• Cashman’s Latest Spending Spree A Bust So Far

    Posted by on May 22nd, 2014 · Comments (20)

    Via Ken Davidoff -

    Consider the Yankees, now 24-21, have scored 193 runs and allowed 204, an underwhelming run differential. The 16-28 Cubs? They have scored 174 and allowed 174. They are woefully underperforming their own mathematical expectations.

    And if you wonder why that is, all you had to do was endure this contest, when Cubs ace — and likely Yankees trade target — Jeff Samardzija dominated the Yankees’ lineup for seven shutout innings, lowering his ERA to a major-league-leading 1.46, only to see his closer Hector Rondon blow a 2-0 lead in the ninth inning thanks in part to a throwing error by Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney. Samardzija has zero wins in 10 starts, which tells you all you need to know about the useless measure of pitchers’ wins.

    These Yankees aren’t the scrappy bunch that we witnessed in their immediate predecessors, when a bunch of replacement-level players accompanied Robinson Cano and Brett Gardner (and late-season reinforcement Alfonso Soriano) on an unlikely ride to late-season contention.

    The Steinbrenners spent nearly $300 million to re-energize their team’s offense, even while allowing Cano to go to the Mariners, and so far, that reboot hasn’t paid many dividends. The Yankees rank eighth in the American League in runs scored.

    Most responsible for that mediocrity are the three highly compensated newcomers in the lineup. Carlos Beltran (.234/.286/.430) resides on the disabled list with a right elbow injury, Jacoby Ellsbury (.272/.346/.389) cooled down after a blazing start, and Brian McCann (.224/.274/.367) has just been awful. The Yankees’ three best offensive players have been the resurgent Mark Teixeira (.264/.372/.527), unheralded rookie Yangervis Solarte (.317/.394/.493) and blossoming pillar Brett Gardner (.304/.379/.424).

    But, hey, if the free agents don’t work out, it’s alright…after all, we have Cito Culver, Mason Williams, Slade Heathcott, Dante Bichette Jr., and Ty Hensley down on the farm, right?

    Comments on Cashman’s Latest Spending Spree A Bust So Far

    1. Mr. October
      May 22nd, 2014 | 1:18 pm

      It was a great day at Wrigley Field for the vaunted Brian Cashman 2014 offense yesterday: 3 earned runs scored against Chicago pitching on 13 singles with no extra base hits in a 13-inning win against the 16-27 Cubs – with no player contributing more to Team Cashman’s victory than Chicago pitchers Hector Rondon or Jose Veras.

    2. #15
      May 22nd, 2014 | 4:35 pm

      “But, hey, if the free agents don’t work out, it’s alright…after all, we have Cito Culver, Mason Williams, Slade Heathcott, Dante Bichette Jr., and Ty Hensley down on the farm, right?”

      Think we can get Samardzija or Hamel for the whole lot of them? I’ll throw in a catcher too.

    3. LMJ229
      May 22nd, 2014 | 11:13 pm

      Thank you Brian Cashman for giving us this juggernaut offense. You are, by far, the best GM EVER!

    4. LMJ229
      May 22nd, 2014 | 11:19 pm

      Lets face it, most experts picked the Yanks to win around 85 games and finish 3rd in the division for a reason. It seems no one, other than Brian Cashman, believes this team is a championship caliber team.

      And all this with the second highest payroll in baseball. I’ve said it before, I really don’t know how this guy keeps his job.

    5. LMJ229
      May 22nd, 2014 | 11:24 pm

      OK I’m ranting. But look at that line-up. Where are the runs coming from? And really, do we have the chips to trade for a guy like Samardzija or Hamel? We are so screwed.

    6. K-V-C
      May 22nd, 2014 | 11:36 pm

      Three starting pitchers, Nova, Fat C.C., and Pineda all on D.L.
      One Reliever on D.L. Kelley
      Carlos Beltran and Francisco Cervelli on D.L.

      What other team this season has lost 3 starting pitchers and are over .500?

      BTW the Sporting News ranked the GMs in MLB and Cashman came in 8th.

    7. LMJ229
      May 22nd, 2014 | 11:54 pm

      K-V-C wrote:

      BTW the Sporting News ranked the GMs in MLB and Cashman came in 8th.

      I wonder where he would rank if he didn’t have the Steinbrenner checkbook to bail him out all the time. He’s spending $200 million annually and finds it difficult to compete with teams that spend a third of that. If he truly does rank as the 8th best GM in baseball then there is a real dearth of talent at the position these days.

    8. Mr. October
      May 23rd, 2014 | 12:50 pm

      K-V-C wrote:

      BTW the Sporting News ranked the GMs in MLB and Cashman came in 8th.

      “Yes, [thin-skinned Senior Vice President and general moron Brian] Cashman has an enormous advantage over his peers in the Yankees’… financial resources, but his performance this past winter, holding the line on Cano to avoid paying him megabucks at age 40… and then splashing all over the free agent market to get Beltran, Ellsbury, McCann and Tanaka, showed the thorough job of planning that Cashman does… Cashman always is difficult to evaluate… because it can be hard to tell which moves are his and which are directives of ownership.”

      First, as Team President Randy L. Levine stated on more than one occasion, it was a “directive of ownership” to hold the line on Cano, and on all player contracts of approximately nine (9) or ten (10) years in duration; second, as Davidoff points out in his article, three free agents Cashman “splashed” $283 million on in the course of the 2013-14 offseason (Beltran, Ellsbury, and McCan’t) are most responsible for the mediocrity of this 2014 offense; and, third and finally, the signing of Tanaka was not representative of a “thorough job of planning,” as the decision of the Rakuten Golden Eagles to post Tanaka, or to make him available as an international free agent, was not made until Dec. of 2013 – after that, the free agent market was comprised of such names as Arroyo, Garza, Jimenez, Santana, etc…

      @ K-V-C:
      BTW, how does Baseball Prospectus rank The Swordsman in Trade WARP?

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

      “‘Very Weak,’ in terms of the cumulative player Wins Above Replacement accrued by a franchise consequent to trade [(Trade WARP, or trWARP)] activities [since 2000].” And Cashman’s draft WARP (drWARP) since 2000 is probably worse…

    9. Mr. October
      May 23rd, 2014 | 4:22 pm

      #15 wrote:

      Think we can get Samardzija or Hamel for [Culver, Williams, Heathcott, Bichette Jr., and Hensley]?

      Think we can get Epstein for Cashman?

    10. Mr. October
      May 24th, 2014 | 2:26 pm

      K-V-C wrote:

      BTW the Sporting News ranked the GMs in MLB and Cashman came in 8th.

      BTW, nj.com seems to suggest the Sporting News ranking of Brian Cashman as one of the top GMs in MLB is almost laughable:

      “Yankees’ Brian Cashman the 8th best GM in baseball?

      Where would you rank the Yankees’ Brian Cashman among the best general managers in baseball? … Would he even make your list?”

      http://www.nj.com/yankees/index.ssf/2014/05/is_yankees_brian_cashman_the_best_gm_in_baseball.html

      The “Brian Cashman is one of the top GMs in MLB because a certain ranking on the Internet says so” argument isn’t a very strong one:

      In 2014, The Sporting News has Beane at no. 1; in 2010, Sports Illustrated had Beane at no. 10; and in 2012, The Bleacher Report had Beane at no. 5;

      In 2014, The Sporting News has Dombrowski at no. 3; in 2010, Sports Illustrated had Dombrowski at no. 13; and in 2012, The Bleacher Report had Dombrowski at no. 20;

      In 2014, The Sporting News has Sabean at no. 4; in 2010, Sports Illustrated had Sabean at no. 27; and in 2012, The Bleacher Report had Sabean again at no. 27;

      In 2014, The Sporting News has Mozeliak at no. 6; in 2010, Sports Illustrated had Mozeliak at no. 18; and in 2012, The Bleacher Report had Mozeliak at no. 8;

      In 2014, The Sporting News has Wren at no. 7; in 2010, Sports Illustrated had Wren at no. 17; and in 2012, The Bleacher Report had Wren at no. 10;

      In 2014, The Sporting News has Daniels at no. 9; in 2010, Sports Illustrated had Daniels at no. 8; and in 2012, The Bleacher Report had Daniels at no. 2;

      In 2014, The Sporting News has Colletti at no. 10; in 2010, Sports Illustrated had Colletti at no. 26; and in 2012, The Bleacher Report had Colletti at no. 24;

      In 2014, The Sporting News has Huntington at no. 11; and in 2010, Sports Illustrated had Huntington at no. 20;

      In 2014, The Sporting News has Rizzo at no. 14; in 2010, Sports Illustrated had Rizzo at no. 23; and in 2012, The Bleacher Report had Rizzo at no. 19;

      In 2014, The Sporting News has O’Dowd at no. 15; in 2010, Sports Illustrated had O’Dowd at no. 7; and in 2012, The Bleacher Report had O’Dowd at no. 17;

      In 2014, The Sporting News has Moore at no. 17; in 2010, Sports Illustrated had Moore at no. 30; and in 2012, The Bleacher Report had Moore at no. 23;

      In 2014, The Sporting News has Anthopoulos at no. 22; in 2010, Sports Illustrated had Anthopoulos at no. 24; and in 2012, The Bleacher Report had Anthopoulos at no. 3;

      In 2014, The Sporting News has Alderson at no. 23; and in 2012, The Bleacher Report had Alderson at no. 7;

      In 2014, The Sporting News has Antonetti at no. 24; and in 2012, The Bleacher Report had Antonetti at no. 4;

      In 2014, The Sporting News has Byrnes at no. 25; and in 2010, Sports Illustrated had Byrnes at no. 11;

      In 2014, The Sporting News has Jocketty at no. 26; in 2010, Sports Illustrated had Jocketty at no. 14; and in 2012, The Bleacher Report had Jocketty at no. 14;

      In 2014, The Sporting News has Zduriencik at no. 28; in 2010, Sports Illustrated had Zduriencik at no. 5; and in 2012, The Bleacher Report had Zduriencik at no. 24.

      How does Dombrowski go from no. 20 to no. 3 in only two years? Or how does Sabean go from no. 27 to no. 4 in only two years? Or Mozeliak from no. 18 to no. 6 in only two years? Or Anthopoulos from no. 3 to no. 24? Or Alderson from no. 7 to no. 23? Or Antonetti from no. 4 to no. 24?

      How does Jack Zduriencik go from No. 24, to no. 5, and then to no. 28 in approx. only 5 years? The same way Brian Cashman can find himself at no. 8 on any ranking of MLB G.M.s…

    11. LMJ229
      May 24th, 2014 | 3:28 pm

      @ Mr. October:
      Agreed, the rankings are an absolute joke.
      And, really, are we supposed to change our opinion of someone just because someone else has a different opinion?

    12. Mr. October
      May 24th, 2014 | 7:49 pm

      LMJ229 wrote:

      And, really, are we supposed to change our opinion of someone just because someone else has a different opinion?

      Or because some kid in this twenties at The Bleacher Report was given an assignment to come up with a piece ranking all MLB G.M.s?

    13. Evan3457
      May 25th, 2014 | 1:57 pm

      Mr. October wrote:

      Beltran, Ellsbury, and McCan’t) are most responsible for the mediocrity of this 2014 offense

      Weren’t you the guy who said McCann was the best signing the Yanks have made in a long time? Several times, I think.

      and, third and finally, the signing of Tanaka was not representative of a “thorough job of planning,” as the decision of the Rakuten Golden Eagles to post Tanaka, or to make him available as an international free agent, was not made until Dec. of 2013

      Not correct. Firstly, they had been scouting Tanaka for several years. Secondly, he was due to be posted, and there was no doubt he would be, until the smaller market teams, led by the Pirates, decided to change the posting rules to try to screw the Yanks and the Japanese teams at the same time. The posting rules were just fine when the Sox signed Matsuzaka, and they were fine when the Rangers went after Darvish, but oh no, they just had to be changed when it became known that the Yanks would seriously pursue Tanaka. How convenient.

      In any event, that’s the only reason Rakult took so long to decide to post him; they were going to get a lot less than they thought. That’s something the Yankees, and Cashman, could not have known at the time they made the decision to go after Tanaka.

      – after that, the free agent market was comprised of such names as Arroyo, Garza, Jimenez, Santana, etc…

      So far, Tanaka is doing much better than any of them. So far, the decision to sign him for much more money than those pitchers got looks pretty good.

      A long, long way to go on that one, of course. I’m not in the habit of claiming victory with less than 1/3 of the season played.

    14. Mr. October
      May 26th, 2014 | 3:29 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Weren’t you the guy who said McCann was the best signing the Yanks have made in a long time? Several times, I think.

      Not even close…

      I had written that signing McCann was not a decision that should have been lauded as a great signing or job by Cashman – Posada had been the catcher from 1995-2010 and Martin was an unsatisfactory replacement; with no solution in the farm system (of course) and the offense of Cano expected to be lost to free agency, the signing of an offensive catcher and the best free agent catcher on the market to the richest free agent contract at that position in MLB history was something some in the media were characterizing as a great move by the Senior Vice President and general moron of the N.Y. Yankees – it was not – the team needed a catcher, and signed the best free agent catcher available; it’s that simple.

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Not correct. Firstly, they had been scouting Tanaka for several years. Secondly, he was due to be posted, and there was no doubt he would be, until the smaller market teams, led by the Pirates, decided to change the posting rules to try to screw the Yanks and the Japanese teams at the same time. The posting rules were just fine when the Sox signed Matsuzaka, and they were fine when the Rangers went after Darvish, but oh no, they just had to be changed when it became known that the Yanks would seriously pursue Tanaka. How convenient.

      This is all nonsense, just as G.M. rankings in general, or G.M. rankings by local newspapers such as The New York Post in particular, are nonsense…

      Team Cashman had a tremendous vulnerability in the starting rotation, and the decision by the Yankees AND EVERY ORGANIZATION OR G.M. IN MLB was to adopt a WAIT-AND-SEE approach to Tanaka’s posting and status before committing to the signing of free agent pitchers Garza, Jimenez, Santana, etc. in a VERY WEAK free agent market – this had nothing to do with a “thorough job” of planning by Brian Cashman.

      Once Tanaka was signed to a contract ten-of-millions of dollars higher than any offer made by another club, Garza, Jimenez, and later Santana, etc. all came off the board. The posting rules were changed: 1. to allow for smaller market teams (e.g. Andrew “Freeman’s” Tampa Bay Rays) to participate more in the process; and 2. for more money to be available to the player – this has nothing to do with a conspiracy against a franchise that has won only one (1) League Championship in the last ten (10) years, or one of the more incompetent front offices in MLB… If Tanaka does not live up to a $25-7 million-per year commitment, the franchise will simply absorb its financial losses as it has since 2005-06 with Igawa, Johnson, Pavano, etc., or will with Sabathia; again, it’s that simple.

    15. Mr. October
      May 26th, 2014 | 3:38 pm

      Mr. October wrote:

      If Tanaka does not live up to a $25-7 million-per year commitment, the franchise will simply absorb its financial losses as it has since 2005-06 with Igawa, Johnson, Pavano, etc., or will with Sabathia; again, it’s that simple.

      … And how could I fail to mention one of the best free agent signings or starting pitchers of The Autonomy Era – Allan James Burnett?

    16. Mr. October
      May 27th, 2014 | 8:33 pm

      Mr. October wrote:

      … the signing of Tanaka was not representative of a “thorough job of planning,” as the decision of the Rakuten Golden Eagles to post Tanaka, or to make him available as an international free agent, was not made until Dec. of 2013 – after that, the free agent market was comprised of such names as Arroyo, Garza, Jimenez, Santana, etc…

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Not correct.

      “Would Dodgers steal Tanaka from the desperate Yankees?

      LOS ANGELES… ESPN’s Buster Olney tells us that some rival executives expect the Dodgers and New York Yankees to be the final teams left bidding for Tanaka, one of the greatest pitchers ever to come out of Japan. Reports out of Japan suggest the same.

      ‘The Yankees have the greater need…’”

      http://espn.go.com/blog/los-angeles/dodger-report/post/_/id/8513/would-dodgers-steal-tanaka-from-the-desperate-yankees

      “Pitching-starved Yankees had little choice but to sign Masahiro Tanaka

      The Yankees did what they had to do in signing Tanaka for seven years and $155 million — luxury-tax threshold be damned — because even after spending $283 million already this winter on Ellsbury, McCann and Beltran, they knew they still didn’t have a team that was going to rejuvenate their fan base with dreams of October…”

      http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/madden-yanks-choice-sign-tanaka-article-1.1588121

      @ K-V-C:
      @ Evan3457:

      “Desperate;” “pitching-starved;” “greater need;” “little choice;” “luxury tax threshold be damned” – it certainly doesn’t sound like a “thorough job of planning” by Brian Cashman to me…

    17. Evan3457
      May 30th, 2014 | 12:08 am

      Mr. October wrote:

      E
      Evan3457 wrote:
      Not correct. Firstly, they had been scouting Tanaka for several years. Secondly, he was due to be posted, and there was no doubt he would be, until the smaller market teams, led by the Pirates, decided to change the posting rules to try to screw the Yanks and the Japanese teams at the same time. The posting rules were just fine when the Sox signed Matsuzaka, and they were fine when the Rangers went after Darvish, but oh no, they just had to be changed when it became known that the Yanks would seriously pursue Tanaka. How convenient.
      This is all nonsense, just as G.M. rankings in general, or G.M. rankings by local newspapers such as The New York Post in particular, are

      Team Cashman had a tremendous vulnerability in the starting rotation, and the decision by the Yankees AND EVERY ORGANIZATION OR G.M. IN MLB was to adopt a WAIT-AND-SEE approach to Tanaka’s posting and status before committing to the signing of free agent pitchers Garza, Jimenez, Santana, etc. in a VERY WEAK free agent market – this had nothing to do with a “thorough job” of planning by Brian Cashman.

      Nonsense. The Yanks had been scouting Tanaka for years, just as many teams were. When he finally became available, they were ready. They assumed it would be under the old posting system.

      The posting rules were changed: 1. to allow for smaller market teams (e.g. Andrew “Freeman’s” Tampa Bay Rays) to participate more in the process

      Nonsense. This NEW system makes it easier for the RAYS to participate? Laughable. Now, to get a player from NPB, it requires posting fee of up to $20 million up front, just for the chance to negotiate for a top player. Then, the player is treated as any other free agent, and his salary can be bid through the roof. It’s likely that changing the process added at least $50 to the eventual cost for Tanaka.

      As they can’t afford that, how does that help the Rays compete for top NPB players? It doesn’t.

      2. for more money to be available to the player

      Lemme get this straight…the OWNERS changed the system so that the PLAYERS would get more money?

      BWAHAHHAHAHAHA!

      – this has nothing to do with a conspiracy against a franchise that has won only one (1) League Championship in the last ten (10) years, or one of the more incompetent front offices in MLB… If Tanaka does not live up to a $25-7 million-per year commitment, the franchise will simply absorb its financial losses as it has since 2005-06 with Igawa, Johnson, Pavano, etc., or will with Sabathia; again, it’s that simple.

      The Pirates were the ones who raised the main objection against keeping the old posting system. Were the Pirates EVER serious players for Tanaka? Of course not; they couldn’t afford him, old system or new. Then why would they try to force the change, and why now?

      Because the Yanks had a chance to get from under the luxury tax. That’s the ONLY benefit to the Pirates, who, given their financial parameters, would never, ever be players for a Darvish or a Tanaka under either system. Oh, no, everybody was happy with the old system…until the Yanks decided to play in that game. Then, all of a sudden, it had to be changed.

      Yeah, they changed the system to benefit the Rays…and the players.

      Nonsense.

    18. Evan3457
      May 30th, 2014 | 12:10 am

      Mr. October wrote:

      “Would Dodgers steal blah blah blah’”
      blah blah blahdreams of October…”

      @ Evan3457:
      “Desperate;” “pitching-starved;” “greater need;” “little choice;” “luxury tax threshold be damned” – it certainly doesn’t sound like a “thorough job of planning” by Brian Cashman to me…

      Well, certainly, if the Yanks had a stronger starting staff, they wouldn’t have gone after Tanaka as forcefully as they did.

      But that doesn’t mean they didn’t plan carefully, scout thoroughly, and for several years before he became available.

    19. Mr. October
      May 31st, 2014 | 11:15 am

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Nonsense. This NEW system makes it easier for the RAYS to participate?

      Tampa Bay can post only $20 million for the right to negotiate with a player at no risk, and then attempt to sell him on the Tampa Bay area, the success of the organization in the last six (6) years (as many regular season wins and A.L. Pennants as the N.Y. Yankees), and the financial benefits of living in a state with no personal income tax – if they’re willing to increase their payroll, which they probably have the ability to do. This NEW system certainly didn’t make it more difficult for a team such as the RAYS to participate in the bidding for Tanaka’s services or in the future for a player less expensive than the best pitcher in Japan…

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Lemme get this straight…the OWNERS changed the system so that the PLAYERS would get more money?

      BWAHAHHAHAHAHA!

      “… The greatest beneficiary of this new system is the player being posted… the other major beneficiaries… are the major league teams… [T]he ability of the player to negotiate with multiple teams simultaneously could drive up the size of the eventual contracts posted players sign in the U.S… However, that same ability for multiple teams to negotiate with the posted player will increase the chances of any given team signing the player… The clear losers here are the Nippon Professional Baseball teams…”

      http://mlb.si.com/2013/12/17/masahiro-tanaka-japan-mlb-npb-posting/

      Evan3457 wrote:

      But that doesn’t mean [the Yankees didn't] scout [Tanaka] thoroughly…

      One would certainly hope the Yankees would have scouted the best pitcher in Japan thoroughly – one would think that most teams in MLB would have scouted the best pitcher in a market such as Japan thoroughly, so what?

      @ K-V-C,
      @ Evan3457:
      Brian Cashman scouting the best pitcher in Japan, along with perhaps every other MLB team, and then signing him at a cost of $175 million (or tens-of-millions of dollars more than the Dodgers were willing to offer) when the franchise he’s been responsible for since 1998 was in “desperate” need of starting pitching and the next best pitcher available on the market was Garza with no one in the farm system translates into Cashman being one of the Top G.M.s in MLB in some way??

    20. Mr. October
      June 1st, 2014 | 9:15 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Lemme get this straight…the OWNERS changed the system so that the PLAYERS would get more money?

      BWAHAHHAHAHAHA!

      @ Evan3457:
      “…With the new agreement in place, the MLB and MLBPA has put a cap on those ever-increasing posting figures, leaving more money on the table for the players themselves…”

      http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1831683-mlb-npb-japan-posting-system-explaining-rules-format-and-bid-process

      “The OWNERS and MLBPA.’”

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Well, certainly, if the Yanks had a stronger starting staff, they wouldn’t have gone after Tanaka as forcefully as they did.

      Why didn’t they have a stronger starting staff? What if Tanaka had not been posted? Arroyo/Garza, Kuroda, Nuno, Phelps, and Whitley? What if 39-year old Kuroda had not reconsidered his retirement? … A great job of “thorough planning” for the 2014 starting rotation, not to mention C, 1B, 2B, 3B, RF, and CF…

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