• Cashman 2006-08: His “Plan” Cost Yanks Half-Billion Dollars

    Posted by on December 27th, 2008 · Comments (37)

    Brian Cashman became Yankees G.M. on February 28, 1998. However, from 1998 through 2005, George Steinbrenner’s troops in his Tampa office (including but not limited to Bill Emslie, Billy Connors, Mark Newman and Damon Oppenheimer) had so much input on personnel moves that it was somewhat difficult to know what exactly what were Cashman’s decisions or not.

    This all changed in October 2005 when Brian Cashman was given full autonomy on running the Yankees. As Cashman said at that time: “I’m the general manager, and everybody within the baseball operations department reports to me. That’s not how it has operated recently.” So, without question, we can look at the state of the New York Yankees over the last three seasons (2006, 2007 and 2008) as well as this off-season (of 2008-2009) and know that what you see is “All-Cashman.”

    And, this includes the recent Yankees spending spree of $423.5 million over the last few weeks to acquire free agents Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett.

    Why did New York go after these three high-priced talents? Well, it made sense. Coming off last season, the Yankees two biggest needs were starting pitching and a bat for the middle of their line-up.

    With the contract expiration and subsequent retirement of Mike Mussina coupled with the 2008 failure of Cashman’s pitching phenoms Ian Kennedy and Phil Hughes, it was clear that the Yankees 2009 projected starting rotation was full of holes and question marks. (You can add Andy Pettitte’s departure due to free agency to this root cause list if, indeed, he does not re-sign with the Yankees.)

    Further, Cashman’s decision – which, by the way, I agree with 100% – not to bring back Jason Giambi and Bobby Abreu for 2009 left the Yankees without some much needed fire-power in the middle of their line-up. Hence, the need for a replacement.

    And, Brian Cashman’s solution to these problems was to give CC Sabathia $23 million a year, A.J. Burnett $16.5 million a year, and Mark Teixeira $22.5 million a year – thereabouts – all getting multi-year deals totaling $423.5 million (or “close to a half-billion dollars” for those who like to round and prefer not to use the number pad on their keyboard).

    Now, if you choose to ignore the dollars, it’s hard to fault the acquistions of Mark Teixeira and CC Sabathia – as they are two of the best at what they do (currently in the game). And, A.J. Burnett – while injury-prone in the past – gets high-marks from many for his tools and break-out potential. And, actually, as many are quick to point out, the money – for the Yankees – isn’t that much of a big deal. Annually, these three pick-ups cost the Yanks $62 million and the Yankees have cleared $59 million off their payroll by letting Carl Pavano go along with the aforementioned Mussina, Giambi and Abreu. So, in a sense, the dollars are a push.

    But, the Yankees had a team payroll of $209 million last season. Should it really be the team’s goal to match that mark in 2009? It truly was a absurd level in 2008.

    Don’t get wrong here. The Yankees should have the highest payroll in the game (as a result of their revenue stream) – that much seems right. And, as a Yankees fan, I love the Steinbrenner family for their willingness to put money into the team (rather than pocket it all for themselves). However, it seems more reasonable for the Yankees to have a team payroll in the range of $150 to $170 million as opposed to in excess of $200 million. Something along the lines of $160 million would still be the highest payroll in baseball – and more than enough cheddar to provide a line-up full of stars. And, then that left over $40 million or so could go towards other things…say…like preventing ticket prices for Yankees games going up as much as they have in the last nine years. By my rough count, a savings of forty-mill a year would allow the Yankees to shave off, on average, about nine bucks off each ticket sold for the season – assuming 81 sellouts, etc.

    In any event, getting back to Brian Cashman, he’s been the HNIC (“Head Non-Steinbrenner In Charge”) in Yankeeland since October 2005. And, he’s known, since at least the end of 2006, that this day would come – where Mussina, Giambi and Abreu would be off the team after 2008. Cashman’s had two to three years time to install a plan to replace these parts once their time had come – and what was that plan?

    In the end, Cashman’s plan to retool the Yankees for 2009 was to spend about a half-billion dollars on three free agent players. Well, he’s pretty lucky that he works for the Yankees and the Steinbrenner family – because that plan would not work with the 29 other big league teams.

    So, since the Stein-dollars were there for the taking, Cashman ran with it. And, when we look back at Yankees history and Brian Cashman’s “autonomy-run” from 2006 through 2008, we should note that his “plan” (or perhaps lack of a “plan”) cost the Yankees about a half-billion dollars…actually, it’s very close to that if you take the $423.5 million (spent on Tex, CC and Burnett) and add the $86 million that Cashman wasted on Carl Pavano and Kei Igawa to it.

    And, if anyone wants an illustration of Brian Cashman’s baseball acumen, send them a picture of the Steinbrenner family checkbook. For, when it comes to Cashman’s skill as a G.M., he should never leave home without it.

    Comments on Cashman 2006-08: His “Plan” Cost Yanks Half-Billion Dollars

    1. Pat F
      December 27th, 2008 | 11:43 am

      Steve – you have absolutely no idea what the yankees thinking is. None. You have never been invited to nor attended any meetings or conversations they’ve had. So to say that these signings are a result of lack of planning, with your lack of knowledge as to any plans, is laughable. For all we know, the yankees may have been targeting these players for years. And knowing they had the dollars to have a good shot at them. Nobody knows. We just see the results. And those are enlisting the two top free agents with notging more than our biggest competitive advantage – dollars. I see nothing wrong with that. Cashman is using resources available to him. What, because the other 29 teams don’t have those resources, we are supposed to feel bad, or not use them, or come up with plans that don’t require us to use them? That’s silly. The plan should be to use those resources in every way possible, and though i don’t know what the plan is, that’s been the result, and its a good one.ia

    2. Corey
      December 27th, 2008 | 11:48 am

      and know that what you see is “All-Cashman.”
      ======

      except for A-Rod…

      ========
      $423.5 million (or “close to a half-billion dollars” for those who like to round and prefer not to use the number pad on their keyboard).
      ====

      for those of us who like to round, it would be $400 billion :P

      ========
      By my rough count, a savings of forty-mill a year would allow the Yankees to shave off, on average, about nine bucks off each ticket sold for the season – assuming 81 sellouts, etc.
      ========

      so rather than have a winning product on the field at 200 mil, u’d rather save a few bucks? Watch the games on TV from home if the 9 bucks a game is that big of a deal

    3. Raf
      December 27th, 2008 | 12:13 pm

      And, then that left over $40 million or so could go towards other things…say…like preventing ticket prices for Yankees games going up as much as they have in the last nine years.
      ==============
      No it wouldn’t and you should know that.

      The reason why ticket prices have gone up is because people are willing to pay those prices. Supply and demand.

    4. Raf
      December 27th, 2008 | 12:17 pm

      Now, if you choose to ignore the dollars, it’s hard to fault the acquistions of Mark Teixeira and CC Sabathia – as they are two of the best at what they do (currently in the game).
      ———-
      Also, it should be mentioned that Teix is a Yankee because it kept him away from the Red Sox. Had Anaheim or any other organization shown him more interest, he would not be a Yankee.

    5. ken
      December 27th, 2008 | 12:18 pm

      The failings of the Yank’s mismanagement from about 2001 to Cashman’s ascendance in ’05 have lasting impact. You can’t just assume that everything starts in ’05. What other FA signings might have happened if not for Giambi, K Brown, R Johnson, etc? Which prospects would still be on the team (Ted Lilly)? Would Yanks have Beltran if not for R Johnson?

      Pappa Hank and the former Tampa brain trust not only made bad moves, but also prevented smarter moves from being made.

      I say it will take at least 5 seasons to clear the residual impact. This year’s smart but expensive signings are necessary to lay a foundation for better management in the future.

    6. Raf
      December 27th, 2008 | 12:19 pm

      Actually, let me correct that statement, as the Nationals and O’s (IIRC) threw a ton of $$ at him. At the end of the day the point is landing Teix kept him away from the Red Sox.

    7. Raf
      December 27th, 2008 | 12:26 pm

      Pappa Hank and the former Tampa brain trust not only made bad moves, but also prevented smarter moves from being made.
      ———-
      Regardless, that wasn’t the reason the Yanks haven’t won a world series since 2000. In the 2001 WS we all saw Rivera blow the save in game 7, we all saw “BIG GAME PITCHER” Andy Pettitte get lit up in game 6. In 2003 we saw “BIG GAME PITCHER” David Wells’ back crap out in game 5, we saw the inability of Soriano and Boone to get a run in home from 3rd in game 4. In the 2004 ALCS, we saw Rivera blow games in 4 & 5. In the 2007 ALDS, we saw Wang implode twice and Joba/Posada distracted by bugs.

      Regardless of Tampa’s role in things, the Yanks were in a position to win.

    8. Raf
      December 27th, 2008 | 12:32 pm

      Well, he’s pretty lucky that he works for the Yankees and the Steinbrenner family – because that plan would not work with the 29 other big league teams.
      ————–
      I find it hard to believe that Red Sox, Dodgers, Mets, among other teams would not spend $$.

      Atlanta offered Burnett a similar deal. Toronto was in on Burnett as well. The bidding for Texiera was down to the Nationals and Red Sox. Sabathia had only one other team interested, the Brewers.

      If you want to blame Sabathia for taking the most money, that’s fine, but the Yanks signed the rest of the players at market value, if not below. Hell, the Sabathia contract was influenced by the Santana contract that was given by the Mets.

    9. Raf
      December 27th, 2008 | 12:40 pm

      And, he’s known, since at least the end of 2006, that this day would come – where Mussina, Giambi and Abreu would be off the team after 2008. Cashman’s had two to three years time to install a plan to replace these parts once their time had come – and what was that plan?
      ———-
      Well, it appears given your prior entry (there is also an entry @ Bronx Banter about this), that the Yanks are chock-full of pitching in the minors. It appears that Kennedy & Hughes will get another shot in 2009 which isn’t surprising. Pettitte could’ve come back on a 1 year deal.

      As for Giambi, Swisher was bought in to replace him. Nady was to replace Abreu, though it was expected (implied?) the Yanks were going to pick up another bat.

    10. Corey
      December 27th, 2008 | 12:49 pm

      the nats offered tex more money than the yanks did

    11. AndrewYF
      December 27th, 2008 | 1:59 pm

      Seems that Cashman’s plan to acquire great free agents and vault the Yankees back into WS contention has worked perfectly so far.

      But Steve still manages to complain. If the Yankees win the World Series in the next 3 years, Steve will come out the next day and bash Cashman for spending money on a product, where other teams can simply get by on duct tape and elbow grease.

      I think we have all learned by now to not take Steve seriously when it comes to certain things, for he has destroyed his credibility on these topics by writing horribly moronic posts regarding them time after time. Cashman is one of them. A-Rod is the other. I can’t wait for his next Hughes article. It’s become a blogosphere joke, but I don’t think Steve even knows he’s at the butt-end of it. Whether that makes it sad or even funnier, I can’t tell.

    12. AndrewYF
      December 27th, 2008 | 2:13 pm

      And, it should be noted that before the acquisition of Burnett and Teixeira, the Yankees were simply a “good” team. Steve would be fine with that. But, Steve is complaining about the Yankees going the extra distance in the best FA class since 2000 to make themselves into a “great” team. Logically, we can conclude that Steve would rather have a “good” Yankees team than a “great” one, presumably because he would then have to give credit to Brian Cashman for constructing a “great” team.

      What a terrible fan, that he would place his wish for Brian Cashman to fail over seeing the Yankees win. No wonder he is part of the Mets’ network, they love his neverending Yankee-bashing.

    13. clintfsu813
      December 27th, 2008 | 3:11 pm

      i think Steve is a true Yankee fan..we win 27 he’ll be excited like the rest of us

    14. YankCrank
      December 27th, 2008 | 3:58 pm

      “So, since the Stein-dollars were there for the taking, Cashman ran with it. And, when we look back at Yankees history and Brian Cashman’s “autonomy-run” from 2006 through 2008, we should note that his “plan” (or perhaps lack of a “plan”) cost the Yankees about a half-billion dollars”

      I thought it was widely known what Cashman’s plan has been? When he took over in 2005 the farm system was crap, so his plan was to use the Yankee advantage (money) to pay above slot in the draft to get some of the best prospects, outspend other teams in the international free agents and outspend other teams for free agents so our prospects can develop in our own system and not be traded away…thus giving us Sabathia, Hughes, Kennedy and Melky instead of just Santana.

      What is there to complain about? You don’t like Cashman’s plan to use Yankee money as an advantage when it’s perfectly within the rules of MLB to do so? Come one Syeve, your hatred for Cashman has reached a new low. The guy just went out and made the moves to make this, possibly, the most anticipated and exciting season in recent Yankee history (new stadium, three huge new free agents to add to A-Rod, Jeter, Jopo, etc.) and you’re STILL bashing him?

    15. Raf
      December 27th, 2008 | 4:11 pm

      What a terrible fan, that he would place his wish for Brian Cashman to fail over seeing the Yankees win
      ——–
      I may have missed something, but I don’t think he wrote that.

    16. ken
      December 27th, 2008 | 6:03 pm

      Raf said: “Regardless, that wasn’t the reason the Yanks haven’t won a world series since 2000. In the 2001 WS we all saw Rivera blow the save in game 7, we all saw “BIG GAME PITCHER” Andy Pettitte get lit up in game 6. In 2003 we saw “BIG GAME PITCHER” David Wells’ back crap out in game 5, we saw the inability of Soriano and Boone to get a run in home from 3rd in game 4. In the 2004 ALCS, we saw Rivera blow games in 4 & 5. In the 2007 ALDS, we saw Wang implode twice and Joba/Posada distracted by bugs.”

      - – - – -

      IMHO, this supports the view (of Moneyballers) that the playoffs are a crapshoot. You never really know what quirk of fate, funny bounce, and yes, bonehead play, may decide a playoff game/series. You get there, do your best, and hope for the outcome you want. Nothing can guarantee a WS.

      In fact, this only emphasizes how special was the run of the late 90′s. (That is, lots of planning and lots of ‘luck’).

    17. December 27th, 2008 | 6:08 pm

      [...] Cashman 2006-2008: His “plan” cost Yanks half-billion dollars [...]

    18. December 27th, 2008 | 8:15 pm

      ~~For all we know, the yankees may have been targeting these players for years. ~~

      Then, that would be stupid – because you never can count on a guy becoming a free agent, or signing with your team, for sure. You can’t just assume that someone will not lock a player up, etc.

    19. December 27th, 2008 | 8:16 pm

      ~~so rather than have a winning product on the field at 200 mil, u’d rather save a few bucks? Watch the games on TV from home if the 9 bucks a game is that big of a deal~~

      If a team can’t manage to have a winning team with a payroll of $160 million, then they don’t deserve to be in the league. There’s no need, whatsoever, to have a payroll in excess of $200 million if you have a GM who has a clue.

    20. December 27th, 2008 | 8:19 pm

      ~~The failings of the Yank’s mismanagement from about 2001 to Cashman’s ascendance in ‘05 have lasting impact. You can’t just assume that everything starts in ‘05. ~~

      2001, 2002, and 2003 were a lifetime ago, in a baseball sense. We’re in 2009 now and those years were almost a decade ago. Whatever bad signings, etc., that happened and whatever good signing, etc., that didn’t happen in 2001, 2002, and 2003 should have been corrected by 2008.

    21. December 27th, 2008 | 8:21 pm

      ~~~I find it hard to believe that Red Sox, Dodgers, Mets, among other teams would not spend $$.~~~

      Check the team payrolls from last year. The Yankees were, what, $70 million more than teams like the Sox, Tigers and Mets? The gap is huge. NO ONE spends like the Yankees.

    22. December 27th, 2008 | 8:23 pm

      ~~~Well, it appears given your prior entry (there is also an entry @ Bronx Banter about this), that the Yanks are chock-full of pitching in the minors. ~~~

      Pitching prospects. But, then again, TNSTAAPP.

    23. December 27th, 2008 | 8:25 pm

      ~~~I think we have all learned by now to not take Steve seriously when it comes to certain things, for he has destroyed his credibility on these topics by writing horribly moronic posts regarding them time after time. Cashman is one of them. A-Rod is the other. I can’t wait for his next Hughes article. It’s become a blogosphere joke, but I don’t think Steve even knows he’s at the butt-end of it. ~~~~

      AndrewYF, FWIW, you’re the all-time record-holder for the number of times that I point a reader to this link:

      http://waswatching.com/2008/04/09/some-housekeeping-on-comments-regarding-me/

      Congrats!

    24. December 27th, 2008 | 8:32 pm

      ~~~i think Steve is a true Yankee fan..we win 27 he’ll be excited like the rest of us~~~

      Thanks for getting it.

      Actually, when the Yankees lose a regular season game, I have a hard time sleeping that night and wake up the next day in a pissy mood. And, when they lose a series in the post-season, it sends me into a month long depression.

      So, for my personal mental well-being, the best thing that can happen is for the Yankees to win 100+ times during the season and then win a ring in October.

      Someone wants to see me happy as a baseball fan? That’s what it takes – 100+ Yankees win and a ring at the end of the season. And, when that happens, I couldn’t care less who the GM is or who plays on the team.

      For anyone to assume that I want the team to play poorly because Cashman is the GM or because A-Rod or Hughes is playing, is a sign that they are devoid of intelligence – because they cannot pick up on the fact that someone who’s been watching the Yankees since 1973 and writing about them, several times a day, for the last 44 months, here, is not a fan of the team.

    25. December 27th, 2008 | 8:37 pm

      ~~~You don’t like Cashman’s plan to use Yankee money as an advantage when it’s perfectly within the rules of MLB to do so? Come one Syeve, your hatred for Cashman has reached a new low. ~~~

      What I wrote was that Cashman’s moves, and plan to address needs created, has cost the Yankees a half-billion dollars this month. And, that such a plan shows that he can only run a team and put great players on the field when he’s given a checkbook to out-spend the other teams by almost a two-to-one ratio.

      Did I say it was a bad plan or a plan that would not work? No, it should work – CC, Tex, etc. are very good players, etc.

      I’m just saying that Cashman lacks the baseball smarts to build a winning team in a manner outside of costing his team a half-billion dollars. What part of that is not true?

    26. Raf
      December 28th, 2008 | 1:05 am

      If a team can’t manage to have a winning team with a payroll of $160 million, then they don’t deserve to be in the league. There’s no need, whatsoever, to have a payroll in excess of $200 million if you have a GM who has a clue.
      —————————–
      ?

      The reason the payroll is so high is because of players like Jeter, Posada, Rivera, etc.

      Not quite sure what your issue is. Are you unhappy that Jeter, Rodriguez & Co. are Yankees?

    27. Raf
      December 28th, 2008 | 1:09 am

      Pitching prospects. But, then again, TNSTAAPP.
      —————
      Really?

      CC Sabathia was a pitching prospect. Worm Killer Wang was a pitching prospect. Andy Pettitte was a prospect. Jon Lester was a prospect, Mariano Rivera was a prospect. Johan Santana was a prospect. Pedro Martinez was a prospect. Roger Clemens was a prospect…

    28. Raf
      December 28th, 2008 | 1:25 am

      Check the team payrolls from last year. The Yankees were, what, $70 million more than teams like the Sox, Tigers and Mets? The gap is huge. NO ONE spends like the Yankees.
      ————–
      Check the rest of my post. Those teams spent money.

      And again, the reason the Yankee payroll is so high is because of players like Jeter, Posada, Rivera, Rodriguez, etc. Unless you are unhappy with those players being Yankees, then the payroll really isn’t an issue.

      The Yanks had an option @ 1b, that’s the reason they traded for Swisher. Teix was available, and was all but set to sign with the Red Sox. I would rather have the organization sign Teix than have the Red Sox strengthened.

      The problem I see when people bring up payroll “OMG 200M!!!!11!!!1″ is that they don’t seem to understand the reason why the payroll is at the level it is.

      $70M’s the difference? Right there, that’s Rodriguez, Giambi, Jeter, & Abreu. 2 of the 4 are gone, and in the case of Abreu, his contract was given by the Phillies.

    29. Raf
      December 28th, 2008 | 1:28 am

      I’m just saying that Cashman lacks the baseball smarts to build a winning team in a manner outside of costing his team a half-billion dollars. What part of that is not true?
      —————-
      The fact that the contracts haven’t been paid out yet. Or are the Yanks going to spend a half billion dollars on payroll next year?

    30. Raf
      December 28th, 2008 | 9:10 am

      Then, that would be stupid – because you never can count on a guy becoming a free agent, or signing with your team, for sure. You can’t just assume that someone will not lock a player up, etc.
      —————–
      You can’t assume that it won’t happen either. Besides, there’s nothing wrong with targeting a player’ Yankees fans are doing it already with Matt Holliday.

      I don’t think Billy Beane is stupid for targeting and pursuing Erubiel Durazo.

    31. Evan3457
      December 28th, 2008 | 2:53 pm

      If a team can’t manage to have a winning team with a payroll of $160 million, then they don’t deserve to be in the league. There’s no need, whatsoever, to have a payroll in excess of $200 million if you have a GM who has a clue.
      ============================
      Your opinion. Not fact. Especially if you have an ownership that must win at all costs, and will not risk an unproven player, whether young, or coming off of bad year or an injury.

    32. Raf
      December 28th, 2008 | 4:45 pm

      Especially if you have an ownership that must win at all costs, and will not risk an unproven player, whether young, or coming off of bad year or an injury.
      ——————-
      Not necessarily true. Wang, Cano, Cabrera, Hughes, Chamberlain, Jeter & Rivera quickly come to mind. Same goes for Contreras, Matsui & Duque.

      The Yanks have won and lost with unproven players, proven players, players young and old, players with injuries and healthy players.

    33. Evan3457
      December 29th, 2008 | 12:50 am

      Raf, you’re usually about as good an analyst around here as anyone, but I have to disagree with you…

      Wang and Cano were both desperation callups. They stuck because the obeyed the Golden Rule of Yankees Prospects: “Play well immediately, then get better, because if you have a slump in your 1st 3 months, you’re out of the lineup, and back in the minors, or traded.”

      Cabrera’s 1st trial was also an emergency callup, and he cost them a game, and was buried for a full year. Hughes, after pitching decently from August through October in 2007, got exactly 6 major league starts, got hurt, and was promptly buried until late September.

      Like Cano and Wang, Chamberlain’s callup was a desperation move to short up the pen, and he too obeyed the Golden Rule. Kennedy may have buried himself until 2010 with his performance last year.

      Jeter was not a desperation call-up, but he too obeyed the Golden Rule, and was lucky enough to have a 1st year manager who was hired to replace a popular manager, and thus had extra rope to give a rookie, in case that rookie had struggled, which he didn’t.

      Rivera was a starter; the team quickly saw he couldn’t start because he didn’t have a worthwhile 2nd pitch. They put him in the pen where he was used infrequently, and only a September streak moved him into a key role, but even then, Buck wouldn’t trust him with his fate on the line. Then they brought in Wetteland to be the closer, and gave Rivera a year of setup.

      Contreras and Duque spent some time in the minors, even though they had proven themselves repeatedly in international competition, before the Yanks trusted them. Matsui had been the best hitter in Japan, by far, for several years, so he wasn’t a raw young player, and he had signed a fairly hefty contract.

      ================================
      All these cases can be argued back and forth some with more merit to the proposition that “the Yanks will trust unproven players”.

      But show me the equivalent case of a Dustin Pedroia, a player regarded as an excellent prospect who nevertheless gets off to a terrible start, and the team still stayed with him, and didn’t bury him in the minor leagues.

      You have go back to when the Yanks were terrible, and George was still suspended, to find Bernie Williams. He’s the closest. They havn’t done anything like that in over 15 years. Hughes and Kennedy are just two more notches on that belt.

      The Yanks remain the only team in MLB whose prospects must succeed immediately to stay with the team.

      OK, all teams do this to some extent or other. But no one is as consistent about it as the Yanks have been the last 15 years.

    34. Raf
      December 29th, 2008 | 11:27 am

      But show me the equivalent case of a Dustin Pedroia, a player regarded as an excellent prospect who nevertheless gets off to a terrible start, and the team still stayed with him, and didn’t bury him in the minor leagues.
      —————-
      Can’t really do that; is that a Red Sox thing, or a MLB thing? How many teams (contending or otherwise) stick with a struggling prospect? A brief slump isn’t struggling, a season like the one Melky & Cano put up in 08 was struggling. A team will send down a player for more seasoning (which may have been the case with Cabrera in 2005; Bernie was still the primary CF, with Bubba Crosby backing him up; Tony Womack was with the team as well, playing LF & CF. Matsui & Sheffield were in the corners. It can be argued that the Yanks rather Melky play every day in Columbus than rot on the bench in NY), but I don’t think that means they’re buried. I guess it could be argued that with the acquisition of Damon after the 05 season, Melky was buried (Matsui-Damon-Sheffield, Crosby & Co backing up)

      Hughes & Kennedy still figure into the Yanks’ plans. They were not only demoted, but suffered injuries. They weren’t buried, but told to work on a few things in the minors. Actually, I guess Kennedy was buried, but I think that had as much to do with his attitude as it did with his performance.

      As for Rivera, 9 of his first 10 games were starts (2 stints in the rotation in 95). Also looks as if he came up for good in August of that year. Your timeline is also inaccurate, Wetteland was traded to the Yanks before the ’95 season, Rivera was still a starter in the minors.

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