Numerous trades from Brian Cashman have seen the 2021 New York Yankees take the lead in the playoffs after their terrible start to the year. And the fans are certainly grateful.
Where would this team be without guys like Anthony Rizzo, Joey Gallo, Giancarlo Stanton, Luke Voit, Jameson Taillon and others? Cashman’s has acquired all of these types over the past few years, but there are a number of other smaller, lesser-known deals that have paved the way for further acquisitions.
Cashman isn’t immune to criticism, but he certainly deserves more credit from this ruthless fanbase (including us). Almost all of his trades are strategic chess moves that allow the Yankees to look years ahead or preserve the talents they value most.
So how far should we dig? The first of those deals came in 2014 and actually helped fortify the Yankees reliever pen over the past few years and then helped them revise it ahead of this year’s trade deadline.
You may remember some of these professions, but they are definitely not in the foreground of your mind right now. And the average Yankees fan might not even know what happened! The world of baseball is moving fast; we don’t blame anyone here.
Even we forgot one! Let’s take a trip back in time, will you?
These three forgotten trades of Brian Cashman have well established the Yankees.
3. Francisco Cervelli for Justin Wilson (2014)
You might be wondering how this helps the 2021 Yankees, and so will you for the next one on this list. But this is the best example of the “ripple effect”.
The Yankees distributed receiver Francisco Cervelli to the Pittsburgh Pirates in return for left-hander Justin Wilson. No need to moan, we know how you feel about him. The move was made in November 2014, so Wilson spent the 2015 campaign with the Yankees before being transferred to the (ha!) Detroit Tigers in contention the following offseason.
Who did the Yankees get in return? Luis Cessa and Chad Green. We are all familiar with this agreement. Green is still a competent (somewhat) reliever box for the Bombers when he is able to locate his fastball and blend effectively into his curve, and, if we’re being honest, Cessa was very important in 2021. He has. helped stabilize a struggling enclosure. until he is traded to the Cincinnati Reds (with Wilson!) before the deadline.
This allowed the Yankees to free up some cash and a few spots on the roster, which in turn led to acquisitions of Clay Holmes, Joely Rodriguez, Andrew Heaney, Gallo and Rizzo. It also helped Albert Abreu find more meaningful innings, and he’s been really good since the Rays hit him at the end of July.
Do you see where we are going with this?