Cashman adamant the window is wide open for 2024 Yanks

November 8th, 2023

While the 2023 season ended with the Yankees missing out on the postseason for the first time since 2016, general manager Brian Cashman believes the organization is close to getting back to its winning ways. Cashman spoke to reporters for nearly an hour on Tuesday at the General Managers Meetings in Scottsdale, Ari., where he touched on everything from the team’s roster to the makeup of their analytics department. 

“I’m proud of our people and proud of our process,” said Cashman, who described the season as a “disaster” in August. “It doesn’t mean we’re firing on all cylinders; it doesn’t mean we’re the best in class. But I think we’re pretty [freaking] good, personally."

The Yankees finished the season 82-80, 19 games behind the Orioles for first place in the American League East. On Opening Day, the Yankees had the highest projected odds of making the postseason of any team in the American League, per FanGraphs, at 81.2 percent -- better even than the reigning World Series champion Astros. But the '23 season ended up being a particularly disappointing year for a franchise that hasn't been to a World Series since winning it in 2009.

“We thought we had a better roster than we had in ‘22 when we won 99 games, but obviously we didn’t come back with 99 wins,” Cashman said. “We came back with significantly less [wins].”

Cashman and the Yankees made the biggest signing of the year last winter when they inked Aaron Judge to a nine-year, $360 million contract. But then Judge missed nearly a month-and-a-half with a torn ligament in his foot, a period during which the rest of the Yankees' lineup failed to pick up the slack.

Cashman pushed back on the criticism that the team is too analytically driven. The Yankees brought in an outside company called Zelus Analytics to evaluate how New York operates its analytics department.

“People talk about we’re analytically driven, right?” Cashman said. “We had the smallest analytics department in the American League East. We had the largest pro scouting department in all of baseball. No one is doing their deep dives, they're just throwing [bull] and accusing us of being run analytically. To be said we're guided by analytics as a driver is a lie."

Cashman strongly believes the Yankees will be right in the thick of things when the 2024 season starts on March 28 in Houston.

“One of the things that we’re victimized is that we’re trying to go for it,” Cashman said. “We built a new window and that window is still open. … We’ve been fighting to get into the postseason and fighting to get our shot.”