Yankees Coming Up Empty in Search for Trade Partner
By DAVID WALDSTEIN
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?