• Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Brian Ca$hman’s Inability To Build A Team

    Posted by on February 5th, 2014 · Comments (23)

    Look at the Yankees “main” players for 2014:

    CC Sabathia, Masahiro Tanaka, Mark Teixeira, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran, Hiroki Kuroda, Matt Thornton, Brian Roberts and Kelly Johnson. What do they all have in common?

    They were all brought in as free agents.

    Yes, they all came to the Yankees because the team had a need at their position and there were no in-house options. Hence, the Steinbrenner Family Checkbook to the rescue!

    Even other players like Alfonso Soriano have a “money” element to them as they were a salary dump deal (which brought them to the Yankees).

    It’s well known that Brian Cashman received “full autonomy” in Yankees decision making after the 2005 season. So, what has he been doing for the last eight years?

    The answer is: Not a hell of a lot if the team had to go out and spend a half-billion dollars on free agents after the 2008 season and then they had to do it again after the 2013 season.

    The fact that this guy still has a job with the Yankees is a joke. It’s a very sad and ugly joke. His only skill is spending the owners money on free agents. Do we need any more evidence of that?

    Comments on Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Brian Ca$hman’s Inability To Build A Team

    1. Scout
      February 5th, 2014 | 8:11 pm

      My friend, as a longtime reader and frequent fellow Cashman critic, you had me at “hello.” But we’ve been over this a few times before (and that’s just this week). The Cashman apologists will always find someone else to blame, attribute the failures to other causes (e.g., injuries, lack of high draft picks, etc.), or counter that the Yankee system really isn’t so bad (it’s in the middle of the pack). Feel free to vent — after all, it’s YOUR blog! — but everyone’s view of Cashman is pretty much set in stone by this point.

    2. LMJ229
      February 5th, 2014 | 11:17 pm

      @ Scout:
      Well said.

      I’m with you on this one Steve, I just don’t know how the guy keeps his job given his woeful ability to develop talent. I give him little to no credit in signing the big money free agents. That’s all about Yankee dollars and Yankee tradition. Players WANT to play for the Yankees. And Cashman usually outbids other teams by a large margin. Signing free agents is the easy part. Why not get a GM that can do it all? I just don’t get it.

      At this point I’m guessing the Steinbrenners won’t replace him until they get REALLY tired of having to buy players every year or until the fans hit them in their wallet thus forcing them to reduce their payroll and they realize that the Yankees can’t compete that way.

      I don’t see either happening.

    3. rankdog
      February 6th, 2014 | 6:31 am

      A few questions for ya:

      How does this differ from the late 70s or early 80s? Same MO for the last 30 years. Hell you could make the case for the entire existence of this franchise.

      What can Cashman do that would ever appease you? It sounds like no matter what decision is made, the outcome you will turn into a negative.

      So my question is what is your measure of success for Brian Cashman? Is he predetermined to fail regardless of the outcome?

    4. February 6th, 2014 | 8:39 am

      rankdog wrote:

      How does this differ from the late 70s or early 80s?

      Gabe Paul built the great Yankees team of the late 70′s by keeping the talent the Yankees developed – like Munson and Guidry – and then trading talent to get more talent – like the trades for Nettles, Chambliss, Rivers, Lyle, Randolph, Dent, etc. The only Yankees who were “bought” at that time, really, were Hunter, Gossage and Reggie. It was not the whole team who was bought, like now.

      As far as the 80′s, it was the same thing – lots of free agents signed, team won games during the regular season, and no championships. IIRC, the Yankees won the most games in the 1980′s and had no rings.

      It wasn’t until that bottomed out in the early 90′s that the Yankees got back on track with Stick and Watson and then built the team the correct way again.

      Just because the Yankees operated stupid in the 1980′s, it makes it OK for them to operate stupid under Cashman too? What kind of logic is that?

    5. February 6th, 2014 | 8:45 am

      rankdog wrote:

      What can Cashman do that would ever appease you?

      Show us that he has some skill that you would expect from the highest paid GM in the game, outside of being able to only field stars on the team via spending mega millions to acquire them via free agency.

    6. Raf
      February 6th, 2014 | 9:25 am

      Steve L. wrote:

      It wasn’t until that bottomed out in the early 90′s that the Yankees got back on track with Stick and Watson and then built the team the correct way again.

      You spelled “Harding Peterson” wrong :P

      The Yanks bottomed out in 1990, with a 67-95 record. They made improvements in 91 & 92, adding free agents in both years. They started contending in 1993

      http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/NYY/1993.shtml

      5 of the 9 lineup regulars were free agents, Jimmy Key, Steve Howe and Steve Farr were brought in via free agency.

      Check the Yankees drafts from the Michael-Watson eras (or overall). A lot more misses than hits.

    7. February 6th, 2014 | 9:50 am

      @ Raf:
      What about the trades for Tino, O’Neill, Cone, Nelson, Wetteland, etc.?

    8. MJ Recanati
      February 6th, 2014 | 1:41 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      Even other players like Alfonso Soriano have a “money” element to them as they were a salary dump deal (which brought them to the Yankees).

      Steve L. wrote:

      What about the trades for Tino, O’Neill, Cone, Nelson, Wetteland, etc.?

      You already answered your own question on how you see salary dump trades.

    9. Raf
      February 6th, 2014 | 2:41 pm

      Honestly the only things that bother me about the current regime is that the defense was allowed to go to pot and that there has seemingly been an inordinate amount of injuries at both the major and minor league levels.

    10. MJ Recanati
      February 6th, 2014 | 3:52 pm

      Raf wrote:

      defense was allowed to go to pot

      The defense went south as much with the offense-first mentality of the team (Giambi, Sheffield, Abreu) as with the fact that they’ve employed older players whose defensive prowess declined as they aged (Damon, Jeter, Rodriguez, Posada, Matsui, Bernie…).

      Raf wrote:

      there has seemingly been an inordinate amount of injuries at both the major and minor league levels.

      Not trying to be cheeky or anything: I honestly wonder if the rash of injuries is due to a particularly heavy PED culture within the Yanks’ organization.

    11. Evan3457
      February 6th, 2014 | 9:50 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      @ Raf:
      What about the trades for Tino, O’Neill, Cone, Nelson, Wetteland, etc.?

      Of these, only the Kelly for O’Neill trade was not a salary dump deal.

    12. Mr. October
      February 6th, 2014 | 10:24 pm

      “’You know why [the Mariners] traded [Tino Martinez] to the Yankees, truthfully? Tino was gonna get traded to San Diego. And I know his family really, really well from Tampa, so I called Woody [Woodward], our general manager, and I said, “Look, Woody, is there any chance that you could look at Tino and talk to their general manager about trading him to the Yankees?” And he said, “Well, we are pretty long along the way with San Diego.” And I said, “Well, take a look at him.” And he said, “By the way, [the Yankees] got a young catcher named [Jorge] Posada that we [the Mariners] really liked.” Anyway, we traded Tino to the Yankees, we traded Jeff Nelson to the Yankees, and we got Sterling Hitchcock and Russ Davis. Two really, really nice players, but no Posada.’” – Lou Piniella.

      Pretty good “salary dump deal” by the Yankees GM in 1995, for a player Seattle was prepared to send to at least one other suitor at the time.

    13. Evan3457
      February 7th, 2014 | 12:04 am

      Why were the Mariners trading Tino?

      Because

      1) They had other stars they knew they needed to pay, like Griffey, Buhner, Martinez, and Johnson, already signed to higher salaries for multiple years

      2) A limited budget

      3) They thought they could replace Tino with Paul Sorrento at half the price

      4) Martinez had 4 years of ML service and was about to get expensive

      …and that makes it a salary dump deal, because trading away a player just before he’s about to get very expensive is no less a salary dump deal than trading away a player after he gets expensive.

    14. rankdog
      February 7th, 2014 | 2:58 am

      Steve L. wrote:

      rankdog wrote:
      What can Cashman do that would ever appease you?
      Show us that he has some skill that you would expect from the highest paid GM in the game, outside of being able to only field stars on the team via spending mega millions to acquire them via free agency.

      Sorry that’s a complaint not an honest answer. If I asked my boss to define a measure of success for promotion and he gave me that answer, I would be looking for another employer.

      Define the skill in particular you are looking for. Player development seems to be indirectly inferred in your answer. So I ask how many players do the Yankees as an organization have to develop for you consider Brian Cashman a below average, average, above average GM. What specific goals do you think the Yankees should be able achieve in 2014, to consider the person running the GM rule to have had success given the current situation? Pinada becoming a full time starter? Nova stepping up as a key contributor? Murphy/Romanie being trade for a stud prospect? A prospect stepping at 2nd/3rd/SS not expected and becoming the full time starter? Killing the Latina America market come July 2nd? 5 prospects that had down years last year having bounce back seasons?

      Is there another area you feel he can demonstrate his skill as a GM? Miraculously trading ARod for a handful of prospects and not eating any salary?

      In all the years I have read this blog,I have never heard one solid measure to define Brian Cashman as a GM. Without a defined measure its very easy to say Cashman failed. You can move the goal post anywhere on the field.

      I would rather the Yankees went in a different direction and built a base before spending but the owners did not. They kept the same GM and decided to reload. If the owners truly wanted to become a 189 payroll team that builds from within they would have hired a staff who specializes in building those type of teams.

    15. February 7th, 2014 | 8:34 am

      @ rankdog:
      Skills required:

      Player acquisition outside of signing major league free agents. Specifically, the draft and trades.

      Player development – meaning keeping the correct players and ensuring they are developed properly.

      Do you really think Cashman excels in these areas? No, worse, he’s a failure when it comes to the draft, trades, and player development.

    16. Mr. October
      February 7th, 2014 | 3:06 pm

      “…Martinez… took a modest five-year, $20 million deal to don pinstripes… after the defeat of the Yankees in the 1995 Division Series, with Martinez and Nelson, the [Yankees] won four of the next five World Series. Not only did Martinez succeed, Nelson also had several quality seasons… Mecir, the other guy in the trade, went on to have a solid 11-year career…

      Meanwhile, Hitchcock posted an ERA of 5.65… with the Mariners, while Davis… had more errors (71) than homers (66) during his four-year stint in Seattle. With those numbers, [a fairly legitimate case can be made] for ranking the Martinez trade as the biggest blunder in [Seattle] history.”

      In 16 years, has Cashman made one trade for which a legitimate case can be made another franchise made a signficant blunder, for all of the hundreds of trades that have been made by teams not interested in carrying one player’s salary? No. Watson made one such trade in 2-3 years. Do people in Detroit downplay the 2007 Cabrera trade as a “salary-dump deal?” No. How did the 2011 “salary-dump deal” for Vernon Wells work out for the Angels?

      How long did it take the Yankees to replace Mattingly with Martinez? Two months. Whom did Cashman replace Martinez with? Giambi, a free agent, at a cost of $120 million for 7 years. Whom did Cashman replace Giambi with? Teixeira, a free agent, at a cost of $180 million for 8 years.

      rankdog wrote:

      If I asked my boss to define a measure of success for promotion and he gave me that answer, I would be looking for another employer.

      It’s been noted before, that winning the most games for a decade is no great accomplishment or measure of success for a GM spending the most money – the Yankees had the same results with seven (7) GM changes in the 1980s, winning only one (1) AL Championship from 1980-89, as they have from 2004-2013.

      rankdog wrote:

      In all the years I have read this blog, I have never heard one solid measure to define Brian Cashman as a GM. Without a defined measure its very easy to say Cashman failed. You can move the goal post anywhere on the field.

      Is there a need for a measure when a GM starts of with an AL Championship team in 2004, is given “full autonomy” in 2005-06, and in 2014, with $2.0-2.50 billion spent, has one only one League Championship, a farm system ranked 20th in MLB, and a team with the second highest payroll in MLB projected to finish third with 84 wins? If there is, the measure might start with winning at least as many League Championships as other teams spending $500 million to $1 billion less over 10 years.
      @ rankdog:
      Do YOU have a solid measure of success to define Brian Cashman as a GM, yourself? Because if winning the most games with the most money spent is a measure, then the best GM in baseball in the 1980s was the Michael-Bergesch-Cook-King-Woodward-Piniella-Quinn septemvirate of the New York Yankees.

      rankdog wrote:

      … They kept the same GM…

      CAN OOLONG BECOME ANOTHER STEINBRENNER-CASHMAN BRED CHAMPION?

      http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/horse/news/story?id=138245

      It’s unfortunate Andrew Friedman’s father didn’t breed trotters.

    17. Evan3457
      February 7th, 2014 | 6:58 pm

      Mr. October wrote:

      “…Martinez… took a modest five-year, $20 million deal to don pinstripes… after the defeat of the Yankees in the 1995 Division Series, with Martinez and Nelson, the [Yankees] won four of the next five World Series. Not only did Martinez succeed, Nelson also had several quality seasons… Mecir, the other guy in the trade, went on to have a solid 11-year career…
      Meanwhile, Hitchcock posted an ERA of 5.65… with the Mariners, while Davis… had more errors (71) than homers (66) during his four-year stint in Seattle. With those numbers, [a fairly legitimate case can be made] for ranking the Martinez trade as the biggest blunder in [Seattle] history.”

      Exactly so. It’s a salary dump deal because the Mariners didn’t want to pay Tino $4 million a year to be the fifth or sixth-best (if you count the young Alex Rodriguez) player on the team. They felt they could do just as well by signing Paul Sorrento at less than half the price. They were wrong, but they still intended to trade Tino because they didn’t want to pay him what they knew the market would say he was worth.

      There was no BASEBALL reason to trade Tino Martinez at the time. He was very good, he was young, and he was relatively cheap. Had they not traded him to the Yankees, as you pointed out, he was going to be traded to San Diego, because the Mariners didn’t want to pay him.

      In 16 years, has Cashman made one trade for which a legitimate case can be made another franchise made a signficant blunder, for all of the hundreds of trades that have been made by teams not interested in carrying one player’s salary? No. Watson made one such trade in 2-3 years. Do people in Detroit downplay the 2007 Cabrera trade as a “salary-dump deal?” No. How did the 2011 “salary-dump deal” for Vernon Wells work out for the Angels?

      Tino was 27 when the Yanks traded for him. Cabrera was 24, and was playing for the Marlins, who never pay anyone. Vernon Wells was 31 when the Angels traded for him, coming off a good year, but was past his prime. That’s the biggest reason why the Wells trade failed, and the other two succeeded.

    18. Mr. October
      February 7th, 2014 | 11:52 pm

      rankdog wrote:

      In all the years I have read this blog I have never heard one solid measure to define Brian Cashman as a GM. Without a defined measure its very easy to say Cashman failed. You can move the goal post anywhere on the field. I would rather the Yankees went in a different direction and built a base before spending but the owners did not. They kept the same GM and decided to reload. If the owners truly wanted to become a 189 payroll team that builds from within they would have hired a staff who specializes in building those type of teams.

      Bill Madden has been equally critical to some extent on his blog:

      “Cashman, Newman and Oppenheimer all have a lot of explaining to do. They can start with all those No. 1 draft picks (Bichette Jr., Culver, Duncan, Griffin, Skaggs, Parrish, Walling, Brackman & Co.) who have gone bust over the years. Then they can move onto the absence of any impact position players or frontline pitchers out of the draft since the previous administration produced Jeter and Pettitte…

      “… Again [I] realize the difficulty in projecting players, and that you have to get lucky, too. But how are the Cardinals THAT lucky and [the Yankees] so unlucky? How come all these pitchers they’ve taken in the draft – Kelly, Rosenthal, Miller, Lynn, Wacha, Siegrist – are all up here performing at a top level while all of [the Yankees'] drafted pitchers aren’t? And how come their pitchers don’t have the command problems almost all of [the Yankees'] do?”

      “… who was the scout who recommended [the Yankees] take that high school shortstop, C.J. Henry, with [their] No. 17 pick in 2005? Is he still working for [the Yankees]? [What did the Yankees' scouting reports] on Ellsbury, whom the Red Sox took at 23, or Buchholz, whom they took at 42 [say]? Or Lowrie, whom they took at 45 – college guys, all of them, who should have had a much clearer track record, no? [The Yankees] rated Henry better than ALL of them?”

      “… Viable questions, all of which go to the heart of where the Cardinals and Red Sox are now compared to the Yankees.”

      http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/madden-playoff-confidential-notes-yankees-article-1.1490544

    19. rankdog
      February 8th, 2014 | 10:29 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      @ rankdog:
      Skills required:
      Player acquisition outside of signing major league free agents. Specifically, the draft and trades.
      Player development – meaning keeping the correct players and ensuring they are developed properly.
      Do you really think Cashman excels in these areas? No, worse, he’s a failure when it comes to the draft, trades, and player development.

      It depends on the parameters that you set for him those areas. You have kept tabs Cashman for a long long time. In 2005 which seems to be the genesis of measuring him, what were your terms of success back then? How far below your expectations did he fall? My opinion he has failed and succeeded at times during his tenure. Drafting in particular you could probably look at WARs on a bell curve over the last 8 years and see where he stands comparatively. You could weigh it by draft position. Sounds like a heavy project.

      I am not really a fan of the current organization. Who stands responsible for what decisions only the ownership group can say. A change is needed. In all honesty I think a lot starts at the ownership group itself. You can hire the best GM in the world but if you have crappy owners that allow the team president to override where he pleases that GM isn’t going to be very successful. That’s not a defense for Cashman but an indictment of the crappy owners we have in place. The biggest crime of all is no one is being held responsible for the lack of success in player development.

    20. Mr. October
      February 9th, 2014 | 3:53 pm

      rankdog wrote:

      It depends on the parameters that you set for him those areas [of the draft and trades]… Drafting in particular you could probably look at WARs on a bell curve over the last 8 years and see where he stands comparatively. You could weigh it by draft position. Sounds like a heavy project.

      Posted on another thread:

      “No GM has been a more consistent [Trade WARP] winner than… Dombrowski… Friedman stands alone in combining trading efficiency (+4.7 WARP/yr) and economy (+$2.4M net $/WARP).

      “… Beane is nearly a wash in terms of net trWARP over his 15-year stint [and] predictably shines on the bang-for-buck side, paying $2.6/WARP while trading away WARP averaging $3.1M in 2012 dollars… Beane and Sabean are clones… Despite different payroll resources, both teams have been successful.”

      “… Cashman has not been a successful trader, losing 3.2 WARP a year over the same 15-year period as Beane. Cashman paid an above-market $4.6M for his WARP versus $2.9M paid by his trading partners and $2.6M for Beane. Since 2000, the average MLB payroll has been $104M and the Yankees’ has been $229M, so Cashman can and has made up trading deficits via free agency…”

      Conclusion

      “WARP via trade is an important determinant of GM performance and subsequent franchise success… Trade WARP in a vacuum is a blunt tool for GM evaluation, as WARP and its dollar cost are valued differently by contenders and rebuilders and rich and poor franchises. At a minimum, I would have confidence in distinguishing the extremely strong traders (Dombrowski, Friedman, Amaro) from the very weak ones (Bavasi, Cashman, Moore, Huntington)…”

      http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=21393

      I don’t think having a net consequent trWARP better than only 2 active GMs with more than 3 years of service from 1998-2012, or Cashman’s lack of success, has much to do with Cashman being overridden by the team president and the crappy owners in place in trades such as the 2013 Soriano deal.

    21. Raf
      February 9th, 2014 | 8:22 pm

      Mr. October wrote:

      How long did it take the Yankees to replace Mattingly with Martinez? Two months. Whom did Cashman replace Martinez with? Giambi, a free agent, at a cost of $120 million for 7 years.

      An internal option was available, in Nick Johnson.
      http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/j/johnsni01.shtml

      Whom did Cashman replace Giambi with? Teixeira, a free agent, at a cost of $180 million for 8 years.

      A lower cost option was available, already present in the organization.

      http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3700869

      “Swisher is a potential first-base candidate for the Yankees, who recently declined to exercise Jason Giambi’s $22 million option for 2009.”

    22. Mr. October
      February 9th, 2014 | 8:35 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      I just don’t know how the guy keeps his job given his woeful ability to develop talent. I give him little to no credit in signing the big money free agents. That’s all about Yankee dollars and Yankee tradition. Players WANT to play for the Yankees. And Cashman usually outbids other teams by a large margin. Signing free agents is the easy part. Why not get a GM that can do it all? I just don’t get it.
      At this point I’m guessing the Steinbrenners won’t replace him until they get REALLY tired of having to buy players every year or until the fans hit them in their wallet thus forcing them to reduce their payroll and they realize that the Yankees can’t compete that way.
      I don’t see either happening.

      +1

    23. Mr. October
      February 12th, 2014 | 8:45 pm

      “MLB’s Most Lopsided Midseason Trades Ever

      One-sided midseason deals essentially fall into two categories: A star (Seaver, Cone, McGriff, McGwire, etc.) is traded for prospects that never make it. Or an unheralded minor leaguer becomes a huge star (Smoltz, Bagwell, Young, etc.)… Many trades where one side fleeced the other – including a deal immortalized in a ‘Seinfeld’ episode – are etched in baseball lore.

      … David Cone from the Blue Jays to the Yankees for Marty Janzen, Jason Jarvis and Mike Gordon, July 28, 1995: The Blue Jays thought they were dealing a pitcher past his prime for three arms they could build their staff around for years. Instead, Cone went 9-2 after the trade to help the Yankees make the playoffs in ’95, pitched a perfect game in 1999 and was 60-26 through 1999, including winning 20 in ’98. None of the pitchers the Blue Jays acquired made a splash. Janzen was a hot prospect who had a 6.39 ERA in 27 big league appearances. Jarvis and Gordon never made it beyond Double-A…”

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