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  • E.J. Fagan

Fire Brian Cashman

He's the wrong GM for the Yankees

August 3, 2023

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NOTE: The following comes from EJ Fagan's substack page and is shared with permission.

Please check out EJ's substack page for more great articles.

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In his post-deadline press conference, Brian Cashman explained why he didn’t make any significant moves:

Bryan Hoch has the money quote, which I think reveals the core problem with Brian Cashman, general manager:

The Yankees probably aren’t going to make a run in 2023. Cashman could have sold a bunch of players, but didn’t get many offers that would have offered a big return. So, they are going to just keep playing the current roster and see if something changes.


On it’s face, Cashman’s logic isn’t terrible. There is some probability that Rizzo, Stanton, LeMahieu and the rest of the bunch revert back to form and play well enough to make the playoffs. Trading away Bader, Torres and the rest makes that a lot less likely. So hell, we’re the Yankees, let’s go for it.


But here’s the problem with that logic: how does it make the Yankees more likely to succeed in the future? An alternate strategy would be what Cashman did in 2016: concede the season, call up some young players and see what they have, then reload and try again next year. It worked out great; the 2017-2019 Yankees were great teams that got really unlucky with injuries.


Brian Cashman’s strategy for years has been some version of, “make a bunch of short-term moves to try and win a World Series this year.” His foot is always on the gas. Instead of playing an Oswald Peraza or Estevan Florial or Ben Rortvedt to see what they have, he would rather play a more certain veteran who he knows (probably) won’t completely suck.


But, he has a budget. Cashman can’t go out and fill out his roster with $35 million players. Because he needs to win this year and won’t try to find young talent, Brian Cashman needs to go out and pay for average-ish veterans. They aren’t cheap. Because they are old, they get injured a lot. Some begin their inevitable decline while under contract. To patch the hole created by an Aaron Hicks or Josh Donaldson no longer being a productive baseball player, Cashman has to buy another veteran. Eventually, you can’t patch any more holes, and the ship sinks.


We’re at that ship sinking moment. The only way to fix this roster going forward would have been to try to lighten the load by identifying a few more young players who could contribute to the 2024 and beyond teams and then reallocate the mediocre veteran money toward a few blue chip free agents. But, at this pace, there’s no way that the Yankees could afford to sign a Juan Soto for $40+ million. To do that, they would need to start two guys making the minimum. Instead, they’ll sign three guys getting paid $15 million, but end up with a worse roster.


Contrast Cashman’s comments with the reporting we’ve heard out the Mets front office. From The Athletic:

“I talked to Billy,” Scherzer told The Athletic. “I was like, ‘OK, are we reloading for 2024?’ He goes, ‘No, we’re not. Basically our vision now is for 2025-2026, ‘25 at the earliest, more like ‘26. We’re going to be making trades around that.’ “I was like, ‘So the team is not going to be pursuing free agents this offseason or assemble a team that can compete for a World Series next year?’ He said, ‘No, we’re not going to be signing the upper-echelon guys. We’re going to be on the smaller deals within free agency. ‘24 is now looking to be more of a kind of transitory year.”

Scherzer may not be around in 2025-2026, so he understandably wants out. The Mets tried to build a World Series winner in 2023. It didn’t work. They didn’t see a reasonable path to winning right away. So, they decided to cut bait and build for the long-term.


The Yankees are the Scherzer in this story. They don’t want to wait two years to build a contending team. The Yankees don’t rebuild. Talk radio tells us that every waking moment is a failure if you don’t win a World Series that year.


But you know the difference between Scherzer and the Yankees? The Yankees will be around in a few years. A baseball team doesn’t die of all age. But it can make choices that will impact the future.


The Yankees aren’t special. They don’t just get to magically win the World Series every year because they are The New York Yankees. They have to make smart choices and sacrifices like any other ball club. The Mets get this. Brian Cashman’s Yankees do not.


I have a lot of other problems with Brian Cashman. I’ll probably spend most of the 2023 season writing about each one in detail. But I think that the biggest problem he has is this commitment to short-termism, and it’s destroying the team. He is the wrong GM for the Yankees right now. It’s time to fire Brian Cashman.

4 Comments


jjw49
Aug 04, 2023

Well done.... nobody can give you a legitimate argument on 1 thru 11.

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Alan B.
Alan B.
Aug 03, 2023

And one of my points was just brought home to roost. Now, Anthony Rizzo has concussion issues from the spike? OL, but the numbers as I've detailed here tell you story that something wasn't right with him physically. You don't go (doing this off memory), from .304BA& .505SLG over your first 204ABs before the spike, then go with a .156BA & .195SLG, over your next 136ABs AFTER the spike. YOUR PRECIOUS COLD HARD ANALYTICAL FACTS TOLD YOU OVER A VERY LONG TIME SOMETHING WAS WRONG BUT YOU DID NOTHING!

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etbkarate
Aug 03, 2023

All this tells me one thing. Next year Scherzer will be a Yankee!

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Alan B.
Alan B.
Aug 03, 2023

There are lots of reasons why it's time for Brian Cashman to step down as not just GM, but as the top baseball operations decision maker. And here are some of them, in no particular order:


1) Whatever he did in changing out the athletic trainers and strength & conditioning coaches before the 2020 season, clearly have not worked;


2) His reliance on analytics & purposely demanding in his coaches that when in doubt, trust the numbers, not your experience or what you see.


3) Analytics helped bring about the defensive shifts, supposedly based on the defensive charts they made up about their opposition. But then on offense, they did nothing to change the defensive charts that were compiled against…


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