Cashman Shoots Down Trade to Replace A-Rod

Yankees G.M. Brian Cashman all but ruled out acquiring a new player to help the Yankees get through Alex Rodriguez's time on the sideline.

"I'm not optimistic about doing anything," Cashman said Tuesday night. "I'm not going to be proactive in trying to do something. If something represents itself that makes sense, then maybe it will be different. I think our answer is here in camp."

Cashman said he looked at the schedule and saw 23 games in April and decided that it wasn't worth trying to make his team better. Forget about the fact that rehabilitation often has setbacks. That could turn 23 games into 40 games, and suddenly a quarter of your season's gone. Even if he misses just 25 games, Rodriguez will still have a hip problem serious enough that he'll need another, more invasive surgery the day the season ends and will certainly need more rest than he has in years past.

And, for that job, Cashman is bragging about not being proactive in finding someone who doesn't have a lifetime .322 on-base percentage in the minor leagues. Cody Ransom's got a nice story, but he's a 33-year old career minor leaguer that Cashman thought so much of that he gave Wilson Betemit, Morgan Ensberg, Shelley Duncan and anyone else he could find at-bats last season as a bench player.

Mark Grudzielanek's not the most exciting player that ever came down the pike, but he's got a better track record than Ransom, and he'd improve the Yankee bench as the season went on. Let's say Robinson Cano doesn't turn his play around this year, is Ransom going to give Joe Girardi a choice to stop writing his name in the lineup? No, not unless he hits .600 with eight home runs in April. Grudzielanek, on the other hand, would be a guy to give the job for a week while you try to straighten out Cano.

The refusal to use this as a wake-up call for all that's wrong with the bench would be infuriating if it wasn't so damn predictable. The Yankees are studded with expensive big names up and down the lineup, but the guys behind them are picked up on the cheap. It's like driving a Bentley on inferior tires, an inexplicable choice in the face of how seriously you've taken the rest of your automobile. It is precisely the kind of thing that calls for proactive work from the general manager.  

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to and in addition to his duties for

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