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October 27, 2005

All Cash, all the time
by SG

With Brian Cashman's return, it looks like things are changing, at least if you believe the article linked above. I picked out a few of the quotes from Brian Cashman that I found the most encouraging.

Cashman spoke Thursday of "splintering," in which members of one faction would voice displeasure with certain philosophies and opinions.

"Obviously, that can create a lot of different potholes along the way as we all travel in the same direction," Cashman said.
"I want to be that filter," Cashman said. "Everything goes through me. With the chain of command, I think everyone involved wants it that way. We've all suffered this year in different ways because of the splintering. I think everyone involved wants it to be streamlined."
Under what the Yankees hope to be a revitalized plan of structure, Cashman said he is eyeing several changes, most notably a reduction in payroll.
As the Yankees showed by testing young players like Robinson Cano and Chien-Ming Wang this season, a high-end player may not be necessary at every position. Cashman said he plans to target a simple blueprint that places a re-emphasis on the club's Minor League player development -- which already hosts potential impact players at lower levels -- and international scouting.
In Cashman's description of the model, free agency and trades would be used to "finish off" a club, not serve as the bedrock of the organization.
"It's going to work closer to how the other 29 clubs work," Cashman said.
"We have the most money, there's no secret about that," Cashman said. "If you combine that with the best decision-making process on a consistent basis, then God help the rest of baseball."

This is the first real confirmation from someone in the Yankee organization that there were real differences between Tampa and New York, and that they were counter-productive and detrimental to the team on the field. I find these quotes to be very heartening, because it is closer to what brought the late 90s Yankees their victories.

We'll likely never know what fully goes on behind the scenes in the Yankee organization, but there's no denying that their success on the field has hidden a very inefficiently run team. There are those who will argue with critics that say it doesn't matter what the Yankee payroll is, but think about this. Instead of paying Mark Prior enough to sign him when he was drafted out of high school, they saved that money and used it years later on Tony Womack.

Relying on your minor league system is not just good financial baseball, it's more fun to watch. We saw it this year with Cano and Wang, who gave us flashes of brilliance with hopes of greater performances to come. For my money as a fan, it's far more rewarding to see a player develop in the majors, than bring in a known quantity, particularly one who may have contributed to beating your team at an earlier time.

When you bring in free agents, you are bringing in guys who very likely have already had their best season. When you develop your own players, you can have a run like 1996-2000.

The Yankees could very possibly collapse under the weight of their collective ages and contracts. It's good to see that they are at least talking about seeing the error in their ways and amending it.

At this point, it's just talk, but it should be a very interesting offseason.