Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Posted by el duque at 9:20 AM
Four years without a meaningful post-season will do that. But if we're going to whine incessantly on this site about Cashman's mistakes - Jacoby Headley, come on down! - we must also appreciate it when he does something right. And today, I'm here to argue that Cashman is doing the right thing by waiting until spring training before cutting deals. Here's why.
1. We dunno what we got. Not in pitching. Not in hitting. We donno nothing, nada, noper. Come the Ides of March, Aaron Judge could have 40 strikeouts and a ticket punched to Scranton. Luis Severino could have developed a change-up and be our new ace. Every spring, we dunno what we got. But this year, considering the emphasis on young players, the gap between the known knowns and unknown unknowns - to quote old man Rumsfeld - is wider than ever. We don't even know what we don't even know. Before doing something stupid, we gotta know.
2. The market could open for the players we want to trade. Cashman couldn't get honest value for Brett Gardner because the few teams in need of outfielders figured they could hold us for ransom. Come the Ides of March, that list of Gardner-seeking teams could grow. An injury or two in the World Baseball Classic could make some contenders desperate for a Gold Glove LF or switch-hitting 3B. (Nobody's going to take Ellsbury; he's ours through the entire Trump administration.) If we are really trying to make a trade, it can't hurt to wait.
3. I'm betting there will still be a few free agents and trade deals out there. Right now, almost every team in baseball is sorting things out, waiting until Feb. 20 to see what they've got. Same with some of the veteran free agents that we might sign to fill space. They will wait until the last minute, hoping that brinksmanship will bring the best deal. There's no point in rushing to lock up Jason Hammel right now. If he signs, there will be other middling starters out there.
4. Remember: Cashman lies all the time. He feels no compulsion to tell the truth to reporters. This is fine with most Yankee fans. We understand that truth doesn't win ballgames. Next week, if a deal emerges, whatever Cashman said yesterday won't matter. Nobody will care. His actual quote said he's "ninety-nine percent" sure no changes will be made. Technically, he won't even be accountable for a lie.
That's because Cashman is smart, by the way.