Saturday marks the 20 year anniversary of Brian Cashman as Yankees GM and this past off season proves he is still on top of his game. During his tenure with the Yanks he has never allowed the franchise to go under .500 and he also has been apart of 4 championship teams (1998,1999,2000,2009). Along the way there has been ups as well as downs and in this article we will break down some of his best moves as well as some of his worst moves as Yankees GM.
I may be biased here because I myself am a Yankee fan and we have yet to see how this deal will panout but I’m gonna start this list with the trading for Giancarlo Stanton. Coming off a MVP year, bombing 59 home runs Stanton instantly becomes a threat along with the other young bombers Judge and Sanchez. This is on the top of the list to me because they practically gave up nothing for the guy, sending second baseman Starlin Catsro along with the young prospects Jorge Guzman, and Red Sox phenom Rafael Devers 18 year old cousin Jose Devers. Guzman was ranked 9th in the Yankees farm system while Devers was unranked. I am anxious to see how this Stanton deal plays out.
Next we have the “flipping” of Aroldis Chapman. Chapman was playing in Cincinnati and dealing with off field issues, Cashman comes in to send 4 minor league players to get the deal done. The next season he then sends Chap to the Cubs where they get Gleyber Torres, Billy McKinney, Adam Warren and Rashad Crawford. Chapman and the Cubs would eventually defeat Cleveland to win the World Series. Then what does Cashman do? He signs the Cuban Missle back to a 5 year $86 million dollar contract and is currently the largest contract given to a relief pitcher for 2017. Chapman finished the season with 22 saves and a era of 3.22.
We will switch it up here for a second and throw out what I think would be one of Cashman’s worse moves. Mr. Jacoby Ellsbury step up to the plate! In 2013 Cashman delivered probably the worse signing when Ellsbury was offered a $153 million dollar contract for 7 years, with a option for the 8th year that could raise the deal to a total value of the deal to $169 million. Ellsbury batted .298 with nine home runs, 53 RBIs, and a Major League-leading 52 stolen bases in 134 games for Boston that last season and has failed to live up to that hefty contract as his batting average in his first season in pinstripes dipped to .271. This passed season Ellsbury averaged .261 with 7 homeruns, I mean the guy barely plays but this is beyond not what they should be getting from a guy that’s getting paid that high. Today the Yankees are struggling to look for a trade suitor for Ells due to that massive contract and poor play. Ells’ contract expires in 2020.
During the 2009 offseason, the Yanks and Cashman went on a free agent spending spree. A spree that cost the team almost a half billion dollars, but also resulted in a World Series title. C.C. Sabathia and A.J Burnett highlighted free agency in the pitching department and the Yankees pounced on both. C.C. was inked for $161 million over 7 years while Burnett signed to a 5 year deal worth $82.5 million. They didn’t stop there, with Jason Giambi returning to the As on a 1 year deal, Cashman quickly turned to Mark Teixeira signing him to a 8 year $180 million dollar contract. Those 3 signings filled the Yankees voids at pitcher and first base. A few key players were re signed such as Chien-Ming Wang, Brian Bruney, Melkey Cabrera, Xavier Nady and Andy Pettittie were brought back avoiding arbitration.
Fast forward to 2014, another spree but this time it resulted in missing the playoffs and it was also the last season for the captain Derek Jeter. Ellsbury was signed this year, as well as Brian Roberts, Carlos Beltran, Matt Thorton, Brian McCann, Andrew Bailey and the highly scouted Japan star Masahiro Tanaka. All totaled to about $503 million dollars just to miss the playoffs is disappointing.
If the Yanks can secure a ring this upcoming season, then this will cement the way for Cashman’s Hall of Fame career. He is only 50 years old, who knows what the future hold for him and the Yanks as the chase for 28 continues.
Image sources: NYPost.com