General Manager Brian Cashman’s Plan B 29

brian-cashmanOf all the criticisms I’ve heard about Brian Cashman, one of my favorites (and by favorites I mean that I find most ludicrous) came this past offseason, when many accused him of having no “plan B” after he failed to sign Cliff Lee.

Anyone who reads my postings here knows that I am a fan of Brian Cashman, but come on: can anyone – even those who dislike him – honestly think he had no plan? He runs the most famous sports franchise in the world. Despite taking time to repel down buildings in elf costumes around Christmas time, there is no way a person as hard working as Cashman is will not explore every avenue. Being GM isn’t a part-time job (though I’m not sure anyone ever told Omar Minaya that). The Yankees have a vast information network of scouts and advisors that Cashman has access to. If all the work Cashman did this offseason was sit down and say “We’ll sign Cliff Lee,” well, I’m pretty sure he would no longer be employed.

It seems like even Yankee executives though bought into the hype and thought Cashman had no legitimate alternate plan; so they went and got Rafael Soriano. Hank Steinbrenner even tried to sell Soriano as the replacement for Lee.

Here’s the thing though: there was no replacement for Lee. The Yankees were either going to overpay Lee (which they happily would have), grossly overpay some middle tier guy like Jorge de la Rosa, trade the farm for an imperfect fit like Zack Greinke, or go to the scrap heap. Cashman decided his plan B was to go to the scrap heap. People didn’t like this plan – so much so that they refused to even call it a plan.

So Cashman went out and got Bartolo Colon. He signed Freddy Garcia. He signed Kevin Millwood, Carlos Silva, and Mark Prior to minor league deals. He shored up the catcher position with Russell Martin.

We’re seeing now that these were not as minor of moves as it may have seemed. Cashman gave up no prospects and did not offer any long term deals and yet he found a way to improve the club. Now he can wait and sign the big free agent he really wants or trade for the player he really wants (or even better, have some prospects develop and contribute).

Colon has only tossed 18 innings, Garcia has made just 1 good start, and Martin’s hot start could easily be a product of a small sample size. But that is kind of the point: the Yankees have other cheap options available and the plan all along was to keep trying things and see what works. Since all these guys have essentially no risk attached to them, anything they do is a bonus for the Yankees. This sort of “wait and see” approach is not as satisfying for fans as they evaluate a team’s offseason, but it is proving pretty effective thus far for the Yankees.

29 thoughts on “General Manager Brian Cashman’s Plan B

  • The Pirate

    I'm glad that up to this moment Garcia, Bartolo and Martin are doing excelent, but we have to wait, the season it's too long. Cross your fingers.

  • highlander64

    the big question will be how Cashman manuevers mid year when we will probably need a decent pitcher and others…we gave up Melancon for Berkman i believe…Melancon had always been highly touted even if he was struggling some…yes, you have to give to get but that's where better GM's thrive…Cashman has done well so far with his recent purchases but mid-year trades haven't been his speciality…

  • Paul Knopick

    How about giving Posada, who looks lost as DH, a glove and let him muddle about in leftfield. Bring up Montero and make him permanent DH.

  • highlander64

    Posada would struggle in left field but when do you pull the plug on his DH stint…not now, i can agree to that but if he's hitting below .200 on May 21st, what do you do…maybe he has 10 hrs by that time but he's a rally killer…

  • john

    I have been a big critic of Cashman for a long time. Not sure what he can do without a huge budget. The offseason was not all his fault when it comes to Lee and a "plan B" WHO BESIDES Lee was actually out there as a starter? Pavano? Lets not go there again please,

    His failure was not Lee who wanted to go back to Philly no matter what. his failure was Feliciano and Soriano.

    He didnt want Soriano and it took ownership to make it happen and How could he Blame the Mets for overusing Feliciano? he could read a stat sheet when they looked at him couldnt he?

    Wood and Lee took less to go where they felt at home that is not Cashman's fault but the Feliciano deal is and his blame game with the Mets made him look like a crybaby joke.

    If anyone wants to hammer Cashman we should do it for valid reasons, Like the Pavano and Jaret Wright deals, Not when its a cheap shot like not having a plan b where one did not exist.

  • john

    I know its Blasphemy but why dont any of us question Jeter? We all find someone to Hammer like Gardner and Posada but Jeter has been bad this year so far. I keep thinking he is going to come out of it but it seems like he just rolls over to the shortstop way too much. Ill give him and Jorge more time but just hope they arent done

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