With the Yankees passing on Johan Santana there is a lot of speculation as to whether Cashman will win his gamble and still be general manager next season. Cashman really took control of the team after the 2005 season. Keeping that in mind, I think I should point out some moves Cashman made that earn him a hug.
Trading Jaret Wright for Chris Britton
Okay, so we haven't actually seen much of Chris Britton. He spent the majority of his time in triple A. He only pitched 12.2 innings for the big league club, which doesn't seem like much, but Jaret Wright only pitched 10.1 innings last season for the Orioles as he went down with an injury. Not to mention that we still have Britton under contract. We never got the chance to thank Cashman for this deal. So I will take the opportunity to do so, and say that this trade earns Cashman a hug.
Trading Randy Johnson for Ohlendorf, Gonzalez, and Vizcaino
Vizcaino struggled at points last season but he also had a stretch where he was phenomenal. June, July and August, Vizcaino posted 0.77, 1.62, and 1.38 ERA's while pitching 41.1 innings. Too bad he posted a 5.79 ERA, 9.00 ERA and 10.13 ERA in the other months he pitched. Despite this, we got more out of Vizcaino than the Diamondbacks did out of Johnson. Vizcaino threw a total of 75.1 innings. Johnson only 56.2 innings because of injuries, and the Diamondbacks had to give him an extension to sign him.
Oh, and I haven't talked about Ohlendorf whose power sinker showed promise when he pitched out of the bullpen last season, and Alberto Gonzalez who could become a utility guy in the future. Once again Cashman, thank you for this trade, you deserve a hug.
Gary Sheffield for Humberto Sanchez, Kevin Whelan, and Anthony Claggett
This one is tougher because we haven't seen the results we wanted. Sheffield was a premier right handed bat, who made that Yankees lineup appear that much more intimidating. The truth of the matter is that there wasn't any space for Sheffield even though I would have prefered him over Abreu in right. Sheffield is getting older, and being able to cash in on a veteran like him was the right thing to do. Also, Sheffield could be a distraction in the club house. He had a bad attitude at times, and no one likes a whiner. The true value of this trade will be decided if Sanchez can return from tommy john surgery and dominate at the big league level. If it doesn't happen then the trade's a bust, but still, hug a Cashman.