Yankees GM: Quant Analysis Key To Winning
Cashman (cont’d.): There are different ways to execute a baseball model, and ultimately the Yankees have, like many franchises, maybe an extra tool in the toolbox of consistency and utilizing the financial markets to their advantages because of the market we play in. But at the same time, a number of basic labor agreements have targeted the upper markets to reel them in and hold them back, and they have done that over the last number of years, and it’s been very successful.
For instance, there’s revenue sharing. There is the luxury-tax penalty if you’re over a certain amount of payroll. And it certainly has affected how we do business as well as others. So, I think [Commissioner] Bud Selig needs to be congratulated. He has equalized the playing field in many respects. It’s not totally perfect and it never can be, because obviously you have Toronto Blue Jays constraints dealing in Canada and the dollar, and their issues are different than maybe other clubs. But at the same time, I think everybody does have a real opportunity to compete and qualify for a championship ring.
IU: With investments, a lot of times people have the right idea, but either the investment doesn’t click and they run out of money, or they give up on the idea only to see two days later their idea actually succeed. In that similar vein, in terms of trading players or keeping players, is there a player you would care to speak to that maybe you traded too early and then you saw him blossom on another team? And conversely, is there a player that maybe you held onto too long?
Cashman: Mike Lowell is a player that has now since retired, but he was a New York Yankee well before he was a World Champion Marlin and then eventually a World Champion Red Sox. Mike Lowell was a third baseman at our Columbus Clipper minor-league affiliate. We won the World Series in ’98 with Scott Brosius as our third baseman, and he was a World Series MVP, so we signed Scott Brosius to a three-year contract, which kind of put the nail in Mike Lowell’s coffin with the Yankees at that time.
So we took the depth of that position of strength for us at third base in Mike Lowell and we traded him to the Marlins for three young starting pitchers that would shore up an area of weakness for this franchise. And Mike really turned into a heck of a player over the next 10 to 15 years after that and helped the Marlins to a World Series title. He eventually got traded to the Red Sox and helped them to two World Series titles. And he is one of the game’s quality people and great players. Scott Brosius was a fantastic thrust for our championship runs and he was a world champion I don’t know how many times over, three times over probably, but that was a player we traded too early or I traded too early.
Which player did I trade too late? There are probably a number of them that I could name, and I say “a number of them” because when it’s too late, you can’t trade them. So, especially with the investment that we have in our players, once one of these guys with a big contract goes on the wrong side of the mountain, then it’s kind of too late to trade them, because no one is going to want them.
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