The Yankees haven’t played baseball in nearly three months, the offseason is halfway over, and last season is in the rearview mirror. However, before 2016 officially comes to a close it is time to wrap up PSA’s year-long Brian Cashman approval poll.
This poll originally kicked off mid-January 2016, after the Yankees had acquired Aaron Hicks, Starlin Castro, Chad Green, Luis Cessa, Aroldis Chapman, Kirby Yates, and Ronald Torreyes. Since the Yankees avoided the free agency market altogether, Cashman was forced to do the best he could to improve the team through trades. He earned an approval rating of 69% in January. The Yankees didn’t really do anything for the rest of the offseason, so the poll resumed towards the beginning of April. Yankees fans had every reason to be optimistic before the team started playing poorly, so Cashman’s approval rating climbed to 76% in April.
The team played poorly in May and June, and Cashman’s approval rating similarly took a nosedive over that span. His approval rating fell to 43% in May before crashing down to 34% in June. The consensus seems to be that it is Cashman’s fault when the team is bad, but he was able to rebound after the trade deadline. Prior to the deadline, Cashman’s approval rating towards the end of July was back up to 59%. He hadn’t made any trades yet at that point, but the Yankees had started to play a bit better. As the trade deadline approached, it was clear that the Yankees needed to sell, but it took the front office a few weeks to agree to unload some of the Yankees’ best players.
When all was said and done, the Yankees traded away Chapman, Andrew Miller, Carlos Beltran, and Ivan Nova, and in return acquired some of the best prospects in baseball, including Clint Frazier, Gleyber Torres, and Dillon Tate. After calling up some of the youngsters, the Yankees did the unthinkable and started to play better. The Yankees finished August with a 17-10 record, and Cashman’s approval rating rocketed up to 90% for the month of August.
There was a time during the Yankees’ seven-game winning streak when it was entirely possible that the team might just make the playoffs after all. Of course, the wheels fell off after that and they ended up dropping seven of their next eight games. The Yankees finished the month with a 14-14 record, and Cashman’s numbers dropped a bit, but he still finished the season on a high note with an 81% approval rating (I decided to skip doing an October poll since the Yankees only had two games to play).
For the most part, PSA readers approved of Cashman’s quality of work this year, especially after the trade deadline passed. What will 2017 have in store for the Yankees and Cashman? Check back in January when we start all over with next year’s approval poll.