New York Yankees Fans Should Trust Brian Cashman Right Now

Brian Cashman GM
Wikipedia Commons

There is no doubt that until Gerrit Cole inks his name to a contract he will be connected to the New York Yankees. There is also no doubt that the Yankees will look everywhere to upgrade their rotation and starting lineup in hopes that these will be the final adjustments to put them over the hump and get them back into the World Series. For the first time since the 1910s the Yankees didn’t make an appearance in the Fall Classic in the 2010s and that has to be weighing on the front office and ownership regardless of the brave faces they put forward.

Cole would be a no-brainer addition to the Yankees, the team that drafted him out of high school in 2008 only to watch him go off to UCLA and become a first overall pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates. He will most likely command a record-breaking contract and if recent history is any indication the Yankees might not venture into that territory. That will surely anger some Yankees fans who are tired of almost and waiting for next season. But it might make the most sense.

General manager Brian Cashman has a history of making moves under the cloak of darkness. Last season the Yankees were linked with Manny Machado, Bryce Harper, and Patrick Corbin. Instead, Cashman walked away with James Paxton, Adam Ottavino, and D.J. LeMahieu. The year prior nobody could have envisioned reigning NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton joining the Yankees for what amounted to spare parts. Cashman has let the media speculate away without telegraphing his moves publicly. It has worked to his advantage so far as prices aren’t driven up through the roof. Why would he deviate now?

The Yankees will certainly entertain Cole and will probably make him an offer. They might do the same with Stephen Strasburg. However, the Yankees might not come away with either one. The Yankees set a price on a player and refuse to budge. Gone are the days of bidding against themselves as they did with Alex Rodriguez. Gone are the days of panicked moves that resulted in Jacoby Ellsbury being given $20 million per year.

Cashman will shoot his shot with Cole and probably Strasburg and if nothing moves on that front he will easily pivot towards a Zack Wheeler, Madison Bumgarner, or a trade for a starter like Jon Gray, Corey Kluber, or Robbie Ray. He also might feel perfectly comfortable going into 2020 with a rotation of Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Domingo German, Jordan Montgomery, and J.A. Happ with prospects like Jonathan Loaisiga, Michael King, Deivi Garcia, Chance Adams, and Clarke Schmidt knocking on the door. The trade deadline might be kinder to Cashman this time around.

No matter what, the New York Yankees are World Series contenders as currently constructed. Health will obviously play a major role as they can’t go through another year where 31 players hit the injured list. The Yankees had set the MLB record for most players on the injured list by August 30th last season and there is no way that can happen again.

Can the Yankees use Gerrit Cole? What team in baseball couldn’t? Are they good enough to win without him? Certainly. Odds right now are Cashman will add to this roster and try again to get that World Series ring. The good news is that the Yankees’ core is still young and mathematically it is almost impossible to repeat the bad luck they had with injuries last year. Now it’s time for Yankees fans to relax and let Cashman do his job and trust he knows what he is doing.

Time is Running Out for Brian Cashman to do Something

Brian Cashman GM
Wikipedia Commons

It is time for the New York Yankees, and more specifically Brian Cashman, to come to terms with reality. That reality is that it is now August 29, soon to be August 30, and the Yankees are no closer to having Aaron Judge back in the lineup than they were on July 31.

Judge’s wrist is still hurting. He still hasn’t picked up a bat. If we are being honest, it might be another month before Judge even comes close to being normal. Wrist injuries are like that. He might not be close to his old self this year and the Yankees need to prepare for that.

As it stands right now, the Yankees have the second best record in baseball. The World Series isn’t out of the question at all. Judge would be a huge part of that final stretch but it isn’t clear he will be there. Cashman owes it to the team and the fans to get a better outfielder than Shane Robinson.

Curtis Granderson and Andrew McCutchen come to mind first because both have already passed waivers. They should be additions Cashman looks to make. So far, the Yankees have passed. The time is fast approaching for Cashman to reverse that and get another outfielder.

If the Yankees want to pretend Neil Walker is an outfielder then they should at least upgrade first base. Greg Bird is looking like a lost cause. His bat is slow, his defense is mediocre at best, and the shines that he once had is quickly wearing off.

To be honest, the Yankees can’t carry a Shane Robinson and Greg Bird on the same team and in the same lineup. Cashman must upgrade one or both positions.

Wake Up Brian Cashman, the New York Yankees Need a Bat

Brian Cashman GM
Wikipedia Commons

During this rebuilding process it has been hard to hammer New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman. However, this season is literally on the edge right now and most of the blame can be leveled at Cashman and all of it is deserving.

The Yankees entered the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline knowing that Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez were hurt and would still be missing significant time for their wrist and groin injuries respectively. Both injuries are kind of serious. Wrist injuries are nothing to play around with and can take months to properly heal. Groin injuries, especially for a catcher who spends most his day squatting behind home plate, can be a major issue as well. We have already seen Sanchez come back from his earlier injury then play a game so badly that almost everyone, including me, thought he was just not hustling.

Cashman knew Sanchez and Judge, two huge bats, would be out of the lineup. His deadline dealing, however, focused only on pitching while dealing most of the upper level bat depth away in Billy McKinney and Tyler Austin. Dealing them shouldn’t have been an issue in reality. But dealing Adam Warren, a useful piece in the bullpen, for international bonus money, and less money at that than Caleb Frare got in a separate trade, is baffling. Cashman couldn’t trade another prospect for that money? He needed to send Warren to Seattle for that money instead of finding a bat to bring into the mix?

It has been over two weeks now since the deadline. Judge and Sanchez are still out. Judge played catch and said his wrist still hurt. Sanchez is slowly making his way back to playing in a rehab game but who knows when that exactly will be. Shane Robinson and Luke Voit have still gotten the lion’s share of playing time, though Voit was finally sent to AAA after posting a .188/.235/.188 line in 16 at bats. Robinson has appeared in 16 games and hit to just a .129/.229/.226 line. That simply can’t be allowed in a playoff race. Cashman has to own this.

If Clint Frazier had been healthy and not dealing with concussion symptoms all of that playing time would have gone to him. But he is hurt and it isn’t known when he will be back. Cashman has to go out and find a bat to plug into the mix. There are several names that make sense and many of whom passed through waivers. Instead, Cashman hasn’t done anything and the Yankees are moving through August like a horse on two legs.

There is no doubt that Brian Cashman has mostly done a phenomenal job. He held onto the right prospects, made astute trades and helped get the Yankees into being a playoff team one year into a rebuild. However, he can’t get the team this close and not acquire someone to give a floundering lineup a shot in the arm. Without another bat the Yankees very well might be on the playoff bubble.

The lineup without Judge and Sanchez is just not deep. It is Giancarlo Stanton and Miguel Andujar supported by Didi Gregorious, Neil Walker, and Aaron Hicks. Gleyber Torres is in the middle of a massive slump ever since he came back from the disabled list and is batting .210/.286/.390 in his last 30 games and just .107/.107/.143 in his last seven games. This is getting beyond just being a slump and a trip to the minors, while their seasons are still going on, might be a huge boost to Torres down the road. Getting another bat would allow the Yankees to move Walker back to second base and send Torres down to Triple-A where he can work on things. Getting another bat would allow the Yankees some flexibility, something that once allowed them to match up so well in different situations that they were an analytic nerd’s wet dream. Those days are gone, allowed to slip away by a general manager who seems to be more worried about the future than the present. How else does one explain trading Warren to a contender for nothing more than money to sign international prospects? He couldn’t get a bat for Warren? Just two years ago Warren was good enough, with Brendan Ryan, to land Starlin Castro. Now he can only net international signing bonus money, and less than Caleb Frare brought in from the Chicago White Sox? Something isn’t right in the Bronx.

There was a time not long ago where there was too much talent to get into the lineup every day. That is not the case after trades and injuries. It is time for Cashman to deal some of his coveted pitching and get a bat in this lineup before the season literally slips away.