• Brian Cashman Throws Mark Newman & Damon Oppenheimer Under The Bus

    Posted by on October 2nd, 2013 · Comments (18)

    When Yankees GM Brian Cashman was asked “How would you evaluate your organization’s drafting and player development lately? Do you expect any organizational changes in those departments?” this was his answer (via Andy McCullough):

    “In terms of changes, I mean, we’re always looking at that type of stuff. So if we have changes to make, we’ll make them and then deal with them. We have struggled out of the draft here in the last number of years. Some of it’s signability, whether it’s Gerrit Cole. Some of it’s injuries, like last year’s No. 1 pick Ty Hensley having double hip surgery. So he hasn’t been available to us.

    “Some of its picks that haven’t panned out. I think this past year we did really well. But in fairness, we feel that when you make those selections. So we’re evaluating that as well. I think we’re obviously starting a top-to-bottom, we typically do it every three years, and this past year we started, maybe two months ago, going through the process of evaluating the decision-making process. And the expected value from where you pick in the draft, and comparisons to other organizations.

    “You try to determine what is accurate and true, and what is actually not as accurate, and more perception. First and foremost, we’re going through that process. But, yeah, we haven’t had as fruitful results from the draft recently as we’d hoped and anticipated.

    “In terms of development, we’d have guys that I think three years ago we were ranked in the top seven farm systems in the game. In the last three years, our players have either gotten injured, that have taken them out. Manny Banuelos, for example, who we missed all this year because of Tommy John.

    “Or we’ve had guys go backwards, like a Dellin Betances, for instance. Was considered a potential high-end starter, and has now been converted to the bullpen. Because of a failure there finishing it off at Triple A. So he’ll be competing for a bullpen spot next year, because he’s out of options. So those are examples of injuries, performance going backwards or unexpected return.”

    And, yet, for a million years, Cashman let Lin Garrett keep his job when he stunk – and, Cashman let Bill Livesey walk away from the Yankees last year. But, I guess that’s to be forgotten, right?

    Comments on Brian Cashman Throws Mark Newman & Damon Oppenheimer Under The Bus

    1. Sweet Lou
      October 2nd, 2013 | 1:42 pm

      “Or we’ve had guys go backwards, like a Dellin Betances, for instance. Was considered a potential high-end starter, and has now been converted to the bullpen… So those are examples of…performance going backwards or unexpected return.”

      Was it necessary for Cashman to mention Betances, or any young player, by name at this press conference as an example of a young player whose performance has gone backwards, as Cashman tried to offer explanations and excuses for the team’s deterioration for years and save his job for the time being?

    2. Scout
      October 3rd, 2013 | 8:16 am

      This is what Teflon managers do. Out of the mouth comes endless drivel, while the finger of blame points elsewhere. Cashman OWNS the people who have been running player development for the past eight years. He received full control, at his demand, back in 2005. He is responsible, and it is past time for ownership to hold him accountable. If the people above him fail to do so, then the blame lies on them.

    3. October 3rd, 2013 | 9:32 am

      Scout wrote:

      Cashman OWNS the people who have been running player development for the past eight years. He received full control, at his demand, back in 2005. He is responsible, and it is past time for ownership to hold him accountable.

      Hallelujah and Amen

    4. Sweet Lou
      October 3rd, 2013 | 12:46 pm

      Scout wrote:

      This is what Teflon managers do. Out of the mouth comes endless drivel, while the finger of blame points elsewhere. Cashman OWNS the people who have been running player development for the past eight years. He received full control, at his demand, back in 2005. He is responsible, and it is past time for ownership to hold him accountable. If the people above him fail to do so, then the blame lies on them.

      IIRC, he’s made no major changes from 2005.

      I still have difficulty believing Girardi was able to pull together 85 wins with the team Cashman handed him, the injuries, and Cashman’s solutions for those injuries in 2013 – and I saw it with my own eyes.

      I have even more difficulty imagining Cashman as the GM in 2015 with his contract expiring in 2014, even if Hal agrees to forget about the $189MM goal/mandate.
      Hal’s not going to go to $220MM, there are no FA solutions for the rotation, and there are so many other problems to address.

      With a season not much better (and probably worse in 2014), no more injury excuses, and Hal having one more year to observe Cashman firsthand and with more scrutiny, Cashman gets another contract to be the GM from 2015-2018? I’ll believe it when I see it.

    5. Mr. October
      October 3rd, 2013 | 1:26 pm

      “Cashman gave his State of the Yankees address… and his message could be summed up in one six-word quote:

      ‘We’ve got a lot of problems.’

      He needed many more words to explain why it is unlikely any of the solutions will come from within. This [might be] the greatest mystery of the current Yankees’ mess.

      How can an organization with unrivaled resources and reputation have a farm system without 1 homegrown player on target to make an impact in the coming season?

      It is stunning, really…

      The farm system couldn’t provide a decent stop-gap option all summer. Instead, Cashman had to rely on the waiver wire to find castoffs from other teams to fill holes.

      … as he rebuilds this roster and tries to stay below the $189 million luxury tax threshold, he’ll do it without the benefit of young talent…

      This is how Cashman spent most of the 51 minutes answering questions following the worst season for his franchise since 1992:
      A reporter would ask a question about a specific area of the team, Cashman would acknowledge that it wasn’t good enough, and then he’d accept all blame.

      … This exchange summed it up:

      Q. ‘Who do you put the ultimate responsibility on for the team not being good enough?’

      A. ‘Me.’

      Q. ‘Nobody else?’

      A. ‘It’s my responsibility.’

      Q. ‘Were you given all the resources necessary in the winter to build a winner?’

      A. ‘Yes.’

      … Cashman is responsible for the farm system – he demanded full control of it [in 2005]…

      … the philosophy needs to change. That’s up to Cashman.

      … they have to figure out why their farm system, with the exception of the bullpen, has failed to produce long-term solutions at the major-league level.

      Cashman referenced injuries, bad luck and signability issues, citing Cole as an example… The team used the 28th overall pick on the elite high school pitcher in 2008, then failed to sign him; Cole helped the Pirates reach this postseason [this year].

      … most of the top picks in recent seasons have been disappointments. None of the four prospects regarded as the Yankees’ best — Sanchez, Heathcott, Austin, and Williams — had an eye-popping 2013 season.

      … Cashman will watch the Rays, a division rival with a $62 million payroll, play postseason baseball for the fourth time in six years thanks, [in part, to their ability to develop their own stars]…

      His Yankees have a lot of problems. If only they could count on their own prospects to fix a few of them.”

      One question that should have been asked:

      Q: “You did Meanwell?”

      A: “Yes. I did mean well.”

    6. October 3rd, 2013 | 2:18 pm

      Mr. October wrote:

      One question that should have been asked:
      Q: “You did Meanwell?”
      A: “Yes. I did mean well.”

      I would have paid money to see someone ask that question. Where’s Gary Dell’Abate when you need him?

    7. MJ Recanati
      October 3rd, 2013 | 3:15 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      Where’s Gary Dell’Abate when you need him?

      That horsetoothed jackass is too big-time to go crashing events now.

    8. October 3rd, 2013 | 3:27 pm

      @ MJ Recanati:
      Plus, he’s a Mets fan.

    9. Kamieniecki
      October 3rd, 2013 | 5:52 pm

      Simple math:

      $140MM = 2012 Detroit Tigers payroll
      $230MM = 2012 New York Yankees payroll
      $215MM = 2016 New York Yankees payroll

      $23MM = 2016 Teixeira Salary
      $25MM = 2016 Sabathia Salary
      $21MM = 2016 Rodriguez Salary

      $215MM – $23MM – $25MM – $21MM + 1 Dombrowski = 1 2016 Pennants

      $215MM – $23MM – $25MM – $21MM + 1 Cashman = 0 2016 Pennants

    10. Mr. October
      October 3rd, 2013 | 6:02 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      Where’s Gary Dell’Abate when you need him?

      @ Steve L.:
      Brian Cashman meant well; you meant “Stuttering John.”

    11. Mr. October
      October 3rd, 2013 | 8:14 pm

      “… MLB’s collective bargaining agreement enforces [an] ncreased luxury tax on payrolls exceeding $189 million…

      the Yankees still command what several baseball executives say is anywhere from a ‘significant’ to a ‘huge’ financial advantage.

      … the perception lingers: if The Boss were still alive, he would sneer at the luxury tax threshold…

      … the same perception applies in another way: Hal Steinbrenner… cares more about making money than winning.

      Is it true?

      This offseason… looms as a referendum on Hal’s priorities and his vision for the future.

      First, will he stick to the goal of getting under $189 million for 2014, even if it makes serious contention for a championship unlikely?

      Second, will he pay what it takes to re-sign Cano?

      … a third question that might provide the most insight into his leadership: is he about to shake up his player-development dept., as some people close to the situation believe, and show… that he’s not going to stand for poor performance?

      … people who know Hal Steinbrenner well say he has grown comfortable in being the boss. Though he is described as ‘non-confrontational’ by some, others say he has no problem holding people accountable…

      ‘When you’re in a room with Hal, he wants answers,’ says one person. ‘… He gets down to business. He’s got some Steinbrenner in him.’

      He heads up a relatively small inner circle, made up primarily of Levine and Cashman. Levine… is said to have the most influence on Steinbrenner…

      Former GM Gene Michael, who developed the homegrown core that led to five championships, still is in most of the decision-making meetings, but whether he has influence depends on whom you ask.

      … Hank Steinbrenner… is said to be taking a more active role lately particularly in voicing his displeasure regarding the player-development failures. Make no mistake, though, say people close to the situation, Hal has the final say on everything…

      Since last spring he has made the case that the Yankees shouldn’t need a $200 million payroll to produce championships. But he has also made it clear that he wouldn’t insist on getting under the threshold if it meant sacrificing ‘our commitment to fielding a championship-caliber team.’

      … it’s worth reviewing his answer… when asked how realistic it was to get under $189 million and still sign Cano.

      ‘I think it’s realistic if these young pitchers Nova, Phelps, Pineda [LOL] do a good job for us. The math works, even with some long-term contract like Cano in the mix.’

      The problem there is that only Nova can be counted on as a starter next season, making it likely the Yankees will need to pay big for one or even two free-agent pitchers if they want to contend…

      There are lot of variables that could affect the math… starting with Rodriguez’s appeal of his suspension…

      … [Cashman has] a ton of issues… the smart move probably would be to not only get under the threshold… but spend very carefully in a thin free-agent market while putting more focus on the player-development dept.

      But that would be a huge risk, considering how much the Yankees have at stake. The selling of their brand, based on expensive tickets and TV ratings, currently depends on the expectation [of] contention every season.

      The other part of the equation is the way the business of baseball is changing, with more emphasis on winning with homegrown talent.

      … with revenue pouring in to all franchises from a new national TV contract and digital media, baseball is awash in money, to the point where even many small-market clubs are signing their young stars to long-term deals, preventing them from reaching free agency.

      … had the Yankees been willing to spend internationally on the likes of Puig, Cespedes, Chapman and Darvish, they’d be in better shape right now.

      Cashman said it was all about the luxury tax, the front-and-center issue as the Yankees head into an offseason that could go in any of several directions. Which one Steinbrenner chooses will tell us a lot about him.”

    12. Kamieniecki
      October 3rd, 2013 | 8:36 pm

      Mr. October wrote:

      … Cashman will watch the Rays, a division rival with a $62 million payroll, play postseason baseball for the fourth time in six years thanks, [in part, to their ability to develop their own stars]…

      Friedman: four postseasons in six years in the A.L. East with $60 million payrolls (1 Pennant);
      Cashman: four postseasons in six years in the A.L. East with $210 million payrolls (1 Pennant).

      And the better G.M. is…

    13. Mr. October
      October 4th, 2013 | 12:31 pm

      “The playoffs should encourage the Mets they are following the right path trying to accumulate as many high-end, young starting arms as possible, and scare the heck out of the Yankees.

      One theme that has emerged this postseason is quality young and prime-age starters appear as valuable as ever – at least if you want to be playing in October…

      It is possible that… counting play-in games, nine rookies will start before the Division Series round is completed. That would be a record in the Division Series era… the previous record was six from last year…

      … You can understand why this has [Cashman hoping and praying] that Nova, Pineda [(LOL)], and Banuelos can get healthy and productive… because of lack of attractive sub-30 alternatives, the Yankees will need Sabathia to rebound and Kuroda, 39, to return [(LOL)] – and will feel the retirement sting of Pettitte, who at 41 was the majors’ oldest starter last year…

      … the Mets are going to have to compete with a Braves team that survived the loss of veteran Hudson because Medlen, 27, Minor 25, and Teheran, 22… excelled… in Wood, 22, and Beachy, 26, Atlanta has two other arms… ready to try to help defend the NL East crown next year.

      The Cardinals are fronted by Wainwright, 32… followed by Lynn, 26, Kelly, 25, and one of two impressive 22-year-old rookies, Miller or Wacha. St. Louis’ elite feeder system continues to set up the team well now and in the future – 10 players on the Cardinals’ 25-man roster are rookies.

      Three of Pittsburgh’s four starters are under 30 – Cole, 23, and Liriano and Morton, both 29…

      All four Dodgers starters are 30 or younger, with the youngest actually being Kershaw, 25, who is… younger than Nova… Johnson said his organization will do what is necessary to retain Kershaw – which the Dodgers owner said means not pursuing Cano.

      The Reds started Cueto, 27… the old man in Cincinnati’s projected 2014 rotation with Bailey, Latos, Leake and Cingrani.

      … The Rangers’ Perez, Darvish, Holland, and Harrison are all 28 and younger.

      … The Indians had 159 of their 162 games started by pitchers 29 or younger…

      … The Athletics have the oldest starter in the playoffs (Colon, 40), then three 24-or-youngers…

      … The Tigers are the prime-age rotation with Verlander the old man at 30, and Scherzer, Sanchez and Fister all 29. Porcello, 24, is in the playoff bullpen. All are under control next year.

      … The Red Sox are the only playoff team that will start two pitchers over 30 (Peavy, 32, and Lackey, 34). Lester and Buchholz are both 29. All are signed for next year, as are Dempster and Doubront… the Red Sox have stability.

      … The Rays have both youth and stability. The oldest pitcher Tampa Bay will start in this postseason is Price, 28. Moore, 24, will open the ALDS… and Cobb, 25, will start Game 3 after winning the wild-card game… Tampa Bay could consider dealing Price this winter for a pile of prospects.

      The Rays still would be able to start a rotation with Moore, Cobb and Archer — none drafted before the fourth round — to continue to demonstrate annually to the division rival Yankees the value of high-end young starters.”

    14. Kamieniecki
      October 4th, 2013 | 1:18 pm

      Mr. October wrote:

      … You can understand why this has [Cashman hoping and praying] that Nova, Pineda [(LOL)], and Banuelos can get healthy and productive… because of lack of attractive sub-30 alternatives, the Yankees will need Sabathia to rebound and Kuroda, 39, to return

      Cashman wants to re-sign Kuroda for one year again. Has a G.M. ever signed the no. 2 starter of a rotation to three consecutive one-year contracts at the ages of 37, 38, and 39 years old, or will Brian “I don’t care it it’s old I care if it’s good” Cashman be the first to accomplish the feat?

      Another record for this G.M.

    15. Kamieniecki
      October 5th, 2013 | 1:57 pm

      Mr. October wrote:

      The Rays still would be able to start a rotation with Moore, Cobb and Archer — none drafted before the fourth round — to continue to demonstrate annually to the division rival Yankees the value of high-end young starters.”

      Whose fault is it that Cashman did not draft Moore, Cobb, or Archer when the three starting pitchers were available?

    16. Mr. October
      October 5th, 2013 | 2:49 pm

      Kamieniecki wrote:

      Whose fault is it that Cashman did not draft Moore, Cobb, or Archer when the three starting pitchers were available?

      “Rays’ Organization Thrives Thinking Two Steps Ahead [And Four Or Five Steps Ahead of Cashman]

      BOSTON –

      … Tampa Bay is in the playoffs for the fourth time in the last six years, the same amount as [Cashman], one more than the Red Sox…

      … The Oakland-Detroit series features closers who were too expensive as set-up men for Tampa Bay — Benoit and Balfour. Howell is a key member of the Dodgers bullpen.

      The Indians did not advance far enough for Kazmir to get a start, but he was one of five pitchers with a Rays pedigree to start a combined 141 games in the majors this year – Garza, Hammel, Jackson and Shields are the others.

      … starting pitching remains the Rays’ strength as Price and Cobb underscored in the play-in and wild-card games, respectively…

      … the Rays have the second-best record in the majors over the last six years at 550-423 (.565) – only the Yankees are better (564-408, .580). [Cashman has] had the highest payroll in every one of those years while Tampa Bay has ranked 29th, 25th, 19th, 29th, 25th and 28th this year.

      … [Tampa Bay owner Sternberg pointed out] the organization is never just playing the season in front of it, but rather always trying to imagine how to marshal limited funds into good teams down the road…
      But it also is about the mentality of the Rays’ leadership; the discipline and mentality always to be playing four or five moves ahead.

      ‘When we traded Shields… it wasn’t to make our team better this year…’ Sternberg said. ‘We are constantly thinking about our, say, 2012 team in 2009…’

      Tampa Bay has succeeded despite this little secret: IT IS NOT NEARLY AS GOOD IN THE DRAFT AS [PEOPLE] THINK IT IS… in 2008, with the first overall pick, Tampa Bay took Beckham rather than Posey.

      … beginning in 2009, owing to their strong records, the Rays stopped selecting in the first few picks and rather dropped into the teens or 20s: SIMILAR TO WHERE [CASHMAN] AND THE RED SOX ARE USED TO PICKING]. They have had 15 picks before the second round since 2009 and none have played in the majors…

      But that delineates where they have been better than anyone [even Cashman] – trades. They dealt Dietrich for their starting Escobar. Rosscup was the throw-in with Garza to get Archer plus a few other pieces from the Cubs.

      Jackson became Joyce. Shields became Myers. Kazmir became Rodriguez and Torres. Huff was turned into Zobrist, one of the most versatile and valuable players in the majors.

      Of course, there are other reasons… the farm system is run excellently and minor free agents such as Rodney and Loney pay off in a major way.

      All in all, it is a brew that allows the Rays to let essentially a playoff team worth of talent depart – yet nevertheless remain a playoff threat.”

    17. Kamieniecki
      October 6th, 2013 | 2:50 pm

      Mr. October wrote:

      the Mets

      Mr. October wrote:

      the Yankees.

      Which is which, again?

    18. Mr. October
      October 6th, 2013 | 4:31 pm

      Kamieniecki wrote:

      Which is which, again?

      The Mets are the team with the better stadium, better farm system, better starting rotation, better G.M., and better outlook for 2014-17. The Yankees are the team with Brian Cashman.

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