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Brian Cashman

Bronx Tales: Can the Yankees survive a season without Teixeira? What do they do now?

KOBEsh: The news came out a couple days ago that Mark TeIxeIra’s injury could be much more severe than originally thought–like “season ending” more severe. With an injury as complex as his, there’s no reason to suspect that he’ll be able to get in more than 300 at-bats..and that might be on the optimistic side.
 
That being said, can the Yankees survive with Eduardo Nunez, Juan Rivera and Dan “Only Good on the Last Day of the Season” Johnson getting anywhere between 300 and 500 at-bats? Or maybe more?
 
Moreover, do the Yankees have to make a trade now? What type of players would they be targeting? Or are they going to look more towards a free agent signing in the Scott Rolen, Derrek Lee, Carlos Lee mold?… Read more...

What’s the Deal with the Yankees?

If you didn’t think the American League East was the most loaded division in baseball, some of the teams did their very best to convert you. The Toronto Blue Jays acquired R.A. Dickey, Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, and everyone else on the Miami Marlins with a pulse, save for Giancarlo Stanton. The Tampa Bay Rays fleeced Kansas City for its famed minor league system, netting all-world prospect Wil Myers, ready-for-the-majors starter Jake Odorizzi, and project Mike Montgomery. Buck Showalter has proven that he can make lemons out of lemonade dog crap. And the hated Boston Red Sox beat the Yankees to the punch by trading away onerous contracts and starting over.

Before last season, I predicted that the Yankees would race to a great record because they would feast on inferior middle relief pitching, but ultimately would be outmatched by playoff aces. I’m not saying I’m the only one who forecasted that, but I like to give myself credit whenever I can.
Keeping that in mind, the Yankees will enter spring training with virtually the same infrastructure, only now, as the winter has played out, their divisional opponents have either upgraded their roster or showcased a clear plan for doing business. And then there’s the Yankees. If the Yankees had Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford on their roster, they never would have taken advantage of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ unquenchable thirst for a competitive team. The New York front office is in disarray, and here’s why:

Hal Steinbrenner is a numbers guy. His dad dreamed of trophies, but the contents of Hal’s dreams are only those that can within a spreadsheet. I picture him as the accountant that slobbers all over Ben Wyatt’s jokes:
General Manager Brian Cashman isn’t averse to the role of statistics, but isn’t a full on sabermetrics geek. He has always wanted to prove that he can win without the benefit of the Yankee treasure chest.
There are a couple of problems with the mindsets of each of these guys. Let’s start with Hal:
This cake has more personality than Hal.
Not only does Hal want to have his cake and eat it too, Hal wants a celebrity chef to make a wedding-sized cake with his name in big bold letters, and eat a slice of it while the majority of the cake melts all over his father’s tombstone. The roster is full of terrible contracts, and if Hal really wants to slide under the magic number of 189, then he should have been proactive in rebuilding the Yankees from the bottom up. Give more young guys a shot, dump salaries whenever possible, and use the treasure chest to offer draft picks big signing bonuses, rather than pay veterans for past performance. But Hal knows that the over-the-hill Yanks will always have what it takes to eke their way into the postseason. And a playoff team will always make money in the short-term. So, since Hal has taken the blasphemous-to-George path of running the franchise like a business and a business only, he is cheating the fans by giving them a conflicting plan. Winning is replaced by profits and losses.
Poor me, I have so much money!
Cash is one of the best general managers in baseball. He doesn’t pull of Andrew Friedman heists, but he gains value in deals that only make the front pages in the 5 boroughs. When the Yankees win, executives should get proper credit for assembling a championship roster, but in the Bronx, nobody gets credit when the champion craps dollar bills on the daily. Therefore, anybody can understand how Cash wants to prove his skills to the baseball elite. News flash for ya, buddy
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Instant Trade Analysis: Jesus Montero to Seattle

Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com has reported that the New York Yankees have traded uber prospect Jesus Montero to the Seattle Mariners. Also going west is promising young right-hander Hector Noesi, in exchange for stud starting pitcher Michael Pineda and minor league pitcher Jose Campos.

The Yanks have found exactly what they were looking for, a starting pitcher who can make fans feel like they don’t have to start a countdown to the next time that CC Sabathia takes the hill. But at what cost?

Growing up, there was never any reason to pay attention to the Yankee farm system because George Steinbrenner mandated that those players be traded for established big leaguers. But when General Manager Brian Cashman gained enough power in the front office, he made it a point to re-tool the Bombers’ minor league affiliates. And out came the goods. Phil Hughes. Joba Chamberlain. Ian Kennedy.  The list went on. Now, a good batch of homegrown players is something in which Yankee fans can take pride. I am beaming at the thought of Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos throwing straight heat from 60 feet, 6 inches. But most of all, I was ready to see Mr. Montero swing the bat.

I got my chance when the young buck was called up last summer. In 18 games, Jesus hit for a .328 average, with an OPS of .996 (and an OPS+ of 159). Inserted into a lineup where many of the regulars were old enough to be his father in a dysfunctional family, Montero provided a spark that only a young, blue chip prospect could.

I am sad to see a homegrown player leave, but make no mistake, this isn’t a Yankee move of yesteryear. Pitching does not grow on trees, and young stud pitching sprouts only when cultivated by the finest gardeners. Michael Pineda is a fireballer. His fastball has been clocked around 97-98 mph, and it’s complemented by a power slider at 85 with a TWO-PLANE break! (Ask me if I know what that means.) He averaged more than a strikeout per inning last year and ties up a loose end in the Yankee rotation. It remains to be seen whether or not he can handle the New York media, but then again, 18 regular season games and 2 playoff games are hardly enough of a sample size to proclaim that Jesus can face the music.

So who fills the DH role next year? Odds are that Girardi again uses it as a rotating position, and sure enough, most of the position players could use a half-day off every once in a while. Interestingly, as friend of the blog TuckRule suggested, maybe this results in the team throwing gobs of money at Prince Fielder to come DH in the Bronx. God knows how many cheapies he’d get with that short porch in right field (and alleged jet-stream).

Hard to blame Cash for this one. We weren’t going deep into the playoffs with the starting rotation as constituted before today. So if we’re better today than we were yesterday, the Yanks get a thumbs up from Mambino.… Read more...