• With No Pettitte, Yankees Risking 2011 On Burnett Comeback

    Posted by on December 29th, 2010 · Comments (34)

    Pettitte looks like he’s done. Via Peter Botte -

    Andy Pettitte is vacationing with his family in Hawaii, leaving the Yankees little choice but to continue waiting some more while the veteran lefty does his annual retirement hula dance this winter.

    After already whiffing on Cliff Lee in free agency, the Yanks are aware there are few other big-name options available to slot in behind CC Sabathia and Phil Hughes in their starting rotation.

    “Every day I hope Andy comes back,” Yankees president Randy Levine said at a Times Square press conference Tuesday to kick off festivities for Thursday’s Pinstripe Bowl between Syracuse and Kansas State at the Stadium.

    “Andy’s a great Yankee and a great person and I know he’ll give it thought and follow his heart and we’ll respect his decision. But we’re out there, all of us, hoping every day that he comes back,” Levine added. “I think he knows we need him. I think he knows how much we respect him and what a great leader he is.”

    Mark Teixeira, a self-proclaimed “huge college football fan,” also was present and called Pettitte “one of my closest friends on the team.” Still, despite trading text messages often with the lefty throughout the offseason, Teixeira also isn’t sure if Pettitte will be back for his 17th big league season, and 14th in pinstripes.

    “If he’s leaning one way, he’s probably leaning towards retirement,” Teixeira said. “I think that’s what he’s publicly said, and that’s no secret right now. But in a month and a half, a lot can happen.”

    Let’s face it. Banking on CC Sabathia is as safe as banking on any starting pitcher in the game. No one would fault anyone for expecting him to make 30 starts and give you 200 quality innings in 2011.

    But, with no Andy Pettitte in 2011, and with Sergio Mitre and Ivan Nova in the back end of your rotation, or someone else just as “iffy” in those slots, Brian Cashman and the Yankees are really rolling the dice that Phil Hughes can repeat or better his 2010 season and that A.J. Burnett can come back from his disaster showing last season.

    How comfortable do you feel in making that bet?

    I ran some stats on the Complete Baseball Encyclopedia to find pitchers since 1973 who were most like Phil Hughes in 2010. Here’s the numbers:

    Pitcher                       YEAR    RSAA     RSAA      GS       IP
    T1   Nino Espinosa            1977        7        7       29    200
    T1   Pedro Astacio            1993        7        7       31    186.1
    T1   Ian Kennedy              2010        7        7       32    194
    T1   Bill Greif               1973        7        7       31    199
    T1   Glendon Rusch            2000        7        7       30    190.2
    T1   Chad Billingsley         2010        7        7       31    191.2
    T1   Bruce Kison              1975        7        7       29    192
    T8   Rick Honeycutt           1979        6        6       28    194
    T8   Phil Hughes              2010        6        6       29    176.1
    T8   Sidney Ponson            2002        6        6       28    176
    T11  Greg Mathews             1987        5        5       32    197.2
    T11  Floyd Bannister          1979        5        5       30    182.1
    T11  Bill Laskey              1982        5        5       31    189.1
    T11  Yovani Gallardo          2009        5        5       30    185.2
    T15  Wilson Alvarez           1995        4        4       29    175
    T15  Scott Elarton            2000        4        4       30    192.2
    T15  Esteban Loaiza           1997        4        4       32    196.1
    T15  Yovani Gallardo          2010        4        4       31    185
    T19  James Baldwin            1996        3        3       28    169
    T19  Mike Krukow              1977        3        3       33    172
    T19  Rich Dotson              1982        3        3       31    196.2
    T19  Kyle Lohse               2002        3        3       31    180.2
    T19  Horacio Ramirez          2003        3        3       29    182.1
    Filter: 1973-2010, AGE BETWEEN 23 AND 25, RSAA BETWEEN 3 AND 7,GAMES STARTED >= 28, INNINGS PITCHED <= 200

    Not everyone on this list went on to become a star starting pitcher. So, how can we assume that Hughes will? This makes it even more important for Burnett to be solid in 2011. But, given his issues with command, and the fact that he’s just a 110-100 (W-L) pitcher over his 11 full seasons in the big leagues, what makes anyone – besides Brian Cashman – think that Burnett will be someone who you can count on in the front end of your rotation?

    Think the 2008 Yankees had starting pitcher issues? What we see in 2011 from the Yankees may just mirror that…no matter what Cashman says about that:

    In the meantime, the Yankees appear willing to go forward with a rotation that some have already compared to the 2008 season, when the club missed the playoffs.

    “I think that’s stupid,” said Cashman, who called the comparison unfair. “We have one of the premier starting pitchers in all of baseball in CC Sabathia, we have an 18-game winner in Phil Hughes.”

    The Yankees also have more choices of pitching prospects, such as Nova, to help fill the holes. And then there’s Burnett, who in 2010 who suffered through one of the worst pitching seasons in the history of the franchise.

    “I just believe he will be alright,” Cashman said. “Clearly, we need him to be.”

    Comments on With No Pettitte, Yankees Risking 2011 On Burnett Comeback

    1. MJ Recanati
      December 29th, 2010 | 9:49 am

      I’m solidly on the fence here. On the one hand, I do believe in Sabathia and Hughes. On the other, I don’t believe in AJ Burnett because I think there’s more to his disastrous 2010 than just personal problems.

      In other words, yes, the Yankees clearly have a deficit of quality starting pitchers. They have their front two and a very poor back three.

      But considering the Yankees missed the 2008 playoffs because their offense — not their pitching — faltered, I think the comparisons to the ’08 season are premature.

      Having said all that, the list of pitchers listed above features Chad Billingsley and Yovani Gallardo (among others). I love those two guys and if that’s where Hughes ends up, that’d be fantastic.

    2. December 29th, 2010 | 10:20 am

      @ MJ Recanati:
      Do you think the Yankees of 2011 can make the Yankees of 2008, offensively, given the age on Jeter and Posada, and the declining offense of A-Rod?

    3. December 29th, 2010 | 10:21 am

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Having said all that, the list of pitchers listed above features Chad Billingsley and Yovani Gallardo (among others). I love those two guys and if that’s where Hughes ends up, that’d be fantastic.

      The odds of that happening are the same as him being the next Sidney Ponson or Scott Elarton.

    4. Corey Italiano
      December 29th, 2010 | 11:53 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      @ MJ Recanati:
      Do you think the Yankees of 2011 can make the Yankees of 2008, offensively, given the age on Jeter and Posada, and the declining offense of A-Rod?

      Yes, because Jeter had a down year then. A-Rod’s down year wasn’t all that down from his 2008, production wise. Also, Cano had horrible 2008.

      The 2011 team features Curtis Granderson, Tex, Swisher, Gardner, and Martin/Montero. I’d take that lineup over the one that regularly featured Jose Molina/Moeller/Pudge, Wilson Betemit, Nady, and Melky. (Along with the previously mentioned Jeter and Cano’s off years).

    5. MJ Recanati
      December 29th, 2010 | 11:58 am

      Corey Italiano wrote:

      The 2011 team features Curtis Granderson, Tex, Swisher, Gardner, and Martin/Montero. I’d take that lineup over the one that regularly featured Jose Molina/Moeller/Pudge, Wilson Betemit, Nady, and Melky. (Along with the previously mentioned Jeter and Cano’s off years).

      Exactly.

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Do you think the Yankees of 2011 can make the Yankees of 2008, offensively, given the age on Jeter and Posada, and the declining offense of A-Rod?

      Yes. As Corey said, not having a steady diet of Cabrera, Molina, Betemit and Nady should help matters.

    6. MJ Recanati
      December 29th, 2010 | 11:59 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      The odds of that happening are the same as him being the next Sidney Ponson or Scott Elarton.

      No, not really. One can’t predict what Hughes will be based on the search string you provided.

    7. redbug
      December 29th, 2010 | 2:56 pm

      Levine cracks me up. 2 years ago he and the others in the front office told Andy to take a $5 million + incentives deal or go scratch. Now they’d probably give him $20 million.

    8. MJ Recanati
      December 29th, 2010 | 2:59 pm

      redbug wrote:

      Levine cracks me up. 2 years ago he and the others in the front office told Andy to take a $5 million + incentives deal or go scratch. Now they’d probably give him $20 million.

      Timing is everything. Two years ago, Pettitte was coming off a poor season so the Yankees had the leverage to play hardball with him. Now the Yankees need the stability that Pettitte provides and, on a one-year deal (with no options or incentives), can afford to modestly overpay him on the basis that they need him back (and the fact that he was pitching fairly well before he got injured).

    9. Evan3457
      December 29th, 2010 | 4:34 pm

      RSAA is NOT really a very good criterion.

      I’d be more comfortable with FIP or xFIP, because luck plays a role.

      Hughes needs to get better command within the K zone, and make his change an effective part of the repertoire. If he does those two things he’ll make it as a front of the rotation starter.

      I don’t see where Ponson (2002) is a very good match for Hughes; his K/BB was not nearly as good.

      Elarton was headed for a much better career before repeated arm injuries derailed him. I suppose Hughes could be derailed by arm injuries as well.

      ====================================
      I’ll say it again; AJ Burnett is very likely to be better than last year, and stands a decent chance of being much better. Let’s see what Burnett and Rothchild can work out when they put their heads together next month.

    10. MJ Recanati
      December 29th, 2010 | 5:05 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      I’ll say it again; AJ Burnett is very likely to be better than last year, and stands a decent chance of being much better. Let’s see what Burnett and Rothchild can work out when they put their heads together next month.

      You and I will have to have a friendly disagreement here. The loss of velocity over the past few seasons (and the decline in K/9) should be somewhat alarming.

      I think Burnett has a chance to be better than he was in 2010 but I don’t see him getting much beyond the 2009 level. If he can revert to 2009 levels then he’ll be an adequate #3 starter.

    11. agsf
      December 29th, 2010 | 6:12 pm

      @ MJ Recanati: To simply label jeter as having a ‘down year’ is nonsense. Even if he slightly improves, he wouldn’t be the Jeter of the past. And though there’s certainly a chance he won’t continue to regress, he certainly could have a similar year.

      Don’t get me wrong, you could be right. You also could very well be wrong.

    12. agsf
      December 29th, 2010 | 6:13 pm

      The yankees staff is reason for concern, but so is the bosox staff. Both becket and lackey had down years. There’s no guarantee they’ll turn it around.

    13. December 29th, 2010 | 7:34 pm

      Many like to say that it wasn’t the Yankees crappy SP that did them in, in 2008, it was their offense. But, their offense in 2008 was great – sans three monster holes: Cano, Cabrera and Molina. Replace those three, in 2008, with league average performers and the offense in 2008 would be outstanding.

      So, what about 2011? Think Jeter’s going to be a force? Think Granderson’s going to be a force? Think Martin’s going to be a force? If they’re not, and their below average, which is very possible, and then throw in the declining A-Rod and Tex who takes the first month off, then 2011′s offense will be just like 2008. And, add the 2011 crappy SP, and then you have another 3rd place team – just like 2008.

    14. Ryan81
      December 29th, 2010 | 9:05 pm

      @ Steve Lombardi:
      The Yankees won’t finish 3rd. Tampa loses too many pieces, and while Showalter will be a good fit for the Orioles, they still lack the talent (especially pitching-wise) to make the playoffs out of the AL East.

      That being said, the argument that the pitching staff on the 2008 Yankees was not the cause of their demise is garbage. I agree that the offense woefully underperformed in 2008. But the crap that the Yankees trotted out to the mound that year (which according to Baseball Reference included an off-year from Pettitte, Rasner, Ponson, Kennedy, Hughes’ shitty year, Pavano, Igawa, and Geise) shows that, on paper, they had no business even being in the conversation of the playoffs that year. I mean, when the Yankees have to resort to Dan Flipping Geise (who pitched basically as good as he possibly could), it clearly shows that somebody didn’t do their job to the best of their ability… Hopefully injuries don’t cripple the 2011 Yankees as much, but it is not a good sign that we’re already reaching and hoping for big performances from question marks out of the gate.

    15. Raf
      December 29th, 2010 | 9:28 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Many like to say that it wasn’t the Yankees crappy SP that did them in, in 2008, it was their offense. But, their offense in 2008 was great – sans three monster holes: Cano, Cabrera and Molina.

      And to add, Jeter had an off year. Hard to compete when you only have 5 hitters in your lineup. Small wonder they won 89 games. Same with the Red Sox last season; despite the injuries they had, they still managed to win 89 games.

      I think Jeter and Burnett will bounce back. If this really is the end of the line for Jeter, I hope Girardi has the fortitude to move him down in the order.

      A lot will come down to Posada (adjusting to DH), Martin (can he bounce back?) & Montero (will he be able to handle the bigs?). Rodriguez is still good enough that even a bad year from him was pretty good. While I’m not sold on “Granderson 2.0″ I think he too can put something together. Teix, I’m a bit worried about (declining numbers, 3 straight years), but like Rodriguez, even a bad year from him is pretty good. Cano, I expect a little regression. No one needs to be a “force,” IMO though it would be nice.

      I see CC having a big year and opting out. I don’t have the same concerns about the pitching staff that many others do. Things fall apart, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a “Pettitte” moment, a la Clemens in 2007.

      Guess we’ll wait and see.

    16. Raf
      December 29th, 2010 | 9:31 pm

      Ryan81 wrote:

      That being said, the argument that the pitching staff on the 2008 Yankees was not the cause of their demise is garbage.

      How so? The pitching was above league average, the offense was below league average.

    17. MJ Recanati
      December 29th, 2010 | 10:09 pm

      @ agsf:
      When did I say Jeter simply had a down year? Corey said that, not me.

      I think Jeter’s washed up.

    18. MJ Recanati
      December 29th, 2010 | 10:43 pm

      Raf wrote:

      How so? The pitching was above league average, the offense was below league average.

      Exactly. But, as Ryan81 said, he was making his argument based on what the 2008 Yankee pitching staff looked like on paper. Never mind that that’s a patently absurd argument, especially with the benefit of the stats from that season which definitively show that it was the offense that did the Yankees in that year.

      Revisionist history is any argument to the contrary.

    19. Evan3457
      December 30th, 2010 | 2:03 am

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      I’ll say it again; AJ Burnett is very likely to be better than last year, and stands a decent chance of being much better. Let’s see what Burnett and Rothchild can work out when they put their heads together next month.
      You and I will have to have a friendly disagreement here. The loss of velocity over the past few seasons (and the decline in K/9) should be somewhat alarming.
      I think Burnett has a chance to be better than he was in 2010 but I don’t see him getting much beyond the 2009 level. If he can revert to 2009 levels then he’ll be an adequate #3 starter.

      When I say much better than last year, getting back near where he was in 2009 is what I had is mind.

    20. Evan3457
      December 30th, 2010 | 2:08 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Many like to say that it wasn’t the Yankees crappy SP that did them in, in 2008, it was their offense. But, their offense in 2008 was great – sans three monster holes: Cano, Cabrera and Molina. Replace those three, in 2008, with league average performers and the offense in 2008 would be outstanding.

      Is that kinda like saying the Yankee rotation for 2011 is OK except for Nova, Mitre and maybe AJ?

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      So, what about 2011? Think Jeter’s going to be a force? Think Granderson’s going to be a force? Think Martin’s going to be a force? If they’re not, and they’re below average, which is very possible, and then throw in the declining A-Rod and Tex who takes the first month off, then 2011′s offense will be just like 2008. And, add the 2011 crappy SP, and then you have another 3rd place team – just like 2008.

      It’s also very possible that Jeter will get back near 2007 and 2008, that Martin will be a significant upgrade over Cervello, that Granderson will improve significantly over what he did through July next year, that A-Rod will get back some of what slipped last year, and that Tex, who had the worst year of his career last season, will also improve significantly.

      And it’s more likely that some of them will improve, and some of them won’t, and perhaps 1 or 2 will do worse, leaving the Yankee’s offense where it was, or perhaps a little better than last season.

    21. Evan3457
      December 30th, 2010 | 2:12 am

      Raf wrote:

      Ryan81 wrote:
      That being said, the argument that the pitching staff on the 2008 Yankees was not the cause of their demise is garbage.
      How so? The pitching was above league average, the offense was below league average.

      For what it’s worth, the 2008 Yankees had an OPS+ of 101, and an ERA+ of 104.

    22. rankdog
      December 30th, 2010 | 4:34 am

      2006 97-65, Finished 1st in AL East Lost AL Division Series (3-1) to Detroit Tigers

      Drafted
      Ian Kennedy (Full time MLB player)
      Joba Chamberlain (Full time MLB player)
      Colin Curtis (Part time MLB player)
      Mark Melancon (Part time MLB player)
      David Robertson (Full time MLB player)
      Kevin Russo (Part time MLB player)
      Dellin Betances (Solid prospect)
      Zachary McAllister (MLB starter)
      George Kontos (Medicore prospect)

      International Signing
      Jesus Montero (mega prospect)
      Hector Nosi (solid prospect)

      Traded for:
      Bobby Abreu
      Cory Liddle
      Craig Wilson

      Signed:
      Johnny Damon
      Octavio Dotel (Injury reclaimation project)
      Al Leiter
      Kyle Farnsworth

      2007 94-68, Finished 2nd in AL East Lost AL Division Series (3-1) to Cleveland Indians

      Traded: Randy Johnson and cash received Alberto Gonzalez, Steven Jackson, Ross Ohlendorf and Luis Vizcaino.
      Traded: Scott Proctor received Wilson Betemit
      Traded Gary Sheffield received Kevin Whelan (minors), Anthony Claggett and Humberto Sanchez.

      Signed:
      Ron Villone
      Roger Clemens Midseason

      Drafted:
      Andrew W. Brackman
      Austin A. Romine
      Bradley K. Suttle

      International
      Arodis Vizcaino (solid prospect)
      Jose Ramirez (solid prospect)
      Kei Igawa (utter disappointment)
      Alfredo Aceves (Full time MLB player)

      2008 89-73, Finished 3rd in AL East No playoffs

      Signed:
      Latroy Hawkins
      Andy Pettitte
      Morgen Ensberg
      Chad Moeller
      Chris Steward
      Sidney Ponson
      Alex Rodriguez
      Jorge Posada
      Mariano Rivera
      Richie Sexson (Mid Season)

      Traded Tyler Clippard received Jonathan Albaladejo.
      Traded Jeff Karstens, Daniel McCutchen, Ross Ohlendorf and Jose Tabata received Damaso Marte and Xavier Nady.

      Drafted:
      Gerrit Cole (unable to sign)
      Jeremy Bleich (mostly injured)
      Scott Bittle (unable to sign)
      David Adams (decent prospect)
      Corban Joseph (decent prospect)
      Brett Marshall (decent prospect)
      D.J. Mitchell (decent prospect)
      David Phelps (Solid prospect)
      Pat Venditte (interesting fringe prospect)

      International Signings: **Not sure where any of these guys stand.
      Anderson Felix
      Gian Carlos Arias
      Yeicok Calderon
      Ramon Flores
      Jackson Valera
      Ericson Leonora

      2009 103-59, Finished 1st in AL East Won the World Series

      Traded Wilson Betemit, Jeff Marquez and Jhonny Nunez received Nick Swisher and Kanekoa Texeira.
      Purchased Chad Gaudin

      Signed:

      Andy Pettitte
      CC Sabathia
      Mark Texieira
      AJ Burnett
      Damaso Marte
      Sergio Mitre

      Drafted:
      Slade Heathcott (Solid prospect)
      JR Murphy (decent prospect)
      Adam Warren (Solid prospect)
      Caleb Cotham (decent prospect)
      Graham Stoneburner (Solid prospect)
      Neil Medchill (decent prospect)

      International Signings:
      Gary Sanchez (mega prospect)
      Damian Arredondo (unknown)
      Chris Cabrera (unknown)

      2010 95-67, 2nd place in AL East Lost AL Championship Series (4-2) to Texas Rangers

      Traded Brian Bruney to the Washington Nationals received the first pick in the rule 5 draft
      Traded Phil Coke, Austin Jackson and Ian Kennedy received Curtis Granderson.
      Traded Arodys Vizcaino (minors), Melky Cabrera, Michael Dunn received Boone Logan and Javier Vazquez
      Traded Zach McAllister received Austin Kearns.
      Traded Jimmy Paredes (minors) and Mark Melancon received Lance Berkman.
      Traded Andrew Shive and Matt Cusick received Kerry Wood and cash.

      Signed:
      Randy Winn
      Nick Johnson
      Dustin Moseley
      Chan Ho Park

      International Signings: Yet to be seen on these guys.
      Wilmer Romero
      Christopher Tamarez

      Drafted: Yet to be seen on these guys.
      Cito Culver
      Angelo Gumbs
      Rob Segedin
      Mason Williams
      Benjamin Gamel
      Zachary Varce
      Daniel Burawa
      Evan Rutckyj
      Thomas Kahnle

      Evaluation:

      Pros:
      I thought Cashman had great years as far as building the farm system in 2006 2007 and 2009. He did extremely well in 2006. He did well in trades with Nick Swisher, Curtis Granderson, Kerry Wood, Bobby Abreu. Did a decent job in clearing out Randy Johnson and Gary Sheffield for some prospects. I am fan of the non trade for Johan Santana. Obviously he did well in 2009 as the Yankees won the world series backed in no small part but the integration of talent from the farm system (Cabrera, Cano, Gardner, Roberson, Joba, Phil) and signing CC, Aj, Andy and Tex. Signing Damon, Andy, CC, Tex. The roster has greater flexibility, payroll is lower, and he has learned to build a bullpen on the cheap.

      Questionable moves:
      ARod’s contract, giving Jorge 4 years, the 2010 draft, the three misses on Cliff Lee. Not going all in on Roy Halladay. The 3 year deal to Mateo.

      Cons:
      Signing Kei Igawa, Nick Johnson. The 2008 draft was a mess. Bringing back Javier Vazquez when the prospects could been used for Lee or Halladay. I thought he should have fired Torre sooner due to the fact that he wasn’t a manager adapt at managing a bullpen or developing talent. The handling of Joba Chamberlain and Ian Kennedy.

      I am not going to read into the medical reclamation projects, and low budget signings (Ponson, Mitre, Gaudin, Park). We can speculate to a degree which draft choices could of been or possible trades that could have been made. I find that’s counter productive to a fair evaluation as we are doing so with 20/20 hindsight. The circumstances and conditionals as well as the consequences of those change are volatile over time.

      Greatest GM? Not a chance. I do think he is above average. Nothing stands out to me for a reason to fire the guy. The Yankees have gone 478-332 (.590%) average 96 wins with 4 playoff appearances out of 5 years and one world series title. Their farm system is currently one of the top 10. Payroll has been reduced.

    23. rankdog
      December 30th, 2010 | 4:48 am

      It appears I had two tabs open in my browser for this site and posted my comment in the wrong thread. I apologize.

    24. MJ Recanati
      December 30th, 2010 | 7:40 am

      rankdog wrote:

      Questionable moves:
      ARod’s contract, giving Jorge 4 years, the 2010 draft, the three misses on Cliff Lee. Not going all in on Roy Halladay. The 3 year deal to Mateo.

      -A-Rod’s contract was Hank Steinbrenner, not Brian Cashman.
      -If you wanted Posada over the past three years, you had no choice but to give him a fourth year. He was coming off an outstanding 2007 season, had all the leverage in the negotiations and the Yankees didn’t have any viable in-house alternatives with which to push back.
      -It’s way, way, WAY, WAY too soon to criticize the 2010 draft. It’ll take at least two years and probably closer to four years to really assess these kids from the 2010 draft class. In the short term, there are a few bullpen arms (Kahnle/Varce) that could move quickly and start paying off by the end of this year or early next year. The majority of the rest of the draft class is young and raw and will spend several years in the low minors.
      -I would’ve supported a trade for Cliff Lee in July 2010 and certainly wanted him as a free agent last month. Not sure that the Yankees were ever in on Cliff Lee back in July 2009. Further, considering the Yankees won the World Series in 2009 and beat Cliff Lee’s team in doing so, I hardly see why “missing” Cliff Lee in 2009 is of any consequence.
      -Roy Halladay was never made available to the Yankees. The Blue Jays had no interest in trading him to a team within the division.
      -Not sure who “Mateo” is.

      rankdog wrote:

      Cons:
      Signing Kei Igawa, Nick Johnson. The 2008 draft was a mess. Bringing back Javier Vazquez when the prospects could been used for Lee or Halladay. I thought he should have fired Torre sooner due to the fact that he wasn’t a manager adapt at managing a bullpen or developing talent. The handling of Joba Chamberlain and Ian Kennedy.

      -They took a chance on Kei Igawa and it didn’t work out. Given the Yankees financial might, there’s never a reason for them to not roll the dice on a player in the international market. Their intent was that he’d be a viable back-end starter. No big deal that it hasn’t worked out. My only complaint is that they never traded him away to a team in the NL in order to recoup some value.
      -Signing Nick Johnson was absurd. Even for $5M, the move was destined to fail given his injury history.
      -The prospects the Yankees gave up to re-acquire Javier Vazquez weren’t getting you Cliff Lee or Roy Halladay, or anyone else for that matter. Melky Cabrera isn’t a prospect, Mike Dunn is a fungible relief pitcher and Arodys Vizcaino, although incredibly promising, was far too low in the minors to catch a big fish like Lee or Halladay. The Yankees gave up next to nothing to get Vazquez. The reason? Atlanta needed salary relief.
      -I thought they got rid of Torre at the appropriate time. Sure, a case could’ve been made after the 2003 or 2004 playoff disappointments but, overall, Torre still did a credible-enough job therafter. By 2007, however, it was clear that the time had come (given his own contract status).
      -Ian Kennedy wasn’t mishandled. Some could argue that he wasn’t given enough of a chance to succeed here and that the 2008 failed audition wasn’t a long enough evaluation/development period but he certainly wasn’t jerked around. Chamberlain, however, was absolutely jerked around. I blame at least a bit of his diminished value on Cashman.

      rankdog wrote:

      Greatest GM? Not a chance. I do think he is above average. Nothing stands out to me for a reason to fire the guy. The Yankees have gone 478-332 (.590%) average 96 wins with 4 playoff appearances out of 5 years and one world series title. Their farm system is currently one of the top 10. Payroll has been reduced.

      I agree with the spirit of this paragraph. No one has ever argued that Cashman is the best GM in baseball or that he’s infallible. The Yankees continue to succeed, they make the playoffs, they are now developing a good farm system and they’re run by a guy that is respected by his peers in the game. Cashman is doing a fine job.

    25. Raf
      December 30th, 2010 | 12:03 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      For what it’s worth, the 2008 Yankees had an OPS+ of 101, and an ERA+ of 104.

      I saw that, read the table wrong… Thanks.

    26. Evan3457
      December 30th, 2010 | 12:04 pm

      rankdog wrote:

      Greatest GM? Not a chance. I do think he is above average. Nothing stands out to me for a reason to fire the guy. The Yankees have gone 478-332 (.590%) average 96 wins with 4 playoff appearances out of 5 years and one world series title. Their farm system is currently one of the top 10. Payroll has been reduced.

      I agree with this as well. I would say that Gillick was better, and there are several GMs who may well be better, guys like Freeman, Jocketty, Daniels, McPhail, Beinfest and yes, Epstein. Beane? Who knows; his reputation has taken something of a hit the last 4-5 years, but he’s about to be rehabilitated, I think.

    27. Evan3457
      December 30th, 2010 | 12:05 pm

      Raf wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      For what it’s worth, the 2008 Yankees had an OPS+ of 101, and an ERA+ of 104.
      I saw that, read the table wrong… Thanks.

      Still proves your point, but not as strongly. They were, in fact, weaker in scoring runs than preventing them, though not by much.

    28. MJ Recanati
      December 30th, 2010 | 1:24 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      there are several GMs who may well be better, guys like Freeman, Jocketty, Daniels, McPhail, Beinfest and yes, Epstein.

      -Freeman, I assume, is Friedman of the Rays. Perhaps he’s better but I’m not sure. I think the Rays do a good job of talent evaluation and minor league development but I’m interested to see how they do as their former #1 picks start thinning out (Crawford’s gone; Upton’s probably gone after 2012).
      -Jocketty is solid although his track record in terms of development is spotty in St. Louis and he doesn’t get credit for Votto/Bruce in Cincy. Pujols was a miraculous find (13th round of ’99 draft) and probably changed the entire course of Jocketty’s tenure in St. Louis.
      -Daniels? Absolutely not.
      -McPhail? Absolutely, absolutely not. The Orioles are a mess. He’s a competent, team-friendly GM that contains costs and makes sensible moves but McPhail isn’t doing anything to further the team’s chances of winning any time in the next five years. I’ve got a very close friend that posted the first comment in this thread and I agree with him 100%. McPhail is twiddling his thumbs in Baltimore.

      http://forum.orioleshangout.com/forums/showthread.php?t=105572

      -Beinfest? Hard to say, exactly. The Marlins have been competitive enough to wonder how they don’t lose 110 games a season with that payroll but, at the same time, the team hasn’t done much since being stripped at the start of the 2006 season.

      -Epstein I agree with. I think Theo’s the best GM in baseball and even he has his blindspots and warts.

      If Cashman is being judged against Jocketty, Gillick, Friedman and Epstein, he’s in very good company.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Beane? Who knows; his reputation has taken something of a hit the last 4-5 years, but he’s about to be rehabilitated, I think.

      Not sure I get your point. I think the A’s are in an awful spot. They haven’t developed a positional prospect on their own since Tejada/Chavez. Frankly, I think they’re a mess.

    29. Raf
      December 30th, 2010 | 2:03 pm

      @ MJ Recanati:
      I think we should give Showalter and McPhail a couple of years. He has a tough row to hoe being in the same division as NY, Boston and TB.

      He got a nice return from the M’s for Bedard, and while with the Cubs, they made the playoffs twice. And they made the playoffs a couple of years after he left (2007-08). Who knows how things turn out if Wood and Prior stay healthy.

    30. MJ Recanati
      December 30th, 2010 | 2:37 pm

      @ Raf:
      I don’t think Showalter has anything to do with it. He can’t control trades or free agency and, by all accounts, Peter Angelos has given MacPhail a wide berth to do with the organization as he pleases.

      I agree that they got a decent return for Bedard but, beyond that, they’re really not pushing the envelope.

      As for the excuse about being in the division with NY, Boston and Tampa, then what’s Toronto’s excuse? They’ve done more in 12 months to improve the franchise than MacPhail has done in three years.

      I agree about the Cubs. Prior and Wood being hurt killed the Cubs but those weren’t MacPhail’s moves, as he was only GM for 2000 and 2001. He was President/CEO but Hendry was running the baseball operations.

      MacPhail’s last gold star was building the Twins championships of 20-25 years ago.

    31. Raf
      December 30th, 2010 | 4:44 pm

      @ MJ Recanati:
      I think given Showalter’s resume, that he should have some say in player acquisition. There’s no need for the O’s to push the envelope, just make solid trades until the organization is ready to make a jump.

      The tough road to hoe comment has more to do with them competing in the same division as NY & Boston and to a lesser extent, TB. Not much the O’s can do right now, they’re not ready to take on the big boys yet. It’s going to take patience and time for them to get in a position where they can.

    32. MJ Recanati
      December 30th, 2010 | 4:54 pm

      @ Raf:
      Showalter may have some say in player acquisition but the cubbard is bare so there’s not much to trade away and MacPhail has made it clear that he’s simply not willing to bid competitively on free agents. As such, it’s going to be hard for Showalter to have much of an impcat beyond the stuff that happens on the field.

      As far as the AL East is concerned, again, I reiterate how much more aggressively Toronto has moved over the past 12 months than Baltimore has in three years. Toronto has completely remade their farm system and currently has six of the top 65 picks in this June’s draft. That kind of sudden influx of talent is how a team improves rapidly. They’re potentially already a top-5 farm team with six more high-ceiling players coming in between June-August.

      As that linked thread on the O’s message board shows, the O’s aren’t merely waiting for the right time to strike, they’re idling, too fearful of being proactive. The more I think about the O’s and talk about them with my buddy (who started that thread), the more I see his point. The O’s aren’t going anywhere in the next several years. Their farm system is devoid of elite talent, they don’t play the arbitration game very well (meaning they don’t accumulate draft choices), free agents are avoiding them, and they allocate their 25-man roster budget exceedingly poorly (approximately one-seventh of last year’s budget went to Garrett Atkins and Mike Gonzalez).

    33. Kamieniecki
      November 15th, 2013 | 6:40 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      I agree with this as well. I would say that Gillick was better, and there are several GMs who may well be better, guys like Freeman, Jocketty, Daniels, McPhail, Beinfest and yes, Epstein. Beane? Who knows; his reputation has taken something of a hit the last 4-5 years, but he’s about to be rehabilitated, I think.

      Who is/was Freeman? Better than Cashman?

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Beane? Who knows; his reputation has taken something of a hit the last 4-5 years, but he’s about to be rehabilitated, I think.

      Beane is/was better than Cashman although, unfortunately, all of that bad luck in the 2012-13 postseasons did nothing to rehabilitate Beane’s reputation.

    34. Kamieniecki
      November 15th, 2013 | 6:46 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      If Cashman is being judged against Jocketty, Gillick, Friedman and Epstein, he’s in very good company.

      The real question is/was, what company were the people judging Cashman against Epstein, Friedman, Gillick, and Jocketty in? Not very good.

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