Via the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
“The Yankees will face a crossroads in the next month,” said ESPN The Magazine’s Buster Olney, who wrote two in-depth pieces on Cashman’s future and the failures of the Yankees’ farm system.
Olney explained how the Yankees’ fall from grace stemmed from years of poor drafts, as win-at-all-costs owner George Steinbrenner steered his ship into an iceberg.
Olney made the following points about the Yankees’ drafts of 1997 to 2005:
– The Yankees produced a total of 10 position players who have appeared in a major league game; that is the fewest of any team in the major leagues, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
– The 10 position players drafted by the Yankees had accounted for a total of 888 career at-bats as of Sept. 9, which means that not only have the Yankees generated few major league position players, but they have produced no stars and just a handful of journeymen. The draftees of the Toronto Blue Jays from the same time frame, by comparison, have combined for 27,427 big league at-bats.
– The Yankees drafted and developed 20 pitchers, which is tied for the 12th most among the 30 teams. But those 20 pitchers selected by the Yankees have amassed 1,852 2/3 innings in the majors — the fewest innings for any group of pitchers drafted by any team. The Oakland Athletics’ draftees rank first, at 9,686 innings, according to Elias.
This ties back to what I wrote on May 28, 2008:
From December 1995 through July 2004, Lin Garrett was the Yankees director of scouting. It’s been Damon Oppenheimer since Garrett.
I’ve already gone on record as to how Lin Garrett clogged up, if not destroyed, the Yankees talent pipeline that was manned pretty well by personnel such as Brian Sabean and Bill Livesey (the Scouting Directors before Garrett).
Brian Cashman’s greatest gift to the Yankees may have been getting Garrett out of town. Why it took the Yankees so long to figure this out…well, it’s anyone’s guess.
Further, back on February 6, 2008 I wrote:
I wish I could tell you how Lin Garrett rose to power in the Yankees organization, and what his background was prior to joining the Yankees, and who in the Yankees front office was the force behind allowing him to go on, so poorly, for so long. But, I cannot find anything that provides those details.
What I could find shows how, for nine years, while the Yankees were winning four rings and six pennants on the field, Lin Garrett was laying the groundwork, behind the scenes, to lay waste to their farm system.
And, if anyone wants to wonder why the Yankees have a $200 million payroll, perhaps Lin Garrett is the reason why – as the lack of young and cheap talent to retool the Yankees, from 2002 to 2005 is a direct result of the Yankees’ terrible drafts from 1996 through 2003.
It’s great that Brian Cashman eventually got Garrett out of town. It’s too bad that it didn’t happen four or five years earlier. But, again, for all we know, it could have been “The Boss” who was keeping Cashman’s hands tied on this one.
Someday, it would nice to know the whole “Lin Garrett Story.” This one has a lot of fingerprints on it.
Today, I did some more searching on Garrett. It seems, prior to joining the Yankees organization in 1995, he held scouting positions with three other big league teams from 1987 though 1995 – including the Mets. But, what he did during the 1970′s and most of the 1980′s is still a mystery to me.
I would love to know how Lin Garrett caught the Yankees eye back in 1995 – and what he did to remain in their sweet spot for the next nine years. Considering what a black mark he is on the Yankees X-ray, today, you would think that someone, somewhere, would tell the story.