As we approach the 75th game of the season (wow!), I figured it would be a nice time to review Brian Cashman’s offseason. Of course, we can’t know how well he did until after the season (and perhaps, seasons into the future – here’s looking at you, Austin Jackson). But let’s take a look, shall we?
Resigning Pettitte was obviously a fantastic no-brainer move.
Some (including myself) were calling for Cashman to sign Lackey, but he let him go to the Sox. This turned out to be a good move. Lackey took on an A.J. sized contract, and his numbers haven’t quite been there, with a 4.97 xFIP and opponents hitting .298 against him. Not so pretty. Good move, Cashman.
Cashman’s big move in the pitching department was the trade for Javy Vazquez. It is true that Vazquez had an awful start to the season. It’s also true that Arodys Vizcaino, who was traded for Vazquez, has done some pretty impressive stuff in the minors (see for yourself). But to be honest, the trade was a good one, even in hindsight. Firstly, Vazquez has been absolutely solid since his rough start. And who exactly would be the last starter if Vazquez hadn’t come over? Chances are, Joba and Phil would both be in the rotation, and that would’ve gotten ugly (see also: 2008).
My Review: Good job, Cashman.
Well the infield was set. I initially wanted Cashman to bring back Jose Molina, but that was mere nostalgia, and Cervelli has been more than anyone could ask for from a backup backstop.
As for the outfield, it’s turned out alright. Austin Jackson’s numbers have fallen very much back to earth (.302 avg., .103 ISO), and they will continue to do so, because his .415 BABIP is still quite unsustainable. Granderson has technically been worth fewer wins, but he’s also played significantly less because of his injury. Furthermore, though Jackson’s team control is certainly attractive, Granderson has a very team-favorable contract as well. He’ll be here at least a few more years, and he’s going to get better as he gets further away from the injury. So while it may not have turned out perfectly, give it time.
The next step is turning down big name free agents such as Matt Holliday and Jason Bay. Simply put, Gardner has been fantastic. And quite cheap. This was a big, big win on Cashman’s part.
Lastly, Cashman said goodbye to Damon and Matsui and brought on Nick Johnson as the DH. Wasn’t happy with the move then, and I’m still not. Johnson doesn’t even appear to have a timetable for a return, and his injury history is simply too overwhelming. Bad move that hasn’t paid off.
My Review: Pretty good job with one or two minor mistakes.
Might I also just say, for what it’s worth, the “Cashman has all the money in the world so his job is easy” argument is really not much of an argument at all. Yes, he has the largest budget in baseball. Yes, that makes his job easier. But he spends the money wisely. Cashman doesn’t go blow a whole bunch of money on players that don’t produce. He doesn’t go sign Jason Bay for a whole lot more than he’s worth. He doesn’t sign over the hill players (any more). He does his job well (remember the Nick Swisher trade steal?).
What’s your take? How does Cashman’s offseason look 74 games in?