Cashman: Yankees faked interest in Crawford to drive up price for Red Sox

New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman looks on during Yankees batting practice before their MLB American League baseball game against the Chicago White Sox in New York, April 30, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

Yankees GM Brian Cashman was feeling rather frank on Friday while speaking to the media, as he discussed some of the moves and non-moves (Carl Crawford) he made last offseason.

From ESPN:

“I actually had dinner with the agent to pretend that we were actually involved and drive the price up,” Cashman said. “The outfield wasn’t an area of need, but everybody kept writing Crawford, Crawford, Crawford, Crawford. And I was like, ‘I feel like we’ve got Carl Crawford inBrett Gardner, except he costs more than $100 million less, with less experience.’ ”

Surprisingly, one could argue that Gardner has had a better season than Crawford. Gardner is batting .261 and leads the league with 46 steals. Crawford never got going in Boston and is hitting .259 with only 18 steals, the fewest he’s had since his rookie season.

Going into the season, Cashman said Red Sox GM Theo Epstein, who also landed Adrian Gonzalez, “kicked my a– in the offseason.”
How does he feel now after winning the division?

“What I said was accurate: The Red Sox had a great winter, and I had a bad winter,” Cashman said. “But as it turned out, I had a better winter than anybody would’ve expected, including myself.”

It’s hardly a genius act to fane interest in a free agent that you don’t want so that you can drive up the price for your most hated division rival. But either way, it worked as the Red Sox shelled out big coin for a player in Crawford who has given them the same production as what a Triple-A hitter could have. Plus, and this is a biggie, the Yankees are heading to the postseason after winning the AL East, while the Red Sox are doing their best to give away the Wild Card.

Of course, who knows what’s going to happen next. Things look bad for Boston now but maybe it reaches the playoffs, Crawford goes gangbusters and the BoSox will the World Series. Then all of Cashman’s talk will go for naught. The season isn’t over yet so let’s just see how everything plays out.

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Report: Posada told Yankees that he wanted out

New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman watches Jorge Posada shake hands with NCAA Kentucky head coach John Calipari before the game against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium in New York City on May 15, 2011. UPI/John Angelillo

According to a report by Bill Madden of the New York Daily News, designated hitter Jorge Posada told GM Brian Cashman that he wanted off the Yankees when he found out that he was hitting ninth against the Red Sox last Saturday. But a friend of Posada’s says the former catcher was just speaking out of frustration.

In the heat of his anger and frustration Saturday night, Yankee icon Jorge Posada told general manager Brian Cashman amid a flood of F-bombs that he not only wanted out of the No. 9 spot in the Yankee batting order – he wanted out of the Yankees, too, according to team sources.

“It was just something said in the heat of anger and frustration,” a close friend of Posada’s said of the former catcher’s angry comments to Cashman and manager Joe Girardi in which he took himself out of the lineup an hour before Saturday’s game against the Red Sox.

“What happened had nothing to do with being dropped to ninth in the batting order. It was just the combination of everything building up in him – his frustration at not helping the team and the feeling that, right now, he sucks, and that everything in his world is pretty (expletive).

“He didn’t want out, and doesn’t want out,” the friend added. “He was just frustrated and said a lot of things.”

Posada is currently hitting .165 as the Bombers’ DH and is going through some personal issues as well. His son, Jorge Luis, is scheduled to undergo surgery to correct craniosynostosis, which is a condition in which normal brain and skull growth are affected. The procedure, which will take place on June 8, is hoped to be his last surgery to correct the problem.

There have been many fans on the internet boards that are screaming for the Yankees to cut ties with Posada and move on. But nobody knows what this guy is going through and he has already apologized to the team for his immaturity over the weekend. He was in the wrong and he apologized. If he doesn’t start hitting then Cashman and Joe Girardi can figure out what’s best for the team and go from there.

But how many of us get so tired of our situations that we burst out in frustration and say things we don’t mean? Hell, I think I do it on a weekly basis. Let’s cut Posada some slack and see how the situation plays out. He’s a four-time World Series champion and a five-time All-Star. If he’s done, the Yankees will make that decision when the time comes. For now, let’s give the man a little time.

Cashman: People are “stupid” who think Yankees mismanaged Joba

New York Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain delivers during the eight inning against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago on August 29, 2010. The Yankees won 2-1. UPI/Brian Kersey

Brian Cashman has been one outspoken general manager recently. A couple of days after making the Derek Jeter/centerfield comments, the Yankees’ GM said people who question the club’s management of Joba Chamerlain are “stupid.”


“Those people are stupid,” Cashman said of critics of the Yankees’ handling of Chamberlain. “It’s just an easy, stupid, idiotic thing to say. There’s no screwing anything up. That’s how Andy Pettitte came in, that’s how guys have been broken in for years. They’re starters in the minor leagues, they come up and we use them in the ‘pen, and eventually they break into the rotation. So what’s the problem? I just think it’s naïve.”

“Listen, he had a full chance to make a run at it [in spring training 2010], and he failed at it,” Cashman said. “His stuff does not play the same way as a starter anymore since the injury in Texas. He’s pedestrian as a starter but he still has pretty wicked stuff as a reliever. So his job is just to get outs when Joe calls on him. It’s as simple as that.”

On one hand, I don’t blame Cashman for being a little annoyed that he’s constantly asked about whether or not the Yankees screwed the pooch with Joba’s development. But part of his job is to answer questions about why a young starting pitcher with elite stuff has turned into a broken down old Chevy in a matter of a couple of seasons.

That said, pitchers get hurt and sometimes they never recover. It’s just part of the game. Just because Joba hasn’t turned into a dominant starter doesn’t mean that the Yankees mishandled him. Brien Taylor never panned out either and he was supposed to be the greatest thing since sliced bread. It happens – guys get injured.

Ask the Cubs if they know anything about young pitchers who broke down too soon. It’s not just the Yankees who have had a stud not pan out. The good news is that Joba may wind up being a solid reliever and that’s better than nothing.

Derek Jeter move to the outfield? It would be unprecedented.

angers Ballpark in Arlington in Arlington, Texas USA, 16 October 2010. This is the second game of the best of seven of the 2010 American League Championship Series. The New York Yankees lead the series 1-0. EPA/PAUL BUCK fotoglif764240

On Monday, Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman told the media that he could envision Derek Jeter moving from shortstop to the outfield before his new contract runs out in 2014. But as Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk writes, that kind of move would be unprecedented for a 37-year-old shortstop.

* Exactly 16 players who have played as many as 100 games at shortstop and 100 games in left field. None of them did both after the age of 35;

* Exactly 17 players who have played as many as 100 games at shortstop and 100 games in center field. None of them did both after the age of 35;

* Exactly 17 players who have played as many as 100 games at shortstop and 100 games in right field. None of them did both after the age of 35.

Maybe Jeter could be a utility guy who can cover the outfield from time to time, but there is no precedent whatsoever for a guy his age moving from the everyday shortstop position to an everyday position in the outfield. And no, Robin Yount — everyone’s favorite go-to guy on this subject — didn’t do it either. His last game at shortstop came when he was 28. Past the age of 30 he was an outfielder/DH with some occasional starts at first.

And that’s before you factor in Jeter’s bat, which unless he bounces back to 2009 form and stays there for the next four years, will not be stout enough to justify a position in the outfield.

I can’t see Jeter moving to the outfield either, although my reasoning is way more subjective than Calcaterra’s take.

Jeter won’t move to the outfield because he’s Derek Jeter. He’s the New York Yankees shortstop and will be the New York Yankees shortstop until he finally gives way to a protégée. For as classy as Jeter is, he still has an ego and I highly doubt he would OK a move to the outfield – even as his defensive numbers continue to decline.

I’m not suggesting that Jeter is too pompous to help his team, but for the life of me I can’t see him sauntering out to left field when his time is up at short. I could see him moving to third if the Yankees figure out what to do with Alex Rodriguez. But the outfield? Nah.

Jeter, Yankees still $80 million apart?

New York Yankees' Derek Jeter hits double against the Tampa Bay Rays during the fifth inning of their MLB American League Baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, September 20, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

Whatever Derek Jeter and his agent are smoking, I want it. Because that stuff must be fantastic if they think they’re getting $150 million from the Yankees.

Per Bill Madden of the New York Daily News, Jeter and the Yankees are at least “$80 million apart in negotiations.” Jeter’s initial contract request called for six years and $150 million, while the Yankees are “only” offering three years at $45 million.

I’ve been a Jeter fan since he dazzled everyone in his rookie year but what is he thinking? Six years and $150 million? For hitting .270 last year and playing a very average shortstop? Unless he recently found the fountain of youth and drank it bone dry, then there’s no way the Yankees will/should come close to $150 million for this guy. I know he’s a legend and the Bombers have already put him on the Babe Ruth pedestal, but get real.

Brian Cashman said it best when he told Jeter that he should test the open market if he feels as though the Yankees are shortchanging him. Because there’s no way in Hades that Jeter would receive a three-year deal worth $45 million from another team – not to mention a six-year contract worth $150 million. He’s a 36-year-old shortstop coming off a down year offensively and just doesn’t have it any more defensively. Don’t get it twisted – he’s still a nice player at the right price. But that’s the key: at the right price.

As I wrote on Wednesday, he’s going to wind up back in pinstripes next season. But this storyline gets juicer by the day.

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