This offeseason has been a busy one for New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman. After a disappointing 2013 season in which the Yankees failed to make the playoffs for just the second time in 19 seasons, Cashman has been given the responsibility of rebuilding the Bronx Bombers. To this point, it is hard to argue against the job that he has done.
Many thought the Yankees would be in an elongated rebuilding process when Robinson Cano left for the Seattle Mariners. However, Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner have thrown out plans to cut spending and have instead focused on building a team that can win now.
After Cano’s departure, Cashman signed catcher Brian McCann, as well as outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran. He also went on to sign second baseman Brian Roberts and utility player Kelly Johnson.
The McCann and Ellsbury signings are great for the Yankees. Both players are in the prime of their careers and fill voids that desperately needed to be filled.
The signing of Beltran is a little more of a gamble, but it could be a very smart move by Cashman. Beltran is still a great hitter, and if healthy, he makes the Yankees’ lineup extremely dangerous.
The Roberts and Johnson signings aren’t likely to have significant impacts at the plate, but their gloves will prove useful for manager Joe Girardi. The Yankees’ infield is aging, therefore the more options Girardi has the better. Roberts is a reliable second baseman and Johnson can play almost every position in the infield.
As can be seen, Cashman has done an exceptional job at signing position players so far. However, he has failed to sign a starting pitcher, which was possibly the most important task coming into the offseason. He is fixated on signing Japanese star Masahiro Tanaka, but there have been numerous proven starting pitchers available since free agency started. If Cashman isn’t able to land Tanaka, it will be interesting to see what direction he goes in.
So far, Cashman has done a fantastic job at rebuilding the Yankees this offseason. His grade can still change depending on what happens with the Tanaka situation, but fans can’t complain about the results thus far. We will continue to watch Cashman carefully in preparation for the 2014 MLB season.