Cashman On WFAN: Must Find The 'Magic Potion' To Put Stanton In Best Position

Talks Latest Injuries, Cole Signing, Etc. With 'Joe And Evan'

Joe & Evan
February 27, 2020 - 5:30 pm

Brian Cashman has served as the Yankees' General Manager and Senior Vice President since 1998. During his tenure with the team, they've won four World Series titles and five American League pennants under his leadership.

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The Yankees were 103-59 last season, clinching their first AL East division title since 2012.

Cashman joined WFAN's Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts live from Yankees Spring Training at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida to discuss the 2020 season, the signing of supestar free-agent pitcher Gerrit Cole, the recent injuries to Giancarlo Stanton and Luis Severino, etc.

"We've gotta get that foundation correct so there's no reoccurence," Cashman said discussing Stanton. "He's had a number of different issues that have popped up that should be preventable so we've gotta find that magic potion there to make sure as he moves forward he can be in the best position possible to be Giancarlo Stanton."

Last year, Stanton landed on the injured list with a strained right knee and a Grade 1 left biceps strain. Stanton, under contract for eight more seasons, returned for the final regular season stretch (playing 18 games) and made 18 plate appearances in the postseason. 

Cashman continued: "This guy is a force if we can get him to post (season). He's frustrated because he worked his tail off this winter like he does all the time hes a physical beast hes a big guy at the same time and that size is something still collecitvely find a way to put him in the best position possible."

The Yankees' Giancarlo Stanton watches his solo home run against the Boston Red Sox during the fourth inning on May 8, 2018, at Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees announced this week pitcher Luis Severino will undergo Tommy John surgery. Last season, rotator cuff and lat injuries prevented him from making his debut last season until mid-September.

"He's young we'll get him back its a tough blow because hes so talented people forget how good he really is being a pitcher throwing really hard thats something thats part of that package too

The Yankees were the talk of the offseason, signing pitcher Gerrit Cole to a nine-year, $324 million contract.

It is the largest contract ever for a pitcher, easily beating the seven-year, $245 million deal Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals agreed to earlier this offseason. And the $36 million per season Cole will earn tops all MLB players.

"I've gotta thank the Steinbrenner family because obviously it's easy to land the big fish when they give you the big bait to fish with. Obviously he came here because he wanted to be here but at the same time it was the most money. You really feel horrific when you're way out of bounds if no one is close to you but after you're all done, it was nice to hear the competition was fierce at the $300 million level. At the very least, we did what we had to do.

"Hal Steinbrenner stepped up and it was more than we expected to be honest. It's hard to predict these markets and you dont know ... some of the goalposts had to be moved more to get it done but we got it done and our fanbase, our players, and our staff are excited about the potential he's going to bring here. He's really a special talent."

Last season, Cole, 29, went 20-5 with an AL-best 2.50 ERA and MLB-leading 326 strikeouts, finishing second in the AL Cy Young voting.

He was 16-0 with a 1.78 ERA over his final 22 regular season starts and then went 4-1 with a 1.72 ERA in the playoffs, in which Houston lost in the World Series in seven games to the Nationals.

After his senior year of high school, the Yankees actually selected Cole 28th overall in the 2008 Major League Baseball draft. He ended up betting on himself, attended college at UCLA and went No. 1 overall to the Pittsbirgh Pirates in the 2011 MLB Draft instead. Cashman has wanted Cole ever since.

"White whale, the Moby Dick, just trying to navigate and pursue, it became an obsession. I remember being in the draft room, had the draft board up, had him as a very difficult sign but in terms of talent, he was towards the top of the draft board. Slipped all the way to the back of the first round. Was staring us right in the face and knew he was going to be a tough sign but we thought because he was a Yankees fan that it was possible so we made the tough choice."

Click on the audio player above to listen to the full interview with Yankees GM Brian Cashman.