• Is Cashman Longing For Another Job?

    Posted by on January 23rd, 2011 · Comments (103)

    Via Bill Madden today –

    Lot of questions swirling around regarding Brian Cashman and his “Don’t look at me” declaration at the Rafael Soriano soiree last Wednesday – not the least of which was: Imagine if George Steinbrenner was still alive and he picked up the newspapers the next day and saw all these quotes from his general manager criticizing Yankee ownership for giving closer money to a set-up reliever and relinquishing their No. 1 June draft pick in the process?

    No doubt, Cashman would never have dared to get involved in a public hissing match with the late Yankee Boss – the road is still littered with carcasses of those who did – but the very fact he would run the risk of annoying his son, Hal, tells me that Cashman is not very happy in his job. There are a lot of reasons for this, the least of which was being overruled by his bosses on the Soriano signing. If you listen to some of things Cashman has said over the years and look at the pattern with which he has chosen to operate in the last few years – the CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Mark Teixeira winter notwithstanding – a picture emerges of a GM who clearly wishes he was running a small-market team like his pal Billy Beane in Oakland. Indeed, you get the feeling that Cashman is tired of being labled a “checkbook GM”, while viewing that $200 million Yankee payroll as an albatross rather than a built-in insurance policy for making the postseason every year. A tip-off of this was Cashman’s off-the-cuff remark to the Yankee beat writers at the winter meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. last December: “I haven’t had a problem knocking on Hal’s door and asking for more money. I have a problem sometimes of Hal saying yes. I know my title is general manager, but I consider myself the director of spending for the New York Yankees.”

    I have to say, I wonder if Cashman now wishes he went for the Washington Nationals job, when he had a shot, the way they’re throwing around money, etc. Personally, I would love to see Cashman become a GM for a team like the Reds, Royals, Blue Jays or Diamondbacks – and see how he does with a team payroll budget around $75 million a year. It’s only then would we really see how smart of a GM he really is…

    Comments on Is Cashman Longing For Another Job?

    1. Raf
      January 23rd, 2011 | 10:52 am

      He wouldn’t do much worse than what those teams are already doing. Very few teams contend with “a team payroll budget around $75M”

      If Bill Madden would do a little research, he would know that Cashman is a`bit more than just a “checkbook GM.” Cashman and the Yankees are doing what they’ve always done. The Steinbrenners have been bitching about the budget for as long as I can remember.

    2. Evan3457
      January 23rd, 2011 | 11:10 am

      It’s more likely that it’s Bill Madden who’s longing for Cashman to leave, because Cashman probably doesn’t feed him inside info as a “source”, which is why he keeps writing columns that attack Cashman.

      George was Bill’s best source, but since George went downhill mentally, he hasn’t had a reliable source within the organization. Levine is probably feeding him stuff, if I read between the lines correctly (and Heyman, too), and Levine wants Cashman gone so he can take control under the owners. Therefore, Madden would love Cashman to leave so he can have the inside access he once had. As long as Cashman is there, the stuff Levine feeds him has a good chance of being wrong, and making Madden look bad.

      Little does he know that after Levine gets what he wants, he’ll cut Madden off the first time Madden attacks him.

      Yeah, this is a lot of speculation, but having read Madden closely the last 3-4 years, that’s what I infer from the situation.

    3. butchie22
      January 23rd, 2011 | 11:22 am

      Steve I’ve being saying what you’ve said about Cash Man for years now…that I’d love to see him GM for another team with a far lesser payroll.The BLue Jays have a great GM in nathopoulos, The Dbacks have a great one in K Towers and Wlat JOcketty is a damn good one as well with the Reds. It would be fun to see Cash be with the Royal Bluesters though…they have a great farm system bUT never get anywhere.

      @Raf, he’s not merely a checkbook GM BUT along with perhaps one other GM(Theo E,BOy wonder) he’s the only one that can hid his mistakes with a chackbook. Remember Kei Igawa,mates?

      @ Evan, Randy “Yankees Inc” is a much greater Satan than Cash Man ever will be. He cares about the profit eneds of things..period.He comes across as a slimy sleazy guy to me really. Can’t wait to see him excised from The Pinstripe Empire along with his evil twin,Lonnie “The Stooge” Trost and Cash Man.

    4. January 23rd, 2011 | 11:40 am

      @ Evan3457: There are plenty of times I think Madden is wrong, but I didn’t see anything outrageous with what he wrote today. Here’s the thing — if you don’t want columnists to speculate, then maybe you ought not make such a big stink about how you didn’t want to sign Rafael Soriano. Cashman is the person who made that an issue, and nobody else.

    5. LMJ229
      January 23rd, 2011 | 12:21 pm

      lisaswan wrote:

      Here’s the thing — if you don’t want columnists to speculate, then maybe you ought not make such a big stink about how you didn’t want to sign Rafael Soriano. Cashman is the person who made that an issue, and nobody else.

      Amen to that! If Cashman would have just shut up and been a team player there wouldn’t be all this speculation. He created the monster.

    6. LMJ229
      January 23rd, 2011 | 12:24 pm

      Evan, great observation on the Madden situation, I totally agree with your assessment.

    7. LMJ229
      January 23rd, 2011 | 12:30 pm

      Funny thing is, if Cashman didn’t have the big bucks to go sign CC, Burnett, and Texiera in one off-season he wouldn’t have that World Series championship on his resume. Seriously, would the Yankees be making the post-season year after year on a $75M budget? No way.

    8. 77yankees
      January 23rd, 2011 | 1:07 pm

      @ Evan3457:
      If Bill Madden reported the Earth was round, I’d figure it was flat. And you’re right, media members get used all the time to spread agendas, but it gives the impression they’re “insiders” so to speak, so it’s a quid pro quo type arrangement.

      @ butchie22:
      Spot on about Levine. The Steinbrenner brothers, whether it’s right or wrong, can do what they want – they own the team. But Levine trying to nudge his way into this as a decision maker is really disturbing as a Yankee fan. I think most would agree he’s not a likable sort in any way.

    9. January 23rd, 2011 | 1:33 pm

      I believe Brian is out of sync with Hal and Hank. I felt that has been true for sometime. The team of the 90′s is generally seen as being the result of the work of Gene Michael. The 2009 team, the result of Brian being able to spend more than anyone else. To someone in the public eye for so long with an ego, this has to be frustrating. This frustration has spilled out into public the past few months. I think the Steinbrenners hold Brian responsible for the failure to sign Lee. To some degree the Soriano signing was an expression of that. Brian was interviewed a few times on YES last fall and seemed strangely disengaged. I was suprised at his lack of energy, he seemed off his game. I am not a Cashman fan, but Brian has always been a polished performer who knew how to handle himself. I would say he is unhappy and I think the Steinbrenners are unhappy with him. I would be surprised to see him remain with the team beyond 2011.

      The biggest problem with all this from Brian perspective, I think he is a solid spokesma, a solid businessman but he does not have the one thing a great GM must have, an eye for baseball talent. I guess he will get the chance to prove it one way or another…..

    10. Ryan81
      January 23rd, 2011 | 2:50 pm

      Check the date, I don’t think the Madden article you linked is recent. I could’ve swore I read this story in 2005.

    11. Evan3457
      January 23rd, 2011 | 3:13 pm

      lisaswan wrote:

      @ Evan3457: There are plenty of times I think Madden is wrong, but I didn’t see anything outrageous with what he wrote today. Here’s the thing — if you don’t want columnists to speculate, then maybe you ought not make such a big stink about how you didn’t want to sign Rafael Soriano. Cashman is the person who made that an issue, and nobody else.

      He was asked for his thoughts on the Soriano deal before it happened, and he gave them honestly. Once that happens the cat is out of the bag.

      Now, do you want to criticize him for answering reporters questions honestly before higher-ups stepped on his head and forced the move? OK, but that seems a bit unfair to me.

      ==============================================
      Once the cat is out of the bag, and the Yanks sign Soriano anyway, the rest is inevitable:

      1) They WILL hold a press conference announcing his signing.
      2) Cashman WILL be there (he can’t NOT be there, or the spin that “there is no rift” becomes absurd on its face).
      3) The media WILL ask Cashman “How come?”.

      Once this happens, Cashman has 3 options:

      1) Lie through his teeth, and make his prior quotes “inoperative” and get pilloried in the press, and rightly so. (And it DOESN’T help the Yankees organization to have their general manager and customary media mouthpiece regarded as a liar, so the “take one for the team” idea won’t play here.)

      2) No comment at the press conference, and make sotto voce (or “anonymous”) statements a few days later, and be regarded as slimy for backsliding from the organization’s position when the heat is turned down.

      3) Or publicly back his previous position. Which is what he did.

      Those are the three choices. It’s just my opinion, but he took the most honorable route possible. And here’s the kicker: the organization (Hal, Hank and Levine must have approved what he was going to say in advance, because what little they had to say about the disagreement backed Cashman’s version, and they did so while praising him.

      If what Cashman said at the press conferencechad sandbagged them, they have struck back by now (anonymously, at least, if not publicly). So far, they haven’t. Now, maybe everyone has already agreed that Cashman is done at the end of this, the last year of his contract, so they’re all being courteous about it; letting him save face. Or maybe everyone believes what they’re saying; it’s impossible to know.

      People keep saying Cashman should’ve shut up. In my opinion, knowing the people involved, that wasn’t really possible.

    12. Ryan81
      January 23rd, 2011 | 3:23 pm

      Snappy, smart-aleck remarks aside, if Cashman wants to make his mark as a “Gene Michael mold” GM who built “homegrown teams developed from within”, he should leave immediately.

      Michael was able to rebuild because he took over putrid Yankees teams that didn’t have aspirations of making the World Series every year. It allowed him to take the Yankees’ franchise cornerstone (who the Astros were mulling over at the #1 slot) 6th overall in the 1992 draft. Even if the Yankees didn’t give up their draft pick to the Rays for Soriano, it was a late 20s pick. You’re not gonna get some generational talent in the late 20s. And for every stud like Piazza who was taken late, there are another 15 perennial All-stars like Mauer, Longoria, Price, (a healthy) Strasburg, etc. who were taken way before the Yankees are in a position to even talk about taking them.

      The Yankees didn’t move into a brand new, 1.5 billion dollar stadium and create their own TV network so they could have a couple of rebuilding years because their GM doesn’t like being deemed a “checkbook GM.” They aren’t going to take kindly to Eduardo Nunez playing shortstop, which is why they were forced to pay Jeter more than his market worth. If this is true, the Yankees should find somebody who would embrace the fact that he has a $200 million payroll who will at least be on the same page as ownership.

      And they should also show Randy Levine the door because he seems to be the very definition of “ass-clown.” You have to be blind to not see that he already is a factor in the decision-making process (on both the business and baseball sides) in this organization, which is a disaster because he doesn’t have a clue about what he’s doing.

    13. Ryan81
      January 23rd, 2011 | 3:28 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      2) No comment at the press conference, and make sotto voce (or “anonymous”) statements a few days later, and be regarded as slimy for backsliding from the organization’s position when the heat is turned down.

      How bout just no comment period? What happened behind the scenes is behind the scenes, and the Yankees shouldn’t have felt pressured to release it. I mean, Joe Torre was massacred for making private talks public in his book, and people said he should’ve kept those stories to himself. Why can’t Cashman do the same?

    14. Evan3457
      January 23rd, 2011 | 6:14 pm

      Ryan81 wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:

      How bout just no comment period? What happened behind the scenes is behind the scenes, and the Yankees shouldn’t have felt pressured to release it. I mean, Joe Torre was massacred for making private talks public in his book, and people said he should’ve kept those stories to himself. Why can’t Cashman do the same?

      Because the disagreement was already public via Cashman’s adamant statements before the signing that the signing would not happen.

      “No comment”, in that case, means more controversy and speculation, not less, because the rift is evident, and, as a bonus, the media speculates not only that Cashman has lost autonomy, but has also been muzzled by higher-ups.

    15. LMJ229
      January 23rd, 2011 | 10:01 pm

      Evan, if I recall correctly, you sepculated in a previous post that Cashman would spin the Soriano signing by quoting the uncertainty surrounding Petitte, the need to bolster the bullpen, the fact that Soriano’s asking price came down, etc, etc. You were right and that is what he should have done.

    16. LMJ229
      January 23rd, 2011 | 10:03 pm

      If Cashman wants to leave, good riddance to him. There are about 30 other GMs that would love to have his job and the Steinbrenner checkbook.

    17. LMJ229
      January 23rd, 2011 | 10:36 pm

      Joseph Maloney wrote:

      I believe Brian is out of sync with Hal and Hank. I felt that has been true for sometime. The team of the 90′s is generally seen as being the result of the work of Gene Michael. The 2009 team, the result of Brian being able to spend more than anyone else. To someone in the public eye for so long with an ego, this has to be frustrating. This frustration has spilled out into public the past few months. I think the Steinbrenners hold Brian responsible for the failure to sign Lee. To some degree the Soriano signing was an expression of that. Brian was interviewed a few times on YES last fall and seemed strangely disengaged. I was suprised at his lack of energy, he seemed off his game. I am not a Cashman fan, but Brian has always been a polished performer who knew how to handle himself. I would say he is unhappy and I think the Steinbrenners are unhappy with him. I would be surprised to see him remain with the team beyond 2011.The biggest problem with all this from Brian perspective, I think he is a solid spokesma, a solid businessman but he does not have the one thing a great GM must have, an eye for baseball talent. I guess he will get the chance to prove it one way or another…..

      I agree wholeheartedly with this post. The 90s championship team was built largely by Gene Michael through a mixture of home grown talent, shrewd trades and free agent signings. Cashman built the 2009 championship team by using the very same checkbook he so despises.

      While I don’t hold Cashman responsible for the non-signing of Cliff Lee, I do think the Steinbrenners may have been frustrated with Cashman’s inability to sign him and became directly involved in the Soriano signing as a result. Maybe they thought Cashman wasn’t being aggressive enough. Maybe Boras has a direct line to the Steinbrenners and Levine, I don’t know.

      And finally, I also agree that Cashman does not have a great eye for baseball talent. Some of his trades are just non-sensible to me.

    18. LMJ229
      January 23rd, 2011 | 10:47 pm

      Raf wrote:

      He wouldn’t do much worse than what those teams are already doing. Very few teams contend with “a team payroll budget around $75M”If Bill Madden would do a little research, he would know that Cashman is a`bit more than just a “checkbook GM.” Cashman and the Yankees are doing what they’ve always done. The Steinbrenners have been bitching about the budget for as long as I can remember.

      Actually, 3 of the 8 teams who made the playoffs last year had payrolls right around $75M (Rangers $65M, Rays $73M, and Reds $76M) so that’s a pretty high percentage. And 6 of the 8 teams had payrolls under $100M. Only the Yankees and Phillies had payrolls over $100M.

    19. Raf
      January 23rd, 2011 | 11:47 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      Actually, 3 of the 8 teams who made the playoffs last year had payrolls right around $75M (Rangers $65M, Rays $73M, and Reds $76M) so that’s a pretty high percentage

      3/8 isn’t a high percentage, and`there were a lot more teams that didn’t make the playoffs with payrolls right around $75M.

    20. Ryan81
      January 23rd, 2011 | 11:55 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      Actually, 3 of the 8 teams who made the playoffs last year had payrolls right around $75M (Rangers $65M, Rays $73M, and Reds $76M) so that’s a pretty high percentage. And 6 of the 8 teams had payrolls under $100M. Only the Yankees and Phillies had payrolls over $100M.

      Of those 3 teams, only one of them had made the playoffs in the past 10 years (the Rays, and that was one time in 2008). And 2 of those teams (the Rangers and Rays) were now teams that took big hits by losing premier talent and might not make it back (Lee, Crawford, Soriano, Garza, and Pena). Point is, it is tremendously tougher to be good on a consistent basis with a small payroll. The teams that have had prolonged success over the past few years have the ability to somewhat compete with the Yankees financially (mainly the Phillies and Red Sox).

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Because the disagreement was already public via Cashman’s adamant statements before the signing that the signing would not happen.

      “No comment”, in that case, means more controversy and speculation, not less, because the rift is evident, and, as a bonus, the media speculates not only that Cashman has lost autonomy, but has also been muzzled by higher-ups.

      I don’t necessarily buy that. First off, Cashman could’ve surely no commented when asked about Soriano before the Yankees even signed him, which would’ve meant this story wouldn’t have started in the first place.

      Second, I think if the Yankees tried to downplay it and no comment it away, it wouldn’t have become a big issue. With the Jets’ playoff run, the Carmelo Anthony drama, and 3 feet of snow on the ground, the NY sports media wouldn’t be incredibly worked up over a baseball story right now, especially the signing of a setup man that would require a lot of speculation and reading between the lines with anonymous sources. And even if there is speculation, why should Cashman feel compelled to address it? It’s not the end of the world for the Yankees that Cashman is muzzled; all it really does is affect Cashman’s reputation.

      Long story short, I think this is all just another example of Cashman’s so-called “navigating through the Yankees’ organizational politics” where all he does is try to make himself look good and more valuable than he really is.

    21. Raf
      January 23rd, 2011 | 11:57 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      Cashman built the 2009 championship team by using the very same checkbook he so despises.

      No one said that Cashman despises the checkbook, but it makes sense not to want to needlessly spend money. Bloomberg may be a` billionaire, but I don’t think he’d want to pay $20 for a Sabrett’s just because.

      the fact that Soriano’s asking price came down…

      Soriano’s price didn’t come down.

    22. Ryan81
      January 24th, 2011 | 12:01 am

      Also, did anybody else notice that Bill Madden referred to Eduardo Nunez as Edwin Nunez? I find that pretty funny

    23. January 24th, 2011 | 8:34 am

      @ Evan3457: But why was he making these pronouncements against Soriano in the first place? What does that get you? Besides, his declaration that he wouldn’t go after any Type A free agent not named Cliff Lee was demonstrably untrue, given that he pursued Carl Pavano.

      If Cashman hadn’t made such a big issue for Soriano in the first place, he could have smiled and said the party line at the presser, and nobody would have known the difference. Cashman is the one who made this public, not anybody else.

      And I know it’s fashionable to bash the front office for daring to interfere with the genius at work, but maybe they have a point. Cashman’s “patience” right now seems like 2008 all over again. Only thing is, there are no equivalents of CC and Tex on the free agent horizon, and Jeter, A-Rod, Mo and Jorge are three years older.

    24. Raf
      January 24th, 2011 | 9:43 am

      lisaswan wrote:

      Cashman’s “patience” right now seems like 2008 all over again

      If that’s the case, it makes the decision to sign Soriano all the more baffling given that the problems in 2008 had to do with the offense.

      There’s nothing wrong with having patience; the Rays showed it, and they got Manny and Damon for a song. I’m sure you remember the 80′s, when the Yanks made several dumb moves due`to their lack of patience.

    25. January 24th, 2011 | 10:44 am

      @ Raf: This is not directed at you, but in general. How much “patience” did Cashman have with Ian Kennedy? Or Austin Jackson? Or are we going to hear revisionist history about how Randy Levine was behind that, too?

    26. January 24th, 2011 | 10:57 am

      Not to mention Cashman trying to trade Jesus Montero several times. I’m not as agitated as Steve is about Cashman — I give him full credit for 2009, for one thing — but I do think it’s a bit much the way he gets zero criticism from some fans. He’s made plenty of mistakes which have nothing to do with anybody else but him

    27. Raf
      January 24th, 2011 | 11:28 am

      @ lisaswan:
      How much patience did he have with Phil Hughes? Brett Gardener? Joba Chamberlain? Robinson Cano? Montero was dangled in an attempt to acquire Lee and Halliday, a couple of ace caliber pitchers. I don’t see a problem with that.

      Sometimes a team will keep their prospects, sometimes a team will deal them. Neither approach shows a lack of patience.

      He’s made plenty of mistakes which have nothing to do with anybody else but him

      Show me a GM that hasn’t made mistakes. The problem with Cashman is that he has been in the GM position for over 10 years, and familiarity breeds contempt. I have yet to see someone, anyone on this site say Cashman deserves zero criticism. The fact remains that if Cashman was as poor at evaluating talent as some would like to think, the Yankees would’ve imploded by now.

    28. MJ Recanati
      January 24th, 2011 | 11:32 am

      lisaswan wrote:

      Cashman’s “patience” right now seems like 2008 all over again.

      What would you have done differently? Where would you have been proactive where Cashman was patient?

      I ask because everyone that is up in arms or anxious about this offseason fails to realize that, other than Cliff Lee, there wasn’t a single player the Yankees could’ve acquired that they should’ve.

    29. MJ Recanati
      January 24th, 2011 | 11:33 am

      Raf wrote:

      I have yet to see someone, anyone on this site say Cashman deserves zero criticism. The fact remains that if Cashman was as poor at evaluating talent as some would like to think, the Yankees would’ve imploded by now.

      That.

    30. January 24th, 2011 | 11:45 am

      Raf wrote:

      I have yet to see someone, anyone on this site say Cashman deserves zero criticism. The fact remains that if Cashman was as poor at evaluating talent as some would like to think, the Yankees would’ve imploded by now.

      Cashman spends. He spends on hitters and he spends on pitchers. He’s fine spending on hitters, most times, because it’s somewhat easy to project batting stats. Hitters can be ID’ed with relative ease – and the money he spends brings them in.

      He spends on pitchers and does fine with the no-brainers like Mussina and Sabathia. But, he fails, too many times, on the not no-brainer pitching moves.

      It’s the hitters who have carried the Yankees from 2002-2010. And, that’s why the team has not imploded.

      But, spending all that money on A-Rod, Tex, etc. doesn’t make Cashman a good GM. It just means he knows how to spend.

    31. Raf
      January 24th, 2011 | 12:07 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      He spends on pitchers and does fine with the no-brainers like Mussina and Sabathia. But, he fails, too many times, on the not no-brainer pitching moves.

      Weaver, Contreras and Igawa were no brainers too.

      Every GM has pitching busts on their resume; even Gene Michael, or do the Leary, Witt, Abbott, Mulholland, Xavier Hernandez, etc transactions don’t count?

    32. January 24th, 2011 | 12:29 pm

      @ MJ Recanati: @ Raf:

      How about an acknowledgement that pursuing Carl Pavano for the second time was a bad idea. Or that Cashman’s trade for Granderson was contrary to his philosophy of wanting to build this team from within?

    33. Raf
      January 24th, 2011 | 12:39 pm

      @ lisaswan:
      That you don’t agree with something does not necessarily make it bad. Do you think that Mitre/Nova is better than Pavano?

      Trading for Granderson does not mean that the team doesn’t want to build from within.

    34. LMJ229
      January 24th, 2011 | 12:43 pm

      Ryan81 wrote:

      Of those 3 teams, only one of them had made the playoffs in the past 10 years

      Actually, the Twins and the A’s made the playoffs multiple times in the last decade with payrolls under $75M. I believe the Rockies, the Padres and the Astros might fit this category as well.

      Raf wrote:

      He wouldn’t do much worse than what those teams are already doing. Very few teams contend with “a team payroll budget around $75M”

      The fact of the matter is, each year there are 2-3 teams with payrolls in the $75M or lower range that make the playoffs so it can be done. In fact it is a consistent pattern, it is not a fluke. There are just as many teams above the $75M mark that don’t make the playoffs. The very good GMs can make it happen and some make it happen on multiple occasions. The question is, could Brian Cashman make it happen even once? I doubt it.

    35. MJ Recanati
      January 24th, 2011 | 1:02 pm

      lisaswan wrote:

      How about an acknowledgement that pursuing Carl Pavano for the second time was a bad idea.

      I won’t acknowledge that because, much as I personally dislike Carl Pavano, I don’t see it as a bad job for exploring a pitcher that can fill the #4 starter role. As I said last week, just because the fans and MSM might not a move, that’s not a good enough reason not to explore such a signing. And all the talk about how Pavano couldn’t handle NY rings hollow with me.

      lisaswan wrote:

      Or that Cashman’s trade for Granderson was contrary to his philosophy of wanting to build this team from within?

      Steve tried to make this point several times during the year. Cashman never said that he wanted to build his team exclusively from within. No team in baseball is built exclusively from homegrown players. Cashman wanted to get younger and more athletic. In essentially swapping Damon’s, Matsui’s and Cabrera’s 2009 AB’s for Granderson’s and Gardner’s, Cashman succeeded in getting the team younger and more athletic. Your point is a strawman.

    36. Raf
      January 24th, 2011 | 1:05 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      The fact of the matter is, each year there are 2-3 teams with payrolls in the $75M or lower range that make the playoffs so it can be done

      And as you’ve shown, they are the exceptions. It has to be when 2-3 out of 8 make it.

    37. LMJ229
      January 24th, 2011 | 1:18 pm

      @ Raf:
      I don’t define 3 out of 8 as an “exception”. An “exception” is something out of the ordinary. To me, something happening 3 out of 8 times every year is not really an “exception”.

    38. LMJ229
      January 24th, 2011 | 1:22 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      I won’t acknowledge that because, much as I personally dislike Carl Pavano, I don’t see it as a bad job for exploring a pitcher that can fill the #4 starter role.

      Absent our history with him, we probably would have been screaming for Cashman to sign Pavano given the state of our starting pitching. However, given our history with him, I do think that even exploring the possibility was a bad idea.

    39. LMJ229
      January 24th, 2011 | 1:30 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      What would you have done differently? Where would you have been proactive where Cashman was patient?I ask because everyone that is up in arms or anxious about this offseason fails to realize that, other than Cliff Lee, there wasn’t a single player the Yankees could’ve acquired that they should’ve.

      You are right, the free agent market for starting pitching was not good this year. There was not, and is not, much Cashman can do about that.

      My thoughts go back to last year. Personally, I would not have traded for Granderson last year and would have gone hard after Crawford this year. An outfield with Crawford and Gardner would be very,very good and would still accomplish the Yankees goal of getting younger and more athletic.

    40. Raf
      January 24th, 2011 | 1:44 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      To me, something happening 3 out of 8 times every year is not really an “exception”.

      It certainly isn’t ordinary.

    41. January 24th, 2011 | 1:46 pm

      Raf wrote:

      Weaver, Contreras and Igawa were no brainers too.

      The hell they were! Igawa and Contreras had never pitched professionally at any level in this country when they were signed and you had to wonder why the Tigers were willing to give up a young pitcher, who they drafted so high, in Weaver. All three came with red flags. Cashman ignored the flags on all three. These were not the same as spending on CC and Moose.

    42. Ryan81
      January 24th, 2011 | 2:07 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      Personally, I would not have traded for Granderson last year and would have gone hard after Crawford this year. An outfield with Crawford and Gardner would be very,very good and would still accomplish the Yankees goal of getting younger and more athletic.

      You also forget that, had the Yankees gone this route, they would’ve been able to keep Austin Jackson as well. Sure, if you’re in the camp that Gardner will continue to be an everyday player this would give the Yankees a crowded outfield. But it would open up some leeway for Cashman to make a trade centered around either Jackson/Gardner/heck, even Swisher I guess in addition to prospects for a quality starting pitcher.

    43. MJ Recanati
      January 24th, 2011 | 2:11 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      However, given our history with him, I do think that even exploring the possibility was a bad idea.

      I hear you but — and forgive me, I’m not trying to be a smartass here — there’s “our” history with him and then there’s simply Pavano’s history. “Our” history, to me, means fan/media history. As such, that history is justifiably tainted and sour. But that’s still not a good enough reason for the team not to do its due diligence on a pitcher that can pitch 190-200 league average innings out of the #4 spot of the rotation. And at the cost he signed — 2Y/$16.25M — it would’ve been absurd to not look in on Pavano simply because Mike Mussina, Jason Giambi, the tabloids and the fans hated his guts the last time around.

      LMJ229 wrote:

      I would not have traded for Granderson last year and would have gone hard after Crawford this year.

      Different players that play different positions, to say nothing of entirely different contractual situations. Granderson can be a free agent as early as the end of next season. Crawford won’t be a free agent again until the end of the 2017 season. The Yankees got a cheaper player that plays the CF position well. Granderson may not be as good as Crawford but, honestly, he doesn’t have to be.

      But, for the sake of argument, let’s follow your train of thought. Who would’ve played in Granderson’s place last year? Melky Cabrera? Johnny Damon? Might the Yankees have missed the playoffs last year had Granderson not played a strong defensive CF and hit well in the second half? Would Carl Crawford answer the issues in the pitching staff in 2011? Would the Yankees have been able to pursue both Crawford and Lee this off-season? I like the team with Granderson better, even though Crawford is a better player. You have to look at how the dominos would’ve fallen and I don’t think it would’ve worked out the way you would’ve liked.

      Frankly, I think the Granderson move was specifically because Cashman knew he couldn’t get Lee AND Crawford this year so he took a run at the more vital player (Lee) and made do with a reasonable facsimile in the OF.

    44. LMJ229
      January 24th, 2011 | 2:16 pm

      @ Ryan81:
      Yes, and the Yankees farm system would be rated that much higher with Austin Jackson and Ian Kennedy in it. And let’s not forget Phil Coke who also went in that deal. We likely would not have had to sign Feliciano. The dominos just keep on falling …

    45. LMJ229
      January 24th, 2011 | 2:22 pm

      @ MJ Recanati:
      I do hear ya, I just absolutely can not stand Carl Pavano. I can’t respect someone who, I feel, just stole our money. I couldn’t even stand watching him pitch against us in the ALDS. I have a serious bias when it comes to that guy. I might be cutting off my nose to spite my face but I’m glad we didn’t get him, I just don’t trust him.

    46. MJ Recanati
      January 24th, 2011 | 2:24 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      you had to wonder why the Tigers were willing to give up a young pitcher, who they drafted so high, in Weaver.

      That’s nonsense. Plenty of young pitchers that were high draft picks get traded and that doesn’t mean they’re not good or have red flags.

      The Tigers received cash and prospects when they traded Weaver. Let’s not make it seem like they dumped him because he sucked. The Tigers were a 106 loss team in the season they traded Weaver. They were obviously not going anywhere and they didn’t want to pay Weaver’s arbitration raises when they were being offered two top-20 prospects (Carlos Pena/Jeremy Bonderman) as part of the trade.

    47. Raf
      January 24th, 2011 | 2:24 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      The hell they were! Igawa and Contreras had never pitched professionally at any level in this country when they were signed

      So what? Neither did Matsuzaka, Orlando Hernandez, Masato Yoshii, Kaz Ishii, nor any of the hundreds of pitchers signed from Venezuela, Mexico, Panama, Korea, the Dominican Republic, etc, etc, etc. What’s your point?

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      and you had to wonder why the Tigers were willing to give up a young pitcher, who they drafted so high, in Weaver.

      Because organizations never trade young pitchers that were drafted in the first round? C’mon, as long as you’ve been watching baseball, you can do better than that.

      http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/news/020705weaver.html
      In Weaver, the Yankees got a 25-year-old righthander who has been the Tigers’ best pitcher almost since they first promoted him in 1999, a year after they made him a first-round pick out of Fresno State. The 1996 U.S. Olympian’s best pitch is a sinking fastball in the low 90s. He also uses a slider and changeup, and developed a cut fastball to combat lefthanders. Though Weaver never has finished with a .500 or better record, that’s more a reflection on the teams he has pitched on. In 17 starts this year, he has gone 6-8, 3.18. For his career, he has a 39-51, 4.33 record and 477 strikeouts in 715 innings. Not that it matters to New York, but Weaver is in the first year of a favorable four-year, $22 million contract that will carry through what would have been his first season of free agency.

      Two teams came out very well in this trade. The Yankees established themselves further as the solid favorite to win the American League East. The Red Sox are only two games back, but New York has made the gap seem wider after acquiring Weaver.

      That’s from Baseball America, written by Jim Callis. I’m sure other sources endorsed the trade when it was made, I remember a lot of whining that the Yankees “did it again” getting richer at the expense of small market clubs. After the trade, Weaver pitched to a 5-3, 4.04 record, good for a 110 ERA+ as a pen man, spot starter.

    48. LMJ229
      January 24th, 2011 | 2:28 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Different players that play different positions, to say nothing of entirely different contractual situations. Granderson can be a free agent as early as the end of next season. Crawford won’t be a free agent again until the end of the 2017 season. The Yankees got a cheaper player that plays the CF position well. Granderson may not be as good as Crawford but, honestly, he doesn’t have to be.But, for the sake of argument, let’s follow your train of thought. Who would’ve played in Granderson’s place last year? Melky Cabrera? Johnny Damon? Might the Yankees have missed the playoffs last year had Granderson not played a strong defensive CF and hit well in the second half? Would Carl Crawford answer the issues in the pitching staff in 2011? Would the Yankees have been able to pursue both Crawford and Lee this off-season? I like the team with Granderson better, even though Crawford is a better player. You have to look at how the dominos would’ve fallen and I don’t think it would’ve worked out the way you would’ve liked.Frankly, I think the Granderson move was specifically because Cashman knew he couldn’t get Lee AND Crawford this year so he took a run at the more vital player (Lee) and made do with a reasonable facsimile in the OF.

      All good points, something to consider. That’s what I love about this site.

    49. MJ Recanati
      January 24th, 2011 | 2:31 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      Yes, and the Yankees farm system would be rated that much higher with Austin Jackson and Ian Kennedy in it.

      Austin Jackson and Ian Kennedy were used as part of a trade to acquire the team’s best everyday CF since Bernie Williams’s 2002 season. I simply can’t fathom why fans pine for Jackson/Kennedy when neither one would’ve had a role on this team in 2010 or 2011. Could they have been used in other trades? Sure. But they were used in a trade that clearly benefited the Yankees in 2010 and stands to benefit the team again in 2011.

      LMJ229 wrote:

      And let’s not forget Phil Coke who also went in that deal.

      Phil Coke fell out of favor during the 2009 playoffs due to inconsistent performance. It would be hard to argue that Boone Logan didn’t do a good job in the LOOGY role in 2010 or, more importantly, that relievers are fungible and that trading one and then complaining about it is literally the definition of making a mountain out of a molehill. We’re not talking about Mariano Rivera, we’re talking about Phil Coke. Do you think the Yankees will miss Coke? Really?

      LMJ229 wrote:

      I do hear ya, I just absolutely can not stand Carl Pavano. I can’t respect someone who, I feel, just stole our money. I couldn’t even stand watching him pitch against us in the ALDS. I have a serious bias when it comes to that guy. I might be cutting off my nose to spite my face but I’m glad we didn’t get him, I just don’t trust him.

      Fair enough. Owning up to your bias is a type of honesty I can appreciate. I don’t like Pavano either and I don’t want anyone to think that I do. But, as you said, spite would only result in an absent nose and a disfigured face. That’s not how I’d choose to run the Yankees were I their GM but I can at least understand where you’re coming from.

    50. Raf
      January 24th, 2011 | 3:01 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      These were not the same as spending on CC and Moose.

      CC (weight, workload) had his red flags as well. As for Mussina, as money as he may have been, no one saw his 2004-5 and 2007 seasons coming, nor 4 straight seasons of sub 200 innings from 2004-07.

    51. Raf
      January 24th, 2011 | 3:05 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      The Tigers received cash and prospects when they traded Weaver. Let’s not make it seem like they dumped him because he sucked. The Tigers were a 106 loss team in the season they traded Weaver. They were obviously not going anywhere and they didn’t want to pay Weaver’s arbitration raises when they were being offered two top-20 prospects (Carlos Pena/Jeremy Bonderman) as part of the trade.

      Weaver signed away his arbitration years, but the overall point remains the same; Tigers were a bad team, and new GM Dombowski was cleaning house. As much as people like to say that the deal was Lily for Weaver, Lily went to the A’s. The Tigers got Bonderman, Pena and German, the A’s got Lily, Jason Arnold, and John-Ford Griffin, along with a suitcase of cash from the Tigers. The A’s would’ve taken Weaver, but their ownership didn’t want to pick up the contract. That’s where the Yankees come in.

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

      <
      lisaswan wrote:

      @ Evan3457: But why was he making these pronouncements against Soriano in the first place? What does that get you? Besides, his declaration that he wouldn’t go after any Type A free agent not named Cliff Lee was demonstrably untrue, given that he pursued Carl Pavano.
      If Cashman hadn’t made such a big issue for Soriano in the first place, he could have smiled and said the party line at the presser, and nobody would have known the difference. Cashman is the one who made this public, not anybody else.
      And I know it’s fashionable to bash the front office for daring to interfere with the genius at work, but maybe they have a point. Cashman’s “patience” right now seems like 2008 all over again. Only thing is, there are no equivalents of CC and Tex on the free agent horizon, and Jeter, A-Rod, Mo and Jorge are three years older.

      Now, you’re shifting the argument.

      Perhaps it was a tactical error on Cashman’s part to be so vehement against the Soriano signing, at least publicy. But at that point, he probably thought he had the situation under control, and that they weren’t going to sign Soriano. He may have been wrong.

      In any event, once he does that, and they sign Soriano anyway, the die is cast. He will eventually have to comment about it. And, as I pointed out above, he comments did not seem to rankle Hal, Hank, or Levine. They knew about them in advance, and, if they didn’t approve them overtly, they didn’t tell him not to make them.

    53. Evan3457
      January 24th, 2011 | 3:12 pm

      lisaswan wrote:

      @ Raf: This is not directed at you, but in general. How much “patience” did Cashman have with Ian Kennedy? Or Austin Jackson? Or are we going to hear revisionist history about how Randy Levine was behind that, too?

      It is debateable whether Ian Kennedy would’ve done as well at Yankee Stadium, facing the AL East in 44% of his starts.

      As for Jackson, the Yanks almost certainly would not have opened the season with an outfield of Gardner, Jackson and Swisher. In my opinion, Granderson is the better player, and by a good margin. This may change in 2-3 years, but that’s not certain, either.

    54. Evan3457
      January 24th, 2011 | 3:14 pm

      lisaswan wrote:

      Not to mention Cashman trying to trade Jesus Montero several times. I’m not as agitated as Steve is about Cashman — I give him full credit for 2009, for one thing — but I do think it’s a bit much the way he gets zero criticism from some fans. He’s made plenty of mistakes which have nothing to do with anybody else but him

      Yes, for Halladay or Lee. I don’t have a big problem with that.

      Well, maybe the Lee deal…

    55. Evan3457
      January 24th, 2011 | 3:16 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Raf wrote:
      I have yet to see someone, anyone on this site say Cashman deserves zero criticism. The fact remains that if Cashman was as poor at evaluating talent as some would like to think, the Yankees would’ve imploded by now.
      That.

      Double that.

      I would put Jaret Wright, Karsay, Farnsworth and moves like that in the “blunder” pile, because there is literally nearly 0% chance they could’ve worked. Most of the other moves cited as blunders had a reasonable rationale behind them.

    56. Evan3457
      January 24th, 2011 | 3:21 pm

      lisaswan wrote:

      @ MJ Recanati: @ Raf:
      How about an acknowledgement that pursuing Carl Pavano for the second time was a bad idea. Or that Cashman’s trade for Granderson was contrary to his philosophy of wanting to build this team from within?

      Considering Pavano? No, not really.

      As noted in several posts at River Ave. Blues, if his name wasn’t Carl Pavano, just about every Yankee fan would be screaming at Cashman for NOT signing him.

      Now word comes that he offered Pavano a 1-year deal for $7 million. That’s hardly excessive, considering what Pavano’s accomplished the last two years, including the post-season.

      Would I have signed Pavano? Nope; never. But in a case like this, I’m sure glad I’m not the GM.

      ==================================
      Trading for Granderson is “building from within”. You’re using good prospects to acquire players other teams no longer wish to pay for who are still good players.

      You know, like David Cone, or Tino Martinez.

    57. MJ Recanati
      January 24th, 2011 | 3:22 pm

      @ Evan3457:
      It’ll always be an interesting question if Lee might’ve chosen to stay with the Yankees had the team acquired him in July. We’ll never know the answer but, had Lee chosen to stay, I’d have had no problem trading Montero away.

      If Cashman is compromised within the organization then it’s a safe bet that Montero will be traded this season anyway. Cashman is Montero’s only hope. I think Randy Levine and the Steinbrenners would trade Montero for Soria if given the chance; they’re that dumb (as the Soriano signing proved).

    58. Evan3457
      January 24th, 2011 | 3:23 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      MJ Recanati wrote:
      What would you have done differently? Where would you have been proactive where Cashman was patient?I ask because everyone that is up in arms or anxious about this offseason fails to realize that, other than Cliff Lee, there wasn’t a single player the Yankees could’ve acquired that they should’ve.
      You are right, the free agent market for starting pitching was not good this year. There was not, and is not, much Cashman can do about that.
      My thoughts go back to last year. Personally, I would not have traded for Granderson last year and would have gone hard after Crawford this year. An outfield with Crawford and Gardner would be very,very good and would still accomplish the Yankees goal of getting younger and more athletic.

      And therefore, you wouldn’t have an additional $10-15 million under their self-imposed payroll cap to afford a good starter, should one come on the market.

    59. Evan3457
      January 24th, 2011 | 3:25 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Raf wrote:
      Weaver, Contreras and Igawa were no brainers too.
      The hell they were! Igawa and Contreras had never pitched professionally at any level in this country when they were signed and you had to wonder why the Tigers were willing to give up a young pitcher, who they drafted so high, in Weaver. All three came with red flags. Cashman ignored the flags on all three. These were not the same as spending on CC and Moose.

      Interresting, because Contreras wound up being the #1 starter on a team that won a title, and Weaver wound up being the #3 starter on the team that won the title the next season.

      So, was it Cashman’s “lack of an eye for pitching talent” that made both of them fail in New York? Or was it something else?

    60. MJ Recanati
      January 24th, 2011 | 3:26 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Now word comes that he offered Pavano a 1-year deal for $7 million.

      For less than the Yankees are paying Soriano, for less than the White Sox signed Javier Vazquez (and the Braves and Yankees chipped in for), the Yankees could’ve brought back a reasonable bet for 190 league average innings.

      If that’s a bad GM, our definitions wildly diverge. To me, that’s a smart contract offer. Good for Pavano that he got a better deal and didn’t have to come back to face all the hatred and venom (much of it justified, however). But bad for the Yankees that so many of their fans are so stupid that hatred of a player would cause them to criticize their GM for talking to a viable #4 starter at $7M for one year.

    61. Evan3457
      January 24th, 2011 | 3:33 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      @ Evan3457:
      It’ll always be an interesting question if Lee might’ve chosen to stay with the Yankees had the team acquired him in July. We’ll never know the answer but, had Lee chosen to stay, I’d have had no problem trading Montero away.
      If Cashman is compromised within the organization then it’s a safe bet that Montero will be traded this season anyway. Cashman is Montero’s only hope. I think Randy Levine and the Steinbrenners would trade Montero for Soria if given the chance; they’re that dumb (as the Soriano signing proved).

      I (glumly) agree.

      The only think stopping them, for now, is that trading Montero for a 3rd closer is absurd beyond belief.

    62. Evan3457
      January 24th, 2011 | 3:35 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      Now word comes that he offered Pavano a 1-year deal for $7 million.
      For less than the Yankees are paying Soriano, for less than the White Sox signed Javier Vazquez (and the Braves and Yankees chipped in for), the Yankees could’ve brought back a reasonable bet for 190 league average innings.
      If that’s a bad GM, our definitions wildly diverge. To me, that’s a smart contract offer. Good for Pavano that he got a better deal and didn’t have to come back to face all the hatred and venom (much of it justified, however). But bad for the Yankees that so many of their fans are so stupid that hatred of a player would cause them to criticize their GM for talking to a viable #4 starter at $7M for one year.

      As you guys know, I have the same intense dislike for Pavano that you have for, ahem, #LXII. If he had signed Pavano, the rational part of my brain would’ve said “decent gamble”, while my heart would be banging my head against the wall for quite awhile to come.

    63. Raf
      January 24th, 2011 | 3:37 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      I would put Jaret Wright, Karsay, Farnsworth and moves like that in the “blunder” pile, because there is literally nearly 0% chance they could’ve worked.

      I can see Wright not working out, but not Karsay and Farnsworth.

    64. Raf
      January 24th, 2011 | 3:47 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      If he had signed Pavano, the rational part of my brain would’ve said “decent gamble”, while my heart would be banging my head against the wall for quite awhile to come.

      Yeah, I would’ve *facepalm* had he signed, but I’d understand the logic behind the move (probable upgrade over Mitre/Nova). I’ll admit that I was against signing Pavano after the 2004 season, but I didn’t think he’d contribute as little as he did from 2005-08.

    65. MJ Recanati
      January 24th, 2011 | 3:51 pm

      Raf wrote:

      Yeah, I would’ve *facepalm* had he signed, but I’d understand the logic behind the move (probable upgrade over Mitre/Nova).

      Agree.

      Raf wrote:

      I’ll admit that I was against signing Pavano after the 2004 season

      Agree.

      Raf wrote:

      but I didn’t think he’d contribute as little as he did from 2005-08

      Agree.

    66. MJ Recanati
      January 24th, 2011 | 3:53 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      The only think stopping them, for now, is that trading Montero for a 3rd closer is absurd beyond belief.

      Never assume competence or rational thought. George Steinbrenner was wholly irrational and, at times, woefully incompetent. If his sons share his DNA, we shouldn’t expect differently from them. As for Randy Levine, we’ve already seen how little he understands about baseball so all bets are clearly off.

    67. January 24th, 2011 | 4:52 pm

      @ MJ Recanati:
      “If that’s a bad GM, our definitions wildly diverge. To me, that’s a smart contract offer. Good for Pavano that he got a better deal and didn’t have to come back to face all the hatred and venom (much of it justified, however). But bad for the Yankees that so many of their fans are so stupid that hatred of a player would cause them to criticize their GM for talking to a viable #4 starter at $7M for one year.”

      See, this type of name-calling drives me batty. Please don’t call me, or any other Yankee fan, “stupid” for not wanting a player who was a disaster in pinstipes to come back to town. I normally have a lot of respect for you, MJ, and this remark is beneath you. I personally can’t understand why anybody would want Pavano back, but I’m not calling anybody “stupid” either.

    68. Raf
      January 24th, 2011 | 5:08 pm

      lisaswan wrote:

      I personally can’t understand why anybody would want Pavano back

      It seems pretty obvious to me. I guess you believe Mitre & Nova are better options than Pavano?

    69. January 24th, 2011 | 5:12 pm

      @ Evan3457:
      “…if his name wasn’t Carl Pavano, just about every Yankee fan would be screaming at Cashman for NOT signing him. Now word comes that he offered Pavano a 1-year deal for $7 million. That’s hardly excessive, considering what Pavano’s accomplished the last two years, including the post-season.”

      Well, that’s the way the real world works. If you had an employee who dogged it on the job, performed horribly, and who missed all sorts of sick leave when many of his peers — and yourself — doubted the illnesses (remember, Pavano spent over a year on the DL without surgery, and Cashman himself demanded he get a second, third, and fourth opinion on Tommy John surgery AFTER he talked to Dr. Andrews), and who your other staffers openly despised, would you want to give him a second chance, just because he did well in his next workplace? Especially when it’s the year after you gave another problem staffer a second chance, only to have him fail miserably?

    70. MJ Recanati
      January 24th, 2011 | 5:13 pm

      @ lisaswan:
      Acting out of spite is, in my opinion, an act of stupidity. As commenter LMJ229 wrote earlier in this thread, his basis for not wanting Pavano back is borne out of hatred and he’d rather “cut off his nose…” (as the saying goes) rather than bring back a player he hates so much.

      I understand, accept and agree with the Pavano-hating. I hated the signing in 2004 and I literally didn’t enjoy a single moment of his time in New York. For the life of me, I can’t think of one single good thing he did while he was here. But, all that being said, if he can help the team, it makes sense to at least explore it. Thus, all those fans that believe that talking to Pavano is a clear sign that Brian Cashman is stupid make no sense to me.

      Now, if you’re offended that I used the word “stupid” then I’m sorry you’re offended. But if Cashman can be stupid in your eyes, can’t some fans be stupid in mine?

    71. January 24th, 2011 | 5:14 pm

      @ Raf:
      “It seems pretty obvious to me. I guess you believe Mitre & Nova are better options than Pavano?”

      I think that our GM should certainly be able to find somebody in MLB better than both of them. And I refuse to believe that the only option is Pavano.

    72. MJ Recanati
      January 24th, 2011 | 5:15 pm

      lisaswan wrote:

      Especially when it’s the year after you gave another problem staffer a second chance, only to have him fail miserably?

      Javier Vazquez and Carl Pavano have nothing to do with eachother.

    73. MJ Recanati
      January 24th, 2011 | 5:16 pm

      lisaswan wrote:

      I think that our GM should certainly be able to find somebody in MLB better than both of them. And I refuse to believe that the only option is Pavano.

      You’re entitled to believe that Pavano is a poor alternative. But, as I’ve asked you before, I’d like for you to tell me what you’d do differently.

      I’ve sent you the link to the list of 2010 free agents. Please pick a few names that you think could do a better job. Criticism is easy until you’re asked to offer your own solutions…

    74. MJ Recanati
      January 24th, 2011 | 5:20 pm

      lisaswan wrote:

      and who your other staffers openly despised

      Most of those other staffers are gone.

    75. MJ Recanati
      January 24th, 2011 | 5:23 pm

      lisaswan wrote:

      Especially when it’s the year after you gave another problem staffer a second chance, only to have him fail miserably?

      Should’ve combined comments on this quote but I don’t quite see how Vazquez was a “problem” in 2004. He pitched great in the first half, got hurt, didn’t pitch effectively in the second half, didn’t agitate or earn the enmity of his teammates and was gone 13 months after he arrived.

      The BS narrative that Vazquez couldn’t handle New York was written somewhere along the way and now we’re rewriting history that he was a problem? To fans, maybe. But that’s not entirely the same thing now, is it?

    76. Raf
      January 24th, 2011 | 5:30 pm

      lisaswan wrote:

      Well, that’s the way the real world works.

      Not so much in baseball. I can name a bunch of guys who were able to find work in MLB despite their character issues.

    77. Raf
      January 24th, 2011 | 5:32 pm

      lisaswan wrote:

      I think that our GM should certainly be able to find somebody in MLB better than both of them. And I refuse to believe that the only option is Pavano.

      No one said he was the *only* option, he was *an* option.

    78. Raf
      January 24th, 2011 | 5:38 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      The BS narrative that Vazquez couldn’t handle New York was written somewhere along the way and now we’re rewriting history that he was a problem?

      Vazquez forgot he was pitching in NY the first 1/2 of the season. Someone reminded him, and he started sucking :D

      Javy had a couple of poor years with the Expos, guess he couldn’t handle the bright lights of Montreal either ;)

    79. January 24th, 2011 | 5:40 pm

      @ MJ Recanati: Eh, if we can’t even agree that calling fellow fans “stupid” for sharing a different opinion on Pavano is not a good thing, then I would be pretty, um, “stupid” to spend any more time arguing in this discussion!

    80. LMJ229
      January 24th, 2011 | 10:47 pm

      In my mind Pavano is no different than the guy who fakes an injury to collect a disability check. He’s scamming the company he works for. Seriously, if you owned a business and someone scammed you out of $40M, why in the world would you ever consider hiring them back?

    81. LMJ229
      January 24th, 2011 | 10:55 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      I understand, accept and agree with the Pavano-hating. I hated the signing in 2004 and I literally didn’t enjoy a single moment of his time in New York. For the life of me, I can’t think of one single good thing he did while he was here.

      If he really didn’t do a single good thing while he was here, then how can you defend Cashman’s consideration to bring him back? I don’t get that.

    82. LMJ229
      January 24th, 2011 | 11:02 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      As commenter LMJ229 wrote earlier in this thread, his basis for not wanting Pavano back …

      In the interest of full disclosure, you should know that I am a “she” not a “he”. That would probably explain my intense bais towards Pavano, after all, women are much more emotional.

    83. MJ Recanati
      January 25th, 2011 | 9:41 am

      lisaswan wrote:

      Eh, if we can’t even agree that calling fellow fans “stupid” for sharing a different opinion on Pavano is not a good thing, then I would be pretty, um, “stupid” to spend any more time arguing in this discussion!

      Fair enough.

    84. MJ Recanati
      January 25th, 2011 | 9:51 am

      LMJ229 wrote:

      In my mind Pavano is no different than the guy who fakes an injury to collect a disability check. He’s scamming the company he works for.

      We’ll test your theory this year since this is the first time he’s been given a multi-year contract since the one he signed with the Yankees back in 2005. After all, your theory presupposes that the security of a multi-year contract gives Pavano the comfort of faking injuries since he won’t have to worry about pitching for his next contract.

      Logically, of course, your argument makes no sense. He had to settle for a 1Y/$1.5M deal with Cleveland in 2009, his lowest annual salary since 2003. Why would Pavano — or anyone, really — engage in behavior that was so damaging to his reputation and standing in the game to the point that it would cost them literally millions of dollars?

      LMJ229 wrote:

      If he really didn’t do a single good thing while he was here, then how can you defend Cashman’s consideration to bring him back? I don’t get that.

      Because Pavano did a good enough job the past two seasons to warrant at least considering bringing him back. The circumstances are different this winter than they were in 2005. Back then, he was given a four year contract to be the team’s #2 starter. Now he’d be the team’s #4 starter on a risk-free one-year contract. As I’ve said many times, just because fans don’t like a move that doesn’t make it a bad move. Unpopular moves can end up being good ones nonetheless.

      LMJ229 wrote:

      In the interest of full disclosure, you should know that I am a “she” not a “he”.

      My apologies for the faulty assumption on my part. Whether you’re a he or a she, I’m happy you’re a part of the site and actively commenting. We need good, smart, passionate people like you.

    85. January 25th, 2011 | 10:13 am

      Very off-topic, but I have been reading tweets about the breakfast that Cashman is hosting at the Stadium today and some of what he has been saying has been… really candid, to say the least.

      For example, Cashman was quoted as saying he would be surprised if Jeter stays at SS all four years and sees him moving to the outfield.

      http://mobile.twitter.com/amandarykoff/status/29914223228231680

      He also admitted (FINALLY) that Joba will stick to the bullpen and he hasn’t been the same since his injury in Texas.

      http://mobile.twitter.com/amandarykoff/status/29911083787489280

      Also, Steve, you’ll love this. He answered a question on which team is better. He answered “Red Sox but the Yankees have the better bullpen.”

      http://mobile.twitter.com/amandarykoff/status/29913527468687360

      He also admits that AJ has a “problem” and that the team is doing all that it can to solve it.

      http://mobile.twitter.com/amandarykoff/status/29910251918594049

      I can submit more links, but I’ll give more of a summary of the rest: Jorge is DH, the starting catching job is up for grabs in Spring Training. He is quoted as saying, “We’re one starter away from being a World Series contender.”

      The quote of the day from Cashman thus far, in my opinion, is this one: “The higher up the tree the monkey climbs, the more you see of his ass.”

      *******************************************

      My only question is this… why has he become more candid of late?

    86. January 25th, 2011 | 10:16 am

      Sorry for all the links, let me try again:

      Very off-topic, but I have been reading tweets about the breakfast that Cashman is hosting at the Stadium today and some of what he has been saying has been… really candid, to say the least.

      For example, Cashman was quoted as saying he would be surprised if Jeter stays at SS all four years and sees him moving to the outfield.

      He also admitted (FINALLY) that Joba will stick to the bullpen and he hasn’t been the same since his injury in Texas. http://mobile.twitter.com/amandarykoff/status/29911083787489280

      Also, Steve, you’ll love this. He answered a question on which team is better. He answered “Red Sox but the Yankees have the better bullpen.”

      He also admits that AJ has a “problem” and that the team is doing all that it can to solve it.

      I can submit more links, but I’ll give more of a summary of the rest: Jorge is DH, the starting catching job is up for grabs in Spring Training. He is quoted as saying, “We’re one starter away from being a World Series contender.”

      The quote of the day from Cashman thus far, in my opinion, is this one: “The higher up the tree the monkey climbs, the more you see of his ass.”
      *******************************************
      My only question is this… why has he become more candid of late?

    87. MJ Recanati
      January 25th, 2011 | 10:29 am

      Brent wrote:

      Cashman was quoted as saying he would be surprised if Jeter stays at SS all four years and sees him moving to the outfield.

      Amen to moving Jeter off SS but I’m terrified of where Jeter would play in the OF. His bat can’t sustain LF or RF and he probably can’t play CF for defensive reasons. In other words, I truly don’t see how Jeter becomes an OF in two years, let alone in four. It’s why resigning him for anything more than two years with an option for a third year was a mistake.

      Brent wrote:

      He also admits that AJ has a “problem” and that the team is doing all that it can to solve it.

      I have no idea what this means.

      Brent wrote:

      He answered a question on which team is better. He answered “Red Sox but the Yankees have the better bullpen.”

      Not that I vehemently disagree with this but I think the more money you put into the bullpen, the less flexibility you have to fix it when it’s not working. For that reason, I think the Yankees might have the better bullpen but a harder time straightening it out [if/when] it implodes.

      Brent wrote:

      “We’re one starter away from being a World Series contender.”

      I agree. The Yankees, as currently constituted, are not a viable World Series contender. They’re a viable playoff contender which, for now, is good enough for me. Hopefully a starting pitcher will emerge on the horizon that the Yanks can trade for.

      Brent wrote:

      “The higher up the tree the monkey climbs, the more you see of his ass.”

      Brilliant and absolutely true.

    88. Raf
      January 25th, 2011 | 11:09 am

      Brent wrote:

      He also admits that AJ has a “problem” and that the team is doing all that it can to solve it.

      On field or off, I hope it gets squared away. Hope it works better than it did with Eiland.

      My only question is this… why has he become more candid of late?

      Better keep an eye out for nekkid teenage girls surrounded by rose petals…

      This is going to be a fun season if Cashman keeps it up; we may be looking at his last season as the Yankees’ GM

    89. MJ Recanati
      January 25th, 2011 | 11:24 am

      Raf wrote:

      we may be looking at his last season as the Yankees’ GM

      I’m beginning to think so too. And, if true, then Steve and all the other folks that think Cashman is terrible at his job will likely see how wrong they were. If the Steinbrenners and Levine are picking the next GM, I can only imagine just how awful the next guy will be. It’ll be some shortsighted, reactionary, yes-man jackass.

    90. Evan3457
      January 25th, 2011 | 11:27 am

      Raf wrote:

      This is going to be a fun season if Cashman keeps it up; we may be looking at his last season as the Yankees’ GM

      I am beginning to think that myself.

      Well, it’s been a long, reasonably successful run. It’ll be interesting to see if they go with Oppenheimer, as has been long rumored, or if they bring in someone from outside the organization.

      I’ll be a little sorry to see him go, but I’m not going to be all broken up over. Perhaps a new perspective is in order.

      If this is the “last hurrah” (or, in Steve’s case, the “last Bronx Cheer”) he has 2009 to his credit, and no one can take that away from him.

    91. Raf
      January 25th, 2011 | 12:17 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Well, it’s been a long, reasonably successful run. It’ll be interesting to see if they go with Oppenheimer, as has been long rumored, or if they bring in someone from outside the organization.

      I’ll be a little sorry to see him go, but I’m not going to be all broken up over. Perhaps a new perspective is in order.

      Same here… It’s been real, best of luck in whatever he chooses to do. On to the next one. I think it may be Oppenheimer too, but I suspect they’ll try to go with a “name” GM.

    92. LMJ229
      January 25th, 2011 | 12:22 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      My apologies for the faulty assumption on my part. Whether you’re a he or a she, I’m happy you’re a part of the site and actively commenting. We need good, smart, passionate people like you.

      Thank you for those kind words. I am really enjoying this site. I try to stay open to varying positions. It is good to interact with such knowledgable and respectful fans, unlike some of those other websites where the interaction always degrades to the Yankee supporters vs. the Yankee haters.

    93. MJ Recanati
      January 25th, 2011 | 12:50 pm

      Raf wrote:

      I think it may be Oppenheimer too, but I suspect they’ll try to go with a “name” GM.

      I wonder. I would’ve thought Oppenheimer would be the guy as recently as a few weeks ago but now I’m not so sure. If the Steinbrenners and Levine have lost faith in Cashman’s approach, I don’t see why Oppenheimer would be any different. Unless Oppenheimer is a yes-man (and he very well may be, especially in the first few years before he gets comfortable and secure in his job), he’d probably represent no significant change from Cashman.

      Plus, this is the Yankees and the Steinbrenners/Levine love “names.” I could see them chasing a name, either from their past (Jim Bowden) or someone really famous (Billy Beane, whom I wouldn’t endorse).

    94. LMJ229
      January 25th, 2011 | 1:56 pm

      OK, this is my last post on the Pavano issue, I promise!

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      We’ll test your theory this year since this is the first time he’s been given a multi-year contract since the one he signed with the Yankees back in 2005. After all, your theory presupposes that the security of a multi-year contract gives Pavano the comfort of faking injuries since he won’t have to worry about pitching for his next contract.

      Yes, I guess you could say that is what I am presupposing. It is kind of funny how he finally made a comeback the last two months of his deal. But I wouldn’t put it past him to do it again (in NY) on a one-year deal either. I know you don’t really subscribe to the theory, but I don’t think he can handle the constant pressure of the NY fans, the NY media and the AL East race. I don’t think he can handle any kind of prolonged adversity in the glare of NY like he could in Minnesota. I think he would come up with some sort of “injury” and go run and hide.

      I was similarly against the Nick Johnson signing because I didn’t trust him to stay healthy. I know everyone was in love with his on-base % but I just did not think he would be on the field enough to justify a roster spot. Just because it is a relatively cheap, one year contract does not necessarily mean it is a good deal if the player is only healthy for 20 games.

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Logically, of course, your argument makes no sense. He had to settle for a 1Y/$1.5M deal with Cleveland in 2009, his lowest annual salary since 2003. Why would Pavano — or anyone, really — engage in behavior that was so damaging to his reputation and standing in the game to the point that it would cost them literally millions of dollars?

      Who knows why, but he actually did it in the past, didn’t he?

      MJ, I totally understand your position on due diligence and I’m sure by now you understand mine. I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree. At least we are both happy that we don’t have to watch him pitch for the Yanks.

    95. LMJ229
      January 25th, 2011 | 2:04 pm

      I’m not a big Cashman fan but the prospect of Levine and the Baby Steinbrenners running the show scares the hell out of me. You know Levine will try and put in someone who will be his lap dog.

    96. MJ Recanati
      January 25th, 2011 | 2:31 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      I’m not a big Cashman fan but the prospect of Levine and the Baby Steinbrenners running the show scares the hell out of me. You know Levine will try and put in someone who will be his lap dog.

      I agree.

      The Soriano deal proves, to me, that these guys need Cashman. A lot.

    97. LMJ229
      January 25th, 2011 | 3:29 pm

      @ MJ Recanati:
      Well, I’m not as down as you are on the Soriano deal but I can’t stand Levine and, so far, I am not a big fan of the Steinbrenners.

    98. MJ Recanati
      January 25th, 2011 | 3:57 pm

      @ LMJ229:
      Even if we agree that Soriano will be better in 2011 than the 31st pick, I don’t see how the Soriano deal is a good one on its own merits from a financial point of view. 3Y/$35M is an obnoxious sum of money to pay a setup man.

      The deal fails on so many levels…

    99. LMJ229
      January 25th, 2011 | 6:32 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      3Y/$35M is an obnoxious sum of money to pay a setup man.

      Gotta agree with that.

    100. LMJ229
      January 25th, 2011 | 6:36 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      3Y/$35M is an obnoxious sum of money to pay a setup man.

      You know the Yankees always spend money like drunken sailors. I’m really starting to think they don’t care about the money. Their actions prove it. I guess when you have so much money, a few million here and there doesn’t really matter.

    101. LMJ229
      January 26th, 2011 | 6:05 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Interresting, because Contreras wound up being the #1 starter on a team that won a title, and Weaver wound up being the #3 starter on the team that won the title the next season.So, was it Cashman’s “lack of an eye for pitching talent” that made both of them fail in New York? Or was it something else?

      You mean the same Contreras Cashman traded for Esteban Loaiza? And the same Weaver Cashman traded for a washed up Kevin Brown?

    102. McMillan
      November 15th, 2013 | 10:35 pm

      Raf wrote:

      The fact remains that if Cashman was as poor at evaluating talent as some would like to think, the Yankees would’ve imploded by now.

      Or between Jan. 24, 2011 and Oct., 2013.

    103. McMillan
      November 15th, 2013 | 10:49 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      The Soriano deal proves, to me, that these guys need Cashman. A lot… The deal fails on so many levels…

      With Mariano Rivera and Dave Robertson Out, Rafael Soriano Gives Yankees Sense of Closure

      Soriano is 6-for-6 in save opportunities this season
      “… since Rivera’s season ended with a torn ACL and Robertson landed on the disabled list with an oblique injury, Soriano has provided Girardi with much-needed stability in the ninth inning. Soriano is 6-for-6 in save opportunities…” – May 31, 2012.

      http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/mariano-rivera-dave-robertson-rafael-soriano-yankees-sense-closure-article-1.1087950

      Yankees Hope Rafael Soriano Can Be Mariano Rivera-like During Bombers’ Playoff Run

      Soriano has been spectacular since Rivera went out with a knee injury in May, saving 42 games in 46 chances. He is one of four Yankees to ever hit the 40-save plateau, joining Rivera, John Wetteland and Dave Righetti, and since he became the Yanks’ closer he has more saves than anyone in baseball.

      “The Yankees season could’ve been ruined when Rivera… tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee… Soriano was not even the original choice to replace Rivera as closer – Robertson was – but Soriano… eventually took over and his performance has given his teammates a certain level of calm about endgame situations.” – Oct. 4, 2012.

      http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/soriano-fill-mo-big-october-shoes-article-1.1175469

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