The Hank was quoted as saying there had been mistakes made by the Yankees, so now is as good a time as any to look back and see what mistakes were made. Now not all of these can be placed at the feet of Brain Cashman but the majority are his doing;
Mistake 1 - 2002 - Jeff Weaver
The Yankees tried to do something right here by adding a pitcher who had success entering his prime. The problem with this move is they clearly didn't do their homework on Weaver's maturity level. Weaver's makeup never would have allowed for him to succeed in New York. This move was bad for the Yankees and I think ruined Weaver as well.
Mistake 2- 2002 - Jose Contreras
Senore nervous was the anti- El duque - all stuff, no heart. Not only did the Yankees make a mistake with him, but they made it worse by giving up on him too quickly for Estaban Loiza. He probably would have never succeeded in New York but you have to at least give him a couple of full years to find out.
Mistake 3 - 2003 - Kevin Brown Over Andy Pettitte
After the 2003 season the Yankees decided to be cheap with Andy Pettitte. To replace him they traded for Kevin Brown. This one was bad. Ask yourself, if Andy is starting game 7 in 2004 do the Yankees win?
Mistake 4 - 2003 - Sheff over Vlad
Even though Sheffield gave the Yankees 2 good years Vlad has much been better. Sheffield brought an attitude to the clubhouse that wouldn't have been tolerated in years past. Also, Vlad is still going strong while Sheff is done.
Mistake 3 2004 - Jaret Wright over Jon Leiber
The Yankees tried to save a couple of million dollars by not exercising the option they held on Leiber and instead ended up signing Jaret Wright after the free agent market for pitchers exploded. They chose an unproven commodity in New York over someone who came in to New York and succeeded.
Mistake 4- 2004 - Carl Pavano
Looking back there really were not many better options. Derek Lowe was available, as well as Kevin Millwood, but Pavano was probably the best choice. In the end it didn't work out so it is still a mistake. $40 million dollars and 10 wins isn't exactly a positive move.
Mistake 5 - 2004 - Randy Johnson over Carols Beltran
In the 2004 offseason Big Stein gave Cash a choice - RJ or Carlos. This one was bad. Randy was a complete bust in New York and the Yankees are still looking for a real CFer. I was for the move at the time but looking back this made no sense. The Yankees ended up dumping 13 million a year (instead of the $16mm per Carols wanted) on Johnny Damon who predictably turned out to be a decent left fielder but no longer suited for CF.
Mistake 6- 2006 - Igawa over Lilly
After the 2006 season the Yankees lost out on the Dice-K sweepstakes and needed a plan B. The choice was either an unproven mediocore lefty in Japan, or a pitcher who had experience in New York and some success in the AL east. The choice was Igawa who has 2 wins to Lilly's 29 the last two years.
Replace on this years team Bobby Abreu with Vladimir Guerrero, add Lilly to the back of the rotation and Beltran in CF and you have a very strong playoff team.
Looking back, the Yankees biggest issue has been evaluating pitchers. In two years will we be adding the Johan non-trade to this list? Also, is it Cashman's fault or the Yankee scouts? Either way these are some of the key decisions that led to this year's failure and no championships since 2000. This offseason could be one like 2004, where 3 or 4 key decisions will be made. Let's hope some of these turn out better then those of the past.