It’s tough to blame the New York Yankees‘ sluggish 7-5 start strictly on their general manager, Brian Cashman. After all, he has been the Yankees’ general manager since 1997 and during his 25 years, the Yanks have been extremely successful.
Before becoming the general manager, Cashman was the assistant general manager under Gene Michael where he learned how to build a winning organization. As their general manager, the Yankees averaged 95 wins per season and fifteen playoff appearances. Also, under Cashman, the Yankees won four World Series and six American League pennants. Cashman has never had a losing record, but is his time with the Yankees up?
When dissecting the 2022 Yankees roster, you can tell it’s not built for long-term success. In 2021, Cashman spent roughly 210 million dollars on a roster that didn’t make it far into the playoffs.
For an expensive roster, there are many holes within their lineups. As of now, Cashman did a solid job fixing up their lack of defense by adding a defensive shortstop in Isiah Kiner-Falefa and promoting their backup catcher, Kyle Higashioka, to the starting role.
Yet, for many years, fans were complaining that Cashman needs to address the starting pitcher and sign more contact hitters. Every year, the starting pitching has been fragile. Instead of paying high-end money for another ace, Cashman would rather pay lesser money for a relief pitcher. Getting relief pitching is great and all, but it doesn’t solve the issue of letting up runs early in the game. The New York Yankees almost pulled the plug on Cashman back in 2017 for these reasons, but it seems like nothing has changed.
Home run or bust
Currently, the Yankees are a home run or bust team. Besides DJ LeMahieu and Gleyber Torres, the Yankees have zero contact hitters. Anthony Rizzo does an excellent job getting on base and he averages a solid on-base percentage. Besides those three players, the rest of the lineups is extremely streaky.
Players like Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge can hit the ball a mile, but with no one on base, the home runs provide little run support. For some reason, Cashman is in love with Aaron Hicks and Joey Gallo. Both players are solid defensively but are liabilities in the lineup. With Hicks, Gallo, Higashioka, and Kiner-Falefa in the lineup, the Yankees are playing with almost four automatic outs.
With a nine man lineup, it is extremely difficult to produce runs when four of them strikeout out way too much. The lack of postseason success shows that Cashman hasn’t built this team to win in the playoffs.
Money went dry
Being the New York Yankees general manager might be the hardest position in baseball, but it doesn’t make it easier when the money goes dry.
Going into the 2022 season, Cashman had many decisions to make. For example, Cashman had to figure out who was playing shortstop going forward and how to sign Aaron Judge to a long-term contract extension. The general manager can only do so much based on how much the owners are willing to spend. In recent years, the Yankees have decided to stay under the luxury tax.
In the past, the Yankees would outspend many teams to acquire all the top free agents, but those days are in the past. Currently, the Yankees are relying on their draft prospects. These draft prospects aren’t ready to win now, and it takes time to get them ready for the big league.
The time has come for Cashman
It is time for Brian Cashman’s run with the New York Yankees as general manager to come to an end. After passing up on multiple free agents this past offseason, the Yankees have not gotten better from last year. The team is still built the same and their roster is not built for a successful postseason.
The Yankees might win roughly 90 games this year but will exit the postseason quickly. With the American League East getting extremely competitive, the Yankees did nothing to shake up their roster. Besides fixing their defense, Cashman did nothing to fix the starting pitching situation and did nothing to limit the non-contact hitters throughout the batting lineup. Who knows maybe Cashman will pull off a blockbuster trade to solve many of these issues?
It’s still early in the season, but if the New York Yankees don’t make the playoffs, it is safe to say Brian Cashman is gone as the general manager.