New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman may be the most overrated person at his position in all of Major League Baseball. While he has helped the Yankees win World Series championships, he is more or less a figurehead with an open checkbook.
Simply being able to offer players more money than your competitors does not make you a top flight general manager. Promoting the right players from the minor leagues, holding on to top prospects while acquiring other team’s best players and signing the right – not most expensive – players makes you good at your job.
To some degree, it can be argued that Cashman excels at none of those things.
The greatest example of Cashman being in far over his head at his post is his unwillingness to admit that he has no idea what constitutes a good starting pitcher. He has refused to trade pitching prospects who he himself have labeled as “can’t miss.”
Ah, the dreaded term “can’t miss” prospect. Especially when it comes to the Yankees’ organization. We have come to find out that term has absolutely no meaning or truth behind the phrase.
Cashman could have traded Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes and countless others for top flight players at other positions, but he refused to part with them. Oh, that is, except for Ian Kennedy. As nice as it has been to acquire Curtis Granderson, Cashman could have included Hughes or Chamberlain instead of Kennedy, who put up numbers of Cy Young status last season with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
And it isn’t just about prospects. I will admit that A.J. Burnett was not getting the job done. But trading him for next to nothing while still paying the majority of his salary proves stupid.
Or how about re-signing Freddy Garcia instead of Bartolo Colon? That worked out well. Garcia got rocked in both of his two starts, posting an ERA just around 7 so far. Colon, on the other hand, has thrown gems in three of his four starts, putting up a 3-1 record with an ERA of 2.63.
Andy Pettitte can not come back soon enough for the Yankees. Or Michael Pineda…
If that trade works out for Cashman. If not, it is time to move forward.
And on to a new general manager.
Kelley writes for The Pigskin Report as well as Hardball Chat. You can follow him on Twitter @RobKelley24 and Like The Rob Kelley Sports Network on Facebook. Kelley is a former sports reporter for various newspapers throughout the state of Florida, and had his first book published I'm Not a Quitter after moving back to Massachusetts.