Earlier today, Brian Cashman attended WFAN’s “Breakfast With a Champion.” By all accounts, he must have ingested some truth serum along with his waffles, because his answers were unusually frank. While most of the baseball world is buzzing with the news that he doesn’t think Derek Jeter will finish his current contract at short, to me the biggest news that came out of the event is this: Cashman doesn’t think Joba Chamberlain will ever be healthy enough to return to the starting rotation. ESPN’s Amanda Rykoff relayed this quote via Twitter:
“Francesa: Any chance of Joba in the rotation? Cashman: No. He hasn’t been same since injury in TX.”
Folks, the idea that Jeter won’t be playing shortstop when he’s 40 shouldn’t surprise anyone. But the idea that a GM who openly admits his pitching staff needs one more quality starter also admitting a prized prospect is too injured to start – wow.
Consider the implications. In one sentence, Cashman condemned the 25 year old to a career as a middle-reliever – and an injured one, at that. Any chance the Yankees had of trading Chamberlain for even a back-of-the-rotation innings eater are right out the window. If Joe Girardi even entertained the idea of giving Joba another shot at the #5 spot in the rotation, he’s just been undercut by his GM. Just for good measure, it also confirms the idea that Cashman & Co., by screwing around with the way they’ve handled the one-time phenom, destroyed a promising career.
I’m hard-pressed to find another instance of a general manager undercutting his own team this way.