Previously, we reviewed Brian Cashman’s best trades, highlighting moves like the arrivals of: Aaron Boone, Alex Rodriguez and Didi Gregorius and celebrating the brief impacts of a player like Shawn Chacon who altered the 2005 season with his presence.
Now we look to the worst decisions of Cashman’s trade partner career.
1999: Mike Lowell for Ed Yarnall, Todd Noel and Mark Johnson.
Cashman himself admitted this was the worst deal in his career and he may be right. Although a bit unfair, Lowell was blocked by Scott Brosius and Brosius went on to earn his right to be there by his postseason highlights alone, but still, the Yankees surrendered a prospect who would go on to play for over a decade and eventually win a World Series MVP with the hated rival Red Sox in 2007. Noel and Johnson amounted to nothing in the Bronx and Yarnall, the centerpiece of the deal, would be traded for Denny Neagle.
2002: Ted Lilly and prospects for Jeff Weaver
Here’s what you need to know about this deal. Though quite bad in over 150 innings with the Yankees, Lilly went on to have a 15 year Major League Career and left New York with a 3.40 ERA right when he was finally putting it together. Lilly would go on to post a sub 4 ERA and throw 190+ innings five times each. Weaver, besides being known for giving up a walkoff home run in Game 4 of the 2003 World Series, setting the stage for the Marlins to come back from down 2-1 to win in six games, threw over 230 innings for the Yankees to a 5+ ERA, lowlighted by a 5.99 ERA and 1.61 WHIP in 159.2 innings in 2003, causing him to end up in the bullpen to give up the aforementioned home run in the first place.
2003: Nick Johnson, Juan Rivera and Randy Choate for Javier Vazquez
The Yankees never had any luck in dealings with Vazquez and he never became the top line pitcher he seemed to be everywhere else. Meanwhile, Johnson, Rivera and Choate all went on to have successful MLB careers with the Yankees eventually bringing Johnson and Rivera both back later on, after they were already in the twilights of their playing lives.
2007: Tyler Clippard for Jonathan Albaladejo
Clippard was essentially a failed starter for the Yankees and turned into an elite reliever, most notably helping to sure up the Mets’ bullpen during its playoff run to the World Series last year. Albaladejo never panned out for the Yankees. In the grand scheme of things, this trade is not a major detriment, but it is an example of giving up a lot of cost-controlled talent for basically nothing.
2009: Melky Cabrera, Mike Dunn and Arodys Vizcaino for Boone Logan and Javier Vazquez
If Cashman would have just never let Vazquez into his life his trade history would be infinitely better. Cabrera and Dunn are presently having decent careers in the majors (going on seven years later) and the latter has become the relief pitcher Logan essentially was for the Yankees anyway. Vizcaino is still considered a good prospect for the Braves and has broken into the majors. Vazquez wasn’t any better the second time around, pitching to a 5.32 ERA in 157.1 innings in 2010 before mercifully never playing for the Yankees again and retiring in 2011.