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Brian Cashman: “Plan B is patience”

Dec 14, 2010, 1:30 PM EDT

Brian Cashman

Brian Cashman just spoke to the media. Surprisingly, the signing of Russell Martin wasn’t the main topic of conversation. That kid from Arkansas who can’t hack the Big Apple was.  No, not Burnett. The other one.

Cashman’s remarks included a lot of expected spin.  Spin designed, it would seem, to disabuse other teams out there of the notion that he’s all panicky and is now willing to grossly overpay for a starting pitcher.  Stuff like:

I do stress Plan B is patience. It’s not like we’re in a rush to do anything … We have a great team … It would be a rare situation for me to include Montero in a deal … I don’t think we have a lot of holes ..

With respect to plugging those holes, Cashman said “it doesn’t have to happen in the winter time,” suggesting that the Yankees could wait until the trade deadline next year.  He also talked up his current rotation, saying that Ivan Nova “has taken the next step” and that he likes his team as it is, even if it can stand some improvement.  All of which are smart things for him to say, even if all of his statements could be made more truthful by adding the phrase “but we really, really would like to add a top-flight pitcher.”

As for Lee himself, Cashman echoed what many people had already suspected. When the delay in an answer from the Lee camp occurred over the weekend, he knew it could be trouble.  That the Yankees did everything they could do to sign him.  That there are no hard feelings with Lee and no sense that Lee’s agent was jerking anyone around. It was a negotiation like any other. All in the game, yo.  [Cashman did not actually say “all in the game, yo.”]

So the air is now cleared from the Yankees side of things.  It won’t stop a half dozen columnists from writing about how this was a death blow for the Bombers, both competitively speaking and in terms of that Yankee Brand we keep hearing about. But hey, we need something to get us through the rest of the week, right?

  1. Alex K - Dec 14, 2010 at 1:57 PM

    Wow, for a second I thought that Omar Little took over Cashman for a bit. Thanks for clearing up that he didn’t actually say, “All in the game, yo”.

  2. Jonny 5 - Dec 14, 2010 at 2:17 PM

    Was Hanks fist print on his forehead when he said this?

  3. sknut - Dec 14, 2010 at 2:20 PM

    When is Heyman reporting that there is a ‘mystery plan b’ that doesn’t include patientice?

    • spindervish - Dec 14, 2010 at 10:27 PM

      That’s pretty nice.

  4. Brian - Dec 14, 2010 at 2:25 PM

    I wonder if they’ve called Roger Clemens yet.

  5. Adam - Dec 14, 2010 at 2:32 PM

    Since when has patience and New York Yankees been used in a sentence with a straight face? They probably have a 10 year offer ready for Prince Fielder.

  6. yankees1996 - Dec 14, 2010 at 3:23 PM

    I do not think patience is going to be the answer that wins out in the Bronx. The fact that Cash could say those things without gagging or making faces is further proof that he passed up a career in politics. Prince Fielder is most certainly not the answer, does he pitch? Roger Clemens cannot pitch from prison…strike two.

    The starting rotation is most certainly not in good shape right now and could suffer and probably not withstand Andy retiring. The fact that Cash even listed Nova among the pitching staff is just good proof of how tight things are in the Bronx right now. I have the same type of feeling about Andy that I had about Lee and that feeling was that something bad was going to happen. I am not sure that Andy is going to return to play on a team that may have slim post season appearance chances. The Yankees need to take a good hard look at what they have to offer and what they would be willing to sacrafice and start talking to the Rays about trading for Garza. It would be a tragedy to have to send many prospects away but pitching is now beyond the status of a prime concern. The Yankees should be already talking to Kerry Wood and be very aggressive in other areas when it comes to pitching. The brave face put on by Cashman is inspiring but it is the tough times and what is done in them that seperates the men from the boys and it is most certainly time to man up!

    • Jonny 5 - Dec 14, 2010 at 3:47 PM

      Man, do you think the Rays would really send Garza to the Yanks? I don’t think it could happen. Some other team outside of the division I see, but to their biggest rival?? I know the Yankees would laugh off any offer going the other way for a pitcher, and the Rays know this. My guess is they get all hot and heavy over Grenkie and the Royals end up with a stack of ex Yankee prospects, Maybe even Joba.

      • yankees1996 - Dec 14, 2010 at 4:12 PM

        Yea, actually I do think the Yanks have a better shot at Garza than Greinke. First off Garza is a FA at the end of next year and the Rays have been very vocal and active in bringing their payroll in line with their estimates. It actually makes more sense for the Rays to trade him and get prospects for him than see him leave a free agent. The Rays biggest rivalry was not the Yanks it was the Red Sox if you remember back to their WS run of 2008, the Rays have always done well against the Yanks, but that is neither here nor there. The whole thing about trading him within the division is crap the Rays should be willing to take the best deal and not be worried about having to face Garza two or three times next year when they are not expected to be contending anyway, baseball is a business remember. The Royals have already made it known that they will want middle infield defense that is either ready to play or is a short time away from ML service and the Yanks do not have that to offer, so I do not see that deal going down. There are other pitchers out there that may indeed be considered to be movable by their respective teams but you are talking about older guys that probably going to come with big contracts and those guys would not be my first option if I was Cashman. If the Yanks can get Garza they would probably be open to a rather lucrative extension for him and seeing as he is still in his twenties it would work out well for everyone.

  7. angrycorgi - Dec 14, 2010 at 3:59 PM

    “I don’t think we have a lot of holes”

    You’re in NYC…there are tons of ‘holes all around you, my friend.

    • ta192 - Dec 14, 2010 at 5:12 PM

      That’ll have me giggling all day. Great line, thanx…

  8. diamondduq - Dec 14, 2010 at 4:08 PM

    Why is it perfectly reasonable for teams like the Rays, Twins, even the Red Sox to go with young arms from their system who have made spot starts, been in the bullpen or come straight from the minors but the Yankees need to go acquire a big name?

    Is Nova a potential #1? Probably not even a #2 actually but they’re looking at him as a 4/5 guy which he’s more than capable of being. A rotation of Sabathia, Burnett, Hughes, Chamberlain, Nova isn’t exactly the apocalypse. It’s not inconceivable that having Chamberlain in the rotation (where he’s always thought he belonged) will keep him from pouting and have him return to a more respectable form than he was last year. Hughes has an entire season in the rotation under his belt now and Nova is just going to be asked to eat innings. Burnett is the wildcard, he’s capable of being a #1 on 90% of the teams in MLB or he’s capable of looking like he should be demoted to AA. If Pettite comes back he probably has another 20 starts left in him.

    I do agree they should bring Wood back as an 8th inning guy, with or without Chamberlain in the rotation, and they have some quality power arms, namely Andrew Brackman coming off injury, in their farm system to get some innings out of the pen. Cashman probably wasn’t entirely off base actually but the hysteria surrounding the Yankees has everyone believing they have to do it with big names when apparently no one else does. I don’t think the Yankees are in the best possible situation right now but their certainly not in an appalling situation either.

  9. pwf207 - Dec 14, 2010 at 4:58 PM

    I second diamonduq’s comment, why do the yanks have to constantly mortgage the future? How about taking a shot that even without Pettite, Burnett is likely to regress up, Hughes has the possibility of some upside and remember the Yanks got 78 starts (Mosley, Nova, though he was on pace for an average year prorated, Mitre, Burnett and Vasquez) last year out of guys who were below average and won 95 games. If they get any luck w pitching they are as good or better than last year’s starting group. Now there is also volatility in offense but there has already been an upgrade with Martin, and Jetes should regress up. Also Garza is a some what better than average pitcher (2.6 WAR avg, if you weighted it 3 2 1 its 2.45WAR) if you look at his last three years, certainly not someone to give up Montero for and I would not deal more than one Killer B to get him, especially as there is no guarantee he extends at a reasonable deal.

  10. jkay123 - Dec 14, 2010 at 6:01 PM

    Yankees will be just fine. This is a team that won close to 100 games last season with vasquez in their rotation and AJ. Even if burnett goes 13-9 thats a major upgrade from last season. Nova has the potential to be a decent starter once they stretch his arm out and Hughes is only going to get better and would be one of the youngest starters on any staff in the Majors. CC is pretty much a guarantee and Pettite will more than likely be back. Last yr they had players like granderson on the DL, posada on more than one occasion, arod on the dl , tex having an offseason, jeter with the worst of his career and still managed all those wins. Yankees will make some sound bullpen moves by trying to bring wood back, going for guys like balfour and feliciano and having one of the best pens in the league. They still have an excellent lineup, montero might be a nice surprise, martin is insurance and they can trade for a pitcher or two like that headcase zambrano, but at the end of the day he knows his pitching coach, he eats innings and hell get wins here. They also don’t have two excellent teams to battle 36 times a yr, the Rays have dropped off considerably. Their great pen is depleted and they can pitch around longoria.

  11. jfk69 - Dec 14, 2010 at 7:28 PM

    Not getting lee will prove to be a blessing in disguise.
    They might actually find they had a blossoming starting pitcher in one the killer bees. I am sick and tired of seeing them use their minor league pitchers as trade bait or not even giving them a real shot at the major league team
    kaching 150 million saved…lee will be good for two years and then the party is over.

  12. rick1922 - Dec 14, 2010 at 7:54 PM

    I never liked going after Lee in the first place we need to get younger don’t need a 32 year old with a bad back.

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