The Curse of Jerry Hairston, Jr./Eric Hinske:

Thursday, December 6, 2012

NESN: Report: Brian Cashman Lacked Authority to Make Free-Agent Offers at Winter Meetings

The winter meetings — and the baseball offseason in general — has normally been a place where the Yankees have reigned supreme. If there was a free agent they wanted or needed, they got that free agent, money be damned.

The times, though, they are a changing.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Yankees general manager Brian Cashman went to the winter meetings in Nashville this week lacking the authority to make any sort of deals to free agents. New York reportedly offered Kevin Youkilis a one-year deal eventually, but that was only after Cashman was able to gain approval from Yankees ownership.

Agent Scott Boras hinted earlier in the week that Cashman was being held back. “He had indicated that right now, he’s working with ownership on getting advance authority,” Boras said, according to the Journal. “He really is not involved in a lot of dealing right now, but is doing due diligence to go back and meet with them about that.”

Why would a GM need authority to make free agent offers anyway?

A lot of people are getting mad at Cashman, but if you are going to get mad you probably need to shift your attention to the guys who tell him what to do.  Hal Steinbrenner has every right to operate his team the way he wants, and fans have the right to not support the product if they don’t like it.

So who should our new team be?  I need an hour or so to change the underlying assumptions and components in CAIRO to make them look better.

--Posted at 3:08 pm by SG / 61 Comments | - (0)


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Cleveland Spiders? We’re already used to rooting for crap.

Astros, if you insist on teams still active.

The Astros might win 60 games this year.  That’s only like 2 or 3 fewer than the Yankees.  And now with the DH we won’t have to watch pitchers “hit.”

Watch attendance fall like a rock this season and we’ll hear all about how Yankee fans are bandwagonners.

[2] now we get to watch their “hitters” “hit.” Improvement? Maybe.

I just flat out don’t understand this. How can Cashman not have authority to make offers? How does that make any sense?

Really, who was Cashman gonna make offers to? Outbid the fools in Atlanta?

I hope they are doing due diligence on Hamilton. Plus seriously offering Granderson and see what they can shake out. These kind of things take time if they are doing so.

So Hank & Hal don’t respect Cashman’s authority?  Maybe we need Cartman.

I think we have an incredible opportunity here to make history. Has one site and its followers ever collectively changed allegiances? How can we not capitalize on this opportunity? I, for one, am willing to make history.

I vote for anyone but the Mets.

I’d be OK with the Mariners. Jack Z will get the boot this year and the city of Seattle seems cool.

Answer has to be the Dodgers. I’m willing to forget the ‘81 WS if it means getting to root for Mattingly again.

[8]  Cleveland.  Duh.

The obvious solution is the Astros. While they are a terrible team…

I’ve got nothing.

Seattle is second since I’ll most likely be relocating to the Pacific Northwest in a few months.

Why is it not OK to go to Mets games and chill out and enjoy baseball and be cool

[13]  If you have to ask…

Yankees or ennui.  That’s it!

Now that baseball and the election are done and the Yankees are uninvolved in the FA market the interweb is boring.

[14] If you have to duck a question…

Edited to add that I do have to ask, because I’ve never been to Citi.

The Dodgers sound good to me. As far as my Grandmother is concerned they are still in Brooklyn.

Marlins?  New park…

[17]  Me neither.  It’s just the Mets and all.

If we’re going to do it, we have to do it right. I’d be fine with the Dodgers.

Mike K. would have to start attending games for the affiliate in question, so let’s keep him in mind with our choice. Snuggles, you move every other year, so you are just going to have to deal with the choice.

tedbrogen and Pin need to weigh in. I think it would be a shock for anyone that doesn’t visit this site on a daily basis. For that reason alone we have to do it.

Yankees, Dodgers, Indians, who reallycares so long as we can complain?

[21] Don’t forget we have 1.5 votes for Seattle…which is ironic, because that’s also roughly the number of good hitters in their lineup.

2032 AL West champs, anyone?

Youklis is so ugly and annoying. Will they force home to shave his obnoxious little beards at least?

Toronto is too suddenly interesting to not switch to if we are doing this.

Clippers of Columbus. I have the cap.

Toronto intrigues me, though I hate their manager.

Also I’m not opposed to the Dodgers.

I’ve always loved the Rays. I’d be ok with LAD.

Ok, let’s see. Red Sux are out of question. Mets, well, the only time we acknowledge their existence is the farcical subway series, which is part of interleague abomination that Selig has foisted upon unsuspecting fans. Actually, that rules out the entire NL. White Sox are out because of Hawkishly bad announcing. The only team in AL East that seems cool enough is Tampa Bay Rays, so not eliminated so far. I am also okay with Tigers and Oakland in AL. The other AL teams don’t seem good enough to warrant additional thinking and expenditure of precious brain cells and bodily fluids.

So, for me, it will be Oakland if I were to change allegiances. Or Toledo Mud Hens. If I were to entertain NL teams, maybe St. Louis, Braves and SF. That’s about it.

tedbrogen and Pin need to weigh in. I think it would be a shock for anyone that doesn’t visit this site on a daily basis. For that reason alone we have to do it.

Seattle, definately. It has the advantage that instead of drunk-blogging, we could get stoned to the bejezus at games and not get thrown out.

I mean, Thurm will still get tossed, that’s a given. But the rest of us are golden.

Plus, we’d get to follow Montero again and still boo A-Rod. It’ll be like nothing changed.

I vote against the Dodgers, because Dodger Stadium is classist. Aside from that, I like the Dodgers.

Safeco is a pretty awesome field. Personally, I think we should choose KC for the oppressive heat.

No cops in Seattle tough enough to toss me. Cortez Kennedy left javaland right? That was one badass paddy.

Trenton Thunder and Oakland.

Actually, that rules out the entire NL.

I think at this point we need to embrace the farce.

Are Giambi and/or Matsui still around? I’ll root for whoever signs them.

[34] Didn’t Giambi almost get the Rockies manager position?

The Belgian Little League team has some up and comers.  Can’t wait for Indianapolis this year.

My NL team has always been the Phillies, for family reasons.  I like the way they squander resources, too.

FWIW, with respect to trying to understand why Cashman may not be able to hand out offers, I have the payroll for 40 man at $199.7M for 2013. This includes:

(1) $11M for benefits
(2) Arbitration raises projected by MLBTR (seem to do a pretty good job of estimating them accurately)
(3) $500k for all pre-Arb 1 players (MLB min for 2013 is $490k.)
(4) League min salary for the three positions yet to be filled - 4th OF, 2nd BUI, DH.

If they do have an offer out to Youkilis for $12M, now we’re up to ~$211M.

I’m guessing they work hard to move Granderson to a team that will play him in CF.  That $15M seems to not be well spent.

Yankees checking in on Josh Hamilton.

[39] Yeah, just saw that.  I think Don mentioned he hoped they were doing this, probably because with all of these “meh” (Victorino, Napoli, Hunter) or “WTF” (Upton, Keppinger) deals being handed out, it stands out that at least Hamilton is an elite player when on the field.

Couple of quick ideas on Hamilton:

(1) If they signed him, seems like they could punt the other issues (C, backup corner IF).
(2) A full healthy line up, assuming Rodriguez is better than he has been (which I am, I think the hip caused the lack of power in 11-12), would be pretty sick.
(3) If they sign Hamilton and 2013 goes well (no off field issues, relatively healthy, plays a lot of games, etc.), then they at least get leverage with Cano, if not the ability to just walk away if they don’t want to give out some crazy 8 year deal.

Gotta be Oakland and Tampa - teams that do it the “right way”.

Do I see an empty stadium later in 2013 and 2014? Sure! I was at a very unfilled stadium in 2012 when we were in middle of a penant race,  Where I got free tickets just for filling up the car a few times at HESS and sat in the cushion seats behind home plate in the 300 section because there were so many empty seats.

As it is, the team was boring and engenders a lot of ‘hatred’ even from its die hard fans (this site).  Once things go south, watch out!

On the other hand, playing rookies might be fun. Anyone care to guess how many at bats the Yankees gave to rookie players in 2012? I believe the answer is TWO - Melky Mesa.

RAB mentioned that the market on Hamilton is potentially 3 years, 20-25 per. The guy is a big risk, but you can’t say no to such a short deal, methinks. Could the Steinkinder have been fooling us all along, preferring to pass on guys like Keppinger and Schierholtz in order to land the big fish?

If they sign Hamilton, it’s a potential hedge against Cano leaving. I’d rather have Hamilton for 3-4 years than Cano for the next decade.

I did not want Hamilton because I thought there were better deals out there, but right now I don’t care about the future of this team anymore. I just don’t like the idea of the Yankees being that cheap.

[42] If they sign Hamilton, it’s a potential hedge against Cano leaving. I’d rather have Hamilton for 3-4 years than Cano for the next decade.


How do they get under $189M if they give out a $25M contract?

[5] RAB had a post on this yesterday, and from talking to other GM’s apparantley it MOST need to get approval from their owners (or at least team president acting for owners) before making formal offers.  Cashman in the past didn’t need to do so because he got Steinbrenner to be (mostly) hands-off after 2005.  So it sounds more par for the course that Cash needs to get permission, but it’s chaffing him b/c he knows he can do more.  Also, it isn’t unprecedented for Cashman to need to go to Hal to get approval.  He did so in 2008/2009 (before offering Teix contract), and he’s done so and been rejected (acquiring salary mid-season).  This is certainly more restrictive, but I think we’re blowing it out of proportion.

[42] I agree. A short deal for Hamilton is much better than a long term deal to Cano.

Mike K. would have to start attending games for the affiliate in question, so let’s keep him in mind with our choice.

Thanks for consideration.  I’d say, pick any team with an affiliate in the International League.  They would play I think 6 games against SWB Yankees, I’m sure I could attend at least 3 or 4 of them.  And maybe take the ride down to Lehigh Valley (75 minutes) for a few of those games as well.  There are some AA teams in the area, but all of those are at least 90 minutes and that’s pushing it - Reading, Harrisburg, and Trenton.  Heck 75 is but I can do that occasionally, not regularly.

Seattle, definately. It has the advantage that instead of drunk-blogging, we could get stoned to the bejezus at games and not get thrown out.

I thought of this as well.  Also works for the Rockies.  Rockies may be better b/c I think most of us live on either coast, so it would be a mid-point for getting together.  And if we did it in April I think we could make a weekend ski-stoned trip out of it.

My NL team has always been the Phillies, for family reasons.  I like the way they squander resources, too.

Philly would be nice for me b/c it’s the closest.  And also we’re thinking of moving into the area next summer so could go to ML games regularly.  Only problem; I hate the Phillies.  So I vote for Washington.  They play 9 games in Philly, aren’t horribly far away for home games (and the VA crew would be close), AND they have potentially the best pitcher and best player.

On the other hand, playing rookies might be fun. Anyone care to guess how many at bats the Yankees gave to rookie players in 2012? I believe the answer is TWO - Melky Mesa.

Probably a lot more than two.  Heck, if Warren or Marshall gets called up for an NL game they might get two themselves.  I’d put the over/under at 800.  There’s an excellent chance that even if they find a new RF and C, Romine, Mesa, Adams, and Joseph will all see significant time this year, even if it’s only temporary callups for injuries.  If you restrict it to PA before September though I’ll put the O/U at 600.

[48] I like Washington. Plus, then we can have Natitude!

[45, 47]

So, I floated this idea up maybe a few weeks ago, but the idea I had was a ballsy move by Cashman to sign Hamilton to a 4 year deal and trade Cano right now. I know we’ve talked about the difference in value between the draft pick and what Cano might bring back in a trade, and there is merit to that, but my assumption is that Cano would get major league ready players, which is really what we need in 2014. 

That plan basically replaces Cano’s bat in 2013 (with more risk, sure), is probably a net zero change in salary in 2014 (figure Hamilton’s AAV matches Cano’s new contract AAV, give or take), and gets you some new players when you trade Cano.  Compare that with going into 2014 with no Cano and just some draft picks, or Cano on some long term deal that we don’t want any part of and I think it makes some sense.

If they sign Hamilton for $25MM per, Cano is gone.  It isn’t leverage.  They can’t afford two more $20MM+ contracts, and still be under $189.  I agree if they sign Hamilton they punt on 3B (though may sign Youkilis anyway) and especially C.  He probably adds 20-30 runs to the team over Dickerson/platoon partner.

All that said…I would stay away from Hamilton.  The reason he’s becoming so cheap is because teams are scared of his uncertaintity.  He’s a big injury risk, and an even bigger mental risk.  There’s an excellent chance that by 2014 he’s a bigger drag on the roster than ARod.  Sure there’s also a chance he is an MVP candidiate for 4 years…but I’d bet against it.  If the Yankees didn’t have a restrictive salary - or even if it was $20MM higher - sure, go for it.  But they do.

I understand why you don’t want Cano for 8 or 10 years.  But Cano is probably a safer bet for the 2014-2016 seasons than Hamilton.  Though you worry about 2017 and beyond…that’s way out there.

[51] I definitely think if they trade Cano now they’ll get more value than the draft pick.  And quite probably someone of major-league caliber who could start now (or sometime in 2013).  But that’s very risky, b/c the teams that would want Cano (though there should be many), that we’d also be willing to trade with, may not have ML ready players in the positions we need.  Pitching?  Not a priority.  C?  Other than the Jays, what teams have a ML quality catcher better than we already have, that would be willing to trade?  That the C also doesn’t have huge question marks (e.g. McCann)?  OF we wouldn’t need (have Hamilton).  2B/3B…we already know how hard it is to find a 3B, and 2B isn’t much easier.

So, you’d need to sign Hamilton first, then look to trade Cano and *hope* you can find a partner.  Otherwise, you’re at status quo for this year (opening one whole to fill another) - unless you think Joseph/Adams is ready i/wc why not just move Cano to 3rd? - but the piece you’re replacing Cano with is much riskier.

I’m not against a long-term contract for Cano.  There are of course limits.  But I feel good about Cano being a force for 4-5 years, if not more.  Especially if they move him to 3rd.  10 year contract is out, but 8?  Sure.

Seattle does sound intriguing based on proximity, The Jesus, and looser drug laws but I follow via mlb(dot)tv and they are blacked out here for that. Not to mention, I’m still upset about the fail mary against the Packers, so I’m not ready to embrace that city. LAD seems that they would get my vote if only to root for Donnie Baseball again, but they have Becky Hempnecklace on their staff…

Part of a quote (thanks RAB) of Cashman talking about trades…

“I did have one (ridiculous trade offer), which I assume has everything to do with (A-Rod’s injury). I’m no longer talking to that club.”

Wow!  Cash doesn’t really seem to hold grudges or shut down communications.  Even though he didn’t name names, that’s some slap he directed at the offending GM!

Y’all do realize there’s still a group of fanatics that sit in the upper deck at Safeco and throw bundles of fake money into the breeze when Alex comes to the plate ?

Plus, we’ll be reconciled with SSMF.

[55] I’m betting the Dodgers came to him thinking they could pull a Fenway Fleece move on him.

[57] I could see the Dodgers trying to sell high on Luiz Cruz.  While that wouldn’t be a bad pickup per-se, he shouldn’t cost more than say Warren or something.  If Dodgers asked for Phelps or Nova I think the answer is no but he still talks to them.  If they asked for Hughes…IDK if he’d “no longer talk to that club”.  Hughes + Phelps/Nova…yeah, stop talking.

I could definitely do Oakland.

[49]  He was talking about 2012.

Thansk Ugly. Yes I sepcifically said 2012; not sure why that was misunderstood.

I am hoping that 2013-2014 gives me more young players to root for. Sure watching younguns wet the bed is annoying…but it makes it much more enjoyable when they grow up.

[59 & 60] LOL my bad.  Misunderstood because my brain is on 2013 since that is the main discussion right now.

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