Before you start reading this, I want everyone to know that I think Brian Cashman gets too much criticism than he deserves. He’s under a lot of pressure, and he has made many good decisions, along with many bad ones. I will mainly focus on Cashman’s pitching decisions in this post.
Ah yes, the scapegoat, Brian Cashman. A team with a payroll around 200 million dollars, and he has only produced one championship in 11 years. This is the common complaint Yankees fans make when they talk about the GM. They have many valid arguments, but they also must realize that he has made many good decisions. I’m going to go through some of Cashman’s poor decisions in recent years, with regards to pitching.
Well lets start with the most obvious one. A.J. Burnett. He signed a 5 year, 95 million dollar contract in 2009, and boy did he disappoint. His first season was his best, even though his ERA was above 4, and he only won 13 games. However, he did come through in game 2 of the World Series, pitching 8 innings of one run ball. After that, he was terrible, hardly even getting through 5 innings without major damage. Ironically, A.J. threw 7 shutout innings in his first start with the Pirates.
Javier Vasquez: Cashman signed this guy on two different occasions, but neither one of them worked out. He had an ERA of 4.91 in 2004, and a 5.32 ERA in 2010.
Kei Igawa: After Boston made a splash and signed Matsuzaka to a big deal, Cashman felt he needed to make one as well. Igawa was a terrible sign, as he went 2-4, with a 6.66 ERA in only 13 starts.
Carl Pavano: He went 9-8 over 3 seasons, and spent nearly all of his contract on the DL. Very easy to hate the guy.
Jeff Weaver: If only Jeff had some of his brother Jered’s talent. I remember Jeff Weaver for one pitch that cost the Yankees the World Series, although I haven’t forgotten that he sucked other than that too.
Jose Contreras: In two years, this hyped up pitcher had an ERA of 4.64, and only 15 wins.
Hughes, Chamberlain, Kennedy: I have to be careful here. Personally, I have always loved Joba Chamberlain, and I really hope he can come back and eventually help the Yankees. But after being the best set up man in baseball, he disappointed as a starter. Phil Hughes was so hyped up, that he probably never could have lived up to expectations. Still, the guy has the straightest fastball I’ve ever seen, and he can’t get outs. Ian Kennedy is the wild card here. We all know that he’s currently the ace of Arizona’s staff, but don’t you remember how much he struggled in his time with the Yankees? I always wanted him traded, and I was glad when he was. He proved me, and many others wrong. I can’t blame Cashman that much for trading Ian Kennedy.
Not Signing Lee: The Yankees put all their ducks in one pond in 2011, hoping to sign Cliff Lee. They offered him the most money, but it was not enough as he signed with the Phillies. After that, the whole off-season was ruined because we had counted on getting Cliff Lee.