• Cashman: “I Will Not Lose Our No. 1 Draft Pick”

    Posted by on January 7th, 2011 · Comments (34)

    Where was this logic when it came to the call to go with Gerrit Cole?

    Via Chad Jennings

    Essentially taking himself out of the running for Rafael Soriano, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said this afternoon that he absolutely will not make a move that costs the Yankees their top draft pick.

    “I will not lose our No. 1 draft pick,” Cashman said. “I would have for Cliff Lee. I won’t lose our No. 1 draft pick for anyone else.”

    Most Type-A free agents have already signed — including Lee — but Soriano and Grant Balfour are still on the market. The Yankees have been linked to Soriano quite often, but Cashman said it’s possible to link the Yankees to just about every free agent out there. Cashman checks on the availability and asking price of pretty much everyone — “That’s my job,” he said — but those conversations don’t necessarily go any further.

    “Talking about somebody doesn’t characterize a level of interest in any guy,” Cashman said. “And obviously this winter we’ve done a lot of talking.”

    The Yankees most serious discussions centered on Lee. Aside from their own free agents — Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera — it was Lee who best fit the Yankees offseason needs. The Yankees made an aggressive push, but Lee ultimately settled into a deal with the Phillies. In the weeks since Lee signed, the free agent market has gone from bad to worse.

    “It wasn’t strong,” Cashman said. “It’s certainly a lot less strong since (Lee) made his decision.”

    Comments on Cashman: “I Will Not Lose Our No. 1 Draft Pick”

    1. Evan3457
      January 7th, 2011 | 3:18 pm

      Not remotely the same thing.

      Yanks believed they had a shot to sign Cole, who was not entirely honest about what he intended to do.

      Yanks drafted Cole BECAUSE he was worthy of a #1 pick. Signing a reliever to guarantee losing the #1 is a conscious decision.

      Or rather an unconscious one.

    2. RobertGKramer@AOL.Com
      January 7th, 2011 | 3:50 pm

      Other than pitchers and catchers, the farm needs more decent prospects at the other seven positions. The 2011 draft presents as a deep one. Keep that pick by all means!!!

      Cole was worth the big risk. Shortly after he decided on college I remember reading he was projected as a top college pitcher.

    3. MJ Recanati
      January 7th, 2011 | 4:15 pm

      @ Steve Lombardi:
      With all due respect, that you’d even try to make this argument shows an unbelievable amount of intellectual dishonesty. I know you know the difference between Cole’s and Soriano’s situations because I know you know baseball well enough to know the difference. Thus you’re creating a strawman argument on the basis that your dislike of Brian Cashman outweighs any level of objectivity that you might otherwise have.

      It’s a totally absurd comparison.

    4. gphunt
      January 7th, 2011 | 4:31 pm

      Oh man, I don’t post here at all but this is ridiculous! Cole told the Yankees one thing and then did another. Should the Yankees have bugged his house during the months leading up to that draft? I guess so. I can’t believe our GM won’t break the law nor can he read minds.

    5. jay
      January 7th, 2011 | 6:02 pm

      This may be an appropriate thread to do this, considering the absurdity of Steve “analysis.”

      I comment every few weeks ago, 99% of the time disagreeing with Steve because I mostly find his analysis absolutely ridiculous. But the weird thing is, I find it entertaining. I’m recalling a post years ago where Steve explored this phenomenon and a friend of his likened this situation to why people read Mike Lupica. A fitting example, IMO, even if Steve doesn’t understand why.

      So, to the other people who (1) I see post frequently and (2) are typically of the same view point I am (namely, Steve’s ridiculous bias when it comes to certain, let’s call them ‘hot button issues), I’ll ask: why are *you* hear? Please don’t read any sarcasm into that question – I’m 100% sincerely interested in knowing.

    6. Scout
      January 7th, 2011 | 9:59 pm

      I suspect that sometimes Steve writes his snarky anti-Cashman asides just to tweak us. He probably has a little twinkle in his eye, too.

      The point, if I may be so bold as to speak for Steve, is that it is all well and good to retain your first-round pick, but you also have to use it wisely. Cole is perhaps not the best example, though, for reasons others have noted. But I was critical at the time of the seemingly mechanical approach the organization took to the negotiations. Cashman and company assumed Cole would sign at the deadline, so they made no effort to court him or sell him on the value of being a Yankee. Never take things for granted when the stakes are so high. Cole and his family made their decision with, in my view, too little push by the Yankees. Perhaps it was complacency, and Boras (Cole’s representative) may have suffered from it as well. I would also remind Steve that when Cole refused to sign the Yankees received a valuable compensatory pick the following year.

      To me, the better example arose in this past draft (2010), when the Yankees passed on Nick Castelanos in Round One. As a third baseman with power, he would have been a valuable asset, given A-Rod’s age and evident decline. Instead the Yankees overloaded on raw, athletic shortstops (Culver and Gumbs), at least one of whom would have been available when the Yankees had their second pick. Time will tell whether the organization’s evaluation (Oppenheimer, I presume) was correct.

      As to the principle here – hold your top draft choices unless a free agent will be a difference-maker – is absolutely sound. I cannot fault Cashman for making the right call on the remaining free agents. Let’s hope when the draft comes around that the organization uses its picks effectively. We won’t know for 4-5 years.

    7. jay
      January 7th, 2011 | 11:11 pm

      Scout- Rehashing what happened with Cole isn’t necessary with most of us in this crowd, which is sort of the point. We all know what happened, *including* Steve. It’s a further execution of his MO – bad analysis to support him on his soap box.

    8. January 8th, 2011 | 3:35 pm

      I can’t believe what I am reading here. If the Yanks picked a player in this spring’s draft, and that player turned out to be as good as Soriano would you be satisfied with the pick? I sure as hell would. Soriano is 31 years old. He is a perfect fit for the Yanks. He has been a closer, can take over for Mariano if he is hurt or starts to decline, and in the meantime gives the Yankees a hell of an 8th and 9th inning combo.

    9. jay
      January 8th, 2011 | 4:20 pm

      Joseph Maloney wrote:

      I can’t believe what I am reading here. If the Yanks picked a player in this spring’s draft, and that player turned out to be as good as Soriano would you be satisfied with the pick?.

      I think you are fundamentally misunderstanding the situation.

      Soriano presumably costs a lot for a few years (feel free to speculate on what his contract demands are, but the context of this years free agent market for relievers gives us at least a few good starting points.)

      A good draft pick potentially becomes a player that makes the MLB minimum for 3 years, and then is arbitration eligible for 3 years.

      You really ‘can’t believe what you are reading’? Cost controlled players, productive players are the most important commodity.

    10. January 8th, 2011 | 6:43 pm

      I’m not fundamentally misunderstanding anything. These are the words I’m reacting to by Cashman, “I won’t lose our No. 1 draft pick for anyone else”. This is a chance to get a top shelf closer to back up Mariano in case at the age of 41 he starts to decline. The Yankees starting staff is thin, one way to battle that is with a lights out bullpen. If we can get someone to fix Joba so we can get some consistency out of him maybe we can get around the thin starting pitching issue. We don’t know what Soriano wants and we do have a need for him.

    11. LMJ229
      January 9th, 2011 | 1:11 am

      I fully agree with the previous post. Isn’t the ultimate goal to make the major league team better? If the Yankees don’t make the playoffs in any given year are we supposed to accept that because our minor league teams are producing? It’s great to have good minor league prospects. But the whole purpose of the minor leagues is to produce players for your major league team or produce players that you can trade to improve your major league team.

    12. LMJ229
      January 9th, 2011 | 1:36 am

      I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Yanks trade for Carlos Zambrano now that the Cubs picked up Matt Garza they have an abundance of starting pitchers.

    13. MJ Recanati
      January 9th, 2011 | 10:54 am

      Joseph Maloney wrote:

      This is a chance to get a top shelf closer to back up Mariano in case at the age of 41 he starts to decline.

      Soriano would demand closer money to be a setup man to Rivera. If you think spending the kind of money (and the number of years) it takes to get him AND giving up a draft pick is a sensible allocation of assets, I really don’t know what to tell you.

      Joseph Maloney wrote:

      The Yankees starting staff is thin, one way to battle that is with a lights out bullpen.

      I’ve heard this argument a lot and never understood it. If the starting staff is incapable of preventing runs and the team is always playing from behind then Soriano wouldn’t do anything since you would never want to pitch your $10M reliever in mop-up roles. The best bullpen is a deep bullpen, not a top-heavy one of closers that only go one inning each. That’s why guys like Robertson — when pitching well — are so valuable. They can go multiple innings.

      Joseph Maloney wrote:

      We don’t know what Soriano wants and we do have a need for him.

      The Yankees have no more need for Soriano than for a cheaper bullpen alternative that doesn’t cost a draft pick. The odds that Soriano outperforms the draft pick over the life of his own contract is an iffy proposition given what we know about the volatility of relief pitching.

    14. MJ Recanati
      January 9th, 2011 | 10:57 am

      LMJ229 wrote:

      I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Yanks trade for Carlos Zambrano now that the Cubs picked up Matt Garza they have an abundance of starting pitchers.

      The Yankees should NOT do this unless the Cubs either take a C-/D+ prospect for him or pay his entire freight. There are few contracts in baseball as bad as Zambrano’s and his effectiveness has declined in each of the past few seasons.

      Honestly, the Cubs aren’t trading Zambrano anyway. They don’t have the surplus of pitching you think they do, even with Garza. Dempster/Zambrano/Garza/Silva is their top four, with Randy Wells and Tom Gorzelanny (sp?) as their next two.

    15. LMJ229
      January 9th, 2011 | 12:20 pm

      @ MJ Recanati:
      The Yankees should NOT do this unless the Cubs either take a C-/D+ prospect for him or pay his entire freight.

      I agree. This would be a salary dump for the Cubs. I don’t think the Yanks would trade away a good prospect for him. But I could see the Yanks eating a good part of his salary.

    16. January 9th, 2011 | 1:59 pm

      @ MJ Recanati:

      Again, Rivera is already 41 years old, who knows what to expect. We go into the season hoping Rivera is still Rivera but what if he isn’t, what’s wrong with having an insurance policy. If Rivera is still Rivera we have the 8th and 9th inning covered, and we have an alternative for a day in the not to distant future when he is no longer the closer.

      As far as the starting pitching is concerned, what is now on the table is Nova and Mitre for 4th and 5th starter, you don’t expect either of those guys to get much past the 5th, do you? If Mitre and Nova can’t do that and no alternatives are available then the Yanks are dead in 2011. We have to hope those two can win 20 games between them, and to do that bullpen help and a lot of it is essential.

    17. Raf
      January 9th, 2011 | 2:19 pm

      @ Joseph Maloney:
      If Rivera, Nova and Mitre are ineffective in 2011, they will be replaced with someone else. If the replacements are ineffective, THEY will be replaced as well.

      There are always alternatives available.

    18. MJ Recanati
      January 9th, 2011 | 4:02 pm

      @ Joseph Maloney:
      Worrying about Rivera’s replacement should be handled when the issue arises. When you have an effective closer, you don’t build in his replacements and backups until the need arises. The reason, of course, is because paying two closers is a ridiculous way to spend money.

      Joseph Maloney wrote:

      As far as the starting pitching is concerned, what is now on the table is Nova and Mitre for 4th and 5th starter, you don’t expect either of those guys to get much past the 5th, do you?

      No, I don’t. But I don’t see what Rafael Soriano does to counter this. He’d be paid to pitch the 8th inning, not the 5th or 6th.

    19. LMJ229
      January 9th, 2011 | 9:00 pm

      @ Raf:
      If Rivera, Nova and Mitre are ineffective in 2011, they will be replaced with someone else. If the replacements are ineffective, THEY will be replaced as well.
      There are always alternatives available.

      It is not unrealistic to suspect that Nova (inexperience), Mitre (journeyman), and Rivera (age) might not be effective this year. It would be helpful if you could expand on the alternatives that are available?

    20. LMJ229
      January 9th, 2011 | 9:06 pm

      MJ and Raf, are you satisfied with the club as it now stands? If not, what would you do to improve it?

    21. Evan3457
      January 9th, 2011 | 9:33 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      MJ and Raf, are you satisfied with the club as it now stands? If not, what would you do to improve it?

      I would add a #4 starter, a decent set-up guy, and a RH-hitting OF who can actually play the OF.

      None of these things has to happen now.

    22. Raf
      January 10th, 2011 | 1:57 am

      LMJ229 wrote:

      It is not unrealistic to suspect that Nova (inexperience), Mitre (journeyman), and Rivera (age) might not be effective this year. It would be helpful if you could expand on the alternatives that are available?

      If Rivera goes down, a reliever can be acquired via trade. Someone can move from the rotation to the pen. Someone can be called up from the minors to fill in. Someone in the pen can be promoted.

      Same for Mitre and Nova. If they show that they can’t handle the job, they’re either demoted to the bullpen or to the minors. A trade can be made to fill the rotation spot. An arm can be promoted from within. The team can go with a 4 man rotation temporarily. Someone can be signed to fill a spot.

      A lot can happen between now and opening day. A lot can happen between now and the trading deadline.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      a RH-hitting OF who can actually play the OF.

      Andruw Jones?

    23. MJ Recanati
      January 10th, 2011 | 9:03 am

      LMJ229 wrote:

      MJ and Raf, are you satisfied with the club as it now stands? If not, what would you do to improve it?

      I would add another starter (perhaps Jeff Francis) and I would check in on the remaining relief pitching options, perhaps settling on Jon Rauch.

      As far as the offense/bench goes, the team needs a righty-hitting OF and someone (anyone) that can make Ramiro Pena disappear.

      Brandon Laird played OF in the Arizona Fall League and I expect that he’ll play more OF in spring training and at AAA this year. It seems to me that if they’re not going to trade him this year, they’re going to try and turn him into Marcus Thames 2.0 for a July callup.

    24. Evan3457
      January 10th, 2011 | 3:36 pm

      Raf wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:a RH-hitting OF who can actually play the OF.Andruw Jones?

      That would be OK with me, but he’s a Boras player, so it’s very unlikely.

    25. MJ Recanati
      January 10th, 2011 | 3:58 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      That would be OK with me, but he’s a Boras player, so it’s very unlikely.

      He just played for 1Y/$500K with the White Sox last year. I imagine there aren’t too many teams banging down Andruw’s door at this point and Boras certainly wasn’t able to wrangle any money for his client last year.

      I assume he’ll get more than $500K after a 1.5 bWAR season last year but I don’t think the negotiations can be that contentious.

    26. LMJ229
      January 10th, 2011 | 10:53 pm

      @ MJ Recanati As far as the offense/bench goes, the team needs a righty-hitting OF and someone (anyone) that can make Ramiro Pena disappear.:

      LOL.
      Not a fan of Pena’s I take it?

    27. LMJ229
      January 10th, 2011 | 11:01 pm

      @ Raf:

      So Raf, I guess what you’re basically saying is: let’s wait and see. If they fail, we will bring in someone else, whoever that “someone else” might be. I understand that, but I don’t agree with that approach. I think if we can identify our weaknesses now – or our potential weaknesses – we should attempt to get better now. If we wait until we are in dire need, our bargaining position is significantly lessened.

    28. LMJ229
      January 10th, 2011 | 11:04 pm

      @ MJ Recanati:
      Thanks for being specific. I think you have given some good options.

    29. Raf
      January 11th, 2011 | 12:12 am

      LMJ229 wrote:

      I understand that, but I don’t agree with that approach.

      That approach has worked more often than not. Every team has done it at one point or another.

      If we wait until we are in dire need, our bargaining position is significantly lessened.

      You would think, but it rarely happens. When was the last time the Yankees, or any other team for that matter was held up in a trade because of a weak bargaining position?

    30. MJ Recanati
      January 11th, 2011 | 6:30 am

      LMJ229 wrote:

      Not a fan of Pena’s I take it?

      He can’t hit a lick and, with Nunez also on the team, I don’t see a point in carrying two utility infielders, only one of whom can hit enough to even be a marginally useful player.

      Pena stinks, I’m afraid.

    31. MJ Recanati
      January 11th, 2011 | 6:33 am

      LMJ229 wrote:

      I think if we can identify our weaknesses now – or our potential weaknesses – we should attempt to get better now.

      I agree with the sentiment but not with your implied point. I don’t think the bullpen is a weak spot for the team so I don’t see what throwing a lot of money into the bullpen will truly accomplish.

      LMJ229 wrote:

      If we wait until we are in dire need, our bargaining position is significantly lessened.

      This is a two-way problem. While the Yankees might become more desperate as the season goes along, the value in waiting is that potential sellers may get desperate as well. Never underestimate the false optimism of winter in places like KC or Cleveland and how, after a bad three months when they’re playing to half-empty stadiums and are already 20 games under .500, how desperately they’ll want to sell their assets.

    32. Evan3457
      January 13th, 2011 | 9:35 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Not remotely the same thing.
      Yanks believed they had a shot to sign Cole, who was not entirely honest about what he intended to do.
      Yanks drafted Cole BECAUSE he was worthy of a #1 pick. Signing a reliever to guarantee losing the #1 is a conscious decision.
      Or rather an unconscious one.

      Nice reply Nostradumbass.

      Yanks signed Soriano anyway, giving up the #1 pick. 3 years, $35 million.

      ==========================================
      Sure hope this works.

    33. PHMDen
      January 21st, 2014 | 3:07 pm

      Scout wrote:

      To me, the better example arose in this past draft (2010), when the Yankees passed on Nick Castelanos in Round One. As a third baseman with power, he would have been a valuable asset, given A-Rod’s age and evident decline. Instead the Yankees overloaded on raw, athletic shortstops (Culver and Gumbs), at least one of whom would have been available when the Yankees had their second pick. Time will tell whether the organization’s evaluation (Oppenheimer, I presume) was correct.

      It’s not looking good, but there’s still time.

      “… Castellanos, ranked No. 3 on MLB.com’s top 10 third-base prospect list, should get the chance to stay as long as possible – starting this year. He’ll get to do it back in the infield, his stomping grounds when he first was a supplemental first-round pick of the Tigers in the 2010 Draft. Castellanos had moved to the outfield in 2012, ironically, because Detroit thought that might be his quickest path to the Majors. Now, with Miguel Cabrera moving to first to replace the departed Prince Fielder, Castellanos will be given an opportunity to be the Tigers’ regular third baseman as a 22-year-old…”

    34. Scout
      January 21st, 2014 | 9:35 pm

      Yup, I think I called that one.

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