Via Dom Amore -
In breaking down the Yankees 2010 season, Brian Cashman told reporters “I didn’t have a good winter.”
Cashman and Joe Girardi spoke to reporters at Yankee Stadium on Monday, a season-wrap up meeting. Both spoke as if Girardi’s return is a given. Cashman will meet with Girardi’s agent today.
Last winter, Cashman altered the Yankees’ championship team, allowing Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui to leave as free agents, trading Melky Cabrera for Javier Vazquez and top prospect Austin Jackson in a deal for Curtis Granderson.
“Some of the players I brought in didn’t benefit us as much as I’d expected,” Cashman said, “and some didn’t benefit us at all.”
Cashman said he thought Vazquez, “pitching at the back of our rotation,” would work out better than in 2004, when Vazquez was a bust as the Yankees’ No. 2 starter. Vazquez pitched well from mid-May to mid-August, but a series of poor starts against contending teams, Cashman said, may have shook his confidence and the Yankees’ confidence in him. Vazquez was out of the rotation in September and left off the post-season roster.
Cashman said he made Damon “the best offer on the market,” but when Damon turned it down he moved on. By then, Matsui had already signed, so Cashman went to what he called “Plan C,” Nick Johnson, who injured his wrist early in the season and never played much.
Among other off-season acquisitions, Randy Winn and Chan Ho Park proved to be little help. In midseason, Cashman acquired Kerry Wood, Lance Berkman and Austin Kearns. Wood helped a great deal, Berkman marginally, Kearns not muct at all.
Granderson, who hit 24 homers and performed reasonably well in the post-season, did benefit the Yankees.
Cashman noted that two years ago, the free agent class was loaded and the Yankees had more than $100 million in salary coming off their roster. So the moves for CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and A.J. Burnett were made. Last year, it was a sparse free agent class.
And, via Mark Feinsand –
The Yankees made some big moves last winter, bringing in veterans Javier Vazquez, Nick Johnson and Curtis Granderson to help defend their World Series title.
The Granderson trade worked out, but Cashman admitted Monday that the Vazquez and Johnson moves blew up in his face.
“I didn’t have a great winter last year,” the general manager said. “A lot of the things I wound up doing didn’t benefit us as much as I wish they would. Some didn’t benefit at all.”
Cashman made some solid moves at the trade deadline, adding reliever Kerry Wood and DH Lance Berkman before July 31. Both players have expensive options for 2011 – Berkman’s is for $15 million while Wood’s is for $11 million – while Johnson also has an option for $5.5 million.
“I think they’re all such large numbers, that we wouldn’t be picking up options for anybody off the top of my head,” Cashman said when asked if he would pick up any of the options. “But I have to sit down and go through it and talk to ownership. But my initial thought is they’re all pretty obvious.”
I said it yesterday and I’ll say it again today. It’s great to see Cashman own up to his failures as a General Manager. And, let’s hope this is the last time he needs to do that. Or, at the least, let’s hope we don’t need to hear this from him too many more times.