As Brian Cashman has been permitted to act like an actual GM, his moves this winter have been both bold, and conservative at the same time. Consider the trades of Jaret Wright and Gary Sheffield. Wright was a disappointment for the team as he rarely went deep into games and continuously pitched himself into jams. Gary Sheffield? Enough said. But Cashman was able to get some young pitchers in return. The market being what it is, pitching is at a premium.
Cashman's strategy of patience and frugality seem to be working (financial restraint and patience aren't familiar qualities to the Yankees or even their fans). Newsday.com reports that the Yankees will instruct Scott Proctor to prepare for next season as a starter. Why not? He's been so effective as a reliever, able to give Joe Torre innings and keep opposing teams bats at bay that this move could be a highly successful one. I've always been of the opinion that Proctor is overused, and that he gets into trouble because he's trotted out to the mound nearly every game and by August his arm is ready to fall off. If Proctor is really going to be groomed as a starter, and not merely dangled as trade bait, then I am becoming a huge Brian Cashman fan. How ironic that a man with the last name "Cashman" has to teach the Yankees how not to waste money.
If the Yankees do indeed eventually sign Barry Zito or even Ted Lilly, my guess is that Cashman by then, has waited out the market and played his hand as well as he could. As a fan, I'd prefer that than to the Yankees simply showing up to the bargaining table with the biggest check and possibly trading a reliable, and proven pitcher like Scott Proctor..