Since Brian Cashman took over as General Manager in early 1998, the Yankees have missed the post season just once. They've won four World Series titles, six AL Pennants, twelve Division titles, and seen two Wild Card berths. Cashman has used a mix of advanced numbers and wheel barrels full of money to get here, and one could argue that he's been one of the best General Managers in the game. In 2013, Cashman has struggled to assemble a competitive roster. Personally, I believe this 2014 budget business was needlessly rushed, and in response, Cashman was forced to find undervalued players on the market. He found them, older players that were willing to take a pay cut on a short contract so they could play on a playoff bound team. The combination of these players with that of the older core group has created the oldest roster in the game, and now the organization's disabled list is filled with premium talent.
I find it hard to blame Cashman, as he needed to find a market inefficiency with ownership breathing down his neck, but that doesn't stop some fans from criticizing him. Players like Vernon Wells and Jayson Nix have been inexplicably bad, and yet the team seems complacent giving them a seasons worth of at bats. Some are calling the current roster the worst they've seen in the Cashman-era, and it's hard to disagree with that. So that had me thinking, what have Cashman's worst moves been? What if we assembled his worst players into one unextraordinary Yankee roster?
CF Melky Cabrera (2008) 0.0 fWAR 68 wRC+ .249/.301/.341 (453 PA) LF Tony Womack (2005) -2.3 fWAR 47 wRC+ .249/.276/.280 (351 PA) SS Jayson Nix (2013) .2 fWAR 68 wRC+ .237/.305/.302 (263 PA) 1B Andy Phillips (2006) -0.7 fWAR 71 wRC+ .240/.281/.394 (263 PA) DH Rondell White (2002) -0.5 fWAR 76 wRC+ .240/.288/.378 (494 PA) RF Vernon Wells (2013) -0.2 fWAR 66 wRC+ .223/.262/.364 (286 PA) 3B Scott Brosius (2000) 0.1 fWAR 74 wRC+ .230/.299/.374 (519 PA) 2B Enrique Wilson (2004) -1.2 fWAR 48 wRC+ .213/.254/.325 (262 PA) C Jose Molina (2008) 0.5 fWAR 51 wRC+.216/.263/.313 (297 PA)
OF Ruben Rivera (2005) -1.1 fWAR 64 wRC+ .229/.265/.371 (181 PA) OF Bubba Crosby (2006) -0.6 fWAR 43 wRC+ .207/.258/.299 (96 PA) C John Flaherty (2005) -1.0 fWAR 16 wRC+ .165/.206/.252 (138 PA) IF Eduardo Nunez (2011) -0.8 fWAR 88 wRC+ .265/.313/.385 (338 PA)
SP1 David Cone (2000) 1.0 fWAR 5.44 FIP 6.91 ERA (155.0 IP) SP2 A.J. Burnett (2011) 1.1 fWAR 4.77 FIP 5.15 ERA (190.1 IP) SP3 Javier Vazquez (2010) -0.2 fWAR 5.56 FIP 5.32 ERA (157.1 IP) SP4 Ivan Nova (2012) 1.4 fWAR 4.60 FIP 5.02 ERA (170.1 IP) SP5 Carl Pavano (2005) 0.7 fWAR 4.89 FIP 4.77 ERA (100.0 IP)
CL Mike Stanton (1998) 0.1 fWAR 4.67 FIP 5.47 ERA (79.0 IP) SU Kyle Farnsworth (2007) -0.1 fWAR 5.04 FIP 4.80 ERA (60.0 IP) RHRP Scott Proctor (2005) -0.2 fWAR 5.41 FIP 6.13 ERA (39.2 IP) RHRP Jonathan Albaladejo (2009) -0.3 fWAR 5.81 FIP 5.24 ERA (34.1 IP) RHRP Chad Gaudin (2010) -0.8 fWAR 6.25 FIP 4.50 ERA (48.0 IP) LHRP Sean Henn (2007) -0.4 fWAR 6.21 FIP 7.49 ERA (33.2 IP) RHRP/SP Freddy Garcia (2012) 0.8 fWAR 4.68 FIP 5.20 ERA (107.1 IP)
Overall, I tried to stay true to positions and roster placement. For example, with the closer position, a couple of spot saves wouldn't suffice to consider a reliever a closer, but Mike Stanton actually opened up the season as the closer in 1998. For starting pitchers, obviously Kei Igawa is up there as one of the worst starting pitchers of the era, but he never earned enough innings to be considered a regular starter.
The total WAR for this team is -4.5, and though the wins of a replacement level team vary by year, this Yankee roster is likely to win around 42 games and lose 120. (.259) Surprisingly, this team isn't far off from an actual team during the Cashman-era, the 2003 Tigers, who finished with a record of 43-119 (.265).
So who do you think deserves to be on this team?