Yankees GM Brian Cashman is boxed in. He can’t sell; there are no takers for the players offered. He can’t stay still. All that’s left is buy.
If the Yankees were not a mere two games behind the Oakland A’s in the loss column as the American League Wild Card Standings look today, life would be so much easier for Brian Cashman.
Cashman wouldn’t have to worry about a good chance he’ll have to call his boss to deliver an unwelcome message – “Sorry, Mr. Steinbrenner, but we can get the lefty power bat we need, but it’s going to push us over the luxury tax limit.”
In response, Steinbrenner answers with, “Well, I’m disappointed, Brian. But I don’t want to exceed the limit by two or three million. So, do what you have to do to get those other two guys we talked about. Let’s win this thing”.
Of course, the only problem with that hypothetical dialog is that Cashman is talking to George Steinbrenner and not the current boss of the Yankees.
Yankees: Brian Cashman’s Dilemma
Brian Cashman, the Yankees longest-tenured GM, is boxed in. The only tradeable talent he has is injured (Luke Voit, Clint Frazier, Corey Kluber, and Aaron Hicks) or over-the-hill.
So, what does Brian Cashman do? He does what he always does by digging into the Yankees savings bank to inexplicably trade away a promising prospect.
This time it’s Hoy Park, a 25-year-old who was raking with Triple-A Scranton (.323 BA, 10 HR, 38 RBI, and a whopping 1.042 OPS). To boot, Park bats from the left side, a rarity in the Yankees lineup, and he has the same number of walks as strikeouts (46) in 223 at-bats.
No, in return for Park and INF Diego Castillo, the Yankees did not receive Adam Frazier (he went to the Padres) – instead, they get a right-handed reliever, Clay Holmes.
So, there you have it, the Yankees big move you’ve been waiting for – a game-changer for sure.
I’m kidding, of course, and being fair, Holmes has a good sinker that averages 95 mph, and he should help the Yankees in their bullpen by inducing groundball outs at a rate approaching 75% (the MLB average is about 45%).
But it’s their bullpen, for God’s sake! Not a starting pitcher or a lefty power bat, a dime-a-dozen reliever…
Yankees: Brian, It’s Better If You Take A Nap
Friday’s trade deadline can’t come soon enough if this is all that Cashman has left in his tank.
Cashman did, however, save himself from making that dreaded call to his boss though. Holmes is making $650,000 this year, and the Yankees will pay none of that as Cashman was able to “talk the Pirates into” picking up the tab on the rest of Holmes’s salary for 2021.
Yeah, you sure got ’em this time Brian – as the Pirates laughed it off saying to themselves – “For a prospect like Park, sure we’ll do that for you, and by the way, are there any others you’d like to part with?”
If you’ve been following the comments at the end of articles written for Reflections On Baseball, you know that Yankees fans are out for blood.
By and large, their venom is strewn at Yankees manager Aaron Boone. Still, I surmise that’s only because Brian Cashman, the real culprit, is insulated by Hal Steinbrenner and can’t be reached, given the love affair between the two.
Nevertheless, we led off with the point that the Yankees are very much in the race for the final Wild Card, and pending the outcome of the three-game set in Tampa, the race can even become much tighter (a Yankees sweep pulls the Yankees within one game of the Rays).
Help, We Need Somebody, Not Just Any Body…
But if you are the Yankees players as they arrive at the ballpark today, don’t you have to be wondering – is this (Holmes) all there is?
Now, a good team, if they were a together and spirited group, would say – “Never mind, we’ll do this ourselves,” because if Cashman continues to run on empty, they’ll have no other choice.
And maybe, that’s exactly what these Yankees need.
Here’s What Readers Are Saying…
Angel Santiago So he basically has f—-d himself over.
Eric Burrell Too many bad contracts
Gene VanAmburgh Jr. I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes, play out the year and you have the offseason to figure things out when teams know you are pretty much out of chances to make a deal to help your team, they dictate who they want and you can’t barter to benefit your team. Lay low and see what the market is at the end of the season, we may be able to pick up some free agents!
John Casale Then go ALL IN NYY
Cheryl Saro Cashman needs to outdo Rays for Scherzer. And the Mets.
Michael Richardson They are buyers people!
Jim Schiavo Sr. I would stay with what you got, and if you make the playoffs fine, but the off-season ownership needs to make some drastic hard changes with all personnel, no one on this team should be signed to a long term contract, and somehow someway need to rid themselves of Stanton’s contract,! Stand by. Our time is coming the universal DH is adopted for 2022.
Andrew Pal This is so unfortunate. It’s as if, instead of adapting to changing circumstances, Cashman doubles down on his failed strategy of building an analytics-based Titanic. This obsession he has for relief pitchers does nothing to help his perennially weak starting rotations, and his newest acquisition’s ground ball rate has done nothing to help that pitcher’s shockingly inflated ERA. Can’t wait to see his questionable infield defense get eaten up by all those ground balls they’ll be dodging.
Ernest Barrueta He could make a splash by trading Sanchez for Gallo! Look at the stats and see who you’d rather have coming up against the leagues mostly right-handed pitchers. 24 to 17 HRs for a start. Imagine the increase at Yankee Stadium.
Angel Santiago Ernest Barrueta He’s not the answer to the lineup. He’s just another swing or miss guy only difference is he bats from the left side.
Steven Kenworthy If this IS all that Cashman has left in his tank then it IS time to make a change unless of course Hal must stay below the threshold and Brian’s job is secure. Fiscal responsibility, right??
Closing Published Comments And Final Thoughts
With the game time approaching and page length mounting, we’ll close published comments.
A tough one for readers as well as Brian Cashman – what should the Yankees do?
I’m tired of hearing (not published) the mantra from readers to fire both Boone and Cashman. It ain’t happening, so how about we get real with what IS happening?