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December 11, 2007

Brian Cashman 1998

Brian Cashman became Yankees G.M. on February 28, 1998.

It's rare for someone to be a G.M. for tens years with one team these days. Ten years does provide for some "body of work" analysis. Therefore, I thought it would be fun, this off-season, to take a look back at Cashman's "moves" during the past decade - one year at a time. (I'll try and post one year, per week, over the next ten weeks.)

Here, we'll look at Cashman's moves in 1998 and how they helped or hurt the team:

No Impact:

March 7, 1998 - Traded Andy Fox to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Received Todd Erdos and Marty Janzen.

June 3, 1998 - Traded Willie Banks to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Received Scott Brow and Joe Lisio (minors).

August 23, 1998 -Traded Ray Ricken (minors) and Shea Morenz (minors) to the San Diego Padres. Received Jim Bruske and Brad Kaufman (minors).

November 16, 1998 - Traded Allen Butler (minors) to the Minnesota Twins. Received Dan Naulty.

December 8, 1998 - Traded Chris Singleton to the Chicago White Sox. Received a player to be named later. The Chicago White Sox sent Rich Pratt (minors) (January 10, 1999) to the New York Yankees to complete the trade.

Good Impact:

August 3, 1998 - Released Dale Sveum.

November 10, 1998 - Signed Scott Brosius as a free agent.

November 11, 1998 - Signed David Cone as a free agent.

Great Impact:

March 23, 1998 - Signed Orlando Hernandez as an amateur free agent.

September 29, 1998 - Purchased Alfonso Soriano from the Hiroshima Toyo Carp (Japan Central).

Bad Impact:

June 2, 1998 - Drafted Mark Prior in the 1st round (43rd pick) of the 1998 amateur draft, but did not sign the player. Drafted Randy Keisler in the 2nd round of the 1998 amateur draft. Player signed July 21, 1998. Drafted Drew Henson in the 3rd round of the 1998 amateur draft. Player signed July 24, 1998.

Was Probably Not A Cashman Move & More Likely Something Done In Tampa:

November 25, 1998 - Signed Bernie Williams as a free agent.
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Here, the wasting of the 1st three picks in the draft are more than offset by the pick-up of El Duque and Soriano. In terms of the trades, Brian gave up nothing and got nothing - so, they're a wash. On the whole, I would suggest that 1998's results were mixed for Cashman - with a net gain/loss of zero in the end.

Posted by Steve Lombardi at December 11, 2007 10:39 AM

Comments

This doesn't have anything to do with this post, but I thought Yankee fans might like to know that an article today suggested one of the players the Twins and Yanks talked about in a Santana trade was none other than Kei Igawa. Apparently people still think he's good enough to start in the big leagues -- and if you think about it, he is the sort of low-annual-salary pitcher a team like the Twins would want (though it doesn't need to be mentioned here that he sucks). Wouldn't that be something? Getting Santana AND getting rid of Igawa in the same deal?

Obviously, Phil would be going with him, so I hope it doesn't happen, but I got a good chuckle out of it anyway.

Posted by: baileywalk [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 11, 2007 11:04 AM

The only problem I see is that Cashman did not over see the draft until he signed his last contract. The brain trust in tampa was in charge then.
This is from a Jan. 2004 ny daily news article:

"From his home in Westchester, Cashman labored over the most important document of his career - one that would define how the Yankees would do business in the future: The fractured baseball operation, with factions in New York and Tampa, would report to the general manager. And the GM would have supervision over the draft, and sole responsibility for the 40-man roster."

Posted by: Rich M [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 11, 2007 11:28 AM

What was the point of signing Dale Sveum?

Do you think Brosius was a good deal? He wound up blocking Lowell, who IIRC was ready to take over 3b.

I guess Brosius was (is? still?) much better defensively than Lowell?

Interesting idea on the year by year analysis on Cashman's moves. I look forward to the other entries.

Looks like not much has changed; minor league flotsam & jetsam in the pen (Naulty & Bruske), free agency acqusitions from both the international front & within MLB.

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 11, 2007 11:30 AM

I'm looking forward to the other entries too.

It would be hard to do, but it would be interesting if the good and bad non-moves would be included too...not trading Soriano and Mendoza for Edmonds, not trading Pettitte, not trading Cano and Wang, not trading Joba for Gagne, not signing Albert Belle, signing Sheff over Vlad, missing out on Schilling, etc.

Posted by: christopher [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 11, 2007 12:32 PM

How exactly can you blame Prior's decision on Cashman?

The Yanks literally threw money at Mark Prior and the youngster decided himself that he wasn't ready for pro ball. He opted for college, but not because the Yanks didn't try very hard to sign him.

Posted by: Ben K. [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 11, 2007 12:35 PM

Everyone knew Prior was going to college. The Yanks didn't listen and gambled away the draft pick. The Yanks have a history of drafting big name players who have no intention of signing - John Elway instead of Tony Gwynn, Bo Jackson instead of Barry Larkin...

Posted by: christopher [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 11, 2007 12:46 PM

ben - ditto what christopher said

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 11, 2007 12:50 PM

Ben and Steve, that is the one of the dumber things that have been posted here. "The Yanks have a history of drafting big name players who have no intention of signing." Please, the Yankees also have a history of signing big name player who DO sign. That is, in fact, exactly what has helped them rebuild their farm system so damn fast. Signing players everyone else assumed wouldn't sign and then throwing a TON of cash at them.

Kisler started off his minor league career with a bang and then was rushed through the system, making his debut in just his 2nd full season. It was obviously a huge mistake as he clearly wasn't ready, and like Chase Wright, Sean Henn, Clippard, and all the rest, he never recovered. Was it a bad draft pick? Yeah, with 20/20 hindsight, but had they not rushed him, who knows.

Drew Henson didn't pan out, but that was exactly the type of move they are rightfully be praised for now: an above slot signing with a high ceiling. He didn't pan out, but neither might Brackman, Bettences etc. You have to take those kinds of risks in the draft.


I know you really really really don't like Cashman Steve, and anyone who tried to deny that he has a checkered past in terms of moves would be kidding themselves. But, on the other hand, who doesn't. I would say those good to great impacts outbalance the so called "bad" impacts by a mile. Hernandez was a GREAT signing, period.

Posted by: Zack [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 11, 2007 01:08 PM

And what is wrong with the Henson pick? Cash traded him for Denny Neagle a few years later, who helped them to a WS title. It's not his fault Henson choose football years after signing.

Who were they supposed to take instead of Prior? The only guys worth a damn drafted after the first round of the '98 draft are Adam Dunn, Matt Holliday (the Rox had to throw wads of cash at him to keep him from football) and Mark Teixeira (who didn't sign anyway) and every team passed on them at least once.

You can't expect every draft pick to work out, then blame the GM when it doesn't.

Posted by: Mike A. [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 11, 2007 01:26 PM

~~~Who were they supposed to take instead of Prior? ~~~

Gerald Laird - at least he would have had some trade value, back in the day, as opposed to a guy who didn't sign.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 11, 2007 01:48 PM

***Gerald Laird - at least he would have had some trade value, back in the day, as opposed to a guy who didn't sign.***

Good idea, take a projected backup catcher that was overdrafted because of position scarcity instead of the high ceiling pitcher that may or may not sign. Come on Steve, you're better than that.

Posted by: Mike A. [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 11, 2007 02:10 PM

~~~Come on Steve, you're better than that.~~~

Shoot, Andy Van Hekken would have made more sense than a guy who was going to be impossible to sign - again, because, as a signed prospect he had some trade value.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 11, 2007 02:32 PM

I don't know if it makes any difference, but Mark Prior was a sandwich pick, not a first rounder; they got Andy Brown in the first round.

http://tinyurl.com/2yopaf

"But before they settled on Brown for the first round, the Yankees thought about taking Mark Prior, a high school pitcher from San Diego who let it be known that there were only four clubs he would sign with; the Yankees were among those. But worried that Prior would be difficult to sign, the Yankees went with Brown -- and lo and behold, Prior was still available at the time of their sandwich pick, between the first and second rounds (No. 43 over all). Cashman says talks with Prior, a 6-foot-5-inch, 220-pound right-hander, have begun in earnest."

Seems that talks broke down over $$.

http://tinyurl.com/2c6fy9

"Prior led the Cubs within five outs of the World Series in 2003, when he was 18-6. The Yankees had drafted him five years earlier, but by the time they relented and offered him a $1.5 million bonus, Prior had decided to go to Vanderbilt, where he was a freshman all-American before transferring to U.S.C."

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 11, 2007 03:08 PM

So according to Raf's article, the Yankees were one of the teams Prior said he'd sign with. The Yankees gave him approximately double what the current slot is, and probably triple what it would have been in '98. He said he'd sign, they showed him the money, he said no. How is that a bad move?

Also, do you have any reason to believe that Cashman wasn't part of the Bernie signing, or that he didn't want Bernie?

Posted by: dan [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 11, 2007 07:45 PM

~~~Also, do you have any reason to believe that Cashman wasn't part of the Bernie signing, or that he didn't want Bernie?~~~

It's pretty well documented that Big Stein talked to Bernie just as he was about to go and asked him what it would take to make him stay - and then he, not Cashman, gave it to Williams.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 11, 2007 10:38 PM

"I know you really really really don't like Cashman Steve, and anyone who tried to deny that he has a checkered past in terms of moves would be kidding themselves. But, on the other hand, who doesn't. I would say those good to great impacts outbalance the so called "bad" impacts by a mile." - Zack

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I thought that should be re-posted for emphasis. Is there any way that getting Duque, Sori, and keeping the reigning WS MVP and someone who would go on to throw a perfect game in the next season around, levels out evenly with butchering the draft? Especially considering, we got a helpful pitcher for Henson and both Henson and Keisler made the bigs with us. Unsuccessful as they turned out to be, that is still further than many draft picks go. Everyone praises us now, as others mentioned, for drafting risks and paying them above slot, they can't all turn out well.

You commented about the Yankee Blinders on another post, Steve. Obviously, you aren't the most optimistic fan. But hey, while I am optimistic about the Yanks for the most part, I'm not the same way with the Rangers for example so I understand where you're coming from. And, more importantly, I (and obviously many others) keep coming back to the blog so don't sweat it and keep up the good work.

Posted by: sju38621 [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 12, 2007 12:27 AM