Is Brian Cashman a good GM?

This has nothing to do with missing out on Cliff Lee. Cashman did everything a GM could do to land him, including making personal visits and throwing mountains of cash at him.

Over the years I haven’t been terribly impressed with Cashman. A lot of people wrongly credit him with the Yankees amazing run in the late 1990’s. The real architects of those teams were Bob Watson and Gene Michael. Cashman has made some good signings, no doubt, but that seems more the product of Yankee wealth than GM savvy. I can’t really think of any clever trades he’s made that improved the team.

There have been a lot of bad free agents brought in under Cashman, especially pitchers: Randy Johnson, Kevin Brown, Javier Vazquez (twice), Jose Contreras, Kei Igawa, Carl Pavano, Jaret Wright, Jeff Weaver, Estaban Loaiza, Sidney Ponson…and those are just some starters. Don’t get me started on Kyle Farnsworth. I see the Rangers just picked up Brandon Webb: I don’t know if the Yanks went after him but I think they should have. Hard.

Thoughts?

Wait, you’ve won six division championships and four World Series with him, and you’re bitching cause you haven’t won enough? Really?

I asked whether or not Cashman was a particularly good GM. My assertion is that the Yankees success is due more to money than savvy. I wasn’t complaining about how many championships the Yankees have won, although I will point out that Cashman can only be credited with building the 2009 championship team.

Wait. Can you criticize a Jewish GM? I didn’t know that was permitted… :smiley: (that was a joke, jewish posters!),

I agree with you that he hasn’t pulled off any major coups. The Yankees really don’t have to.

I think he has one of the easiest jobs in the world. He can offer just about any amount necessary, and if a player wants to go to NY, he’ll get him.

Lee was the exception, but as you point out, the Yankee offer was not only impressive, but it was easily higher than the Phillies.
There are very few GMs that do impress me these days, especially when the most successful ones seem to be the ones that spend the most money. Billy Beane is one guy that comes to mind that worked hard to find diamonds in the farm systems and build a successful team around those players.

I wish I was a Yankee fan. I really do. They do everything they can every year to field the most competitive team possible. That has to be a great feeling as a fan.

Maybe Ruben Amaro of the Phillies? He’s pulled off a few good moves. I don’t know how he created the starting rotation the Phillies now have, but it’s one of the most amazing feats of any GM in a long while.

Back to Cashman. He

As a Sox fan, I actually think Cashman does a very good job running the Yankees. He has boatloads of cash at his disposal, of course, but he deserves credit for using it well. Omar Minaya’s tenure as GM of the Mets is proof positive that you can convert a gargantuan payroll into a ridiculously crappy baseball team.

Cashman generally spends the big bucks on good free agents (Burnett being the major exception - and even he could have a big bounce-back year). Up until the past few years, he’s also had a knack for giving long-term superstar contracts to players who end up actually demonstrating serious longevity - Jeter, Rivera, and Posada are all players who have excelled for virtually the entire lengths of their multiyear deals.

Cashman is certainly not the best, smartest, or savviest GM in baseball right now (as of this offseason, those titles probably all go to Theo Epstein). But he’s definitely above average, and probably among the top ten.

Don’t know what happened to the end of my last post, but as I was saying,

Back to Cashman… he has done a good job in locking in his core group of players, but I think the money he has spent on pitching has been hit or miss for the most part. Maybe all GM’s are hit and miss on pitching, based on the injury factor, but when Cashman makes a mistake, because of the money, it’s a big one.

And all kidding aside, I think his job has a ton of pressure with it. Since he has an open checkbook, everyone thinks he should be fielding the best team every year. When the team underperforms (and that means no WS ring for NY fans), he takes a lot of crap.

Some of those players that the OP mentioned such as Jaret Wright were not brought in by Cashman but by factions in the Yankee organization 9billy Connors) that had Steinbrenner’s ear at that moment (according to Ken Davidoff of “Newsday”). A few years ago when the “NY Times” had a weekly podcast, one of their writers (Murray Chass) mentioned that Cashman is respected around the league for being on top of latest trade rumours and not insulting other teams in offering deals.

I should also point out three years ago lots of people wanted Cashman to trade young pitcher Phil Hughes, among others, for Johann Santana. If that tracde was made, The Yankees would have an injured Santana, a healthy Hughes in Minnesota and CC Sabathia not in pinstripes.