Tag Archives: Cashman

2015 Yankees. Part 3. The Front Office/Manager.

Part 3 of 3.

Manager. I grade Joe Girardi at a B for this year. He took a team most projected at 3rd or 4th place into the wild card game. A lot of pundits had this team at 77-8o wins, meaning first losing year since 1992 and he won 87, about 7-10 more than expected. Girardi is a good manager, and Larry Rothschild a good pitching coach.

That said, I do have issues with Girardi. He isn’t aggressive enough, in my opinion. Maybe it’s the players he has, but he doesn’t play littleball (or Billy Ball, if you will) enough for me. He never bunts, never squeezes home runs, doesn’t hit and run much, and even with Gardner and Ellsbury, didn’t run them much. Too much sit and wait for the big HR instead of making things happen. That I wish would change.

I would also give Cashman a B as well. Some may not like that, thinking that he should have made a big move at the trade deadline. But who do you give up? You have to give to get. I like the fact that he did not give up Bird or Severino, both of whom were needed down the stretch. Maybe he should have dumped Drew for Refsnyder earlier. Ackley, once healthy, proved to be a decent move. Yes, Cervelli did well for Pittsburgh but would he have done as well sitting on the bench most of the time here? Maybe not. Getting Wilson for him turned out OK, and Murphy developed well. The Shreve pickup was a good one for most of the year until Shreve burned out. But he didn’t want to give up the future for the now. Hopefully Cashman, by keeping Refsnyder, Severino, Judge, Sanchez and Mateo will have kept a core that will be the foundation for future Yankees success. We’ll see. But I like that he kept these guys and didn’t do a “Buhner for Phelps” trade like we saw in the late 1980’s / early 1990s

The Front Office. It is far beyond time to recognize that Hal Steinbrenner is not his father. He isn’t just going to throw $$$ at a problem just to throw $$$ at a problem and hope it gets better. He doesn’t spout off to the press like his dad did or make impulsive decisions (like go for a Raul Mondesi). He is more analytical and less impulsive than his dad. Some may not like that he is more stingy. Hal seems to be more inclined to build for the future while his dad was more make things happen now. Time will tell if Hal’s method will pay off with long-term success rather than sacrifice the long-term for a quick fix. I give the front office a B as well.

Don’t expect wholesale changes in the offseason but minor ones. When you are tied into 19 players who have deals in place for next year, there isn’t a lot of flexibility. That will come in 2017 and 2018. That is when we will see if patience regarding Sanchez, Severino, Refsnyder, Judge and Bird will pay off. That is also the time when we see what free agents could replace A-Rod, Teix, Beltran, CC, etc.

Changes could be made on the coaching staff, however. I wasn’t too pleased with the third base coach and feel that Rob Thomson, instead of bench coach, should go back to 3B and Tony Pena should go back to bench coach from 1B coach. Another suggestion? Bring Willie Randolph back to coach, either as 3B coach if you want Thomson as bench coach, as bench coach (since Willie was a former manager himself) or as infield coach. Also, and I know there is a language barrier problem, but consider Matsui as hitting coach. Hideki was a professional hitter. Get him involved more.

Game 145. Rookies lead Yanks, 3-1.


Ok, I wanted Ellsbury benched for a couple games for the rookie Heathcott and Ellsbury did go 2 for 5 tonight (his three outs were all strikeouts) But he did get two hits and hopefully it is the start of a rebound.

The big story tonight is the kids that Cashman refused to trade at the deadline—Severino and Bird.

For the two of them led the Yanks to a 3-1 win tonight over the Rays.

Severino got the win to go to 4-3, 3.12. Bird got an RBI double and solo HR to drive in two of the Yanks’ three runs.

The Yanks struck first. In the second Beltran walked and Bird doubled him in.

The Yanks went up 2-0 in the sixth on an RBI single by Headley after a pair of walks.

The Rays got one in the bottom of the sixth when that joke of a ballpark had a ball hit into or through one of their catwalks and Ellsbury lost track of the ball.

Bird’s seventh HR of the season gave the Yanks an insurance run in the ninth. 3-1 for the final score. The win put the Yanks at 80-65 and kept them 3 back of Toronto in the AL East.

They are 3 1/2 up on Houston (see below) for the first WC spot and five up on the Twins for the second wild card spot.

Their magic # just to get into the play-in game is 13.

Severino (W, 4-3, 3.12) 5 2/3 IP, 1 R, 6 H, 1 walk and  7 K
Wilson 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 3.17
Betances 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 3 walks and 1 K. 1.43
Miller (34th save) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 3 K. 1.80.

Tanaka is going Friday for the Yanks, but you wonder what Girardi may have to do to line him up for the wild card game. As of now, Severino is lined up for the WC game & Tanaka for Game 1 of an ALDS (provided the Yanks win the WC game).

If you didn’t see it, Texas has passed Houston in the AL West, meaning the Yanks could see Houston and Dallas Kuechel in a WC game.

Game 105. 9-run seventh keys Yanks 13-3 win.


Brian McCann and Chris Young each had 3-run homers in a 9-run Yankees seventh inning as the Yanks beat Boston 13-3 on Tuesday night.

The win keeps the Yanks 5 1/2 up in the AL East at 60-45. Toronto (coming into the Stadium this weekend) is in second place. Baltimore is in third, 6 1/2 back. Tampa Bay is 7 1/2 out and Boston is in last, 14 out.

Chris Young singled, A-Rod walked, and Mark Teixeira singled in a run in the first to put the Yanks up 1-0, but Masahiro Tanaka gave up two runs in the fifth.

The Yanks regained the lead for good in the bottom of the sixth.  Young singled, A-Rod doubled, and Teix singled in a run to tie the game. McCann (4 RBI in the game) then doubled in a run to put the Yanks up 3-2 and Beltran’s RBI groundout made it 4-2.

After Tanaka gave up a HR to Sandoval in the top of the seventh to make it 4-3, the Yanks put the game away with nine in the bottom of the seventh.

Ellsbury reached on an error, Young walked, and A-Rod singled to make it 5-3. After Teixeira struck out, McCann hit a 3-run HR (18) to make it 8-3.

Beltran and Headley then had back-to-back doubles to make it 9-3. Gregorius flied out for the second out. Ryan walked. Ellsbury’s single made it 10-3.

Young then hit a 3-run HR (13) to cap the scoring at 13-3.

Tanaka (W, 8-4, 3.84) 6 IP,3 R, 5 H, 1 walk and 3 K.
Wilson 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 1 K. 2.61
Betances 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 1 K. 1.31
Pinder 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 2.45
Rumbelow 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 1.69.

Before the game, Dustin Ackley was DL’d with a herniated disk. He apparently did not have it or complain of it before the trade with Seattle last week, so there was no shenanigans there when the Yanks traded Ramon Flores and Jose Ramirez for him. He will be out 20-30 days and could be done for the year. He had an epidural. For now, the Yanks replaced the utility man with pitcher Caleb Cotham.

GM Brian Cashman also stated that we should not see Michael Pineda until September.

In the game, Young was 3 for 4, had the 3-run HR, and scored four runs. He is at .268-13-36, OPS+ over 120.

On another blog, one poster was complaining for months about the Yanks not keeping Ichiro and holding on to Young. He kept complaining even after it was pointed out to him that the Yanks needed a righty bat (Young), that Ichiro, being a lefty bat didn’t fit because of Gardner and Ellsbury, and that Ichiro’s lack of power and age (41) were hindrances. It got annoying hearing him b***h about Ichiro all the time.

Now, I like Ichiro. But it was time for him to go. How is Ichiro doing? .244-1-15, OPS+ 63. 9 for 14 in SB. He has a TOTAL of 6 extra base hits. Young’s OPS+ is twice that of Ichiro’s, and Young’s 13 HR means he has twice as many HR as Ichiro has extra base hits.

I hope that guy has finally shut up.

Tonight Luis Severino starts for the Yanks. The top prospect, 21 years old, will be making his MLB debut.

The Minors.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

AAA: Luis Severino gave up just one run, but only went four innings as he struggled through 84 pitches in SWB’s 5-1 win. Brandon Pinder pitched three scoreless innings of relief. CF Ben Gamel 2 hits, 2 RBI. 2B Rob Refsnyder 2 hits, HR. It’s too bad Refsnyder doesn’t play SS. The Yanks could really use a righty bat (better than Pirela and Petit, as well as Ryan) who can platoon with Drew and Gregorius, both lefty hitters, who can play 2B AND SS. Maybe Cashman can find one at the trade deadline. LF Taylor Dugas went 3 for 3.

AA:    Trenton won 8-6. 2 RBI CF Mark Payton. 2 hits, solo HR for C Gary Sanchez. 2 hits, rbi for SS Ali Castillo and LF Jake Cave.

High A:   6-4 Tampa win. SS Tyler Wade 3 hits. Three others with two hits each.

A: Charleston got a run in the bottom of the 9th and won 3-2. 3B Isaias Tejeda 2 rbi, SS Jorge Mateo his 54th SB. CF Austin Aune the GW hit.

Are the hands tied?

People are wondering why the Yanks haven’t done much so far, and a lot of blame is being placed on Brian Cashman.

I don’t fault Cashman as much as others do, but I do have to say, what can he do right now? He doesn’t control the $$$, Hal Steinbrenner, the owner, does.

The thing is, what kind of a budget are the Yanks looking for in 2015? For there isn’t much flexibility or maneuverability in that budget. That is why you aren’t seeing moves.

It’s one thing to say increase the payroll. It isn’t your money. But how much do you want to increase it to?

Let’s look at some numbers. The Yanks may not be able to do much for the next two or three years. BaseballReference.com has their budget right now at $179.4MM with an estimate of $193.4MM.

Now let’s look at 10 players and the quickest they would be gone from the Yankees (barring a trade, and let’s face it, a lot of these players would be difficult to move because of salary, age and the fact that the Yankees may need to eat a lot of the contract).

McCann $17MM for 2015. Signed through 2018 with a team option for 2019. He’s gonna be around for a while.

Teixeira $22.5MM for 2015. There again in 2016. I don’t expect the Yanks to bring him back for 2017 but you are stuck with him for 2015 and 2016. Honestly, who’d want his increasing injuries, declining production and that contract?

Prado $11MM. Contract through 2016. Could be tradeable.

Gardner $12.5 MM. signed though 2018. Team option of $12.5MM for 2019, $2MM buyout. Tradeable.

A-Rod $21 MM. Stuck with him through 2017. Really, who’d want him? 40 in July. 44 games played over the last two seasons, two hip surgeries, a PED suspension…. his nickname should be lightning rod (for trouble and controversy). Not only the salary, but a $6MM bonus if he gets the six homers he needs to tie Willie Mays on the all-time list.

Ellsbury $21.1MM. Signed through 2020, 2021 team option at $21MM, $5 MM buyout. Good player, but who’d take that salary?

Beltran $15MM signed for 2015 and 2016. He’s 38 and coming off a bad, injury-plagued year.

CC $23 MM. Signed 2015 and 2016. $25 MM vesting option for 2017, $5MM buyout, but that is based on shoulder, not the knee issue which cost him most of 2014. 17-17, 4,87 since 2012. Who’d take that contract now for a pitcher who has been below average over his last 40 starts, has knee issues, a diminishing fastball and who will be 35 this coming summer?

Tanaka $22MM, signed through 2020, player can opt out after 2017. An ace, and we hope his elbow holds up.

Miller $9 MM. Through 2018.

That is 10 players, $174.1 MM for 2015. Now let’s just say Hal put a limit of $205MM for his team, not the $193.mm listed above (which, as we know, will be unreasonable to match). Now you have 15 players left to fill out the 25 man roster, and you have just $30MM left for them.

Um, tough to do, isn’t it?

How can you bring back Robertson or McCarthy, or for that matter, sign a Shields or Scherzer? You can’t.

That is why Cashman’s hands are tied and why he has to bottom-feed right now—unless Hal increases the budget.

Those 10 are the core of the team—not only for 2015, but as you can see, for 2016 as well. Unless someone retires or you can trade one of them (and for a couple of them, that ain’t happening—-no takers) you are stuck with them. If they don’t produce, then…

and Beltran, McCann, Teix, CC all underproduced in 2014. Now we get a soon-to-be 40 year old A-Rod in 2015, who will probably underproduce.

Either this group finds past glory and steps up, or the next two years will be more of the same from 2013 and 2014.

But the thing is, there is only (even in Yankeeland) so much $$$ to go around, and most of it has been allocated.

Unless Hal wants to increase the payroll to $225 MM, or $250MM, or ….

but I don’t see it.

Which means maybe the next big move won’t be until after 2016, when you can take Teix and Beltran off the books. Maybe Prado, too. Probably not CC, since his vesting option (unless he has shoulder damage) kicks in. Maybe A-Rod won’t come back for 2017 but will retire because of diminishing skills/injury and to avoid himself the embarrasment of hanging on hitting less than .200.

But for now, what can one do? For those 10 players eat up most of your payroll. The Yanks have to hope that players under team control, who are making the major league minimum (or close to it) can step up in the next couple of years. This means a Rob Refsnyder, Jose Pirela, Manny Banuelos, Jacob Lindgren, Bryan Mitchell, Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge, etc., and this comes down to scouting and player development—areas that have been lacking in recent years.



If you were Cashman….

If I were Cashman….


Ok. There are a lot of thoughts out there as to what someone would do if they were the GM of the Yanks. If they were Cashman. Here is what I would do. Here is what some think will happen. Feel free to add what you would do.

Remember, you don’t have an unlimited budget. You have to work within the constraints and budget that Hal Steinbrenner gives you.

Also, realize that you are stuck with some ballplayers. McCann has four years left on his deal. A-Rod and Teix two, CC a couple, two for Beltran, six for Ellsbury and Tanaka, etc.

So, I’ll take this position by position, and check into free agents and upgrades.


Catcher: McCann has four years left. He led the Yanks in HR and RBI in 2014 with 23 and 75. He only hit .232. The OPS+ was just 93. I’ll take the power numbers, but the average has to increase. Now, as for Cervelli, Romine, Murphy and Sanchez, you now have five catchers (inc. McCann) for the majors and AAA. That is too many. Someone (or two) has to go. McCann will get most of the playing time in the majors. Someone has to get most of the time at AAA (Sanchez?). That means you have to choose on backups. There isn’t enough playing time to go around. The Yanks have to decide who will back up McCann on the MLB level, and who will be the top starter (prospect) at AAA. Someone, or two, have to go. The Yanks have to decide who stays, and who gets included in a package deal. They also need to know what the market would bring for a Cervelli, Romine, Murphy…

So… if I were Cashman, I move one or two of these catchers in a package deal.


Infield/DH: You are stuck with Teixeira at 1B. You are stuck with A-Rod as probably the DH (with some time at 3B and maybe backup to the fragile Teix at 1B). Martin Prado fits in here somewhere at 2B or 3B. Ok, do you bring back Chase Headley for 3B/1B? Apparently the Yanks are talking to him about doing so. If they bring him back, does that mean Prado will be at 2B in 2015 and Headley at 3B (with A-Rod mostly DH-ing and playing 3B or 1B only when Headley or Teix need a breather?)

What about Jose Pirela or Rob Refsnyder? Both hit .300 at AAA in 2014. Pirela is more versatile than Refsnyder. Do you give one, or both, a chance?

And what about SS? Brendan Ryan has a good glove, but couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat. Hanley Ramirez is a free agent, but he has been injured recently and some think he is better suited for 3B now than SS. That doesn’t help the Yanks. Ramirez, 31 next year, if healthy, can give .290-20-95 with 20 SB. If the Yanks don’t get him, they could go after a lower-tier SS like bringing back Stephen Drew, or going after Asdrubal Cabrera or Jed Lowrie.

What I would do is something different. Last year at the trade deadline, the Cubs picked up a top SS prospect from the A’s in the Samadzija/Hammel deal. Now, do they want the young prospect at SS, or do they want to keep Starlin Castro there? Is Castro available now that they have that young top prospect? Castro is 25, a 3x All-Star. Eventually the Yanks have to get younger. A 3x All-Star who is only 25 is a nice way to go. The only thing is, will the Cubs trade and who will they trade? They have a lot of money and some indications are they will go “full Steinbrenner” mode and spend a lot on free agents this offseason. So are they open to a trade?

Another trade possibility could be with the Rockies for Troy Tulowitzki. Tulo, like Ramirez, would come with injury questions. Great players, but they have to stay on the field. Ramirez is a free agent, while you would have to work out a trade for Tulo.

My first option: with the young prospect that the Cubs have for SS, see about a deal (and include one of the catchers listed above—Cervelli, Romine or Murphy) in a package deal for Castro. Maybe include Sanchez if necessary (after all, you have McCann for four more years). Tulo and Ramirez are some five to six years older than Castro. Maybe the Cubs don’t go for the package deal. Maybe they are fixed on free agent Russell Martin for catcher. See about a trade first for Castro. Then see about one for Tulo. Then go after Ramirez if the trades are not there. There is less talk about Castro or Tulo not cutting it at SS any more than there is with Ramirez.

Of course if Castro, Tulo, Ramirez fail, then there is plan B—-Drew, Lowrie, Cabrera.

I also let Headley go. I go with the kids Refsnyder and Pirela, and play Prado at 3B. I don’t think the Yanks will do that. I think they will go full in for Headley at 3B, want Prado at 2B and want to give Refsnyder more time at AAA. What they do with Pirela, I don’t know. Maybe a backup. But I give Refsnyder the job at 2B. I make Pirela (who can play five positions) a utility guy and I let Headley go.

Outfield: You have Gardner, Ellsbury and Beltran. If A-Rod Dh’s, Beltran has to be able to play RF. They could use a righty bat to compliment these players. Soriano is gone. Chris Young was there late last year.

My choice: sign Michael Morse as a free agent. His defense isn’t the best, but the dude can hit. He can play LF/RF and back up Teix at 1B.


So if I had 13 position players to start 2015 with, here are my choices.

C: McCann 1B: Teixeira 2B: Refsnyder (give the rookie a shot) SS: Castro (or Ramirez or Tulo) 3B: Prado. LF: Gardner CF: Ellsbury RF: Beltran DH: A-Rod.

Ok, that is 9. Now, four backups.

My choices: Backup C: Cervelli (or Murphy, whoever isn’t dealt). Sanchez at AAA with Murphy or Romine, whoever is still here.

Jose Pirela: He can play 1B, 2B. 3B, LF or RF. Versatile. Give the kid a shot, along with Refsnyder.

Mike Morse. Can fill in at LF/RF/1B and DH.

Brendan Ryan. Last guy on the bench. Glove man. All infield positions. Mostly backup at 2B and SS.

Pitchers. Assuming Kuroda is retiring.

Let McCarthy go via free agency.

Go full bore after Max Scherzer. Lester and Shields are available as Plan B if you don’t get Scherzer. Apparently the Cubs want Lester, Boston wants Shields. The Cubs could go for Scherzer AND Lester. But Scherzer, 30, 39-8 in the past two years, is priority #1.

The rotation could then be Scherzer, Tanaka, Pineda, CC (aging and coming off a knee injury, he drops to #4) and Shane Greene. It’s nice to have two aces at the top. Even three.

If Greene fails at #5, Ivan Nova comes back from TJ surgery next year, probably at mid-season.

You also could fill the #5 slot with Phelps, Manny Banuelos (if he isn’t dealt in a package deal), Bryan Mitchell (package deal?), or Jaron Long (same thing).


Go full out in keeping Robertson (the Yanks made him a qualifying offer, will he accept?). That way, Betances can stay as a setup guy (and you could use him two innings at a time). Phelps, Warren and Kelley make five relief guys, with Phelps and Warren able to give more than one inning and being available to spot start if needed. This leaves room for two lefties. Give Jacob Lindgren a shot. Maybe bring back David Huff, who can give innings also.


There are still problems with the team. I’m not sold on Beltran, A-Rod, McCann and Teix being the 4-7 hitters (in whatever order). There is still some age.

But I try to bring in some youth in Lindgren, Refsnyder, and Pirela. I try to have a two or three-ace pitching rotation with Scherzer and Tanaka. It’s three if Pineda (1.89 ERA in 2014) can stay healthy. Four if CC can be CC again (I don’t think it’ll happen).

I look for some versatility in Prado (mostly 3B, but can play 2B, LF, RF), Morse (LF/RF/1B) and Pirela (1B/2B/3B/LF/RF). Look for A-Rod to mostly DH but fill in at 1B/3B.

Anyway, for me, I go one big free agent splash (Scherzer), one minor one (Morse) and then see about acquisition #3… either big free agent splash (Ramirez) or big trade (Tulo or Castro).

That is what I’d do… as for others….

MLB Trade Rumors and SI have the Yanks getting Scherzer and Ramirez.

However, in the NY Post, Ken Davidoff has them getting neither, but getting cheaper alternatives.

So here is my team, with the crossouts from my team with a line through them, and then the Davidoff replacements following in italic.

McCann, Cervelli or Murphy, Teixeira, Refsnyder, Headley , Prado, Ramirez (or Tulo or Castro), Drew, A-Rod, Ryan, Pirela. So it would look like the infield would be Headley at 3B, Prado at 2B with Drew at SS. No offense to Drew, but a big comedown from my hoping for Castro, Ramirez or Tulowitzki.

Outfield: Gardner, Ellsbury, Beltran, Morse. (maybe the Yanks go cheap and instead of Morse, keep Chris Young. Again, a comedown?)


Pitching: Scherzer, McCarthy, Tanaka, Pineda, CC and Greene. (with Nova coming back mid-season if someone falters/gets hurt)

Robertson, Betances, Warren, Phelps, Kelley, Lindgren and Huff. Andrew Miller. Not sure who would be scratched, Huff or the rookie Lindgren.

But with Davidoff’s team, it appears like Refsnyder and Lindgren get more minor league time. Also, the Yanks go with cheaper alternatives (McCarthy and Drew) than the big play Scherzer/Ramirez types.

If the Yanks are able to get Miller and retain Robertson, that bullpen could be lights out.

But the offense really worries me, esp. if they go on the cheap and hope for a rebound from Drew instead of going in the direction I am going in.


Ok, you’ve seen some scenarios.


Now if YOU were Cashman, what would YOU do?

Cashman returns, but not Long or Kelleher

The Yanks signed GM Brian Cashman to a new 3-yr. deal today, but let go of hitting coach Kevin Long and 1B/Infield coach Mick Kelleher.