• When Would I Have Fired Brian Cashman?

    Posted by on December 28th, 2010 · Comments (35)

    In case you haven’t noticed, I’m not a raving fan of Brian Cashman’s work as GM of the Yankees. (Please, be clear, I have no issues with Cashman as a person. I would bet that he’s a nice guy. And, this is solely tied to his history of putting together pitching staffs and his overall record as a talent evaluator.)

    Related, this morning, I thought to myself – “How long ago should this guy have been fired?” To answer that question, I think you need to look at his career as Yankees GM. And, in doing that, I believe that there are three distinct sub-eras in the “Cashman as Yankees GM” timeline to consider. These are:

    The Stick/Watson Beneficiary Era (1998-2001)

    As I wrote back in October 1, 2008:

    Brian Cashman became Yankees G.M. on February 28, 1998. And, yes, the Yankees did win rings in 1998, 1999 and 2000. However, when Cashman took over as the head man in charge, the following players were already on the team: Bernie Williams, Mariano Rivera, Paul O’Neill, Derek Jeter, Tino Martinez, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, Mike Stanton, David Cone, Ramiro Mendoza, David Wells, Joe Girardi, Jeff Nelson, Chad Curtis and Darryl Strawberry.

    This group of Yankees was added to the team by Stick Michael and Bob Watson. It was they, and not Cashman, who built a powerhouse entity (via this cadre of players) who went on to win three rings from 1998 through 2000 – and which benefited Brian Cashman when he took over for Watson in 1998.

    Hey, I do give Cashman credit for not screwing up Stick and Watson’s work and allowing the Yankees to reach the World Series four years in a row here. So, clearly, there’s nothing during this period to warrant him being fired.

    The Straw Man GM Era (2002-2005)

    This is a tricky time to assess. Clearly, once Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte left for Houston following 2003, the Yankees pitching went south and Cashman was not up to the task of putting the pieces back together again. But, on the flip side, there were too many cooks in the Yankees kitchen during this time and Cashman was saddled with players like Raul Mondesi, Tony Womack and Jaret Wright that were nothing of his doing. So, here, yes, it was time to be concerned about Cashman’s ability to build a championship team. But, to blame all the Yankees issues on him at this time is not fair.

    The Full Autonomy Era (2006-2010)

    For the skinny here, I refer back to what I wrote on December 27, 2008:

    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.”

    Yup, this is where the Cashman clock starts (for me). And, sans the ring in 2009, it was not a great time for Brian, in my humble opinion – and, I’ll get back to the ring thing in a second too.

    First, what happened from 2006 to 2008 in Yankeeland? Well, in 2006 that Yankees were a team who got body slammed in the first round of the playoffs. And, in 2007, that became a team who didn’t finish first and who got bounced in the first round of the playoffs. And, that became a team in 2008 who didn’t even make the post-season. Clearly, this is not an impressive section of the Cashman resume. The trend line here is all downhill.

    But, what about the World Championship in 2009! Ah, yes, that.

    To me, that ring comes down to the perfect storm of Steinbrenner dollars off-setting prior roster decision mistakes, a very favorable post-season schedule that allowed the Yankees to ride Sabathia and Pettitte, and an inhuman post-season performance from Alex Rodriguez. And, none of those things have anything to do with Brian Cashman being an astute GM of a baseball team.

    Lastly, we all know about the struggles the Yankees had in 2010 with their starting pitching. Also, Cashman as gone on record saying that his roster decisions coming into that season were flawed.

    Getting back to the original question here, in October 2005, the Yankees signed Brian Cashman to a three-year extension to be GM of the Yankees. And, it was after that deal, that I would have let him walk – all things considered, as stated above. After the Yankees finished third in 2008, it would have been the perfect time for a change. But, instead, at the end of September 2008, the Yankees gave Cashman another three year extension.

    Maybe this season will be Brian Cashman’s last year as Yankees GM? If it is, it’s three-years overdue in happening, according to my scorecard.

    Comments on When Would I Have Fired Brian Cashman?

    1. Ryan81
      December 28th, 2010 | 10:36 am

      I think I see the mob coming, torches and pitchforks at the ready…

    2. Corey Italiano
      December 28th, 2010 | 10:44 am

      Ryan81 wrote:

      I think I see the mob coming, torches and pitchforks at the ready…

      I disagree with you…when the argument is logical, I can buy it and accept it. I may disagree with Steve’s assessment of Cashman, but I at least think this is a fair one.

      The times the comments get all unsettled is when there are irrational and illogical aspersions cast.

    3. #15
      December 28th, 2010 | 11:00 am

      I think this is a reasonably fair assessment, but I’d take exception to the “fluke” nature attributed to 2009. And, that one exception slants the picture. Any ring year, on any team, requires a few things to bounce your way. And, they beat a solid Phillies team to do it. I would agree that the 2002 era and beyond has been marked by pitching weakness and inconsistency, and that Cashman deserves his share (perhaps the largest share) of the blame in that regard. Young pitchers (Hughes aside) didn’t pan out like he’d forecast, and many of the trade and FA moves were fair to poor. 2011 might be a tipping point for gauging Cashman’s reign and the early odds are that it won’t be too favorable. There are easily 4 or 5 teams in the majors that are better set up than the Yankees going into the season. But, a healthy Andy Pettitte back in pinstripes basically returns a team that won 95 games last year. Cashman should be living in Deer Park right now. Maybe a call from one of the Little Steins would help. Yes the Botox circa 2011 are tougher, but the Rays are weaker. Nova/Mitre? Hard to think they could be much worse than Javy. AJ 2011? Hard to believe he could be worse than AJ 2010. We are probably marginally better at catcher than we’ve been. Other than Cano somewhat, maybe Swisher, and perhaps Hughes to a degree, we should easily get what we got out of the rest of the squad last year without too much of a stretch. I think there are some opportunities to improve the pen and Cashman should take them. I’d fault the Cashman and the front office for not making a stronger personal appeal to K-Wood. Seems like emotions ended up mattering a whole lot to him. Hanging around until the trade deadline for a decent starter is about all Cash can do at this point. I would fault Cashman for not having alternatives better lined up in the event Lee didn’t work out. I think he did the right think on Crawford. CC is a very good player, but is he worth 19.5 million more than Gardner? Betting no was not that unwise.

    4. rankdog
      December 28th, 2010 | 11:47 am

      I have read a lot of your stuff over time and you have gone to great lengths to discredit Cashman and build your case against him. For all the lengths you have gone there are two major flaws in your case.

      1) The numbers speak against you. The four year period you have used to evaluate Cashman have 2006 to 2010 the following things have happened. The farm system has gotten stronger, younger players from the farm system have been integrated into the system (Phil, Joba, Cano, Robertson, Gardner, Wang (until he broke down)). The Yankees are one of the winningest teams during those 4 years, they have 1 World Series title (although you have tried to rationalize it), they have made the playoffs 3 out 4 of those years (again you tried to rationalize it), payroll has been lowered. You can try to rationalize those things away but the fact remains they are still facts.

      2) You discredit Brian based advantages he has but fail to recognize or acknowledge the unique circumstances that the Yankee job entails. This is a major flaw in your evaluation in nearly every pieces you put up on this blog. The Yankee’s revenue advantage is dependent on winning. The Yankees do not get “bridge years” they aren’t allowed to ignore stars on the market to keep high round draft picks. The Yankees are in win now and always mode. You acknowledge this much be basing your case on the fact that Cashman hasn’t won the world series as your strongest point. Who would you rate as a better GM? Theo missed the playoffs twice since he took control, many questionable high prices signings, and many over valued prospects. Brian Sabean? 3 world series appearances in the last 3 decades despite playing in a watered down league. Kevin Towers? One world series appearance again watered down league. Friedman? 3 good years after several historically bad ones. Several top 5 picks and they still missed on some. (Nielman over Pedroia, Weaver, Hughes) None of these guys outside of Theo deal with the expectations Cashman does.

      Is Cashman perfect? Obviously not. Would most fans trade places with the Yankees over the last 10 years or even the last 4? I venture to say most fan-bases would. The grass isn’t always greener. But I suppose a scapegoat is needed if we don’t win a WS ever year and promote a superstar each spring.

    5. Evan3457
      December 28th, 2010 | 11:55 am

      Too much to rebut, and I have too little time and energy right now.

      The argument: Team failure is Cashman failure. Team success is a lucky fluke, based on spending Steinbrenner dollars.

      Hell of an argument.

    6. MJ Recanati
      December 28th, 2010 | 12:11 pm

      @ Evan3457:
      Don’t forget that the argument boils down to the 2006-2008 seasons only. According to Steve, Cashman deserved to be fired only after this three year period when the Yankees made the playoffs twice and only missed the playoffs in 2008 because the offense — not the pitching — woefully underperformed.

      If playoff failure in 2006 and 2007 was exclusively Cashman’s fault then I suppose he’s a bad GM for not having predicted that Randy Johnson and Mike Mussina (2006) and Chien-Ming Wang (2007) would fail to pitch to the level expected of them or that Joe Torre would make a handful of errors over those two playoff series that adversely impacted the team.

      I’ll give Steve credit for the tone of this column; it wasn’t the usual hysterics. But, his own opinion aside — one to which he is enitrely entitled to — the argument breaks down if you actually distill it down to some of its supporting parts.

    7. GDH
      December 28th, 2010 | 1:52 pm

      So although Steve would have fired him after 3 “autonomous” seasons, if I’m Cashman, I say why me? Why now? Although winning the WS every year is surely the Yanks mandate, everyone understands that it’s totally unrealistic. Make the playoffs. Anything can happen. Yanks in 2000, Red Sox in 04, Phils in 08, Yanks in 09, and most of all Giants last year had tons of things go their way. The Giants?! They couldn’t hit their way out of a paper sack, but they made the playoffs and all of the sudden they’re slapping Cliff Lee all over the yard. Because Brian Sabean is a whiz? C’mon, the fans out here have had his neck in a noose every single year until this one, and even this one, until he made some good pickups mid-season – AND they got hot at the right time.

      Making the post season must be the barometer, and Cashman’s team is in the post season every year but one. And that year could easily be attributed to injuries and a woefully underperforming offense. Why fire him? Would you tell his replacement, we fired that dog Cashman because he only got us one ring the past five years? No pressure…

    8. MJ Recanati
      December 28th, 2010 | 2:00 pm

      GDH wrote:

      Would you tell his replacement, we fired that dog Cashman because he only got us one ring the past five years? No pressure

      Acutally, according to Steve, Cashman should’ve been fired after the 2008 season so the next GM’s mandate wouldn’t have been to do better than one World Series every five years but to make the playoffs each year in a three year period.

    9. Raf
      December 28th, 2010 | 2:24 pm

      Corey Italiano wrote:

      The times the comments get all unsettled is when there are irrational and illogical aspersions cast.

      They’re still there, as well as in the entries that have been linked… At any rate;

      “Regardless, one would think that if the organization was so dysfunctional, that if Cashman was so clueless @ talent evaluation, that it would’ve taken a lot longer than 2008 for the Yanks to finally miss the playoffs. If it were so easy to build a championship team, then how come the Angels, Tigers, and Indians (who’ve bounced the Yanks in the first round) haven’t done it?”

      “The pitchers you gave Cashman a “gold star” for acquiring have failed in the playoffs.”

      “Given that both Sox, Cardinals, Diamondbacks and Marlins have recently won the World Series, I’d say there are quite a few GM’s that are clueless in terms of winning championships.
      If building a championship team’s a repeatable skill, why didn’t the Red Sox repeat in 05? Why didn’t the White Sox repeat in 06?”

      “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.”

      So on and so forth…

    10. GDH
      December 28th, 2010 | 5:06 pm

      Raf wrote:

      the Yanks were in a position to win

      And this is all you can ask from a GM – to put the team in a position to win. I believe that Cshman has done that, and continues to do that, so I would not fire Cashman.

    11. GDH
      December 28th, 2010 | 5:08 pm

      If you were the owner and wanted to change the Yankees overall strategy and M.O. then I would consider replacing him. But the Yankees have no intention of changing from being win now, so replacing Cashman would appear to be a negatove move

    12. KPOcala
      December 28th, 2010 | 7:08 pm

      Steve, is it fair to blame Cashman for Hank re-signing A-Rod? Were Cashman’s actions changed drastically after said signing? Come on, be fair, Cashman has the tiger by the tail and I don’t think that anyone else could have played it much better. Even The Genius of Fenway makes plenty of mistakes, and he has some pretty deep gold sand in his playpen…

    13. KPOcala
      December 28th, 2010 | 7:09 pm

      @ rankdog:
      Rankdog, you nailed it…

    14. December 28th, 2010 | 11:42 pm

      I would have fired Brian after the 2007 season. That said, the future is really what is important now. I don’t think Brian is a strong enough talent evaluator. And that is what the Yankees are going to need to avoid a 1965-1975, 1982-93 type run. The Yankees need someone who can see a bargain on the free agent market; can spot that 25th man on another team’s roster who is a potential star being wasted. This season has disaster written all over it, the fix is not going to be easy and it may in fact take several years. Brian in charge would just prolong what will be a difficult process for us all. The earlier the family begins a low profile search for his replacement the better.

    15. Ryan81
      December 29th, 2010 | 12:51 am

      Joseph Maloney wrote:

      Brian in charge would just prolong what will be a difficult process for us all. The earlier the family begins a low profile search for his replacement the better.

      That actually brings up a good point: when people cite Cashman’s strength to “navigate the Yankees political system,” in my humble opinion he really seems to just cover his own ass. Bringing in a complete outsider as a breath of fresh air to the front office wouldn’t hurt the Yankees. In my opinion, it might help them to bring in either an old school baseball guy (i.e. what the Mets did with Sandy Alderson) or try to pry away Beane/Shapiro/one of their trusted advisers straight out of the Ivies who actually has some experience dealing with a budget. Cashman didn’t really have that baseball lifer background like the guy he came through the ropes under (Gene Michael) and only recently was considered a “new age, sabermetrics” GM. I think that either avenue the Yankees choose, a new GM can’t go that wrong with the resources that they’ll be given.

    16. MJ Recanati
      December 29th, 2010 | 9:42 am

      Joseph Maloney wrote:

      I don’t think Brian is a strong enough talent evaluator.

      According to Steve, Cashman doesn’t get credit for any of the drafting or scouting finds because he doesn’t oversee that part of the organization. As such, there should be no worries about Cashman’s deficit in the talent evaluation arena since, apparently, he’s got nothing to do with it. In other words, crisis averted.

      Joseph Maloney wrote:

      And that is what the Yankees are going to need to avoid a 1965-1975, 1982-93 type run

      The Yankees farm system was in far, far worse shape from 2000-2005 and yet they managed to make the playoffs in every single season of the decade save 2008. In other words, the Yankees don’t risk going on a 10-year playoff drought like those teams because the economics of baseball have changed from ’65-’75 and because Cashman is better at his job than previous Yankee GM’s were during the ’80′s (not to mention, Steinbrenner’s demise removed a majority of the dysfunction in the organization).

      Joseph Maloney wrote:

      The Yankees need someone who can see a bargain on the free agent market

      The reason players are bargains on the free agent market is because they’re coming off terrible seasons. Aubrey Huff is the best and most recent example of this. The Giants took a piece of crap and threw it at the wall. It happened to stick for them. The Yankees, along with most other teams, follow the same approach. The odds of turning a piece of crap into a 5.9 bWAR player (after coming off a -0.8 bWAR season) are fairly slim.

      Joseph Maloney wrote:

      season has disaster written all over it

      After the Yankees let Matsui and Damon go, traded for Granderson and brought back Vazquez, you spent the whole 2010 season saying the same thing. Yet, somehow, the Yankees made it to the ALCS. It’s a lot easier to predict disaster than it is to see silver linings and shades of gray. All due respect but you share the same pessimistic gene as Steve and it doesn’t serve either of you particularly well.

    17. Jim TreshFan
      December 29th, 2010 | 12:49 pm
    18. Corey Italiano
      December 29th, 2010 | 12:56 pm

      @ Jim TreshFan:
      Meh that was just filler. They even admit it in the beginning of the article.

      I love all the fools that come out of the woodwork beating this drum but don’t have any plans of their own with what to do with the roster.

      What did they want the Yanks to give Lee? A 10 year deal worth 300 mil?

    19. Corey Italiano
      December 29th, 2010 | 12:57 pm

      Then, lets say they did throw an even bigger boat at Lee. Then they’d all harp on how Cashman doesn’t know what he’s doing, and that he only throw Steinbrenner dollars at problems.

      I’m all for criticism of Cashman as long as it’s reasonable. Lose-lose situations are not reasonable.

    20. Jim TreshFan
      December 29th, 2010 | 1:19 pm

      @ Corey Italiano:
      Lee could’ve been offered 12 years at $500 million and he wouldn’t have bit on it. He just flat out didn’t want to pitch for the Yankees—for whatever reason. All the same, though, Cashman has not had a good offseason.

    21. MJ Recanati
      December 29th, 2010 | 1:50 pm

      Jim TreshFan wrote:

      Lee could’ve been offered 12 years at $500 million and he wouldn’t have bit on it. He just flat out didn’t want to pitch for the Yankees—for whatever reason.

      I challenge anyone to definitively prove this statement. Since we don’t know Cliff Lee’s mind, there’s no point in assuming that Lee didn’t want to pitch for the Yankees under any circumstances. All we know is that he didn’t want to pitch for the Yankees given what Philadelphia was willing to offer him.

      Jim TreshFan wrote:

      All the same, though, Cashman has not had a good offseason.

      The line between “good” and “not good” is merely Cliff Lee. Thus, it seems like no one would be complaining had Lee signed with the Yankees. I’m having a hard time seeing where else Cashman has come up short this winter. Crawford and Werth were not viable alternatives, the Yankees internally decided to avoid Greinke and spending a lot of loot on relief pitching is the fastest way to throw money away and clog up your roster.

      The Yankees haven’t gotten better this winter. But they haven’t gotten worse either. They’ve stayed the same while their biggest division rivals (Rays/Boston) have changed places around them.

    22. December 29th, 2010 | 1:53 pm

      Where do I begin? I’ll address the comments at the end of the post related to the 2010 season. I’ll also suggest we spin the rest of the discussion off to a separate thread (maybe New Year’s weekend if we are all up to it), kind of a state of the Yankees going into 2011.

      I plead guilty to hating the Vazquez deal. I was also against bringing Nick Johnson back. Granderson worked out better than I expected, although going into August he was a major bust. I’d like to see him do it over the course of a full season. As far as Damon and Matsui
      are concerned, I wanted to bring one or the other back, since Damon could still play a little outfield I would have chosen him. Gardner played better than I expected. Gardner pushes himself to get the maximum out of his ability and you have to admre that in anyone. That said, to me he is as good as he is ever going to be, now is the time to look for a deal. Overall the Yankees were helped by Boston’s injury riddled season and with that they still dropped from first place to wild card. The Yanks were fortunate to draw their punching bag opponent, the Twins, but look at the Texas series. The Yanks were a game one 8th inning Texas meltdown away from being swept. Considering the fact that they were the defending World Champs, I didn’t think 2010 was much to crow about. I didn’t think Cashman had a good winter last year and I said it then; you know who agreed with me, Cashman that’s who. Cashman admitted this in an interview done after the 2010 season.

    23. MJ Recanati
      December 29th, 2010 | 2:20 pm

      Joseph Maloney wrote:

      I plead guilty to hating the Vazquez deal.

      Vazquez didn’t work out but I think a lot of the hatred was based on non-baseball related reasoning which is never a good way to look at something. I hated Vazquez in 2004 too. He irritated me. But the trade to acquire him was sound and it cost absolutely no pieces from the 2009 defending champs that were of any consequence. In the best case scenario, the Yankees would’ve gotten 200 innings of league-average (or better) pitching. In the worst case scenario, they got 150 innings that were about as poor as the innings that came from Mitre/Gaudin/Wang in 2009.

      Joseph Maloney wrote:

      I was also against bringing Nick Johnson back.

      As was I. I hated that move.

      Joseph Maloney wrote:

      Granderson worked out better than I expected, although going into August he was a major bust.

      That’s why you don’t judge a trade in August but in November, after the season is over. Even while Granderson was slumping offensively in the first half, he was still playing better defense than Melky Cabrera and Johnny Damon would’ve played for the team. Thus, even without providing offense until the second half, Granderson was already paying dividends.

      Joseph Maloney wrote:

      As far as Damon and Matsui
      are concerned, I wanted to bring one or the other back, since Damon could still play a little outfield I would have chosen him.

      I wanted Damon back too. I thought the Yankees could’ve waited him out. In retrospect, however, the Yankees didn’t miss him at all and I’m glad they let him walk. Matsui had no defensive position and thus had no place on the team.

      Joseph Maloney wrote:

      Gardner played better than I expected. Gardner pushes himself to get the maximum out of his ability and you have to admre that in anyone. That said, to me he is as good as he is ever going to be, now is the time to look for a deal.

      Ditto. I had no faith in Gardner going into 2010. I wouldn’t be averse to trading Gardner at the presumable peak of his value but the reality is that the hole created in LF would be problematic. There are no viable starting OF candidates out there in free agency so there’s no sense in trading Gardner on the fear that he may plateau (or regress) offensively. As with Granderson, Gardner’s defense provides tremendous value to the team on its on merits.

      Joseph Maloney wrote:

      Overall the Yankees were helped by Boston’s injury riddled season and with that they still dropped from first place to wild card.

      One thing has nothing to do with the other. Boston had a bad year because their two most expensive pitchers — Beckett and Lackey — had poor seasons. That Boston finished third has nothing to do with Joe Girardi’s peculiar managerial decisions in the season’s final month. The Yankees could’ve, and probably should’ve, won the AL East. Girardi simply chose to focus on other priorities.

      Joseph Maloney wrote:

      The Yanks were a game one 8th inning Texas meltdown away from being swept.

      It’s very hard to assume that everything else will unfold the same way even if the Yankees had lost Game 1 of the ALCS. Lucky breaks happen. The Yankees got lucky in Game 1. Texas got lucky along the way too. It’s a moot point anyhow.

      Joseph Maloney wrote:

      Considering the fact that they were the defending World Champs, I didn’t think 2010 was much to crow about.

      Just going back to 2000, here are the defending champs and how they fared the following season:

      2000 Yankees in 2001: Lost World Series in 7 games
      2001 Diamondbacks in 2002: Lost NLDS in 3 games
      2002 Angels in 2003: Missed playoffs
      2003 Marlins in 2004: Missed playoffs
      2004 Red Sox in 2005: Lost ALDS in 3 games
      2005 White Sox in 2006: Missed playoffs
      2006 Cardinals in 2007: Missed playoffs
      2007 Red Sox in 2008: Lost ALCS in 7 games
      2008 Phillies in 2009: Lost World Series in 6 games
      2009 Yankees in 2010: Lost ALCS in 6 games

      Looks to me like the only teams that did better as defending champs were the 2008 Red Sox and 2009 Phillies. The 2010 Yankees have nothing to be ashamed of, certainly not under the framework of your specific criticism.

    24. MJ Recanati
      December 29th, 2010 | 2:23 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Looks to me like the only teams that did better as defending champs were the 2008 Red Sox and 2009 Phillies.

      Correction, the only teams that did better as defending champs since 2000 were the ’01 Yankees, ’08 Red Sox and ’09 Phillies. The final point stands, however.

    25. redbug
      December 29th, 2010 | 3:08 pm

      Sounds like most of you are defending Cashman by saying he’s put winning teams together who all, save one, made it to the postseason. Agreed. The same could be said for Joe Torre. Only difference is his teams all made it to the postseason.

    26. Evan3457
      December 29th, 2010 | 4:24 pm

      redbug wrote:

      Sounds like most of you are defending Cashman by saying he’s put winning teams together who all, save one, made it to the postseason. Agreed. The same could be said for Joe Torre. Only difference is his teams all made it to the postseason.

      Joe Torre’s job description does not include “putting the team together”. It’s probably a good thing, too.

    27. MJ Recanati
      December 29th, 2010 | 4:50 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Joe Torre’s job description does not include “putting the team together”. It’s probably a good thing, too.

      Agreed.

    28. Raf
      December 29th, 2010 | 5:36 pm

      redbug wrote:

      Sounds like most of you are defending Cashman by saying he’s put winning teams together who all, save one, made it to the postseason.

      The thing is, that if Cashman was such a terrible GM, if the Yankees were so dysfunctional, then he would not have been able to have a run like the one he had. While I can appreciate wanting to build a statue for Messrs Michael and Watson the fact remains that the teams they “built” blew a 2-0 series lead in 95, and weren’t able to escape the first round after winning the 96 series. And both GM’s made questionable moves, and cashed in on the Steinbrenner checkbook in the process.

      Cashman may not be the greatest GM (and to be honest, I don’t know anyone who has said he is), but he’s hardly the dunce he’s made out to be.

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Cashman is better at his job than previous Yankee GM’s were during the ’80′s (not to mention, Steinbrenner’s demise removed a majority of the dysfunction in the organization).

      Don’t underestimate the role collusion had played during the 80′s. While he did throw money @ FA’s during the collusion period (Jack Clark being a notable example), I’m sure there were a lot more players that the Yanks could and would’ve landed (Jack Morris? Carlton Fisk?) had Stein had his druthers.

      Joseph Maloney wrote:

      This season has disaster written all over it, the fix is not going to be easy and it may in fact take several years.

      As long as there is free agency, that won’t happen.

    29. MJ Recanati
      December 29th, 2010 | 10:46 pm

      Raf wrote:

      Don’t underestimate the role collusion had played during the 80′s. While he did throw money @ FA’s during the collusion period (Jack Clark being a notable example), I’m sure there were a lot more players that the Yanks could and would’ve landed (Jack Morris? Carlton Fisk?) had Stein had his druthers.

      I’m sure there’s a degree of validity to your theory although, given Steinbrenner’s penchant for spending and for being his own man (a maverick relative to the stodgy baseball establishment, one could say), why would he have gone along with collusion? He was already comfortable within the confines of free agency spending (Gossage, Jackson, Winfield, Whitson) so why would he suddenly collude?

      Not saying you’re wrong, it just seems a bit incongruous to me.

    30. Raf
      December 29th, 2010 | 11:24 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      He was already comfortable within the confines of free agency spending (Gossage, Jackson, Winfield, Whitson) so why would he suddenly collude?

      Perhaps pressure from the other owners? I do remember the Yankees having interest in Morris and Fisk, and they had a problem signing Guidry in 1987. I remember reading in Lords of the Realm, that Jack Clark fell in their laps; they weren’t expecting to sign him. Neither did the Cardinals, apparently, but Clark took the deal before the Cards could respond.

    31. December 31st, 2010 | 10:49 am

      Someone emailed me this, rather than post it here. So, I thought I would copy and paste their message here. Again, everything below the line is their words/comments, not mine.

      ____________________________________

      Looking at Cashman’s reign since 2005 it reveals that he truly is a “cash man” using Yankee money to make the majority of his moves. Thebest free agents he signed were Johnny Damon, CC and Tex which helped him win his only championship of the 2000s. Using the money he was able to resign most of the team’s free agents since 05 except for the dreaded winter of 09 when he decided to let them all go (Damon, Matsui, Molina, Hairston and Hinske). His best trades were for Bobby Abreu and Nick Swisher and even those two transactions involved taking on big contracts especially Abreu’s. He used the farm system (Ajax, Kennedy, Ohlendorf, Melky, Vizcaino, Karstens, Tabata, Coke, Melancon, McAllister, etc.) to acquire players and promote them to the majors (Hughes, Joba, Cano, Wang, Gardner, Robertson, Cervelli, Pena, etc.) although again many players in the system were drafted or signed over slot using more money. It’s not that impressive when you look at the list of transactions and if you want to; here are the high and low lights:

      Brian Cashman

      Free Agent Signings

      12/2/05 Signed free agent RHP Kyle Farnsworth to a three-year contract.

      12/15/05 Signed LHP Mike Myers to a two-year contract.

      12/23/05 Signed free agent OF Johnny Damon to a four-year contract.

      12/29/05 Signed free agent RHP Octavio Dotel to a one-year contract.

      12/21/06 Signed LHP Andy Pettitte to a one-year contract.

      12/22/06 Signed INF Juan Miranda to a four-year contract.

      12/27/06 Signed LHP Kei Igawa to a five-year contract.

      1/5/06 Signed INF Miguel Cairo to a one-year contract.

      5/20/06 Signed RHP Brian Bruney to a minor league contract.

      7/14/06 Signed RHP Sidney Ponson to a one-year contract.

      1/5/07 Signed 1B Doug Mientkiewicz to a one-year contract.

      5/6/07 Signed RHP Roger Clemens to a minor League contract.

      10/31/07 Signed Joe Girardi to a three-year contract as manager.

      12/27/07 Signed RHP LaTroy Hawkins to a one-year contract.

      11/3/08 Signed RHP Sergio Mitre to a one-year contract.

      12/18/08 Signed LHP CC Sabathia to a seven-year contract.

      12/18/08 Signed RHP A.J. Burnett to a five-year contract.

      1/6/09 Signed 1B Mark Teixeira to an eight-year contract.

      12/23/09 Signed DH/1B Nick Johnson to a one-year contract.

      02/02/10 Signed LF Randy Winn to a one-year contract.

      02/08/10 Signed OF Marcus Thames to a minor league contract.

      02/16/10 Signed free agent RHP Dustin Moseley to a minor league contract.

      02/28/10 Signed free agent RHP Chan Ho Park to a one-year contract.

      12/15/10 Signed RHP Mark Prior to minor league contract.

      12/16/10 Signed C Russell Martin to a one-year contract.

      Re-signed

      11/15/05 Re-signed OF Hideki Matsui on a four-year contract.

      12/22/05 Re-signed OF Bernie Williams to a one-year contract

      11/27/06 Resigned RHP Mike Mussina to a two-year contract.

      1/26/07 Re-signed INF Miguel Cairo to a one-year contract.

      11/29/07 Re-signed C Jorge Posada to a four-year contract.

      12/17/07 Re-signed RHP Mariano Rivera to a three-year contract.

      12/12/07 Re-Signed LHP Andy Pettitte to a one-year contract.

      12/3/07 Re-Signed C Jose Molina to a two-year contract.

      12/13/07 Re-Signed 3B Alex Rodriguez to a 10-year contract.

      1/18/08 Re-Signed IF Wilson Betemit to a one-year contract.

      2/7/08 Re-Signed 2B Robinson Cano to a four-year contract with two one-year club options.

      11/12/08 Re-signed LHP Damaso Marte to a three-year contract with a club option for 2012.

      12/22/08 Re-signed RHP Chien-Ming Wang to a one-year contract.

      1/26/09 Re-signed LHP Andy Pettitte to a one-year contract.

      12/09/09 Re-signed LHP Andy Pettitte on a one-year contract.

      10/29/10 Re-signed Manager Joe Girardi to a three-year contract.

      12/03/10 Re-signed RHP Sergio Mitre on a one-year contract.

      12/07/10 re-signed RHP Mariano Rivera to a two-year contract

      12/07/10 Re-signed SS Derek Jeter to a three-year contract.

      Didn’t Resign

      2006 – RHP Octavio Dotel to the Kansas City Royals

      2006 – OF Bernie Williams

      2008 – OF Bobby Abreu to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

      2009 – OF Johnny Damon to the Detroit Tigers

      2009 – INF/OF Jerry Hairston, Jr. to the San Diego Padres

      2009 – OF Eric Hinske to the Atlanta Braves

      2009 – DH Hideki Matsui to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

      2009 – Jose Molina to the Toronto Blue Jays

      2010 – Kerry Wood to the Chicago Cubs

      Trades

      11/12/06 Acquired RHP Chris Britton from Baltimore for RHP Jaret Wright and cash considerations.

      11/10/06 Acquired RHPs Humberto Sanchez, Kevin Whelan and Anthony Claggett from the Detroit Tigers in exchange for OF Gary Sheffield.

      12/16/05 Acquired LHP Ron Villone from the Marlins for LHP Ben Julianel.

      7/30/06 Acquired OF Bobby Abreu and RHP Cory Lidle from the Philadelphia Phillies for SS C.J. Henry, LHP Matt Smith, C Jesus Sanchez and RHP Carlos Monasterios.

      7/31/06 Acquired OF Craig Wilson from the Pittsburgh Pirates for RHP Shawn Chacon.

      1/9/07 Acquired RHP Luis Vizcaino, RHP Ross Ohlendorf, RHP Steven Jackson and SS Alberto Gonzalez for LHP Randy Johnson and cash considerations.

      7/22/07 Acquired C Jose Molina from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for RHP Jeff Kennard.

      7/31/07 Acquired INF Wilson Betemit from the Los Angeles Dodgers for RHP Scott Proctor.

      12/5/07 Acquired RHP Jonathan Albaladejo from the Washington Nationals in exchange for RHP Tyler Clippard.

      7/30/08 Acquired C Ivan Rodriguez from the Detroit Tigers for RHP Kyle Farnsworth; Acquired INF Matt Cusick from the Houston Astros for RHP LaTroy Hawkins and cash considerations.

      7/26/08 Acquired OF Xavier Nady and LHP Damaso Marte from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for RHPs Jeff Karstens, Daniel McCutchen, Ross Ohlendorf and OF Jose Tabata.

      7/31/08 Acquired RHP Jhonny Nunez from the Washington Nationals in exchange for SS Alberto Gonzalez.

      11/13/08 Acquired INF/OF Nick Swisher and RHP Kanekoa Texeira from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for INF Wilson Betemit and RHPs Jeff Marquez and Jhonny Nunez.

      06/30/09 Acquired RF Eric Hinske from the Pittsburg Pirates.

      07/31/09 Acquired 3B Jerry Hairston Jr. from the Cincinnati Reds for C Chase Weems.

      08/07/09 Acquired RHP Chad Gaudin from the San Diego Padres for cash.

      12/07/09 Acquired RF Jamie Hoffmann, the first overall pick in the 2009 Rule 5 Draft, from the Washington Nationals for RHP Brian Bruney.

      12/22/09 Acquired RHP Javier Vazquez and LHP Boone Logan from the Atlanta Braves for OF Melky Cabrera, LHP Mike Dunn and RHP Arodys Vizcaino.

      01/26/10 Acquired OF Greg Golson from the Texas Rangers for INF Mitch Hilligoss and cash.

      07/31/10 Acquired 1B Lance Berkman and cash from the Houston Astros for RHP Mark Melancon and 2B Jimmy Paredes.

      07/31/10 Acquired LF Austin Kearns from the Cleveland Indians for RHP Zach McAllister.

      07/31/10 Acquired RHP Kerry Wood from the Cleveland Indians for RHP Andrew Shive and 2B Matt Cusick.

      11/18/10 Acquired RHP Scottie Allen from the Arizona Diamondbacks for 1B Juan Miranda.

      Acquisitions, etc.

      12/7/06 Selected INF Josh Phelps in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft.

      2/11/06 Claimed RHP Darrell Rasner off waivers from the Washington Nationals.

      7/5/06 Claimed OF Aaron Guiel off waivers from the Kansas City Royals.

      12/7/08 New York Yankee prospect RHP Ivan Nova claimed by the San Diego Padres in the Rule 5 Draft but returned to the Yankee on 3/23/09.

      12/10/09 New York Yankee prospect RHP Kanekoa Texeira claimed by the Seattle Mariners in the Rule 5 Draft.

      09/09/10 Claimed LHP Steve Garrison off waivers from San Diego Padres.

      12/09/10 Claimed LHP Robet Fish from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and RHP Daniel Turpen from the Boston Red Sox in the 2010 Rule 5 Draft.

      12/09/10 New York Yankee prospect RHP Lance Pendleton claimed by the Houston Astros and New York Yankee prospect RHP George Kontos claimed by the Sand Diego Padres.

      12/17/10 Claimed OF Jordan Parraz off waivers from Boston Red Sox.

      Traded from Farm System for MLB talent

      RHP Jeffrey Karstens, OF Melky Cabrera, LHP Matt Smith, SS C.J. Henry, C Jesus Sanchez, RHP Carlos Monasterios, RHP Brian Bruney, RHP Jeff Kennard, RHP Tyler Clippard, RHP Ross Ohlendorf, OF Jose Tabata, SS Alberto Gonzalez, RHP Scott Proctor, RHP Edwar Ramirez, RHP Ian Kennedy, RHP Jeffrey Marquez, OF Austin Jackson, RHP Daniel McCutchen, RHP Mark Melancon, RHP Jhonny Nunez, INF Matt Cusick, LHP Phil Coke, RHP Eric Hacker, LHP Michael Dunn, 1B Juan Miranda, RHP Zach McAllister, 2B Jimmy Paredes, RHP Andrew Shive, RHP Aroyds Vizcaino

      Gone but not traded: RHP Chien-Ming Wang, Andy Phillips, RHP Darrell Rasner, Jose Veras , RHP Jonathan Albaladejo, OF Shelley Duncan ,Cody Ransom, RHP Alfredo Aceves , RHP Kanekoa Texeira ,RHP George Kontos, RHP Lance Pendleton

      On current roster from Farm System

      RHP Philip Hughes, INF Ramiro Pena, 2B Robinson Cano, OF Brett Gardner, C Francisco Cervelli, RHP Joba Chamberlain, RHP David Robertson, RHP Ivan Nova, INF Eduardo Nunez, RHP Andrew Brackman, OF Colin Curtis, INF Kevin Russo, RHP Romulo Sanchez, 3B Brandon Laird, RHP Ryan Pope, OF Melky Mesa, 2B Reegie Corona, RHP Hector Noesi, RF Greg Golson, RHP Dellin Betances

    32. MJ Recanati
      December 31st, 2010 | 11:23 am

      Steve Lombardi on behalf of someone else wrote:

      Looking at Cashman’s reign since 2005 it reveals that he truly is a “cash man” using Yankee money to make the majority of his moves…It’s not that impressive when you look at the list of transactions…

      Upon hearing the decision handed down by the US Supreme Court in the Seitz decision (http://tinyurl.com/3o9stn) which granted MLB players free agency, every single GM of the Yankees during the Steinbrenner Era has used the Yankees’ financial might to their advantage. It is completley disingenuous to blather on about how only Cashman (and not his predecessors) uses Steinbrenner money and repeating it over and over won’t make it any more true.

    33. Kamieniecki
      November 14th, 2013 | 5:43 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      The argument: Team failure is Cashman failure. Team success is a lucky fluke, based on spending Steinbrenner dollars.

      Hell of an argument.

      The counter-argument:

      One team, with one of lowest payrolls in M.L.B. in each season since 2002, has failed to win at least two consecutive series in all of five postseason appearances, while another team, with one of the highest payrolls in M.L.B. in each season since 2002, has won three World Series Championships in all of seven postseason appearances, but the postseason is “(bleeping) luck” because the G.M. of the former team, Billy Beane, said so.

      Hell of a counter-argument.

    34. Kamieniecki
      November 14th, 2013 | 5:54 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      I’m sure there’s a degree of validity to your theory although, given Steinbrenner’s penchant for spending and for being his own man (a maverick relative to the stodgy baseball establishment, one could say), why would he have gone along with collusion? He was already comfortable within the confines of free agency spending (Gossage, Jackson, Winfield, Whitson) so why would he suddenly collude?
      Not saying you’re wrong, it just seems a bit incongruous to me.

      Why would George Steinbrenner not agree to sign the premier right-handed starting pitcher in the game of baseball at the time, when that pitcher knocked at the door of his New York City offices, after more than 5 years without an A.L. Pennant and in the midst of a decade in which the team was unable to procure top SP at the front end of its rotation – much like 2004-13? They answer: his participation in collusory practices for a period of time in the decade; you were both wrong.

    35. Kamieniecki
      November 14th, 2013 | 6:06 pm

      Raf wrote:

      As long as there is free agency, [it will never, in fact take several years, to fix a team].

      @ Raf:
      Not for a team with a G.M. such as Cherington; it’s been several years with free agency since a ring ceremony was last held at Yankee Stadium… How many more years do you think it might be?

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