Monday, January 9, 2017

Brian Cashman and the 1% Solution...

Earlier today on Jim Bowden’s SiriusXM radio show (Channel 210, Fantasy Sports Radio), GM Brian Cashman indicated it is possible no further moves are made before the team heads to Tampa next month.  “We stay engaged with the marketplace, but I think more likely than not – 99 percent likely – we are going to be going to camp with what we have”, Cashman told Bowden. 

Color me the skeptic but I think the odds just increased for the Yankees to make a move to add a veteran pitcher before camp.  The ‘1%’ Brian Cashman indirectly alludes to just became as wide of the Grand Canyon.   I take these comments as posturing, whether it is to get the Chicago White Sox to lessen their demands for starting pitcher Jose Quintana or a free agent like Jason Hammel to accept a lesser deal. 

Cashman’s comments kind of feel like the stereotypical team vote of confidence for a manager who is about to lose his job (and does). 

I am not buying the talk of simply throwing Luis Cessa, Chad Green, Bryan Mitchell, Adam Warren and Luis Severino into the mix to compete for the two open rotation spots.  To do so means the Yankees have complete confidence that two of these pitchers will rise to the challenge.  The more prudent approach would be to bring in a veteran pitcher to compete with the kids.

I thought earlier in the off-season, the Arizona Diamondbacks and their new GM Mike Hazen, made a very good move in picking up Taijuan Walker in a five-player trade with the Seattle Mariners.  That’s the type of trade that I’d like to see the Yankees make, rather than bet the farm on a trade for Quintana. 

I’ve heard the predictions that the Yankees could end up with anywhere from 75 to 85 wins depending on how well the younger guys play.  If the team truly has the potential to win 85 games, then it is not going to take much to secure at least one of the wild card spots.  If the Yankees feel that Quintana can make the difference, then they should pull the trigger on a trade.  I do not want to risk losing key top prospects, but recognize that the only way to pry Quintana lose would be to include prized talent.  That’s why I feel that Cashman is simply throwing a smoke screen to eliminate or at least reduce the perception of desperation.  His way of trying to turn this from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market. 

Odds are the Houston Astros or another team will overpay to win Quintana’s services.  Regardless of what happens with Quintana, the Yankees would be better served by focusing on other under the radar trade possibilities to strengthen the competition for the open rotation spots.  This is exactly what I think Brian Cashman is looking to do with his latest posturing comments.  He wants to make the right deal…on his terms.

We’ll soon see if 1% yields a veteran pitcher…

This Day in New York Yankees History 1/9: The Highlanders are Born

On this day in 1903 Baltimore's American League franchise is sold to Frank Farrell and Bill Devery for $18,000 and is moved to New York. The Manhattan team will be known as the New York Highlanders before being renamed the Yankees in 1913.