At long last, we’ve passed the halfway point in the offseason. Spring training is right around the corner, and it’s time to start the 2018 version of our Brian Cashman approval poll. 2017 was a heck of a year for the Yankees, who weren’t expected to play meaningful baseball in October. Somehow, they made it all the way to Game 7 of the ALCS. It was difficult to find much fault with the job Cashman did as the team’s general manager. In fact, 91% of Pinstripe Alley readers approved of the job he did as GM over the entire 2017 season. Will Cashman be able to keep fans just as happy in 2018?
He certainly is off to a good start. Cashman started the offseason by making a couple of small trades to clear roster space in November. First, he sent Nick Rumbelow to the Mariners for a pair of pitchers, JP Sears and Juan Then. He also struck a deal with the Marlins to ship off Caleb Smith and Garrett Cooper in exchange for right-handed pitcher Michael King and future considerations. Ronald Herrera was also traded to the Rangers for Reiver Sanmartin.
Of course, all of the Yankees’ substantial moves took place in December. On December 11th, Cashman put together one of his best trades ever and acquired Giancarlo Stanton (and cash) from Miami. The Yankees sent Starlin Castro, Jorge Guzman, and Jose Devers to the Marlins. The lineup was good before, but it is scary with the addition of Stanton. This trade also helped to solve the Yankees’ designated hitter problem. Although he isn’t expected to be the full-time DH, the Yankees will be able to rotate the DH spot to keep everyone rested (and there will be much better options than rotating between a half-dead Matt Holliday and Chase Headley). The following day, Cash traded Headley and Bryan Mitchell to the Padres for right fielder Jabari Blash. That move was designed to shed payroll and help the Yankees with their goal of getting under the luxury tax threshold.
Entering the offseason, there were a lot of question marks surrounding the rotation. Masahiro Tanaka was expected to opt out of his contract (but didn’t), and CC Sabathia became a free agent. On December 16th, the Yankees and Sabathia agreed to a one-year deal worth $10 million. He met with the Blue Jays and Angels before re-signing with the Yankees, ultimately deciding that he wanted to come back and win another World Series in New York. With Sabathia back, it’s entirely possible that the same rotation that ended the 2017 season will start the 2018 one.
Obviously, there are still some areas where the Yankees could stand to improve, and the rotation is one of them. The Yankees were interested in acquiring Gerrit Cole from the Pirates, but he ended up in Houston. Cashman was reportedly willing to part with Clint Frazier or Chance Adams in a package for Cole, but not both players. It has been weeks since the Yankees have done anything interesting, but that does not mean Cashman is done for the offseason. He just might have another big trade up his sleeve.
Do you think Cashman has done a good job over the offseason? Vote in the poll below and let us know what you think in the comment section.
Do you approve of Brian Cashman’s quality of work?
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