Yankees GM Brian Cashman: Why Chris Sale Was “No Sale”

Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports /

The Yankees are fortunate to have a General Manager in Brian Cashman who is on an unprecedented roll dating back to the series of trades he made at the deadline last July, and continuing through the off season with the signing of Matt Holiday to a one-year deal. In the middle, was the widely heralded clamor among several to enlist the services of Chris Sale through a trade with the Chicago White Sox. To their credit, the Yankees backed off, and “the prize” went to the Boston Red Sox. Cashman shows his genius in the thought process he used in making that decision.

The Yankees, and in particular Brian Cashman, knew when they went into the offseason that their starting pitching was, at best, questionable. They also know that the White Sox were making their premier starter, and one of the premier left-handed starters in the major leagues, Chris Sale, available – for the right price.

And after all the “feelers” were (publicly) thrown out there by interested teams, it quickly became apparent that the White Sox weren’t fooling around – they wanted your children! In a different era, the Yankees, at this point, would be emerging front and center as the patsy for the White Sox, essentially saying to them, “Which of our children do you want?”.

But, not this time. And when Ricky Doyle of NESN caught up with Brian Cashman recently, he found a receptive and pointed audience for his questions.

Read a piece closely from the article as Cashman explains:

"“I try to play in my mind what the equivalency would be with the Yankees,” Cashman said last week at a Q&A session with Yankees fans, according to NJ.com. “Is Moncada the Gary Sanchez? You’d have to give up a Gary Sanchez-type. Would it be the equivalent of Moncada? “And then you have to play around with the next (piece). Is it (a touted pitching prospect such as James) Kaprielian or Chance Adams or Justus Sheffield? It would probably be (Luis) Severino right now. So those are the two primers just to get the ball rolling, with the other two players yet to be named, to try to match up for Sale.”"

Translation: We could have done it, but we chose not to. And that’s so refreshingly typical of the Yankees these days. The Yankees could have done the same thing with Jose Quintana, who the White are still peddling with no takers because of the asking price. But again, Cashman demurred, seeking to win the war instead of the battle.

The Yankees Are Betting On Us

The Yankees, of course, are banking on the sophistication of a fan base that translates into patience as the team develops its core of young talent, not only this year but even into the 2018 season. That would seem to be a good bet as reader responses to stories appearing on Yanks Go Yard indicate a tendency in that direction.

At the same time, though, putting a stop to deals for Sale and Quintana does not mean the Yankees the organization is going strictly with the young talent they have assembled. Money is being freed up due to expiring contracts of CC Sabathia, Alex Rodriguez (yes, he’s still there), and possibly Masahiro Tanaka if he chooses to opt out of his contract at the end of this season.

More from Yanks Go Yard

Yankees fans can dream, for instance, how Jake Arrieta would look in the pinstripes in 2018. Or Manny Machado. Or, dare I say it, Bryce Harper. The good news, of course, is that the team will have more than a snapshot to look at regarding the young guys, who will have ample playing time by then.

If, for instance, Aaron Judge doesn’t pan out as the team’s right fielder, well then, maybe Bryce Harper would be a free agent to pursue. But if James Kaprielian rises to the top as many predict he is capable of doing, then maybe Arrieta isn’t an absolute need at that point, and the team can move to fill other holes.

But, the point is that Brian Cashman has given the Yankees an opportunity for all of this to play itself out, instead of jumping for the gold on a whim and a prayer that he was making the right deal for Sale.

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For Yankees fans who have been following the team for some time, this new and more conservative, the current approach may seem “defensive,” as opposed to what the team is more well known for in past years. But Cashman has got this. And we would do well to take the ride with him.