• Yanks Brass Losing Faith In Cashman?

    Posted by on July 27th, 2013 · Comments (64)

    Via Joel Sherman

    Alfonso became the second straight Soriano that Brian Cashman advised Yankees ownership not to acquire — and was overruled on nevertheless.

    Just as with the signing of free agent Rafael Soriano, the general manager believed Yankees assets could be spent better than on Alfonso Soriano, two executives not affiliated with the Yankees told The Post.

    Cashman would not directly confirm what he advised Hal Steinbrenner, but told The Post: “I would say we are in a desperate time. Ownership wants to go for it. I didn’t want to give up a young arm [Corey Black]. But I understand the desperate need we have for offense. And Soriano will help us. The bottom line is this guy makes us better. Did ownership want him? Absolutely, yes. Does he make us better? Absolutely, yes. This is what Hal wants, and this is why we are doing it.”

    In a press briefing yesterday to announce Soriano’s acquisition, Cashman never directly spoke of his vote against the trade. But when it came to future possible deals to help this year’s club, he said a few times he does not like to give up prospects and he “might need ownership’s help” to convince him to finalize such a trade.

    Cashman became GM in 1998, but took on greater authority in 2005 when an ailing George Steinbrenner agreed to draw a more structured flow chart of how baseball decisions would be made. Still, since then, there have been times when Cashman has been overruled.

    If Cashman had a spine and any belief that he could GM another club without the benefit of the Steinbrenner Family Checkbook, wouldn’t he quit at this point?

    Comments on Yanks Brass Losing Faith In Cashman?

    1. Kamieniecki
      July 28th, 2013 | 9:36 pm

      @ Evan3457:
      “Because Mariano Rivera, for 15 years the most important cog in the machine that is the New York Yankees, has apparently saved his team once more…. As befitting an aging king preparing to abdicate his throne, Rivera — according to a source with intimate knowledge of the negotiations — chose his own successor…

      He chose Rafael Soriano. More importantly, HE CONVINCED HIS BOSSES TO CHOOSE SORIANO.

      And just like that, a team with huge holes in both its starting rotation and bullpen comes up with a waterproof patch. Suddenly, a question mark becomes an exclamation point. A shaky bullpen becomes one of the best in the league.

      And WITHOUT MARIANO GOING TO BAT FOR SORIANO, giving him the vote of confidence the Yankees needed to hear and AGREEING TO TAKE HIM UNDER HIS WING…maybe it doesn’t happen at all…”

    2. Tuttle
      July 28th, 2013 | 10:10 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      I agree. Having a ton of money coming off the books the season will help in the short run.

      Having Mariano Rivera come off the books is NOT going to help this team. And Sabathia is not coming off the books for years. This is Cashman’s mess; no one else’s.

    3. KPOcala
      July 28th, 2013 | 10:31 pm

      @ Tuttle: Impossible to argue with someone with such a narrow focus, and narrative. If you want to believe that those were all Cashman moves, then you must still be in high school. Or did you have to quit at 16? Objective thinking must have gone out of vogue, twenty years ago.

    4. KPOcala
      July 28th, 2013 | 10:37 pm

      @ Tuttle: Impossible to argue with someone with such a narrow focus, and narrative. If you want to believe that those were all Cashman moves, then you must still be in high school. Or did you have to quit at 16? Objective thinking must have gone out of vogue, twenty years ago.
      Evan3457 wrote:

      Can’t you fathom this is 100% hindsight?

      Evan, the “tuttles” and “lisaswans” of the world can’t fathom anything. They are only capable of picking nits off of smart peoples’ heads…..

    5. KPOcala
      July 28th, 2013 | 10:40 pm

      Tuttle wrote:

      Ridiculous and not supportable. Cashman is the GM.

      The “money shot” quote that reveals you to be a kid, or an imbecile.

    6. Ricketson
      July 28th, 2013 | 11:02 pm

      Raf wrote:

      None of those teams felt the need to sign a “Soriano” as a backup plan (referring to a premium closer signed to setup). All those teams were able to find closers when their primary guys went down.

      It wasn’t a backup plan. The plan was to bolster the bullpen, and depending on how Soriano worked out and what Rivera’s retirement plans turned out to be, possibly have a closer in Soriano in place.

      It just so happened that Rivera was injured. Soriano was NOT signed as a contingency against an injury to a 42-yr.-old closer ONLY. None of those teams had a closer approaching retirement.

      And it worked out quite well in spite of John Cashman’s son’s objections, not surprisingly.

    7. Ricketson
      July 28th, 2013 | 11:03 pm

      KPOcala wrote:

      The “money shot” quote that reveals you to be a kid, or an imbecile.

      Are you the same person that whines about being bullied and torched by Recanati, or is that someone else?

    8. Evan3457
      July 29th, 2013 | 1:40 am

      Kamieniecki wrote:

      Soriano was not a “backup” closer – he was not there in case Rivera got injured.

      Congratulations. You just described a backup closer as “not a backup closer”

      He was there because he had an excellent arm and Rivera was 42 years old, and in the event either Robertson or Rivera or someone else was injured.

      If he’s not there to be a backup closer, then why did they have to give him $36 million for 3 years? But wait, it gets even better: now, the Yankees are spending $36 million for 3 years to be a backup 8th inning guy, in case Robertson gets hurt.

      “In fact, Rivera in some sense chose his own successor, going to bat for Soriano with Yankees brass to convince the team to sign him… Soriano is likely to replace Kerry Wood as Rivera’s top setup man. Soriano, however, would give the Yankees extra insurance on days when they might want to rest Rivera. And with New York’s rotation still somewhat uncertain — Andy Pettitte isn’t sure if he’ll return for another season, Javier Vazquez signed with Florida — Soriano would help add length and depth to a bullpen that might need to pitch extra innings for shaky starters.”

      I don’t mind if Mariano lobbies for bullpen help. I mind if the Yankees pay $36 million for 3 years for a backup closer.

      He was never meant to be a “backup” for Rivera.

      Yes, he was, and it’s obvious he was from the amount of money in the deal. You don’t pay that kind of money for a set-up man/backup set-up man. You don’t have to overpay a set-up man like that to keep him from a accepting a lesser deal to set up for another team.

      “And with New York’s rotation somewhat uncertain” – when has that not been the case with Cashman – it seems like every year.

      Then wouldn’t it have made more sense to hold that $11-12 million a year in reserve in case a hole opened in that rotation, so they could make a mid-season acquisition, if a decent starter came available?

    9. Evan3457
      July 29th, 2013 | 1:50 am

      Scout wrote:

      Why did the whole tone here become so hostile? I don’t know about you, but I join the conversation here as a diversion. It should be fun, light-hearted, and generous in spirit. We’re all going to enjoy it more if we refrain from personal attacks, telling people to get lost, etc.

      It became a lot more hostile when the Cashman Derangement Syndrome (CDS) people arrived, calling him an idiot in every post, and attacking those who don’t think he’s the worst GM in baseball as being mentally deficient.

      If I’m more hostile in my replies, it’s because I don’t like people implying I’m an idiot for not going along with that, and failing to deal rationally with counter-arguments.

      I always start my replies mildly, but when I get scorn in return, I answer in kind. The 6th reply in the thread is typical. Then Lisa chimed in making claims about Cashman and the piece. I challenged her, and things deteriorated from there.

    10. Evan3457
      July 29th, 2013 | 1:55 am

      Kamieniecki wrote:

      A stupid, unnecessary move that saved the season. MARIANO RIVERA HIMSELF LOBBIED LEVINE FOR SORIANO. And to Levine’s credit, he made the correct decision.

      Re: Mariano lobbying for Soriano…asked and answered two replies above this one.
      Re: saving the season…as I’ve mentioned twice, probably not. The difference between a top closer and an average one is not 5 games in the standings, unless a succession of blown saves causes a team to quit. Most other teams who lose a top closer are able to compensate with an adequate fill-in without spending $36 million for 3 years.

      From an absurd standpoint: the worst moves Cashman ever made aren’t even contained in this list!

      90% of the moves considered Cashman’s worst that were not in that list are 99 44/100ths% hindsight. I call these moves some of the worst from an objective standpoint is because there was almost no way they could’ve “worked”, even if the player in question had stayed healthy/pitched better. Each of those players had a questionable history, either injury-related (of which Soriano was also one, by the way), or of not pitching well under the type of pressure pitching for the Yankees can generate.

    11. Evan3457
      July 29th, 2013 | 2:18 am

      Tuttle wrote:

      Pavano and Igawa are not 100% hindsight – that money should NOT have been spent. Burnett is questionable as well, as are a lot of other decisions in the last decade as far as the rotation is concerned.

      Not true. Both are entirely hindsight.

      1) Pavano was actively chased by both Epstein and Dombrowsky, two GMs who are commonly cited as being better than Cashman. Even if they offered less than Cashman (and I believe one of them offered more, if I remember correctly), the fact that both made offers proves that Pavano was commonly considered worth chasing. Pavano had just come off the best season of his career, had pitched 200 innings for two straight years for the first time in his career, making at least 32 starts in both years, had pitched very well in 2003 in post-season play, and made the All-Star team and finished 6th in the Cy Young voting in 2004, and was only 29 years old. That’s worthy of a four-year free agent contract.

      2) Igawa is also hindsight, unless you had access to scouting reports of other major league teams at the time the bids for him were posted.

      LOL. WHICH OF CASHMAN’S RETREADS DID SORIANO PREVENT FROM SAVING THE DAY ON FRIDAY AND SATURDAY?

      Now, you see, this is what I was talking about in my previous reply to Scout about the increased hostility.

      ==============================
      Let’s review here…we’re talking about how Cashman didn’t really want Soriano, and the people higher in the organization stepped in and did it anyway. I point out that Soriano will be a help, although not a big one. (Which I infer is Cashman’s position too, as it happens.) I get the counter-argument that he was a big help in winning today’s game. To bolster my original argument here, I point out that also helped them lose on Friday and Saturday, to which I get the following:

      LOL
      All Caps.
      An irrelevent point that no one else helped them win those two games, either.

      All posted with an inappropriate tone of triumphalism.

      OK, maybe Scout has a point, so I’ll try to not make things worse in my reply. Anyway…
      ================================
      The issue is not that no one else helped the Yankees win on Friday and Saturday. They issue is that Soriano is a plus, but very likely not a big plus. He helped them win today, and greatly. But he absolutely helped them lose on Friday and Saturday, and the fact that so did everybody else on the team is…oh, how can I put this?…oh, yeah…IRRELEVANT to the discussion of how much Soriano will/will not help the Yanks from here.

      You’re arguing against Rivera himself, Levine, and a decision that put in place 42 saves in 2012 and made a playoff appearance possible. Levine listened to Rivera; Cashman did not, and the decision paid off. Period.

      Well, no, not really.

      Because the cost of losing a top-rank closer is usually not what you think it is, not what most fans think it is.

      Some of the CDS people complained that the Yankee offense in 2012 was obviously too weak to win a title or even a pennant; is it possible that the $12 million could’ve been used to pick up a better hitter for the stretch run and post-season, and that could’ve picked up the slack for Mariano in terms of making the post-season? Or a better starting pitcher?

      Now, I’m not saying that one hitter would’ve made a big difference against Detroit. But it’s possible that the right hitter might have lifted the pressure Cano was obviously feeling, and that, in turn might’ve lifted the pressure on some of the others, and made the series more competitive.

      If you’re going to make the counter-argument that one more hitter wouldn’t have mattered the slightest, tell me this: how much did having a top-rank “backup closer” matter in that four-game sweep?

    12. Evan3457
      July 29th, 2013 | 2:29 am

      Kamieniecki wrote:

      And just like that, a team with huge holes in both its starting rotation and bullpen comes up with a waterproof patch. Suddenly, a question mark becomes an exclamation point. A shaky bullpen becomes one of the best in the league.

      The 2010 Yankees were 3rd in the AL in relief ERA. At the start of the 2011 season, they had Mariano, Robertson, Chamberlain and Logan.

      Then they spent about $14-15 million a year for a 3rd set up man and a 2nd lefty. It wasn’t necessary.

      As I’ve said, it’s OK for Mariano to lobby for more help. It’s not OK to spend $12 million a year for a backup closer/set-up man.

    13. Evan3457
      July 29th, 2013 | 2:30 am

      Tuttle wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      I agree. Having a ton of money coming off the books the season will help in the short run.
      Having Mariano Rivera come off the books is NOT going to help this team. And Sabathia is not coming off the books for years. This is Cashman’s mess; no one else’s.

      Depends if they can replace 90-95% of Mariano at 50% of the cost or less. It’s possible, you know.

      Sabathia is very likely to bounce back and be a good pitcher again, unless he’s hiding a serious injury, which I don’t think he is.

    14. KPOcala
      July 29th, 2013 | 2:51 am

      @ Ricketson: Yeah. What of it? “Tuttle” likes to bait, and I slapped him down. He shoots without bullets. When I write, I write with forty years of watching and studying the game. I’m not trying to “defend” a man who makes three million a year. But for this idiotic hindsight that enables fans to look like “baseball savants”, please…. spare me. Take the time and actually read “Tuttles'” and “Lisaswans'” ridiculous comments, and you should understand my getting fed-up. What, are you “Tuttles” boyfriend or something? And fwiw, I don’t whine, ever.