Cashman: GM or Consultant?

Cash on the possibility of moving Cano or Wang:

“I can’t see myself recommending us trading them at all….I can only control what I recommend, but that’s something I don’t see.”

Does this signal some sort of change in the Cashman role? Has the putative GM’s status been reduced to recommender? Are we parsing too closely? Either way, we share his sentiment re the rookie duo, and are glad to know the Yanks are on the market (finally) for a CF.

32 comments… add one
  • Where have you BEEN, YF? Cashman is both incompetent and irrelevant, and that much has been clear to those of us impartial observers for many a year now. A harsh duo of traits, but qualifiable nonetheless to even the most myopic of them, myself most obviously included.
    Do you live in a cave?

    SF June 21, 2005, 1:19 pm
  • The one thing that gives me the most hope for the future of the Red Sox is King Theo. The Yankees can sign as many free agents as they want, but they’ll never have a comparable to King Theo as long as Steinbrenner or any of his decendants are running that team. In short, I see many more Tony Womacks in YF’s future.
    …and not to get off topic, but is that the worst free agent signing in the last ten years? I know Jaret Wright is terrible and makes much more money, but at least he had the common decency to get injured, while Womack (holder of naked pictures of Torre and Cashman to be sure) continues to not only start, but bat SECOND!

    mattymatty (aka Kreskin) June 21, 2005, 3:07 pm
  • Glad to see the Theo apologias continue here unabated. When the Baron of Brookline makes an error in judgement, or when things simply don’t work out as hoped, and he’s forced to correct midseason, well, then he’s a genius ready and willing to address problems. When Cashman does the same, well, he’s just an incompetent stooge. It’s a tired act, people. We suggest a more nuanced reading of the situation. Which does not mean absolution for Cash. Nor should it equate to blanket condemnation. That’s all just a bit too simple for us. Though, this much is surely true: Tony Womack sucks.

    YF June 21, 2005, 3:29 pm
  • Well, Theo gets a little ‘bit more of a pass because his mistakes do not cost upwards of ten million per. Maybe he made mistakes on Mantei or Halama – but combined those two don’t make Jared Wright money. Cashman’s mistakes are outrageously expensive. I can’t believe we are going back into this again. He does not deserve a pass Yankee fans! He has run your team into the proverbial ground with his stupid mistakes and terrible baseball intuition. Does he deserve a pass when the Yankess have to call up Henn, who may be good in a couple years, to fill a spot for a guy who has been nothing but a cancer on your team? Does he get a pass when Giambi strikes out four times a game? Oh, maybe he deserves a pass when he gives a 41 year old man a two year extension at 20mil/each and all he’s been is average so far? Where exactly are these things (along with a dozen others not mentioned) not his fault? Theo saw a problem last year, and made the decision to move one of the most beloved figures in all of New England (despite the circumstances) because he knew what was good for the team. He could have easily looked at that situation and gave in for more money or time to Nomar for fear of the reaction the trade would get. Cashman saw a problem in centerfield in NY, and decided to just hope for the best. More examples of Cashman’s complete lack of baseball business are readily available if needed, but YF’s know what his shortcomings are. What I don’t understand is this, why continue to stand up for him? I understand Steinbrenner and Tampa were probably heavily involved in most of Cash’s moves, but Steinbrenner will never take blame for them. Let me ask you this: If the Yankees are still a .500 team a month from now, and eight games back of Boston or the O’s – do you really believe Cashman is going to live out the season? Or, do you really think he going to be there next year? Please stop with the “it’s not Cashmans fault” or “he’s made some mistakes” crap. Some mistakes? His entire time in NY has been a mistake. He inherited a good team with a solid base, and since then has done nothing but get worse every year, all the while spending more money every year. I would not let Cashman manage a Burger King, ever.

    Brad-SF June 21, 2005, 4:03 pm
  • “His entire time in NY has been a mistake. He inherited a good team with a solid base, and since then has done nothing but get worse every year, all the while spending more money every year.”
    Brad, he took over in Feb. 1998. That season the Yanks won 125 games and the world series. A pattern began. In 1999, the Yanks won the world series. Many observers believed his 2nd half acquisition of Justice helped ensure post-season success. In 2000, the Yanks won the world series (notice that the Yanks won 3 world series after Cashman took over). Then in 2001, the Yanks lost in game 7. The Boss lost his shit, said the team HAD to make changes. Buster Olney’s book posits the theory that at that point the Boss took power away from Cashman, started relying on his Tampa people. It’s just a theory but Olney might be trusted as he was the #1 beat reporter for the team during that time. Since then the Yanks have been very successful during the regular season (the Red Sox have finished 2nd to them every year) but have not won the whole shebang. As the Yanks continue to come up short, the Boss gets more anxious, feels more impulsive, relies more on his sycophants in Tampa (thus Wright and Womack). I think Cashman is a pretty good GM, who believes in statistical analysis in making decisions. He’s shown creativity (the A-Rod for one) and a penchant for making reasonable decisions. If Theo were in the Bronx, he’d have to deal with Tampa and the Boss too.

    Nick June 21, 2005, 4:31 pm
  • Here’s a stupid hypothetical for all of us. It’s stupid dumb. And I never thought it would happen in Boston, but it did. Silly me. So let’s indulge the idiocy for a moment. Imagine the following:
    Derek Jeter’s production begins to slide, say, mid-next season. He gets hurt, misses the bulk of the rest of the year, returns for spring training in ’07 but really doesn’t ever seem to get back to where he was in his prime. This goes on for about 60 games of ’07. The Yankees are close to being a real contender (see, I told you it was a stupid hypothesis!), but they need defensive help, and maybe even a bit more speed, and since Derek’s knee just hasn’t healed his slowness in the field has been downgraded to snail-level and his baserunning smarts just can’t make up for his bum leg. Someone offers a package for Jeets that will heavily improve the team, maybe put them on course for a championship (or at least give them a much better chance). Does a hypothetical Cashman make the trade, improving the team and freeing up desperately needed payroll, even with the emotional baggage of being the guy who traded Captain Perfect? Or is he hamstrung by his domineering owner and therefore let off the hook as a GM for not pulling the trigger on such a deal? Is Cash powerful enough to make the trade? Or is he given control but ultimately Hamletian, unable to pull off the swap, crippling the Yanks with an underperforming liability in the field?
    Again, I know this is a silly hypothetical and unlikely to ever happen, but indulge me. Let’s hear it, YFs and SFs alike.

    SF June 21, 2005, 4:51 pm
  • It’s a pointless indulgence. No GM—not Theo, not Beane, not anyone—trades away the franchise without approval from upstairs. To think Theo moved Nomar without a green light from Luchino and Henry is absurd. Obviously, you’re talking about more than a baseball decision—play on the field, at this point, is only part of Jeter’s dollar value to the team and the YES network, especially when there’s a new stadium at hand. So forget the analogy, because it’s pointless. (If you flop A-Rod for Jeter it might make more sense, and then I’d say, yeah, he’d be expendable, though just who would be able to assume that salary is another question.)
    Nick hits the nail right on the head. No, Brad-SF, Cash does not get a pass on his moves, or the moves the Yankees have made under his tenure. But to honestly sit there and blame him for decisions that were clearly not his own is pointless, and beneath our dignitude.

    YF June 21, 2005, 5:12 pm
  • The hypothetical should include a moment in the season when it becomes clear that Jeter is a clubhouse cancer. Let’s say this moment comes in Fenway. Jeter’s injuries put him on the bench, and he sits glumly while his teammates battle it out in the rubber game of a 3 game set. During that game, Renteria, makes an incredible catch in which he puts his whole season at risk. The Sox, inspired by the play, win the game in extra innings. Meanwhile, the NY media jumps on Jeter’s demeanor in the dugout, pointing to the contrast between both team’s shortstops as emblematic of the way their respective seasons are going. In this case, Jeter is not Captain Perfect, his image has been ruined to a degree and the when Cashman deals him for Orlando and Doug fans are not up in arms. Some even think it’s a good idea. Peter Gammons even writes that it’s a deal that makes sense.

    Nick June 21, 2005, 5:14 pm
  • Evade, dissemble, slide left and right, dodge, deflect, stutter. You guys are cowards. Indulge the (admittedly) silly hypothesis. Ignore the name “Jeter” if you have to, and just look at the situation itself as a fantasy. I know, it’s tough for those with no imagination. But try. I bet you can’t.

    SF June 21, 2005, 5:20 pm
  • Yeah. And that!

    YF June 21, 2005, 5:21 pm
  • It’s SF, who’s the champion disassembler. Read our post. We did not evade.

    YF June 21, 2005, 5:23 pm
  • I’m waiting…
    Buck up, YF.

    SF June 21, 2005, 5:43 pm
  • We bucked. Sub in A-Rod and the answer is, “Yeah, he gets moved.” As for Jeets, see Nick’s comments.

    YF June 21, 2005, 5:49 pm
  • I agree somewhat Nick. I wasn’t saying the Yankee team that Cash inherited wasn’t good , but that’s just it. In everything that you mentioned, Justice was the only addition you gave Cashman credit for. Those teams were great teams, but let’s be honest here, are you giving Cashman any credit for the way it was put together? Again, as I said before, I don’t think all the blame gets put on Cashman, and I do believe Olney’s book. That being said, Cashman would not still be with the Yankees if his iput on the moves were not still respected by Steinbrenner. Is Cashman there as a life boat to Steinbrenner’s moves? Is Cashman the scapegoat for everything that has happened? I don’t think Cashman is a has made even partially good moves in the past three years (yes, Justice was a great move), but if all he is now is Steinbrenner’s “yes man”, and doesn’t make his side of the story more evident to the public that so brutally tears him to shreads, he’s deserves even less respect.
    And no, Cashman nor Steinbrenner make the move to rid themselves of the hypothetical problem. They have proved time and again that loyalty to the old core players is solid as stone. This, to me, is a very respectable trait to have in an owner. Potentially very bad for the team, but pretty good in a friendship. While I knock them for making such decisions from a team and business standpoint, I will never knock Steinbrenner’s loyalty to the guys he deems deserving of it.

    Brad-SF June 21, 2005, 5:51 pm
  • We’re not asking about A-Rod, YF, or actually about Jeter. The issue at hand, like in your original post, is Cashman, and whether he’s got even an ounce of Theo-ness in him. At this point I think it’s been established that you won’t touch the substance of my questions, so I will just have to live with your deficiencies, however unsatisfying they may be.
    (FYI, my questions are articulated in the last part of my long comment. They are the sentences that end in question marks, to be specific. I point this out for your convenience in case your reading comprehension skills are actually as bad as they seem to be.)

    SF June 21, 2005, 5:58 pm
  • Our reading comprehension? We scored an 800 on that part of the test. How many times do we have to answer the same dumb question? Here’s a hint: sometimes the question is answered EVEN WHEN YOU DONT GET THE RESPONSE YOU’RE HOPING FOR.
    Our mind boggles.

    YF June 21, 2005, 6:02 pm
  • The PSATs don’t count for much, YF. How many times do you have to be reminded of this? Nothing like hanging on to one’s high school days long since passed…

    SF June 21, 2005, 6:08 pm
  • SF, what is obviously pertinent to the question is whether Cashman would be “courageous” enough to trade a sacred cow away. Although you might think Theo is a brave iconcoclast, a Lenny Bruce of baseball management, he would not have been able to make that trade if Nomar was Nomah! at the time of the trade. It had become clear to EEI listener and beat reporter alike that Nomar was isolated from the rest of his team. General managers sometimes are limited by their fan bases. Do you think Varitek didn’t leverage his Jeter-like status in New England when he and Boras negotiated that deal? Or do you think V-Tek is getting exactly what a 33 year old catcher deserves?

    Nick June 21, 2005, 6:47 pm
  • Brad,
    off the top of my head, a few good things Cashman has done the couple of years:
    1. the A-Rod trade
    2. the Lieber signing
    3. the Pettite non-signing (how’s that for loyalty?)
    4. the Vazquez trade, which was lauded by the blog community at the time. Theo and co had Vazquez rated higher than Schilling at the time. Minaya did not like the Sox prospects at the time.
    5. Tanyon Sturtze pick-up
    5. Tom Gordon signing

    Nick June 21, 2005, 7:19 pm
  • at the time. man, i need to edit these before i post. uggh

    Nick June 21, 2005, 7:21 pm
  • Not sure how ‘Tek figures in this debate, but I imagine that Varitek leveraged his career, including his performance with pitchers, his offensive competence, his popularity, his Rodriguez-imprinted Everlast catcher’s mitt, and his championship ring to get his contract. I am not sure he’ll be worth 10M in 2009, but what do I know? So yes, he leveraged his relationship with fans, among other things, but what exactly does that have to do with whether Cashman has any abilities as a GM?

    SF June 21, 2005, 7:52 pm
  • Nick, my answers:
    A-rod was more defense when Boston was trying to get him. Stein was more than willing to let Boston look sutpid on that one.
    Leiber in no way counts becasue they gave him money to reahab, and just when he was ready to go, the sent him packing without as much as a goodbye kiss.
    Petite was probably a good move, but still a good pitcher, and after watching Johnson just barely get out of the second inning, NY could only wish they still had Pettite.
    Vazquez was a good trade, but it doesnt really matter now that he too was so easily shipped out of town. Nice to see him succeeding elsewhere.
    Tanyon Sturtz and Tom Gordon were both good pickups, and you’ll get no argument from me there.
    In conclusion, almost all that you mentioned has pretty much come back on you in a bad way, and we did not even talk about the obvious bad moves, only questionable ones. Is Cashman going to be able to keep his job based on A-Rod and two decent bullpen guys? Wow, another home run given up by Johnson. Well look on the bright side, the Yankees have two more years to hope to get the NL West Johnson, and not the guy running out there now.

    Brad-SF June 21, 2005, 8:54 pm
  • Another great outing by one Bronson “Theo saw something that noone else did” Arroyo. Eight Strong, a few scattered hits, and leaves with a smile. I wonder what tomorrows NY Post headline will look like? Good decision Cashman or Steinbrenner -whoever is running the ship there.

    Brad-SF June 21, 2005, 9:37 pm
  • Another great outing by one Bronson “Theo saw something that noone else did” Arroyo. Eight Strong, a few scattered hits, and leaves with a smile. I wonder what tomorrows NY Post headline will look like? Good decision Cashman / Steinbrenner -whoever is running the ship there.

    Brad-SF June 21, 2005, 9:39 pm
  • sorry for the double post…back button issues

    Brad-SF June 21, 2005, 10:02 pm
  • After all these games of watching D-Ray pitching, one would think I would have learned my lesson by now..
    Tomorrow’s headline – “The Comeback Kids”.

    Brad-SF June 21, 2005, 11:06 pm
  • Brad, I don’t quite understand why the Lieber one doesn’t count because the Yanks paid for his rehab year. Does Theo’s Wade Miller pick-up count then? Seems to be a very similar deal. I also don’t understand why you’d discount Cashman’s creative use of Yankees resources in acquiring A-Rod because Steinbrenner wanted to humiliate the Sox. As the story goes, it was Cashman who initiated the talks, brought it to the Boss’s attention. He was the brains behind the deal. The Boss, who actually is not always a blustery idiot (heck, he wanted Big Papi before he became the star he is), gave him the go-ahead because he recognized as did everyone else that A-Rod is a top 3 player. Also, I don’t quite understand how you could say Vazquez was sent away easily. He was involved in a deal for Randy Johnson, probably the most dominant pitcher of the last 10 year (he and Pedro are close, and upon further reflection, I think Petey was slightly more dominant), who was the best pitcher in baseball last year. It was not a deal that Cashman initially wanted to do. In fact, the Yanks could have had Johnson for the 2nd half of 2004, but Cash refused to part with Vazquez.
    All I’m saying, Brad, is that Cashman is probably one of the only reasonable people in the front office. As Yanks fan, I’m happy that he is there to try to counter Tampa’s influence. He is very flawed as a GM, and you have documented his mistakes well in the past, but I think your way too harsh in your criticism.

    Nick June 22, 2005, 11:42 am
  • Names do matter. Yankee fans are loyal to Jeter. Partly because he would never act as Nomah did, mainly because of who he is and what he’s done.

    john yf June 22, 2005, 5:43 pm
  • Yes, Theo, AND John Henry, Lucchino and the office staff have done a great job. They play moneyball with 3 times the budget of Billy Beane. And they have Bill James.
    If the Sox hadn’t won last year, it was only a matter of time until they did. This management team will consistently come up with very good teams.
    This year the Sox are showing what an accomplishment the Yankees achieved to win year after year.
    But don’t forget the Sox were willing to give more than the Yankees did for A-Rod, but couldn’t negotiate as good a deal as Cash. The Yanks pay less than a third of A-Rod’s salary, which makes him an incredible bargain.
    And Clement sure has worked out, BUT Theo wanted Pavano more than Clement, who was also on the Yank’s list until they signed Pavano. If the Yanks were wrong, the Sox were too.
    Be glad Cash didn’t let the Yankees sign Ortiz. Steinbrenner said at the time he wanted him.

    john yf June 22, 2005, 8:05 pm
  • The Yanks pay less than a third of A-Rod’s salary
    Can you do the math for me on this one?

    SF June 22, 2005, 10:20 pm
  • SF is right about the problem with john’s math. The Rangers agreed to pay $67 million of the remaining $179 million that was owed to A-Rod at the time of the trade. It is the Rangers that are paying a little over 1/3 of his salary. Still, it’s a pretty good deal for the Yanks. They end up paying $16 million per year for A-Rod.

    Nick June 22, 2005, 11:06 pm
  • I wasn’t going to say it. Glad you did SF

    Brad-SF June 22, 2005, 11:06 pm

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