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


Pinch hitting: Daniel Burch

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Jan 21, 2013 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Up next in our Pinch Hitters series is Daniel Burch, who was born 27 years ago in Lebanon Hospital overlooking the old Yankee Stadium. Daniel has since moved to Atlanta and says that the Yankees are “easily the biggest thing that I miss from living in New York.” Daniel started his own blog, The Greedy Pinstripes, and calls himself a confessed “prospect hugger and anti austerity fan.”

Makes sense, then, that Daniel suggested a post about Brian Cashman’s trade history and whether Yankees fans should trust their general manager to make the necessary moves to keep the Yankees winning without a $200-million payroll.

This has been an off season to remember, or forget, depending on how you want to look at it.

For fans spoiled to grow up watching the Yankees during the dynasty years of the mid 90′s until as recently as 2009, we have all seen guys come through the system like Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Phil Hughes, Brett Gardner, David Robertson, and a plethora of others guys that I am unintentionally forgetting. We have also seen the Yankees go out and bid against themselves to get the biggest free agent prizes like Jason Giambi, Carl Pavano, CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Mark Teixeira, Gary Sheffield, Mike Mussina, David Wells, Hideki Matsui, and probably 600 other free agents that George Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman have gotten into pinstripes. With a seemingly infinite budget — in free agency, on the international market and in the draft — the Yankees and Cashman have not been afraid to pull off big trades involving prospects for proven veteran pieces to make another World Series run. It was fun to watch until the new Collective Bargaining Agreement and its harsher penalties for repeat luxury tax offenders.

The idea to get under the $189-million threshold to save some money and restart the penalties makes sense on paper, but does it make sense in the real world? I personally have my doubts, and my question has always been whether the fiscal savings by getting under the threshold would outweigh the fiscal hit the Yankees would take if we were mediocre on the field not only in 2014 but this season as well. Can the Yankees really compete in a deep and competitive American League East AND follow through with the austerity budget in what seems to be a rebuilding project? Sure, we can, but the only way that is going to happen is if we put our faith into Cashman’s alter ego: Ninja Cashman.

Let’s not beat around the bush: Our farm system, especially in the upper levels, is depleted and barren and not going to really help us in major spots in 2013 and beyond besides for maybe a David Adams, Corban Joseph, Adam Warren, or a Mark Montgomery. While those are nice pieces for depth or in a pinch, aside from Montgomery, none of these guys is a can’t-miss type that we will need to keep the payroll down and still compete. The only way we are going to get this done is if Ninja Cashman can pull off a trade or two that brings us a young and effective piece without creating too many other holes. But can we really bank on that? I am glad that you asked…

I took it upon myself to look at the past six seasons worth of trades, no matter how minor, and evaluate each one specifically to determine whether we should really put our faith into Ninja Cash or if we should expect to miss the playoffs the next two seasons. I am just going to hit the high spots because I do not think anyone puts much weight into trades like when we acquired Justin Maxwell from the Nationals in 2011 for some guy whose name I cannot pronounce and have to copy and paste his last name (Adam Olbrychowski) to make sure the spelling is correct. Let’s look and evaluate the trade history of Ninja Cash:

On July 23, 2012 the Yankees traded minor leaguers D.J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar for Ichiro Suzuki. This trade worked out beautifully for the Yankees because we were never going to give either of the young guys a shot for the big club, and in 67 games Ichiro gave us a 0.8 WAR, wreaked havoc on the base paths, and was one of the few Yankees to not totally disappear when the calendar changed to October. Verdict: Good Trade

On April 4, 2012 Cashman traded George Kontos to the Giants for Chris Stewart. This trade never made much sense to me because, while I can agree that relievers are a dime a dozen and Kontos was not exactly young or a “can’t miss guy,” can you not say the same thing about backup, defensive-minded, no-bat catchers? And that’s especially relevant when the Yankees already had a capable backup in Francisco Cervelli. Kontos went on to have a pretty good season for the eventual World Series champions, while we were without guys like Mariano Rivera and Joba Chamberlain. Stewart did nothing of note for the Yankees. Granted Stewart looks more and more like our starting catcher in 2013, which I do not know if that is a good thing or a bad thing, so there is time to get some value out of this trade. Verdict: Bad Trade

On January 23, 2012 the Yankees traded Jesus Montero and Hector Noesi for Michael Pineda and Jose Campos from the Mariners. As much as this trade hurt because I have watched Montero come through the system and salivated at the idea of his power in Yankee Stadium, the trade made sense because Pineda was a power arm with five years left of team control and filled a need. Campos was also considered to be able to walk into camp and be listed in our Top 5 Prospects list right away. He had much more potential then Noesi ever thought of having. The trade is obviously incomplete as even after the 2013 season we will still have three years left of Pineda, and Campos is still only in Charleston. You have to wonder if Pineda will ever come back and be effective for the Yankees, and the only redeeming factor in this trade is the fact that Montero once again seems to be without a true position and did not exactly tear the cover off of the ball while Noesi got lit up in Safeco. Verdict: Fair Trade

On July 31, 2010 the Yankees acquired “Kid K” Kerry Wood from the Cleveland Indians for two players to be named later — who turned out to be Matt Cusik and Andrew Shive — and cash. Kerry came over and absolutely dominated out of the Yankees pen with a 0.69 ERA in the second half while, to date neither, Shive nor Cusik has done anything for the tribe. Verdict: Good Trade

On December 22, 2009 the Yankees traded Melky Cabrera, Mike Dunn, and Arodys Vizcaino for Boone Logan and Javier Vazquez. While in Atlanta, Cabrera was absolutely terrible, allowed to leave as a free agent, and eventually signed with Kansas City. Dunn has not done anything to lose sleep over, and Vizcaino is going to miss the 2013 season with Tommy John surgery. While Logan has been somewhat of the LOOGY we have been searching for the last five to ten seasons, Vazquez was absolutely terrible for the Yankees. It is a lot to give up just for essentially a LOOGY, but since we did not give up anything that has come back to bite us to date this trade gets my approval. Verdict: Good Trade

On December 8, 2009 the Yankees, Diamondbacks, and Tigers hooked up in a three-team trade that saw The Yankees acquire Curtis Granderson from Detroit while giving up Phil Coke and Austin Jackson to the Tigers and sending Ian Kennedy to Arizona with other lesser pieces moving back and forth. Granderson started out well for the Yankees and has compiled a 13.2 WAR since the trade. The pieces we gave up have compiled a 26.8 WAR in the same time period. Jackson has turned into one of the better leadoff men and center fielders in the American League, Coke has dominated us in the playoffs out of the pen, and Kennedy is one season removed from becoming a 20-game winner. Granderson has forgotten how to take routes in center field and has become an all-or-nothing kind of home run hitter that the Yankees were trying to get away from. Verdict: Bad Trade

Our final trade we are going to look at was on November 13, 2008 when the Yankees acquire Nick Swisher and reliever Kanekoa Texeira for Wilson Betemit, Jeffrey Marquez, and Jhonny Nunez. This was a classic buy low move after Swisher had the worst season of his career in Chicago and rebounded nicely in four seasons for the Yankees. We gave up nothing of note and got a fan favorite in return that the Yankees are scrambling and struggling to replace after leaving via free agency this season. Swisher has compiled a 15 WAR in his time in pinstripes where Betemit, Marquez, and Nunez combined have brought Chicago a 2 WAR. Verdict: Excellent Trade

I know that I have missed a few trades, but for the sake of space, I hit the high spots and went over the bigger of the trades. According to my tally, I have one excellent trade, three good trades, one fair trade, and two bad trades. Trades, much like the MLB draft, are a crap shoot because you never know what you are going to get, but on the bigger trades Ninja Cash seems to get the better end of the deal more often than not.

I am not the most patient Yankees fan, and I definitely hate settling for anyone less then Zack Greinke and Josh Hamilton this offseason — hence the name Greedy Pinstripes. My faith in my General Manager and the team’s commitment to winning will never waiver. Ninja Cash has been fantastic at finding cheap value late in the offseason and in trades, and I have full confidence that he will again in 2013 and 2014 to keep this team in contention.

Associated Press photos

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95 Responses to “Pinch hitting: Daniel Burch”

  1. MTU January 21st, 2013 at 9:08 am

    Keep dreaming.

    Nice summary.

    Just don’t hold your breath.

    ;)

  2. blake January 21st, 2013 at 9:09 am

    https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=safari&tbo=d&q=beverly+hills+ninja&oq=beverly+hills+ninja&gs_l=mobile-gws-serp.3..0l5.17027.22334.0.22500.19.19.0.0.0.0.139.1598.16j3.19.0.les%3Bcrnk_mobile_unfiltered..0.0…1.1.dQi5F6t46Xk#miuv=1

    This is the level ninja Cashman is

  3. blake January 21st, 2013 at 9:11 am

    The Melky deal turned out to be a disaster if you consider how bad Javy was and that Melky turned into a good player ultimately (PEDS or not) and the only thing they have to show for it is a rather replaceable LOOGY (which is by far the mos overrated thing in baseball)

    Also the Montero trade looks very bad at the moment…..that one I’ll admit could change….but at the moment….nightmare

  4. MTU January 21st, 2013 at 9:14 am

    If you’re a betting Man (I’m not) you’d have to say the odds of Cashman coming up with anything significant at this point are very, very low.

    The one exception being the the Pineda trade from last season.

    I hope something happens but I am no longer a believer.

    I’m ready to roll with what we have.

    ;)

  5. Bronx Jeers January 21st, 2013 at 9:19 am

    The Pineda trade was fair and the Granderson trade was bad?

    Voodoo economics.

  6. blake January 21st, 2013 at 9:19 am

    Cash’s trade history is very mixed…he’s won some deals (Swisher) and lost others….some of that is because nobody wants to help the Yankees and the teams he can deal with is probably somewhat limited though.

    It’s always easier to develop and buy players than to trade for them…..

  7. blake January 21st, 2013 at 9:20 am

    Bronx Jeers says:
    January 21, 2013 at 9:19 am
    The Pineda trade was fair and the Granderson trade was bad?

    Yea I think that one is backwards…..I think the Granderson deal may turn out a net loss in the long run but it was a fair deal at the time and the Yanks have gotten good value from it.

    Thus far the Yanks have gotten zero from the Pineda trade

  8. Shame Spencer January 21st, 2013 at 9:21 am

    I like the picture of Ichiro.

    (And yes, it’s always better to be good looking.)

  9. MTU January 21st, 2013 at 9:21 am

    Cashman’s trading history is definitely a mixed bag.

    I’d bet if you examined most GM’s trade history in a similar fashion you might find the same thing.

    Epstein used to set himself up as some kind of trading wizard.

    We all know that is, and never was true.

    If the team underpeforms this season and our prospects do not pan out Cashman will likely be gone
    after this season.

    I’m ready for a change of leadership.

  10. MTU January 21st, 2013 at 9:25 am

    Actually I’m ready for Hal, Cashman, and Girardi all to be gone.

    Replaced by Mark Cuban, Andrew Friedman, and Don Mattingly.

    Like I always say. Aim high. Dream big.

    ;)

  11. MTU January 21st, 2013 at 9:26 am

    Time to walk the Pupperazzi.

    Back later.

  12. PacoDooley January 21st, 2013 at 9:27 am

    blake January 21st, 2013 at 9:11 am
    The Melky deal turned out to be a disaster if you consider how bad Javy was and that Melky turned into a good player ultimately (PEDS or not) and the only thing they have to show for it is a rather replaceable LOOGY (which is by far the mos overrated thing in baseball)
    ——————

    Blake, this doesn’t really equate since Melky was DFA’d by Atlanta and was a free agent before he ever had any success. So his success came after his contribution to this trade ended. I assume he would have either been DFA’s, hit free agency or been sent back to AAA given his performance the year after he was traded, so even if they had kept him he would have probably been a negative WAR player.

  13. pkyankfan69 January 21st, 2013 at 9:29 am

    Little unfair to give props to Cashman for the Ichiro deal… It was essentially a salary dump by the M’s where Ichiro even asked to come here. My grandma could have made that deal by offering 2 fringy pitchers going nowhere while agreeing to take on a portion of the deal Ichiro had left for last season.

  14. nyyankeefanforever January 21st, 2013 at 9:32 am

    “My faith in my General Manager and the team’s commitment to winning will never waiver. ”

    Is the spelling of “waiver” there meant to be a pun of some kind?

  15. randy l. January 21st, 2013 at 9:37 am

    “The trade is obviously incomplete as even after the 2013 season we will still have three years left of Pineda, and Campos is still only in Charleston. You have to wonder if Pineda will ever come back and be effective for the Yankees, and the only redeeming factor in this trade is the fact that Montero once again seems to be without a true position and did not exactly tear the cover off of the ball while Noesi got lit up in Safeco. Verdict: Fair Trade”

    “Ninja Cash has been fantastic at finding cheap value late in the offseason and in trades, and I have full confidence that he will again in 2013 and 2014 to keep this team in contention.”

    daniel-

    there is no such thing as ninja cashman. jack z fleeced cashman. montero is the starting catcher in seattle and pineda is damaged goods.

  16. Rich in NJ January 21st, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Cashman is really the anti-Ninja.

    If they had Melky, AJack, and Montero they’d be in a great position right now.

    He is a large reason why the team can’t easily lower payroll without putting the silly, counterproductive goal of winning the WS every year in jeopardy.

  17. Shame Spencer January 21st, 2013 at 9:38 am

    pkyankfan69 January 21st, 2013 at 9:29 am

    Little unfair to give props to Cashman for the Ichiro deal… It was essentially a salary dump by the M’s where Ichiro even asked to come here. My grandma could have made that deal by offering 2 fringy pitchers going nowhere while agreeing to take on a portion of the deal Ichiro had left for last season.

    ———————————-

    This deal was actually done by Levine according to reports.

    I think there’s some disconnect between us discussing good or bad moves made by Cashman and this idea he doesn’t want to improve the team. Just because I disagree with some things he’s done, doesn’t mean I think he’s had bad intentions. There’s obviously a lot at work when it comes to making these choices. Generally speaking I agree with MTU that most GMs history is average at best, nature of the game and all that. I think the key is having everyone on the same page, ownership, GMs, coaches… I think that’s our problem right now, and it’s why some of our moves look so schizophrenic. If I’m Cash, I’m pretty pissed Levine is involved in the acquisition of ANY players. That right there has to tell you something.

  18. 86w183 January 21st, 2013 at 9:39 am

    Little unfair to give props to Cashman for the Ichiro deal… It was essentially a salary dump by the M’s where Ichiro even asked to come here.

    **********************************************************************

    By that logic you can’t give Cashman credit for the Swisher trade because Ozzie Guillen hated Swisher and wanted him out of Chicago at any cost.

    I don’t know how anyone can view the Pineda as anything but a disaster at this stage.

    The Granderson deal was designed to be a good one for the Yankees in the short term but help the others long term, so comparing total WAR is an inaccurate way to assess it.

  19. Rich in NJ January 21st, 2013 at 9:40 am

    “This deal was actually done by Levine according to reports.”

    Which is the I suspect that he got that inexplicable two year extension.

  20. Rich in NJ January 21st, 2013 at 9:43 am

    “By that logic you can’t give Cashman credit for the Swisher trade because Ozzie Guillen hated Swisher and wanted him out of Chicago at any cost.”

    His logic may be flawed, but his conclusion isn’t. The Ichiro trade, according to all reports, was initiated at a level about Cashman, and then Levine told him to consummate it. Given how poorly Ichirio had performed for almost two seasons, he wasn’t worth much.

    The Swisher trade wasn’t done like that. It was just a really good standard trade by Cashman, which makes it so unique.

  21. randy l. January 21st, 2013 at 9:44 am

    “If they had Melky, AJack, and Montero they’d be in a great position right now.”

    rich in nj-

    none of these trades make any sense if the yankees knew the new CBA was coming.

    … and how could they not know it was coming?

    it’s kind of their job to know these things.

    the bottom line is that cashman has maneuvered the yankees from a strong hand to a weak hand.

  22. austinmac January 21st, 2013 at 9:47 am

    Cashman has won deals when he could use large contracts to his advantage. Swisher was about the White Sox getting rid of Swisher’s contract. Now that we are willing to take on less contracts going forward than the Rays, he doesn’t have that option.

    We will see if he can succeed on a player for player deal.

    I very much doubt we will see anyone of significance added this year, whether before the season or at the TD. The TD may be a time for Cashman to actually try to sell of high contract players.

    Someone mentioned earlier a Harrison contract comparison to Hughes. One big difference is the Rangers talked before he became a free agent. The Yankees will not.

  23. blake January 21st, 2013 at 9:53 am

    “Blake, this doesn’t really equate since Melky was DFA’d by Atlanta and was a free agent before he ever had any success”

    While this is true.. .. It still doesn’t make the trade a success and also requires you to give up on a guy who was 25 years old

  24. austinmac January 21st, 2013 at 9:53 am

    I have always believed it is absolutely wrong to act as if the new CBA came out of the blue. They talk about these things for years. Hal certainly knew the general outline long before the agreement was signed.

    The new CBA has little, if anything, to do with the budget. He would have done the same if the old agreement has simply continued. Would he not?

  25. blake January 21st, 2013 at 9:54 am

    “If they had Melky, AJack, and Montero they’d be in a great position right now.”

    We can say this is hindsight thinking….. But it’s still true

  26. Rich in NJ January 21st, 2013 at 9:55 am

    randy

    I don’t know whether or not they knew the exact contours of a new CBA, but they were aware of the trend, as each recent new CBA had more targeted provisions designed to address the Yankees’ payroll advantage, and it’s pretty obvious that Yankees had more or less reached a ceiling on payroll size:

    2012: $209,792,900
    2011: $207,047,964
    2010: $213,359,389
    2009: $201,449,189
    2008: $209,081,577

    That’s a fairly stable trend.

    I can certainly understand why Hal would want to spend less, and why he thinks the team should still be very good if they spend less.

    What I disagree with is the idea that the such a reduction can be timed by anything other a clear demonstration that they have a lot of currently high-performing, cost-controlled talent, and more that are very close to being able to contribute.

    As of now, the Yankees are in the opposite position, in large part due to the GM not having pieces in place that are ready to replace the aging/declining core.

  27. randy l. January 21st, 2013 at 9:58 am

    “Someone mentioned earlier a Harrison contract comparison to Hughes. One big difference is the Rangers talked before he became a free agent. The Yankees will not.”

    cashman’s real position on extending young pitchers is ” are you effing crazy, look what we did with wang. we mangled his arm. look how much i saved by not extending him. knowing we mess up so many young pitchers, i’d be crazy to extend them.”

  28. blake January 21st, 2013 at 9:59 am

    @EyeOnBaseball: Core Values: New York Yankees http://t.co/2ivjTw6W via @cbssports

  29. Rich in NJ January 21st, 2013 at 9:59 am

    “We can say this is hindsight thinking….. But it’s still true”

    It’s does require looking back, but I think it has been foreseeable for years that they would need a young core by around this time, and that apart from those three, there weren’t any other candidates in their mL that were likely to be ready in that timeframe.

    I think a big part of the problem is a lack of patience to develop young players, and I am skeptical that they will be more willing even with their budgetary aspirations.

  30. randy l. January 21st, 2013 at 10:02 am

    “The new CBA has little, if anything, to do with the budget. He would have done the same if the old agreement has simply continued. Would he not?”

    if hal knew he was going for an austerity program why trade for granderson if there was no chance of signing him when his free agency hit.

    it makes no sense. the granderson trade only makes sense if there’s going to be a 200 million dollar plus payroll for 2014 onward.

  31. Shame Spencer January 21st, 2013 at 10:03 am

    Rich in NJ January 21st, 2013 at 9:40 am

    “This deal was actually done by Levine according to reports.”

    Which is the I suspect that he got that inexplicable two year extension.

    —————-

    Likely true.

    The reason I’ve put an expiration date on deals done before last off season is because there’s a faction of the fanbase that believes the FO were blindsided by the new CBA and that the situation we’re in now is only due to a change in business circumstances that they couldn’t foresee.

    Fine. I’ll buy that. I do kinda think Cash was operating in the Ajax/Kennedy deals and the non-trades of Grandy/Swish that they would still spend money if there was an opportunity to do it and get better. I think he’s probably only just realized either this off season or last off season that he won’t get that benefit.

  32. 86w183 January 21st, 2013 at 10:05 am

    Just because you know the ownership position that doesn’t mean to change how you operate just in case that’s what the “new normal” turns out to be.

    Nor would any team know for certain what the payroll levels, tax rates, revenue sharing rebates et al would turn out to be in terms of specific numbers and specific dates of implementation.

    Had the Yankees KNOWN what the new CBA would be they almost certainly would not have made the Granderson trade.

    The Swisher trade was NOT about money. It was about Ozzie Guillen despising Swisher and wanting him off the team.

  33. Rich in NJ January 21st, 2013 at 10:07 am

    Shame

    As I posted above, they knew the trends of recent CBAs, and they knew they weren’t going to significantly raise payroll no matter what, so the idea that they were blindsided just doesn’t comport with those facts.

    I think Cashman (perhaps at the direction of his bosses) operates on a series of one year plans, and worries about the in future in the future.

  34. blake January 21st, 2013 at 10:08 am

    The Yankees position on extensions is so outdated ….makes no sense

  35. trisha - true pinstriped blue January 21st, 2013 at 10:10 am

    “I think the key is having everyone on the same page, ownership, GMs, coaches… I think that’s our problem right now, and it’s why some of our moves look so schizophrenic. If I’m Cash, I’m pretty pissed Levine is involved in the acquisition of ANY players. That right there has to tell you something.”

    Shame I think you have hit on the alpha and the omega. I have felt (and said) that since the Boss died, the Yankees have felt to me a bit like a rudderless ship. There is no question in my mind that they want to put out a winning product. How to get there with a lack of organizational unanimity – and lack of expertise in the case of Hal especially IMO – is going to remain the wild card.

    There is still enough collective knowledge there. But who gets who to pay attention to whom is the unknown. It is what it is, and what it’s going to be so it’s crazy to spin out of control over it (you don’t but some do) or try to reconfigure the team or even point figures when a seeming “smart” move doesn’t happen, because there’s really no moving target! Smart money says you just sit and let the show unfold and enjoy it the best you can. What else can you do, right? Or you walk away if you’re so inclined. Some might, but that’s their right to do.

    Truth is we really don’t know who’s calling the shots and which ideas may have been floated and accepted, which were never floated at all, etc.

  36. J. Alfred Prufrock January 21st, 2013 at 10:13 am

    It’s always easier to develop and buy players than to trade for them…..
    ///

    It doesn’t help when you defer to “ubermlbtalentscout” Bill Eppler.
    ///

    LOL Burcher, you sound very much the Cash apologist.

    I would have preferred an updated “Get Greedy…get Manny” type of post, but thanks for the memories :).

    If Cashman had kept the Melkman, Ajax and Montero, we wouldn’t need to “get greedy.”

    Besides, I agree with a Rich in NJ post a day or two back, that rooting for 30-year old mercenaries, (if they’re the rule rather than the odd strategic placement) doesn’t do much for one’s romance with baseball, to say nothing of longevity of success; you’re not capturing enough of that player’s prime and you have to keep recycling that guy.

    So much the better to keep your Melkys, your AJax’s, and your Jesus’s and not lay yourself bare to the wisdoms of an Eppler.

    Good to see around, though :D

  37. Rich in NJ January 21st, 2013 at 10:14 am

    “Nor would any team know for certain what the payroll levels, tax rates, revenue sharing rebates et al would turn out to be in terms of specific numbers and specific dates of implementation.”

    Anyone who expects certainty is naive. No aspect of life confers that benefit.

    Any reasonable owner who has read the prior CBAs over the last 10-15 years would understand that each one had a more onerous provision specifically aimed at the Yankees. Do you really think that trend was going to be rolled back?

    It was also clear that the Yankees were never going to just spend whatever it takes.

    We know that Hal had already rejected adding payroll at times, for example, for Mike Cameron in season, and that Cashman had to convince to spend money that would have been spent in 2010 on Tex in 2009.

    This demonstrates that they were already at the upper limit of what they were willing to spend.

    And again, no one could think that the mL was ready to be a reliable pipeline of talent if they traded the few pieces they had who were ML ready.

  38. austinmac January 21st, 2013 at 10:14 am

    “Worrying about the future in the future.”

    Yep, great idea. Planning is for amateurs. Let’s just see what happens. The world could end or every Yankee prospect may be a star.

    The Swisher trade was about money. The White Sox hated him and his contract. The Yankees would take on his multi year contract when others probably would not.

    In any event, Cashman can make a successful trade if he takes on a lot of money or finds a player Ozzie Smith hates. Now, I’m confident.

  39. Shame Spencer January 21st, 2013 at 10:15 am

    Rich – I agree. I don’t think they were blindsided completely. That being said, I think that it could at least be argued that given the factions in the FO we’re seeing now, there was probably a good chance a lot of uncertainty existed around the time we got Grandy. Personally, I still like the deal. But I bet that I like it the way Cash liked it: in the sense that we didn’t ever foresee it hamstringing us. I liked Ajax a lot, but I figured you could always go out and get an OFer if you needed one. Had no idea that our only options would be guys that work for less money than Scott Hariston, ya know what I’m saying? On some level, I think Cash felt the same.

  40. Rich in NJ January 21st, 2013 at 10:19 am

    Shame

    I think the uncertainty was more about the willingness to stomach AJack’s learning curve than it was about money.

    Similarly, look what Girardi said Montero’s catching issues during ST: It’s no longer our problem.

    Sweet, now their problem is Stewie’s bat, Cervelli’s consistency, and a back that has flared up on Romine for two consecutive seasons.

    Patience is an anathema to this group.

  41. Shame Spencer January 21st, 2013 at 10:20 am

    trisha – I didn’t think so a year ago, but now more than ever I think someone will make an exit from the FO. It looks like Cash might be that person, but getting rid of him doesn’t solve anything unless they’re sure they are all (new GM included) are operating on the same plane. They need to be on the same page.

    The reports about Levine trying to pry Giancarlo away from the Marlins coupled with his involvement in the Ichiro and Soriano deals (and having that be reported publicly, no less) says something to me. I dunno what lol, but there’s something there that doesn’t fully add up. If I’m making assumptions, it tells me they might be playing a game of thrones… all vying to assert their power. I don’t care if they fight over that stuff.. I just care that it doesn’t effect the product on the field and right now I think it is. And it gives me the sads.

  42. Shame Spencer January 21st, 2013 at 10:22 am

    I don’t want to start a war but Manny might be the cheapest RHB available lol…

  43. Shame Spencer January 21st, 2013 at 10:24 am

    I want Jennifer Steinbrenner to be in charge.

    Where the hell is Jennifer?!!

  44. Shame Spencer January 21st, 2013 at 10:27 am

    Rich in NJ January 21st, 2013 at 10:19 am

    Shame

    I think the uncertainty was more about the willingness to stomach AJack’s learning curve than it was about money.

    —————————

    I dunno, Rich. I’m not sure that’s entirely true. They used a Gardner/Melky tandem to fold both of those young players in, and surrounded them with solid MLB outfielders. That, to me, should always be the Yankees way. Slowly fold the youth in because you can afford it. I think they saw that they had some young OF talent in the minors and felt like they could piece things together with Grandy for a number of years. This time last year we were trying to figure out which of Swish/Grandy they might keep. Not sure anyone thought they wouldn’t be able to retain either. I still don’t hate the move for Granderson. I just don’t like their indecision last off season. That bothers me more than anything done before last off season, because there are far less excuses.

  45. austinmac January 21st, 2013 at 10:29 am

    I agree with the Jennifer Steinbrenner desire. She, at least, is reported to like baseball. Whereas, Hal gets his pleasure with his balance sheet.

    If Manny can hit, I am all for him or anyone else that can add offense. Of course, it will never happen.

  46. J. Alfred Prufrock January 21st, 2013 at 10:30 am

    The origin of all our woes was that Eppler-fueled decision to give up on Chamberlain’s development and toss him into the bullpen for life.

    His handling in 2009 was such a fiasco, even C and Andy said something to the effect that no pitcher could be expected to succeed with that abbreviated innings plan.

    The subsequent “square off” between him and Hughes in 2010 ST was a kangaroo job from the outset; they already had traded for Javy, sealing Chamberlain’s doom as a starter.

    Getting rid of Cabrera was treated so cavalierly, but they nixed a 24-year old contact type hitter who hit .298 with RISP in 2009, and who hit .391 in the ALCS against the Angels to help them gain the WS – the kind of hitter he was on his way to becoming is the kind they’ve lacked for three years, now.

    They should have viewed 2010-11 as the ideal springboard to mix in youth while the older guys were still viable.

    This is so underappreciated – how off their timing, self-scouting, and planning has been.

    They were set up for the last couple of years being true contending years, rather than an aging team that has been so painlessly ejected in the postseason by decent pitching.

  47. MTU January 21st, 2013 at 10:32 am

    “Patience is an anathema to this group.”

    If this is true there is no hope for the future.

    Fortunately, I don’t think it is totally accurate.

    Hughes would certainly be a counter example in my mind.

    Nunez and Nova as well.

    But yes. There have been many examples of a lack of patience.

    Lot’s of being thrown into the deep end of the pool to see if someone can swim.

    Don’t like that.

  48. Shame Spencer January 21st, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Maybe Hughes ate up all their patients. Like there’s a patients quota and he took up 80% of it.

  49. austinmac January 21st, 2013 at 10:36 am

    Cashman and Hal have succeeded in tempering out expectations. A few months ago we would have bet against the current catching crop starting the season. We also expected some addition to the offense after the end of the year.

    Great job with that. I bet ticket sales are also tempered. No Hal, not temper as in angry. We are all in Nirvana waiting for the team to be finished before the season.

  50. yankeefeminista January 21st, 2013 at 10:36 am

    Shame, he was 2 for 3 last night in the Aguilas DWL game; he’s batting .338 but not showing much SLG so far vs RHP, but 1+ OPS vs LHP. LOL.

  51. yankeefeminista January 21st, 2013 at 10:37 am

    Any Jacob Constante rumors?

  52. Shame Spencer January 21st, 2013 at 10:41 am

    yankeefeminista January 21st, 2013 at 10:36 am

    Shame, he was 2 for 3 last night in the Aguilas DWL game; he’s batting .338 but not showing much SLG so far vs RHP, but 1+ OPS vs LHP. LOL.

    ——

    We have enough SLG don’t we? Man-ny, Man-ny, MAN-NY!!

    At least the post games will be funny. I’d love to see Derek standing next to him in ANY situation.

  53. DONNYBROOK January 21st, 2013 at 10:42 am

    Calling the Montero trade at this point in time “FAIR”, DQ’s this Pinch Hitter from any further trade evals. I could see giving the Montero trade an “Incomplete” at This time, but to grade it “Fair”, makes Daniel a Cashman Homer and totally incapable of Fairly appraising Any deal Cashman has made.

  54. yankeefeminista January 21st, 2013 at 10:43 am

    “Patience is an anathema to this group.”

    This rhetoric needs to now be the new reality. Just let the kids develop and suck up the learning curve, unless there is something out there worth getting. I would rather protect our “assets” (Cashspeak!)

  55. randy l. January 21st, 2013 at 10:48 am

    let’s face it.

    the yankees need to be reinvented to keep up with the times.

    is cashman the ideal guy to do this?

    if the answer is no , why is he there?

  56. trisha - true pinstriped blue January 21st, 2013 at 10:50 am

    The only thing I can say for sure is that if some of the deals worked out differently, we wouldn’t be discussing them.

    In fairness to reality, nobody knew how any of the trades were going to work out elsewhere, nor can we say we would know how the players would work out in the Bronx, were they to stick around. You just cannot transfer situations, bad or good. I know that seems like a cop out, but it’s really hard-core reality.

    Reality also is that when the organization gets snake bit – or inordinate bad publicity – they seem to back away from things. Cashman announced his then “grow them from within” policy after there was nonstop criticism about buying championships. The Yankees backed away from getting into a bidding war for signing rights after Igawa failed to work out. (And for those who were critical about not bidding high enough to get Dice-K, look how that worked out.) They seemed to be gun-shy about rushing kids up after we witnessed the disaster that was Hughes, Kennedy, and Joba. I understand that Hughes and Kennedy were definitely an emergency response, but it didn’t work out too well and probably set Hughes back maybe permanently. So now they seem to have almost gone in the opposite direction, though I’d take that any day to rushing a player and possibly screwing up his career or career options for good.

    It’s really easy to sit back and be critical, no quite as easy to run a successful organization and see life go without a hitch.

    Yeah maybe Hank shoud have known what was coming with the CBA. And maybe his seeming indifference to the game until he came on board in his current position should tell us that he wasn’t paying big attention to what was happening to the Yankees, CBAs and the like. I don’t think he was a huge part of the inner workings.

    Anyway, it is what it is. I believe they want to win. To me, the rest is wide open.

  57. trisha - true pinstriped blue January 21st, 2013 at 10:53 am

    Or I should say the rest is a huge unknown.

  58. waneditor January 21st, 2013 at 10:55 am

    Daniel, thanks for today’s column.

    Some readers use Cashman as a cipher for “Yankee Management.” They seem to believe there’s a uniform distribution of information, and that “management” agrees on means and goals, unlike typical bureaucracies. Reflect on just one bureaucratic example: it’s clear that Levine has the ear of top management and plays his own game, a game that Cashman only catches glimmers of.

    I also wonder whether there’s common agreement about the implications of the new CBA: after all, this is a team that has spent over $220 million in the past decade on luxury tax penalties, as you observed in your blog on December 15th. It’s also clear that Cashman’s reign (reins) has been tightened since early summer 2012. Another reality for Cashman is that he’s under contract just like his players, and constrained as much by that reality as by “Yankee Management.”

  59. austinmac January 21st, 2013 at 10:58 am

    Trisha,

    I do agree they want to win. Of course, they do. I do question whether they have figured out a path to do so. They seem stuck between the old ways and a new way. They have essentially decided to defer decisions to next year with all the one year contracts. It seems very difficult to replace so many players at one time.

  60. Shame Spencer January 21st, 2013 at 11:05 am

    I know there’s been some movie talk on here lately. Just watched The Impossible this morning and have to highly recommend it. Fantastic, haunting film.

  61. trisha - true pinstriped blue January 21st, 2013 at 11:09 am

    See austin, that’s part of the unknown in all of this. Who’s on first, as opposed to who wants to be on first. How many of the “theys” are thinking one thing, how many are thinking another? (Which “they” wins? Do the “theys” switch sides at different times?) Probably more organizational fruit salad at this point than a pristine bowl of cherries.

  62. DONNYBROOK January 21st, 2013 at 11:09 am

    - MONDAY MORINING MUSINGS -

    (1) Frisco looked good, especially on-the-road, and especially in that Noise Chamber of a stadium.

    (2) We should be looking atta Frisco vs Denver Super Bowl. Denver Head Coach take a bow.

    (3) Liked “Ripper Street”. That passed for porn back then? Should be Good for 7 more episodes.

    (4) Kevin Bacon’s Pilot tonight better be worth it. Costing me an hour of “Mon. Night Raw”.

    (5) Never saw Stan The Man play. My loss.

    (6) Earl Weaver Never did much for me. Always reminded me of Napolean inna baseball cap.

    (5)

  63. randy l. January 21st, 2013 at 11:15 am

    “They seem stuck between the old ways and a new way.”

    austin mac-

    precisely. the problem is they don’t seem to know what the new way is going to be.

    they seem like they’ve pulled over to the slow lane to read a map on where they’re trying to go.

    the problem is the other travelers are using GPS navigation systems.

    cashman is in the back seat watching hank’s cigarette burn holes in the map thinking i’ve got to get out at the next rest stop .

    hal and hank are trying to use their dad’s old AAA maps.

  64. blake January 21st, 2013 at 11:16 am

    I watched “Mama” this weekend and it was predicablh terrible and not scary at all

  65. yankeefeminista January 21st, 2013 at 11:21 am

    The Yankees dogmatism is the troubling thing. They quote a bunch of doctrinaire edicts, based on sss, catcher defense, hairy monster one-dimensionality, and rhetoric about developing the farm while trading all their top young mlb-ready players, thus shooting themselves in the foot. They have a potentially core-forming next wave that they need to let develop, as well as a heckuva young Latin contingent, prospects who have yet to come stateside. They need to help those kids to develop and excel. That is their best shot at becoming the Yankees with a capital Y again.

  66. J. Alfred Prufrock January 21st, 2013 at 11:21 am

    It’s really easy to sit back and be critical, no quite as easy to run a successful organization and see life go without a hitch.
    ///

    Trisha,

    It’s not especially easy to be thoughtfully critical – a distinction I think you are failing to make.

    Plenty of posters here invest time in being thoughtfully critical, whatever their position on a given move, and carefully craft their arguments and attempt to support them well.

  67. Tar January 21st, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Daniel Thanks for the post.

    IMO Ninja Cashman is about his ability to pull off deals that nobody could predict coming. I like that Cashman.

    But on the other hand, if I hear about any interest, gripes or potential trades, I know that’s information that the Yankees want to be put out for public consumption. Don’t like that Cashman so much.

    I also think ( I know this is not a popular stance) That Cashman and the Yankees are big on player “make-up”. I firmly believe that is why Montero and Melky are no longer on the team.

  68. J. Alfred Prufrock January 21st, 2013 at 11:30 am

    hal and hank are trying to use their dad’s old AAA maps.
    ///

    Maybe Joba was stuck at 89 miL innings because Hal and Hank sent him to the American Automobile Association instead of back to Triple A?

  69. austinmac January 21st, 2013 at 11:33 am

    Trisha,

    None of us knows what goes on behind the Yankee closed doors. It sounds as you believe they have many conflicting opinions. That’s fine as long as they choose a plan. I think they are in neutral and the plan, such as it is, is to pray the prospects pan out in a big hurry.

  70. austinmac January 21st, 2013 at 11:37 am

    Being critical means ascribing blame only. Most of the board members have suggested other approaches. I wish the yankees brass was listening as many posters have given great thoughts and ideas. No, I am not putting myself into the group.

    I am critical. They have no clue from all I see. I wish they would pay either for a GPS system or a new map. The roadways have changed.

  71. J. Alfred Prufrock January 21st, 2013 at 11:43 am

    austimac, critical also means analytical. As in a “theater critic”. That is how I am using it.
    ///

    Tar,

    I think that is accurate: I think the Yankees don’t like either Montero or Melky’s “makeup” as you call it.

    I find it interesting, however, that Jeter said Melky was a good clubhouse guy and a good player whom he would welcome back.

    Alex also had no problem with Melky, and wanted him re-signed.

    I do remember that Gene Michael repeated “If he wants to be….” a few times when asked about whether Montero could do this or that….

    I also heard that Michael did not like Cabrera, either, although I never saw any quote about it.

  72. G. Love January 21st, 2013 at 11:49 am

    I’m sorry, but calling the Montero trade “fair” at this point hurts the pinch hitter. How is a trade fair where Seattle has 2 healthy non-injured players and we have 2 injured pitchers, one of which had major shoulder surgery and the other who everyone believes is a slider away from Tommy John surgery?

    Cashman’s trade history is all hinged on him getting the Swisher trade right. Everything else he’s done trade wise in recent years isn’t looking very good. He hasn’t traded for long term solutions. He trades for patches on the holes in the boat.

    The Javy Vasquez trade was a disaster. The Granderson traded looks like it was short sighted in concept and execution with the pending changes to the CBA. The Ichiro trade was started by the people above Cashman and Jack Z and then was delegated to them to figure the rest out.

    He’s been on a cold streak as a GM since the Swisher trade. He gave away Clippard for Albaladejo which was about as big a miss as I can see. Clippard always had command of the strike zone. Albaladejo was another overgrown man-child who couldn’t put it together.

    His trade record has been putrid. Give him Swisher all you want, the rest of the record looks poor. He’s not a baseball guy. He’s not creative. The only trades he won prior to Swisher were Abreu/Justice type salary dumps where we took on star players contracts and gave them back organizational chum.

  73. yankeefeminista January 21st, 2013 at 11:49 am

    I posted an article last year on “makeup” and how often Latin players have a different life sensibility based on their culture and that often Latin player “makeup” is misconstrued based on cultural difference vs. actual lack of “makeup.” Often the Latin players have to become acclimated to a US kind of work ethic/mentality, rhetoric even, that is a different way of not only preparing but even communicating. So, I think the “makeup” categorization or lack thereof may sometimes be more of a cultural difference/assimilation than a player having an attitude problem.

  74. J. Alfred Prufrock January 21st, 2013 at 11:50 am

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_thinking

    :D

  75. J. Alfred Prufrock January 21st, 2013 at 11:52 am

    yankeefem – I have opined similarly, many times, that the Yankees may have too narrow a definition of what acceptable Yankee “makeup” is.

  76. Tar January 21st, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Hi J Alfred

    It also explains the love affair with Thurman Martin. You know I would love to have both Melky and Montero but I really feels it was more about off the field than on the field issues with both of them.

    Do you remember Cashman talking about a FA player who was on Vacation in Mexico that was bad mouthing the Yankees. At the time I was like good for you Cashman. But reflecting back on the whole thing, it kind of makes me wonder about him putting personal feelings above winning. Just my two cents

  77. DONNYBROOK January 21st, 2013 at 11:59 am

    There is NO roadmap with an “X marks the spot” at the end of the destination. The landscape is consistently changing. The Yankees need to, (1) Employ personnel with an eye for raw talent, and (2) Employ personnel capable of fully developing that talent. The Yankees currently have No one on their payroll capable of achieving this. They Do have the $$$ to purchase Finished Products from other sources, but Refuse to do that. The Yanks are currently stuck in The Doldrums due to, (1) employing incompetent individuals, and (2) Refusing to spend $$$ to amend the mistakes of those incompetent individuals they previously hired.

  78. J. Alfred Prufrock January 21st, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Tar,

    I do remember that. Maybe it was Jorge Vazquez? In which case, if it was because he didn’t get a shot, he had no real gripe, given his K rates. Maybe it was Aceves? I doubt it was Manny B, lol. They’re all Mexican….

    Yeah, the Martin-Munson thing makes me shudder still; I think it was also to attempt to preempt criticism of dealing away Montero – you know: “hey, Montero can’t catch but this guy, he’s going to remind you of Thurman Munson, so no worries!”

    If Cashman does not appreciate the difference between Russell Martin and Thurman Munson, well then he should not be calling the shots.

  79. yankeefeminista January 21st, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    :arrow:

  80. J. Alfred Prufrock January 21st, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    Oh, Tar, sorry, I misread you.

    It wasn’t necessarily a Mexican and apparently it wasn’t necessarily a Yankee FA.

    To your main point, which I didn’t acknowledge: yes, he does seem like he cherishes and nurtures slights or imagined ones.

    To me, that’s someone who is looking to rationalize and who lacks a certain healthy detachment. IOW, it’s not the mark of leader.

  81. trisha - true pinstriped blue January 21st, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    “It’s not especially easy to be thoughtfully critical – a distinction I think you are failing to make.

    Plenty of posters here invest time in being thoughtfully critical, whatever their position on a given move, and carefully craft their arguments and attempt to support them well.”

    No question J Al. But for anyone to think that their carefully crafted argument should take and day and then is inconsolable when it doesn’t presupposes that the person knows every piece to the actual puzzle. That is simply not the case ever, because the only ones who know it are the ones making the decisions on the inside. We’re here discussing it today and for all we know, plans are being made for 7 new players to come aboard and 3 to be traded (total hypothetical, of course).

    And when I talked about being critical, I meant just that. The people who criticize based on their own desires and nothing more, not people who make carefully crafted arguments and support them but then realize at the end of the day that they might not have the total pulse on things and maybe their carefully crafted argument just might not work for some very good reasons – even if they themselves don’t have the reasons figured out!

    My thoughts though when I posted were really more generic and universal. It’s easier to criticize than to actually run an organization. I guess that’s pretty much a given.

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