Is Cashman Any Good?Everyone in the media seems to be on Cashman's side. When things go well, good for Cashman; when things go poorly, it's Streinbrenner's fault. I'm all for blaming the world's problem on Georgie Steinbrenner, but I think Cashman's "brilliance" needs to be reexamined.
The Yankee dynasty, which is hopefully crumbling, was built before Cashman arrived in 1998. The core of the Yankees was built through their farm system, (Pettitte, Posada, Jeter, Williams) international scouting (Rivera and Mendoza[don't laugh, he was good]) and trades (O'Neil, Brosius, Tino Martinez and even Jeff Nelson[again don't laugh, he was good until recently. Now all he can do is beat up innocent grounds crew members]). Added to this core were important free agents such as David Wells, David Cone, and Mike Stanton. All of this was before Cashman.
Now the Yankees have a few players left from that core and a bunch of free agents. Their farm system has yielded nothing and their trades have added little.
I don't give Cashman much credit for signing big name free agents such as Sheffield or Mussina. Getting these types of free agents is more about money and the reputation of your team. Cashman wouldn't have been able to sign these free agents if he was in charge of the Royals. I guess you can praise Cashman for finding Irabu and Soriano, but, again, money plays a big part of the Yankees successes in international scouting.
Remove the players that arrived before Cashman and the big name free agents the Yankees would have signed with any GM (Another movie idea: Ernest GM's the Yankees), and what has Cashman accomplished? More importantly, what hasn't he accomplished? It amazes me that he did not trade for a lefty bullpen specialist (note to Felix Heredia fans, I said "good" lefty). He also did not improve his bench. Think of what a good pinch hitter, such as Jim Leyritz, could have done in the Sox series.
Speaking of the Red Sox, let's make a comparison. I don't give Epstein too much credit for Foulke and Schilling (although, he did a good job recruiting), but he did do a good job getting a lefty reliever and getting bench players. He also, did something Cashman doesn't do: sign a free agent who then exceeds expectations. Bill Mueller, Kevin Millar, Mark Bellhorn, Bronson Arroyo, and David Ortiz to name a few. By the way, Ortiz was a player Steinbrenner wanted, but Cashman rejected.
Then again everything's Steinbrenner's fault.