• Yanks GM: Call Me “Careful Cashman”

    Posted by on November 24th, 2009 · Comments (41)

    May I have your attention please?
    May I have your attention please?
    Will the real Careful Cashman please stand up?
    I repeat, will the real Careful Cashman please stand up?
    We’re gonna have a problem here..

    Via Marc Carig -

    Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said on Monday that the team intends to address their own free agents before wading into the rest of the free agent pool.

    “I don’t want to make the mistake of having a conversation with somebody else’s agent and it plays out as if I’m pursuing that guy, and somebody misinterprets it (and) that means I’m not pursuing our guy,” Cashman said. “We’re not even at that stage yet. So I’m trying to be very careful and respectful to our players first, makes sure they’re aware of where they are in the process.”

    The Yankees, as expected, have remained quiet in the early stages of baseball’s free agency period. Cashman is still in discussions with the Steinbrenner family about the team’s budget moving forward. He has yet to have much dialogue with the team’s three prominent free agents, Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui and Andy Pettitte, or their agents.

    Cashman also said he is not near any potential trades.

    “Once I get some firm (budget) numbers, then I can go ahead and start putting together some ideas,” Cashman said. “I have not reached out to any agents really yet. I’ll talk to our guys first. And after I have my conversation with our guys, I’ll be full blown into the marketplace.”

    Whatever the final budget, Cashman said he will spend the offseason with an eye on efficiency.

    “The big picture is to be real efficient with how we allocate our resources,” Cashman said. “Last year obviously showed examples that depending on who it is, we can step up in a big way. But I think that we’re going to be very careful.”

    ‘Cause I’m Careful Cashman, yes I’m the real Cashman
    All you other Careful Cashmans are just imitating
    So won’t the real Careful Cashman please stand up,
    please stand up, please stand up?

    Comments on Yanks GM: Call Me “Careful Cashman”

    1. YankCrank
      November 24th, 2009 | 10:40 am

      Situations like this make Cashman a lot of fun to me. He doesn’t leak any resourceful info, all plans are kept in-house, the media starts exhausting every ridiculous scenario, we all sit back and think “well this is going to be a quiet winter” and then BAM…all of a sudden guys like Johnny Damon and Mark Teixeira come out of nowehere and become Yankees.

      Will it happen this year? I guess we won’t know until we know.

    2. MJ
      November 24th, 2009 | 10:54 am

      @ Steve Lombardi:
      Knocking Cashman for being deliberate and meticulous — last I checked, good traits for any executive — or just knocking him in general because you’ve got nothing better to do?

      YankCrank wrote:

      Situations like this make Cashman a lot of fun to me. He doesn’t leak any resourceful info, all plans are kept in-house, the media starts exhausting every ridiculous scenario, we all sit back and think “well this is going to be a quiet winter” and then BAM…all of a sudden guys like Johnny Damon and Mark Teixeira come out of nowehere and become Yankees.

      I know, I love it too. Cashman does a pretty solid job of laying in the weeds (Bubba Crosby’s our CF; Nick Swisher’s our 1B) and then striking at the last second. When you factor in all the media attention paid to the Yankees and all the rumors surrouding their intentions, the fact that Cashman is able to pull off his moves in general secrecy is definitely no small feat.

    3. clintfsu813
      November 24th, 2009 | 10:56 am

      That is because he is part GM..part ninja

    4. November 24th, 2009 | 11:04 am

      @ MJ: “deliberate and meticulous”? Got four words for you: Kei Igawa forty-six million.

    5. MJ
      November 24th, 2009 | 11:05 am

      @ clintfsu813:
      LOL! He’s a ninja assasin.

    6. MJ
      November 24th, 2009 | 11:22 am

      @ Steve Lombardi:
      And six for you: Johnny Damon, Mark Teixeira, Bobby Abreu.

      But, fine, once again you’ve proven that Brian Cashman is impetuous, hasty, unprepared and bad at his job because he’s not infallible. Show me a GM that is.

    7. YankCrank
      November 24th, 2009 | 11:31 am

      @ Steve Lombardi:
      I have four better words: World Champion General Manager

    8. Raf
      November 24th, 2009 | 11:36 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      @ MJ: “deliberate and meticulous”? Got four words for you: Kei Igawa forty-six million.

      Bill Madden wrote:

      Next week, the No. 2 regarded Japanese pitcher, soft-throwing Hanshin Tigers lefty Kei Igawa, who was 14-9 and tied for the Central League in strikeouts last year, goes up for posting, and while the Yankees are expected to make a bid, they regard him as a back-of-the-rotation starter.

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Three weeks ago, I wondered why Igawa was not getting more hype – since his overall numbers looked good. Then, ten days ago, I wondered why some thought Igawa was a back-of-the-rotation starter – despite the fact that he won several strikeout titles over in Japan.

      Yes, reports say that Igawa is a finesse pitcher who tops out around 90 MPH. But, for me, the (no pun intended) key to Igawa is that he’s a left-handed starter. You don’t have to throw hard, if you’re a lefty, to get big league hitters out. Heck, Barry Zito threw 1,200 pitches in 2006 that were thrown under less than 80 MPH – look it up.

      I like this move by the Yankees.

    9. MJ
      November 24th, 2009 | 11:37 am

      @ YankCrank:
      Yes, those are indeed four better words.

      Of course, it’s worth noting — because apparently a lot of folks have forgotten — that Cashman’s won FOUR titles as GM. That’s more than Bob Watson and Stick Michael combined.

      And, yes, I’m rubbing it in. Since this blog doesn’t believe in nuance or shades of gray and tries to paint everything in their most black-and-white terms, I may as well argue in the same way. Rationalize it any way you like but Cashman’s got four rings. Four, as in the number after three.

    10. MJ
      November 24th, 2009 | 11:39 am

      @ Raf:
      Dude, that was the most brilliant re-posting of Steve’s own words ever. A virtual high-five to you for that one.

      Of course, the rebuttal will be “I’m not the GM, I’m not paid to get it right…”

    11. bfriley76
      November 24th, 2009 | 11:44 am

      MJ wrote:

      @ Raf:
      Dude, that was the most brilliant re-posting of Steve’s own words ever. A virtual high-five to you for that one.
      Of course, the rebuttal will be “I’m not the GM, I’m not paid to get it right…”

      That’s true MJ, but it’s a bit disingenuous to continually rip a GM for a move you agreed with at the time.

    12. MJ
      November 24th, 2009 | 11:51 am

      @ bfriley76:
      I agree with you. I was just saying what Steve’s defense will be. He’s used that defense every other time he’s ripped Cashman so I was just predicting that’s the line he’ll use here too.

    13. November 24th, 2009 | 11:54 am

      @ Raf:

      There’s a difference between me and Cashman, or course…

      He gets paid $2 million a year to get this stuff right – and has an army of scouts and data working for him supplying intel, etc.

      Me? I’m not under contract with the team and only have access to what the media reports (and that I can then comment on).

      Give me Cashman’s compensation and his data and then let’s start comparing results.

    14. MJ
      November 24th, 2009 | 11:56 am

      @ bfriley76:
      Like I said…see comment #13.

    15. bfriley76
      November 24th, 2009 | 12:02 pm

      @ MJ:
      Oh…I know. I’ve seen and remembered the response from the past. I was already offering my counter before the excuse was made.

    16. Raf
      November 24th, 2009 | 12:03 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      He gets paid $2 million a year to get this stuff right – and has an army of scouts and data working for him supplying intel, etc.

      Me? I’m not under contract with the team and only have access to what the media reports (and that I can then comment on).

      This “army of scouts and data” recommended that Igawa should be signed (and apparently as a back of the rotation starter, unless Madden is making stuff up). Shouldn’t we give them the benefit of the doubt?

    17. MJ
      November 24th, 2009 | 12:09 pm

      @ Raf:
      Apparently Steve doesn’t believe in the idea that scouts, talent evaluators and GM’s can be wrong. It’s a good thing no other GM in baseball history has ever made a mistake, otherwise we wouldn’t have such a clear contrast between Cashman’s flaws and the long, distinguished list of GM’s that had a perfect record.

    18. Raf
      November 24th, 2009 | 12:15 pm

      Of course, does it take “an army of scouts and data” to make an obvious move? The Yanks have been active in Japan, Igawa isn’t the first pitcher they’ve had from there having had Kats Maeda and Hideki Irabu in the past.

    19. November 24th, 2009 | 12:17 pm

      Hey, guys, I just think it’s a laugh riot that Brian Cashman, who has thrown away more money on bad pitching than any other GM in the history of baseball, comes out with comments like “the big picture is to be real efficient with how we allocate our resources” and “I think that we’re going to be very careful.”

      The only thing I find funnier than this is that some people actually buy into this line of bull that he’s throwing out there.

      Yes, a GM should be “real efficient” with how they “allocate our resources.” I agree – 100%. But, Cashman’s making it as if this has been him M.O. all the while – when we know it’s not true.

    20. November 24th, 2009 | 12:20 pm

      YankCrank wrote:

      I have four better words: World Champion General Manager

      Thanks to spending a half-billion dollars on three players last winter.

      Give me a half-billion and I’ll get you and me rings too.

    21. MJ
      November 24th, 2009 | 12:26 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Thanks to spending a half-billion dollars on three players last winter.

      Did you ever bitch and moan about the Yanks payroll and/or off-season expenditures in 1998, 1999 or 2000? I’ll bet you didn’t. Your hypocricy is outrageous.

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Give me a half-billion and I’ll get you and me rings too.

      Considering you advocated for Kyle Lohse when the going rate 4Y/$40M, I’ll bet you don’t.

    22. Raf
      November 24th, 2009 | 12:34 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Yes, a GM should be “real efficient” with how they “allocate our resources.” I agree – 100%. But, Cashman’s making it as if this has been him M.O. all the while – when we know it’s not true.

      Actually, that has always been the case.

    23. November 24th, 2009 | 1:10 pm

      MJ wrote:

      Did you ever bitch and moan about the Yanks payroll and/or off-season expenditures in 1998, 1999 or 2000? I’ll bet you didn’t. Your hypocricy is outrageous.

      In 1998, the Yankees team payroll was less than the team payroll for the Baltimore Orioles. In 2000, the Yankees payroll was only $9 mill more than the Dodgers and $14 mill more than the Mets.

      In 2009, the Yankees payroll was $201,449,189 and the next highest payroll in baseball was $149,373,987.

      MJ, I like you – but, you should get your facts straight before you start name-calling, etc.

    24. MJ
      November 24th, 2009 | 1:44 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      MJ, I like you – but, you should get your facts straight before you start name-calling, etc.

      Steve, I like you too – but, every post is the same here and it gets tiresome fighting the same battles. You have a pathological stubbornness when it comes to fair and objective treatment of certain subjects and you move your targets so much such that it’s impossible to argue logically with you.

      I’m signing off Was Watching for a little while because no matter how much I love the site, I think it’s getting a little stale around here. There’s no sense arguing with you anymore because, as we both agree, we like eachother and bitterness isn’t a good thing since we share season tickets.

      I’ve loved every single minute of my time here since 2005. I’ve loved getting to know some of the regulars and I’ve enjoyed the debates and discussions. I’ve learned more about baseball as a member of this community than I ever thought possible. Most of all, I loved the brief period of time where I could post as an author on this site because it fulfilled a fantasy of mine to be able to write things that could reach a mass audience. For all of my love of this site, it’s best if I take some time off.

      Happy Thanksgiving to you Steve, and to everyone else on WW.com. See ya in 2010.

    25. Pat F
      November 24th, 2009 | 2:18 pm

      The “give me the scouts, data, etc.” that cashman has defense is truly illogical beyond all repair. Steve, if you had the scouting advice cashman has, you’d presumably follow that advice in conjunction with what the data says the way cashman presumably does. You basically rip him for arriving at decisions using vehicles that you always defend yourself by saying you don’t have them. But if you value them so much, that means you’d likely listen to the advisement of scouts and what the data points to the same way cashman does. Which means you’d probably often arrive at the same decision. This is totally backwards.

      The fact that you think the yankees won the world series because they signed 3 guys last winter really makes me wonder if you follow the yankees and absorb what actually transpires, or if you follow them and try to fit what happens into this never changing mold you’ve created for them. It really seems like the latter more often than not.

      Agreed with mj its getting really reduntant around here. No need to respond that you can post whatever you want steve because I understand and respect that. But the strength of this site has always been the manageable and intelligent nature of the comments section spurned by interesting posts. Now it seems like the same stuff every other day. You are on an island with a lot of your views, and constantly revisiting the same ones over and over is frustrating at least for this reader. The yankees just won the world series, and brian cashman, nick swisher, alex rodriguez, and phil hughes were a part of it, like it or not. That’s a fact, not an opinion.

    26. Raf
      November 24th, 2009 | 2:35 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      In 1998, the Yankees team payroll was less than the team payroll for the Baltimore Orioles. In 2000, the Yankees payroll was only $9 mill more than the Dodgers and $14 mill more than the Mets.

      Top salaries, 1998
      1. Belle (CHW) $10,000,000
      2. Clemens (TOR) $8,550,000
      3. Williams (NYY) $8,300,000
      4. Griffey (SEA) $8,153,667
      5. Gonzalez (TEX) $7,800,000
      6. Martinez (BOS) $7,575,000
      7. Lofton (CLE) $7,550,000
      8. Thomas (CHW) $7,000,000
      9. Mussina (BAL) $6,755,492
      10. Rodriguez (TEX) $6,700,000

      One Yankee (Williams), 4 future Yankees (Clemens, Mussina, Lofton, Rodriguez) on that list. 6 of the 10 were with their original team.

      Top salaries, 2000
      1. Belle (BAL) $12,868,670
      2. Williams (NYY) $12,357,143
      3. Cone (NYY) $12,000,000
      4. Martinez (BOS) $11,500,000
      5. Vaughn (ANA) $11,166,667
      6. Mondesi (TOR) $10,000,000
      Jeter (NYY) $10,000,000
      8. Alvarez (TBD) $9,000,000
      9. Palmeiro (TEX) $8,620,921
      10. Rodriguez (TEX) $8,600,000

      3 Yankees (Williams, Jeter, Cone), 2 future Yankees (Rodriguez, Mondesi). 2 of the 10 were with their original team

      Top salaries, 2009
      1. Rodriguez (NYY) $33,000,000
      2. Jeter (NYY) $21,600,000
      3. Teixeira (NYY) $20,625,000
      4. Ordonez (DET) $18,971,596
      5. Suzuki (SEA) $18,000,000
      Hunter (LAA) $18,000,000
      7. Burnett (NYY) $16,500,000
      8. Sabathia (NYY) $15,285,714
      9. Rivera (NYY) $15,000,000
      Guerrero (LAA) $15,000,000

      6 current Yankees, 3 of which weren’t Yankees before 2009. 4 of the 10 with their original team, 2 of them Yankees (Jeter & Rivera).

      Looks like the number of “highest paid” Yankees has been increasing since 2000.

    27. Corey
      November 24th, 2009 | 2:41 pm

      @ Raf:
      Ya lost me, I don’t think Steve was saying that the payroll was going down.

    28. Raf
      November 24th, 2009 | 3:01 pm

      It was more of an observation that as the years have gone by, salaries/payrolls have increased. And as payroll has increased, there have been more Yankees on those “top 10″ lists.

      Even adjusting for inflation, Belle’s $10M salary would be worth something like $13M+ right now. And that wouldn’t make the top 10 list in 2009.

      It’s interesting to see the teams that were involved; the O’s, Rangers & White Sox really aren’t players anymore, are they?

    29. Corey
      November 24th, 2009 | 3:09 pm

      Raf wrote:

      Even adjusting for inflation, Belle’s $10M salary would be worth something like $13M+ right now. And that wouldn’t make the top 10 list in 2009.

      Doesn’t this help Steve’s argument, though? That the Yankees grossly overpay for other teams top players?

    30. Corey
      November 24th, 2009 | 3:11 pm

      Raf wrote:

      It’s interesting to see the teams that were involved; the O’s, Rangers & White Sox really aren’t players anymore, are they?

      The part, to me, that’s the most interesting is seeing a Tampa player in the top 10 in 2000 (especially since Wilson didn’t play in that year).

    31. Raf
      November 24th, 2009 | 3:38 pm

      Corey wrote:

      Raf wrote:
      Even adjusting for inflation, Belle’s $10M salary would be worth something like $13M+ right now. And that wouldn’t make the top 10 list in 2009.
      Doesn’t this help Steve’s argument, though? That the Yankees grossly overpay for other teams top players?

      Looking @ Fangraphs value rankings (2009 salary in parenthesis);

      Rodriguez: $20.0 ($33M)
      Teix: $23.2M ($20.6M)
      Jeter: $33.4M ($21.6M)
      Rivera: $8.9M (15)
      Burnett: $14M ($16.5M)
      Sabathia: $27M ($15.3M)

      Looks like Alex Rodriguez is the only one who would be grossly overpaid, and he was already a Yankee. The contract he signed after he opted out was similar in pay scale to what he already signed with the Rangers.

      I don’t know about “grossly overpay” but the Yanks have shown that they will take on salary; From the 1998 top 10 list, Clemens, Mondesi & Rodriguez came over in salary relief trades. Mussina signed as a FA after the 2000 season, Lofton signed after the 2003 season.

    32. Corey
      November 24th, 2009 | 3:46 pm

      @ Raf:
      To nitpick, CC actually got 23 mil this year with his bonus, but yea I get your point. I was just pointing out that you weren’t really proving Steve wrong with your statement, that’s all.

      I think one could argue that the Yankees willingness to spend top dollar has driven up the price for most other free agents. This is evidenced by how the market value on a lot of players whom were not on the Yankees radar in the 08-09 offseason dropped drastically.

      On the flip side, the Yankees more recent hush hush strategy could be an attempt to reverse this trend.

      Regardless of the fact of what Cashman has or hasn’t done throughout his regime, the fact that he’s trying to be cautious this offseason should be great news to our ears.

    33. Raf
      November 24th, 2009 | 4:04 pm

      Corey wrote:

      I think one could argue that the Yankees willingness to spend top dollar has driven up the price for most other free agents. This is evidenced by how the market value on a lot of players whom were not on the Yankees radar in the 08-09 offseason dropped drastically.

      That had more to do with the types of players available. The Yankees m.o. from what I can see is that they’ll spend whatever the market will bear. Very rarely do they set the salary bar

    34. #15
      November 24th, 2009 | 4:06 pm

      I’ve been listening for the past several days, weeks, years and decades about the Yankees’ spending habits. To me, the conversation has always been upside down. It’s not how much the Yankees spend, but rather that other teams, with the same or similar revenue potential/market opportunities (like the Mets, the Dodgers, the Angels, the Cubs, the Botox, the White Sox, the Phillies (5th largest city in the country), the Astro’s (4th largest city in the country) and other large cities with only one MLB team), why do they fail to generate the dough the Yankees do and/or, if they are making that kind of money, why do they fail to plow it back into their organizations? I’m the last person to suggest the Yankees aren’t different from the others in this group. They are. But what makes them different is that they are better businessmen with a higher desire to win. The organizations I listed here have markets that can easily generate the revenue needed for $150-200 million payrolls. But either they don’t sell their product as well, or they prefer to pocket the money rather than plow it into players. Take the Dodgers for example. Before the whole divorce mess, they outdrew the Yankees this year, they have a sweetheart deal on a completely paid-for stadium, they have a huge TV market, tremendous revenue from parking and concession sales, etc….and yet they don’t turn that income into a higher payroll that could improve their chances of winning. They should have easily been able to offer CC a similar deal for example. The same questions apply to some of the “smaller markets”. The Rockies and Toronto have, in the past, put 4,000,000 fannies in the seats in a given year. The fan base is (or was) there. The Yankees maximize their revenue from their fans through their great legacy, their smarts in building YES, and, most importantly, by spending money to try to keep a very competitive team on the field. Boras is chipping away at this concept when he points out that teams like Pittsburg make $60-70 million before they start selling tickets, yet their payroll is well below that mark. Baseball missed a huge angle on their business when the instituted the luxury tax. If they were going down that path, they should have required a salary floor, and put an attendance minimum to qualify for the tax (say 85-90% of the league average). That would have forced owners to get fans in the seats, forced fans to support their teams or shut the hell up, and kept owners from taking my hard earned money (spent supporting the Yankees) and sticking it in their pockets.

      Now… How Cashman and the rest of the Yankee brass spend this money is fair game for scrutiny, to an extent. They are willing to take a chance on an older player or an Igawa, because they also know they are willing to dig into their wallets and correct a mistake. Three cheers for them and us as fans.

    35. GDH
      November 24th, 2009 | 4:26 pm

      #15 wrote:

      It’s not how much the Yankees spend, but rather that other teams, with the same or similar revenue potential/market opportunities (like the Mets, the Dodgers, the Angels, the Cubs, the Botox, the White Sox, the Phillies (5th largest city in the country), the Astro’s (4th largest city in the country) and other large cities with only one MLB team), why do they fail to generate the dough the Yankees do and/or, if they are making that kind of money, why do they fail to plow it back into their organizations?

      Well said #15. And to further illustrate that point, let’s use the Yankees and any other team on that list above and look at last offseason. A bunch made the playoffs and the Phillies went all the way. Yet with one of the best free agent markets available last offseason, how is it that the Yankees (Cashman) was able to get ALL of the top 3? Where were these teams in any of those negotiations? I can understand why they might not spend $200 million, but what about 10 extra sheckles to make sure Texiera stays? The Angels could have locked up Tex – and they should have. I don’t fault Cashman for paying what it took to sign him, I fault the others for not getting it done.

    36. Corey
      November 24th, 2009 | 4:26 pm

      Raf wrote:

      That had more to do with the types of players available. The Yankees m.o. from what I can see is that they’ll spend whatever the market will bear. Very rarely do they set the salary bar

      Precisely, if the Yankees don’t need that type of player, the agents can’t play the Yankee name into scoring their clients a higher pay day.

      I disagree with the very rarely do they set the salary bar point, however. You can look at A-Rod, Mariano, CC (even tho his extra $$ were “bonus’” it still made him the top paid SP)

    37. Raf
      November 24th, 2009 | 5:11 pm

      Corey wrote:

      I disagree with the very rarely do they set the salary bar point, however. You can look at A-Rod, Mariano, CC (even tho his extra $$ were “bonus’” it still made him the top paid SP)

      Rodriguez’s contract was a byproduct of the one he signed with the Rangers. He wasn’t going to get a paycut after the season he had. Mariano’s going to get his money, he’s the best closer of all time. CC’s contract, all you have to do is look at Zito’s & Santana’s contracts to see why he got what he did.

    38. #15
      November 24th, 2009 | 5:42 pm

      Botox missed A-Rod by, what, 10 million over 7 years? When he opted out, I do think the Yankees overpaid him. Botox also missed Tex by, what 10 million over 8 years? Raf is right about the Zito and Santana contracts raising the bar.

    39. GDH
      November 24th, 2009 | 7:04 pm

      @ #15:
      Exactly! Why did Theo draw a line in the sand for Damon and let him go to the Yankees? It was a difference of a few million a year, for what many in the fan base viewed as one of their franchise players. What it comes down to – how badly do you need/want the player? Not that much? Okay we’ll take him then. The Yankees put their money where their mouth is. That’s their style. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. This past year it worked perfectly.

    40. McMillan
      October 23rd, 2013 | 12:05 pm

      MJ wrote:

      Cashman does a pretty solid job of laying in the weeds (Bubba Crosby’s our CF; Nick Swisher’s our 1B) and then striking at the last second.

      LOL!

      When can we all expect Brian “The Stalking Horse” Cashman to strike next? Scherzer might be a free agent in 2015.

      These archives are priceless…

    41. Kamieniecki
      October 23rd, 2013 | 10:02 pm

      McMillan wrote:

      When can we all expect Brian “The Stalking Horse” Cashman to strike next?

      It should be a big one – Cashman’s been lying in the weeds, and preparing to strike, for years now…

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