New York Yankees: Getting Into the Mind of Brian Cashman at the GM Meetings
Can anyone explain to me exactly what goes down at the general managers' meetings?
They happen every November, and the public is always told (in an almost aggressive way) not to expect any actual baseball news to come out of the event. The business, as they say, is more likely to occur at December's winter meetings, which technically is held in the fall.
It's kind of confusing.
My theory is that it's just a vehicle for baseball's GMs to get away from their families for a week, get their pasty on by the pool, drink lots of scotch and crack jokes about Billy Beane behind his back.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman said in a press conference Tuesday that he has a "small player move" that could go down this week. That's no way to talk about Andy Stankiewicz, but as I said, Cash was probably six Johnny Walker Reds deep when he made the remark.
The Yankees will likely kick the tires on any player that crosses their radar in the next few months, but as it stands, this offseason looks to be all about the dulcet tones of Clifford Lee & The Core Four.
You all know the subplots surrounding Lee, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, and Andy Pettitte at this point. I include Jorge Posada because I'm not entirely convinced he doesn't have a multi-tier assassination plan in place for every catcher in the Yankee system, ala The Godfather Part II.
That said, don't rule out the Yankees making a splash we didn't see coming. In retrospect, we probably shouldn't have been surprised by the Teixeira signing in 2008; Giambi had just come off the books and we were being told the entirely unproven Nick Swisher would be his replacement.
It was during that 2008 offseason that the Yankees looked at a roster littered with holes, then systematically plugged each one with borderline pathological abandon. Today, let's get into the alcohol-addled mind of Cashman and see what he might see when he looks at the Yankees' current roster.
SP - CC Sabathia
SP - ?
SP - ?
SP - Phil Hughes
SP - A.J. Burnett
Analysis: Lee and Pettitte are the two clear targets here. Not sure there's much of a backup plan in place unless you count Zack Greinke, who would probably spontaneously combust in his first start at the Stadium. A personal rule of thumb: Never trade for self-arsonists. Ivan Nova, who showed flashes of friskiness in '10, could work his way into the equation if Pettitte decides spending 12 months a year in Deer Park, Texas isn't the worst idea in the world (which clearly it is). By the way, that sound you're hearing is me banging my head on the desk remembering that our No. 5 starter will make $16.5 million this year.
C - ?
1B - Teixeira
2B - Robinson Cano
SS - Jeter
3B - Alex Rodriguez
DH/C - Posada
Reserve C - Francisco Cervelli
Reserve INF - ?
Reserve INF - ?
Analysis: The hope here is one of the team's young catching prospects (read: Jesus Christ Montero) will make the leap. It's a scary thought to have a rookie catching all those big-money arms, but Posada and a veteran Yankee staff should help with the learning curve — again, all assuming Posada doesn't have a first-degree felony up his sleeve. I'm fine with any backup first baseman that isn't Nick Johnson or Tony Clark. Jeter isn't technically on the roster, but let's not be silly. Ramiro Pena could be replaced as primary utility guy if Eduardo Nunez has a strong camp. Juan Miranda will likely bat behind Juan Gonzalez for the Long Island Ducks next summer.
RF - Nick Swisher
CF - Curtis Granderson
LF - Brett Gardner
Reserve 1 - ?
Reserve 2 - ?
Analysis: The Star-Ledger reported on Tuesday that the Yanks may have interest in talented D-backs outfielder Justin Upton. I'd be surprised if they made a move that changed the starting lineup in the outfield, but Cashman should attempt to beef up the depth chart. Watching the likes of Kevin Russo and Colin Curtis last season showed us the farm isn't exactly teaming with talent in this department.
Closer: The G.O.A.T.
Eighth-Inning Guy: ?
Other Guys: Joba Chamberlain, David Robertson, Alfredo Aceves
Lefty Specialist Guy: Boone Logan
Long Guy: ?
Analysis: Obviously some roles need to be defined behind Rivera, whose only bit of free agent intrigue will be whether he signs for one year or two. I still have a sense that Joba will be moved before spring training, perhaps in a package that acquires a closer who will shift to the eighth-inning role. I still feel Robertson has the chops to become an important piece of the puzzle, but he was far too inconsistent during the regular season and playoffs this year. The Yankees have reportedly shown interest in free agent left-hander Pedro Feliciano. Cashman said on Tuesday it's doubtful we'll see the rehabbing Damaso Marte in a Yankee uniform in 2011.
Happy boozing, Cash! And remember: Don't. Trust. Epstein.
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