Friday, August 29, 2008

Enough second guessing

One thing I've heard a bit too much lately, especially from Mets fans, is how the Yanks should have traded for Johan when they had the chance.

Sure, hindsight being what it is shows that the players the Yanks could have dealt have greatly disappointed the team this year. Melky, Kennedy, Hughes... all a disappointment.

However, what makes me crazy is that looking at just the talent-for-talent transfer is only half the story. We have to remember that Johan signed for over $130 million. That's not insignificant, especially when you add in the 40% luxury tax hit.

Cashman noted the double-dipping issue yesterday:

"No, not necessarily," he said. "Ultimately, what I feel is a strong reluctance to trade three or four assets to another team [for a player] and then sign him to a multiyear contract. You trade for a guy, give up three or four assets [and then pay him], then you've crushed your payroll and your assets at the same time."

That's why he didn't trade for Santana.
It's also worth noting Cashman's thoughts on Hughes, expectations and what's to come:

"Certainly, he's stubbed his toe with the injury," Cashman said. "But when we held on to a guy like that, you don't do it and say, 'OK, in the next four months, he's got to do X.' He's got five years, whatever it is, to show why you bet on someone like that."

Cashman added, "When you're dealing with youth, it's very volatile," and he noted that 2008 served as a bad year for Hughes and Ian Kennedy while boosting the status of young pitchers Dellin Betances and Phil Coke and outfielder Austin Jackson.

We can only keep our faith in Cashman and his accountability, his judgement and the surrounding scouts.

1 comment:

tHeMARksMiTh said...

That's the biggest thing about all of this: time. What happens when Johan becomes Mike Hampton and gets injured for the next few seasons? It could very well happen. Second, I still believe in Hughes, and if he becomes at least a good no. 3 (which I think is definitely possible) then he'll fill in well behind Wang and Joba in the years to come. Johan could also live to be outperformed by Hughes over the next few seasons (this, I doubt, but it is possible). Having Kennedy may eventually be a cheap 5 option who could overperform (I'm not big on Kennedy and have never been).

As for the money issue, if there's one team who I don't want to hear about a contract "crushing the payroll", it's the Yankees. I won't bash them for having a $200 million payroll because if any other team had the revenue, they would happily spend it. Yet, I don't want to hear them claiming what other teams would claim about big contracts because, well, they are no normal team. Money was not the issue here. Maybe paying a guy a lot of money when we weren't really sure about Johan's arm health. But that's not what Cashman said here.

This issue really comes down to the prospects more so than the money. I advocated the trade because I hate it when teams pass up proven players for prospects (especially when money really isn't an issue). However, I agree that judging the trade (or non-trade) is stupid and premature one year into the six or seven years it will count for.