The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Pinch hitting: Holy Cow

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Jan 12, 2008 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

January is usually a slow month for baseball news. So we’ve lined up a series of guest bloggers to entertain you. Next up is Tom from Holy Cow.

Tom is from the Bronx and has been blogging with his friends Mike, Dave and Connor for five months. He saus Alex Rodriguez and Bobby Abreu are his favorite players.

Here is his post:

Who’s the boss? That’s the question in the Yankees front office right now, and despite the power seized by Brian Cashman after 2005, right now, it doesn’t look as though he still has his power.

First of all, we have to look at what Cashman has done since being given full control. In the 2005-06 off season, Cashman gave Johnny Damon a four year deal to fix center field, and that has been with mixed results. His 2006 was very good and he filled a major need, but his 2007 proved injury prone and he needs to rebound in 2008.

Kyle Farnsworth was signed to a three-year deal that has been a disappointment due to inconsistency. Flash forward to the 2006 trade deadline, when he made the deal in which we gave up nothing particularly useful for a top five offensive right fielder in Bobby Abreu.

The trade of Shawn Chacon for Craig Wilson was a good one, that will never be recognized because Wilson struggled under his limited and wildly inconsistent playing time, but has a
career OPS+ of 113 and has hit .290/.389/.527 against left-handers. When it is considered how little we needed to deal for him, it’s clear this was a trade that was good, but didn’t quite pan out.

The 2006 off-season was where Cashman really got creative, as he swung deals, exchanging Gary Sheffield and Randy Johnson for Luis Vizcaino, Humberto Sanchez, Kevin Whelan, Anthony Claggett, Steven Jackson, Ross Ohlendorf and Alberto Gonzalez, while signing Andy Pettitte to fill Johnson’s void in the rotation.

Those deals did little to contribute in 2007, as Vizcaino was the only one to see significant time with the major league club, but it did help to restock the farm system with young arms, many of which are projected to see Major League time in 2008 with a degree of success expected.

There was just one significant midseason trade in 2007, and that was of Scott Proctor for Wilson Betemit, an excellent deal. Proctor was rapidly on the decline, with significant increases in ERA, walks, WHIP and a decline in K/9 and K/BB. Betemit was a 25-year old
switch hitter with tons of power potential and considerable enough plate discipline to make a difference. Betemit looks to be a platoon player at first with added value because of his versatility in the infield.

Thus far this off season, he did little more than re-sign the team’s free agents, but he did secure Joe Girardi, which was a major point in our favor as his bullpen management and in-game strategy should be a significant boost to the Yankees on the whole. Over the past two seasons of full Cashman control, the Yankees have drafted very talented players, including Joba Chamberlain, Ian Kennedy, and Carmen Angelini, while holding onto and developing holdovers from 2005 like Phil Hughes as well.

The information above makes it clear that Cashman’s clear talent is for drafting and developing, while his trades have all been strong, but his free agent signings have proven to be a mixed bag, with some great, some terrible. Recent reports suggest that Hank Steinbrenner has assumed much of the control, and Cashman no longer has it. I think it is clear that Cashman is an excellent general manager who has turned us into a very well run organization in a very short time and deserves the power he had and should maintain it. This is no knock on Hank, but Brian has been far above average and should continue to help us.

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