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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Brian Cashman speaks ... but not about one championship in 16 years.

"99.9% plus: what we have is what we're going to camp with." ... Brian Cashman on Yankees Hot Stove TV program 1/9/2017.

Cashman has been the general manager of the New York Yankees since 1998. The team won championships in 1998, 1999, 2000. Most of the credit for 1998 goes to Cashman's predecessors, with Cashman deserving increasing credit for 1999 and 2000.

Since then, however, the Yankees have won one championship in 16 years: 2009. Cashman gets full credit for that. Cashman also gets full blame for the mediocre team he has fielded the last four years. Only the above average performance of Yankee field manager Joe Girardi has shielded Cashman from the criticism he deserves.

So what else did Cashman say about the Yankees going into the 2017 season?

Cashman was asked about lefty Jose Quintana, a very valuable White Sox starting pitcher. Cashman babbled but unmentioned was this:

Yankees interested in Jose Quintana, twice released by Brian Cashman. Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Adding to the Brian Cashman list of you can't make up stuff like this.


20 years as GM: blah, blah, blah.

Cashman was then asked about minor league players.

James Kaprielian: starting pitcher, rated number 9 Yankees prospect by mlb.com He had a short descriptive video introduction.

Position: Pitcher
Bats: Right, Throws: Right
Height: 6' 4", Weight: 200 lb.
Born: March 2, 1994

Drafted 1st round (16th) of the 2015 MLB June Amateur Draft from UCLA.

Unfortunately, Cashman drafted a guy who had arm problems almost from the very beginning of his pro career, which includes only 29 total innings pitched in 2015 and 2016.

Cashman was asked what young players might make the Yankees out of spring training. Cashman said pitchers Kaprielian and/or:

Chance Adams pitcher

Position: Pitcher
Bats: Right, Throws: Right
Height: 6' 0", Weight: 215 lb.
Born: August 10, 1994
Drafted 5th round of the 2015 MLB June Amateur Draft from Dallas Baptist University (Dallas, TX).

In 2016 started 24 games split between A+ and AA; 127 innings, 144 SO.

Cashman: "maybe above Kaprielian".

Gleyber Torres: Shortstop among four players acquired from Cubs for Aroldis Chapman.

Position: Shortstop
Bats: Right, Throws: Right
Height: 6' 1", Weight: 175 lb.
Born: December 13, 1996

2016 at A+: 547 PA, .775 OPS

Cashman: "his baseball compass ... heart rate really calm. Tool package hard to predict. Just turned 20 ... could be an avalanche ... two years but who knows. He's just knocking the doors down ... Cano did the same thing. Alphonso Soriano did the same thing ... don't deny me."

Robinson Cano: 2003 age 20: 
2003 A+ and AA: 571 PA, .695 OPS
2004 AA and AAA: 563 PA, .796 OPS
2005 Yankees: 551 PA, .778 OPS

Clint Frazier: outfielder among four players acquired from Indians for Andrew Miller.

Position: Outfielder
Bats: Right, Throws: Right
Height: 6' 1", Weight: 190 lb.
Born: September 6, 1994
Drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 1st round (5th) of the 2013 MLB June Amateur Draft from Loganville HS (Loganville, GA).

2016 AAA: 129 PA, .657

"Extremely young for AAA. He got promoted right before the trade ... tool package is undeniable ... he checks all the boxes ... boom the light bulb goes on ... full year at AAA don't plan on seeing him next year (presumably 2017, not 2018)".

Frazier is 22 and has as much pro experience as Aaron Judge who will be 25 in April and is expected to be the regular right fielder. Clearly, Frazier has not performed as expected given his high draft pick.

The TV program showed Baseball America's top 10 Yankee prospects:
1. Torres
2. Frazier
5. Kaprielian
6. Judge
8. Adams

Go figure.

Cashman: "we have tremendous evaluators ... get a real assessment of what their ceilings are,  the realistic side of them reaching their ceilings and measure that with immediate return of some trade. I think we've been very good at that the last 3-4-5 years ... I'm willing to put some high end prospects on the table and I have done that this winter but the price tags are even higher than that ... the importance of having patience and discipline ... we just don't want to make a mistake".

Sounds like Cashman's minor players are not good enough to get quality major league players in return. Wasn't that the rational in quitting on the 2016 season with one third of the games remaining? Cashman traded Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller and Carlos Beltran for "prospects" he cannot trade for major league players younger than Chapman, Miller and Beltran.

Cashman was asked about catcher Gary Sanchez. "We can hope to count on one of the top five hitting catchers in the American League ... great arm and defense ... we're excited ... he's extremely bright, one of the better intellectual hitters".

Sounds like the great Yogi. "You can't think and hit at the same time." ... Yogi Berra

Cashman on Greg Bird: "question mark ... ceiling is extremely high ... very exciting player".

Cashman on Aaron Judge: "AAA: failure, adjustments, success ... failure at the major league level ... will serve him well ... he has some competition with Mr. Hicks ... he (Judge) can't have success in the major leagues with that level of strike outs (42 SO in 84 AB)."

Girardi and Cashman are in the final year of their contracts. Cashman was asked about that: "I certainly know that he (Girardi) would love to be back, I'd love to be back ..."

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