I’m Not Sure Why Cashman Even Goes To The Winter Meetings

December 6th, 2011 by Jane Heller

As per the New York Times:

Yankees Coming Up Empty in Search for Trade Partner

DALLAS — Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman, in an effort to illustrate why he is not optimistic about trading for a good starting pitcher at the winter meetings, provided insight into the kind of dialogue he is having with other general managers.

“It’s, ‘Hey, take my older, expensive, over-the-hill guy for your young, better-performing guy,’ ” Cashman said before adding his response to such proposals. “ ‘Let me think about that and get back to you, buddy.’ ”

That is the kind of conversation he said he had had more than once, and with several teams, over the past few days. Of course, there have been other, more realistic conversations with teams that had Cashman feeling something might actually develop into a real trade, only to see it vaporize.

“Sometimes it feels like something might be happening here,” he said, “but then, poof, up in smoke.”

Cashman is looking for a good pitcher, perhaps a No. 2 starter, to add to a rotation that already has five pitchers: C. C. Sabathia, Ivan Nova, A. J. Burnett, Freddy Garcia and Phil Hughes.

For now, the asking price in prospects appears too high, but Cashman’s strategy is to wait for those prices to come down, at which point he could find the right trade. So, even though he is not expecting anything to happen, he will keep his ears open.

“I know we have a good team, and I know we have a lot of talent,” he said. “But I’m not down here to sit back and order room service for four days and be content. I’m going to keep trying. I just don’t want to be stupid.”

Part of the reason, he said, it is hard to find a match is that all teams, even the Yankees, share concerns over rising payroll costs, and so they covet their prospects. Hence the trade proposals involving expensive, broken-down veterans for exciting, cheap prospects.

“People are smarter and more careful,” he said. “This isn’t the old, seat-of-the-pants, get drunk in the lobby and write names on a napkin. People don’t conduct business that way anymore.”

And not only are the trades hard to construct, but Cashman does not appear to be overly impressed with free-agent pitchers like C. J. Wilson or Mark Buehrle, given the money they are seeking.

So Cashman keeps looking for a trade partner. Sometimes, he might even be the one asking for the cheap, young prospect.

“I’m sure my ideas are seen as distasteful as the ones I’ve received,” he said.

I can’t picture Cashman getting drunk in the lobby in previous years, but whatever. At least he’s not ordering room service. That could get expensive and the Yankees have to save their money for…Andruw Jones and Eric Chavez?



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12 Responses to “I’m Not Sure Why Cashman Even Goes To The Winter Meetings”

  1. Uncle Mike says:

    Cashman apparently goes to the winter meetings to relax and to kibitz with friends. But why are we talking about deals? As Bill Veeck taught us, the best deals are the ones you don’t make. The Yankees are fine.

  2. Bob Cerv says:

    My daddy always told me to take up GOLF. Not for love of the game, heavens no. The one main reason for doing so was to SOCIALIZE…get those biznezz bigwigs and Potential Customers out on the links, where you can relax and have a drink or six, and schmooz away. So many great deals have been conducted…
    So that’s my advice to Cash-Man. Eighty-six the rappelling, my man…unless you’re dealing with Epstein or some other Very Young Exec. Most of these guys are old bald & fat like me; get it done with GOLF…?!
    P.S. I never did take up the game; fat bureaucrats don’t share the same need(s)…

  3. Jane Heller says:

    The Yankees are fine, Uncle Mike. I just want them to be great. And that means getting a front-line starter. I’m just not cool with Hughes/Garcia at the back end.

    It doesn’t sound like there’s much golf going on in Dallas, Dave, but I know what you mean about the schmoozing. My take is that he should get the other GMs drunk so they stop asking for the moon and sign away their elite players without knowing what hit them.

  4. Lauren says:

    It’s not just Cashman. The Marlins are the only ones willing to get into the game, it seems.
    I hear Cashman and Bobby V are going to be rappelling friends. I’m glad they got that sorted before looking at the holes in their teams…

  5. Bob Cerv says:

    Thought I’d already posted. Maybe I have, and it “didn’t take” yet…
    Won’t repeat, except to say that Cashman should drop the Rapell Show and take up golf if he wants to win over these execs.
    Mostly wanted to add a BIG Thumbs Up to the Late Great Ron Santo — CONGRATS to his induction, at last, to the HOF. So sorry he didn’t live to see the day. What a terrific guy, and immortal Cubbie. Next to Harry Carey, maybe the Most Beloved Cubs announcer. A great (but bittersweet) day for Chicago baseball…

  6. Jane Heller says:

    Yeah, Lauren, the Marlins are crazy with cash. From where I have no idea, but I’m glad someone is creating some action. And it does seem like Cash and Valentine are Connecticut buddies. We’ll see how long that lasts.

    Very bittersweet about Santo’s induction, Dave. As you say, if only he’d lived to see it happen.

  7. Yank33ss says:

    I am so frustrated with the Yankees this off season that I’ve started to watch football LOL! I just can’t really believe that cashman and the Yankees really think we have a championship caliber team as it presently constitutes. The fact that the marlins might have a roster that includes Heath bell, Jose Reyes, Albert Pujols, cj Wilson in addiction to players like maybin, Hanley Ramirez and Josh Johnson just makes me jealous and grumpy!

  8. Jane Heller says:

    The Marlins are trying to be the new Yankees, Yank33ss. But we’re the real deal and they’re the pretenders. And we only need a few tweaks – a starting pitcher would be an excellent!

  9. Yank33ss says:

    Well I know that no one is like the Yankees! I am just jealous that the marlins seem to be on a crazy spending spree while the Yankees are sitting tight. But I think we need more than another ace to win the world series. We need a impact right handed hitter. I believe our bottom of the order is very weak.

  10. Jane Heller says:

    I hear you, Yank33ss, and I agree that a big righty hitter would be nice. But I’m really hoping A-Rod will bounce back and have a great season and that Tex and Swisher will be more consistent. That said, I wouldn’t mind an upgrade over Andruw Jones.

  11. Jeff says:

    You mean the Yanks aren’t the “MYSTERY TEAM” trying to nab Albert? Personally, I find it refreshing to see the Yanks being chill this offseason regarding the big name FAs… though adding a starting pitcher or two couldn’t hurt.

  12. Jane Heller says:

    Refreshing in a way, yes, Jeff. I agree that just snapping up expensive players isn’t the right way to go at this point. For the ’09 season, it was a different story and the Yanks desperately needed pitching and a first baseman, so it made sense. It seems more likely there will be a trade for a starter….hopefully.