Yankees’ crisis demands Hal Steinbrenner’s swift action against Cashman

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pressherald
Inna Zeyger
Sunday July 23, 2023

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The end of Brian Cashman’s era is imminent burdened under its own failure and Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner should no longer be “confused” about that. The general manager has some great years on his resume but those are the things of the past. The Yankees need a recast and Hal Steinbrenner must do it now.

The frustration of Yankee fans, as Hal Steinbrenner previously stated on June 21 when the team was struggling in third place. With the team now at its lowest ebb struggling for a playoff slot and significantly behind the American League East leaders by 9 ½ games, he should have no confusion about the current state of the Yankees.

They are an underperforming, poorly constructed, and overly expensive team that just returned home in last place following a disappointing 1-5 road trip against the Angels and Rockies. It seems unlikely that they will reach the World Series anytime soon, as it has been 14 years since their last appearance. Only a change in leadership can save their glory.

Hal Steinbrenner must act now or never

It is now essential for Hal Steinbrenner to abandon any confusion and assess the state of his franchise, which operates under the leadership of analytics-driven GM Brian Cashman. Earlier in March, the owner expressed that winning a championship shouldn’t require a $300 million payroll. However, spending $280 million (as it stands now) and ending up in last place is equally unacceptable. The exorbitant Yankees’ payroll becomes problematic when allocated to underperforming players.

The Yankees have allocated significant amounts of money to players with concerning performances and injury histories. Giancarlo Stanton, who earns $32 million annually, has struggled with injuries and holds a .193/.272/.438 slash line. Anthony Rizzo, earning $17 million per year, has a .244/.332/.381 line and is 33 years old with a contract until 2024. D.J. LeMahieu, receiving $15 million annually, has a .231/.293/.365 line and is 35 years old with a deal until 2026. Josh Donaldson, at $21 million per year, has a .142/.225/.434 line and his contract fortunately ends after this season with an $8 million buyout. Lastly, Carlos Rodon, who earns $27 million annually, has had injury issues, posting a 0-3 record and a 7.36 ERA in his first three starts after a significant time on the sidelines. These contracts raise concerns as it’s unlikely that these players will improve with age.

Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner with GM Brian Cashman at Yankee Stadium.
USA TODAY Sports

Hal Steinbrenner would face a challenging task if he were to conduct a candid evaluation of Brian Cashman’s performance as general manager. It would be difficult for him to determine whether the team’s current struggles are primarily a result of Cashman’s trading decisions or the effectiveness of the Yankee player development system.

Regarding the trades, and to avoid any notion of hindsight, fans’ concerns about Cashman and his front office go back by a few years. His trade acquisitions have mostly remained publicity stunts than just to benefit the Yankees. One sordid example is Giancarlo Stanton, who spent more time injured than on the plate. And that too his bat failed to do the rescue act for the Yankees when they needed him the most.

The Cashman conundrum for the Yankees

While Cashman has had some successful deals, such as acquiring Domingo German and bolstering the bullpen with Clay Holmes, Michael King, Chad Green, and Luis Cessa, his track record in trading for starting pitchers has been less than stellar. Examples like Frankie Montas, Sonny Gray, and Andrew Heaney, along with past instances like Jeff Weaver, Denny Neagle, and Javy Vazquez, demonstrate a pattern of pitchers who struggled in the pressure of New York, a factor that seemingly eluded Cashman’s analytical approach.

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Twitter-NYY

The Yankees’ struggles in returning to the World Series since 2009 can largely be attributed to their underperforming player development department. Over the years, they have had limited success with their first-round draft picks, with only three notable standouts: Aaron Judge in 2013, Clarke Schmidt in 2017, and Anthony Volpe in 2019. However, the future success of Schmidt as a frontline starting pitcher and Volpe as their everyday shortstop remains uncertain and awaits further evaluation.

Judge’s absence due to his toe injury has exposed the Yankees’ overreliance on him and highlighted their offensive struggles. Prior to June 3, when Judge was still playing, the team averaged 4.7 runs per game (10th overall) and had a .730 OPS (14th), but since then, they have managed only 3.8 runs per game with a .660 OPS, ranking them 28th in both categories across the league. This season, their overall performance in runs scored ranks 20th in the majors, and their batting average of .230 is tied for 28th, indicating significant offensive challenges.

aaron-hicks-new-york-yankees
ESPN

The Yankees’ struggle to develop productive everyday players at key positions has left them dependent on the free-agent market and forced them into costly signings and trades. Since Don Mattingly, they haven’t successfully developed a productive everyday first baseman, leading them to sign the streaky and injury-prone Rizzo for an additional two years. The outfield has also suffered from a lack of homegrown talent, with only Brett Gardner being a successful everyday outfielder since Bernie Williams. As a result, they made expensive and unsuccessful signings like Jacoby Ellsbury and problematic trades like those for Aaron Hicks and Clint Frazier. The current outfield, in the absence of Judge, has been an embarrassing mix of Triple-A caliber players. Additionally, the lack of success in developing catchers since Jorge Posada has been evident. These developmental shortcomings have put pressure on the Yankees to seek external solutions, often leading to suboptimal outcomes.

The Yankees’ farm system currently lacks promising prospects for outfielders, first basemen, and frontline starting pitchers. Despite the hype around Jasson Dominguez, known as the “Martian,” his performance in Double-A Somerset has been underwhelming, with a batting average of .216. Austin Wells, their second-ranked prospect drafted in 2019, struggled in Double-A and recently got promoted to Triple-A, but concerns remain about his catching abilities despite positive assessments of his hitting potential from scouts. The immediate future does not offer clear solutions in these crucial positions for the team.

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The Yankees’ team composition is problematic

The situation the Yankees find themselves in is quite telling – they have an aging and costly team lacking in athleticism, with only Gerrit Cole as a genuine top-tier starting pitcher. The bullpen has suffered from overuse due to Aaron Boone’s reliance on analytics in search of the ideal reliever, often leading to exhausting them. Hal Steinbrenner, who has embraced analytics, may find it difficult to make necessary changes. Perhaps he should take the opportunity to speak with Ray Davis, managing partner of the Rangers, who faced a similar decline of his franchise under a long-serving GM at the owners’ meeting next week to re-elect Commissioner Manfred.

In the case of the Rangers, their longtime GM Jon Daniels had held the position since 2005, making him the first MLB GM at 28 years. Daniels had achieved success, leading the Rangers to the World Series twice in 2010-11 under the guidance of manager Ron Washington, and earning the MLB Executive of the Year award in 2010. However, by 2022, the team experienced five consecutive seasons ending in loss under the management of Jeff Banister and Chris Woodward. Dissatisfied with the team’s performance, Ray Davis decided to dismiss Daniels and appoint his assistant, Chris Young, a former pitcher with a background from Princeton, who had also played in the majors for 13 years.

Certainly, Chris Young has been quite active in using Ray Davis’ resources to sign notable free agents like Corey Seager and Marcus Semien last year, and more recently, pitchers Jacob deGrom, Nathan Eovaldi, Martin Perez, and Heaney during the last offseason. These signings were prompted by the team’s shortcomings in player development. Despite deGrom’s injury, the investments have proven worthwhile. However, Young’s most crucial decision was appointing the highly accomplished Bruce Bochy, destined for the Hall of Fame, as the team’s manager. This strategic move has paid off, as the Rangers have maintained their lead in the NL West for most of the current season.

Hal Steinbrenner needs no reminder from me that the Yankees must embark on a new path. The current direction, led by Cashman and the analytics expert Mike Fishman, has proven ineffective throughout the entire organization. This is a widely recognized fact in the baseball world. Steinbrenner is now dealing with a $280 million debacle that shows no signs of improvement. The teams leading the division, the Orioles, Rays, and Blue Jays, boast a younger, more athletic roster with better players at every position, save for right field. The fans’ frustration extends beyond mere disappointment; they are genuinely outraged by the current state of this once-proud franchise.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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6 thoughts on “Yankees’ crisis demands Hal Steinbrenner’s swift action against Cashman

    1. Sometimes you just need to break it down when you see it not working. The proof is in the won loss record. That’s the bottom line here, and the bottom line is last place in the AL East. Rip the 🩹 off now. The longer they wait the harder and more painful it is to do. Hal seems to live in his head, but not his heart. He doesn’t want to be his father so in the end he becomes ineffectual. Being the boss means dropping the hammer. It’s a hard slap in the face, but it wakes you up. Thanks Cash for 2009 but that’s a long long time ago. A new perhaps better mix of analytics and old school baseball ⚾ sense. Cause numbers alone make a good baseball team. That said Aaron Boone needs to go because he’s just a representation of this failed system. Injuries can’t be help but this team doesn’t rise to the occasion. There’s no next man up. Listen it could be worse we could be the Mets!!! 😵😵‍💫😵😵‍💫🤪

  1. To Hal Steinbrenner , the decision on” Shit Canning Cashman ” is nothing to deeply think about…It’s a must !!!. Ur father …”The Great George Steinbrenner” made a lot of his own decisions irregardless wat Cashman had to say when it came to benefit The NY Yankees .
    It’s time that Hal Steinbrenner makes decisions for the sake of wat ur father has Built as the “Yankee Empire”!!!. I dnt trust Cashman and he’s up to “No Good”!!!.
    Like I said : it’s time to Clean House Hal .Get rid of the “3 Blind Mice”and U Mr. Steinbrenner … will bring in a Breath of Fresh Air into the Yankee Empire . For the sake of wat ur Father built and The Fans. U know wat has to be DONE !!!. T.Y. God Bless The Yankees and God Bless America!!!….. Enough Said !

  2. Good 4 U Vinny!!!. T.Y. !!!. Levine is another one that needs to be Sit Canned..3 blind mice…see how they Run. …….
    I think that Cashman and Levine are part of a regime that wants to push Hal Steinbrenner and persuade him to sell the Yankee Empire to One of their own !!!.
    The Yankee Empire has been owned by the German background family “The Steinbrenners “for yrs now.
    George Steinbrenner built the Yankee Empire into a Multi -Billion $$$ business . More Championships 🏆🏆🏆 than any team in any Pro – Sports in the WORLD!!!. The Yankee fans are the most loyal fans in the WORLD!!!. With that saying … Hal needs to understand that the Vultures are weakening U so they can devour U !!!. I’m sure I hit a nerve but, the Truth Hurts !!!. My suggestion to Hal Steinbrenner is… Go with ur Gut feelings. U have a gift from ur father…Now It’s Time To Use It !!!. THANK YOU GEORGE…4 ALL THE GREAT MEMORIES!!!. U WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN!!!.
    I WILL ALWAYS BE ONE OF UR ULTIMATE FANS !!!. WE MISS U. Enough Said !!!.

  3. Your assessment of the Yankee’s situation is right on. Cashman’s a megalomaniac, hiring Boone as his helpless and hopeless puppet has been a franchise disaster. Their reliance on Analytics instead of an additional tool is evident in almost every thoughtless move that Ba Boone makes, almost every game. His constant movement of players, from position to position, to rest periods, I believe has negatively impacted even better than average players, like LeMahieu , for one. Their failure to pull the trigger on players who were obvious Albatrosses, have been so obvious, waiting for them to turn the corner, which to even the realistic Yankee fan knew wasn’t going to occur. Some for instance like Sanchez, perhaps the worst defensive Catcher I’ve ever seen at the MLB level, Aaron Hicks , who was never more than a .233 hitter, his entire career, Bird, Frazier and shall we go on? A Coaching crew , that has coaches, that never played a game at the major league level ( Blake) talk about their over reliance on Analytics, than just a tool to be looked to not used as their daily Bible. Baseball , for 120 years has been a game of individual talents , hot streaks, not to be toyed with. This group doesn’t believe in that and constantly sits down players who are currently on a hot streak. This is the worded managed team in baseball today. The change must come from the top. George would have dealt with this years ago, and Boone would have not been hired in the first place.

  4. Forgot to mention firing Boone along with Cashman. Boone has probably lost the Yankees at least 8 games this year. He’s an average Joe manager. You can get a zillion guys like him if you want average. Should have signed Mattingly when they had the chance.

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