems, most notably a torn shoulder capsule.

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Eduardo Nunez's Big Chance
2013 Season Preview: The Relievers
  • Robinson Tilapia

    I look forward to how this will be turned into “Cashman failed.”

    • Cris Pengiucci

      Clearly he did. The asking price was so low as Wang had injury issues, Hughes has been inconsistent, Melky 1.0 hasn’t done anything that wasn’t PED induced. They could have had Santana & CC now and the Yankees training staff would have kept Johan healthy!

      • Robinson Tilapia

        …..but they purposely hurt all the other pitchers!

        • Cris Pengiucci

          Only because they don’t have advanced information that the pitcher may be an injury-risk. With that data, they’d all be fine!

          • Robinson Tilapia

            If they’d just send these guys for most invasive surgeries first, it’d show how much more they care.

      • Laz

        But Johan hasn’t been very stellar the 2nd half of his contract at $20M+ aav.

      • Philo

        The Yankees training staff can’t keep anyone healthy. The Twins asked for way too much from the Yankees and the Red Sox and then settled for very little from the Mets.

  • http:/www.twitter.com/_swarlesbarkley Mark Teixeira – Ghostbuster (formerly Drew)

    In a parallel universe where Cashman traded for Johan, who in turn took his conditioning more seriously , the Yankees have won 3 out of the last 4 world series with a two headed monster of CC and Johan. While Joba Chamberlain has won two CY Young awards in 2011 and 2012 and nearly topped the Yankees in the ALCS with Phil Hughes becoming the most dominant closer in franchise history for the Twins.

    Please feel free to continue this ridiculous narrative.

    • Cris Pengiucci

      And of course in this parallel universe, the most recent CBA offered no financial incentives that leads the Yankees to try to reign in their salaty budget. They therefore go on to spend over $275M/season, signing nothing but all-starts and future HOF players, even for bench roles.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Mark Teixeira never lost his map of the other side of the field.

      Alex’s hip was as smooth as the muscles of the women he doesn’t date.

      Joba Chamberlain shaved.

      • jsbrendog

        how dare you!!!!! how dare you badmouth joba’s moustache!!!??

    • JLC 776

      Jeter’s ankle bones were replaced with adamantium.

      • trr

        OMG, I’m actually enjoying this!!

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Mariano chose to warm up for games by crotcheing a nice pair of booties for all the new dads in the clubhouse.

          Vernon Wells developed a really unnatural attachment to In-N-Out Burger.

      • MannyGeee

        Jeter and A-Rod become such good friends that Alex gives him a Centaur ankle.

    • JLC 776

      If Johan Santana were on the team, Cashman never would have gone skydiving.

    • Adam Shprintzen

      Cody Ransom jumped from a standing position…into our hearts.

    • JLC 776

      Eduardo Nunez has two gold gloves – AT TWO DIFFERENT POSITIONS – and a batting title.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Someone would have thrown stuart a the world’s most beautiful parade.

  • Who hates bunts more? Axisa or Earl Weaver?

    This also says a lot about Hank. He’s his dad’s son. The Alex contract and the get me Johan bluster. I wonder how many other things before Hal pushed him to the side.

    • The Big City of Dreams

      Hal takes the same amount of blame for A-rod as Hank does. He was the money guy then and now

  • EndlessJose

    This is the same GM who was looking at Javier Vazquez this offseason for a third time and was gonna bring back Carl Pavano back again two years ago.

    Hughes,Wang and Melky have done less than what Santana did the past 5 years.So how is Cashman a smart?Should we think his great.Santana would have won a CY Young in 2009 if not for the Mets horrible bullpen.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      2009. I guess that would have meant a bigger trophy or something.

      You try to pass judgement on what the GM looks at, but doesn’t do, but here you are, commenting on a Yankee blog while he’s got a personal wheelchair assistant.

      • mike

        It might have meant no AJ, which may have helped in 2010 as well.

    • Adam Shprintzen

      But imaginary Johan Santana is blocking the prospects!

      • jsbrendog

        i heard imaginary Johan is kind of a dick and super cheap and skimpy when it comes to veteran presents

    • MannyGeee

      “Hughes,Wang and Melky have done less than what Santana did the past 5 years.So how is Cashman a smart?”

      Have Hughes, Wang & Melky done $100M less than Johan? Because that is how Cashman is a smart.

  • Hoss

    Gee, I guess Brian didn’t have his magic “high injury risk detector” when he signed Carl Pavano or traded for Michael Pineda.

    Why is this article even being written? It is ancient history, and if it is meant to deflect criticism for the ill-advised Wells trade, it won’t work.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      You’re an idiot.

    • Get Phelps Up

      The article was published before the Wells trade.

      • Hoss

        It was put up on RAB (again) today.

        • jsbrendog

          so. what?

          • Hoss

            Why do we need to see a feature on a Cashman “success”? How about a story on when Cashman offered the Rangers either Joaquin Arias or Robinson Cano as compensation for A-Rod? Why isn’t that a failure? Isn’t it just as likely that if Santana came to the Yankees he would have been a terrific success? You can’t predict what would have happened in either case.

            • jsbrendog

              then don’t read it or don’t comment on it or go somewhere else. problem solved. im sure your criticism is filed in the circular bin by mike, and rightfully so

            • Jim Is Bored

              As witness in the “I can’t stand the negativity at RAB recently”, I submit Hoss.

            • Robinson Tilapia

              Actually, the point here, which I understand eludes you, is that they actually COULD predict some degenerative issue with Santana.

              I’m not even paying the Cano stuff any credence.

              It must be difficult to try to come off as this stupid on the internet.

  • steves

    Cashman is fearless or has a death wish when it comes to his job. Insulting Hank publically and gratuitously is just plain dumb but it continues Cashman’s recent history of some very questionable public statements about players (Joba for example and the garbage dumping stuff). Even if the Steinbrenners think Cashman is the best GM they could ever have I can’t believe they will tolerate public personal insults to themselves or to their billion dollar asset much longer.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I assume they told you this personally when they invited you over for some tea and a slice of theyhavenofuckingcluewhoyouarenordotheycare pie.

      • steves

        Well I have no fucking clue who you are but I bet if you publically stated how wrong the owner of the business you work for was and ran down the product publically I would bet your boss wouldn’t tolerate that very well. Don’t need to drink tea with you or your boss to figure that one out.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          And that, in no way, is what was described here.

        • jsbrendog

          hank is not his boss. hal is. and my money is this is something hal and cashman have discussed together and come on, it is freaking obvious to anyone anyway

        • Robinson Tilapia

          ….but I’ll indulge you here.

          I actually work for an organization in which talking to the press, at all, without prior consent would result in my termination, even if what I was saying is “this is the greatest place in the world to work for.”

          I also do not work for the New York Yankees.

          I’d say that, in this setting, where talking to the press goes with the territory every day, that the sort of respectful discussion of past issues between management figures that we’re reading about here is a sign of a incredibly HEALTHY relationship.

          • Hoss

            Someone who would write this self-righteous bullshit is “a imbecile.”

            • jsbrendog

              someone’s dog got run over or something.

            • Guns

              There’s no need to be unlady-like.

              • Hoss

                So get your dead dog out from between jsbrendog’s legs.

                • jsbrendog

                  ah yes, the response of the well informed and rational human being.

                  • Jim Is Bored

                    He’s arguably worse than dalelama, who at the very lease, disappears for stretches of time.

                    • Jim Is Bored

                      least*

                    • MannyGeee

                      Nah, at least dalelama doesn’t try to make rational points. He comes with the crazy right out the gates.

                      Hoss indulges himself with pretending to have a valid point before he goes all “yo momma” and “you have fish breath” on you.

            • Jim Is Bored

              Oh please. I bet if RT wanted, he could have written self-righteous bullshit that would have put this to shame.

              • Robinson Tilapia

                Oh, you damn fucking straight.

                Hoss could send me the list of management trainings he’s attended in the past year. I’d love to see that list.

                • jsbrendog

                  I SAID YOU SIGMA SIX OR WHAT?! I DONT THINK YOU KNOW SHIT BOUT NO SIGMA SIX! HOSS IN YO FAAAAAAAAAAACE

        • Hoss

          Just keep your hands and feet away from his mouth and you’ll be fine.

    • Guns

      I really don’t see how stating that you once had a dissenting opinion qualifies as a puplic insult.

      He’s merely stating a fact. I don’t detect any criticism in what he said.

  • jsbrendog

    only yankee fans can take this opportunity to make obnoxious comments.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      You assume half these guys are actual Yankee fans.

      • Jamey

        They’re Yankee fans because being Mets fans stopped being fun around 2006-ish.

  • Vern Sneaker

    We are high, we are far, we are gone!

  • Leftylarry

    when you look at the the Yankees payroll, lack of success since he’s been there,his trades, current roster, how can anyone still view Cashman as anything other than a good interview but mediocre at best GM.
    I mean the evidence is in the lack of CHampionships and poor current aged roster.
    When Yankees got old quickly in 1965 they were coming off of an unprecedented run, Cashman has had mostly disappointment and the roster feels like 1965.
    I went back and looked at ALL of his trades and frankly his decisions have been mostly bad ones but even a blind squirrel finds an acorn and he has made a few good ones, not enough considering his vast war chest for so many years.
    He’s likeable and say’s all the right things but just hasn’t been a very good GM.
    If he were in a small market with less money to throw around he’s fired long ago.
    With 200 million, people posting here could have done as good a job or better.

    • jsbrendog

      lack of championships?

      they fucking won 4 yrs ago. and have only missed the playoffs once in fucking damn near 20 yrs. you’ve got to be kidding me.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        1965. Usually the kiss of commenter death, although Larry did mention 1965 in an intelligent comment today.

        5 championships during your tenure doesn’t get you as much as it used to.

      • Jamey

        You have to admit he’s right about the lack of championships in the last 4 years. Almost every other team in baseball has won them in that time frame. I’m pretty sure Texas has won 3 since January.

        • Jim Is Bored

          Shit, you’re right. I didn’t think about it that way!

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Your 2010 World Champions, the AstrosRaysCardinalsGiantsBridgeportBluefish.

          Cashman failed.

    • Chicago Cubs

      Did someone say ‘lack of Championships’?

    • Guns

      I agree to a certain extent. But a lot of how trades end up is purely a matter of luck. Pineda had a heck of a rookie year and all his medicals came back clean. The fact that he suffered such a severe injury is basically pure bad luck. Pitchers get hurt. Montero has ALWAYS been described by independent talent evaluators as a middle of the order bat. He’s failed to live up to that by a large margin so far. If he never becomes anything but a league average hitter, that’s mostly just bad luck. There are few if any teams that wouldn’t have wanted Montero in their system or on their roster.

      My biggest criticism has been the lack of player development. You could say a lot of that is dependent on luck as well. But when the organization continues to underperform in that area year after year in comparison to other teams, it may be something other than luck.

    • Hoss

      Agree. Mediocre is generous. The 1996-2000 championships wete not Cashman’s teams. Thank Gene Michael et al. The 2009 was built with lots of $ mortgaging the future, as we now see.

      • Jim Is Bored

        Oh my god. There is so, so, so much wrong with this post that I’m laughing right now.

        Starting with having no idea what “mediocre” means, and ending with having no idea what “mortgaging the future” is.

        • jsbrendog

          i agree with you. sigh. the worst part is someone like hoss will read this and go “dissenting opinions not allowed on RAB!!11!11!!111″

          lose lose buddy, lose lose

  • http://www.twitter.com/mattpat11 Matt DiBari

    That asking price seemed alot steeper in 2007 than 2013, huh?

    For whatever its worth, regardless of the trade pieces and how they wound up panning out, the career arcs of Santana and Sabathia made this a great non trade.

  • mike myers

    More than anything, Im curious about the health information. Does that mean pitchers should be moving away from the slider?

    • MannyGeee

      NO, they should be moving away from the slider 40% of the time.

      • MannyGeee

        This is in jest, of course. 16% is the real #…

  • nsalem

    a) Don’t think Cashman really cares if he gets fired or not and he probably field several GM offers (if he still desires a GM job) upon his release. I don’t think anyone in baseball would hold it against him for being critical of this Yankee hierarchy.

    b) At least part of him revels in the possibility of bringing this team deep into the playoffs without the benefit of an unlimited payroll. A great Yankee season in 2013 would once and for all silence critics who claim his success is exclusively due to his payroll advanatages.

    • gageagainstthemachine

      “A great Yankee season in 2013 2014 and beyond would once and for all silence critics who claim his success is exclusively due to his payroll advanatages.”
      There is no official budget restraint this season, so they could’ve done a lot more if they chose. Going forward will be the real test. If they stick to magic 189 number.

      • nsalem

        I think he is under restraints this year, but yes I agree it holds even truer in the future.

  • Frank

    In hindsight, we dodged a bullet on the Santana trade. Looking at Hughes vs Santana alone, just in terms of wins, it works out roughly like this from 2008-2012

    Hughes – 47 Wins at an approximate cost of $152K/win
    Santana – 46 Wins at an approximate cost of $2.3M/win

    This isn’t a serious comparison of ability between the two, just a rough look. But I recall we as fans expected a lot more from Hughes, and while he’s given us bright spots, they’ve come along with the lows.

    But in general, it would have been a mess for us if Santana, while with us, had the same issues he’s had with the Mets.

  • Steve (different one)

    I have long been saying that the great Johan debate of 2008 is one of those rare arguments when both sides were wrong.

    Hughes did not turn into the guy many of us (myself included) expected. But Johan, while he has had some decent stretches, has largely been a bust in the context of the contract he required.

    This “trade” taught me a lot about tempering prospect enthusiasm, but it also taught me that sometimes you should keep your powder dry when you are not 100% sure about the guy you are committing 9 figures too.

    That is all, commence with the pissing match.

  • Garyward

    He is delusional. All the bad decisions like Feliciano, Pineda, Pavano and he pats himself on the back for missing on Santana? How this guy keeps his job is amazing.

    • Steve (different one)

      He’s not really patting himself on the back, he’s crediting his stat guys and his scouts. That’s the point of the article. He is merely saying he listened to his baseball people and it lead to a better decision. Imagine that.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

        “We listened to the information we had at hand, and trusted it. And were rewarded for doing so.”

        If that’s not patting himself on the back, then I don’t know what is!

        • Urban Idiot

          What was the information they had on Wells? Was Cashman in a time machine when that decision was made?

          • Hoss

            Wells DID NOT inhale NOR did he marry Kim Kardashian.

  • Hoss

    Why do we need to see a feature on a Cashman “success”? How about a story on when Cashman offered the Rangers either Joaquin Arias or Robinson Cano as compensation for A-Rod? Why isn’t that a failure? Isn’t it just as likely that if Santana came to the Yankees he would have been a terrific success? You can’t predict what would have happened in either case.

    • Steve (different one)

      Or maybe that article should really be about the Rangers’ colossal failure?

      After all, the Yankees were getting the best player in baseball at a bargain salary. It would have been crazy to hold up the deal over a good, but not great, prospect.

      • Urban Idiot

        Arod Uno was the best trade that ‘little Nerd’ ever made.

      • Hoss

        The Yankees dodged more than a bullet when the Rangers took Arias. Once A-Rod opted out of his contract, that trade/contract became an albatross, and would have gone down as awful if Cano had performed in Texas as he has in NY. But you can’t assume that he would have, just like you can’t assume that Santana would have bombed as a Yankee.

        • Steve (different one)

          So then what’s your point?

          Basically you are saying that GM’s have really hard jobs since the future is uncertain, while simultaneously ripping Cashman for bad decisions.

          I don’t think Cashman is the best GM, but I also tend to recognize that his work environment is different than any other GM’s. part of me can’t wait until he gets “promoted” upstairs just so we can talk about something else. This argument has been going on for about 6 years and it is beyond boring at this point.

          • Hoss

            The point is: Take credit/blame for what you DID, not what COULD HAVE BEEN if you weren’t so fucking smart. Cashman DID NOT replace the lost talent this offseason, which is why there is a mess. Last season would have been a disaster had it not been for Rafael Soriano, who Cashman lobbied against signing. He does not build solid organizations, as we can now see by the lack of depth. We need a GM who can build, like Gene Michael, not just glue pieces together and sign high priced FAs like Texeira to win championships and mortgage the future.

            • Jim Is Bored

              ” Last season would have been a disaster had it not been for Rafael Soriano, who Cashman lobbied against signing.”

              Oh wait, I thought we were talking about what DID happen, not what COULD HAVE BEEN. You have no idea what the hell last season would have been like without Soriano.

              • jsbrendog

                not to mention the fact that cashman couldnt replace any talent because he was under budget constraints from hal. but HE SHOULDVE DONE IT ANYWAYZ!!!11!1!!1

        • Jim Is Bored

          Apparently any hint of happiness is enough to light a fire under your ass.

  • pc

    after the arod decision and now this info i hope hank is relegated to the brother of hal for the immediate future.

  • Nathan

    The Santana “pass” in retrospect looks good now but I have to say that I was upset at the time that the Yankees didn’t pull the trigger. Not super upset but mildly so. I believe I was more upset that the Yankees didn’t explore a deal for Halladay since he was still very strong and proved himself in the AL East. I hope there is an article like this about that non-deal, as well, in the future.

    Looking back at how excited everyone was about the “Big 3″ of Hughes, Joba and IPK, it’s hard to believe that the one with the most success is Kennedy and that he did so away from the Yankees. I would have guessed Joba, Hughes and then IPK. Who’d have guessed it would be the exact opposite.

  • https://twitter.com/NotRyanAdam WFAN CALLER

    Randy Levine forced the franchise to sign A-Rod. Maybe with a little jowl-shaking by fatso Hank and some number crunching by Hal’s Asberger’s. Then, when A-Rod was finally locked up, Randy did a girlish little dance and poured orange Kool-Aid into that awful bowl of golden curls perched on top of his giant head.

  • Johan blows.

    If we get Johan we may not get CC or tex and then probably not get a nice trophy in 2009 and we have to deal with him not pitching for 2 years. Yea i’ll pass. Great move by Cashman. Hughes was huge in 2009 out of the bullpen. Melky had a ton of clutch hits. if we have Johan then CC might have never became a yankee. Whether you guys want to admit it or not Burnett pitched great in the 09 playoffs too. If you guys just want to complain an whine for no reason go ahead. That non-trade won us a world series title. But hey thats only logical thinking, we could just let you guys be gm and trade away the entire farm system for pujols, mauer, trout, cabrera, felix, verlander, have a billion dollar payroll, and drug every gm to get them to trade these players…

  • Johan blows.

    Great news johan might be out another entire season.

  • http://www.modelcristina.com Cristina

    New here !