Via Ken Davidoff:
Has this painful season derailed Cashman’s greater vision of turning the Yankees into the proverbial player development machine?
“No,” Cashman said before the game. “If anything, you’re starting to see the necessity of [why] you have to get younger … We’ve had some injuries, there’s no doubt about it, but we’ve got some key guys who haven’t performed like they’re capable of. Is that because of age?”
Cashman fell on his sword Thursday, taking the blame for the disappointing campaign while absolving Joe Girardi and his coaches of any significant wrongdoing. It was the right thing to do, even though Girardi surely will receive some recommended changes this winter.
But the Yankees’ 11th-year general manager doesn’t think his global plan is faulty. Not in the least. If the impending free-agent executive returns — and that’s the safe bet, given that the Yankees have largely let him run the baseball operations, just as George Steinbrenner promised three years ago — he’ll stick to what he’s been doing.
Even if the two veteran pitchers both come back, along with a presumably healed Chien-Ming Wang and Joba Chamberlain, “Obviously, as we’ve seen this year, you can’t have enough pitching,” Cashman said.
Sabathia’s preference is to sign with a West Coast team in the National League, as Newsday reported July 13, so it might be a moot issue. In any case, I asked Cashman if throwing a nine-figure contract at a veteran free agent from another team — one who hasn’t been exposed to the New York market — would clash with his philosophy.
“No, not necessarily,” he said. “Ultimately, what I feel is a strong reluctance to trade three or four assets to another team [for a player] and then sign him to a multiyear contract. You trade for a guy, give up three or four assets [and then pay him], then you’ve crushed your payroll and your assets at the same time.”
That’s why he didn’t trade for Santana.
“If you choose to play in that marketplace, the one thing you’d be sacrificing is a draft pick,” Cashman continued. ” … We’re very protective of our draft picks, but for the right player and the right circumstance … I’ve always said we’re still big-game hunters.”
“Certainly, [Phil Hughes has] stubbed his toe with the injury,” Cashman said. “But when we held on to a guy like that, you don’t do it and say, ‘OK, in the next four months, he’s got to do X.’ He’s got five years, whatever it is, to show why you bet on someone like that.”
Cashman added, “When you’re dealing with youth, it’s very volatile,” and he noted that 2008 served as a bad year for Hughes and Ian Kennedy while boosting the status of young pitchers Dellin Betances and Phil Coke and outfielder Austin Jackson.
…When you’re dealing with youth, it’s very volatile…
Gee, you think Cashman would have learned that lesson nine years ago?