As both the dean of Major League team chief executives and general manager of its most powerful club, Brian Cashman lives in a world of high expectations. Through the first half of 2023, Cashman’s New York Yankees lag in third place in the AL East.
Is Cashman on his way to an operational failure in the Yankees’ front office? Is he, in a word, slipping?
Grading the New York Yankees at the midway point of the 2023 season
What follows is a mid-term assessment of Cashman’s personnel decisions since the conclusion of the 2022 World Series with a particular focus on the extent to which those decisions have helped or hindered the Yankees’ performance.
The standard of measurement in Wins Above Average (WAA), a variant of Wins Above Replacement (WAR). For this purpose, WAA is preferable because unlike WAR, it is zero-based. That means the sum of all the decisions made by Cashman impacting the 2023 team gives at least a good estimate of the number of games those moves have improved (or worsened) the team’s status this season.
A team’s front office impacts that team’s standing in five ways. Those five are:
1. By the impact of players it acquires from other teams via trade, purchase or waiver claim.
2. By the impact of players it surrenders to other teams in those same transactions.
3. By the impact of players it signs at free agency or extends.
4. By the impact of players it loses to free agency or releases.
5. By the impact of players it promotes from its own farm system.
Here’s how Cashman stacks up by those five yardsticks.