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Vote: Should Brian Cashman Be Fired?

By Michael Maggi ~ April 28th, 2012. Filed under: Digest Contributors, New York Yankees.

In reading the blogs and listening to sports radio, it appears many Yankee fans are calling for Brian Cashman’s head over the Michael Pineda debacle, while others fail to find fault on the GM’s part. In this election season, everyone loves a good debate so I will refrain from offering my opinion on the Pineda situation and, instead, comprise a list of Cashman’s starting pitching acquisitions since 1998. I broke them down into categories and will let you decide how strong is Brian Cashman at identifying, developing, and acquiring starting pitchers? And, is it time for him to go?

Trades/FA signings w/ positive results: Andy Pettitte (2007 return), CC Sabathia, Mike Mussina, Roger Clemens (first stint), and Orlando Hernandez (both stints)

Trades/FA signings w/ negative or questionable results: Hideki Irabu, Jeff Weaver, Sterling Hitchcock (second stint), Esteban Loaiza, Randy Johnson, Carl Pavano, Denny Neagle, Kevin Brown, Jose Contreras, Jaret Wright, A.J. Burnett, Javier Vazquez (both stints), Kei Igawa, and Adrian Hernandez

Home grown prospects w/ positive results: Ivan Nova, and Chien-Ming Wang

Home grown prospects w/ negative or questionable results: Phil Hughes, Alex Graman, Ed Yarnall, Joba Chamberlain (as a SP), Andrew Brackman, Chase Wright, Brad Halsey, and Brandon Claussen

Prospects who thrived after being traded: Ian Kennedy, Jake Westbrook, and Ted Lilly

Bargain basement finds w/ positive short-term results: Freddy Garcia, Bartolo Colon, Jon Lieber, Dustin Moseley, Al Leiter, Aaron Small, and Shawn Chacon

Michael is a lifelong New Jersey resident and third generation Yankees fan. His grandfather would tell him inspiring stories about his hero, Lou Gehrig, and likewise his father about the great Mickey Mantle. His interest in the Yankees grew into a passion for the Great American Pastime and its glorious history. Mike was co-host of SportsTalk 99.5 on WUSR Royal Radio 99.5 in Scranton, PA from 1998-2000. It was on this show that he had the privilege of interviewing well-known sports personalities such as Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, Kenny Albert, Bob Wischusen, and Babe Ruth’s self-appointed “mascot” Little Ray Kelly who admitted on the air that the Sultan of Swat did indeed call his shot in the 5th inning of Game 3 of the 1932 World Series. Mike also served as an intern at News Talk Radio 77-WABC in New York, where he hosted Yankees trivia events for on-air contest winners at Yankee Stadium when 770 was the flagship station of the New York Yankees. He is joining the New York Baseball Digest staff as their fan contributor, offering stories and opinions from the fan perspective.
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34 Responses to Vote: Should Brian Cashman Be Fired?

  1. Daler

    Troll post of the year.

  2. Mike Silva


    It’s an opinion poll and Michael is actually a Yankees fan. How is it trolling?

  3. Andy

    1) Ed Yarnall was not home-grown
    2) Without league context, this is a meaningless list. How do the numbers compare to those of other GMs?
    3) Pitchers get hurt. Yankee fans should get with that reality and stop whining.

  4. Michael Maggi

    I’ll bite. Yarnall did not come up through the Yankees system but was the core piece of the Mike Lowell trade. He was a highly-touted pitching prospect at the time.

    Second, I’m not going to do an analysis of every GM, but I will look at golden boy Theo Epstein’s tenure from 2003-2011 with the Sox. One could argue that he had a much more horrendous record than Cashman. Cash has been very good at finding productive bargain basement starters. Theo? Quite the opposite (Brad Penny, John Smoltz, Paul Byrd, Wade Miller, Pedro Astacio, Frank Castillo, Bruce Chen, John Burkett, Geremi Gonzalez, David Wells). He’s only had one prospect pan out (Jon Lester). Buchholz is still up in the air, much like Hughes. He’s only acquired two starters that have really worked out (Schilling and Arroyo). Beckett was acquired by the Hoyer/Cherington group that took over temporarily in the offseason of 2005-2006. He’s also had multiple failures (Matt Clement, John Lackey, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Jeff Suppan).

  5. Reg

    I guess the writer of this article doesn’t feel that these homegrown Yankees have provided positive results.

    Robinson Cano
    David Robertson
    Brett Gardner

    He also doesn’t seem to think these Trades/FA signings were positive.



  6. Brien@IIATMS

    There’s some fairly dubious distinctions made here as well. The Randy Johnson acquisition, for example, was driven by ownership, and it’s not really fair to even consider Javier Vazquez’s first stint with the team. He had an up and down season and dealt wiith a sore shoulder, then was run out of town by Mr. Impetuous. It’s impossible to know how things might have turned out if Steinbrenner hadn’t rushed to give him up for Johnson at that point in the latter’s career and, even in the least favorable reading of the deal, Vazquez has had a more productive career as a major leaguer than anyone Cashman traded away for him.

  7. Brien@IIATMS

    “Without league context, this is a meaningless list. How do the numbers compare to those of other GMs?”

    I’d say you also have to grade on a curve for what was actually available. I mean, Carl Pavano and Jaret Wright might have bombed, but it’s not like Cashman thought they were better pitchers than Johnson and Schilling and signed those guys instead of a plethora of available starting pitchers.

  8. Mike Silva

    I don’t think Cashman should be fired.

    His process in the Pineda deal was sound. I always go for the pitcher over the hitting prospect. This idea that Jesus Montero is Miguel Cabrara is laughable. I have yet to see any evidence the guy is anything more than a platoon DH. Pineda already proved he could be an elite starter in the big leagues, albeit for half a season.

    Cashman has done the impossible, which is manage the Tampa faction, gain autonomy (more than Omar Minaya or other Mets GM before Alderson had in Flushing), and keep Randy Levine- for the most part- at bay.

    The only critique of this trade is they didn’t send Pineda for an MRI. Cash had reservations about the deal. He suffered from cognitive dissonance almost immediately after making it (could tell from his press conference). An MRI should have been part of the physical, and it sounds like it wasn’t, unless I am missing something.

  9. Michael Maggi


    What’s comical is that you didn’t notice this article is about starting pitching and nothing else.

  10. Mike Silva


    The author of this piece didn’t have an opinion, he laid out facts for everyone to dissect, vote and discuss…

  11. Michael Maggi

    For what it’s worth, I think Cashman should be allowed to finish out this contract and should move on after that. I think the Yanks should have moved on after this off-season rather than give him another contract. Not because I think he has done a bad job, but because change needs to take place after a while. 14 years in one job is a very long time. It was time for Torre to go after 12 years and Cash should have gone after last season. Let’s see what someone like Billy Eppler or Damon Oppenheimer could do, or what a strong talent like Andrew Friedman could do with Steinbrenner dollars.

  12. dan l

    I want to promote Cashman to team president and get a new GM. I want a new manager too. I want new owners as well.

  13. Chuck Johnson

    To Brien’s point…

    Most of, if not all of, the “top name” signings were Daily News back page signings, and nothing more.

    Cashman had little, if any, input, he was just left to clean up the mess, these were ownership deals, plain and simple.

    Mike is exactly right…Montero will be nothing more than an emergency catcher/DH type player, and he was also the Yanks’ only tradeable prospect.

    Seattle’s been after him for awhile, and, to Cashman’s credit, they overpaid for him.

    We’re all geniuses after the fact, but if you believed AT THE TIME OF THE TRADE the Yankees got hosed, well, don’t know what to tell you.

  14. Stu B

    Aren’t there Yankee fans who believe that any GM or manager who doesn’t produce an annual world championship is a failure and deserves to be fired, or are they more in touch with reality? Maybe that was just George’s mindset.

  15. Marit

    Mike, I don’t know where you get the idea that the Yankees didn’t give Pineda an MRI, but Cashman has said repeatedly the they did an MRI on his shoulder (and elbow) as part of the pre-trade physical.

  16. Mike Silva


    He was quoted yesterday that he never got an MRI in Seattle, and I believe the first one was in spring training this year

  17. Michael Maggi

    As a side note, Freddy Garcia looked great today, eh?

  18. motohero

    i think some changes in the front office wouldnt be a bad thing.new blood to shake things up a bit. i dont think the team has good cohesion. then again, i want a salary cap!

  19. Stu B

    “i want a salary cap.”

    It’ll never happen, motohero.

  20. Marit

    You are right, Mike, Pineda was never given an MRI by Seattle, but prior to completing the trade, the Yankees gave him a full physical, including MRIs and X-rays of his shoulder and elbow.

  21. Reg

    Michael Maggi,

    The title of your piece is “Should Brian Cashman be fired”. Starting pitching is only a piece of the team. You fire a GM based Wins and losses. Some teams win b/c of hitting, some b//c of their pitching. What is your next article? Should Brian Sabean be fired because he can’t develop/sign/trade……hitting?

  22. Michael Maggi


    You clearly rode the short bus to school, didn’t you? Re-read the intro to the article. It discusses Cashman’s performance in regards to starting pitching alone. Quit the trolling and offer something productive to the discussion.

  23. Stu B

    Maybe it’s splitting hairs, but Al Leiter is a questionable entry as having had positive short-term results in 2005. His line was 4-5 with a 5.49 ERA and a 1.668 WHIP. I remember a strong outing in his debut at Fenway Park - http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BOS/BOS200507170.shtml - but I’m not sure that one game, even a win over the Red Sox, constitutes positive short-term results. He was pretty crappy the rest of that year, with both the Marlins and the Yankees, proving that he was washed up.

  24. Reg

    Michael Maggi

    Short bus? So this is what this site is about? Insulting someone who is critical of your article. Thank god my friend who has a daughter w/ learning disabilities doesn’t read this website.

    Stay Classy

  25. Juke Early

    Some people comment on the net because somehow they can use a keyboard. When I see words such as “troll” & “whining,” it’s a tipoff that the individual has the intellectual cpacity of a bumpersticker.

    Cashman should be fired. Because he keeps getting nutted by that Jack Zitdreck in Seattle — the Cliff Lee trade fiasco & this crap w/Pineda, who was obviously injured while with the Mariners. Jack is a fat old guy who looks like the kind of thug who hangs around Vegas smoking giant cigars & hiring hookers & he’s too smart for Cashman?.

    Yankees need to clean house period — the whole coaching staff & management team is weak and is being duped by the used car salesman from Milwaukee. Selig won’t let Mark Cuban in MLB because Cuban knows a jag when he sees one. Imagine if Cuban owned the NYY? or the Mets? Old Pud & his cronies are conspiring to to ruin the Yankees & Mets.

    Just like steroids, some day, some ballsy reporter will break the story.

  26. Stu B

    That’s Jack Zduriencik.

  27. Brien@IIATMS

    “Because he keeps getting nutted by that Jack Zitdreck in Seattle — the Cliff Lee trade fiasco…”

    Wait, what? It’s Cashman’s fault that another team’s GM wanted to trade for a different team’s hitting prospect? What was he supposed to do differently, get a Jedi on retainer?

  28. Jed Weisberger

    I understand the frustration of some, but Brian Cashman us not going anywhere.

    Quite frankly, this GM has done more to build up the Yankees farm system than anyone. At times, prospects will be traded. Austin Jackson mist cut down his strikeouts, but is playing well for Detroit, Curtis Granderson came in that trade.

    Cashman is not perfect as GM, but to call for his firing over Michael Pineda, who will recover and pitch for the Yankees, is not in order.

  29. UncleMario

    For argument sakes, are we certain that whoever follows Cashman will enjoy the same autonomy? Will the Tampa faction reassert control if Cashman is gone? What if The House of Steinbrenner decides to go (gulp) Dolan?

  30. Chuck Johnson

    Newsflash…Michael Pineda and Jose Campos was an overpayment for Montero and Noesi, if Jack gave up Cliff Lee for him he’d be the one cashing unemployment checks.

    The cliche is “buyer beware”, not “seller beware.”

    If the Yankees weren’t concerned about Pineda’s lack of velocity during the second half of last year and didn’t ask for medicals, that’ their fault.

    And what proof is there that Seattle knew anything anyway?

    Did they give Pineda an MRI in September?

    You do realize ALL players take physicals BEFORE and AFTER the season?

    IF Pineda passed his post season physical, then all this “Jack screwed Cashman” is a load of crap.

  31. Michael Maggi


    Criticism is always welcome. But this article was purely about Cashman’s record with starting pitchers. The poll was to generate opinions from readers over whether the Pineda situation should cause Cashman his job. That’s it. As for your friend’s daughter, I’m sorry for her disability. But that has nothing to do with your apparent inability to understand the purpose of this article. Your original and forward comments are meant to incite negativity and they define the meaning of “trolling”.

  32. dirty dave

    ‘Starting pitchers with questionable results’ - Randy Johnson. REALLY?!?!? The man won 34 games in 2 years, 17 each and THAT is questionable?!?!? Wow, you set a high bar. Imagine if we set that high a bar for your writing and research…….

  33. Brien@IIATMS

    “And what proof is there that Seattle knew anything anyway?”

    As far as I can tell it’s a zombie claim that evolved amongst people who always hated the trade. It seems to have gone something like this:

    Pineda’s performance slipped in the second half (mostly true, but also limited to his ERA) lead to the claim that his velocity fell in the second half (not true at all) lead to claims that there were “always red flags Cashman ignored” one his velocity became a spring storyline lead to “Cashman bought damaged goods!!!” after he went on the DL.

    I distinctly remember a couple of writers (George King, maybe?) tossing fuel on that fire at the beginning of camp with bald claims that the Mariners wouldn’t have traded Pineda in the first place if they didn’t think there was something wrong with him so, ipso facto, Cashman should have known better than to take him.

  34. Michael Maggi

    Dirty Dave,

    So what if he won 17 games both years. This was an offense that featured Murderer’s Row and Cano. Let’s look at the run support in those games. When the Yanks sent a young starting pitcher (Vazquez) that they had just given up Nick Johnson and Juan Rivera for the previous year, along with their top catching prospect (Dioner Navarro); they hardly had in mind only getting two years out of the Unit, the second of which he featured a 5.00 ERA. That’s questionable production, at best.

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