• Brian Cashman 2002

    Posted by on January 17th, 2008 · Comments (13)

    Brian Cashman became Yankees G.M. on February 28, 1998.

    It’s rare for someone to be a G.M. for tens years with one team these days. Ten years does provide for some “body of work” analysis. Therefore, I thought it would be fun, this off-season, to take a look back at Cashman’s “moves” during the past decade – one year at a time. (I’ll try and post one year, per week, over the next ten weeks.)

    Here, we’ll look at Cashman’s moves in 2002 and how they helped or hurt the team:

    No Impact:

    January 8, 2002 – Signed Luis Sojo as a free agent.

    January 28, 2002 – Signed Ron Coomer as a free agent.

    February 4, 2002 – Signed Manny Alexander as a free agent.

    March 15, 2002 – Signed Mike Thurman as a free agent.

    April 2, 2002 – Signed Karim Garcia as a free agent.

    April 8, 2002 – Signed Billy McMillon as a free agent. Signed Bill Pulsipher as a free agent.

    June 6, 2002 – Signed Alex Arias as a free agent.

    December 4, 2002 – Signed Chris Latham as a free agent.

    Good Impact:

    February 1, 2002 – Signed Chris Widger as a free agent.

    June 4, 2002 – Drafted Brad Halsey in the 8th round of the 2002 amateur draft. Player signed July 1, 2002.

    December 30, 2002 – Signed Roger Clemens as a free agent.

    Great Impact:

    December 19, 2002 – Signed Hideki Matsui as a free agent.

    Bad Impact:

    February 14, 2002 – Signed Ruben Rivera as a free agent.

    July 5, 2002 – Traded Ted Lilly, John-Ford Griffin, and Jason Arnold to the Oakland Athletics. Received Jeff Weaver from the Detroit Tigers. In addition, the Oakland Athletics sent Carlos Pena and Franklyn German to the Detroit Tigers and the Detroit Tigers sent cash to the Oakland Athletics. The Oakland Athletics later sent Jeremy Bonderman to the Detroit Tigers to complete the trade.

    December 6, 2002 – Signed Robin Ventura as a free agent.

    December 19, 2002 – Signed Todd Zeile as a free agent.

    Was Probably Not A Cashman Move & More Likely Something Done In Tampa:

    January 17, 2002 – Signed David Wells as a free agent.

    July 1, 2002 – Traded Scott Wiggins to the Toronto Blue Jays. Received Raul Mondesi.

    December 13, 2002 – Signed Chris Hammond as a free agent.
    ______________________________________________________________
    I’m guessing that Hammond was a Tampa move – but, I’m not sure. Signing Godzilla might have been out of Cash’s hand too. The Weaver deal was bad – even worse when Weaver became Kevin Brown. If you believe that “No Impact” is pretty near to “Bad Impact,” then, this was not one of Cashman’s better years in terms of wheeling and dealing.

    Comments on Brian Cashman 2002

    1. Rich
      January 17th, 2008 | 9:24 pm

      The Weaver deal, which was Cashman’s idea, turned out to be bad, but a lot of so called baseball experts liked it at the time and thought that Dombrowksi, not Beane or Cashman, got hosed.

      The Hammond signing was the result of the Yankees making time limited offers to Stanton, Hammond, and one other LH reliever whose name escapes me, and then telling each of them they would basically sign the first pitcher to accept the offer. I have no idea whether to not that was Cash’s idea.

      Hammond, who was coming off of a career year with Atlanta, was a feel pitcher who needed regular work to remain effective, something he did not get under Torre.

      Torre was probably a big reason why Zeile was signed, given his familiarity with him in St. Louis. In fact, Zeile was quoted as saying that he was told that Nick Johnson could be moved in order to get him more PT.

    2. Chuck May
      January 17th, 2008 | 10:31 pm

      I didn’t think, at the time, that the Weaver deal was going to blow up as badly as it did. I lived in the Detroit area when Weaver came up, and I saw most of his starts in the 99, 2000 & 2001 seasons. I figured that the Yankees were getting a guy who’d provide league-average pitching with a few strike outs – kind of like Jeff Suppan with a better arm. Who’d have thought that he’s be destroyed as thoroughly as he was?

      Then again, this was a guy who spent an off day as a guest Jerry Springer security guard…

    3. January 17th, 2008 | 10:58 pm

      FWIW, I know someone who had a chance to meet Weaver’s dad, at the Stadium, during a game in 2003. And, according to this person, Jeff’s dad kept saying, during the game, how New York was just a bad fit for his son. It’s a shame that no one looked into his personality before the trade to try and figure out if he was the right kind of guy for New York.

    4. Rich
      January 17th, 2008 | 11:36 pm

      “It’s a shame that no one looked into his personality before the trade to try and figure out if he was the right kind of guy for New York.”
      ______

      It’s also possible that Cash thought that they had the kind of veteran leadership and role models that could turn Weaver around. Unfortunately, I think he started to hang with Wells.

    5. Yu Hsing Chen
      January 17th, 2008 | 11:59 pm

      Hold on a sec, Ventura was bad impact?
      2002: 119 OPS+ in 141 game
      2003: 96 OPS+ in 89 game before being traded for Bubba Crosby and Scott Proctor.

      He certainly was pretty good in 02 and he wasn’t terrible in 03.. and the Yanks got a decent reliever out of him.

      And his decline in 03 lead to Aaron Boone’s dinger that subsequently lead to A-rod. not quiet sure how this is classifed as bad impact

    6. Lee Sinins
      January 18th, 2008 | 12:26 am

      Let’s take a look at Jeff Weaver’s “personality.”

      -12 RSAA with the 1999 Tigers. Oh, he must have had a bad personality for Detroit, at least during that particular year.

      negative career RSAA with the Dodgers. OK, he must have had a bad personality for Los Angeles.

      -19 RSAA in just 16 starts with the Angels. Bad LA personality showed up big time there.

      -7 RSAA in just 15 starts with the Cardinals. He must have a bad personality for St. Louis.

      -28 RSAA in 1 year with the Mariners. That shows a bad Seattle personality.

      Over the past 5 years, Weaver’s -85 RSAA means he has had the 2nd worst personality in the majors. Only Casey Fossum has had a worse personality than Weaver has.

    7. Rich
      January 18th, 2008 | 1:09 am

      So the question becomes: Why did so many supposedly smart baseball people misjudge Weaver’s capacity to be a successful major league starter?

    8. williamnyy
      January 18th, 2008 | 7:20 am

      I think it would be better to break these posts down into seasons as opposed to years. For example, what Cashman did in January 2002 impacts a different season than what he did in December 2002. I agree that the 2002 season was probably Cashman’s worst simply because of the Weaver deal (even though Weaver was actually better than Lily for the remainder of 2002). Having said that, acquiring Ventura for Justice was a very good deal, as were the signings of Wells, Giambi and Karsay (at least immediately).

    9. Tex Antoine
      January 18th, 2008 | 7:25 am

      With all due respect, Cashman is not a “smart baseball person.” When they acquired Weaver, there were all sorts of red flags–newspapers hinted that he was basically an indolent, pot-smoking beach bum. Anyone with an m.o. like that is never going to reach his potential, or survive in NY. Cashman is so enamored with the idea of developing a young, cheap stud pitcher (i.e. one who can reflect well on his legacy) that he overlooks their obvious flaws.

    10. williamnyy
      January 18th, 2008 | 7:29 am

      That makes no sense Tex…if he was “enamored with the idea of developing a young, cheap stud pitcher”, he could have just as easily kept Lily or even better acquired Bonderman. Your logic is flawed.

    11. williamnyy
      January 18th, 2008 | 7:38 am

      I’d also dispute your claim that “newspapers hinted that he was basically an indolent, pot-smoking beach bum”. Can you provide one example? Listed below are two excerpts from NYT articles that appeared after the trade.

      1) The quality of Weaver’s stuff was obvious to the Yankees, and General Manager Brian Cashman received positive reports about his makeup. Weaver competes intensely, showing emotion on the mound and a scowl in the clubhouse on days he pitches.

      ”Fire and brimstone, blood and guts,” Cashman said. ”Those are the words that came to mind when I asked a lot of questions from a lot of people. I engaged anybody who was close to him, and they all told us the same thing — he’s competitive to a fault, if you can be.”

      ************

      2) One major league scout agreed with that assessment. ”Lilly is like a solid 4 or 5 starter,” he said. ”Weaver is a solid 3 or maybe a 2 guy, and if he fits in well with the Yankees, he could be a No. 1 guy, too.”

    12. Lee Sinins
      January 18th, 2008 | 8:15 am

      So the question becomes: Why did so many supposedly smart baseball people misjudge Weaver’s capacity to be a successful major league starter?

      =====================

      “Supposedly smart baseball people” have been doing stupid things so often for so long that when they do stupid things, one must then conclude that they did it because that is what “supposedly smart baseball people” do.

    13. Pete
      January 18th, 2008 | 11:22 am

      >> And, according to this person, Jeff’s dad kept saying, during the game, how New York was just a bad fit for his son. >>

      Hmm, and that was *before* he blew up in the Series that year…

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