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January 28, 2008

Brian Cashman 2003

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 2003 and how they helped or hurt the team:

No Impact:

March 19, 2003 - Traded Rondell White to the San Diego Padres. Received Bubba Trammell, Mark Phillips, and cash.

July 16, 2003 - Traded Jason Anderson, Anderson Garcia, and Ryan Bicondoa to the New York Mets. Received Armando Benitez.

August 6, 2003 - Traded Armando Benitez to the Seattle Mariners. Received Jeff Nelson.

August 22, 2003 - Traded Sterling Hitchcock to the St. Louis Cardinals. Received Ben Julianel and Justin Pope.

December 18, 2003 - Traded Chris Hammond and cash to the Oakland Athletics. Received Eduardo Sierra and J.T. Stotts.

Good Impact:

January 15, 2003 - Traded Orlando Hernandez to the Chicago White Sox. Received Antonio Osuna and Delvis Lantigua.

February 4, 2003 - Signed Jon Lieber as a free agent.

June 6, 2003 - Traded Marcus Thames to the Texas Rangers. Received Ruben Sierra.

June 25, 2003 - Purchased Karim Garcia from the Cleveland Indians.

July 29, 2003 - Traded Raul Mondesi and cash to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Received David Dellucci, Bret Prinz, and John Prowl.

July 31, 2003 - Traded Brandon Claussen, Charlie Manning, and cash to the Cincinnati Reds. Received Aaron Boone.

July 31, 2003 - Traded Robin Ventura to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Received Bubba Crosby and Scott Proctor.

August 25, 2003 - Selected Felix Heredia off waivers from the Cincinnati Reds.

December 19, 2003 - Signed Miguel Cairo as a free agent.

Great Impact:

December 16, 2003 - Signed Tom Gordon as a free agent.

Bad Impact:

January 16, 2003 - Signed John Flaherty as a free agent.

January 27, 2003 - Signed Juan Acevedo as a free agent.

February 6, 2003 - Signed Jose Contreras as an amateur free agent.

July 31, 2003 - Received Gabe White from the Cincinnati Reds as part of a conditional deal.

November 6, 2003 - Andy Pettitte granted Free Agency.

December 4, 2003 - Signed Felix Heredia as a free agent.

December 7, 2003 - Signed Gabe White as a free agent.

December 13, 2003 - Traded Jeff Weaver, Yhency Brazoban, Brandon Weeden, and cash to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Received Kevin Brown.

December 16, 2003 - Traded Nick Johnson, Juan Rivera, and Randy Choate to the Montreal Expos. Received Javier Vazquez.

December 17, 2003 - Signed Paul Quantrill as a free agent.

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

December 19, 2003 - Signed Gary Sheffield as a free agent.
______________________________________________________________
The good deals this year for Cashman mostly had short-term benefits. But, the bad deals either hurt the Yankees for a while (Flaherty, Contreras, Pettitte, and Brown) or they hurt New York in a big post-season spot (Brown, Vazquez, and Quantrill). If I’m Brian, and I’m putting together a resume, I might want to leave 2003 off it – especially some of these moves in the winter following the 2003 season.

Posted by Steve Lombardi at January 28, 2008 06:05 PM

Comments

Letting Pettite walk netted them Phil Hughes as compensation.


Posted by: dave [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 28, 2008 06:18 PM

How could you suggest that Flaherty was a bad signing, when in fact it was a very good one. In 2003 and 2004, Flaherty has an OPS+ of 97 and 93. For a backup catcher that's almost off the charts.

I also don't think you can call the Javy Vasquez trade a bad one because the players traded really never emerged as significant contributors and then Javy was flipped as a major component in the Johnson deal. Now, the Unit wasn't great, but he did have a very good 2005 and the Yankees very likely wouldn't have won the division that year without him (mostly based on how well Johnson pitched against Boston).

Even the Brown deal wasn't a bad one because they Yankees dumped Jeff Weaver. The net on that deal was a wash.

Once again, you have greatly exaggerated your claims, denying your argument any credibility.

Posted by: williamnyy [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 28, 2008 06:26 PM

***December 18, 2003 - Traded Chris Hammond and cash to the Oakland Athletics. Received Eduardo Sierra and J.T. Stotts.***

Sierra was eventually traded for Shawn Chacon, who the Yanks would not have made the playoffs without in 2005.

Posted by: Mike A. [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 28, 2008 06:27 PM

Steve,

Some critiques... of this item and of the series in general.

Actually, its one big critique: You can't evaluate these moves in a vacuum. The are all pieces of a chain (whether or not it was part of a plan, the chain of events is important).

For instance - you rate trading Chris Hammond as "no impact." Yet, when we get to 2005, I'd be willing to bet you rate the acquisition of Shawn Chacon as "good or great impact," yet without the trade of Hammond, it's likely that there is no trade for Chacon.

Also, on the consistency - you say just in 2003 that the acquisition of Felix Heredia was "good," yet when Cashman rewards his good performance with a new deal, its somehow "bad."

Did Heredia blow up into The Run Fairy? Yes, but you reward good performances, which they got, sort of, out of Heredia.

You hammer the trade for Kevin Brown, ignoring the fact that Brown when healthy, was at times dominant for the Yankees, while the guys surrendered to get him (Weaver, Brazoban, Weeden and cash) have been alternately hurt, ineffective and in the minors.

Ditto for the Vazquez deal. Javy was a solid, if not spectacular player, who brought back a
near ace-level Randy Johnson (for one season), and only cost two oft-injured players and a never-was pitcher.

All this is a long way of saying Monday Morning Quaterbacking these moves as individual line items is unfair, part of being a good manager/evaluator is recognizing when things go bad - and Cashman has been able to do that, and bring back things that he was able to turn into pieces of a competitive ballclub.

Posted by: SMinDC [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 28, 2008 07:03 PM

*****Even the Brown deal wasn't a bad one because they Yankees dumped Jeff Weaver. *******

I'd have traded Weaver for Gates Brown, Sweet Georgia Brown, Jackie Brown, Brown vs. Board of Education, Sam Brown, Brown Sugar, Dan Brown, dinner at the Brown Derby, or a Brown-out. Kevin Brown was a dud, but Weaver had to go. Blame Cashman all you want for getting Weaver, but he gets a pass for getting rid of him. Got to take that one off the list.

Posted by: #15 [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 28, 2008 07:08 PM

^ lol.

in a way, the Vazquez trade still cannot be graded. giving up Nick and Rivera got us Javy. Javy and Navarro got us RJ. RJ got us Ohlendorf, AGon and the Viz. The Viz netted us a 2008 sandwich pick, and Ohlie and AGon could be factors for the next few years. (Joba was a sandwich pick btw.)

letting Andy walk got us Hughes. now we have both!

Posted by: Travis G. [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 28, 2008 08:50 PM

~~~Letting Pettite walk netted them Phil Hughes as compensation.~~~

And, sunk the pitching staff from 2004 through 2006.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 28, 2008 10:32 PM

~~~How could you suggest that Flaherty was a bad signing~~~

It got him into the fold - which led to him being around in 2005...where he killed the Yankees in a BUC role.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 28, 2008 10:34 PM

~~~For instance - you rate trading Chris Hammond as "no impact." Yet, when we get to 2005, I'd be willing to bet you rate the acquisition of Shawn Chacon as "good or great impact," yet without the trade of Hammond, it's likely that there is no trade for Chacon.~~~

Even Cashman admits that he lucked into Chacon in 2005. So, if you find a dollar on the street, and that dollar buys you a winning lotto ticket, you're smart for finding that dollar on the street?

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 28, 2008 10:36 PM

~~Also, on the consistency - you say just in 2003 that the acquisition of Felix Heredia was "good," yet when Cashman rewards his good performance with a new deal, its somehow "bad." ~~

Yes, I give him credit for finding a spare part that worked in 2003, part out of luck, and then a failing grade for not realizing that the guy was cooked and had no business returning the next season - when you could have let him walk.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 28, 2008 10:38 PM

~~~Once again, you have greatly exaggerated your claims, denying your argument any credibility.~~~

Yeah, that's me, the great exaggerator. That's what I always do when I write something that's not in line with what someone else thinks is right.


Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 28, 2008 10:41 PM

The Jose Contreras deal was not Cashman's. George Steinbrenner told a scout that if he did not sign Contreras, he would be fired. That's why the price went through the roof.

Posted by: DownFromNJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 28, 2008 10:42 PM

Down - got a link on that?

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 28, 2008 10:49 PM

I think this is a fruitless exercise, for the reasons already stated -- specifically the idea of judging these in a vacuum.

But I disagree with the following two:

"December 16, 2003 - Traded Nick Johnson, Juan Rivera, and Randy Choate to the Montreal Expos. Received Javier Vazquez.
December 17, 2003 - Signed Paul Quantrill as a free agent."

I don't understand why these are bad moves. I still contend that the Vazquez move was one of Cashman's best, results unimportant. It was a smart idea and the right way to go. You trade a spare part and an injury risk for a good young pitcher. That it blew up in Cashman's face wasn't his fault or really foreseeable. Acquiring young pitching -- especially someone of Vazquez's caliber (at the time, anyway) -- is always a good bet.

And Quantrill? Quantrill was a perennial workhorse who was coming off a good year. Had A-Rod not dislocated Q's knee during spring training, and had Torre not insisted on sending him out there injured, maybe things would have been different. Signing Q was as obvious as signing Gordon.

All moves aren't bad moves just because they turn out to be failures. A smart move can turn sour for unexpected and out-of-your-control reasons. That doesn't make them bad.

Posted by: baileywalk [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 28, 2008 10:54 PM

~~~"December 16, 2003 - Traded Nick Johnson, Juan Rivera, and Randy Choate to the Montreal Expos. Received Javier Vazquez. December 17, 2003 - Signed Paul Quantrill as a free agent."

I don't understand why these are bad moves. I still contend that the Vazquez move was one of Cashman's best, results unimportant.~~~

Nick Johnson was a hot commodity at that time. Very hot. When you trade something that hot, that young, you better get the *real deal* in return. Sure, "it seemed like the right move at that time." But, Cashman is supposed to be smart. He should have seen the things that everyone else was missing, on Javy. Granted, Johnson tanked, but, at the time of the trade, he was as sweet a chip as one could have - and Cash blew him on a pitcher that turned out to be a phony, in terms of being the next great ace.

Quantrill? You tell me. How many baserunners did he allow during his IP with the Yankees? Better yet, let me do a study on that now.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 28, 2008 11:12 PM

He should have seen the things that everyone else was missing, on Javy.
=============
http://tinyurl.com/2v6v76

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 28, 2008 11:45 PM

~~~Letting Pettite walk netted them Phil Hughes as compensation.~~~

And, sunk the pitching staff from 2004 through 2006.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi
=================================================

For reasons I'll never understand George never liked Andy. He let Andy walk in favor of bringing in Kevin Brown. One of the dumbest moves made he ever made.

Posted by: redbug [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 29, 2008 08:41 AM

Raf - what are you trying to link to?

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 29, 2008 10:03 AM

Raf - what are you trying to link to?
---------
One of your entries on Vazquez, linking to an article implying a bum shoulder the reason for his poor season...

I don't have the date offhand, but it's somewhere in the 2005 archives (May?)

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 29, 2008 12:11 PM

And, (Pettitte's departure) sunk the pitching staff from 2004 through 2006.
------------
I think there were some organizational concerns about Pettitte's elbow when he walked. Of course, he blew out his elbow in 2004.

OTOH, if there was such a concern about his arm, that doesn't explain signing Duque, Lieber, Dotel, Wright & Pavano, among others.

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 29, 2008 12:27 PM

He let Andy walk in favor of bringing in Kevin Brown. One of the dumbest moves made he ever made.
============
Kevin Brown was bought in to replace Jeff Weaver.

The 2003 rotation consisted of
Mussina
Pettitte
Clemens
Wells
Weaver

Clemens, Wells & Pettitte left via free agency.

Jon Lieber was signed a year prior, rehabbing from TJS, IIRC. Duque was signed after missing all of 2003, Weaver was traded for Brown, Contreras was given a spot in the rotation, and the Yanks traded for Vazquez.

So going into 2004, the Yanks had a rotation of
Mussina
Vazquez
Brown
Lieber
Contreras

With Duque waiting in the wings.

I don't think anyone foresaw the problems Mussina, Vazquez, Contreras, Hernandez & Brown would have.

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 29, 2008 12:48 PM

I don't think anyone foresaw the problems Mussina, Vazquez, Contreras, Hernandez & Brown would have.
-----

That's a good point people forget. Mussina was coming off a great year (3.40 ERA, 214 IP). Vazquez was even better (230 (!) IP, 3.24 ERA). Brown had returned to form (211 IP, 2.39 ERA). And as you like to point out, Contreras actually had a good year in 2003 (he only gave up 52 hits in 71 innings, striking out 72).

But look at what Mussina, Vazquez and Brown did the year previous. They were all impressive, all horses (200+ IP for all of them), and I just don't think anyone thought all three would break down. Brown had injury concerns, true. And Mike was getting a bit older. But to look at that rotation and say "worst Yankee pitching staff in over a decade"? I don't think so.

Posted by: baileywalk [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 29, 2008 01:07 PM

Steve - Buster Olney wrote about it in his book.

Posted by: DownFromNJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 30, 2008 07:02 PM