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  1. #1
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    Cashman: Stanton a 'great Yankee'; GM expresses regret over how lefty's tenure ended

    Cashman: Stanton a 'great Yankee'
    GM expresses regret over how lefty's tenure ended

    By Mark Feinsand / MLB.com
    http://yankees.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/ny..._nyy&fext=.jsp


    NEW YORK -- On the day the Yankees officially announced the addition of left-hander Chris Hammond, general manager Brian Cashman spoke publicly for the first time about the events that led to the end of Mike Stanton's tenure in the Bronx.

    Cashman, speaking to the media for the first time in more than three weeks, said he regretted the events that took place last week, but said that the Yankees didn't have much of a choice.

    According to Cashman, Hammond's agent told the Yankees last Friday afternoon that Hammond had an offer on the table from another team, and that they had to let that team know their answer one way or another by 5 p.m. That gave the Yankees just a few hours to figure out what to do with regards to Stanton and Hammond.

    "He put a deadline on us by 5 o'clock, which set off a chain of events that I wish didn't come out the way they did," Cashman said. "But we were in a position to secure a left-handed reliever that we were excited about at numbers that fit into our budget parameters. That situation arose unexpectedly on Friday, so we shopped to see if we could do something better, which put Mike in a position to make a decision within a very short time period. That's part of the new environment we're working in, and that's how it came down."

    Cashman had nothing but good things to say about Stanton, who spent six years setting up Mariano Rivera, winning three World Series titles in that span.

    "Mike Stanton has been a tremendous Yankee since 1997, and I can't say enough about him," Cashman said. "He was a great Yankee, we had great years together, and he'll continue to have success in the big leagues because he's that type of pitcher and person. Ultimately, we signed the player that our scouts were most excited about."

    Cashman will head to the Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tenn., looking to pare payroll, as Raul Mondesi, Sterling Hitchcock and Rondell White remain on the trading block.

    "The mission statement is still the same. We're working on reducing payroll and at the same time putting together a team that could represent our league in the World Series next year," Cashman said. "Those are the parameters I'm operating under, and every situation I've approached so far has been under those guidelines."

    Those deals include re-signing Robin Ventura for $5 million, a savings of $3.25 million from his 2002 salary, signing Hammond to a deal averaging $2.4 million over two years, and bringing back backup catcher Chris Widger for $750,000.

    "The few deals we've done so far have reduced payroll at that position, some to a higher degree and others to a lower degree," Cashman said. "The end result has been the same, reducing rates in response to the collective bargaining agreement."

    As for the areas that still need to be addressed, Cashman labeled the pitching staff -- the bullpen in particular -- as the top priority.

    "We're working with a very large jigsaw puzzle and the ultimate goal is to have all those pieces fit into place between now and the first pitch on Opening Day," Cashman said. "Pitching in the bullpen from the right side is still a question mark. We currently have six starters [Andy Pettitte, Mike Mussina, Jeff Weaver, David Wells, Orlando Hernandez and Sterling Hitchcock] under our control, and we still have ongoing discussions with Roger Clemens, the potential of trade talks and other free agents. The pitching staff and how it shakes out remains to be seen. We'll have to wait and see how it looks when the dust settles."

    By offering Clemens arbitration, the Yankees have until Jan. 8 to negotiate a new deal with the 40-year-old right-hander. Cashman chose not to speculate on the chances that Clemens will return to the Yankees, saying only that discussions with his representatives are ongoing.

    "We both opted to keep the discussions going," Cashman said. "It might culminate into a re-signing. Roger has been a tremendous Yankee for us, and [acquiring him from Toronto in in 1999] is one of the moves I'm very proud to be associated with in my tenure as general manager. Whether his employment remains here is to be determined. We have a good relationship with his agents, and dialogue is always key, but we aren't bound to anything and nor is he."

    Mark Feinsand is a reporter for MLB.com. He can be reached at mfeinsand@yankees.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.



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    GM Cashman has different agenda for Yankees
    Yanks hold preliminary talks with Matsui's agent
    http://espn.go.com/mlb/news/2002/1212/1476024.html
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Associated Press


    NEW YORK -- Brian Cashman has a different set of goals this offseason. Not only is the New York Yankees' general manager intent on making the moves that can get the team back to the World Series, he needs to cut payroll, too.

    "We're working under an environment now that is different than what we're used to operating under," Cashman said Thursday, the eve of baseball's winter meetings.

    "The only priority I have is to evaluate all the opportunities that present themselves to the Yankees and see if it fits our current direction, which is reducing payroll and getting our club back to where we want it to be."

    That's a far cry from past offseasons, when the Yankees spent whatever was necessary to build a championship team. The free spending paid off, with the Yankees making the postseason eight straight years and winning four World Series titles.

    But under baseball's new labor deal, the Yankees estimate they will pay $55 million in revenue sharing and luxury tax next year, up from about $33 million they gave other teams this year.

    Cashman is under orders from owner George Steinbrenner to cut this year's payroll of about $135 million, by far the highest in the major leagues.

    The Yankees have discussed deals to unload the contracts of Raul Mondesi, Sterling Hitchcock and Rondell White to make room for key additions.

    New York is interested in Japanese slugger Hideki Matsui, Montreal pitchers Bartolo Colon and Javier Vazquez, and Cuban pitcher Jose Contreras.

    The Yankees held their first preliminary talks Thursday with Matsui's agent, Arn Tellem, and also are looking at free agent Todd Zeile as a backup infielder, an unidentified team official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

    The Yankees are also negotiating with one of their own players who became a free agent, Roger Clemens, who will command a large salary.

    "We're working with a very large jigsaw puzzle," Cashman said. "The ultimate goal is to have all those pieces fall into place and properly into place by the first pitch opening day."

    The Yankees have already made two signings, keeping third baseman Robin Ventura -- at a $3.25 million pay cut -- and bringing in left-handed setup man Chris Hammond for $4.8 million for two years.

    Hammond will replace Mike Stanton, cut loose last weekend after six seasons in New York.

    Hammond's agent, Bo McKinnis, notified Cashman on Dec. 6 that he had another offer and the Yankees needed to make a proposal by 5 p.m.

    Cashman then offered Stanton, Hammond and Mark Guthrie the same contract and gave them until 5:15 p.m. to accept it. Stanton didn't even respond, upset that he was being offered a pay cut.

    "I wish it didn't come out the way it did," Cashman said. "What was reported was accurate, unfortunately."

    It worked out well for Hammond, who after being out of baseball 2 years, went 7-2 with an 0.95 ERA in 76 innings for Atlanta this season. He was only the third pitcher since 1900 to finish with an ERA under 1.00 with a minimum of 70 innings.

    After discussing his situation with friend David Weathers, a former Yankee, Hammond didn't hesitate to sign with New York.

    "He said if the Yankees are interested in you and they offer you a contact, it's almost impossible to say no," Hammond said. "You have to be out of your mind to not want to pitch for the Yankees."

    Hammond said he was a little nervous about joining the Yankees but expects that to die down in time for the season.

    "Hopefully after the first couple of games, the jitters and the butterflies will calm down and I will pitch like I know how to pitch," he said.

    Hammond will be paid $2.2 million next season and $2.4 million in 2004. The Yankees have a $3 million club option for 2005 with a $200,000 buyout.

    The Yankees also signed backup infielder Enrique Wilson to a $700,000, one-year contract. The 29-year-old Wilson hit .181 in 105 at-bats last season. He was acquired by the Yankees from Pittsburgh in June 2001.

    With the signing of Wilson, New York has two players still eligible for salary arbitration: pitcher Orlando Hernandez and outfielder Shane Spencer.

  2. #2
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    Thanks for the post, Carissa. One quote: "The free spending paid off, with the Yankees making the postseason eight straight years and winning four World Series titles.The free spending paid off, with the Yankees making the postseason eight straight years and winning four World Series titles.
    "
    annoys me. It was not only free spending that "paid off" with us "making the postseason eight straight years and winning four World Series titles.", especially the first 4 or 5 years. Sure, it helped, but what got us there in the first place ('95, '96, '97, even '98) was good scouting and the right kind of players, mostly developed in our farm system, or good trades for low profile players!

    P.S. It was also nice to hear Cashman speak of Stanton the way he did. I was very upset about the reports of the way Stanton was let go. To me, that was not the "Yankee way".

  3. #3
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    Originally posted by The Q Bomb
    . . . One quote: "The free spending paid off, with the Yankees making the postseason eight straight years and winning four World Series titles.The free spending paid off, with the Yankees making the postseason eight straight years and winning four World Series titles.
    "
    annoys me. It was not only free spending that "paid off" with us "making the postseason eight straight years and winning four World Series titles.", especially the first 4 or 5 years. Sure, it helped, but what got us there in the first place ('95, '96, '97, even '98) was good scouting and the right kind of players, mostly developed in our farm system, or good trades for low profile players!

    . . .
    Indeed. That really needs to be restated. Maybe, someday, Cashman will "get" it.

  4. #4
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    There is NO excuse for the way they treated Stanton.

  5. #5
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    Originally posted by murcer02
    There is NO excuse for the way they treated Stanton.
    Although I don't know the explicit details, giving him 15 minutes to decide on a contract is just plain rude.
    Letting Stanton go is enough to keep the Yankees out of the postseason- but Mendoza too? The bullpen is pretty much nothing now, and without that, there can be no victory.

  6. #6
    If Hammond was the first choice all along, why even go through the act of leading Stanton on? Did they want to make it look like it was his choice to leave?

  7. #7

    Frankly...

    In 1998, the year the team won those 114 games, the team was the antithesis of a "bought to win" team.

    Almost all of the players came up through the Yankee farm system, were long-time Yankees (that is, had been around in 1996), or were acquired in competitive or risky trades. The biggest new Yankees were Knoblauch, Brosius, and El Duque. Knoblauch was acquired for some very talented youths (Guzman and Milton). Brosius was claimed off the scrap heap. El Duque was a once-in-a lifetime kind of thing.

    Even the 1999 deal that brought in Roger Clemens cost the Yanks David Wells, a consistent starter. Clemens was "only" 14-10 that year too, so immediate returns were low.

    So, I ask, when did the Yankees get this reputation as a team that bought up players? It might have been 2000 when the team slapped up David Justice and Denny Neagle near the end of the run, but I think it was 2001 with the acquisition of Mike Mussina. But since that was the Yanks only big free agent signing, gosh, what's with this reputation?

    In 2002, the Yanks bought Giambi. They also did their usual somewhat risky deals--signing Wells and Ventura, for instance. However, the team did spike in big-budget deals this year.

    So did the Yanks succeed by buying top players? NO! Their cornerstone players have been with the club for a long time. It's just that every year the Yanks seem to add a big budget new player. The three that have attracted the most attention are Clemens, Mussina, and Giambi. Clemens was traded, not bought, and Mussina/Giambi have not produced a World Series ring yet, so I don't know how those "buyings" produced wins.

    I mean, Texas is a team that buys players. Not counting A-Rod, this year they bought Everett, Juan Gone, and Chan Ho Park. Boston buys players--Manny, Tony Clark, Damon, Burkett, Urbina, Pedro, phew! If any of those two teams would have won the Series 3 times in a row or something, they'd be the ones criticized.

  8. #8
    Well, if Stanton's agent told the Yankees that they had to have an answer to their proposal by 5pm, and it sent them scrambling to look at their options, I can see how it turned out that he was only given a few minutes to decide. I understand, but like Cashman, I regret that that's the way things ended.

  9. #9
    I know it would NEVER happen, but I wish Clemens would consider a move to the pen right about now, just like Smoltz.

  10. #10
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    Steinbrenner and Cashman better hope that Stanton and Mendoza don't come back to haunt them in 2003. If either one or both sign with American League East teams like Boston or Baltimore, the Yanks had better hope that Hammonds is the real thing and can compensate for the loss of these two Yankee contributors!

  11. #11
    NYYF Cy Young

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    Originally posted by Slippery Elm


    Indeed. That really needs to be restated. Maybe, someday, Cashman will "get" it.
    it doesn't appear that way. The Yankees are still willing to sacrifice the future for the season ahead. This has been George's MO since day one. Sell everything to win now! It's that mindset that is going to ship out some great young talent. They are stripmining the minors to pay for the players they think will help us win in 2003, 2004 and beyound be damed. Granted, Colon is young and is good, right now. He is SO NOT worth what the Yanks are about to spend on him. He is only one player. We still need more than Colon to win. Cashman will "NOT GET IT" anytime soon, neither will George. They will need to learn the hard way. God forbid that something happens to sideline Colon during the season....who's head will roll? Then the price paid will come into focus, sadly.
    John

  12. #12
    NYYF Cy Young

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    Originally posted by murcer02
    There is NO excuse for the way they treated Stanton.
    How true! Cashman's remarks are all BS. Had to say something to save face in wake of public opinion on the Stanton debacle. Their remorse is pure horsecrap, I don't buy a word of it........do you?
    John

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