Monday, March 7, 2016

Brian Cashman & The "He Sucks At Drafting" Myth?

I knew my post about Brian Cashman and comparing him to other general managers around the league would be like comparing apples to oranges would get the discussion going but I had hoped it had been on the Yankees LoHud blog as a pinch hitter. I had it saved as a draft forever just waiting for Chad Jennings to contact me for a third straight year and I realized it was not going to happen so I released it. It caused a stir and it created discussion here on my blog for both the Brian Cashman apologists and the Brian Cashman "haters." One "hater" in specific, and notice that I had the word hater in parenthesis as I use the term loosely and not literally, questioned Cashman's tenure as the Yankees and specifically his ability to draft MLB caliber players. Hmmm, that sounds like a great idea for a blog post.

I told Mr. Hans, someone I have the utmost respect for, that I would humor him sometime this weekend with a comment of some of the guys that Cashman has drafted during his tenure with the Yankees (1998-present) and I decided to do it in a blog post rather than a comment that may not be seen by all. All of these players that I will list below were drafted by Cashman during his tenure, granted not all of them signed with the Yankees unfortuately and not all made their names with New York. It should not be held against Cashman in my opinion to draft a top talent only to trade him later, you cannot hold onto them all.

With that said here we go with the player, the year they were drafted and their career WAR in parenthesis:

1998 - Mark Prior (16.5)
1998 - Nook Logan (3.0)

2000 - Chris Dickerson (3.4)

2002 - Phil Coke (2.0)

2003 - Tyler Clippard (11.6)
2003 - Jeff Karstens (3.2)
2003 - Daniel Bard (4.3)

2004 - Phil Hughes (12.3)
2004 - Mike Dunn (2.5)
2004 - Chris Davis (yes that Chris Davis... 14.9)

2005 - Brett Gardner (26.9)
2005 - Doug Fister (19.4)
2005 - Austin Jackson (22.2)
2005 - Justin Turner (Los Angeles Dodgers version.... 8.9)

2006 - Ian Kennedy (10.5)
2006 - Joba Chamberlain (7.5)
2006 - George Kontos (2.0)
2006 - Dellin Betances (7.2)
2006 - Mark Melancon (7.0)
2006 - David Robertson (11.5)

2007 - Drew Storen (5.7)

2008 - Gerrit Cole (7.6)
2008 - David Phelps (2.2)

2009 - Adam Warren (5.1)
2009 - Jake Petricka (3.5)

2011 - Greg Bird (0.9)

Is Cashman the mad magician in the draft? Nope, not at all. It is worth mentioning though that unlike a GM like Andrew Friedman, John Mozeliak, Dave Dombrowski or others who pick at the beginning of the draft more consistently Cashman had to deal with many of his picks being traded or used as compensation to sign free agents without his consent. Sure many teams find talent late in the drafts as much as teams see busts in the first two rounds but still, it doesn't hurt having the better odds at the more talented players in your favor.

Will this convince Mr. Hans that Cashman has had a better tenure as a Yankes GM and a better draft record than he originally thought? Probably not, this was still fun to do the research and to write though and that's all that matters. After my little rant from Saturday about getting my feelings hurt and feeling disrespected I decided I'm going back to doing this because I want to, because it's fun.. and that's what I did here. I hope you all enjoyed.


  1. I know you don't like to include prospects in such a list, I will.

    Judge, Bird, Mateo, Sanchez, Kaprielian! Those are a few with more on the way or waiting for an opening.
    Then we have International players like: Mateo, Sanchez, "Willy" Garcia, Domingo "Ace" Acevedo and Refsnyder to name a few off the top of my head.

    1. These have not yet made their way to the Major Leagues. it's hard to quantify hype, you know? That's why I used a universally respected stat like WAR.

    2. I know you are right in the way you picked them, but Daniel, my way is so much more fun! LOL

    3. There is definitely some talent there that I hated to leave off the list. Just one of those things.

      I also thought about questioning the coaching staff and development teams down on the farm rather than Brian Cashman himself but I figured that would fall on deaf ears. Especially since, especially lately, that Cashman presumably has some say so in who is down there.

    4. You are 100% right Daniel, I read that Cashman is the Man Now...
      The problem for a while was because the Front Office and "Tampa Cabal" liked those in charge of the training system. After all, they had been there for years and the front office didn't pay attention because they always traded or bought the players they wanted.

  2. Burch to counter your point about drafting late in rounds or losing picks for signing of FA's I would point out a few players to you. All starting pitchers when David Price was still with the Rays. That rotation was excellent and EVERY Starter other than Price was drafted rd 3 or later which means the Yanks could have had everyone one of them from rd 2 on. Cobb rd 4 2006, Shields 16th rd in 2000, Wade Davis 3rd rd in 2004 and Matt Moore rd 8. I would take each and everyone over the likes of Phil Hughes the human Gopher ball machine. He hasn't drafted a top flight starter that signed OK.... or a pitcher that was a 20 game winner for them. On that list you posted what position players were all-stars other than Gardner? What starting pitcher did he draft and signed that screamed I'm a stud arm?

    You are also misleading some facts such as DD drafting early because I'm sure if you look you will see he had numerous teams that went further or beat the Yanks. Same with Mozeliak as well as Sabean. You have a better chance of convincing me that Gardner isn't a punch and judy hitter, and that will never happen, then changing my mind about Cashman being a DECENT GM. That's almost like saying Torre was a great manager. Hell I'm sure there are numerous people on here that could've written out the line-up card and drink green tea and fall asleep on the bench like Torre. He was in the right place at the right time.

    1. Ken H...
      I will not reply to your statements as they were addressed to Daniel. What I will do is tell you that:
      " drink green tea and fall asleep on the bench like Torre. He was in the right place at the right time." has been Trademarked by me back in 1996!
      Just kidding, but the truth!
      Joe had a losing record as a manager, came to the Yankees Won and ended up on the West a loser.

    2. Well Hans I did say in the article that I wasn't going to convince you right next to the part where I said Cashman was far from a "mad magician" in the draft. I know that Cashman missed on all those pitchers the Rays had, what you fail to acknowledge is so did John Mozeliak and Dave Dombrowski, the better GMs than Cashman.

      It's a crap shoot and half of its luck and half of it is skill. The skill half falls under the umbrella of having one or more first round picks every single season and throwing enough talented shit against a wall until something sticks.

    3. I like that one, good show! I should have read it before I commented below...oh well, such is life! LOL

  3. I can't and won't argue Hans's point, because for the most part I agree with him. The Yankees have drafted horribly for over a decade. Supposedly, the draft has gotten better but we'll never know. Mainly because our young players aren't given the chance to excel. They're continually blocked by idiotic signings (Stephen Drew) and pointless trades (Starlin Castro).

    1. You and Hans' are right to a point, there is no argument that can be made for many of the picks made by this team untell 2002/2004 when "Stick" left the Drafting team. Don't get me wrong, I am not blaming "Stick" he was part of a team. Around that time there were changes made...all be it, small but more came along afterwards.
      Lately, we have not only made some good picks in the draft but also in the International picks.
      If one starts at NOTHING it takes more than a year or so to get caught up to the rest of the league. We are getting there slowly but surely, as the players are kicking at the door...better yet, some are kicking down the door.
      Give them time, they are on the right track even though Hal is doing this because of the bottom line, not the talent one could have been gotten with cutting lose with a dollar or two.

      My opinion is we may never have another A-Rod, Mickey, Whitey or Mo but, give me a solid team of very good players on both sides of the ball and we can win the Golden Ring a few more times yet.

  4. Levin's right about the Drew and Castro situation. I have said many times that there was no need to get Castro. Refsynder is not as proven as Castro, however he gives you the same thing at a cheaper cost and without having to give up a dependable arm and as all of you know the rotation has numerous question marks. We added unnecessary money without adding a FA. Reed for some reason you think the elf is a decent gm. I think the guy is adequate at best. By the way Reed I drink Green Tea as well. My point is that Sleepy Joe stepped into a great situation and was and still is a terrible manager. He is a good communicator that strategically is inferior managing a game, along with destroying a bullpen.

  5. Good article. Im wishy washy with this topic though lol, as when we first brought this up, I listed closers and starting pitchers, even if they had more success after being in pinstripes.

    I know you're a big fan of the sabermetric stuff (does WAR fall into that category?), but looking at WAR alone, and this might be that I'm simple minded, suggests that Brett Gardner was more significant than Carlos Beltran in 2015. eh.

    Ken H. is talking about the superstars. Not tyler clippard, phil hughes, and brett gardner. and yes, Tampa Bay's ability to draft and put out talent is incredible. But Ken H. is frustrated that we aren't the ones that draft Cobb, Shields, Wade Davis, Jacob Degrom. I think the icing on the cake is that the compensation pick that LA received when we signed Mark Texiera brought them Mike Trout. Are you freaking kidding me!

    (actually, just came to a halt, as another example in Hans favor- Mookie Betts was selected in 2011 5th round.) batting .291 with 18ish HR and 77 RBI... do I think we have someone internal that could do that? 15 HR and 50 RBI? sure. but they are blocked.

    Poorly organized comment, I apologize- but I am rushing out of the house and needed to add my two cents.


    1. Daryl...
      Thanks for chipping in, you gave another slant to the comments. And yes, there have been better picks we could have had but look at it this way 31 other clubs overlooked some of those same players for a few rounds before they were selected...even the teams that ended up with them didn't pick some of the super players in the 1st or even the 2nd rounds. That must mean the whole league has dummies for their draft teams. We all know that isn't the case!
      Sometimes a team gets lucky when they pick a guy in the 3rd round on down and he becomes something special...they get to be called smarter than everyone else, until the next time they blow it!
      Besides, I still believe we have done ok in the last few years...much better than in the aforementioned 20 years, can we all agree on that?
      And I too didn't like the Castro trade but over the years I have learned to adapt to a situation beyond my control and make the best of it. Let's see what happens during the season maybe it will turn out to be the best deal Cash has made in a while...hey, what?

      Have fun guys!

    2. No doubt. We're talking about 200th picks overall, diamonds in the rough.

      Glad that refs played some 3rd. I had to find some sketchy website to play it, but didn't see much. It wasn't on yes network-they were airing the nets-timberwolves basketball game from the night before... No idea what that's about

      (ps let the nets burn and wolves soar. Im a fan of Beantown when it comes to basketball somehow. Despise that city for anything else.)

      And yes sir, God grant me the serenity... I'll keep that in mind, try to appreciate the process. Except I can still be hot headed at times.

    3. Daryl,

      I used WAR because I figured it was a universally respected stat. It's as close to a universal stat as any anyway. if you get deeper into the sabermetrics of it all some people prefer FIP for pitchers, others WHIP and ERA+, etc. WAR is supposed to, although not perfect obviously and not my first choice personally, cover it all. Defense, offense, everything.

      I could have thrown out more names that had serviceable careers but I wanted to drive home that there has been success that has come out of the Yankees system. Also I wanted to counter that yes the Yankees missed on some of the better talent in the league. The guys drafted in the 3rd round, 5th round, etc. My point is and always will be... so did everyone else... sometimes three times, sometimes five times. How are they any better than Cashman?

      I'll concede there are plenty of better GM's than Cashman but not because this player got picked here and Cashman passed him up.

  6. Oh by the way the Justin Wilson trade stunk as well. We have two pitchers that have been rated to be at best relief pitchers and they are not prospects they are suspects. At least with Wilson you had a hard throwing lefty that wasn't expensive, yet the Tigers new GM also fleeced the elf. I'm not sure what the Elf supporters see in this guy?

    1. Not everyone thinks of him as a real top notch GM Ken H. I just happen to think he is a good GM...for one point!
      Can you think of another Better GM that would work for the Yankees under the same situation he has to deal with every day? If not and it is a big NO right...then just relax and know that somehow things will get better with what we have to work with. And who is to say the last two trades were his idea? Have you forgotten, he is told how much and what deals get done sometimes...this time, it has his fingerprints on it, but until the season gets to the halfway point we won't know for sure if it was a good or bad trade, do we?
      Maybe you remember the trade he made with Seattle!
      Have fun Ken H.

    2. Yea Ken, hands down the stupidest off season move. "cessa can be something." yea ok.

      Aye, but they say- es lo que es.

    3. Reed every GM is told what they can spend or who they can or can not trade. They have bosses as well, most notably the owners so the elf is not working in any dynamic that others gms aren't working in and in regard to the Seattlle trade know this that even a blind squirrel finds an acorn every once and a while.

    4. The Wilson trade doesn't bother me. I wasn't as high on him as some others. He walked way too many hitters. The stupid part of the trade was selling so low on Cervelli to acquire him, and then turning around and trading him for organizational filler.

    5. May just be typical Yankee prospect hype but the original scouting report on Cessa was that he was a reliever. Some in the Yankees system think he can be a starter. He has added a tick or two of velocity, still struggles with command though. Needs to add another pitch to be successful long term, see Nathan Eovaldi.

      Not sticking up for the trade, I hated it and still do, and I have bashed it NUMEROUS times on the blog. Just saying there is a bit of light at the end of the tunnel.

    6. Also I think the Cervelli trade was more of a "get him away from Alex Rodriguez after he snitched on him and got him suspended" and less of a "hey let's get some talent for him in return." Six of one, half dozen of the other though Levin. I see your point.

  7. Daniel, I'm right there with you. My first thought was we are typically drafting in the 20 spot or so, that's if we get a first rounder! Kap at 16 was a high one for the Yankees, like you pointed out. And I think picking a diamond in the rough is purely luck.

    Ken reed mentioned some on the brink players. If one, two, or dare we ask for three of those players start to contribute in the Bronx this year, (refs, Sanchez, sevs, judge) or possibly put up a ROY case, I'm sure Hans will have a slightly more positive outlook.

    1. And I agree with everything you said until you mentioned Hans having a positive outlook... that's not going to happen, hahahaha


Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)