This is not originally my thought, but I agree.
I am not exactly an advocate for giving props to someone for having the most resources, and ultimately succeeding. But although I think that Brian Cashman is far from the best GM in baseball, I also think that sometimes he has received too much blame in the past when no other General Manager had a Steinbrenner breathing down his neck.
This offseason has resulted in the Yankees acquiring three Type-A free agents, creating a loss of three draft picks. Giving these players more money than anyone else would give them? Not exactly a praise-worthy strategy. However, acquiring all three in the same season, meaning that the Yankees surrender a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd round pick, well, if that was planned (as I believe it was) then it actually was a good decision by Cashman.
Rather than sign one high-profile player each season for the next three years, in turn, losing a first round pick each year, Cashman chose to make his moves in the same free agent market, and the positive aspect of that, was losing fewer first round picks. Now, this is better than signing them in different seasons, but comparing this to not signing them at all is a different story. If one feels that Cashman should have avoided signing any of these particular free agents, then so be it, but I am simply giving Cashman credit for doing it all in the same year, and not in seperate years.
Next years free agent class, or so I’ve heard, is going to be very limited, at least in relation to the current one. So that is another reason Cashman is making these moves, now, rather than later. That and the “expecting” by Yankees fans and the little Steinbrenner sons that the Yankees must win right now. I would imagine that the Yanks will make a run at Matt Holliday next season, or even Jason Bay if the Red Sox do not extend Bay’s contract beforehand. But other than that, the Yankees will not come close to spending the amount of money that they have spent for the three free agents that they just brought to the Bronx.
So even though Cashman is in the best position to succeed, it isn’t as though he is a clueless General Manager.