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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Gardner to Ellsbury to Hicks. The madness of Brian Cashman.

Tinker to Evers to Chance.

"Baseball's Sad Lexicon" by Franklin Pierce Adams
This legendary poem pays tribute to Cubs shortstop Joe Tinker, second baseman Johnny Evers and first baseman Frank Chance.

The trio first appeared in their infield positions together on September 13, 1902, and they turned their first double play on September 15, 1902.
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What's that got to do with Gardner to Ellsbury to Hicks?  Nothing.

Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury and now Aaron Hicks are center fielders on the roster of the New York Yankees.

Gardner: OPS+: 106 in 2015, 101 career in 3,502 plate appearances (PA)
Born: August 241983 in Holly Hill, SC
201632New York Yankees$13,500,0007.072
201733New York Yankees$12,500,000
201834New York Yankees$11,500,000
201935New York Yankees*$12,500,000$12.5M Team Option, $2M Buyout
Ellsbury: OPS+ 85 in 2015, 106 career in 4,340 PA
Born: September 111983 in Madras, OR
  • June 4, 2002: Drafted by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the 23rd round of the 2002 amateur draft, but did not sign.
  • June 7, 2005: Drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 1st round (23rd pick) of the 2005 amateur draft. Player signed July 1, 2005.
  • October 31, 2013: Granted Free Agency.
  • December 7, 2013: Signed as a Free Agent with the New York Yankees.
201632New York Yankees$21,142,8578.037
201733New York Yankees$21,142,857
201834New York Yankees$21,142,857
201935New York Yankees$21,142,857
202036New York Yankees$21,142,857
202137New York Yankees*$21,000,000$21M Team Option, $5M Buyout
Hicks: OPS+ 95 in 2015, 80 career in 928 PA
Born: October 21989 in San Pedro, CA
201323Minnesota Twins$490,000?contracts
201424Minnesota Twins$507,5000.124contracts
Earliest Arb Eligible: 2017, Earliest Free Agent: 2020
So what have we got here?  The Yankees drafted Gardner and controlled his destiny.  Gardner is a nice player but nothing special: good fielder, good, if cautious, base stealer with no real home run power.

After the 2013 season Yankee general manager Brian Cashman signed a very similar, younger (18 days) and redundant player for much more money: Jacoby Ellsbury.  At the time I thought that Ellsbury was a bit of an upgrade but not worth the money.  So far, Ellsbury has not even been an upgrade.

Gardner has played left to accommodate Ellsbury in center.  But while Gardner is probably the best fielding left fielder in the American Conference (Why shouldn't he be, he's a center fielder?) Gardner does not provide the power one would like from a corner outfielder, especially one in left.  Think Barry Bonds, Ted Williams, even Ricky Henderson.

Maybe that was Cashman's way of emulating the younger, smarter analytical general managers.  Cashman hurried to sign Ellsbury very early in the off season in 2013.  Why?  I don't recall other bidders being reported.  Was Cashman afraid that he wouldn't be able to land a player so similar to the one he already had?  Cashman was bidding against himself for a player he didn't even need.

Yanks acquire outfielders Ruth, DiMaggio, Maris, Sheffield, Matsui. Hicks? Thursday, November 12, 2015

Cashman continues to try to show what a genius he is, like that idiot Billy Beane who traded likely 2015 MVP Josh Donaldson after the 2014 season.  Two guys (Cashman and Beane), too full of themselves and no longer useful to their teams.
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Hal Steinbrenner, grow a pair and sign David Price yourself. Monday, November 16, 2015

Yankee general manager Brian Cashman put the Yankees in this hole and he cannot be trusted to dig them out.  Cashman showed up at the general managers meeting a few days ago with a beard, which is forbidden for the players to have during the season.  Cashman seems bent on demonstrating his intelligence and savvy by doing his job as if he worked for a small market team like Oakland.  Cashman wasted tons of money a couple of years ago...

Cashman was in a big hurry to sign the redundant 30 year old Ellsbury to a seven year contract at $21 million per year.  Now, because that contract is so onerous, Cashman had to trade for the redundant Aaron Hicks to replace Brett Gardner, whose contract can be moved.
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Cashman 6/12/15 by Keith Allison
via Wikimedia Commons
Obviously, the other general managers are not dopes and they realize that Cashman is in a bind.  He's being bled dry by the Ellsbury contract and now he's traded a valuable backup catcher, John Ryan Murphy, to acquire Aaron Hicks so that Cashman can use Hicks to back fill for Gardner who must now be traded to make up for all the money that Cashman is wasting on Ellsbury whom the Yankees didn't need in the first place because the Yanks already had Gardner.

Whew!  Trying to explain Brian Cashman is exhausting.  Why don't the Steinbrenner Kids just fire his ass?  Oh wait.  That would require at least one of the four to grow a pair of balls.

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