Cashman’s Criteria

We’re now heading into year 18 of the Brian Cashman regime and it’s definitely been a rocky relationship between he and the fans throughout his tenure. The Yanks have won four championships since he’s been in office but people are starting to grow weary of him and some of the decisions he’s made. But, a few seasons ago, Cashman started acquiring players that fit a certain criteria. Hear me out and let me tell you why even through all of the poor contract’s he’s shipped out, Cashman has figured something out.

Even if Brian Cashman isn’t around for much longer, what he has started around the year 2012 is a nice blueprint for years to come. When the Yanks acquired Michael Pineda, he was a guy with a ton of talent but couldn’t put it all together. Last offseason, Cashman made similar moves once again acquiring the likes of Nathan Eovaldi and Didi Gregorius. Then at the trade deadline, former first-round pick Dustin Ackley. All three players have incredible talent but were taking a long time to blossom, so their respective teams chose to move on. The Yankees took a chance and all three paid dividends and helped the Yankees reach the 2015 postseason.

Yes, I know what you’re all going to say. “The one game playoff isn’t really the playoffs” or “we’re the Yankees, we shouldn't be happy with just getting into the playoffs.” I’m not disagreeing with you, but this formula has seemingly worked for the Yanks in recent years and I’d like to see them stick with it. Now, obviously I’m not saying this is how we should acquire all of our players. That being said, when the opportunities present themselves, the Yanks should capitalize.

They did just that this offseason already, acquiring outfielder Aaron Hicks. Hicks is a young, talented outfielder that hasn’t reached his full potential. Hicks was drafted in the first-round of the 2008 draft (14th overall) but has only seen big league success in a few facets of his game. He’s hit lefties well, has played stellar defense, and been able to steal bags. The Yankees are hoping they can maximize Hicks abilities and turn him into an everyday player.

The Yanks more recently were in talks with the Mariners about starting-pitcher James Paxton, another player fitting the mold of recent Yankees acquisitions. Paxton was drafted in the fourth round by the Mariners in 2010 and was their number three rated prospect headed into the 2014 season.

Just so you have an idea with the mold I’m referring too, below is some of each aforementioned players prospect rating and where they were drafted (if they were drafted of course):
  • Dustin Ackley – 2009 first-round draft pick (second overall), Mariners number one prospect after the 2009 & 2010 seasons. Baseball America’s 11th rated prospect after '09, 12th after '10.
  • Aaron Hicks – 2008 first-round draft pick (14th overall), Twins number one prospect after the 2008 and 2009 seasons. Baseball America’s 19th rated prospect after 2009.
  • DiDi Gregorius – Reds number five prospect after the 2012 season, voted the best defensive infielder in the Reds system in 2011 and received the same vote in 2012 for the Diamondbacks.

  • Nathan Eovaldi – 2008 11th-round draft pick (337th overall), Dodgers number three prospect after the 2012 season. Baseball America’s 98th rated prospect after 2011.

  • Michael Pineda – Mariners number two prospect after the 2010 season. Baseball America’s 16th rated prospect after 2010. Rated with the best fastball and slider in the Mariners system in 2010.
Brian Cashman has found success in once highly sought after prospects not panning out when teams hoped they would. The Yankees have taken chances on these guys and they have paid dividends for the organization. I hope they continue this trend all-the-while making other free-agent signings that help the New York Yankees win championships.

Article by: James Grande
Follow James Grande @The_Real_Grande
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