• Again, Cashman’s Yanks Shoot Themselves In The Foot

    Posted by on December 11th, 2013 · Comments (17)

    Great stuff from Brian Costa -

    Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran may help the Yankees return to the playoffs in 2014. But under the free-agent compensation rules in the collective-bargaining agreement, they will also cost the Yankees their first three draft picks next June.

    The Yankees will forfeit their first-round pick along with the two compensation picks they would otherwise receive for losing Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson to free agency. As a result, their first pick figures to be somewhere in the mid-50s overall.

    That’s significant because the probability of drafting a quality major-league regular falls dramatically after the first round. In July, Baseball America published a study of every draft between 1988 and 2008. It found that 39.1% of players taken in the first round (excluding those who didn’t sign) played at least three years in the majors. But in the supplemental round (between the first and second rounds), that rate fell to 15.8%. And from the sixth round on, the rate is just 3.1%.

    “Listen, there’s still good players throughout the draft,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Tuesday. “You see that. There are examples all over the place. I’d like to have our draft picks, but it’s just not the way the system is set up. It is what it is.”

    For the Yankees, it is the way it has been—and probably will be for years to come. That doesn’t necessarily make the signings of Ellsbury, McCann and Beltran foolish. It just highlights the cycle the Yankees have been stuck in for more than a decade: The way the Yankees compensate for a mediocre farm system is to reduce the probability of improving their farm system.

    Since 2001, the Yankees have surrendered seven first-round draft picks in order to sign free agents ranging from Mark Teixeira and Jason Giambi to Carl Pavano and Paul Quantrill. Three future All-Stars were taken either with those picks or within the next 10, making it reasonable to say the Yankees might have at least considered picking them: Matt Cain (2002), Gio Gonzalez (2004) and Mike Trout (2009).

    The Los Angeles Angels took Trout with the No. 25 pick they received from the Yankees as compensation for losing Teixeira. Four years later, Teixeira is in decline and earning $22.5 million a year, while Trout is the best all-around player in baseball and earning less than $1 million.

    The Yankees have had enormous success in this cycle, winning more games than any other team since 2001. But to do so, they’ve also had to outspend every other team. At a time when the free-agent market is getting thinner and younger players are accounting for a greater portion of all production, it’s becoming harder for the Yankees to win without breaking the cycle at some point.

    In theory, they could do that by going into rebuilding mode and landing a top-10 pick, but their business model would never allow it. And there are now spending limits in the international free-agent market, so the Yankees’ cash only gets them so far there.

    That leaves only one way to break the cycle: outperform their draft order. They need to improve the way they choose and develop their young talent. That may already be happening: Baseball America ranked the Yankees’ 2013 draft haul the third-best in the game. But it takes years to fairly assess each draft class.

    What we know now is this: The Yankees need to find a way to beat the very odds they have just diminished. Until they do, Steinbrenner’s vision of a cheaper, younger championship team will remain little more than a fantasy.

    Until the Yankees get smarter, like Boston and St. Louis, this ugly cycle will never end. And, smarter means a new General Manager.

    Comments on Again, Cashman’s Yanks Shoot Themselves In The Foot

    1. Scout
      December 11th, 2013 | 1:11 pm

      I agree the Yankees need a smarter GM and a stronger development and scouting operation, and I’ve said so repeatedly in comments over the years. But a few caveats are in order.

      First, a new GM won’t necessarily be smarter. Why should we assume this Yankee organization is capable of picking someone better than Cashman?

      Second, draft classes are not equal. Most analysts thought the 2013 group was strong, and the Yankees appear to have capitalized. I won’t second-guess their choices, as I did when they picked the Cito Culver over Nick Castelanos.

      Third, per the Culver pick, draft picks are only valuable when you know what you’re doing. Often the Yankees don’t. So holding onto draft picks with a poor scouting staff and/or process does little good. At least a major league free-agent in a known quantity.

      Eventually, I hope, the Yankees will make the necessary changes that will result in keeping draft picks and using them wisely. Then again, eventually pigs may learn to fly.

    2. lardin
      December 11th, 2013 | 2:24 pm

      Steve, smarter does not mean a new general manager. Smarter means a new team mentality. The Yankees mantra is win the world series every year. Right, wrong or indifferent this is what it is. The Yankees don’t have the patience to deal with the growing pains of young players. That’s not the way they operate. If the Yankees were content with being horrible for a few years, there might come a time when we see the second coming of the core four. But that’s not gonna happen.

      Have the Yankees drafted poorly, absolutely. But to blame giving up draft picks on the GM, when Im sure he has directives from ownership to win every year is not necessarily the answer. What makes you think any other person as GM of the Yankees wouldn’t have the same marching orders?

    3. MJ Recanati
      December 11th, 2013 | 2:55 pm

      Scout wrote:

      Second, draft classes are not equal.

      Not only that, but certain free agents are worth more than draft picks. Brian McCann is a better player at a more valuable position than anyone the Yankees could’ve potentially drafted with the 19th overall pick in this year’s draft. That isn’t to say that the 19th pick wasn’t a consideration in whether to sign a “compensation-level” free agent, it’s just that an impact catcher like McCann will do more to affect the Yankees’ fortunes over the next three years (and potentially the next five).

      Overall, lardin’s comment is correct; without a change in organizational philosophy at the top, the Yankees will never value the draft as highly as they value major league players.

    4. December 11th, 2013 | 3:40 pm

      FWIW, I fully acknowledge that the next Yankees GM might be a total nightmare, and worse than Cashman. But, until a change is made, we will never know. And, at this point, we’ve seen enough of Cashman to know what his major flaws are…and…more importantly, that they will never improve. He’s been at it for too long, using the same playbook (or checkbook!) and making the same mistakes, over and over again. It’s time for new blood. You have to roll the dice and hope that the next guy is better.

      But, alas, it will never happen. Hal is a fool. And, Randy, Lonn and Cashman are all in bed with each other, making sure that they maintain their sweet gigs and fat paychecks.

      At this point, the only hope may be that new owners come on board. And, yes, of course, they could be worse too…

    5. #15
      December 11th, 2013 | 8:15 pm

      Another view on this would suggest that the only way out of the cycle is to stop signing top tier free agents, resign the team to mediocrity, or worse, for 3-5 years and muddle through with the chips then bet on the development of people that we haven’t yet evaluated.

      I’m old enough to not want to see us go through a planned drought of that length, and with an uncertain payout after taking the pain. I’d rather keep patching and filling until some of the really bad contracts wind down. No 8-10 year deal to guys in the 30′s, let alone mid-30′s. Pay top dollar for free agents and work to limit the years. The A-Rod contract is a singular bear… For that money we could have a very good third bagger and a #2-3 starter and a decent bullpen guy.

    6. Kamieniecki
      December 11th, 2013 | 8:40 pm

      Scout wrote:

      First, a new GM won’t necessarily be smarter. Why should we assume this Yankee organization is capable of picking someone better than Cashman?

      This organization was once capable of picking Gene Michael, and was once capable of lining Sabean up to be the next G.M. A lot of other organizations in M.L.B. seem to be capable of picking someone smarter than Brian Cashman… The Steinbrenners certainly can, if they look beyond the children and relatives of family friends and long-time business associates, and to the provent track records of long-established industry executives and professionals.

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Overall, lardin’s comment is correct…

      Steve, smarter does not mean a new general manager. Smarter means a new team mentality. The Yankees mantra is win the world series every year.

      The Yankees’ mantra was once to “win the World Series every year;” it now seems to have become “to field a championship-caliber team every year,” and defining “championship-caliber” as making the playoffs, which is something very different.

      By that definition, the Oakland A’s have fielded seven “championship-caliber” teams since 2000 – seven “championship-caliber” teams that did not won more than two series in any one postseason. The $40-60 million Oakland teams have not been “championship-caliber,” and neither have the Yankees’ teams, for the most part; 39-41 year-old no. 2 starters are generally not “championship-caliber,” for one thing.

      The Yankees don’t have the patience to deal with the growing pains of young players. If the Yankees were content with being horrible for a few years, there might come a time when we see the second coming of the core four. But that’s not gonna happen.

      Name one home-grown player the Yankees have not had the patience to deal with since 1998, that has gone on to be a Jeter, Pettitte, Posada, or Rivera with another organization? There hasn’t been one. Austin Jackson was hitting .293 less than a year after he was traded for a player the Yankees themselves were trying to deal in 2013… and a lot of future H.O.F. players have been selected after the 1st round of the amateur draft from 1998-2013.

      There is no reason for the team to be “horrible for a few years,” for a second coming of the Core Four. Half of the Core Four was drafted after the 22nd round – Pettitte and Posada would have been available to this team if the Yankees had won the World Series in 1989, or had had the worst record in M.L.B. in 1989. Was St. Louis “horrible” for a few years from 2004-2013? A period in which it won 4 (FOUR) N.L. Championships?
      No.

      Have the Yankees drafted poorly, absolutely. But to blame giving up draft picks on the GM, when Im sure he has directives from ownership to win every year is not necessarily the answer.

      Drafting poorly has nothing to do with winning every year, if you can call losing an L.D.S. “winning.” Tampa is “winning” as much as the Yankees in recent years, and drafting much better, although not as well as it had in leaner years.

    7. McMillan
      December 11th, 2013 | 9:20 pm

      #15 wrote:

      Another view on this would suggest that the only way out of the cycle is to stop signing top tier free agents, resign the team to mediocrity, or worse, for 3-5 years and muddle through with the chips then bet on the development of people that we haven’t yet evaluated.

      The team doesn’t have to be resigned to mediocrity with $200 million payrolls – it should be able to exercise better judgment in drafting and signing players, and win 8-9 A.L. East Division titles, 3-5 A.L. Pennants, and 1-3 World Series championships every 10 years, with a top tier G.M.

      There’s nothing to substantiate the oft-repeated argument that the Yankees won from 1995-2001 because of a down period preceding it; that, – is a “classic example” of post hoc, ergo propter hoc (after this, therefore, because of this).

      #15 wrote:

      No 8-10 year deal to guys in the 30′s…

      They’re still doing it: $153-69 mil. for Jacoby Ellsbury. If Hal Steinbrenner is content have the team make it to the postseason in 8-9 years out of 10, on average, and winning only one pennant while having one of the top five payrolls in M.L.B., then The Stableboy will might be the G.M. for a long time.

      Overall, Kamieniecki’s comment is correct: without a change in executive management at the top, and a new G.M., this cycle will never end.

    8. Mr. October
      December 11th, 2013 | 10:21 pm

      lardin wrote:

      What makes you think any other person as GM of the Yankees wouldn’t have the same marching orders?

      Cashman received marching orders in 2005 to win no more than one American League Championship every 10 years?

      What are the marching orders that prevented Cashman from spending the $2.00-.10 Billion he spent from 2005-13 better, or prevented him from drafting players as well as other winning teams such as the Tampa Bay Rays have since 2010? What personnel changes did he make in player development and scouting from 2005-13?

      Kamieniecki wrote:

      Was St. Louis “horrible” for a few years from 2004-2013? A period in which it won 4 (FOUR) N.L. Championships?
      No.

      Nothing resembling the Yankees from 1989-92.

    9. #15
      December 12th, 2013 | 1:33 am

      McMillan wrote:

      The team doesn’t have to be resigned to mediocrity with $200 million payrolls –

      They do when 15% of that money is hung up in A-Rod.

    10. McMillan
      December 12th, 2013 | 9:06 pm

      #15 wrote:

      They do when 15% of that money is hung up in A-Rod.

      Correction: $200-236 million payrolls.

      The A-Rod contract has resigned this franchise to mediocrity?

      One contract has resigned the most valuable franchise in M.L.B., a franchise with $1.4 billion in operating income, to mediocrity? It’s incompetence at the executive management level that has resigned this franchise to mediocrity, or the contract of one G.M., not one contract of one player.

      Mr. October wrote:

      Cashman received marching orders in 2005 to win no more than one American League Championship every 10 years?

      I love the argument that Cano was passing up an opportunity to go to the World Series with the Yankees, if he signed with Seattle.

      How many World Series did Cano play in with Cashman & Co.? One – once in his NINE (9) year career.

      Robinson Cano was supposed to accept $107 million less, after taxes, to play with the Yankees because Cashman builds teams that get to the World Series once every ten years? And we already know this team isn’t winning anything in 2014…

    11. Mr. October
      December 13th, 2013 | 12:12 am

      #15 wrote:

      They do when 15% of that money is hung up in A-Rod.

      It might not have been a bad idea to trade Montero and Betances for the same Gio Gonzalez this artlcle refers to, when Cashman had the chance in 2011. But then again, this is Brian Cashman we’re talking about: and that’s why the Nationals had a 20-game winner in 2012, and the Yankees had Michael Pineda and Betances.

    12. Evan3457
      December 13th, 2013 | 2:02 pm

      Mr. October wrote:

      #15 wrote:
      They do when 15% of that money is hung up in A-Rod.
      It might not have been a bad idea to trade Montero and Betances for the same Gio Gonzalez this artlcle refers to, when Cashman had the chance in 2011. But then again, this is Brian Cashman we’re talking about: and that’s why the Nationals had a 20-game winner in 2012, and the Yankees had Michael Pineda and Betances.

      Montero, Betances and more. One source (Jon Heyman) said Montero, Betances, Banuelos, and more.

      For Pineda, on the other other hand, the cost was Montero alone.

    13. Kamieniecki
      December 13th, 2013 | 9:49 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Montero, Betances and more.

      Wrong… Oakland at one point wanted both Montero and Banuelos, but eventually lowered their asking price to Montero and Betances.

    14. McMillan
      December 13th, 2013 | 10:14 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Montero, Betances and more. One source (Jon Heyman) said Montero, Betances, Banuelos, and more.

      ” … The Yankees [weren’t going to give up both Montero and Banuelos] for Gonzalez, but the A’s certainly have no reason to part with their young left-hander for much less. According to Bob Klapisch, the A’s were willing to settle for Dellin Betances instead of Banuelos, but that still didn’t get a deal done…” Keep flailing.

    15. Evan3457
      December 14th, 2013 | 5:21 am

      McMillan wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      Montero, Betances and more. One source (Jon Heyman) said Montero, Betances, Banuelos, and more.
      ” … The Yankees [weren’t going to give up both Montero and Banuelos] for Gonzalez, but the A’s certainly have no reason to part with their young left-hander for much less. According to Bob Klapisch, the A’s were willing to settle for Dellin Betances instead of Banuelos, but that still didn’t get a deal done…” Keep flailing.

      1.

      The Yankees like Gio Gonzalez, but they don’t like him this much. Jesus Montero, Manny Banuelos or Dellin Betances and super prospect Mason Williams, whom we highlighted on Tuesday, are reportedly what the A’s are asking for.

      Andrew Marchand, 12/7/11
      http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/yankees/post/_/id/25763/trade-rumors-gio-betances-oh-my

      2.

      An offer built around Betances and either Eduardo Nunez or Jesus Montero could be what Beane desires.

      Sean Hartnett 11/22/11
      (Note that it says “an offer built around Betances and Nunez or Montero, not “Betances and Nunez”.)
      http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2011/11/22/hartnett-yankees-can-meet-oaklands-price-for-gio-gonzalez/

      3.

      According to a source, A’s GM Billy Beane told Cashman at these winter meetings that to trade Gonzalez to the Yankees he would want Montero, as well as one of the highly-touted pitching prospects duo of Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances, and top center-field prospect Mason Williams.

      John Harper, 12/6/11 http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/yanks-major-gio-logy-dealing-jesus-montero-lefty-gonzalez-winner-bombers-article-1.987856#ixzz2nRHGtCDu

      4. Finally, from earlier in the same article you quoted:

      A day after the report that the White Sox asked the Yankees for Jesus Montero and Manny Banuelos in return for John Danks comes word from Bob Klapisch that the A’s wanted the same package in Gio Gonzalez trade talks.

      So the version you’re spewing because only because it makes Cashman look as bad as possible is disputed even by the article you quote.

      Even for you, Sybil, that’s pathetic. You’re badly outnumbered on this one. Quit while you’re behind.

    16. McMillan
      December 15th, 2013 | 8:31 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      … One source (Jon Heyman) said Montero, Betances, Banuelos, and more.

      McMillan wrote:

      ” … The Yankees [weren’t going to give up both Montero and Banuelos] for Gonzalez… According to Bob Klapisch, the A’s were willing to settle for Dellin Betances instead of Banuelos, but that still didn’t get a deal done…”

      I was not in favor of the Gonzalez trade “at the time” because there were other pitchers I would have liked to have seen the Yankees acquire or pursue, but the proposed trade was Montero, Banuelos or Betances, and a prospect; the proposed trade was not Montero, Banuelos and Betances, and a prospect, according to most sources, including Klapisch. And Betances is what today, a relief pitcher in a Yankee bullpen that is without a closer?

      Evan3457 wrote:

      For Pineda, on the other other hand, the cost was Montero alone.

      The price for a pitcher that did not have the ability or “ceiling” to become a “no. 1 or no. 2 starter” from the beginning and before his injuries, 2012 conviction for D.U.I., and other off-the-field problems paid by Cashman was the top prospect in the N.Y. Yankees’ farm system “at the time.”

      Evan3457 wrote:

      So the version you’re spewing because only because it makes Cashman look as bad as possible…

      “Blah, blah, blah…”

      @ Evan3457:
      http://deadspin.com/tag/brian-cashman-affair

    17. PHMDen
      December 17th, 2013 | 12:09 am

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Montero, Betances and more. One source (Jon Heyman) said Montero, Betances, Banuelos, and more.
      For Pineda, on the other other hand, the cost was Montero alone.

      @ Evan3457:
      Brian Cashman was right to trade for Michael Pineda, and not for Gio Gonzalez?

      The bottom line is 2 years later, the Yankees still have at least 1 hole in the rotation, but have no longer have enough trade chips to fill the hole(s) – they did in ’11, whether it was for Gonzalez or another pitcher. I don’t know how that doesn’t make Cashman look bad?

    Leave a reply

    You must be logged in to post a comment.