Cashman: Not a Top GM?

Beyond the Boxscore recently polled their writers for their choices as to the top GM’s of the last 10 years. The results were interesting, with the 5 writers each making 5 selections, and coming out with a top of the list that went as follows: Beane, Epstein, Friedman, Schuerholtz, and Shapiro. Brian Cashman did not receive a single vote, and I find that to be a bit silly.

The argument against Cashman is that anyone could win with the budget that he has. While that seems make sense, the fact that high payroll clubs miss the playoffs all the time seems to suggest that it is not so simple to achieve the level of consistent success that Cashman has attained. Why exactly would I take the resume of someone like Shapiro, who has had one team go past the first round of the playoffs, over Cashman? Friedman walked into a very good situation, with years of draft picks piled up in the Rays farm system when he took over.

I think the strongest argument for Cashman is the following. Over the relevant 10 year period, if you exclude Shuerholtz, Brian’s teams have had just as many championships and only one less division title than the other four clubs combined. You can argue as to where he belongs on the list, but for him to not receive one vote is ridiculous.

Do you agree?

0 thoughts on “Cashman: Not a Top GM?

  1. He is the GM of the Yankees, therefore, he can do no right! Building this juggernaut is so easy, anyone could do it! I mean he has $mmmmm$ of the stuff to spend…and he still gets it wrong…see, Pavano, Johnson and Roger!
    Cash is a good GM, he has had to carry the water for the front office/Tampa, lo’ these many years. Look at the farm system, look at the older players we were able to let go, look at the players we replaced them with.
    None can read the future but…as of now, the team is solid for the first time in many years.

  2. Sam Firestone

    I would rather have Beane, Shapiro, Epstien, and Schuerholz before Cashman. The Friedman thing is indeed silly. Its also worth noting that Schuerholz is not the gm of the Braves anymore he is the team president with Frank Wren the gm. If you include Schuerholz in the list I would say Cashman is 5th. 2 years ago I would not have Cash in my top 5 as he would have been ousted by Schuerholz, Terry ryan, and Pat Gillick. Im a big fan of Kevin Towers and Walt Jockettey as well. Its close. Towers has done amazing things with zero money and Jockettey also had payroll constraints with the Cards. They spent but not like the Yankees. You could not hide Igawa Etc in St. louis. Its pretty close with Cashman, Jockettey, and Towers.

    • Moshe Mandel

      Why Shapiro? What exactly has the guy done?

      • Chris H.

        Ha, I’m wondering the same thing.

      • Sam Firestone

        They compete at a high level almost every year in a small market. He builds the right way with his hands tied.

        To Old Ranger,
        There is no double standard. When Cash makes a mistake he moves on and throws around more money. When Shapiro does it cripples his franchise. You tell me where there is more pressure.

        • Moshe Mandel

          When Shapiro makes a mistake, no one notices. When Cash makes a mistake, it is dissected for years.

          • Sam Firestone

            Its ridiculous to compare media pressure to something that actually effects your future baseball moves. Cash can make mistake after mistake and bury them in triple A or on the bench. So we kill him for Igawa in the minors and he goes out and signs CC,Tex,and AJ.

            If your argument is that Shapiro has made mistakes that we are unaware of, That may be true but if he can be so competetive with those constraints imagine what he could do with 200 million?

          • Moshe Mandel

            He’s been the Gm for 7 years, finished over .500 twice, made the playoffs once. I do not get where this perception that he consistently wins comes from.

  3. Sam Firestone

    Btw I am not a big Omar guy.

    • Chris H.

      Minaya? I think Minaya is one of the worst GM’s in baseball.

  4. I don’t think any of those guys would have been able to handle the atmosphere Cash has had to put up with…their egos’ are to big.
    Cash has had to fight for every move he made (lost a few, also). The 1st time his contract was up, he damn near quit. Stin. offered him the power he needed to do the job and he jumped at it. Since that time he has done as well as the long term contracts have allowed. Has he made mistakes, yes but…so have all of those you (and others) have mentioned. Mistakes are a way of life in that business, one can never tell what will happen…only what is, see Pavano.
    Shapiro makes a mistake and they say ; “Opss, that’s a bad move!” Cash make a questionable decision and the world comes to an end…double standards anyone?

  5. I don’t think he’s anything above average. He inherited a great team & clubhouse from Buck & Stick. He’s added a lot of salary and players without improving the team that much.
    I think the chief criticism is pretty accurate: a good GM could have had a lot better team with all of that salary.
    Under his stewardship’ we’ve had some really atrocious benches, and made some truly strange personnel decisions.
    (Not trading Ramiro Mendoza for Edmonds because ‘Joe told me Mendoza is more valuable to the Yankees’and signing Sterling Hitchcock to a big 2-year contract quickly leap to mind.)

    • Moshe Mandel

      A lot better teams? He made the playoffs in 9 out of 10 years, made 4 WS and won 2. There is a finite amount of talent even the most money can get you.

  6. leftylarry

    I have long viewed Cashman as one of the worst GM’S in all of Baseball.That being said, this years actions by him have been pretty much perfect, which is why the Red Sox are crying like babies.They know Baseball there and they know Cash & the Yanks finally made some correct moves.

  7. Alex

    His success speaks for itself, although I’m sure there are more than 5 guys I would pick to be the GM of my team before him if I could.

  8. JD

    Moshe, I could not disagree more. Cashman is not top five, nor is he close. See his signees below. He has acquired a Torre sized ego. Its not about you Brian!

    1. Randy Johnson
    2. Carl Pavano
    3. Kevin Brown
    4. Jaret Wright
    5. Kei Igawa

    • Moshe Mandel

      Everyone makes mistakes- how about Theo
      1. Matt Clement
      2. Edgar Renteria
      3. Julio Lugo
      4. JD Drew
      5. Eric Gagne

      Off the top of my head. The more money you have, the more prominent your mistakes will be, because you will be paying them more. I look at Cashman’s very solid trade resume and improvement in the farm system and believe that he would do well with a smaller payroll.

      • JD

        Come on Moshe, not one of Theo’s errors compare in magnitude to Johnson, Pavano, Brown or Igawa. These were all horrible, expensive and predictable. You are reaching. $50 million on Igawa is the biggest baseball mistake I have seen. I mean the guy might not win 5 games in his career. It was a pure emotional reaction to Boston getting Matsuzaka.

        • Moshe Mandel

          i’ll concede on Igawa. Otherwise, Clement is just as bad an error as Wright, and JD Drew was just as predictably injury prone as any of the Yankees. They gave up Weaver for Brown, not exactly a bad move- go look at Brown’s 2003. Everyone loved the Johnson move as well.

  9. Sky

    The Yankees aren’t just another high-payroll team. $200MM should buy 100-105 wins every year. That they don’t is a mark against management. Now, certainly the Steinbrenners don’t give Cashman full control, but his decisions aren’t overly impressive. In my book, he’s middle of the pack with the potential to be higher if given a chance to really show his stuff.

    In judging GMs you have to give *significant* though to payroll.

    Thanks for the link.

    • Moshe Mandel

      I think that is fair. i was just surprised that he did not get a single vote. Also, as the payroll gets higher, you are bound to have decreasing returns to scale, such that I believe there is a cutoff to how many important wins spending more will get you. Why should they invest millions more to win 105 when winning 95 gets you into the postseason? I think that some of his pitching decisions have been suspect, but you could say the same thing with Epstein, and I really do not get the Shapiro love at all.

      • JD

        I am surprised that you gave him your vote.

      • Sky

        I fully agree that there’s a huge diminishing returns factor involved. Going from $50MM to $75MM in payroll is probably as significant as $125MM to $200MM. My point was more that the Yankees should haven’t to spend more to win 105 games. They should win that many with the current payroll.

        What GMs would fail to win 95 games with a $200MM payroll?

        Cashman specifically doesn’t seem to understand the value of fielding.

        • Moshe Mandel

          That is fair, although most GM’s dont understand the importance of fielding. Beane just figured it out, but he ignored it for years. Supposedly, defense is the new market inefficiency, the new Moneyball.