Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |
The Yankees were first-guessed last offseason and again at the trade deadline when it didn't seem they would add more impact starting pitching, and were second-guessed when that choice to not add wound up happening.
They were also first and second-guessed when not trading for Justin Verlander (August of 2017) and Gerrit Cole (January of 2018), and not ponying up enough money to sign Patrick Corbin (December of 2018).
On Thursday, when reminded that the above three pitchers were currently pitching in the World Series and asked if the Yankees regretted passing on them, GM Brian Cashman stood behind the team's decisions during an at-times animated exchange with Sweeny Murti of WFAN.
"Why would you characterize it that I passed (on them)?" Cashman asked, with Murti responding by asking if there were opportunities for the Yankees to acquire Verlander, Cole, and Corbin.
"Verlander was a player, two-three years ago that was ... under our current, if you recall, our payroll structure that we were under was not going to fit in our environment then," Cashman said.
Citing the "directives from above," Cashman added that at the time Verlander was available, the "ultimate goal" was for the team to get their luxury tax issues in check.
"Verlander was not someone that was in play because of those protocols that were in place," Cashman explained. "That question has been answered several times over."
Cashman then moved on to discussing Corbin, who the Yankees were interested in but not to the extent of the Nationals -- who signed him to a six-year deal worth $140 million.
"If you're talking about Patrick Corbin, did we not make an offer for Patrick Corbin? Yes or no? You know the answer," Cashman said.
After Murti responded that he was told the Yankees did not make an offer to Corbin, Cashman said that they did.
"We made an offer to Patrick Corbin, Cashman said. "The Washington Nationals made a more significant offer on Patrick Corbin. So that would be false. So would you categorize it as a pass?"
Cashman then discussed the Cole situation, when the Yankees reportedly refused to part with Miguel Andujar as part of the package.
"Gerrit Cole was traded from Pittsburgh to Houston, did we make an offer to Pittsburgh for Gerrit Cole? Yes or no?"
Houston made an offer that Pittsburgh saw as a better offer than ours. This is all ancient history, but these are all facts. It doesn't mean we passed on anything. We made attempts to try to acquire them."
Toward the end of the exchange, Cashman was asked if he had regrets about the Yankees' process and said no, adding that there are certain things that can be controlled and certain things that are out of their control.
"You put your best foot forward and you live with it," he said. "I have no regrets."
While the Yankees won 103 games during the regular season despite not having Luis Severino for the majority of the year and despite not getting an ace-like performance from James Paxton most times he took the ball, the inability of their starting pitchers to go deep in the postseason (specifically against the Astros in the ALCS) helped lead to the bullpen getting a bit burned out.
After the Yankees lost Game 6 to the Astros, Zack Britton said the bullpen had been "running on fumes."
"That's why we're relievers, not starters. You overexpose guys, it's inevitable that eventually they're going to get got a little bit," Britton told Marc Carig of The Athletic. ". ... I still think starting pitching is what's going to get you a World Series championship at the end of the day."