Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Update On Cashman's Stupid Trades from Last Summer

At this point, still supporting Yankee general manager Brian Cashman is like still supporting Donald Trump: It is past time to admit that you were fooled, and that he is not only stupid, but destructive, and he needs to go.

Last July 25, Cashman traded away relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman, whose contract was running out, and he helped the Chicago Cubs win the World Series. Cashman signed him back.

The Yankees desperately need a lefthanded reliever who isn't Tyler Clippard (or Boone Logan, now gone, thank God). Andrew Miller is 3-2, with a 1.51 ERA and a 0.757 WHIP. But Cashman traded him away last July 31, and he is doing this for the Cleveland Indians, whom he helped win the American League Pennant last year, and nearly the World Series, going against Chapman and the Cubs.


We need another outfield bat, or at least a good designated hitter, so that we don't have to use Chris Carter. Carlos Beltran is batting only .235, but he has 9 home runs and 30 RBIs. But Cashman traded him away last August 1, and he's doing this for the Houston Astros, who have the best record in baseball.


We need another reliable starter. Ivan Nova is 7-4 with a 2.91 ERA. But Cashman traded him away last August 1, and he's doing this for the Pittsburgh Pirates.


Brian Cashman is the worst general manager in the major leagues. Why is he in the major leagues? And, particularly, why is he the GM of the New York Yankees?


Here is a reminder of what Cashman traded Chapman for:


* Warren, a 29-year-old pitcher from Birmingham, Alabama, who had already failed as a Yankee relief pitcher from 2013 to 2015. He has failed again.


* Gleyber Torres, a 19-year-old shortstop from Venezuela, when we already had Didi Gregorius, but he'd been playing 3rd base at Trenton and Scranton. This is the guy that the "We needed prospects" crowd fixates on. He is now out for the season following an arm injury that required Tommy John surgery. He is looking less like the next Derek Jeter and more like the next Brien Taylor.


* Rashad Crawford, a nearly 23-year-old outfielder from Georgia. He's now batting .232 at Double-A Trenton. We will not see him on the Yankee roster in 2017, and we will probably not see him in 2018, either.


* And Billy McKinney, a 22-year-old outfielder from Dallas. He's now batting .230 in Trenton. Crawford and McKinney are both slightly better at Double-A baseball than Michael Jordan was.


Here is a reminder of what he traded Miller for, and what they've done for the Yankees:


* Ben Heller, a 25-year-old pitcher from Milwaukee. He's 2-3 with a 2.30 ERA at Triple-A Scranton. He has pitched a grand total of 7 1/3rd innings in the major leagues, with an ERA of 6.14 and a WHIP of 2.32. He is 25, and not yet ready for the major leagues. He probably never will be. And he's still done more for the Yankees at the major league level than all of these guys combined, except for the atrocious Warren.


* Clint Frazier, a 22-year-old outfielder from Georgia. Batting .258 with 12 home runs and 39 RBIs at Scranton. He might well be ready for September callups, but, at this rate, it'll just be to see what he can do against actual major league pitching, not as a boost to help us make the Playoffs.


* J.P. Feyereisen, a 23-year-old pitcher from Wisconsin. 0-1 with a 3.12 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP at Scranton. That's not good enough to get promoted to the majors. If we see him on the Yankee roster in September, it will likely be a mistake.


* Justus Sheffield, a 20-year-old pitcher from Tennessee. 6-4 with a 2.99 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP at Trenton. Sounds okay, but hardly ready for Triple-A, never mind the majors. Unless Cashman panics, the soonest we are likely to see him is September 1, 2018.


Here is a reminder of what Cashman traded Beltran for:


* Nick Green, a 22-year-old pitcher from Colorado. 4-4 with a 2.77 ERA at Class A Charleston. The Yankees probably won't see him before September 1, 2020.


* Erik Swanson, a 23-year-old pitcher from Cincinnati. 1-2 with a 4.37 ERA at Class A Tampa. This guy isn't going to make it.


* Dillon Tate, a 23-year-old pitcher from the Los Angeles suburbs. He won his 1st start at Tampa, but that's his only start at that level, injuries having limited him to just 37 professional games. Last season, he went 4-3 with a 4.70 ERA at short-season Class A. This guy isn't going to make it.


And here is a reminder of what Cashman traded Nova for:


* Tito Polo, a 22-year-old center field from Colombia. Batting .269 with 3 home runs and 17 RBIs at Tampa, and that's in 227 plate appearances. This may be as good as he's going to get.


* And Stephen Tarpley, a 24-year-old relief pitcher from Los Angeles. He's made 3 appearances at Tampa this season, going 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 5 innings. Last year, at Bradenton (Pirates' system) and Tampa combined, he went 6-5 with a 4.54 ERA. This guy isn't going to make it.


Those are the "prospects" that Cashman used to replenish the Yankees' "lousy farm system" -- whose top 5 teams all made the Playoffs last season. These are the guys who have supposedly given the Yankees "the best farm system in baseball."


What a fucking joke.


We cannot be patient and wait for these "prospects" to pan out. This is why you don't throw away a shot at the Playoffs for "prospects." 

I see all these Yankee Fans whose template is 1996 to 2012, who presume that the prospects will pan out. They didn't grow up in the 1980s, when we saw Hensley "Bam-Bam" Meulens, Steve "Bye-Bye" Balboni, Scott Bradley, Jim Deshaies, Clay Parker, Alfonso Pulido, Dan Pasqua, Kevin Maas and Kevin Mmahat flame out quickly. And Brien Taylor not happen at all. I'm still waiting for those "can't-miss" guys to pan out.


The Yankees would have made the Playoffs last season, if Miller had been there for the 8th inning and Chapman for the 9th, making Girardi's bullpen decisions for him. Instead, Girardi had to hope that whatever his damn binder said worked in the 7th and 8th innings, so he could get to Dellin Betances in the 9th. And, as we have seen, Betances is no closer. We could have won as many as 10 more games, and won the Division.

Instead, Cashman traded Chapman, Miller, Beltran and Nova for the already-failed Warren and a bunch of kids, most of whom have not yet seen a major league pitch, and some of whom never will. And now, Torres may be one of them, may never play again.

This was abject stupidity, and George Steinbrenner would have fired both Cashman and Girardi years ago.

In order for those trades to have "worked out," Torres would have to be the new Derek Jeter, Frazier would have to be the new Paul O'Neill, Sheffield would have to be the new Bernie Williams, and somebody will have to be the new Andy Pettitte. Now, it looks like those trades were made for nothing.

Someone tell me why Cashman still has a job.

Someone tell me why Girardi still has a job.

Someone tell me why I should listen to anyone who thinks they still should.

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