Strong words from Steve Goldman today –
One of a general manager’s chief responsibilities is creating value where none exists. That is, “One of a general manager’s chief responsibilities, at least where 29 major league teams are concerned, is creating value where none exists.” If you want to know why the Yankees are willing to let Brian Cashman do a Batman impression down the side of buildings and go plummeting out of airplanes, it’s for this reason — the way he approaches his job, the way they insist on him approaching his job, means he’s entirely dispensable.
In largely relying on other team’s veteran products, the Yankees have a longstanding tradition of foregoing doing their own player analysis in favor of that of other organizations. Why gamble on your own prospects when the Detroit Tigers have scouted, signed, developed, and played Curtis Granderson to the point that he is incontrovertibly a major-league player? Why pray that your own unrefined hurler can add a changeup to his fastball/curveball arsenal when the Dodgers have shown that Hiroki Kuroda is a more-than finished product? The Yankees are in the business of certainty, hence the big disbursements to veteran free agents and, from time to time, Carl Pavano-sized disappointments, because putting your faith in an old man isn’t any more of a sure thing than putting it in a kid, just more expensive. If the Yankees had an executive and a baseball operations department whose judgment mattered, it might be different.
That the team has no faith in its own valuations is demonstrated by the team’s pathetic outreach to the retired All-Star Derrek Lee. Lee has officially told the Yankees he’s staying home. The Yankees should consider themselves lucky to have been spared this particular flight of fancy given that Lee had been idle since September 28, 2011 and hadn’t played well since 2009.