Here’s a post that was inevitable.
From Joel Sherman (NY Post):
Who knows how matters might have played out if the Yankees had actually made their trade for Santana after the 2007 season. But more and more, GM Brian Cashman’s restraint then is being paid off now. Cashman philosophically could not advocate giving up significant prospects and handing Santana a state-of-the-art pitching contract. And the Yankees did have long-term concerns about how Santana would hold up physically.
They have similar worries with CC Sabathia. But with Sabathia, the Yanks gave up just a lot of money; and their plan at the moment they rejected overtures to obtain Santana was to wait a year and be the big bidder on Sabathia. A trade for Santana would have cost the Yanks Phil Hughes, Melky Cabrera, Ian Kennedy and Jeff Marquez. Hughes has been a revelation as the Yanks’ eighth-inning man, Cabrera has delivered competence in center field and the Yanks used Marquez to acquire Nick Swisher.
I thought Cashman blew it by not being more aggressive in trying to land Santana, the kind of prime-time ace the team had craved for years. But where we sit today there is little doubt he made the right decision.
The Yankees made the right move in deciding not to trade for Johan Santana after 2007. It was the right move at the time and the non-move looks even better now. Imagine if the Yankees had actually given up Hughes, Kennedy, Marquez and Melky to the Twins so that they could call Santana their ace. Their stellar setup man would be sitting in a Minnesota dugout watching watching Melky Cabrera hit cycles alongside Denard Span. The price would have been costly from a financial point of view, but in retrospect, crucial cogs essential to the 2009 season would not be in Yankee uniforms had it not been for Cashman’s desire to simply wait it out and offer CC Sabathia a boatload of money. If the Yankees had Santana, they wouldn’t have Hughes, Melky, Swisher or CC (he would have ended up in LA, perhaps). Hell, they wouldn’t have Santana either given his elbow’s status.
It’s good to see Sherman admit that he was wrong regarding the Santana situation. He’s definitely not the only one. There are plenty of other folks that should praise Brian Cashman for his methodical and patient approach to fixing the team’s pitching problems. Many people wanted to give it all away for the best pitcher in baseball when a practical solution—CC Sabathia—was just a year away. And, as Sherman notes, while he’s expensive and comes with many of the same risks that Santana had, in the end, all he cost was money (lots of it) and a lengthy contract. That’s not great, but it’s not damning either. What do you think about Cashman’s plan and how it ultimately worked out? Are you happy with it? Were you a faithful supporter or are you in the same boat as Joel Sherman (it’s okay, it’s a big boat—believe me)?
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