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


Brian Cashman answers your questions

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Mar 30, 2008 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

gcdynhlw.jpgWe’ve had a lot of fun with the reader Q&A feature on the blog but this one is special.

We put the word out for questions for Brian Cashman last week and a record 512 e-mails came into blog headquarters from around the world.

I narrowed it down to nine questions (it wasn’t easy) and Cash was gracious enough to answer them in Tampa a few days ago. We were in the clubhouse leaning on an equipment trunk in the hallway next to Joe Girardi’s office.

My thanks to Brian for doing this, it’s a testament to what he thinks about you fans. Hopefully we can do it again later in the season. Here is the interview, complete with audio:

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Alex and many others asked: What advice would you give a college student interested in becoming a GM one day?

Brian Cashman: “The most important thing is to try to get your foot in the door somewhere and don’t exclude … don’t limit yourself to just major league teams. There are a number of different ways to eventually get yourself into the game. My assistant GM (Jean Afterman) was an agent. So I hired her in that capacity and stole her from the agency side. I came up as an intern in player development and scouting and did security at night. John Ricco, who’s the assistant general manager for the New York Mets, was a media-relations intern when he started. There are so many different roads to get there. If you can’t get within baseball operations of a major league team, try and get into a major league situation regardless of whether it’s media relations or tickets, it doesn’t necessarily matter. I know this is a long-winded answer but don’t limit yourself just to clubs. Commissioner’s office … it could be an internship with the commissioner’s office. It could be an internship with an agent. Because ultimately people gravitate to … to make yourself better you gravitate to people you think can help you out. And successful people stand out even though they might not be working in the same arena at the moment in time you notice successful people. And you want them to be on board with your situation to help you elevate your game. So throw those resumes all over, sprinkle them. Just because you might not get on the doorstep on the first try doesn’t mean you can’t do it a different route because it’s happened too many times.”

————

Evan and many others asked: How have new statistics and methods of analysis changed the Yankees scouting and evaluation methods since you became GM of the Yankees?

Brian Cashman: “I’d like to think that … (his phone rings) Excuse me a minute.”

(At this point, he walked out of the room with his phone and I was left standing in the clubhouse. After five minutes, I went looking and found him in the batting cage on the phone. He finished up and we continued the interview back in the clubhouse. No, I have no idea who was the phone.)

Here is Part 2 of the interview and the audio, the remaining eight questions:

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Back to Evan’s question: How have new statistics and methods of analysis changed the Yankees’ scouting and evaluation methods since you became GM of the Yankees?

Brian Cashman: “I’ve been educated. Sometimes your eyes can, you have a perception of a player or of a season or seasons that take place and statistics, there’s a number of statistics I believe, I have learned and been educated that can challenge your perceptions and that’s, if you come across some statistics that … I’m trying to think of the how the best way to say it, essentially the end game is there’s a number of statistics that I’ve learned through people like (Yankees director of quantitative analysis) Mike Fishman that have opened my eyes, that have led me to understand that certain players aren’t necessarily what you perceive them to be. And it’s prevented me from making acquisitions and saving me from losing a certain prospect as well as taking on money that would have been a waste that earlier in my career I would have done. I don’t want to name a player, but for instance, there’s a left-handed reliever with some arm strength that I know earlier in my career I would I have gravitated to more because he’s left-handed and the arm strength was there and he had a reputation. But when you walk through the statistical analysis of the actual consistent performance of that player it kind of broke down those perceptions and reality set it. It made me stand down and I saved more than a few million dollars and a player that was a young prospect who’s considered an asset. Early in my years that was something I probably would have finished off rather than did the extra time to study and dissect and then back down or stand down.”

————

Rob M. and many others asked: If you could have a do-over on one move you have made in the past ten years, which would it be?

Brian Cashman: “It’d have to be Mike Lowell to the Marlins for three pitching prospects (Ed Yarnall, Todd Noel and Mark Johnson) as we rebuilt our system. We did like those three pitchers we got back, but they went up in smoke with injuries and a lack of performance. That turned out to be … we re-signed Scott Brosius to a three-year deal. In an attempt to rebuild the system with something we were lacking heavily at the time, we weren’t good at producing pitching so we tried to go outside the organization to acquire pitching and we acquired some high-end, talented pitching that didn’t work out. That was a bad deal.”

————

Sanjay asked: Can you name the minor league position player who you believe will make an impact with the Yankees this year? Anybody in particular who has caught your eye?

Brian Cashman: “Brett Gardner.”

————

Giselle asked: When did you first become interested in working in baseball and at what point did you realize that you wanted to be general manager of the Yankees?

Brian Cashman: “Wow, I can answer that. To this day you wonder if you want to be the GM of the Yankees. It’s such a difficult position. I love what I do, don’t misunderstand me, but it’s a great responsibility. I never aspired to be the GM of the Yankees. If anything, I saw enough times how difficult that job was. You’d say to yourself, ‘Man.’ There’s a number of occasions as I worked my way up the ladder … it wasn’t with, ‘One day I want to get to that position.’ It never crossed my mind until George offered it to me. And at that point I was trying to convince Bob Watson to change his mind about stepping down before I accepted. So … at what point? There was probably never a point I thought about being the GM of the Yankees.”

My follow-up: Did you want to work in baseball when you were a kid?

Brian Cashman: “I wanted to play. I played four years of college ball (at Catholic University in Washington) and probably up until my senior year I had visions of taking the next step and seeing if there was a potential pro career in there. But after a few tryouts I started to learn that wasn’t the case and after working with the Yankees as an intern in the pro scouting department, I realized how great the talent is nationally and how I was just a big fish in a little pond so to speak.”

————

Mike from North Carolina asked: Do you ever look at fan web sites or blogs or read the media to see what their feelings about the team are. Does that ever impact anything you do?

Brian Cashman: “Never impact. Well, you know, I won’t say that. I’m open to good ideas. So I connect to LoHud, I want to see what you’re writing. But I also read NoMass.org. I’ll … Scouts.com. I’ll read blogs now and then. You can get a good idea in many forms. It doesn’t matter to me if it’s someone who’s a member of my coaching staff, my pro scouting staff, a member of the media, Joe Fan. If it’s a good idea, it’s still a good idea. It doesn’t matter where it originated.”

My follow-up: So what people think doesn’t necessarily influence you?

Brian Cashman: “Well if people are mad at something we choose. If I pursue what I think is a good idea and people don’t like that, I don’t care. If that’s what you’re telling me, I don’t care about that. It bothers me that people are upset. But it’s not going to … I’ve think I’ve proven now over time that I’ll go against the grain.”

————

Chris asked: When you’re dealing with a player agent or a GM, and he tells you that he’s got such-and-such an offer on the table from another team. How do you know that’s the truth? Is there a way to verify it, or do you go on the honor principle?

Brian Cashman: “If you’re dealing with an agent, I can’t verify it until after the fact. Every time I close out a negotiation with somebody with a signing or if that player eventually signs with somebody else, I will talk. What agents will typically do or say is, ‘Hey, I got the following offer from the following club.’ I write everything down and I crosscheck that information after and I keep a list of who tells the truth and who doesn’t tell the truth and here are the examples. I’ll call out the agents on it. I’ll say, ‘I found out you lied to me. I talked to Joe Blow and they said that’s not true and you said it was and I’m just letting you know I take notes to this stuff. Now I know that you’re a bullshitter.’ Or it builds your credibility. If somebody says they got this and for five years every time I crosscheck the guy’s never been wrong, he’s always told the truth, then he goes up the credibility scale. He’ll be more believable down the line to me when we’re negotiating. General managers have different ways than other clubs when they present things. You have your scouts; we all have our connections in other organizations to tend to find out and verify whether they’re down the tracks with a particular trade. But in terms of potential players or free agents, there’s nothing you can do. You have to fly blind.”

————

Tommy asked: Can you tell us a little about your day-to-day dialogue with both Hank and Hal? Are they hands on guys? Do you enjoy working with them?

Brian Cashman: “It varies depending on where we’re at, if it’s home or road. They’re involved with varies different business entities. I talk a few times a week, basically. It’s not a daily, hourly dialogue. I’m still more engaged with George Steinbrenner and Randy Levine. I certainly keep Hal and Hank abreast of every situation that develops but we’re not in touch on every little aspect. It’s more, ‘Here’s a decision that might be coming. Here’s something that was just presented.’ You do approvals on the following issues. ‘What do you think? Here’s my recommendation. The media, should we take them (on the charter) to Virginia Tech?’ I would call and ask Hal and Hank if they minded that. Stuff like that. But on the little stuff, no.”

My follow-up: “Have you enjoyed working with them so far?

Brian Cashman: “Yes.”

————

Neil asked: What do you think is the most significant move you have made as GM of the Yankees? For good or bad?

Brian Cashman: “I don’t know if you can say one’s significant over another. This is how many years I have done this? Ten or 11? This is my 11th year. It varies. It depends on where the organization is. There are a number of moves we made to finish off championship runs. Like 2000, when we built that team on the run. In 2000, we changed over a big part of that roster in season to get our third championship in three years and then our fourth world championship appearance in five years. That was pretty special. But I think after 05, making the tough decision to take the steps back to rebuild the farm system and be patient and try to teach patience where patience doesn’t exist within the recent history of this franchise. I think that’s going to be a big turning point for this franchise for a long time.”

My follow-up: So there wasn’t one significant … getting Alex (Rodriguez)? There wasn’t one big move you look back on and say that was the biggest think you’ve done?

Brian Cashman: “No. We’ve been involved in so many big moves. Alex was such a big move. Roger Clemens’ acquisition was such a big move back after the ‘98 season where were 125-50. In 1999 we changed that club in spring training because I felt honestly we were going to be stagnant and no one worked as hard as Roger Clemens. I thought, ‘All right, David Wells was running around that winter partying and enjoying himself and he was going to come in out of shape.’ I was like, ‘We’re going to move Roger, bring him in. Bring new life, bring new energy and we won in ’99 and went forward. You can talk about Alex. You can talk about Roger. You can talk about David Justice. I can’t pinpoint one to be honest. We’re involved in so many.”

Me: That was it. On behalf of the people who sent in the questions, thanks for doing this. We appreciate you doing this.

Brian Cashman: “You got it. Thanks, bro.”

————

Thanks again to everybody who e-mailed in questions. Please don’t be offended if your question wasn’t selected. There were so many good ones

Please see our previous Q&A session with these Yankees:

Mariano Rivera

Derek Jeter

Jason Giambi

and Phil Hughes.

We’ll be doing this again later this season. Jorge Posada is on my list of candidates along with Johnny Damon. I’m also hopeful that Joe Girardi will agree as well. I’d love to get A-Rod involved but I’m not sure he would agree to do it. But we’ll see.

Comments

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64 Responses to “Brian Cashman answers your questions”

  1. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Mission 2708 March 30th, 2008 at 12:12 am

    That was great. Thanks.

  2. RonH March 30th, 2008 at 12:14 am

    Nice job, Pete. Thanks for doing this type of thing.

  3. DMan March 30th, 2008 at 12:17 am

    Really enjoyed that. Thanks Pete.

  4. Stephanie March 30th, 2008 at 12:18 am

    Cashman is a joke

  5. Bill Porter March 30th, 2008 at 12:23 am

    I’m still working away here Pete so thanks for putting this up it was great and a more than welcome distraction. I really like Cashman and appreciate the fact that he’ll take time to do something like this.

    Any chance you could do one of these with Damon Oppenheimer around draft time?

  6. AeroFANatic March 30th, 2008 at 12:25 am

    Interesting he names Gardner. Great call up for the future 2008 team, obviously.

  7. Matt (In Toronto) March 30th, 2008 at 12:29 am

    This is great. Thanks again.

  8. gayle March 30th, 2008 at 12:29 am

    Great job Pete and those who got their questions selected. INteresting stuff from him. The line that made me laugh out loud.

    ” I know thisw is a long winded answer”

    Also love the fact that he has his own little black book that helps him with the credibility scale. Also the fact that one of the reasons they got Roger was how David Wells was enjoying his off season a little too much.

    Also with all the former Yankee prospects who have gone on to have good MLB career that the Mike Lowell trade was the one he would take back the most also was interesting.

  9. AndrewYF March 30th, 2008 at 12:31 am

    That was great. Good follow-up on the ‘big moves’ question, acquiring Alex was a franchise-changing move.

  10. Phil Hughes is Saved and will be fine! Goodness.. March 30th, 2008 at 12:31 am

    That was great. Thanks so much for doing this. :)

  11. CB March 30th, 2008 at 12:33 am

    Great interview Pete.

    Cashman stepped in and changed the direction of the franchise at a critical time.

    With revenue sharing and the overall increase in revenue across the industry the talent available in the free agent market has dried up considerably.

    If Cashman hadn’t acted so decisively starting in 2004/ 05 with the draft this team would be in absolutely awful shape right now.

    Go back year by year and its striking how little pitching was available on the market.

    If they hadn’t committed to internal development Barry Zito would have been a Yankees. Or A.J. Burnett (who can never stay healthy). They would have been forced to make those kind of bad moves to try to sure up the team.

    The staff has a lot of questions right now but that uncertainty revolves around young talent and if you’re going to have uncertainty that’s the type you want to take your chances with.

    Cashman has set a direction for this team to be a powerhouse for years to come. The depth of talent in the minors is tremendous.

    We’re going to see how valuable that is this year – not just with the guys on the roster but the reinforcements that come up during the year.

    They’re going to be able to reach into the minors and bring up as reinforcements an Alan Horne, Jeff Marquez, Scott Patterson, etc. Even a Dan McCutcheon and perhaps Mark Melancon, Humberto Sanchez or JB Cox.

    No team other contending team in baseball can come even close to being able to add that kind of pitching talent in season. None. Nearly all teams will need pitching during the season – they’ll scour the trade market and its not likely any of the leading AL contenders will be able to add to what they have like the yankees will be able to.

    What I like most about Cashman is how he’s been committed to learning and evolving as a GM as the game changes. He’s not rigid – he looks at how the Terry Ryan did things with the Twins and drew on that. Same for Dave Dombrowski and the Tigers as well as some of the statistical approaches Billy Beane has used.

    This past season Cashman looked at how successful Kevin Towers has been in assembling a bull pen by signing a wide variety of talented, under the radar arms rather than signing veteran relievers to long term contracts. I don’t know what the final form of the bull pen will be but its going to be much, much better than it has over the past 2-3 years.

    In any industry the willingness to change, adapt, borrow from successful modela and innovate are the hallmarks of strong management. More often than not, executives get stale because they are unwilling/ unable to change.

    Cashman, like all GM’s has made his share of mistakes. But he’s willing to learn from those mistakes (Pavano, Wright, etc.) and improve the way he structures the team (Chien Ming Wang, Cano, Hughes, Chamberlain).

    That is an impressive quality in someone who has already been very successful in a leadership position. Cashman could have rested on his successes from the past like many GM’s do – he could have kept doing things the same way – but he chose not to. He chose to look at what he wasn’t doing well, to look at where the team was weakest, to look at how the industry was changing and to evolve as a strategist.

    That’s what you want in a GM. They should resign him as soon as they possibly can.

  12. Pat G March 30th, 2008 at 12:39 am

    Great job, Pete. I love this blog. Where else would I get this kind of access?

  13. Buddy Biancalana March 30th, 2008 at 12:42 am

    Thanks Pete! Fascinating read.

  14. RSM March 30th, 2008 at 12:47 am

    Great job Pete. Very interesting read, and I appreciate that Cashman really answered the questions. No canned answers there.

    And I completely agree with you CB.

  15. Brandon (supporting the new movement "Alex being Alex") March 30th, 2008 at 12:48 am

    MAN CB YOUR WORDS MOVED ME 8O

    great interview Pete, Cash if your reading this we agree w/ the new direction keep it up. ;)

  16. george March 30th, 2008 at 12:51 am

    excellent interview.

    the ‘do-over’ question – i would have picked Lilly for Weaver, which then mushroomed into Kevin Brown and ultimately game 7 2004. or not signing Pettitte in after 2003.

    the ‘big moves’ response was also fascinating – he’s had so many – getting Brosius for dumping Kenny ‘Whitson’ Rogers was a nice one. So it’s interesting that he focussed on the recent move to build more on youth.

  17. bob March 30th, 2008 at 12:53 am

    I’m planning to put a framed picture or poster of Yankee Stadium in my office. Ideally, it should be one providing an overall spectacular perspective of the stadium (from an upper deck or completely aerial view, for example). Does anyone have suggestions or a particular print in mind?

  18. Martin March 30th, 2008 at 12:53 am

    Outstanding job all around. Good job Pete. And Cash is one of a kind.

    I am really excited to hear Brett Gardner’s name from Cash. Our next shipment of studs coming this summer: Gardner, Melancon, and Sanchez.

  19. Boston Dave March 30th, 2008 at 12:56 am

    thanks Cash… Stick with the Yanks… You’re the man!

  20. pat March 30th, 2008 at 12:58 am

    Thanks for asking the do-over question. That’s an answer I didn’t expect. Without making that move, no Brosius, no Boone, no Rodriguez.

    Hindsight being 20-20, Mike Lowell may have been awesome but think of all the fun moments as Yankee fans we would have missed.

    Any guesses on the hard throwing lefty that Cash didn’t make a move for?

  21. Brandon (supporting the new movement "Alex being Alex") March 30th, 2008 at 1:04 am

    pat Lowell at that time was just as questionable as Eric Duncan only thing is he wasn’t as high of a draft pick, he had injuries even back then, I guess it’s a dig at Giambi because Mike Lowell could have been a super utility guy he certainly could have played 1B.

  22. Elizabeth--Melky in CF 08 and beyond March 30th, 2008 at 1:08 am

    Fantastic interview. I’ve always been a Cash fan, albeit a bit cautiously. I like the direction he’s taken this team. On top of that, it can’t be easy to maneuver the Yankees brass. Cashman was my absolute HERO this offseason by keeping the kids. I wanted to give him a huge hug when I found out the offer was off the table. I think they finally realized that most of the “real” fans wanted to keep the young’uns.

    I don’t like Gardner, though, on principle, but that’s no secret. ;)

  23. RSM March 30th, 2008 at 1:14 am

    Elizabeth,

    Don’t fear Gardner. When he’s on the big club next year, it just means The Melkman will shift to right field and fill the vacancy that will be left from Abreu’s departure.

  24. Stephen March 30th, 2008 at 1:16 am

    Good stuff. Thanks Pete.

    FYI: There’s a profile of Bill James on 60 Minutes tomorrow night.

  25. pat March 30th, 2008 at 1:17 am

    Brandon

    Or seeing Brian’s new conservative outlook on spending, a dig at anyone who costs more than 13 million a year which would cover Jason and Alex.

    Also- Girardi in an interview the other day said it’s just Alex being Alex. I thought of you when I saw it.

  26. Brandon (supporting the new movement "Alex being Alex") March 30th, 2008 at 1:19 am

    isn’t that something pat Girardi is down w/ the new movement :lol: “Alex being Alex”

  27. V March 30th, 2008 at 1:20 am

    “I’m planning to put a framed picture or poster of Yankee Stadium in my office. Ideally, it should be one providing an overall spectacular perspective of the stadium (from an upper deck or completely aerial view, for example). Does anyone have suggestions or a particular print in mind?”

    I know just the one – I saw a print in the Caesar’s Palace casino in Vegas – I’ll see if it’s available on-line. An amazing view of New York City and the stadium.

  28. V March 30th, 2008 at 1:26 am

    http://www.artnet.com/artwork/.....d-sox.html

    Gorgeous print – the gallery was pricy (that was probably $750-1000), but absolutely beautiful in person.

  29. V March 30th, 2008 at 1:27 am

    The gallery I saw it at was the Neil Leifer Gallery in Caesar’s Palace casino.

  30. randyhater March 30th, 2008 at 1:33 am

    I love the idea that Cash has “changed the direction of the team” or is reinventing the art of baseball management.

    Are people here suggesting that the team was purposely drafting crap players pre-2004? They weren’t. All that’s changed is we’ve executed better come draft day. Why Cash gets all the credit for Hughes, Joba, and Kennedy, and takes none of the blame for David Walling, John Ford Griffin, and CJ Henry, I’m not sure.

    Also, let’s not forget that since ’04 Cash has brought in R. Johnson, Pavano, J. Wright, Farnsworth, and Kei Igawa, all of who have been horrible, and has thrown big bags of money at Damon and Abreu, who’ve been just okay.

    For the umpteenth time, if the farm system is so overstocked and there’s so much money coming off the books at the end of the year, how come he couldn’t put together a package to bring in the best pitcher in baseball when he was there for the plucking?

    Personally, I think Cash has become obsessed with his precious prospects and/or has gotten gunshy because of his recent screw-ups, and the team is suffering as a result. Young, cheap talent is great, but it generally takes time to develope. Sometimes, particularly when your core guys aren’t getting any younger, its best use is as bait for a difference maker (see: Hanley Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez for Josh Beckett). One upon a time Cash understood that. I’m not so sure anymore.

  31. Elizabeth--Melky in CF 08 and beyond March 30th, 2008 at 1:34 am

    RSM–I’m not sure I’ll love losing Abreu’s bat for an untested minor leaguer. :)

  32. CaptainsCorner March 30th, 2008 at 1:46 am

    Cashman seems like a really good guy. The team and farm would not be in the great shape it is now without him. I just hope that Hank’s mouth doesn’t run him out of here after this year.

  33. Brandon (supporting the new movement "Alex being Alex") March 30th, 2008 at 1:56 am

    could it be conceivable maybe for some chance Johan Santana at 22 million per in the trade market and gutting a system may have been to big an investment ? How about the possibility of the risk that he could be on the down swing of his career rather than the up swing ? The change isn’t just in draft picks but it’s also in the scouting dept. the roles of certain people like Damon Oppenheimer, the task of finding talent through the Independent Leagues, Japan, Asia’s market, the Latin market a farm system that developed Robi Cano, Joba Chamberlain, Philip Hughes, Ian Kennedy and still has other options plus flexibilities in thier system for years to come, more attention to stats, more attention to player developement, more attention to in game strategy & matchups, it’s a complete facelift could it had been aided w/ a Johan Santana ofcourse but at the risk of losing 2 of your 3 current future starters I don’t think so.

  34. bigjf March 30th, 2008 at 2:01 am

    Pete, thanks as usual. I thought this interview was very interesting. Atypical of what you’d necessarily see from a Cashman interview. Cool to see that Gardner will probably get to contribute this year, and he basically admitted that all teams are involved in tampering practices when he said, “we all have our connections in other organizations to tend to find out and verify whether they’re down the tracks with a particular trade.”

    Anyway, I look forward to the next one, and if you need to convince A-Rod, just tell him that Jeter, Mo, and Cashman did this for you. He won’t allow himself to look bad by refusing.

  35. bigjf March 30th, 2008 at 2:08 am

    And just a guess, but it seems that lefty reliever that he was talking about might be the Mike Gonzalez for Melky Cabrera trade that was rumored last year before Gonzalez went to the Braves. His numbers look good on the surface, but the WHIP is a little high, some possible control issues as his walks are a little high, obviously he spent last year injured and his innings pitched each year are a little low (granted it was for the Pirates), and he also has surprisingly high opponent batting averages pretty much each year. The only things really going for him are the strikeouts and his ERA that would have you fooled, but he’s certainly a danger with inheriting baserunners. Sure sounds to me that’s what Cash was referring to.

  36. Say it ain't so March 30th, 2008 at 2:41 am

    Pete, you should try to get Moose or Andy for a Q&A this season. You’re going to have A-Rod available to you for the next decade, but who knows how many chances you’ll have to get Mussina and Pettitte.

  37. Patrick March 30th, 2008 at 2:50 am

    bigjf,

    I was thinking the same thing about Gonzalez when Cash brought up the “hard throwing lefty” he passed on.

    randyhater,

    When Cashman talks about focusing more on the draft/farm system he doesn’t mean that they just make better picks. They are investing a LOT more money into the draft and international market then they did a few years ago. Taking high talent guys later in the draft and paying over slot is one of the key reasons why the farm system is back to being a strength.

    Damon and Abreu just ok? Get real. The team is suffering because Cashman wants to develop young talent? When was the last time NYY won less than 90 games?

  38. stef March 30th, 2008 at 3:11 am

    Who says we’re definitely gonna lose Abreu? It’s possible that we’d resign him — he sure fits our system. I wouldn’t mind another two years of Abreu at 12-14,000/yr perhaps.

  39. Jax March 30th, 2008 at 7:54 am

    I think Abreu is going to want more then 2 years.

  40. bronxbomber77 March 30th, 2008 at 9:39 am

    -Yes, I agree with Jax. Abreu is in his early-to-mid 30′s range and will be looking for one more, bloated, fatty contract. Two years/$24M won’t get it done. Think more along the lines of 4 or 5 years @ $11-$15M per.

    -I also agree with everything CB wrote in his thesis at the top of this page. Cashman has more than made up for some of his bad moves (Pavano, Wright, Kei, Unit) by thinking more about the future and lauding patience within a ‘win it all now’ organization. Just look at the 05 and 06 drafts. This team will be contending for each of the next 10 years Alex is in ‘Stripes.

    -Great, great piece Pete. I also agree with the poster above who wrote asking you try to hit up Mussina or Pettitte. Both will be gone next year, interested as to what they might have to say. I know Jorge is here for a few more years, as is Damon. And Alex…. schedule his Lohud Reader Q & A for 2011, after he’s won two or three World Series and two more MVPs.

  41. bronxbomber77 March 30th, 2008 at 9:45 am

    Also… forgot to add….

    Think of the moves Cashman WANTED to make but was overruled in the past by the Tampa Faction or the Boss.

    Seem to remember that Cashman wanted Vladdy for RF, not Sheffield, but the Boss went out and got Sheff.

    Also, think back to the winter of The Big Unit. From everything I read about that offseason, Carlos Beltran wanted to be a Yankees. Would have taken less money to be in ‘Stripes. But Stein wanted one or the other, with luxury tax and all. So they got Unit instead….

    Now imagine that from 04 until currently, our OF would consist of Hideki Matsui in LF, Beltran in CF and Vladdy in RF, with Melky as a back up… No 4y x $52 for Damon… No trade for Abreu (barring injury). Thats the OF Cashamn wanted… Instead, well….

    And now in a few years, we as fans can look forward to an OF of Jackson, Gardner and Tabata. With Melky somewhere in there, of course!

  42. Martin March 30th, 2008 at 10:00 am

    Anyone who thinks Abreu is expendable after this year is crazy. Some are getting a little obsessed with having a Yankee farm kid at every spot in the lineup, rotation, bullpen, and coaching staff. (Although looking at what we have in the pipeline I could see a rotation 1 – 5 of Yankee kids.) But organizations just don’t grow entire outfields or infields of position players. Unless you’re the Tampa Bay Rays. And how’s that worked out for them?

    Now, Elizabeth, that’s a great Cabrera article, but I know I want to see Gardner in CF. I think the tools this kid brings to the table both offensively and defensively are very inetersting. I am not sold on Cabrera for an extended period of time.

    I’m confident Cash will have the sense to not let Abreu go.

  43. Mike March 30th, 2008 at 10:48 am

    I think the lefty was either Mike Gonzalez or Marte. Both fit the bill pretty well.

  44. Suspect Mechanics March 30th, 2008 at 11:36 am

    That was excellent, Pete. A really good read. Thank you.

    I know you were saving up my question for last. I’m sorry you didn’t have a chance to get to it ;)

  45. whozat March 30th, 2008 at 11:42 am

    “but I know I want to see Gardner in CF. I think the tools this kid brings to the table both offensively and defensively are very inetersting.”

    Gardner currently brings ONE tool to the table: speed. If he can prove that he’s got good plate discipline in AAA and/or start driving the ball into the gaps for doubles and triples, he’ll be an interesting player. Melky’s a year younger and has two seasons of above replacement level performance in the majors. Brett has one unimpressive half season at AAA.

    Gardner is shiny and new and had a great spring. He’s also fast, which is exciting. But saying you want him out there over Melky already makes just no sense at all.

  46. Boston Dave March 30th, 2008 at 11:52 am

    “see: Hanley Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez for Josh Beckett). One upon a time Cash understood that. I’m not so sure anymore.”

    That was a good trade for both sides. IMO, it makes the most sense to develop young pitchers and use FA as a means to fill position players. They seem to be much less risky. I don’t think many can argue that the Yankees have the right recipe as far as their current pitching development plan. As some of the position guys get older, they can sign some younger free agents to step in (to complement guys like Cano, Melky, etc).

  47. Mike from North Carolina March 30th, 2008 at 11:59 am

    Thank you so much for choosing my question Peter! You’re awesome! I feel like I just talked to Cashman lol!

  48. Mike from N.C. March 30th, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    Thanks so much for asking my question Pete! You’re awesome!

  49. hmmm March 30th, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    “Why Cash gets all the credit for Hughes, Joba, and Kennedy, and takes none of the blame for David Walling, John Ford Griffin, and CJ Henry, I’m not sure”

    wow, this is pretty dumb.

    every single GM is going to have draft busts on their resume. every single one. it’s impossible not to.

    also, Griffin and Henry were traded.

    isn’t part of the GM’s job to determine which picks to keep and which ones to trade. Henry brought back Abreu. the guy they picked Henry over was Craig Hansen, who was also a bust. sometimes you never know.

    when they picked Kennedy, everyone was all over them for not taking Bard. well, Kennedy is in the majors already and Bard has been terrible so far.

    every GM has hits and misses. focus on the overall direction of the franchise.

    also, lighten up. season starts tomorrow.

  50. Suspect Mechanics March 30th, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    Cashman: “I thought, ‘All right, David Wells was running around that winter part[y]ing and enjoying himself and he was going to come in out of shape.’”

    Maybe he was partying, but in 1999, after being traded by the Yanks to Toronto, Wells won 17 games (one less than in ’98), compared to 14 by Clemens for the Yankees. In 2000, Wells won 20 compared to Clemens’ 13.

    I can understand that management disliked Wells because he was a disruptive force, but Clemens never pitched the Yanks to a championship that they wouldn’t have won anyway with Wells on the mound.

  51. Martin March 30th, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    whozat-

    Gardner batted .323 in the FSL, .300/.392 in AA, .343/.433 in the AFL. Who cares if he can’t drive the ball? Singles for him are basically doubles with his speed, and possibly triples. It’s not like the lineup is hurting for slugging %.

    His plate discipline, base running, outfield routes are all better than Cabrera’s. It’s also interesting to hear his name-the only name mentioned-from Cashman. Obviously the kid must be doing something right.

    Scouts.com: Brett Gardner opened up a ton of eyes in big league camp this spring, drawing praise from the likes of manager Joe Girardi and other high ranking team officials after hitting .393 in a team-high 15 games for the Yankees. Now headed to Triple-A Scranton to start the season, he just wants to continue to show them he’s ready to compete at the big league level.

    yankeesfuture.wordpress.com: Brett Gardner’s been tearing it up in Spring Training, spraying doubles and triples everywhere, stealing bases, legging out bunts, and doing everything the Yankees have asked of him. He is a dynamic player the Yankees haven’t had in a while (I can’t remember how long, in fact!). He has shown good defense in centerfield was well, and, overall, has impressed this spring. As GM Brian Cashman said, Gardner is Juan Pierre who can take a walk. He would give us a true leadoff man, and an entertainment on the basepaths and in the field.

    Your thoughts?

  52. Martin March 30th, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    One more thing. What significance does being ONE year younger have? If anything, Melky (with his “two seasons of above replacement level performance in the majors”) is closer to arbitration and subsequently free agency, right?!

  53. Skippy March 30th, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    Fascinating stuff–thanks!!

  54. Brian (from PA) March 30th, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    awesome, thanks for that Pete and Brian Cashman.

    I think A-Rod might do it, i mean i don’t think he’d do a very in-depth interview with a TV show or magazine or anything but if he respects and cares about the fans as much as he claims to then i think he’d be open to doing a fan q&a like this.

  55. Suspect Mechanics March 30th, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    Has Gardner been compared to Mickey Rivers? Sounds like he would be similar to Rivers in centerfield and at the plate: Good leadoff hitter/batting average, not much power, good defense, but weak arm.

  56. A-Point March 30th, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    Funny, when I was reading Cashman’s comment on the STRONG LEFTY RELIEVER, the person I thought of was Santana. While he isn’t a reliever, remember that Cashman said he wasn’t going to talk about a player.

    It could be a subtle deflection that he used. The numbers Santana was putting up in the second half of the season last year could very well have been what quashed that from ever happening. Perceptions about Santana could very well be different than what the stats and reality show.

  57. CB March 30th, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    “Are people here suggesting that the team was purposely drafting crap players pre-2004? They weren’t. All that’s changed is we’ve executed better come draft day. Why Cash gets all the credit for Hughes, Joba, and Kennedy, and takes none of the blame for David Walling, John Ford Griffin, and CJ Henry, I’m not sure.”

    Prior to 2004 the Yankees approach to the draft was completely different. The draft was exclusively run from the Tampa faction of the management team. They had complete operational control.

    Cashman had no input or say in the draft.

    And before the 2004 the yankees were considered to be amongst the 2-3 worst drafting teams in all of baseball during the decade prior.

    From 1993 – 2004 the yankee’s draft was worthless – were they trying to do this intentionally? That’s just a senseless point. Of course not. Were they completely incompetent? Absolutely. The guys running the draft for the yankees out of Tampa were horrendous and that’s what put the team in the whole it was in at the start of this decade.

    To say the execution became better is a completely empty statement. It’s just silly. After 10 years of being amongst the worst in an industry at something you don’t just magically start executing better. The yankees had been executing terribly for 10 years – that just doesn’t change for no reason.

    And the main reason why that changed was of Cashman. He’s the one who put the organizational changes in place that enabled the tremendous execution that took place later.

    Cashman had no input into the draft during that time. None. So it makes no sense to blame him for the drafts at that time.

    It was Cashman who convinced Steinbrenner to focus on the draft and dedicate resources to it. That was his idea and he had to fight the Tampa faction to get input into talent acquisition.

    That only started happening in 2004. And Cashman only got full control in 2005. That’s not very long ago.

    Cashman then put Damon Oppenheimer in charge of the draft, revamped all of their amateur scouting and got the organization to invest resources into the draft.

    And just as important Cashman expanded their international scouting. That’s what got them Cano and Wang.

    Every year since cashman got involved with the draft they yankees have gotten multiple strong prospects out of the draft. In baseball that’s what you hope for. There are 40 rounds in the draft. So obviously the vast, vast majority of those players drafted are going to fail – that’s true of all teams.

    What you hope to do each year is to add productive talent.

    That’s what they’ve done.

    To criticize picks like CJ Henry, etc. is to completely miss the entire nature of the baseball draft. The same year they took CJ Henry in the first round they drafted Austin Jackson, Alan Horne, Brett Gardner, JB Cox, Eric Wordkemper and Zach Kroenke. Any year you can add 6 players like that out of the 40 rounds of the draft you’ve had an enormously successful draft. Enormously successful.

    Compare that to what they were doing before cashman got there – they had 10 years of drafts where year after year they would not select even one decent prospect.

    Over the past 3 years the yankees have drafted Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy. Those are the three of the four best pitching prospects this organization has had over the past 30 years.

    Think about that – 3 of the 4 best pitching prospects they’v had over the past three decades came in the 3 years since Cashman took control of the draft from the Tampa faction that was ruining this team.

    What Cashman has done in 3 short years in nothing short of remarkable.

  58. crawdaddie March 30th, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    I think Cashman’s biggest mistake over the last few years has been signing Igawa. What a waste of money and I agree that he’s hurting the development of other prospects by taking up roster room.

  59. Doreen March 30th, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    Pete -

    Thanks for your work on this. And thanks, too, to Brian Cashman, for taking the interview quite seriously and giving thoughtful answers to the questions.

    Also, thanks to all of you who did ask some really good questions. I knew you guys wouldn’t disappoint!

    It was very interesting reading and it’s been very interesting reading the comments that follow. Like Gayle, I was super-impressed with the fact that he keeps tabs on the truthfulness (integrity) of the agents he has to deal with. And I especially liked his answer to those wanting to pursue a career like his. It was not boilerplate – it was very informative and encouraging.

    Can’t wait for your next interview, Pete.

  60. BBB March 30th, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    Cash said “thanks, bro”…haha I love it. C.R.E.A.M. get the money…. :)

    Although I haven’t read the Q&A or the comments as thoroughly as I plan to in a little bit, just a few things off the top of my head from my skimming: first how can anyone say he deserves blame for drafting CJ Henry? Look at what he turned CJ Henry into in July 2006, and now CJ is back with the Yanks anyway on the 1 in 100 chance that he’ll pan out. Every GM picks guys that end up being disappointments but the good GM’s trade those guys before anyone outside the org. realizes how truly worthless they are. That’s what Cash did with Henry and, to a lesser degree, Clippard (even though I love T-Clip, he wasn’t really able to help the team much.)

    Also, my apologies if this has already been discussed but anyone have a guess as to the identity of the unnamed lefty Cash was talking about? I’ll take Damaso Marte for $1000, Alex. I’ve been clamoring as loudly as anyone to add him to the pen but it comforts me to know that Cash did explore that and decided he had a cheaper, more youth-friendly solution. I trust that his solution will work.

    Lastly, not to keep bringing up CJ Henry, but that same year (2005), the Yankees drafted Action Jackson in what, the 8th round? I recently was reading a photo essay (on ESPN or SI, can’t remember) about the best players in the stacked 2005 draft. Jackson was 20 out of 20 – but the other 19 players were all picked in the top 100 overall. Jackson was selected 259th. So yeah, Cashman drafted the bust CJ Henry that year – but he also got the equivalent of a 1st-rounder in the 8th round. So somehow, that they took Henry in the first is not really gonna keep me up at night.

    Cash Rules Everything Around Me! Thanks for the great interview, Pete. And I nominate Moose for the next Q&A. Would love to hear from Andy too, but especially Moose – he’s got such a great sense of humor and discusses baseball so intelligently and eloquently. Shelley, Damon or Joba would also be great.

  61. Don Capone March 30th, 2008 at 10:26 pm

    Thanks for this Peter & Brian!

  62. Whitey Fraud March 30th, 2008 at 10:58 pm

    I’ve seen that photo of C-Money someplace else before. Let me think…

  63. bodhisattva October 22nd, 2008 at 10:40 am

    CB,

    McCutchen went to Pirates in Tabata deal. It was first reported that Coke was going, and then later, that McCutchen was in the deal.

    While I’m a big Cashman supporter, I’d prefer Tabata had stayed in the organization. Gave up on him too quickly.

  64. gary knickerbacker July 23rd, 2009 at 9:36 am

    Even though Doc Haliday may be the best pitcher in the American league,the Yankees might be better served by trading for Josh Johnson of the Florida Marlins.They could use young players and he would fit better in a rotation next year with Sabathia,Burnett,Chamberlain,and Hughes.It helps that he’s lefthanded-6’7″-230 pounds.He pitched well against Boston and New York in interleague play.meanwhile,you’re doing a fine job getting the Yankees back on top.
    Best Wishes,
    gary

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