Sometimes as a General Manager, your success and failure is measured not by the moves you make, but the moves you don't.
For the Yankees' Brian Cashman, this saying rings true.
As the trading deadline approached, it became clear the Blue Jays asking price for Roy Halladay was too much for the Yankees- so their attention turned to two lesser pitchers- Jarrod Washburn of the Seattle Mariners and Brian Bannister of the Kansas City Royals.
Either pitcher could have been had for much less than Halladay. Washburn was rumored to be available for one of the team's top prospects, Austin Jackson. Bannister likely wouldn't have cost the Yankees much beyond his salary.
Both pitchers were seen as solid, back-end pitchers who could solidify the Yankees rotation, and when the Yankees brought home neither, some fans were upset that they were unwilling to part with relatively little to improve, especially in Bannister's case.
In retrospect, maybe this was a good thing.
Since the trade deadline, Bannister has gone 1-3 with a 7.20 ERA. He's winless in his last four starts, with 40 base-runners allowed in 23 innings.
Washburn was dealt to the Tigers and has allowed at least five runs in three of his first four starts.
Considering he'll be a free-agent at the end of the year and is 35, he figured to be a regular season rental for the Yankees anyway. At this point, not pulling the trigger on a deal for him looks pretty good.
And yes, I know the Tigers didn't give up anywhere near that level of talent. But different teams pay different prices.
For details on the proposed trade, go here:
Bannister was a guy who looked promising when he finished third in Rookie of the Year voting in 2007, but he'll be 29 by opening day next season, and has yet to improve on his rookie campaign, despite a solid start to 2009.
Sure, the Yankees wouldn't have given up anything to get him, but a guy giving up seven runs in three straight starts is going to cost you in the standings. The Yankees picked up Chad Gaudin instead, for minor leaguer Chase Weems, who at this point, has had an undistinguished career in the low minors, though he is only 20.
Gaudin has been solid for the Yankees in brief work. Certainly, he's been better than either Bannister or Washburn has been.
So remember, sometimes the best move is not making one at all.