Monday, February 25, 2008

Who's Left?

Call me a Brian Cashman mark. Until proven otherwise I'm under the assumption that he walks on water. Rightly or wrongly, I blame all of the Yankees terrible signings of the past decade (Pavano, Wright, Womack, etc.) on the Tampa faction of the organization. I base this assumption on the fact that Cashman has always been a Saber-savvy guy and that the aforementioned busts were predictable for anyone with a rudimentary understanding of advanced metrics.

Since he wrested nearly complete control of personnel decisions after the 2006 season, Cashman has an almost (cough...Igawa...cough) unblemished record. He has not gummed up the roster with highly paid veteran mediocrities. Instead he has aggressively, but not recklessly, promoted his prospects (Cabrera, Hughes, Chamberlain, Kennedy) to play key roles on the major league roster, with excellent results. In an offseason that many thought would be a disaster, Cashman re-signed all of his key free agents; A-Rod, Posada, Abreu, Pettitte, and Rivera. With his job on the line, Cashman has steadfastly refused to go for the quick fix (Johan Santana) at the expense of the future of a franchise he may not be with for long.

So now that I've slobbered all over Cashman's sack, I have one complaint about this offseason. He should have been able to turn one of his bottomless stockpile of second tier pitching prospects (Horne, Marquez, Kontos, etc) for a dominant lefty set-up man on a non-contender. What are the Pirates doing to do with Damaso Marte? Where are the Orioles going with both George Sherill and Jamie Walker on their roster? Cashman is going into Spring Training hoping against hope that jabronies like Sean Henn and Billy Traber can get a big out against David Ortiz or Travis Hafner. As stacked as the AL is, the Yanks don't have time for futzing with guys who are unlikely to hold down the spot.

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