• Verducci: Restocking A Rivalry

    Posted by on March 26th, 2008 · Comments (8)

    Tom Verducci has an excellent feature up today at SI.com on how the Yankees and Red Sox have been using the draft lately to their benefit. Click here to read it. Some highlights:

    The Yankees’ future, meanwhile, looked even more dire in 2005. After New York blew a three-games-to-none lead to Boston in the 2004 ALCS, G.M. Brian Cashman tried to fortify his pitching by acquiring Randy Johnson, Carl Pavano and Jaret Wright. None would be as good as advertised. “We had a chance to really go into an abyss,” Cashman said earlier this year.

    Cashman, who often clashed with owner George Steinbrenner’s Tampa-based brain trust, persuaded the Boss to give him more control of baseball operations, a change he would get in writing in his new contract after the season. He promoted prospects Chien-Ming Wang and Robinson Cano to the majors in May and gave responsibility for the draft to scouting director Damon Oppenheimer.

    “[Cashman] knew my passion was on the amateur side,” Oppenheimer says. “He gave us a little more specific thinking on the draft, and we started looking for high-impact talent, premier players at premier positions.”

    Since 2005 the Yankees and the Red Sox have continued to sink more money into scouting and the draft. Says one rival AL G.M., “They’ve become what the U.S. and Russia were during the cold war: There is them, and there’s everybody else. My goodness, the Yankees took a guy in the first round [Andrew Brackman in 2007] who needed Tommy John surgery, and they gave him a four-year major league contract. Nobody else can do that.”

    In terms of the Yankees – and Cashman giving Oppenheimer “more specific thinking on the draft” – well, better late than never, right?

    Comments on Verducci: Restocking A Rivalry

    1. Andrew
      March 26th, 2008 | 1:01 pm

      Yes, better late than never that Cashman was able to wrest more control before the 2005 season, so he would be able to hire whomever he wanted for the draft. Clearly, he made a great, great choice. Good for Cashman.

    2. Rich
      March 26th, 2008 | 4:15 pm

      Better late than never applies to George, not Cash, since Cash had no power over the draft before the 2005 contract.

    3. March 26th, 2008 | 4:27 pm

      ~~Cash had no power over the draft before the 2005 contract.~~

      Do we know this for fact? Do you have a link or a source to point to on this?

    4. Raf
      March 26th, 2008 | 5:37 pm

      “Once Brian Cashman got his much-discussed power, he had the Yankees draft more high-ceiling (and more difficult to sign) college players instead of the toolsy high school kids they used to love. Their approach has changed.”

    5. Rich
      March 26th, 2008 | 5:42 pm

      In addition to what Raf posted, this excerpt from a NYT article provides context:


      It may be a symbolic gesture, but what it symbolizes means everything to Cashman. Though it is not spelled out in his contract, Cashman said that he received an understanding that he, and only he, would sit atop the chain of command in the Yankees’ fractured baseball operations department.

      “I’m the general manager, and everybody within the baseball operations department reports to me,” he said. “That’s not how it has operated recently.”

    6. March 26th, 2008 | 11:44 pm

      On 2/1/08 waswatching posted info from Baseball America about various teams’ spending on the draft. You posted that 2 teams exceeded the Yankees’ spending in the most recent draft and 3 others were about even with them. The alleged sobbing from a rival GM and broadcast to millions via, in this case, SI, is misleading and damaging. It encourages hatred and jealousy. More importantly, is the rival GM spending his share of the $100 million in revenue sharing and luxury tax he gets from the Yankees and its fans on his draft? Is his team in a market that will never support a team? Tell his owner to sell the team.

    7. Straylightrise
      March 27th, 2008 | 7:02 am

      The rest of the league is made up of some of the worst owners in professional sports. There are 3 tiers in MLB now:

      The Elite: NYY, BOS, NYM

      these three teams have the ability to afford anyone, yet all three teams do have a “decent” farm system

      The Rest: Everyteam that isn’t in

      The Worst: TB,KC,DC(sorta),BAL,COL(again for a while)

      These owners should be kicked out of the league. The criminal mismanagement of TB and KC while basically just sucking blood from the Elites is god awful. Detroit was in here for a LONG time until they actually started trying to win games. DC got screwed because MLB owned them for those many years and I pray daily for Angelos’ demise

      As a Yankee fan I know that my team is working every single day to win, not to just make money or sell advertising, but to win a ring in October. That’s why I’m a Yankee fan.

      There was a libertarian economist who wrote a book on why certain people hated free market capitalism. Their reason for hating free-market capitalism was there was no one to blame for their failures in life and when they fail they would become trapped.

    8. Raf
      March 27th, 2008 | 10:38 am

      These owners should be kicked out of the league. The criminal mismanagement of TB and KC while basically just sucking blood from the Elites is god awful.
      Don’t sleep on Tampa Bay…

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