An Open Letter to Brian Cashman

As the Yankees begin a HUGE off-season where many names will be tossed around and many decisions will be made as the Bronx Bombers look to return to the post-season, here are some things I would like Brian Cashman to consider.

Dear Mr. Cashman,

First off, I want to suck up a little.  I think that you are brilliant and have done a tremendous job with the Yankee roster since you inherited the team after Bob Watson left the team.  You’ve brought back the significance of player development and pushed off the Steinbrenners enough that they let you keep Phil Hughes last off-season (which will pay off!).  I’m glad you’re back for the next few years.  With that said, I want to give you some unsolicited advice on how to proceed this off-season.

I was not happy with the potential of signing CC Sabathia earlier this year, but I’ve warmed to the idea with one caveat: if he thinks he can be legitimately happy here in New York.  It’s been rumored that he wants to go out west and relax, wear his baggy pants, and not have to be on the front page.  That’s perfectly fine.  Don’t force him to come here by throwing bags of cash at him.  You shouldn’t want a guy who doesn’t want to be here, otherwise the media will eat him alive.  If you look back at the August post I made, Mr. Cashman, I was very opposed to him because of his age and weight.  As friends have reminded me, David Wells wasn’t exactly a twig and he did very well and pitched for a long time.  Age 28, which Sabathia is, isn’t to old either.  I’d prefer a four-year deal but realize this is not happening.  If you have to go to six years, then fine.  But remember, only take him if he thinks he can be happy here – AS A PERSON, not just a ballplayer.

Do me and any Yankee fan who had to deal with Carl Pavano and Jaret Wright a favor and don’t sign AJ Burnett.  The guy is coming off his best season and is a free agent.  Sound familiar?  Think Pavano.  Burnett may have good stuff, but he never won more than 12 games until this year and is 87-76 all-time. He’s surpassed the 200 inning plateau three times in a 10 year career and I think that is bad news. Not to mention… this year… yeah he won 18 games, but had an ERA of 4.07 and a WHIP of 1.34.  His stuff is good, I’ll give you that, he does have a no-hitter under his belt, but he is not durable.  Be weary of another Carl Pavano on your hands.

As far as Derek Lowe, he’s 19 games over .500 in his 12 year career which… isn’t that good.  You think he’s a “big game pitcher?”  In 11 playoff series in his career, Lowe is 5-5 with a 3.33 ERA in 83.2 innings.  For comparison, let’s take a guy who wants to be a Yankee: Andy Pettitte.  In his 14 year career, Pettitte is 14-9 in over 200 playoff innings with an ERA of 3.96.  Worse ERA? Pettitte.  But with the familiarity of pitching in New York and the desire to be a Yankee, I’d take Pettitte.  Oh yeah, and Andy is a lefty, which should put him over the top.  Loyalty is also important.

You want more pitching?  I agree that pitching wins championships and you can NEVER have too much.  How bout the young Yanks?  Give them a shot.  If you really want some more free agents, think of a guy like Jon Garland, whose 14-8 season was lost in pitching heavy Anaheim.  How about looking across town at Oliver Perez?

You want hitting?  Me too. How about a backup infielder – a utility-type guy.  I’m thinking the Yanks are pretty set on outfielders, so no more unless you can trade at least one player.  Looking at the free agent market for hitters, it’s kind of slim so I’d look more to trade.

Anyway, I’m sure you’re busy, so good luck with the off-season and don’t hesitate to ask if you need any help or have any questions.

Yours truly,

Backwards K


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