With just over a week to go until the 2023 regular season begins, Ian O'Connor of The New York Post sat down with Yankees GM Brian Cashman to dissect the big decisions on his horizon.
In a column packed with smoke blown Cash's direction, the GM (knowing full well his job security isn't in danger) finally owned up to a flub that's been getting blasted from the rooftop in recent weeks: the Frankie Montas trade from last summer.
At the time, dealing from the team's pitching depth without sacrificing Oswald Peraza felt like a massive win; Montas, by all accounts, was a No. 3 starter with No. 2 upside (as long as you looked the other way on his home/road splits). As it turns out, the price was probably lessened because Montas' shoulder injury wasn't exactly solved yet. The pitcher recently revealed he was feeling "eh" at the time of the deal, and this week, Cashman followed suit.
Buried in a discussion of the team's latest head-to-head personnel debate -- Anthony Volpe vs. Peraza vs. Almost Definitely Not Isiah Kiner-Falefa -- Cashman finally admitted he probably deserved to wear the continuing heat emanating from the Montas trade.
"The GM does concede that he deserves some of the criticism, as in the case of the disastrous Frankie Montas deal. 'You can’t sugarcoat it —the Montas trade didn’t work out,' he said. 'We didn’t get a healthy pitcher, and that’s ultimately my responsibility.'"- Brian Cashman, via Ian O'Connor
Brian Cashman on Yankees' Frankie Montas trade: "We didn't get a healthy pitcher."
Yup. Whether you find fault with the medical screeners or the player's motivated ability to fudge his own status in order to escape Oakland, the buck stops with Cashman.
Did he jump at a lesser trade package because he thought banking on an injured Montas was a calculated risk? We may never learn the answer to that one. At least Cashman is willing to accept that he got the raw end of last summer's deal, and that the burden of fielding a healthy team falls under his purview.
Now, if we could only get him to admit that dealing Hayden Wesneski for a reliever in Scott Effross wasn't exactly a masterstroke, either, we can all move on.