Following up on M.J.’s excellent post “Cliff Lee To Yankees: The Deal That Wasn’t,” note why Brian Cashman would not include Eduardo Nunez or Ivan Nova in a revised deal for Cliff Lee – via John Harper of the Daily News -
This is what Brian Cashman feared back in July. This is why he was willing to give up the Yankees’ best hitting prospect, Jesus Montero, because he saw the possibility of Cliff Lee standing between his team and another World Series.
At the time he didn’t know it would be the Rangers. It could have been the Twins or the Rays who made a deal for Lee, and chances he would have had a similar impact for them.
“I knew that anybody who was going to make a play for him was playing for October,” Cashman said before the Rangers eliminated the Yankees from the postseason with a 6-1 victory in Game 6 of the ALCS. “I wouldn’t have made the type of offer that I put on the table if I didn’t think this could happen.”
In the end, Cashman says he ultimately turned down the deal when the Mariners came back to him wanting another of his top prospects, either shortstop Eduardo Nunez or pitcher Ivan Nova, in addition to Montero.
“It was too much for a rental,” Cashman said.
So now that it’s right in his face, you have to wonder if Cashman would make the same decision, knowing what he knows now.
On the field before Game 6 last night, he said yes. Well, sort of.
“You can’t go back,” he said. “I believed what I did was the right thing to do, but I also knew they had a right to move him anywhere they wanted. If it was a contender, you deal with it.”
Yet he decided having Lee for this season was worth Montero and the other player the Mariners first asked for, Triple-A second baseman David Adams – who was on the disabled list at the time with an ankle injury.
“He’d been on the DL for two months,” said Cashman, “and (the Mariners) were bugging me about him for a week. I finally said yes and it turned out they didn’t know he was hurt. They came back and asked for either Nunez or Nova.”
It is still not clear if the Mariners used the Montero offer to get the Rangers to give up Justin Smoak, the switch-hitting first baseman they coveted, but Cashman wouldn’t up the ante.
“We see Nunez as a starting shortstop in the big leagues,” he said, “and Nova as a starting pitcher with great potential. I couldn’t do that for a three-month rental. There was no guarantee what would happen going forward. It was too much to give up for three months.”
…We see Nunez as a starting shortstop in the big leagues and Nova as a starting pitcher with great potential…
Hey, I’m not saying that Cashman is wrong or right here…as…who knows…now? Time will tell on this one. We’ll have to wait and see.