Brian Cashman has been the Yankees' Senior Vice President and General Manager since 1998, and since he signed a new three-year contract in October, it looks like he'll stay in that position through 2017. As the GM, Cashman is typically lauded when the team succeeds, and Yankee fans generally call for his head when the team happens to miss the playoffs, which isn't always fair. Over the offseason, we've seen the Yankees avoid most of the big free agents, and make a lot of trades. Time will tell if Cashman has any other tricks up his sleeve, or if the roster is set going into spring training, but pitchers and catchers report in less than a month which means that the offseason is winding down. Has Cashman done enough to improve the team, and do you approve of the moves that he's made?
Juxtaposed to last season, when the Yankees signed a plethora of free agents to large contracts, this season they have focused mostly on trades. While they did sign Andrew Miller and Chase Headley to multi-year contracts, they also opted for the less expensive free agents (Miller instead of David Robertson, Headley instead of Pablo Sandoval). Cashman kicked off the offseason by trading Francisco Cervelli to the Pirates in exchange for lefty reliever Justin Wilson. Knowing that the free agency market for shortstops was fairly weak, he also orchestrated a three-team trade for Didi Gregorius which sent Shane Greene to the Tigers. Just when it started to look like Martin Prado would be the Yankees starting second baseman, Cashman sent him and David Phelps to the Marlins in exchange for Nathan Eovaldi, Garrett Jones and Domingo German. Cashman was reportedly sad to trade Shawn Kelley to the Padres for prospect Johnny Barbato, but told Kelley that it was part of a bigger plan. That plan turned out to be trading Manny Banuelos to the Braves for relievers David Carpenter and Chasen Shreve.
There have also been several one-year contracts handed out. The first of which was given to Chris Young, making him the Yankees fourth outfielder. The Yankees also ended up bringing back Chris Capuano, who looked like he might have been headed to Japan. For now he looks to be the fifth starter in the rotation. Cashman spent most of the offseason talking about how it would be fine for Rob Refsnyder and Jose Pirela to have a spring training competition for the second base job, then the Yankees turned around and brought Stephen Drew back. Unless Refsnyder or Pirela have an amazing spring training, it looks like the job will be Drew's.
Along with the new contracts and trades, there have also been some conscious decisions made about which players not to pursue. Cashman said many times that the Yankees weren't going after any of the top free agent starting pitchers, and they haven't. They also decided to let Brandon McCarthy sign elsewhere because they didn't agree with what he was asking for.
Overall, the offseason has been a busy one for Cashman. Between all of the trades, and the new contracts handed out, the team has made some improvements, but also lost some key players. Do you approve of Cashman's offseason moves so far? Comment and vote in the poll below.