Yankees GM Brian Cashman shoots back at Astros owner Jim Crane for insane comments

New York Yankees, Brian Cashman

The New York Yankees were caught up in the cheating scandal that forced the Houston Astros to give up multiple draft picks and fined them $5 million. However, both teams’ cheating methods were extremely different, ranging from situational camera usage to high leverage trashcan banging that helped the Astros win the World Series back in 2017.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman indicated that the only thing stopping the Yankees from winning the World Series that year was Houston cheating illegally and horrifically.

“The only thing that stopped [the 2017 Yankees] was something that was so illegal and horrific,” Cashman said earlier this spring. “So I get offended when I start hearing we haven’t been to the World Series since ’09.’ … The only thing that derailed us was a cheating circumstance that threw us off.”

By that logic, Houston stole a championship, and the MLB let them get away with it. Fining them a few million and taking some draft picks is seemingly all it takes to earn a World Series title these days. At least that’s the message that commissioner Rob Manfred sent.

However, Astros owner Jim Crane shot back at Cashman earlier this week regarding his comments about Houston’s sign stealing.

“There’s the letter, and you were doing it, too,” Crane told USA Today. “You were there, dude. What are you talking about? If I was one of the teams, and I knew our team was doing it, I’d keep my mouth shut and just go about our business.”

The letter that Crane is referencing includes no more information and then was already admitted to the public. The Yankees were using the YES Network cameras to relay information to runners on 2nd base, who then sent specific information to the batters about what pitch might be coming. The sequence was only used a handful of times, whereas the Astros were using their method at will and in big situations.

“I don’t think anybody’s going to dance to the tune he’s singing,” Cashman said Thursday. “I’d say it’s called deflection, him trying to equate probably … an equivalent of a parking ticket to maybe 162 felonies.”

The reality is simple, neither Cashman nor Crane should be talking about sign-stealing or making egregious just comments. Both were caught up in a disgusting scandal that impacted the image of both teams. Playing the blame game right now doesn’t help anybody. The scandal needs to be left behind once and for all unless sued for education purposes.

“I don’t think anybody equates it to what the Astros did except for Houston,” Cashman said. “[That is] the feedback from everybody in the industry, including Major League Baseball.”

Houston Astros owner Jim Crane takes shot at Yankees GM Brian Cashman over sign-stealing scandal

New York Yankees, Yankees, Brian Cashman

It is no secret the New York Yankees were involved in some sort of cheating several years ago during the infamous sign-stealing scandal. However, the Houston Astros lead the charge, utilizing a unique strategy that included banging on trash cans to relay deciphered pitches to batters in the box.

Houston set the standard for what not to do in baseball as the image of the game took a significant hit. The Yankees, however, believe they were cheated out of a World Series because of Houston’s wrongdoing. The fact they were able to retain the World Series title might go down as one of the worst decisions in history. That essentially confirms that cheating is OK, and you can walk away with minimal consequences and a championship trophy.

Houston owner Jim Crane took offense to Yankees general manager Brian Cashman’s comments, indicating that the Astros executed illegal and horrific strategies to steal signs.

“I found his comments to be extremely strange,” Crane said, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today. “There’s the letter, and you were doing it, too. You were there, dude. What are you talking about?”

“If I was one of the teams, and I knew our team was doing it [cheating], I’d keep my mouth shut and just go about our business,” Crane added. “But listen, I can only control what’s going on here. I can’t control what the other guys do.”

At this point, Crane should just walk into the sunset instead of bringing unnecessary attention to his club. Judging Cashman for his comments is completely out of line, even if the Yankees GM is in the wrong.

In the commissioner’s letter that revealed what the Yankees were doing, they had utilized YES Network television cameras to decipher catches and relay them to runners on second base, who then sent signals to batters. This was far different than what the Astros were doing, utilizing their technique when there were no runners on base and in high-leverage situations.

Despite Houston being fined $5 million and stripped of its first and second-round picks for 2020 and 2021, retaining the championship will remain a stain on the league’s legacy.

Aaron Judge bet on himself and the Yankees are going to have to pay up as a result

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge

Right now, the Yankees are currently playing the Blue Jays to wrap-up their short two-game stint against the Jays. At the time of writing this, New York is holding onto a lead and it would be a huge win coming off the heels of the massive win that took place last night.

Last night, the Yankees were down two runs going into the ninth inning. After a couple of walks, Aaron Judge stepped up to the plate. Despite being arguably the most feared power-hitter in baseball, Judge had never hit a walk-off home run in his career with the Yankees.

That changed last night. On a 1-2 count, Judge caught a hanging slider and hit it 450 feet into the second deck in left field. The shot secured a win for the Yankees and it secured the top spot in MLB’s home run rankings to Aaron Judge.

Thus far in the 2022 season, Aaron Judge is off to a tremendous start. You can make the argument that the Yankees star is off to the best start of his career. It’s either this year or 2017 for the superstar outfielder.

Yankees Need To Pay Up

Before the season started, the Yankees tried to ink Judge to a lengthy extension. Specifically, New York came forward with a seven-year, $213.5 million contract extension that would start after this year.

The AAV of the deal would pay Judge $30.5 million a year which seems like a good offer. Now, I think we all know that Judge is worth more than $30.5 million a year especially to the New York Yankees.

Judge and his reps knew that fact as well. The Yankees came forward with a fair offer considering the fact that Judge has been an injury-prone player since his MVP contending season in 2017.

However, Judge was healthy last season and he’s remained healthy this season while playing at the highest level of his career. Entering his free agency year, Judge and his reps rejected the offer that New York threw out.

Some, including myself, thought it was a risky move by the Yankees star. However, if he keeps playing the way he is, it was a stroke of genius. The power-move was just another testament to the greatness and confidence of Aaron Judge.

I truly believe that Aaron Judge will spend his entire career with the Yankees. They cannot let him walk. That being said, their offer is going to have to come up in a big way especially if he keeps playing at this level.

While Judge said talks would have to wait until the season is over, don’t be surprised if Cashman is slowly upping the offer behind the scenes. Cashman said they wouldn’t comment on in publicly moving forward. This will be definitely something to watch as the season goes on.

Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman made one genius decision this past off-season

anthony rizzo, yankees

The New York Yankees overcame the Baltimore Orioles in a wild win on Tuesday evening, scoring 12 runs and featuring one of the best offenses performances of the year. Just a week ago, the Bombers may have been blown out in this contest, but the batter finally awakened and provided the run support the pitchers desperately needed.

Luis Severino got the start against the Orioles, lasting six innings before giving up a three-run homer to Anthony Santander, bringing them within three of the Yankees’ lead. However, the Yanks did everything in their power to continue extending the lead, despite a resilient Baltimore performance, tallying eight runs on the day.

However, if it wasn’t for the performance of first baseman Anthony Rizzo, the Yankees might’ve had a harder time putting away the Orioles. Rizzo went 3-for-4, including six RBIs and a walk. Rizzo hosts a .283 batting average this season with a .733 slugging percentage.

In fact, Rizzo currently leads the MLB with eight homers, trailed by Joc Pederson, Byron Buxton, Ozzie Albies, and a slew of other players with six. Rizzo has been an absolute menace to open the year, taking advantage of the short right porch in Yankee Stadium. All three of his homers against Baltimore were within 380 feet, with the first landing 346 feet, the second 378 feet, and the third 327 feet.

His final homer on the evening just barely squeaked inside the right-field foul pole, the shortest part of the stadium from home plate to the wall.

Through 17 games, it seems as if general manager Brian Cashman made a genius decision retaining Rizzo instead of allocating multiple prospects in exchange for Matt Olson of the Oakland Athletics or a big-money acquisition like Freddie Freeman.

Olson ended up being traded to Atlanta to replace Freeman. Despite only hitting two homers this year so far, he’s recorded a .355 average over 17 games with a 19.7% strikeout rate and 17.1% walk rate. Olson is still enjoying a phenomenal performance up to this point, but his home run totals don’t even closely mirror Rizzo’s.

On the other hand, Freeman is hitting .328 with three homers and a 16.4% strikeout rate. Rizzo hosts the lowest strikeout rate out of the three and cost the Yankees far less in capital to retain.

The 32-year-old first baseman signed a two-year, $32 million deal to stick with the Yankees, and while he was a backup option, he’s proving why Cashman made the right decision by keeping his prospects and being loyal to a player already on the roster.

Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman takes huge shot at Astros for halting their World Series aspirations

New York Yankees, Yankees, Brian Cashman

It is no secret the New York Yankees have failed to reach the World Series over the past decade, but they’ve gotten close on quite a few occasions. Whether it be lackluster starting pitching or deficient hitting, the Yankees have failed to get over the hump against teams with more consistency.

However, general manager Brian Cashman gets angry when people dismiss his team’s efforts, noting his success in signing free agents, trading players, and developing talent. He’s clearly not afraid to pat himself on the back despite a lack of success, but he didn’t hesitate to take shots at the Houston Astros for holding the Yankees back from reaching the World Series.

“The only thing that stopped (us) was something that was so illegal and horrific,” Cashman told The Athletic. “So I get offended when I start hearing we haven’t been to the World Series since ’09. Because I’m like, ‘Well, I think we actually did it the right way.’ Pulled it down, brought it back up. Drafted well, traded well, developed well, signed well. The only thing that derailed us was a cheating circumstance that threw us off.”

The Yankees also are being investigated for stealing signs, but not nearly to the extent of Houston, who used a myriad of different strategies to gain a competitive advantage.

Cashman aggressively disagrees with the notion that the Yankees aren’t a World Series caliber team, but the reality is simple, one good season isn’t good enough.

“People are like ‘Oh, we haven’t been to a World Series . . .’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah, I don’t think that’s as true a statement as it could be,'” Cashman said. “We had a World Series team. And either you get it done or you don’t.”

3 massive risks Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman is taking with his off-season plan

New York Yankees, Brian Cashman

New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman struck out this off-season trying to add more talent to the roster. With shortstop being a priority, he executed a blockbuster trade with the Minnesota Twins to acquire Isiah Kiner-Falefa, but he doesn’t exactly offer the slugging services Carlos Correa or Trevor Story provide.

Nonetheless, Cashman was forced to take on $50 million over two years from Josh Donaldson to acquire Kiner-Falefa, the stop-gap he clearly had his eyes on. However, Minnesota leveraged that money into a three-year contract for Carlos Correa, one of the league’s best postseason hitters and elite infielders.

The Yankees still have multiple holes on the roster that could impact them this upcoming season, meaning Cashman still has to make moves if you want to seem to be a legitimate World Series contender in 2022.

Three big risks Brian Cashman is taking with the Yankees’ roster:

1.) Very risky approach at shortstop as he waits for Volpe

Kiner-Falefa is a good defensive player that is still finding his way offensively in the MLB. At this point, he’s nowhere close in comparison to Correa or Story in terms of quality and production. The former Texas ranger hit .271 with only eight homers last season, but he offers decent contact fitting, a category the Yankees need to upgrade.

Cashman has imposed a risky approach at shortstop, especially with Correa taking such a short-term deal with a high AAV. It is clear that management is looking ahead to Anthony Volpe or Oswald Peraza to take a shot at short-stop in the future. Allowing the two prospects to develop properly and reach the majors without any big money roadblocks is the obvious strategy, but Cashman may be sacrificing winning in the short term.

2.) Ignored starting pitching support, so far

On paper, the Yankees have a few exciting names in the starting pitcher rotation, but the reality isn’t as optimistic. Two of their top guns are unreliable and have proven to be liabilities.

Projected rotation:

  1. Gerrit Cole
  2. Jameson Taillon
  3. Luis Severino
  4. Jordan Montgomery
  5. Nestor Cortes

On Sunday, Luis Severino started in a spring training game against the Detroit Tigers. While he touched 95+ miles per hour with his fastball, he allowed four hits and four runs in just two innings, including a two-run blast in the 2nd.

Severino may be best utilized as a multi-inning relief pitcher rather than a bonafide starter at this point in his career. It seems as if the Yankees will give him another opportunity to regain his lost form from years ago, but that does make him a huge risk with concerning downside if he fails to capture his old self.

On the other hand, Taillon suffered torn ligaments in his ankle last year along with a myriad of other issues. Taillon is capable of being a solid starter, but he hasn’t recorded a sub 4.00 ERA since 2018. Injuries have taken their toll, and he’s slowly working his way back to being more efficient. Once again, Cashman finds himself placing bets on injured players.

3.) Catcher is a huge question mark

While trading Gary Sanchez made sense at this point in time after years of inconsistent play, the Yankees haven’t done much to replace him. They feature Kyle Higashioka, a far better defensive catcher, and acquired Ben Rortvedt from Minnesota. This upcoming season, skipper Aaron Boone may deploy a platoon of catchers, but neither are high-end proven MLB hitters.

Losing Sanchez’s slugging power at the bottom of the order will undoubtedly have its consequences, but the team will be far better defensively at the position. Last season, Higashioka posted a .181 average with a 28% strikeout rate over 67 games. Gerrit Cole prefers him behind the plate, which makes him an essential part of the team. In 2021, he allowed 33 stolen bases, throwing out just five. However, he only accrued six passed balls in 519 innings, a category that Sanchez struggled with every year.

Rortvedt, on the other hand, has only one year of MLB experience, featuring in 39 games last year. He had .169 with three homers and seven RBIs, posting a 30% strikeout rate. While he is a solid defensive player with offensive upside, he still has a long way to go before he realizes his potential. Luckily, Rortvedt has former Twins hitting coach Tanner Swanson at its disposal, giving him a bit of familiarity within the Yankees organization.

Cashman is taking an incredibly risky approach at catcher, but it seems they will role with the offensive limitations to guarantee solid defensive play at the position.

Do the New York Yankees have a Brian Cashman problem?

New York Yankees, Brian Cashman

When you have an owner like Hal Steinbrenner that keeps the checkbook open for management, you expect to see better results over a large sample size of seasons. The New York Yankees have failed to make a World Series appearance in over a decade, being knocked out of the Wild Card by the Boston Red Sox last year.

Under the leadership of Aaron Boone, the team has made it close to the World Series but has failed to overcome the Houston Astros on multiple occasions. Despite aimless spending and monstrous trades, the Yankees once again find their roster filled with holes and deficiencies that haven’t been plugged by developmental talent.

Cashman has been extremely persistent with his confidence in players like Gary Sanchez, Gleyber Torres, and more. In fact, he’s dragged on their tenure for far too long in some instances, finally parting ways with Sanchez this off-season in a blockbuster deal with the Minnesota Twins.

However, Cashman remains conservative with his approach, refusing to part ways with any of his young talent, notably Oswald Peraza or Anthony Volpe. Keeping Volpe as the team’s future shortstop seems like a good move, but leveraging Peraza at this point for starting pitching support and team control may be viewed as a net-positive strategy.

Nonetheless, the Yankees general manager continues to strike out on big contracts. Over the years, he’s opened the checkbook for players like Jacoby Ellsbury, Aaron Hicks, and more. Even Giancarlo Stanton’s grotesque deal, which he acquired from the Miami Marlins, seems overzealous given his lack of defensive production.

So by all accounts, is it fair to say that the Yankees have a Brian Cashman problem?

Based on the considerable sample size of seasons pushed aside due to injury and failure to reach expectations, Cashman has done an underwhelming job at this point. Youth development has stalled, coaching shifts have been frequent, and forcing analytical methods is one of his biggest negatives. Focusing on home run hitting isn’t a bad strategy, but finding quality contact hitters who can get on base and maximize home runs is essential.

Cashman has wholly ignored the batting average statistic, which is understandable given the way baseball is going, but teams with far fewer sluggers have enjoyed success recently, including the Tampa Bay Rays and Astros.

Acquiring Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Josh Donaldson contribute towards a minor shift. Kiner-Falefa is better known for his contact-hitting then slugging abilities, hitting just eight homers last year with the Texas Rangers. Every year, Donaldson is a double-digit HR hitter player, but the Yankees balanced his qualities with Isiah.

The injection of better baserunners would also go a long way toward getting players in scoring position. In addition, clutch hitting has also been a deficiency for the Yankees, as relying on the home run can have its cons.

As you can tell, the Bombers lack in multiple categories, but Cashman remains steadfast in his ways. Given he was recently outsmarted by the Twins, who unloaded Donaldson’s two-year and $50 million contract on the Yanks, signing Carlos Correa to a short-term, high AAV deal, maybe it’s time for Steinbrenner to go in a different direction.

Brian Cashman and New York Yankees playing with prospect fire, could they get burned?

New York Yankees, Yankees, Brian Cashman

The New York Yankees made their first move of the offseason a couple of nights ago. New York traded Gio Urshela and Gary Sanchez for Josh Donaldson, Isiah Kiner-Filefa, and Ben Rortfedt from the Twins.

It was a little bit of a head-scratching move, but it makes some sense. The Yankees were ready to move on from Gary Sanchez and they needed a shortstop. In Josh Donaldson, they feel like they upgraded at third and upgrading across the board was worth taking on the Donaldson salary.

Yesterday, we saw one of the Yanks biggest offseason targets come off the board. From the moment the offseason began, there was chatter that the Yankees really wanted to make a trade with Oakland for superstar first baseman, Matt Olson.

However, the prospect haul would have to be big and Cashman seemed resistant. Well, the Atlanta Braves were willing to do it and they secured the start lefty. Now, the Yankees are still trying to figure out the first base position.

They are in on Freddie Freeman. However, most believe it’s going to be a steep hill to climb to get him. A reunion with Anthony Rizzo could be in the cards, but there’s something that’s struck me in the last couple of days about the Yankees approach this offseason.

Yankees Prospects and Holding on Too Long

A few years ago, Gary Sanchez could’ve been the centerpiece of a trade that brought a legit star to the Yankees. Clint Frazier, Chance Adams, and Miguel Andjuar were requested by the Pirates a few years ago for Gerrit Cole.

Deivi Garcia and Estavan Florial were asked about in trades for proven MLB starting pitchers. Gleyber Torres was asked about in many trades that could’ve brought stars back to the Yankees that could’ve drastically helped this club potentially win a World Series.

Brian Cashman turned down major trades over and over again to hold onto these prospects out of the fear of missing out. In the last few years, there’s really only been one prospect Cashman has held onto that’s turned out to be a star and that’s Aaron Judge.

Remember Greg Bird? Look, I absolutely love the fact that Brian Cashman truly believes in his guys. However, he has really developed a horrible habit of holding onto guys until they virtually have no value at all.

You will not find a bigger fan of Anthony Volpe than me. I also love Oswald Peraza and Jasson Dominguez. They all are sensational prospects. However, all three of them are far from guarantees and Yankees fans have to hope they pan out.

The Prospect Problem and Hopium

Let me ask you, if you were told that Jasson Dominguez and Oswald Peraza were traded for Matt Olson, but the Yankees won a World Series next year would you do it? I would hope many if not all would say yes.

Cashman has behaved like a GM who is half in and half out. Half of him wants to build for the future while the other half wants to win now. You can’t have it both ways and the Yankees are 13 years removed from a World Series as a result.

If Anthony Volpe turns out to be the next Derek Jeter and Dominguez turns out to be the next Mickey Mantle, Cashman is a genius. However, if they both flame out, Yankees fans will once again be left wondering, what if?

What if Gerrit Cole was traded to New York instead of Houston? What if the Yankees acquired Jose Ramirez or Francisco Lindor a couple of years ago for a package headlined by Gleyber Torres.

Yesterdays trade will be another what if? What if the Yankees had made the prospect package needed to acquire Matt Olson. Time will tell, but it’s a risky game that has burned Cashman more times than not in recent memory. I truly hope he’s right this time.

The Yankees are going to have to act quickly to avoid being left behind

yankees, gerrit cole

When the MLB-imposed lockout is over, the New York Yankees are going to have to pounce quickly to improve the team. They are going to have to spend to get it accomplished. If they don’t and decide to go with what they have, they will be left behind. Yankees fans will only be able to look forward to another mediocre season, as the other AL East teams forge ahead.

If the Yankees don’t act after doing nothing to improve in the postseason 1.0, they may find themselves last in the East, only ahead of the Baltimore Orioles, who are years away from contention. The Tampa Bay Rays, the Red Sox, and yes, the Toronto Blue Jays have better teams than the Yankees at this point in the postseason.

The Yankees are going to have to open the checkbook and make a splash somewhere to improve a team that presently has many holes to fill. The Yankees have a questionable starting rotation, missing a true number two starter. They have no shortstop, they have to do something at first base or be left with the oft-injured Luke Voit. They still need help in center field, as they can’t depend on Aaron Hicks to remain healthy for a season. He has only been on the field for 88 games or more twice in his six years with the Yankees. Most recently, he played in only 32 games last season. The Yankees can not avoid beefing up the bullpen with the loss of Zack Britton for most, if not all, of the season.

The Yankees will have to get better to avoid a losing Wild Card game and a quick end to another disappointing season. The teams they will face in the AL East have promoted from within and already acquired by signing and trading for better players. They also have better farm systems. The Yankees are rated by the Athletics Keith Law as having the 22nd best farm system, whereas the  Rays and Blue Jays are rated number four and five. The Orioles are number ten and the Red Sox number 20. The bottom line is that no matter how much finagling the Yankees do with what they have, it will not produce a Championship team.

The Yankee front office has already said they may spend big and disregard the luxury tax threshold to win a World Series berth now when the lockout is over, they need to prove that or accept a possible dismal season with Yankees fans longing for more.

With the Yankees sitting by before the lockout as other teams had picked up some of the best free agents on the market, it is even more important that the Yankees act first, with what is still available. With the long wait during the lockout, the Yankees and general manager Brian Cashman have had plenty of time to figure out what they need to do.

 

Yankees Analysis: Future looks bright for the Yankees but maybe not for 2022

hal steinbrenner, brian cashman

The New York Yankees are a special team, a team that expects to win the World Series every year. We all know that that is not possible.

For all but a few elite teams, a good showing that draws fans to the stands is enough. But not for the Yankees, they always aim high. The Yankees have come close the last few years after not winning a World Series since 2009 but just haven’t found the formula to bring them to the October Classic.

Think what you will, but the Yankees are always planning. They are looking to improve the team for the coming season after the MLB lockout is over. The big question in a fan’s mind is if the Yankees will do enough before the start of the season to get over that hump that has not allowed them a World Series appearance in the last eleven years. To accomplish that, at the very least, they must sign a high-profile shortstop to replace Gleyber Torres, acquire a true number two type starting pitcher, and improve production at first base. If they fail to do that, fans will likely see similar results that they have come to accept in the last few years.

Beyond this season, the Yankees have been preparing for a long stretch of excellence in the future. The Yankees have been one of the more active teams with top of the heap international signings. It started in 2015 when they spent $5 million to snag Jasson Dominguez out of the Dominican Republic. This year they again went after the top international signing with Rodrick Arias. They are also expected to pick up Brandon Mayea, the highest-rated shortstop out of Cuba.

In two years, the Yankee farm system could look like this: SS Anthony Volpe, SS/IN Oswald Pereza, OF Jasson Dominguez, SS/3B Trey Sweeney, SS Rodrick Arias, and CF Brandon Mayea. With those top signings SP Wandy Peralta, and the hands already in the Yankee minor league system, the Yankees will look to have the top farm system in all of baseball, which spells future success, and not just for a year or two.

Not being overly optimistic, it is important to recognize that while highly-touted international prospects are extremely hit-or-miss. Players like Rusney Castillo, Hideki Irabu, and Kei Igawa were complete duds, while Hideki Matsui, Robinson Cano, Orlando Hernandez, Bernie Williams, and of course Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera have been superstars for the Yankees.

While this looks extremely positive for the future, Yankee fans want instant satisfaction. With a second meeting between the sides in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, it appears a resolution may be in the offing, hopefully sooner than later. General manager Brian Cashman and the front office will have to pounce quickly to resolve their issues after being silent in postseason 1.0 if they expect to come closer to a World Series appearance in 2022.