• Brian Cashman’s History Of Putting Together A Starting Rotation

    Posted by on December 31st, 2010 · Comments (37)

    Brian Cashman became Yankees G.M. on February 28, 1998.

    So, how many times, each season since 1998, have the Yankees had a starting pitcher on their team who made at least 25 starts and had an ERA+ of 100 or better? Here’s the answer:

    Rk Year 5 Lg Tm #Matching  
    1 1998 AL New York Yankees 4 David Cone / Hideki Irabu / Andy Pettitte / David Wells
    2 1999 AL New York Yankees 4 Roger Clemens / David Cone / Orlando Hernandez / Andy Pettitte
    3 2000 AL New York Yankees 3 Roger Clemens / Orlando Hernandez / Andy Pettitte
    4 2001 AL New York Yankees 3 Roger Clemens / Mike Mussina / Andy Pettitte
    5 2002 AL New York Yankees 3 Roger Clemens / Mike Mussina / David Wells
    6 2003 AL New York Yankees 4 Roger Clemens / Mike Mussina / Andy Pettitte / David Wells
    7 2004 AL New York Yankees 1 Jon Lieber
    8 2005 AL New York Yankees 1 Randy Johnson
    9 2006 AL New York Yankees 3 Mike Mussina / Chien-Ming Wang / Jaret Wright
    10 2007 AL New York Yankees 2 Andy Pettitte / Chien-Ming Wang
    11 2008 AL New York Yankees 1 Mike Mussina
    12 2009 AL New York Yankees 3 A.J. Burnett / Andy Pettitte / CC Sabathia
    13 2010 AL New York Yankees 2 Phil Hughes / CC Sabathia
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 12/31/2010.

    .

    As you can see, above, from 1998 through 2003, the Yankees always had a deep and solid starting rotation. However, since 2003, it’s been rare that Brian Cashman has built a starting rotation that was deep and solid. In fact, over the last seven years, it’s been extremely common for the Yankees to have only two starting pitchers, or less, who could be considered as reliable and not below league average.

    That post-2003/pre-2004 line here is interesting. Why does it exist? The answer is simple. Before 2004, those Yankees starting staffs were all about Andy Pettitte, Roger Clemens, Mike Mussina and David Wells. And, when those four were together in 2003 for New York, it was the last time the Yankees had a starting rotation that was deep and solid.

    It’s sad that, for the last seven years, Cashman has not be able to consistently duplicate the Yankees starting pitching success that they had from 1998 through 2003. And, it’s even more sad that 2011 appears to be another year added to this run – making it eight years since Cashman had a rotation that was four-deep in terms of being durable and productive. There’s been a lot of money spent on pitching, by Cashman, since 2004. However, on the whole, it’s been good money wasted.

    Comments on Brian Cashman’s History Of Putting Together A Starting Rotation

    1. Evan3457
      December 31st, 2010 | 2:42 pm

      Soooooo…

      Cashman traded for Clemens.
      Cashman signed Mussina.
      Cashman re-signed Wells.

      (OK, at least two of these three were George-inspired or done, if not all three. Go with this, for a minute.)

      So, at one point, Cashman knew how to build a productive rotation…
      …and then he forgot how?

    2. Raf
      December 31st, 2010 | 3:21 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Cashman traded for Clemens.
      Cashman signed Mussina.
      Cashman re-signed Wells.

      And he signed Hernandez and re-signed Pettitte (after the 2006 season) as well. Also, Mussina was with the Yanks in 2004 & 05 & 07. Wang was also there in 2008 & 09. I didn’t include 2005, as that was the year he got the call.

      Using the same criteria;
      1993: 1 – Jimmy Key
      1994: 1 – Key (but it’s likely Abbott and Perez would’ve made 25 starts, don’t know if Abbott would’ve kept ERA+ over league average though)
      1995: 2 – Andy Pettitte, Jack McDowell
      1996: 4 – Pettitte, Key, Gooden, Rogers
      1997: 3 – Pettitte, Wells, Cone

      Something else that should be noted, of all those pitchers on that list, only 3 were homegrown; Pettitte, Wang, Hughes.

      Ok, so the Yanks won and lost with “deep and solid” starting rotations. So has just about everyone else.

    3. Raf
      December 31st, 2010 | 3:21 pm

      Obviously 1994-5 were strike shortened seasons, so take from it what you will…

    4. Ryan81
      December 31st, 2010 | 3:36 pm

      I actually think the Clemens move was Torre’s idea cause Torre hated Wells so much and wanted him out.

      But Steve’s point is that he never really knew how to field a deep and productive pitching staff (comprised of guys developed on the farm and mercenaries through the free agent market) at all. You can make the case that the Yankees even wasted the most talented pitching prospect (just pure talent) the organization’s had its hands on in a while and with their dumb innings limits and arbitrary movement from bullpen to rotation. After watching Jobamania, I wouldn’t even be surprised if Hughes doesn’t revert back to his 2010 first half form this season after the Yankees toyed with his innings as well.

      And while the Yankees will hold the offensive advantage over than the Phillies if they make it to the World Series, on paper, wouldn’t you want team with the slightly above-average offense and the historically good pitching staff?

    5. December 31st, 2010 | 3:37 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Soooooo…Cashman traded for Clemens.
      Cashman signed Mussina.
      Cashman re-signed Wells.(OK, at least two of these three were George-inspired or done, if not all three. Go with this, for a minute.)So, at one point, Cashman knew how to build a productive rotation…
      …and then he forgot how?

      Actually, IIRC, Big Stein resigned Wells after Cashman traded him away for Clemens. At least, I seem to recall Wells saying that he and his agent worked thru George, down in Tampa, on that one.

      And, the trade for Clemens was a salary dump. Yes, money. Same money that bought Mussina. Same money that bought CC and Burnett. That’s the Cashman MO, on pitchers, spend, spend, spend, and blow everyone away with Steinbrenner dollars. And, even that doesn’t always work – see: Pavano, Igawa, and Cliff Lee.

    6. redbug
      December 31st, 2010 | 4:37 pm

      @ Steve Lombardi:

      “see: Pavano, Igawa, and Cliff Lee”

      And add Randy Johnson. Boy, just seeing that name ticks me off. I hated that guy.

    7. MJ Recanati
      December 31st, 2010 | 6:10 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      And, the trade for Clemens was a salary dump. Yes, money. Same money that bought Mussina. Same money that bought CC and Burnett.

      Again, who cares if it’s a salary dump or free agency? What difference do those facts make? It’s a tool at the disposal of every single GM in Yankee history since free agency came about and it’s been used to varying results going all the way back to the 1970′s.

      The most ridiculous thing about all this is that you’re bitterly complaining that Cashman doesn’t know how to build a staff but, in the time that he did, you complain that he only did so by spending Steinbrenner’s money on Clemens, Mussina, Sabathia, etc.

      Pick your angle and fight it. But you can’t fight both sides and you can’t move your target around.

      Steve, it’s New Year’s Eve. Give it a rest.

    8. December 31st, 2010 | 6:58 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Again, who cares if it’s a salary dump or free agency? What difference do those facts make?

      If it’s salary dump vs. free agency, it’s little difference – and that’s my point – as it’s just about money. If it’s a trade vs. free agency, then there’s a difference…as an astute/crafty GM can trade excess to acquire something needed and he doesn’t need the Steinbrenner Family Checkbook to always bail him out.

      Doesn’t matter if it’s New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, or Secretary’s Day…the facts are the facts…since 2004, Cashman has failed to assemble a starting rotation that had four decent starters in it. Check the stats. They don’t lie.

      And, it’s no lie that the only way Cashman ever gets pitching is to throw around hundreds of millions (maybe a billion by now?) and he “hits” on the no brainers (like Clemens, Mussina, Sabathia) and misses more than he hits on the others (like Igawa, Pavano, Vazquez). And, now, he’s up the creek because others (like Cliff Lee) won’t even take his/Steinbrenner’s money.

    9. Raf
      December 31st, 2010 | 7:27 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      And, the trade for Clemens was a salary dump. Yes, money.

      As were the trades for David Cone, Terry Mulholland, Xavier Hernandez, Paul Assenmacher, among others. Not sure what the big deal is.

    10. December 31st, 2010 | 9:19 pm

      Raf wrote:

      Not sure what the big deal is.

      Have other Yankees GMs acquired pitchers in salary dumps? Sure. But, they’ve also shown that they were able to make good trades that were not just salary dumps. And, that’s the deal. Cashman’s success rate is tied to salary dumps. And, when it’s not a money thing, he fails. See the Mike Lowell trade. See the Jeff Weaver deal. And, now, the Curtis Granderson deal is starting to look like he spit the bit on who he gave up…

    11. Raf
      January 1st, 2011 | 11:46 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      See the Mike Lowell trade. See the Jeff Weaver deal. And, now, the Curtis Granderson deal is starting to look like he spit the bit on who he gave up…

      See the Hideki Irabu trade. See the David Justice deal. Robin Ventura? GlenAllen Hill? Nick Swisher? Cashman has had his good trades as well.

      As for Austin Jackson, are you going to tell me that in all the years you’ve watched baseball that you haven’t seen a rookie peter out after a hot start?

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      the facts are the facts…

      Hmmm… Brian Cashman became Yankees G.M. on February 28, 1998. The Yankees were in a run that saw them eliminated 2 of the 3 previous years. One of those years, they blew a 2-0 best of 5 series lead. Under Cashman’s watch, not only did the Yanks have the best record in baseball and the MLB wins record, but they won 3 consecutive world series under his leadership.

      Facts are facts, right? ;)

    12. Evan3457
      January 1st, 2011 | 1:48 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Actually, IIRC, Big Stein resigned Wells after Cashman traded him away for Clemens. At least, I seem to recall Wells saying that he and his agent worked thru George, down in Tampa, on that one.
      And, the trade for Clemens was a salary dump. Yes, money. Same money that bought Mussina. Same money that bought CC and Burnett. That’s the Cashman MO, on pitchers, spend, spend, spend, and blow everyone away with Steinbrenner dollars. And, even that doesn’t always work – see: Pavano, Igawa, and Cliff Lee.

      As I said in my original post, at least one, and possible all 3 were instigated by Steinbrenner. And because Steinbrenner got Wells to break a verbal deal with the Diamondbacks, the D’Backs got even within two years by taking Fossum, Lyon and De La Rosa from from the Red Sox while asking for Nick Johnson, Juan Rivera AND Alfonso Soriano from the Yanks.

      The 1996 rotation that won their 1st title, built by Holy Trinity of Buck, Stick & Watson:

      Andy Pettitte (farm product)
      Kenny Rogers (fairly big ticket free agent signing; $5 million a year for 3 years; oops)
      Dwight Gooden (low ticket FA signing; pitched league average ERA+ of 100, and was not in post-season rotation)
      Jimmy Key (big ticket FA signing)
      David Cone (salary dump trade made necessary by the collapse of farm product Kamieniecki, and the failure of farm product Ramiro Medoza to successfully hold down the #5 job; others who tried and failed in that job: David Weathers, Brian Boehringer, Mark Hutton)

      And so, we see that the only part of the rotation acquired by “baseball smarts”, the scrap-heap pickup of Gooden, was not even in the rotation for the post-season.

      And don’t even start with Andy Pettitte; he was a 22nd round draft choice that the Yanks got lucky with, when he developed into a marginal Hall of Fame candidate. If they “knew” he was that good, they’d have drafted him a lot sooner than that.

      It’s true that Watson signed Wells in 1997, and Mendoza did well, average, in his 2nd try as a 6th starter, but Rogers fell apart, Gooden did much worse, and Irabu, the big trade for the international star, was atrocious in his 9 starts.

      =============================
      Frankly, I don’t really see much difference between the ways that the Holy Trinity built starting pitching and Cashman did, up until 2003. Pettitte was younger, Cone, Clemens and El Duque pitched well until they declined. The Yanks said Vazquez was their 1st choice, but he wasn’t. That’s revisionism; Vazquez became the 1st choice when the revenge-seeking D’backs tried to blackjack them for revenge for the Wells signing.

      So, my original question stands: Cashman knew how to build a rotation up to 2003, then forgot how?

    13. LMJ229
      January 1st, 2011 | 5:22 pm

      Steve I am new to this website so I first wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for maintaining such an insightful site. That being said, I believe you are spot on with your analysis of Brain Cashman in my humble opinion. The “dynasty era” of the late 90s was clearly built by Stick Michael and Bob Watson. Cashman just rode their coat tails to those championships. They oversaw the development of Jeter, Bernie, Posada, Mariano and Petitte. They made shrewd trades to acquire Cone, Paulie, Tino and Brosius. Who exactly has Cashman developed other than Cano, Hughes, and Gardner? And where are his shrewd trades? The only way be has been able to improve the team is by throwing tons of money at free agents. I am very down on Cashman and would like to see him gone but I think the Steinbrenners like him for some reason and won’t get rid of him.

    14. LMJ229
      January 1st, 2011 | 5:35 pm

      Cashman really has no clue when it comes to building a starting rotation. If he would have been able to sign Lee, three of our top four starters in 2011 would have been big money free agent signings. That says it all. And he traded away pitcher Arodys Vizcaino (a top 100 prospect) to the Braves for Javier Vazquez, who he knew was on the last year of his contract. That’s inexcusable in my book.

      Cashman has got to go. We are getting fleeced by other teams in trades (see Curtis Granderson) and are being used by player’s agents on the free agent market (see Cliff Lee).

    15. Evan3457
      January 2nd, 2011 | 4:07 am

      LMJ229 wrote:

      They made shrewd trades to acquire Cone, Paulie, Tino and Brosius.

      Cone was a salary dump, and so was the Tino trade.

      Who exactly has Cashman developed other than Cano, Hughes, and Gardner?

      Hmmm…aside from those three, no one. Except Ledee and Spencer, who helped them greatly in 1999 and 2000. But that’s it. Except for Alfonso Soriano. But that’s all. Oh, wait, there’s Nick Johnson, who helped them in 2002 and 2003. And Chien-Ming Wang, who was more or less their #1 or #2 starter from 2006 until he got hurt in 2008. But that’s it. Oh, except for Melky Cabrera, just an average player, really, but good enough to be the starting centerfielder for 3 years, and a title-winning team in 2009. And Joba Chamberlain, who had a bad year last year, but pitched well for them in 2007 and 2008, and for most of 2009 before they started the inning limit thing. And Phil Coke, their primary lefty out of the pen for most of 2009.

      Other than those guys, I can’t think of anyone.

      And where are his shrewd trades? The only way be has been able to improve the team is by throwing tons of money at free agents. I am very down on Cashman and would like to see him gone but I think the Steinbrenners like him for some reason and won’t get rid of him.

      Assuming you think the Knoblauch deal was mostly the work of Watson (and it likely was), then there’s still:

      Trading Wells, Bush and Lloyd for Roger Clemens
      Trading Hideki Irabu to the Expos for Ted Lilly and Jake Westbrook.
      Trading Westbrook, Ledee and Day for David Justice.
      Trading Ford and Mairena for Glenallen Hill.
      Trading Spurling to the Pirates for Luis Sojo.
      Trading Justice for Robin Ventura.
      Trading Ventura for Scott Proctor (and Bubba Crosby).
      Trading Soriano and Arias for Alex Rodriguez.
      Trading Ramirez and Siera for Shawn Chacon.
      Trading Julianel for Ron Villone.
      Trading Henry, Sanchez, Monasterios and Smith for Bobby Abreu.
      Trading Kinard for Jose Molina.
      Trading Betemit, Marquez and Nunez for Nick Swisher.
      Trading Erickson and Fryar for Eric Hinske.
      Trading Weems for Jerry Hairston, Jr.

      By my conservative count, that’s 15 fairly shrewd trades in his 13 seasons as GM, of which only 3 or 4 could be fairly counted as salary dumps.

    16. Evan3457
      January 2nd, 2011 | 4:27 am

      LMJ229 wrote:

      If he would have been able to sign Lee, three of our top four starters in 2011 would have been big money free agent signings. That says it all.

      Actually, it says very little. As I pointed out above, to win the 1996 title, the top 4 of the rotation consisted of two big ticket free agents (Key and Rogers), one big salary dump (Cone), and 1 farm product (Pettitte). The top 4 of the rotation in 1998-2000 was Pettitte, a huge salary dump (Clemens), a big ticket international free agent (El Duque) and Cone (a 2nd big salary dump). Wells (mid-level free agent) was part of the rotation in 1998.

      And he traded away pitcher Arodys Vizcaino (a top 100 prospect) to the Braves for Javier Vazquez, who he knew was on the last year of his contract. That’s inexcusable in my book.

      Why is it inexcusable to trade a top 100 prospect for a veteran starter? Did you know that Marty Janzen (traded for David Cone) was #40 in the Baseball America top 100 in 1996, the off-season before he was traded?

      The fact that Vazquez was gone at the end of the season was a GOOD aspect of the trade, not a bad one, on at least two counts:

      1) If he bombed, the Yanks would only be obligated to him for one year, and
      2) The Yanks get a supplemental 1st round pick because he signed with the Marlins. It is very likely they can use that #1 pick to get a prospect with as much upside as Vizcaino, assuming Vizcaino elbow problem is not chronic.

      That trade now blows off to Vizcaino and Dunn for Supplemental Pick and Logan, as Melky played so poorly with the Braves that they refused arbitration and set him free. Granted that Vazquez was an enormous disappointment, I don’t see the long-term cost here, if the Yanks use the pick properly.

      We are getting fleeced by other teams in trades (see Curtis Granderson)

      Fleeced, Gracie? Granderson was probably more valuable than Jackson last year, and if he can hold the gains he made from his work with Long, he’ll be several wins more valuable than Jackson this year, unless Jackson learns not to strike out so much, to walk more, and to hit for some power.

      and are being used by player’s agents on the free agent market (see Cliff Lee).

      I have several problems with this:

      1. If you want a player and make a serious bid, and he doesn’t want to play for your team and doesn’t tell, how can you prevent him from “using” you? The player is a FREE agent; he doesn’t have to take your bid. Cashman made his bid, upped his bid once, and when there was no positive response, he refused to up his bid any more.

      2. If he was used, then so was Jon Daniels.

      3. By virtue of the fact that the Yankees are the Yankees, players’ agents are always going to “use” them to jack up bids, whethere they want to go to the Yankees or not. This was going on before Cashman got there, and it’ll be going on after he’s gone. Until the Yanks stop having the highest payroll, this is going to happen to them from time to time. Can’t be helped.

    17. MJ Recanati
      January 2nd, 2011 | 9:35 am

      @ Evan3457:
      Thanks for writing all that. You saved me a lot of time and you couldn’t be more on the money.

    18. Raf
      January 2nd, 2011 | 10:23 am

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Until the Yanks stop having the highest payroll, this is going to happen to them from time to time. Can’t be helped.

      It would’ve happened regardless of the Yankees’ payroll. The more teams that are in on a player, the more competitive bids a player will receive.

    19. Ryan81
      January 2nd, 2011 | 10:46 am

      @ Evan3457:
      Of those 15 “shrewd” trades, I would say the trades for Clemens, Justice, A-Rod (who mainly whined his way out of Texas), Abreu (which was a good trade before the world learned he was afraid of the outfield wall), Swisher, and maybe Molina and Boone (who you didn’t mention) are really the ones you should highlight. The rest either a.) make him look bad (the Irabu trade brings up the fact that he then traded Lilly away for Weaver) or b.) are inconsequential. I mean saying Cashman is shrewd for picking up a 40 year old Ron Villone is grasping for straws.

      And if you’re gonna compare salary dumps, you also conveniently forget that Vazquez was a salary dump last year as well. Didn’t really work out as well as the Cone deal…

      I personally though, can not wait to see Cashman leave this job and go to Seattle or Washington or whatever small market team his new rumored destination will be after this season and see how much of a “genius” he really is.

    20. Evan3457
      January 2nd, 2011 | 12:33 pm

      Ryan81 wrote:

      @ Evan3457:
      Of those 15 “shrewd” trades, I would say the trades for Clemens, Justice, A-Rod (who mainly whined his way out of Texas), Abreu (which was a good trade before the world learned he was afraid of the outfield wall)

      Well, no, the Abreu trade is a good trade because it provided 2 1/2 years of good value in right with little or no cost to the team.

      …Swisher, and maybe Molina and Boone (who you didn’t mention) are really the ones you should highlight. The rest either a.) make him look bad (the Irabu trade brings up the fact that he then traded Lilly away for Weaver)

      No, it doesn’t. A trade stands of falls on its own merits, otherwise you have to run down every last outcome of every player involved, with sometimes obscured results, as in…yes, they did trade Lilly for Weaver, but they also traded Westbrook as part of the deal for Justice, and then Justice for Ventura, and Ventura for Proctor, and Proctor for Betemit, and Betemit became the key piece in the deal for Swisher, and along the way you can debit the losses of Lilly and Westbrook, but then you have to give credit for a year and a half of Justice, a year and a half of Ventura, two years of Proctor, a year and a half of Betemit off the bench, and now, two years of Swisher.

      or b.) are inconsequential.

      By what standard is the deal for Hill inconsequential? He hit brilliantly for them in the 2000 regular season, and that team’s offense was mediocre for most of the season. Picking up Hinske and Hairston didn’t strengthen their bench in the middle of the 2009 season? Picking up Chacon didn’t help them win the East in 2005?

      I mean saying Cashman is shrewd for picking up a 40 year old Ron Villone is grasping for straws.

      In the first place, he got a usable reliever for literally nothing. Villone was more or less league average for his two seasons with the Yanks. In the second place, holding up the least significant of the 15 as the bellweather of the group is a nifty strawman. Nowhere did I say that deal was huge. I simply included it in the “shrewd” list, and it belongs there.

      And if you’re gonna compare salary dumps, you also conveniently forget that Vazquez was a salary dump last year as well. Didn’t really work out as well as the Cone deal…

      No, but the Clemens salary dump worked out well, as did the Abreu salary dump, and the Justice salary dump.

      I personally though, can not wait to see Cashman leave this job and go to Seattle or Washington or whatever small market team his new rumored destination will be after this season and see how much of a “genius” he really is.

      Well, to each his own.

    21. Ryan81
      January 2nd, 2011 | 4:00 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:
      Well, no, the Abreu trade is a good trade because it provided 2 1/2 years of good value in right with little or no cost to the team.

      No, it doesn’t. A trade stands of falls on its own merits, otherwise you have to run down every last outcome of every player involved, with sometimes obscured results, as in…yes, they did trade Lilly for Weaver, but they also traded Westbrook as part of the deal for Justice, and then Justice for Ventura, and Ventura for Proctor, and Proctor for Betemit, and Betemit became the key piece in the deal for Swisher, and along the way you can debit the losses of Lilly and Westbrook, but then you have to give credit for a year and a half of Justice, a year and a half of Ventura, two years of Proctor, a year and a half of Betemit off the bench, and now, two years of Swisher.

      By what standard is the deal for Hill inconsequential? He hit brilliantly for them in the 2000 regular season, and that team’s offense was mediocre for most of the season. Picking up Hinske and Hairston didn’t strengthen their bench in the middle of the 2009 season? Picking up Chacon didn’t help them win the East in 2005?

      In the first place, he got a usable reliever for literally nothing. Villone was more or less league average for his two seasons with the Yanks. In the second place, holding up the least significant of the 15 as the bellweather of the group is a nifty strawman. Nowhere did I say that deal was huge. I simply included it in the “shrewd” list, and it belongs there.

      No, but the Clemens salary dump worked out well, as did the Abreu salary dump, and the Justice salary dump.

      First off, Abreu was not a good value. The dude put up numbers that were good, but not out-of-this-world, something that should be done when you get paid $16 million a season. His best season in pinstripes saw him put up a 3 WAR. At that price? I’m duly not impressed. My lasting impression of Abreu was him flailing at a lazy fly-ball turned triple by JD Drew that a.) almost sealed the 08 Yankees fate in August and b.) Paul O’Neill would have caught.

      Second, I can link the Irabu trade directly to one bad deal. Had the Lilly/Weaver trade not been made and Lilly had the same career from Oakland to the present in New York, he would have been one of the top 5 most reliable starters Cashman acquired. Where as you needed to trace back about 5 relatively bust trades on their own merits (except the Justice deal) to the Swisher deal.

      I think it’s inconsequential to point out minor bullpen/bench moves as major highlights. Listing Villone (who I thought was a good pickup) and other bench moves as successes while ignoring the long list of big name busts Cashman maneuvered that have hurt this team far more than Villone, Hill, Chacon, Hinske, and Hairston helped is grasping for straws. Speaking of great depth moves midseason, how did Matt Lawton work out? Lance Berkman? Embree? Pudge Rodriguez? Damaso Marte’s 12 million dollar deal for one strike out to Chase Utley and three years on the DL? Rogah Clemens in George’s Box?

      And the Justice and Clemens deals happened a decade ago. On this logic, Jeter should have asked for $25 million and brought his 2000 World Series MVP trophy for leverage.

    22. Raf
      January 2nd, 2011 | 4:40 pm

      Ryan81 wrote:

      And the Justice and Clemens deals happened a decade ago. On this logic, Jeter should have asked for $25 million and brought his 2000 World Series MVP trophy for leverage.

      He may have asked for that, probably around the time it was leaked that he should take a “reality potion.”

    23. Evan3457
      January 2nd, 2011 | 8:09 pm

      Ryan81 wrote:

      First off, Abreu was not a good value. The dude put up numbers that were good, but not out-of-this-world, something that should be done when you get paid $16 million a season. His best season in pinstripes saw him put up a 3 WAR. At that price? I’m duly not impressed.

      Completely different argument.
      It’s NOT necessary for every player to be worth more than his WAR. It sure helps if you have a lot of guys do that, but the Yanks are trying to win it all, and can overpay for value. You know, like they did for Derek Jeter in 3 of the last 5 years.

      The Abreu deal is a good one, because they gave up nothing, and got a 3 WAR player to fill a hole, allowing them to get unload Sheffield, before he could become the major headache he always was when in the last year of a contract. And all it cost them was several million dollars “above value”.

      My lasting impression of Abreu was him flailing at a lazy fly-ball turned triple by JD Drew that a.) almost sealed the 08 Yankees fate in August and b.) Paul O’Neill would have caught.

      OK, so now I infer from this that your argument is that the Abreu deal was a bad one because…he wasn’t Paul O’Neill. Yes, or no?

      Second, I can link the Irabu trade directly to one bad deal. Had the Lilly/Weaver trade not been made and Lilly had the same career from Oakland to the present in New York, he would have been one of the top 5 most reliable starters Cashman acquired.

      I can’t argue with this, though it does assume Lilly would’ve had the same career with the Yanks. However, I see no reason to assume he wouldn’t have. I would point out, however, that he was not as effective in Oakland and Toronto as he became when he moved onto the Cubs and the NL, without the DH.

      Where as you needed to trace back about 5 relatively bust trades on their own merits (except the Justice deal) to the Swisher deal.

      It doesn’t matter how I get there, the trade of Westbrook cost the Yanks about 11 WAR over his time with the Indians, whereas the string of 5 trades has resulted in picking up a total of about 12 WAR and still counting.

      I think it’s inconsequential to point out minor bullpen/bench moves as major highlights. Listing Villone (who I thought was a good pickup) and other bench moves as successes while ignoring the long list of big name busts Cashman maneuvered that have hurt this team far more than Villone, Hill, Chacon, Hinske, and Hairston helped is grasping for straws.
      You didn’t ask for major highlights, you asked for “shrewd” moves. I listed them.

      Speaking of great depth moves midseason, how did Matt Lawton work out? Lance Berkman?

      Berkman worked fine, thanks for asking. He was one of the few Yankees who actually hit in the post-season.

      Embree? Pudge Rodriguez? Damaso Marte’s 12 million dollar deal for one strike out to Chase Utley and three years on the DL?

      Well, no, that isn’t all that Marte did in the World Series. In game 1, he K’d Ultey, and got Howard on a flyout. In game 3, he K’d Howard and Werth, and got Ibanez on a liner. In game 4, he got Howard to flyout to end an inning. In game 6, he got the Yanks through the Phils’ last gasp, fanning Utley again to bail Joba out of a 2-out, 2-on jam. Then he fanned Howard to start the next inning, before the Yanks went to Mariano.

      He pitched brilliantly throughout the series, and also did well in the ALCS. And he was quite important, as Phil Coke didn’t pitch well at all. I don’t know that the Yanks wouldn’t have won it all without Marte, but I don’t know that they would’ve, either. Finally, as the entire staff was having trouble keeping Utley in the park, I wouldn’t poo-poo,

      Rogah Clemens in George’s Box? And the Justice and Clemens deals happened a decade ago. On this logic, Jeter should have asked for $25 million and brought his 2000 World Series MVP trophy for leverage.

      …and the Lilly deal happened over 8 years ago, and the 1st Vazquez deal happened 7 years ago. No statute of limitations on those trades, though, is there? And why is that? Because help your case?

    24. Evan3457
      January 2nd, 2011 | 8:31 pm

      …and of the three games the Red Sox played vs. the Yanks in August 2008, Drew wasn’t in any of them.

      He did play 3 games against them in July, but his only hit was a home run. Not likely that Abreu’s fear of the wall did him in on that.

      And the Yanks won that game 10-3. The Yanks fell out of the Wild Card race in 2008 in a prolonged slump that saw them lose 13 of 19, against mostly the Orioles, the Rangers, and especially, the Angels.

    25. LMJ229
      January 2nd, 2011 | 9:15 pm

      Evan, I mentioned Jeter, Petitte, Mariano, Bernie and Posada as players that were developed under the Stick Michaels/Bob Watson era and you come back with Ricky Ledee, Shane Spencer, Nick Johnson, and Melky Cabrera? Please tell me you are not comparing the productiveness of these players. You might want to check their stats.

      And comparing David Cone to Javier Vazquez? When you make such ludicrous comparisons it is really hard to take your posts seriously.

    26. Evan3457
      January 2nd, 2011 | 10:44 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      Evan, I mentioned Jeter, Petitte, Mariano, Bernie and Posada as players that were developed under the Stick Michaels/Bob Watson era and you come back with Ricky Ledee, Shane Spencer, Nick Johnson, and Melky Cabrera? Please tell me you are not comparing the productiveness of these players. You might want to check their stats.

      You start with Cano, Hughes and Gardner, and omit Soriano and Wang. I just mentioned the others for completeness.

      Pettitte was drafted by the organization under GM Harding Peterson.

      Bernie was signed while Clyde King was the GM, and developed while King, Lou Piniella, Woody Woodward, Bob Quinn and Peterson served at GM. By the time Michael got there, Bernie was already a big-time prospect at AAA. Micheal did probably save Bernie from being traded by George once or twice.

      Rivera was also signed while Peterson was the GM. He was a good starting pitcher in their organization, and was put into the pen by Showalter most likely. Nobody, not Showalter, not Michael, not Watson, foresaw that Mariano would adopt the cutter and become the greatest closer ever.

      Posada was also drafted under Petersen. Someone in the organization converted him from second baseman to catcher. I don’t know who. He came up through the farm under Michael and Watson, but finally became the starting catcher in 1998 under Cashman.

      And then there’s Jeter. Picked by Michael and the farm guys with the 6th pick in the draft in 1992. And the Yanks got lucky; the Reds, picking right before them at #5, had trouble deciding between Jeter and Chad Mottola. The deciding factor may have been the presence of 28 year old All-Star shortstop Barry Larkin. Number of times the Yanks have drafted in the top 10 since then? None.

      Other #1 picks drafted by the Yanks under Gene Michael: Brien Taylor, Matt Drews, Brian Buchanan, Shea Morenz. Under Watson: Eric Milton, Tyrell Godwin, Ryan Bradley (supplemental).

      Did the Michael group do a terrific job getting Bernie, Jeter, Mariano, Pettitte and Posada to the bigs in working order? Sure they did. But they had the luxury of waiting, and the progress made on the major league level by Buck gave them 2-3 crucial years to get them to the doorstep, so they couldn’t be traded away impulsively for help on the spot.

      Cashman has never, ever operated under that same luxury. While he’s been in charge, the mandate is: win now, win it all, and with little or no risk in the form of uncertain prospects.

      And comparing David Cone to Javier Vazquez? When you make such ludicrous comparisons it is really hard to take your posts seriously.

      Excuse me; YOU made the point about it being “inexcusable to trade away a top 100 prospect”. I was answering that particular point, that they did it in the Cone trade (and again in the Johnson trade, Dioner Navarro). Nowhere did I compare Cone to Vazquez. Was it also inexcusable to do it for Johnson?

      You know what Arodys Vizcaino is? He’s a lottery ticket. He’s an A-Ball pitcher with terrific stuff, and excellent command. You know how many pitchers in baseball fit that description at any given time? A lot. What percentage of them make a significant impact in the big leagues? Not many. One reason is what happened to him this year; a significant arm injury.

      But the Braves have a good reputation with regards to judging pitchers, so you might be right; he might develop into a very good starter. But even if he does (and I mentioned this above) the Yanks are getting a supplemental 1st-rounder in this year’s draft (which is supposed to be the most talent-laden draft in years). If they use that pick (which they don’t get if they don’t trade for Vazquez) properly, they should be able to get a comparable prospect to Vizcaino. If they use it properly and get lucky, they might wind up with a better prospect than Vizcaino, if you can imagine it.

      As for finding it hard to take my posts seriously…it’s OK, no law says you have to. I don’t take every post by people who bash Cashman seriously, either; it just seems that way. I don’t think he’s a particularly great GM. But he’s not the idiot some people make him out to be. I rate him slightly better than average.

      In my opinion, the Cashman-bashing phenomenon is telescoping all of his mistakes over 13 seasons into a “big, steaming pile of incompetence”, ignoring all the decisions that have worked, some spectacularly well, and assuming that if only some mythical “someone better” were in charge, the Yanks would win every year.

    27. Raf
      January 2nd, 2011 | 10:59 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      assuming that if only some mythical “someone better” were in charge, the Yanks would win every year.

      Which doesn’t work, considering that under Michael and Watson, the Yanks sandwiched 2 first round exits around a world series win.

    28. MJ Recanati
      January 3rd, 2011 | 9:31 am

      Evan3457 wrote:

      In my opinion, the Cashman-bashing phenomenon is telescoping all of his mistakes over 13 seasons into a “big, steaming pile of incompetence”, ignoring all the decisions that have worked, some spectacularly well, and assuming that if only some mythical “someone better” were in charge, the Yanks would win every year.

      That is absolutely correct.

    29. PHMDen
      October 30th, 2013 | 8:43 pm

      Raf wrote:

      See the Hideki Irabu trade. See the David Justice deal. Robin Ventura? GlenAllen Hill? Nick Swisher? Cashman has had his good trades as well.

      As in the proposed Randy Johnson for Hideki Irabu trade?

      “… When San Diego defeated Randy Johnson and Houston to race into the N.L.C.S., Cashman was finally able to exhale… The Yankees’ principal owner had complimented Cashman for refusing to give up Irabu and two of three players from a group of Lowell, Bradley and Ledee. But as Johnson raged to a 10-1 record with Houston, who acquired him for minor leaguers, Steinbrenner grew antsy about CASHMAN’s DECISION.

      “[Cashman] would probably have dealt Irabu and Ledee for Johnson to keep him from Cleveland and to enhance their chances for a second World Series title in three years. At that point in the season, Cashman said, ‘I felt we made the right decision for us… the price tag was too high. We wanted Randy Johnson. A match couldn’t be made. I was comfortable with the decision.’”

      http://www.nytimes.com/1998/08/05/sports/baseball-yankees-notebook-waiver-deal-could-be-hard-to-do.html

      http://www.nytimes.com/1998/10/06/sports/baseball-league-championship-series-notebook-johnson-s-exit-proves-cashman-right.html

      Great decision; an absolutely great decision. And Cashman was able to use Lowell to pry Ed Yarnall from the Florida Marlins one year later.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      In my opinion, the Cashman-bashing phenomenon is telescoping all of his mistakes over 13 seasons into a “big, steaming pile of incompetence”, ignoring all the decisions that have worked, some spectacularly well, and assuming that if only some mythical “someone better” were in charge, the Yanks would win every year.

      What crap…

    30. Evan3457
      October 30th, 2013 | 9:55 pm

      PHMDen wrote:

      What crap…

      Agreed. Just like everything you post.

    31. McMillan
      October 30th, 2013 | 10:13 pm

      PHMDen wrote:

      Great decision; an absolutely great decision. And Cashman was able to use Lowell to pry Ed Yarnall from the Florida Marlins one year later.

      LOL. Irabu, Lowell and Bradley to Seattle for Randy Johnson in 1998 would have been a disaster…

      Evan3457 wrote:

      In my opinion, the Cashman-bashing phenomenon is telescoping all of his mistakes over 13 seasons into a “big, steaming pile of incompetence”, ignoring all the decisions that have worked, some spectacularly well, and assuming that if only some mythical “someone better” were in charge, the Yanks would win every year.

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      That is absolutely correct.

      @ MJ Recanati:
      @ Evan3457:
      LOL – “Spectacular success.” Yes… Congratulations, Boston, on your third A.L. Pennant, and your third World Series Championship since 2004…
      If winning one A.L. Pennant, and one World Series Championship in nine years with the highest payrolls in M.L.B. is “spectacular success,” then I wonder what Boston’s accomplishment is called…

      Of course, signing Victorino, Napoli, Gomes, Dempster, Ross, and Uehara, and winning every postseason series played in less than seven games, or without one elimination game, was mostly luck – congratulations, anyway.

      I’m looking forward to the spectacular success of the 2014 season in The Bronx. I also wonder if Kuroda will be back as the no. 2 starter at the age of 39?

      I can’t wait to see what the “Billy Beane of the East” comes up with, with only $210 million to work with next year…

    32. Mr. October
      October 30th, 2013 | 11:16 pm

      PHMDen wrote:

      The Yankees’ principal owner had complimented Cashman for refusing to give up Irabu and two of three players from a group of Lowell, Bradley and Ledee.

      PHMDen wrote:

      And Cashman was able to use Lowell to pry Ed Yarnall from the Florida Marlins one year later.

      Irabu and Lowell for Randy Johnson? Or Irabu and Lowell for Jeff Weaver? That’s a tough one…

    33. Sweet Lou
      October 31st, 2013 | 10:25 pm

      McMillan wrote:

      I can’t wait to see what the “Billy Beane of the East” comes up with, with only $210 million to work with next year…

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Prove to me that it’s the pitching, and not the hitting, which determines who wins [a postseason series].

      @ Evan3457:
      Psst…
      Psst…

      The game is designed that way: the defense controls the ball.

      If we wanted a game in which the hitting determined who wins a series, we could lower the pitcher’s mound, change the dimensions of the diamond and field, change the rules for balls and strikes, etc. We could do that if we wanted to…

      We could do all of this, but most of us like the game the way it is.

      Given that the game is designed this way, doesn’t it make sense to allocate financial resources to the starting rotation before any other part of the roster? Beane thinks so.

      If baseball allowed Beane to G.M. two teams, one in the A.L., and one in the N.L., and the A.L. team had a $230 million payroll, and the N.L. team had a $60 million payroll, what do you think those two teams would look like?

      Do you think they both might have comparable starting pitching depth?

      Which team do you think would win if the two met in the World Series? The $60 million team with a Hudson, Mulder, and Zito, or the $230 million team with a Hudson, Mulder, and Zito?

      If those two teams met in the World Series for 10 straight years, do you think the A.L. team might win 8 or 9 of those Series? If the postseason is a crapshoot , the answer is no. But the postseason is a crapshoot for the $60 million team only, therefore it can’t expect to win more than 1 or 2 series.

      Capisce?

      http://www.amazon.com/Baseball-For-Dummies-Joe-Morgan/dp/0764575376

      @ MJ Recanati:
      @ Raf:
      @ Mr. October:

    34. PHMDen
      October 31st, 2013 | 10:57 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Agreed. Just like everything you post.

      @ Evan3457:
      I’ve posted comments on only a few threads in the past, and on the one occasion that I was mistaken about something I wrote to you, I recall having acknowledged it. You, on the other hand, have been wrong about this sport in general for what seems to be years.

      Maybe it’s time to find another hobby?

    35. Kamieniecki
      October 31st, 2013 | 11:32 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      That is absolutely correct.

      @ MJ Recanati:
      Coming from you, that would make something absolutely incorrect.

      Sweet Lou wrote:

      The game is designed that way: the defense controls the ball.

      @ Sweet Lou:
      LOL. Evan3457 is still trying to figure that one out. Stop making sense – you’ll confuse the man.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Fleeced, Gracie?

      Fleeced.

    36. Evan3457
      November 1st, 2013 | 2:41 am

      PHMDen wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      Agreed. Just like everything you post.
      @ Evan3457:
      I’ve posted comments on only a few threads in the past, and on the one occasion that I was mistaken about something I wrote to you, I recall having acknowledged it. You, on the other hand, have been wrong about this sport in general for what seems to be years.
      Maybe it’s time to find another hobby?

      Maybe it’s time for you to admit that none of your six personalities are right more than about 5% of the time, Sybil.

      What a chump.

    37. Evan3457
      November 1st, 2013 | 2:47 am

      Sweet Lou wrote:

      Psst…
      Psst…
      The game is designed that way: the defense controls the ball.

      Psst…Until the pitcher lets go of the pitch. Then he’s no longer in control.

      What a chump. Under any “handle”.

      (Oooh, a period outside a “! Call out the Grammar Gestapo! (By the way, the British allow that.)

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