Yankees re-sign Brian Cashman to three-year deal

glennhoffmania

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While the Yankees appear likely to miss the playoffs for a second straight season, top team brass isn't about to blame any possible disappointment on long-time general manager Brian Cashman, and by and large give Cashman good or better marks for his performance, assuring that he'll be asked to return for a 18th season as general manager and beyond, according to people familiar with the situation.
 
Yankees higher-ups are impressed with Cashman's in-season pickups, including starter Brandon McCarthy, infielder/outfielder Martin Prado and third baseman Chase Headley, and sources say they fairly don't blame him for the underperformance of some of their established veteran hitters ("they were all on board with Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran," one league official familiar with their thinking said). Yankees higher-ups, according to one league executive, believe a likely second straight quiet October "isn't [Cashman's] fault."
 
 
Heyman
 

SemperFidelisSox

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Here's the thing about those impressive mid-season pickups. They were done out of desperation because Cashmans strategy of relying on aging veterans failed (again). No mention of Brian Roberts being the Opening Day 2nd basemen, or Soriano and Ichiro as outfield depth.
 

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The thing is, we don't know who's responsible for what over there.  Without knowing anything, one would look at this team that's spent about half a billion in payroll over the last two seasons to miss the playoffs and assume it's the GM's fault.  But how much say did Randy, Hank and Hal have over these moves?  It doesn't sound like they give Cashman anything close to complete discretion.
 

jon abbey

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That headline (meaning yours, GHM) is inaccurate, as it implies that Cashman definitely wants to stay. I'm going to change it. 
 

glennhoffmania

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I think it's a pretty safe assumption that if they offer him an extension he'll take it.
 

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glennhoffmania said:
The thing is, we don't know who's responsible for what over there.  Without knowing anything, one would look at this team that's spent about half a billion in payroll over the last two seasons to miss the playoffs and assume it's the GM's fault.  But how much say did Randy, Hank and Hal have over these moves?  It doesn't sound like they give Cashman anything close to complete discretion.
 
Actually the big factor in the past few years has been the macro plan in which they were supposed to stay under $189M, so all decisions for 2-3 years got filtered through that prism, until they decided to jettison the idea a couple of years after they should have. It's a very odd situation certainly, Cashman bargained for full control last time he re-signed but he definitely doesn't have it in the last year or two. 
 

jon abbey

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glennhoffmania said:
I think it's a pretty safe assumption that if they offer him an extension he'll take it.
 
Glad that you think so, but I don't think that makes it true. 
 

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As has been discussed previously, including on this very board, the main problem for the Yankees over the last decade or so is their inability to develop quality players through the farm.  Obviously, as GM Cashman oversees this, but I don't know how much purview he has over amateur scouting and selection.  This is the area where the Yanks need to make changes.  
 
Most of the big name contracts are bad, or probably will be.  The Yanks have more than anyone (except maybe the Phillies), but as the team with the largest payroll, they can absorb these better than most teams.  There have also been rumors of some of these signings being pressured from above, so I don't know how much responsibility he should bear for these.  
 
Anecdotally, he done a good job with in season trades and under the radar pickups.  It seems like they would have been much better off sticking to the original plan of getting under the threshold (as JA points out).
 
Overall, Cashman's job performance strikes me as neither good nor bad but rather incredibly mediocre.  
 

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Sox and Rocks said:
As has been discussed previously, including on this very board, the main problem for the Yankees over the last decade or so is their inability to develop quality players through the farm.  Obviously, as GM Cashman oversees this, but I don't know how much purview he has over amateur scouting and selection.  This is the area where the Yanks need to make changes.  
 
Most of the big name contracts are bad, or probably will be.  The Yanks have more than anyone (except maybe the Phillies), but as the team with the largest payroll, they can absorb these better than most teams.  There have also been rumors of some of these signings being pressured from above, so I don't know how much responsibility he should bear for these.  
 
Anecdotally, he done a good job with in season trades and under the radar pickups.  It seems like they would have been much better off sticking to the original plan of getting under the threshold (as JA points out).
 
Overall, Cashman's job performance strikes me as neither good nor bad but rather incredibly mediocre.  
He's the GM, and presumably the lead voice in setting strategy. The strategy over his tenure is to generally resign their own stars supported by several other costly marquee FA signings. He's got no farm system largely due to his strategy. Increasingly most other young players are locked up by the team that signed them, thus further making the Ys reliant on signing aging players past their prime. The result? An aging team, filled with bad contracts I'm at a loss as why he ducks responsibility. 
 

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bankshot1 said:
He's the GM, and presumably the lead voice in setting strategy. The strategy over his tenure is to generally resign their own stars supported by several other costly marquee FA signings. He's got no farm system largely due to his strategy. Increasingly most other young players are locked up by the team that signed them, thus further making the Ys reliant on signing aging players past their prime. The result? An aging team, filled with bad contracts I'm at a loss as why he ducks responsibility. 
 
He maybe should get a bit more blame than he does, but it's also worth remembering that as recently as 2012, this was a 95 win team that went to the ALCS. This $189M goal, which was clearly owner mandated, has warped all decisions for the past few years, so it's a hard thing to really judge IMO. 
 

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JA what's your perspective on Cashman (apologize if you've mind this clear elsewhere and I missed it) and the job he's done? The nature of the NY payroll makes it hard for me to judge sometimes. If you had a choice between hiring him back or not, what would you do?
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I thought Cashman's big mistake over the past few years was not leveraging the MFYs money advantage in the draft when that was available. Now, the problem is that there aren't a lot of ways for them to leverage the advantage. I suspect the owners are still making money hand over feet so Cashman stays.

It will be interesting to see if their international big summer blow-out will bear any fruit.

I wonder what Billy Beane would do if he had $250M in payroll to play with. . . .
 

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Mr Jums said:
JA what's your perspective on Cashman (apologize if you've mind this clear elsewhere and I missed it) and the job he's done? The nature of the NY payroll makes it hard for me to judge sometimes. If you had a choice between hiring him back or not, what would you do?
Agree on this point.  I feel the same way, to an even greater degree, about Girardi (perhaps we should create a separate thread about him).
 
For two years in a row now, the MFY have had a negative run differential, yet still managed to be several games above .500.  Due to their payroll, most baseball observers automatically assume that they are underachieving (and, based on payroll alone, clearly they are).  But based on the actual on the field performance of their players, they are actually overachieving.  
 
These facts make it hard for me to evaluate both Cashman and Girardi, but especially Girardi.  
 

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Mr Jums said:
JA what's your perspective on Cashman (apologize if you've mind this clear elsewhere and I missed it) and the job he's done? The nature of the NY payroll makes it hard for me to judge sometimes. If you had a choice between hiring him back or not, what would you do?
 
The fundamental problem is that ownership isn't smart enough to adapt to the way the game has changed in the last decade or so and they interfere too often to let any GM fully do his job, as you've said.
 
What NY ideally needs is new ownership and a thorough examination of every single aspect of how the franchise is run (start with the antiquated no facial hair rule), but since that is exceedingly unlikely to happen as far as I know, I'd like Cashman to stay if he wants, but for him to again push to have as much unchecked personnel power written into his contract as possible. This was a big deal for him (understandably) the last time that his contract came up and he supposedly had won much more control than ever before, but I think it's been clear the last few years that that's no longer the case anymore, so a swing of the pendulum back in that direction would be welcome. 
 

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wade boggs chicken dinner said:
I wonder what Billy Beane would do if he had $250M in payroll to play with. . . .
 
 
The "Beane with money to spend" angle is a nice thought experiment, but we might as well ask "I wonder what Cashman would do with full control?"
 
The point is that Billy Beane works his magic precisely because he has full control to do anything he wants except spend money indiscriminately.  With the exception of the past one and a half offseasons, Cashman has all the money in the world to spend but limits on how he can spend it.  Hell, there have even been times where Cashman has let it be known that he had no part in a signing, which is strange on many levels but seemingly the norm for his job.
 
Don't get me wrong, I think Beane is the best in the business.  But I'm not sure we have a sense of whether Cashman is a very good GM or not.  And if I were Cashman, I'd like to think I'd want the chance to show that at some point by getting out from under.  But then again, maybe not.
 

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jon abbey said:
 
What NY ideally needs is new ownership and a thorough examination of every single aspect of how the franchise is run (start with the antiquated no facial hair rule),
 
Agreed. That's clearly been the Yankees' major obstacle to winning championships.
 

rembrat

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This will help with the "how good of a GM is Cashman" debate:
 
 
Where Cashman can be faulted, however, is the minor league system. Back in 2005, he threatened to leave as GM if Yankee owner George Steinbrenner didn’t put an end to the longstanding separate fiefdoms in both Tampa and New York and give him control over the entire baseball operation. But once in charge, Cashman did nothing to change the way the minor league system was run. Newman remained and was allowed to continue hiring his cronies as scouts and coaches, many of whom never even played professionally (while at the same time running off, among others, Dick Groch, the scout who signed Derek Jeter, and Fred Ferreira, the scout who signed Bernie Williams), and Damon Oppenheimer continued as scouting director.
 
I’m told the morale throughout the Yankees’ minor league system was at an all-time low this year as Newman had minor league pitching coordinator Gil Patterson calling minor league managers in the middle of ballgames and ordering them to remove pitchers with rising pitch counts. Yet in spite of all the failed draft picks, and pitchers who were never allowed to pitch out of jams, and the absence of any impact position players coming through the system, Cashman nevertheless approved Newman’s policies and all his hires — which makes you wonder about his own judgment and whether he should be the one to conduct the needed overhaul of the Yankee player development and scouting systems
 
 

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If I'm Cashman and I have an ego, I'd move on and try to prove I can win somewhere without the 1st and 2nd highest payroll in the bigs and with complete and absolute control.
 
But he keeps coming back, so he must not minding dealing with douchey Levine.
 

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StuckOnYouk said:
If I'm Cashman and I have an ego, I'd move on and try to prove I can win somewhere without the 1st and 2nd highest payroll in the bigs and with complete and absolute control.
 
But he keeps coming back, so he must not minding dealing with douchey Levine.
 
Are other teams going to line up to pay him more than the $3m+ NY is paying him?
 
I honestly don't know if Cashman is a good GM or not since he clearly doesn't have complete control.  If NY continues with their philosophy of ignoring the farm and signing big FA contracts to fill holes every year, what special talent does that require?  It seems like they could get someone to do that for a lot less money.  But if I'm Cashman and I could work with that budget and not have to worry about my bosses getting pissed off about mortgaging the future, I'm sticking around as long as possible to collect those pay checks.
 

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I understand some of the reasons why EE and other MFY fans like Cashman -- the veteran signings he has made without ownership meddling have, for the most part, worked out reasonably well; he has been shrewd with his roster moves around the margins; and he did a decent job finding cheap stopgap options when Uday and Qusay abruptly closed the checkbook. What I don't understand is why Cashman doesn't bear more accountability for the disastrous state of the farm system -- he fought for and won control over that part of the operation back in 2005, but by all accounts it is a poor system today, which ironically was not the case under its former Tampa-based management (though even then, it had declined from its heyday in the 1990s).
 

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rembrat said:
If it ain't broke don't fix it. amirite
No one's replied to you so maybe you're feeling down, ignored, alone; but let it be known you put a little spring in my step this morning, dare I say, it could be the beginning of a jig.   :banana:
 

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maufman said:
What I don't understand is why Cashman doesn't bear more accountability for the disastrous state of the farm system -- he fought for and won control over that part of the operation back in 2005, but by all accounts it is a poor system today, which ironically was not the case under its former Tampa-based management (though even then, it had declined from its heyday in the 1990s).
 
People always say how disastrous NY's system is, but they keep producing productive major leaguers (admittedly many for other teams) who are never regarded as prospects right up until they start contributing (Shane Greene is a good example from this year). If you combine that with their consistently low drafting position over the past 20 years plus how many draft picks they gave up to sign FAs over that time, I don't think Cashman's record there is so bad. I still don't know how they let Gerrit Cole go back to college, though. 
 
Also, changing the topic title. 
 

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So constantly giving up draft picks to sign FAs, which obviously weakens the system, isn't something Cashman should be held accountable for?  Instead it's a reason to cut him some slack since he chose to have fewer drafts picks and forego building the system up with more young talent?  That seems like somewhat backward reasoning.
 

jon abbey

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There's so much interference from ownership, especially in the last couple of seasons with that $189M attempt, that it's impossible to judge his performance IMO. This past offseason was a case where he was obviously under orders to make sure that NY didn't end up with no one, I still can't get over them offering deals to Choo and Beltran simultaneously and telling them both "whoever agrees first we will take".
 
But what I was primarily saying there is that their farm system always seems to deliver more players than the prospect rankings say they should. 
 

glennhoffmania

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Oh I absolutely agree with that, and it's what I was referring to in my earlier post.  I was only talking about the fact that I don't see why he should get credit for maintaining a usable farm system despite how many picks he forfeited, because the picks were forfeited to acquire other assets.  Whether that was all his doing or Hank/Hal, who knows.  But I'd imagine that if he disagreed with all of the signings that led to many forfeited picks, he wouldn't keep working there.
 

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So constantly giving up draft picks to sign FAs, which obviously weakens the system, isn't something Cashman should be held accountable for?  Instead it's a reason to cut him some slack since he chose to have fewer drafts picks and forego building the system up with more young talent?  That seems like somewhat backward reasoning.
He's accountable for it all, including what success they've had on the field. Homegrown talent has contributed to that. So have FAs, including ones signed at the cost of a pick.

Here's Baseball America's organizational ranking for the Yankees over the years (I don't have a subscription, so I don't have the 2014 ranking, which I don't think was good):

2013: 11
2012: 13
2011: 5
2010: 22
2009: 15
2008: 5
2007: 5
2006: 17
2005: 24
2004: 27
2003: 17
2002: 5
2001: 7
2000: 1
1999: 3
1998: 9

Definitely up and down, but certainly not bottom-of-the-barrel most years. There have been bad picks. Lots of injuries too. Hard to know how much credit or blame Cashman gets for any one year, but again, he's accountable for it all. On balance, I don't think the farm system has been a major strength or weakness for him.
 

rembrat

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Did you guys even read my post?
 
Cashman has nothing to offer. This is a great signing for the rest of baseball.
 

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glennhoffmania said:
So constantly giving up draft picks to sign FAs, which obviously weakens the system, isn't something Cashman should be held accountable for?  Instead it's a reason to cut him some slack since he chose to have fewer drafts picks and forego building the system up with more young talent?  That seems like somewhat backward reasoning.
 
 
The A's only had one homegrown player on their roster by season's end. Draft picks, like lotto tickets, are mostly losers.
 

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rembrat said:
Did you guys even read my post?
 
Cashman has nothing to offer. This is a great signing for the rest of baseball.
 
Hard to know how much of that is true and how much is just propaganda from a different internal NY faction, I don't take the Daily News seriously at all and try to avoid it entirely (and have felt this way for decades, going back to when I bought four papers every AM, Times/Post/WSJ/USA Today).