Another wasted top prospect. And does it matter the method in which said prospect was wasted? The Brian Cashman specialty with the New York Yankees is either holding onto somebody for way too long as their trade value diminishes to the price of dirt, or allowing someone in the organization to completely ruin their mechanics/confidence/self to the point of uselessness.
Deivi Garcia is the latest victim of the process, and he could fall under both categories, depending upon how you look at it.
Garcia, once upon a time, was viewed as a future cornerstone of the Yankees starting rotation. Back in 2020, he was viewed as a savior when he came up from Triple-A and delivered six starts -- four pretty darn good ones -- and started an ALDS game against the Tampa Bay Rays.
And that's where it all went downhill. The Yankees got cute, used him as a disguised "opener," lost the game, tried to alter Garcia's mechanics in the offseason, brought him up for two games in 2021, didn't entertain trading him or shucking him off the roster to make room for somebody who might actually contribute, and finally designated him for assignment in Aug. of 2023 after they realized his struggles had reached the point of no return (6.52 ERA and 1.75 WHIP in 77 Triple-A games).
Bravo. No trade value. Not even "last guy in the bullpen" value. Just a whole lot of nothing. Pixie dust. But how can we forget about the victims who preceded the young right-hander?
Deivi Garcia DFA reminds Yankees fans of infuriating Brian Cashman non-trades
It depends how far back you want to go, but let's start in 2018. Remember Brian Cashman wouldn't make the Manny Machado trade because the Orioles reportedly wanted Justus Sheffield ... who Cashman traded anyway the next offseason for James Paxton? Hm, wonder what Sheffield's up to ... oh, a 10.00+ ERA in his last 18 Triple-A games? Brilliant. He's with the Braves now, sure they'll fix him.
Clint (Jackson) Frazier came over to the Yankees with Sheffield in the Andrew Miller trade with Cleveland in 2016. What did the Yankees get out of Frazier? A whole lot of controversy, a refusal to make him an everyday major leaguer when he proved himself, a refusal to trade him when there was considerable interest as he was lighting up Triple-A, and an eventual non-tender when concussion and performance issues felled him. In total, 228 games with the Yankees, a 104 OPS+ and one very cool homer off Blake Snell in 2020 playoffs. Lost his job to Brett Gardner, who the Yankees let go the year after anyway. More brilliance.
Who's next? Ah, Miguel Andújar of the famed "Andújar and Frazier for [insert star player]" package. We loved that one. Hilarious. While Andújar flashed incredible potential with a runner-up Rookie of the Year finish to Shohei Ohtani in 2018, the Yankees would later ignore the fact that his production was probably inflated due to Rob Manfred's Juiced Ball. Andújar unfortunately suffered a season-ending shoulder injury the next year and saw the field for only 12 games. Gio Urshela swiped his job as the team's starting third baseman and the Yankees' solution was to bury Andújar at Triple-A or (even better!) use him as a corner outfielder, a position he'd never played before! Andújar would play in just 93 more games with the Yankees from 2020-2022 after causing multiple (and rightful) stinks with the organization over his handling before being traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates for nothing. Instead of attempting to capitalize on his value after Urshela's emergence, Cashman allowed Andújar to depreciate and also negatively contribute to the big-league roster before kicking him to the curb.
Though Garcia's the most recent example, Estevan Florial is weeks away from being the latest. Admittedly, I'm not a huge fan of Florial, but this team has needed outfield help dating back to 2021. They've given Florial a grand total of 29 games at the big-league level to prove himself. His defense was refreshing, but his bat was bad.
But in what world is 29 games across three seasons enough to prove anything to anybody? The Yankees deserve scorn for how they treated him in April (they brought him up with the team on the Opening Day roster, designated him for assignment after one game, and then kept him around after he went unclaimed on waivers). Again, he's not the most inspirational option, but how do you possibly do that to a young player trying to make an impact? He's now having his best career season in the minors, batting .297 with a .977 OPS, 23 homers, 59 RBI and 19 stolen bases in 79 games. The Yankees still need outfield help. They will not call on Florial after not giving him a single at-bat in 2023.
He will be next on this list. Oswald Peraza may follow. Who's to say Randy Vásquez won't, too, since they refuse to give him a roster spot as he's continued to prove himself over and over? In our worst nightmares, Everson Pereira becomes a victim the longer they wait for him to provide an injection of life to this ailing team.
Feel free to insert more Cashman mishaps of this caliber prior to 2018 (Eduardo Nuñez in the Cliff Lee deal, anyone?). We just couldn't stomach doing it.