Saturday, April 10, 2010

Cashman will have to answer for his moves

Brian Cashman made a number of significant moves to revamp a New York Yankees team that just won the World Series and he will have to answer for them if things go wrong.

It's very early in the season, but so far his acquisitions have had a mixed start. Curtis Granderson hit a couple of timely home runs this week, including the game winner against the Boston Red Sox in Game 3 of the regular season. But he also has had trouble hitting lefties, as advertised. Nick Johnson has been the on-base machine that was advertised, but Yankee fans cringe every time he fouls a ball off his body, fearing that he'll go down for a month.

Javier Vazquez seems to be the one move that Cashman was most excited about because he never wanted to trade Vazquez in the first place. But the righty failed his first test, getting smacked around by what is admittedly a good Rays lineup. The Vazquez move was always the most questionable offseason maneuver by Cashman so he has a lot invested in the pitcher having a good year.

In advancing his youth movement, Cashman jettisoned clutch players Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon. Matsui appears to be thriving in Los Angeles, reaching a career milestone at 600 ribbies by continuing his relentless assault on left-handed pitching. (Congrats, Hideki!) And Matsui did something that Cashman & Co. never thought he would be able to do again: play the outfield without falling apart.

By all accounts, Detroit loves Damon as much as the Angels love Matsui. Apart from his first game, Damon hasn't had much of an impact from an offensive standpoint. But he is a fun-loving veteran who has bought a winning attitude to a team that just missed out on the playoffs last year with a heartbreaking loss in that thrilling tiebreaker game.

We probably won't know for another couple of months if Cashman made the right moves. I'm not suggesting that Cashman has to worry about his job security because I don't think that he does, especially a year after the Yankees won a World Series in large part due to his moves in the previous offseason. But Granderson, Johnson and Vazquez are all on him and if they prove to be busts, than that is Cashman's responsibility.

Thanks to OneTwo1 via en.Wikipedia for the photo.

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