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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Was Brian Cashman for the Alfonso Soriano trade before he was against it?

What is Brian Cashman up to these days? Monitoring the New York media and reading columnists "the riot act" for not casting him in the most positive light is apparently a huge priority for him these days. (If only he monitored players for the MLB draft with such precision!)

Here's what I am talking about: I was pleasantly surprised this morning when I saw a Wallace Matthews Yankees' blog entry on ESPN New York. In a blog entry today entitled "First Pitch: Sori, Hal," Matthews wrote the following in the original version of the piece, noting how Cashman opposed trading for Alfonso Soriano:
This is what a lot of New York Yankees fans should be saying today: Sorry, Hal Steinbrenner, for criticizing the decision to bring Alfonso Soriano to the Yankees at the trade deadline. 
While we're at it, GM Brian Cashman might want to offer his apologies as well, after saying publicly that he was against the deal. 
Because now, a little more than a month into his second go-round with the Yankees, Soriano doesn't just look like a bargain, he looks like a steal. 
This evening, here's what the article looks like:
This is what a lot of New York Yankees fans should be saying today: Sorry, Hal Steinbrenner, for criticizing the decision to bring Alfonso Soriano to the Yankees at the trade deadline. 
Because now, a little more than a month into his second go-round with the Yankees, Soriano doesn't just look like a bargain, he looks like a steal. 
Notice that the middle paragraph is missing, and the fact that Cashman opposed the trade is gone from the column!

Instead of just putting the missing paragraph down the ol' memory hole, Matthews does explain the situation on Twitter:

So I wrote the following on Twitter to Matthews: I linked to "Cashman anti-trade & overruled — again," Joel Sherman's July 27 New York Post column on Cashman, which I wrote about at the time, and said this:
In Sherman's original article, he wrote the following (emphasis added):
Alfonso became the second straight Soriano that Brian Cashman advised Yankees ownership not to acquire — and was overruled on nevertheless.
Just as with the signing of free agent Rafael Soriano, the general manager believed Yankees assets could be spent better than on Alfonso Soriano, two executives not affiliated with the Yankees told The Post.
Cashman would not directly confirm what he advised Hal Steinbrenner, but told The Post: “I would say we are in a desperate time. Ownership wants to go for it. I didn’t want to give up a young arm [Corey Black]. But I understand the desperate need we have for offense. And Soriano will help us. The bottom line is this guy makes us better. Did ownership want him? Absolutely, yes. Does he make us better? Absolutely, yes. This is what Hal wants, and this is why we are doing it.
That reads like Cashman is publicly taking a stand that he was against the trade. But I never understood why Cashman would be against the trade in the first place -- Soriano was old, made a lot of money, and looked washed-up -- three things that Cashman usually loves to get in his players! I wrote at the time that I thought that Cash made a big stink about being against acquiring Soriano to get the media on his side again, having them write sympathetic articles about how a big bad Steinbrenner is meddling again. The irony is, of course, that if Cashman hadn't made such a stink, he wouldn't have to do all this revisionist history, because we never would have known this was an issue.

Matthews disagreed with me on the meaning of what Cashman said, and we went back and forth on it on Twitter -- you can see the conversation here. While I didn't agree with Matthews, I was impressed that he took the time to talk with me, and that he was cordial, too!

Incidentally, I don't know how many Yankee fans opposed trading for Soriano -- I was against it, because I thought they ought to rebuild, not commit any more payroll to 2014,  but I was in the minority. And I am happy to admit that I was wrong!

At any rate, I have to agree with what my friend Steve of WasWatching.com says when it comes to Cashman: "The Thin-Skinned GM Strikes Again"!

4 comments:

Uncle Mike said...

I was also opposed to it, because I thought his strikeouts and his defense would be liabilities. And the only writing I'm changing is my own, to admit that I was wrong.

If I can do it, Cashman can do it.

But I still want to see Boone Logan in another team's uniform as soon as possible.

Lisa Swan said...

Mike, thanks for your response -- for some reason, your post showed up three times in a row, so I went ahead and deleted the first two versions.

One other thing -- if Cashman did not agree with the characterization that he was against the Soriano trade, then why didn't he read Joel Sherman the "riot act" when his article first ran?

Steven said...

So Cashman's point is he never said he didn't want Soriano on the team for free? Or just giving up the "prospect" was not worth it? Seems like slicing the salami a little thin to me.

FWIW, I was pro-Soriano mainly because the team had become so awful to watch that he might make things slightly more interesting and the cost was pretty low. Obviously so far so good!

Lisa Swan said...

Steven, you were right. For what it's worth, this team is much more interesting to watch with Soriano, A-Rod, Granderson, and now Jeter back again.

As for Cashman, the contortions he and his lackey fans in the Yankee world are making regarding his stance on the trade would make a yoga instructor envious!