What’s Going On Behind The Scenes In Yankeeland?

Cash 2013

Cash had a lot to say to the media yesterday.  Unsurprisingly, the bulk of it was about injuries.  While the news on A-Rod and Michael Pineda was both positive, it was what Cash said about Mark Teixeira that stood out.  When asked about Kevin Long’s statement over the weekend that Teix hadn’t seemed right since coming off the DL, Cash pulled off the impressive feat of going both on the defensive and the offensive, saying that Long had never said anything like that in any internal discussions and calling it “alarming” that Long would then say that to reporters.  When pressed further to comment on whether he was angry with Long, Cash summed up his feelings with this statement:

“I think some people are better with the microphone than others.”

Boom, roasted! I don’t care if you like Cash or not, that’s a good line.  What I do care about is the fact that it’s another example of Cash publicly airing out his people, something that’s never been a part of his playbook and has come as a bit of a surprise to me this season.… Click here to read the rest

Who’s To Blame For The Youkilis Screw-Up?

MLB: New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays

(Syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)

We’re never going to find out, and I ask the question knowing full well that it really doesn’t matter in the long run.  What matters is that Kevin Youkilis get 100% healthy and not come back to play until his back is 100% healthy.  But just out of sheer, morbid curiosity I’d like to know what went on behind the scenes on Friday/Saturday that led to Youkilis’ name being put on the lineup card so he could go out there and hurt himself again.  Cash’s statement on the matter yesterday Tuesday was pretty damning, about as clear-cut an instance of people getting thrown under the bus as I’ve seen in some time, and I work at a company that specializes in that.  It’s pretty out of character for Cash to be that blunt and sell his own people down the river like that, so I’d be very interested in knowing what happened to inspire his comments.… Click here to read the rest

Jeter related ramblings

Happy Friday, all. I hope your week hasn’t been too stressful. Anyway, let’s get down to business. We’re all aware of Derek Jeter‘s injury situation. Opening Day has long been Jeter’s goal, but that now appears in jeopardy. Yesterday, GM Brian Cashman announced that Jeter would no longer participate in Major League Spring Training games; however, he’ll continue to play in Minor League games. As we’ve all heard by now, this is essentially a clerical “just in case.” It allows Jeter to get game action, but also allows the Yankees to retroactively place Jeter on the 15-day Disabled List in case he isn’t ready to go for Opening Day. This all makes me think that they should just place Jeter on the DL now.

The Derek Jeter we’ve all come to know and love is the guy who “shows up to work every day” and just “does his job” (and does it exceedingly well most of the time). Like any successful worker, Jeter is goal-oriented, and in this case, Opening Day readiness is the goal and he’s been steadfast in his determination to reach that goal.… Click here to read the rest

Yankees’ Plan This Offseason Could Be Setting Them Up For Future Failure

Courtesy of the AP

(The following is being syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)

One of the posts I read over the weekend that really stuck with me was Greg Corcoran’s open letter to Brian Cashman over at Bronx Baseball Daily letting Cash know what he thinks of the Yankees’ offseason plan.  The general theme of Greg’s post was that while he can get on board with what the team has done this offseason to transition to the sub-$189 mil payroll in 2014, he didn’t see their no-spending approach as a real plan for success after the payroll ceiling had been reached.  Specifically, he cited the Yankees’ failure to sign or trade for useful players on multi-year deals and their perceived assumption that multiple prospects are going to come up and contribute as flaws in their logic, and that got me thinking.

As it is, the Yankees have seen their monetary advantage shrink over the past few seasons as teams started signing their own players to new deals before they hit free agency. … Click here to read the rest

Would The Yankees Really Go To Tampa With What They’ve Got Right Now?

"Canzler, Nix, Diaz, Nunez, pop the champagne. Amiright, guys???" Courtesy of Getty Images

(The following is being syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)

I didn’t write about it last week when the comments were made because it didn’t tie in to the Prospect Week theme, but Cash made some head-scratching statements to our buddy Wally Matthews about the Yankees’ current roster makeup and the stance they’re taking as the offseason winds down and moves into the preseason.

“I know it’s getting late, but we’re still looking.”

“We’re open for business, but we’re not going to do something just to do something. If we have to, we’ll go to Tampa with what we’ve got.”

It’s just 2 short sentences, but there’s a lot to take from those statements.  “Getting late,” “still looking, ” open for business,” and “If we have to… ” all lend some possible insight as to exactly what the situation is at the top levels of the Yankee decision-making hierarchy and how Cash feels about it. … Click here to read the rest

Cracking The Hot Stove Code

Last week, we had four days of Winter Meetings to look forward to, and all we got were four days of rumors. (1,2,3,4) The Yankees haven’t needed this much TLC since 2008, and now they get to do it with a budget in mind. On top of that, the free agent market isn’t exactly booming with potential. Brian Cashman may have missed a number of outfield  and infield free agents last week, but none of them were “must-haves”.

He has to please the fans with a winning team, he has to please ownership by staying within a budget, and he has to do his job with the largest media market in American sports breathing down his neck. How’s he going to get his job done when the media is broadcasting all his weaknesses to every baseball organization and agent he needs to negotiate with? He makes stuff up.

If you’ve followed any of the rumor updates from last week, you’ll see that the number of contradicting reports is ridiculous.… Click here to read the rest

Finding The Next Great Swish/C-Grand-Type Trade Candidate

(The following is being syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)

Barring a a big-time unexpected swerve, the Yankees seem pretty well set in their plans to not add significant payroll this offseason as they try to address their team needs.  They’ve engaged pretty much every older free agent from last year’s team in some capacity while letting the younger, more expensive ones walk.  If there is going to be any real effort towards improving the quality of the on-field product next year and not just controlling the dollars, that effort may have to come through the trade market, a roster-building medium with which Cash has great familiarity.

The Montero-Pineda deal aside, Cash has had a pretty successful recent track record adding productive pieces in their prime to the aging core of his lineup, most notably with the now departed Nick Swisher and the likely soon-to-be departed Curtis Granderson.  Both of those moves followed a similar formula- seeking out and adding sub-30-year-old players with skill sets that fit the Yankee mold who were coming off seasons of significant decline in production. … Click here to read the rest

The Yankees Aren't Good At Trading For, Developing, or Signing Pitchers

After five years of developing Jesus Montero into a budding young star, they traded him for fellow budding young star Michael Pineda. Almost instantly, Pineda disappointed with some kind of shoulder injury, which eventually developed into a labrum tear, and will not only sideline him for the remainder of year, but is a severe existential threat to his career.

Pitchers are time bombs waiting to explode. They commonly suffer catastrophic injuries. They see much more variance in their skills from season to season than do hitters. It would be foolish to judge a team by looking at the performance of one pitcher. The Yankees may have just gotten horribly unlucky with Michael Pineda.

I’m concerned about a long term pattern. Since the dynasty pitching staff was broken up in 2003, the Yankees have consistently failed to add effective pitchers, both in the rotation and the bullpen. And they haven’t failed because of a lack of trying. The Yankees have a horrible success rate in the free agent market, through trades, and the farm system.… Click here to read the rest

Nightly Links: Ibanez, Cashman, Pearce

  • It looks like Raul Ibanez has finally picked things up. After his homerun on Saturday, he was robbed yesterday, and today we have another homerun off Jason Hammel. The game is currently on YES.
  • Speaking of pitching, Yankees Fans Unite takes a look at how the current bullpen and rotation is built, and how Brian Cashman and the front office have molded their strategy in recent years.
  • The Yankees have signed Baseball America’s #89 prospect from 2008, Steve Pearce. The firstbaseman/corner outfielder is now 28 years old and has struggled in his major league career, however he’s hit .292/.367/.519 in the minors.
Click here to read the rest