As if there was any doubt in the first place, Brian Cashman is here to stay as the General Manager of the New York Yankees. After another successful performance at the trade deadline, he has solidified that he is not going anywhere any time soon. It’s almost comical to think that his job was ever in jeopardy given his long and proven track record but there were rumors circling that the Yankees may need to make a change at the top if they continued to struggle to find their winning ways. Three weeks later, the Yankees are the hottest team in baseball with the best record in the month of August. A big thanks can be given to the big bats that Cashman brought in without sacrificing any of their very best prospects in the process.
The Yankees offense was uncharacteristically bad for the majority of the early part of the season. They were desperate for some help at the trade deadline and Cashman not only delivered but exceeded expectations. The most glaring need was in the outfield, in particular a centerfielder, which is exactly where Joey Gallo fits in. His primary position is left field, where he plays at a Gold Glove level, but he is more than capable of contributing in centerfield as well. This addition was not really surprising but the other bat was in Anthony Rizzo, who also plays Gold Glove defense but at first base. He is a huge defensive upgrade for the Yankees and should really help the struggling fielding of Gleyber Torres from the shortstop position.
In addition to the much-improved defense that Rizzo and Gallo bring to New York is something else that they have been missing for a long time. That is, of course, lefty power. Their home ballpark is a dream for left-handed sluggers and now the Yankees have that luxury that they have been missing from the lineup for too long. The added defense and lefty power were exactly what this team needed, and Cashman delivered. They did not necessarily “need” an All-Star first baseman but going above and beyond to make the team as good as possible is not a new concept for Cashman. The Giancarlo Stanton and Alex Rodriguez trades in the past are both prime examples of that.
History of Success
Since Cashman became the General Manager in 1998 the New York Yankees have won the World Series four times, the American League pennant six times, and appeared in the postseason 19 times. This is one of the best overall careers by any GM of all time but the “issue” is that the last World Series appearance and victory was all the way back in the 2009 season. They have also “only” won the AL East division three times in the last decade. If Cashman were to put together this type of career with any other organization he would be absolutely untouchable but he is with the Yankees. They have extremely high, and sometimes unreasonable, expectations as a franchise. It’s both a blessing and a curse of wearing the pinstripes.
Amazingly, in all of the 23 years under Cashman as GM, the Yankees have never once finished a season below the .500 mark. They are consistently competitive for a postseason birth and enter almost every season as one of the favorites to make a run at a World Series. As a result of how long he has been with the team, the entire major league roster as well as the farm system are all players that he brought in. The fact that they are still one of the best MLB teams and have promising prospects at every level proves that he has a good eye for talent and elite abilities in deep roster construction.
Through 21 games since the trade deadline, the Yankees have a scorching hot 17-4 record. This includes a current 8 game winning streak after defeating the Twins in the first two games of their four-game series. They have only lost one series since the fourth of July as they continue to climb the American League East rankings. They are currently only four games behind the Rays for the division lead and are even in first place now in the Wild Card standings. Only a month ago there seemed to be a sense of panic around their postseason hopes but now they control their own destiny. They are playing like the best team in all of baseball since Cashman worked his magic at the trade deadline. No matter what happens from here on out, his job as GM is safe.
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