Cashman has been working hard. Albeit with limited means. The Yanks have really tried to get players that will help the young farm team players who are coming on, and who showed so much promise at the end of the season. It is good that these guys are given their chance to make the team, and that instead of paying out big contracts for big failures like Brendan Ryan, Chase Headley and A-Rod for example who have dwindled in their abilities. Two of those guys, along with Stephen Drew were paid contracts because of Cashman’s weird logic and trust that he could read the tea leaves of SABRMetrics better than any other GM in the Majors.
He was convinced that they were better hitters than their numbers suggested and they didn’t live up to that hype, nor to the completely insane pay cheque that Cashman gave them. That is why after the Cubs got Ryan they released him. Now I am sorry for Ryan. His figures weren’t that bad last season, despite being only fit for 47 games. But he was not that good of a player overall. I think that Castro will be a good addition to the team. Didi was great, despite a ropey start. But that was a good move in the end. Headley needs to go next, Drew I like and feel bad for saying it, but I do think that he is a waste of a spot that other younger players would and should be given a chance to make their own.
The thing that we need to have is more aggression in our baserunning. We need to play like Torre’s Yankees teams did. Scrappy never give up ball, hitting it big of course, since the Stadium is one of those places were we can do that. But then small ball is vital, and we need to get good at that because there are times when we are playing in other places that are not so easy to hit, where there isn’t that porch on the left field which calls out for homers to be hit there. In those places we need to run the bases, moving the men along, not trying to skin the ball every time it is pitched at us, but careful baseball full of guile which will ensure that we will not see another season when there were so many men left on, which let’s face it was exactly what killed us this season.
If we stand any chance of winning, though to be honest I think it will not be until after we get rid of the big contracts of A-Rod, CC, Beltran, and Tex, in favour of smaller contracts for players who are younger, fitter and not living on the laurels of seasons past. Then we will see something happening and the quest for 28 will come to fruition.
It is early days yet. But I like the moves that I have seen the front office make. They have not gone for big contracts and in some way I wish they did. I would love to see Cespedes come to the Yanks. I think he would be a great replacement for Beltran. I think an outfield of Gardner, Ellsbury, and Cespedes would be an exciting one, of big play makers, and good hitters, base runners. But I doubt very much that we will get Yo in the Pinstripes. Which is a pity. The infield looks good. But I think Bird and Refnsyder need their chances to be there come opening day, with Didi and Castro it is exciting. We never know what will happen of course. That is what I love about the game. You never know what is going to happen and while all the moves that have made, and the noises about more things to come in the trades front certainly make me excited for the spring more than I have been for a long time, it is early days yet I fear.
Early days with still the taint of a hangover from the logic of the big hitter big payout contracts that may have won the last title for the Yankees but which hasn’t delivered anything more than the sad feeling of a season ending in September while others go on to play October ball. Once these last traces of a logic that went against the logic of so many successful teams is finally put to rest then we can go on and win.
Because let’s face it. The successful dynasties of Yankee past were always based around a group of in house youngsters being developed at the right time, bolstered with tough gritty players who were brought in to fit in the team. We have only won once by filling the team with big hitter, big name soloists who were always more likely to think of themselves as the stars, but never just members of the team the way that Paul O Neil was, or Tino Martinez, players like that. Who fitted in with the team and helped the farm players come along. We need to go back to that. It seems we are.