• Dream Or A Nightmare?

    Posted by on May 27th, 2011 · Comments (35)

    I had a dream last night that the New York Yankees signed Brian Cashman to a 4-year extension paying him $4 million a year to stay on as G.M. of the team.

    That, of course, would be some raise – considering that Cash is already the best paid G.M. in the game at $2 million a year.

    Comments on Dream Or A Nightmare?

    1. clintfsu813
      May 27th, 2011 | 7:23 am

      I’d be ok with that. Maybe he can actually prevent the next Soriano type of signing. And maybe keep signing gems like Martin & Colon.

    2. May 27th, 2011 | 7:48 am

      clintfsu813 wrote:

      I’d be ok with that. Maybe he can actually prevent the next Soriano type of signing. And maybe keep signing gems like Martin & Colon.

      For every avoided Soriano, there are two he did sign Marte and Felicianos. And for every gem like Martin and Colon, there are just as many duds like Nick Johnson, Randy Winn, Chan Ho Park, LaTroy Hawkins, Bubba Crosby, Matt Lawton, Angel Berroa, Richie Sexson, and Josh Phelps.

    3. clintfsu813
      May 27th, 2011 | 8:36 am

      So you’re saying he’s not perfect??? :) Every GM makes crappy moves. I’m a simple guy. Cash has rebuilt the Farm and made some pretty damn good moves over the last 5 years. We’re a consistently winning team. If it aint broke dont fix it.

    4. May 27th, 2011 | 8:44 am

      Yes, every GM has his swings and misses. But, as always, when it comes to Cashman, in the eyes of many Yankees fans, it’s: “heads he wins and tails somebody else loses.”

      He’s nothing special as a G.M. That’s my beef with those who claim he’s the best. And, that’s why he should be not be paid $2 million a year or more. He should consider himself lucky to have this gig – with the Steinbrenner checkbook to make him look smart – and be willing to do the job, and take all the perks that come with it, for $300K or so.

      And, if that’s not good enough for him, then there are 20-50 other people who can do just as good a job as him and who would be willing to do it at that price, in a heartbeat.

    5. MJ Recanati
      May 27th, 2011 | 8:44 am

      @ Steve Lombardi:
      Randy Winn, Chan Ho Park, LaTroy Hawkins, Bubba Crosby, Matt Lawton, Angel Berroa, Richie Sexson and Josh Phelps cost, what, $10M at most, combined?

      Big freakin’ deal.

    6. Garcia
      May 27th, 2011 | 8:59 am

      I share your nightmare, Steve. I used to be in the pro-Cash camp, now I find him to be nothing but a thin-skinned elf.

    7. MJ Recanati
      May 27th, 2011 | 9:06 am

      Garcia wrote:

      I used to be in the pro-Cash camp, now I find him to be nothing but a thin-skinned elf.

      His personality flaws are unimportant. As long as he makes the right decisions for the team which, on balance, he has done, that’s good enough for me.

      We know that senior management (Hank and Hal Steinbrenner, Randy Levine and Lonn Trost) will stick their noses in from time to time to catastrophic result (the Soriano and Rodriguez contracts, for example) so we should be wary of the devil we don’t know. A GM hired by fools is likely to be a fool himself. Cashman doesn’t have to be perfect for the Yankees to be successful and we do know that he’s generally able to navigate the sometime-choppy waters caused by the morons who rank above him in the heirarchy.

    8. May 27th, 2011 | 9:07 am

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Randy Winn, Chan Ho Park, LaTroy Hawkins, Bubba Crosby, Matt Lawton, Angel Berroa, Richie Sexson and Josh Phelps cost, what, $10M at most, combined?Big freakin’ deal.

      That’s right. Let’s ignore all the players that he brought in who failed and throw a parade for the three players that he brought in where he caught lightning in a bottle.

    9. May 27th, 2011 | 9:08 am

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Cashman doesn’t have to be perfect for the Yankees to be successful and we do know that he’s generally able to navigate the sometime-choppy waters caused by the morons who rank above him in the heirarchy.

      And, is that worth $2 million a year or more?

    10. MJ Recanati
      May 27th, 2011 | 9:27 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      That’s right. Let’s ignore all the players that he brought in who failed…

      No one’s ignoring failed players, merely contextualizing them. The one overarching problem I have with your method of argumentation is that everything is black and white and that you don’t value or consider varying degrees of importance.

      You listed eight players that Cashman brought in who all bombed for the Yankees. I’m sure there are another two dozen that we could all agree were unsuccessful signings. But the issue isn’t their failures but what their failures represented to the team. At an extremely low financial cost, their failures had next to no impact on the team’s ability to compete or even their ability to acquire replacements when those failed players were jettisoned.

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      and throw a parade for the three players that he brought in where he caught lightning in a bottle.

      Since I know you’re a die-hard Yankees fan that follows the team religiously and is absolutely aware of all the varous players that have come and gone over the years, this comment is blatantly disingenuous. You’re honestly telling me that Martin, Colon and Garcia are the only players Cashman has picked up off the trash heap that have succeeded for the team? Aaron Small doesn’t count? Shawn Chacon doesn’t count? Scott Proctor didn’t count?

      Further, let’s assume that you’re right: Cashman has never picked up good players before Martin, Colon and Garcia. Again, it’s all a matter of degrees. Have the Yankees not been successful in spite this problem you claim? If the Yankees have been successful in spite of this problem you claim then does it even matter if Cashman hasn’t struck gold off the waiver wire more often?

    11. MJ Recanati
      May 27th, 2011 | 9:30 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      And, is that worth $2 million a year or more?

      I never commented on that part of your post because I don’t care what Cashman is paid. A GM’s salary is totally unimportant. But, sure, if the Yankees wanted to pay Cashman $4M I wouldn’t bat an eye. He’s more important than Joe Girardi and yet he’s paid a third less. It would make sense to me if a GM was paid more than his manager.

    12. Raf
      May 27th, 2011 | 9:33 am

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      @ Steve Lombardi:
      Randy Winn, Chan Ho Park, LaTroy Hawkins, Bubba Crosby, Matt Lawton, Angel Berroa, Richie Sexson and Josh Phelps cost, what, $10M at most, combined?
      Big freakin’ deal.

      ZOMG, bit players have failed! CASHMAN sucks!

    13. MJ Recanati
      May 27th, 2011 | 9:34 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      That’s my beef with those who claim he’s the best.

      You keep harping on this one phantom point. Who among us has ever claimed he’s the best? You’re arguing with yourself here since no one’s ever made the contrary claim.

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      He should consider himself lucky to have this gig – with the Steinbrenner checkbook to make him look smart – and be willing to do the job, and take all the perks that come with it, for $300K or so.

      You’re saying that Cashman should be the lowest-paid GM and that his salary should be $300K lower than the mean salary of MLB GM’s? That’s absurd. There isn’t a single guy in baseball that would take the Yankees GM job for $300K.

    14. Raf
      May 27th, 2011 | 9:35 am

      Cashman has been the GM since 1998. In the 13 years he has been GM, it stands to reason he’s going to make bad moves.

    15. MJ Recanati
      May 27th, 2011 | 9:36 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      And, if that’s not good enough for him, then there are 20-50 other people who can do just as good a job as him and who would be willing to do it at that price, in a heartbeat.

      I’d do it for $300K because that’s more than I make now. I’m sure you’d do it for $300K for the same reason.

      But let’s not kid ourselves and think that you or I could do a better job.

      Not a single person in baseball that has aspirations to one day be a baseball GM would take a $300K salary to be the GM of the Yankees. There aren’t too many guys in baseball that would do the job for that pay, period.

    16. Raf
      May 27th, 2011 | 9:40 am

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      You keep harping on this one phantom point. Who among us has ever claimed he’s the best? You’re arguing with yourself here since no one’s ever made the contrary claim.

      Given selective arguments and goalpost moving, it’s par for the course that strawman arguments would also be thrown in :D

    17. May 27th, 2011 | 9:44 am

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Not a single person in baseball that has aspirations to one day be a baseball GM would take a $300K salary to be the GM of the Yankees. There aren’t too many guys in baseball that would do the job for that pay, period.

      After winning the World Series in 2004, Red Sox GM Theo Epstein was paid $350,000 in 2005.

      Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/06/weekinreview/06basicA.html

    18. MJ Recanati
      May 27th, 2011 | 9:51 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      After winning the World Series in 2004, Red Sox GM Theo Epstein was paid $350,000 in 2005

      That was in 2005. Theo is now making over $1.5M.

      Not only is it absurd to cite a 2005 salary as support for your claim that Cashman should be paid less today than what GM’s were making six seasons ago but it completely ignores the fact that Cashman has been the GM for four World Series champions and six American League pennant winners. Whether you care to tie Cashman’s contributions to those feats or not, it’s nevertheless impossible to pay a GM less despite having won more.

    19. MJ Recanati
      May 27th, 2011 | 9:51 am

      Raf wrote:

      Given selective arguments and goalpost moving, it’s par for the course that strawman arguments would also be thrown in

      No doubt.

    20. Garcia
      May 27th, 2011 | 9:59 am

      Jaret Wright, Carl Pavano, Javy Vazquez (2nd resurrection), Nick Johnson, Farnsworth, Karsay.

      I don’t think Cash is that special, I felt he was more media savvy than what I’ve seen in the last few years. He has done better with the farm system since 2005 and he has used his chips to make pretty good trades to help out at the ML level, so he gets an above average grade there. I feel that’s the only place he’s doing well. Everywhere else he’s failing miserably and all he does is get his fruit of the loom in a bunch when he gets critiqued. He’s turned into a petulant child now, he’s just a figurehead for the Levin, Trost, Stein group, and he knows it, but he still complains about it. So if he wants to grow a pair, then he should just leave and we can get some new blood in here.

    21. Raf
      May 27th, 2011 | 10:04 am

      Garcia wrote:

      Jaret Wright, Carl Pavano, Javy Vazquez (2nd resurrection), Nick Johnson, Farnsworth, Karsay.

      Wright and Pavano were dumb moves, the rest were justifiable.

    22. May 27th, 2011 | 10:04 am

      FWIW, I don’t blame Cashman for Wright. That was Tampa, IMHO. But, Cashman’s track record on money wasted on pitching between the good signings of Mussina and Sabathia is the stuff that should have gotten him fired years ago.

    23. MJ Recanati
      May 27th, 2011 | 10:05 am

      Garcia wrote:

      I felt he was more media savvy than what I’ve seen in the last few years.

      Probably true. This certainly wasn’t his best winter in handling the job from a PR standpoint, at least in my opinion.

      Garcia wrote:

      He has done better with the farm system since 2005 and he has used his chips to make pretty good trades to help out at the ML level, so he gets an above average grade there. I feel that’s the only place he’s doing well.

      If he’s doing a decent job with the farm system and leveraging the farm system to make pretty good trades to improve the 25-man roster, what else is there? When you say “that the only place he’s doing well”, what isn’t he doing well? I figure managing the minor leagues and improving the 25-man roster are his two most important jobs.

      Garcia wrote:

      He’s turned into a petulant child now, he’s just a figurehead for the Levin, Trost, Stein group,

      Petulant he might be. I think that’s probably exaggerating a little bit but I guess that’s not terribly important. I don’t agree, however, that he’s merely a figurehead. He doesn’t have complete autonomy, we know that. But I don’t think he’s just a puppet on a string either.

    24. MJ Recanati
      May 27th, 2011 | 10:09 am

      Raf wrote:

      Wright and Pavano were dumb moves, the rest were justifiable.

      I’d probably argue that the Nick Johnson signing was dumb too since there was probably less than a 30% chance Johnson would stay healthy enough to contribute.

      Now, I agree that signing him didn’t cripple the team in any measurable way and the Yankees still won 90-something games and advanced to the ALCS so it’s not a huge deal. But since it didn’t take a nuclear physicist to figure that Nick Johnson would get hurt, it didn’t make sense to me to gamble on a guy that didn’t have high odds of panning out.

    25. Raf
      May 27th, 2011 | 10:12 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      FWIW, I don’t blame Cashman for Wright. That was Tampa, IMHO. But, Cashman’s track record on money wasted on pitching between the good signings of Mussina and Sabathia is the stuff that should have gotten him fired years ago.

      Problem is a team isn’t going to fire a GM that had assembled a team that has won over 90 games and has qualified for the playoffs almost every year under his tenure.

    26. Raf
      May 27th, 2011 | 10:33 am

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      But since it didn’t take a nuclear physicist to figure that Nick Johnson would get hurt, it didn’t make sense to me to gamble on a guy that didn’t have high odds of panning out.

      Johnson had gotten hurt playing the field, the idea was as a DH, it’d limit his chances of getting hurt.

      It was a gamble, like it was a gamble that AJ Burnett and Carl Pavano would be able to stay healthy for the duration of their contracts.

    27. MJ Recanati
      May 27th, 2011 | 11:53 am

      Raf wrote:

      Johnson had gotten hurt playing the field, the idea was as a DH, it’d limit his chances of getting hurt.

      That always seemed like specious logic to me and became a talking point that was oft-repeated but never vetted.

      Nick Johnson broke his wrist swinging a bat early in the 2008 season so it never made sense to me that simply swinging a bat and removing the defensive responsibilities of playing would keep him healthy.

    28. Raf
      May 27th, 2011 | 12:11 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      That always seemed like specious logic to me and became a talking point that was oft-repeated but never vetted.

      Nick Johnson broke his wrist swinging a bat early in the 2008 season so it never made sense to me that simply swinging a bat and removing the defensive responsibilities of playing would keep him healthy.

      I can’t post any links with fear of the post being held up in moderation, but I’m sure if you look up “Nick Johnson injury history” you’ll see that the major injuries he sustained; broken cheekbone, broken leg, came while he was in the field.

      Johnson broke his wrist in 2008, but it held up in 2009. It would be reasonable to assume that it would’ve held up in 2010. If anything, I would’ve thought that if he had missed time, it would be because of a balky back.

    29. Ryan81
      May 27th, 2011 | 12:15 pm

      FWIW, my money says Cashman is the GM of the Cubs by the end of the calendar year. I think Cash finally tells the Yankees to shove it. I don’t think the Steinbrenners would double his salary to try to keep him, and even if Cashman does want to say, I can’t see them rewarding him that heftily. In Chicago, Cashman can inherit a team that currently needs to emphasize building up the farm system because the Cubs will have a few years left of monstrous contracts given to vastly underperforming stars like Soriano and Zambrano. There is no checkbook in all of baseball that is bigger than the Yankees, but the Cubs play in a big enough market with a loyal enough fanbase to rival the Yankees’ spending much like Boston is doing now. So if he busts on a Feliciano, it wouldn’t severely restrict him like in Seattle, Washington, or whatever other really small market team he used as leverage in the past. I also remember seeing some big feature on him before 2004 (can’t remember the article, but if I stumble upon it, I’ll post a link) and his wife was quoted as saying something along the lines of: “Brian would love to be the GM of the Red Sox, win there and be treated like a king.” So if the guy feels under-appreciated at his job in the Bronx, he surely won’t get that feeling if he wins with the freaking Cubs.

      Besides Steve, no offense, but your dreams have sometimes been pretty off-base anyway.

    30. Raf
      May 27th, 2011 | 12:29 pm

      I would be surprised if Cashman remains the GM of the Yankees if only because he has held the position for so long.

      At any rate, Cashman is a lot better than people give credit. What I see a lot of is that familiarity breeds contempt. Which is fine, I suppose. Watson and Michael are lionized here, but they’ve made crappy moves when they ran the show. No one mentions pitching busts like Terry Mulholland, Xavier Hernandez or Mike Witt, or draft busts like Brien Taylor. Or how the Steinbrenner Family checkbook was used to land Jimmy Key, Danny Tartabull, Mike Gallego & Spike Owen… So on and so forth.

    31. MJ Recanati
      May 27th, 2011 | 12:33 pm

      Raf wrote:

      I would be surprised if Cashman remains the GM of the Yankees if only because he has held the position for so long.At any rate, Cashman is a lot better than people give credit. What I see a lot of is that familiarity breeds contempt. Which is fine, I suppose. Watson and Michael are lionized here, but they’ve made crappy moves when they ran the show. No one mentions pitching busts like Terry Mulholland, Xavier Hernandez or Mike Witt, or draft busts like Brien Taylor. Or how the Steinbrenner Family checkbook was used to land Jimmy Key, Danny Tartabull, Mike Gallego & Spike Owen… So on and so forth.

      Yep.

    32. MJ Recanati
      May 27th, 2011 | 12:37 pm

      Raf wrote:

      Johnson broke his wrist in 2008, but it held up in 2009. It would be reasonable to assume that it would’ve held up in 2010. If anything, I would’ve thought that if he had missed time, it would be because of a balky back.

      That doesn’t change the fact that the mantra I heard repeated was: if he only DH’s, he’ll be fine because it will be less taxing to his body.

      The fact that he broke his wrist while swinging a bat tells me that he’s fragile enough that he can’t be hidden anywhere on the field without the risk of an injury. Heck, in spring training with the Yankees he caught his cleat in the turf and missed a week with a wrenched back. That’s not to say that couldn’t happen to anyone but the point is that these things seemed to happen to Johnson with regularity and his genetics made it such that what would be a month’s injury for a normal player would be three months injury for him.

      It’s a shame that Johnson (like Rich Harden or Ben Sheets or others) didn’t have the genetics to stay healthy or to heal quickly but that’s just how it goes. For that reason, I would’ve stayed away from him because his history made it a very poor bet that he could make it through even half a season unscathed.

    33. Raf
      May 27th, 2011 | 5:36 pm

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      That doesn’t change the fact that the mantra I heard repeated was: if he only DH’s, he’ll be fine because it will be less taxing to his body.

      Yes, because the major injuries he suffered happened while he was playing the field. He made 500+ PA’s in 2005-06. Broke his leg and missed 07. Had the aforementioned wrist injury in 2008. The wrist was presumably fine in 2009, when he made 574 PA’s.

      So had he not been playing the field, he doesn’t run into Kearns, breaking his leg. He also doesn’t field a grounder to his face in 2004, which gives him maybe another bunch of AB’s on the season. Of course he may have suffered a different injury, but I’d rather have the run of the mill pulled hammy or something.

    34. MJ Recanati
      May 27th, 2011 | 8:27 pm

      Raf wrote:

      but I’d rather have the run of the mill pulled hammy or something.

      Given how Johnson takes a long time to heal from minor injuries, even a run of the mill hammy would’ve been a three month DL trip for that guy.

    35. LMJ229
      May 30th, 2011 | 11:42 am

      Cashman has many personal qualities that are to be admired: he is intelligent, hard-working, dedicated and loyal. However, I believe Cashman is just an average GM in terms of productivity and with the Yankees tremendous resources he should be better than that.

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