Brian Cashman on analytics after hiring Brian Sabean, Omar Minaya


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In Brian Sabean and Omar Minaya, the Yankees have added a vast amount of scouting experience to Brian Cashman’s front office this week.

But the general manager pushed back on the notion that the two former GMs were brought on because of an imbalance between analytics and pro scouting in the Yankees’ operation.

“I feel we are balanced,’’ Cashman said by phone on Thursday. “I think there’s an inaccurate depiction of what really happens behind these walls. I think people who are analytic haters try to present things inaccurately. I think we have one of the best analytic departments in the sports industry. And we have one of the largest pro scouting departments in baseball. The job is to merge all of the performance science, player development, pro scouting, analytics — they’re all different pieces of the puzzle. And one piece isn’t any bigger than the other.”

Still, the moves come after Cashman and managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner acknowledged earlier in the offseason the need for both of them to examine the team’s baseball operations department.

Yankees general manager looks on during Carlos Rodon’s introductory press conference on Dec. 22, 2022.
Corey Sipkin

“Maybe along the lines of the Astros and, ‘What are they doing differently than us?’” Steinbrenner said in November. “We’re gonna look at all of [Cashman’s] people. I think, for the most part, they’ve been great. We’re very balanced between analytics and pro scouting, despite what people think.”

Following that examination, Cashman said, the Yankees remained confident in their process.

The additions of Sabean, whose contract with the Giants expired at the end of this past season, and Minaya, whom Cashman said he’d tried to hire twice before, were meant to increase the number of voices heard in the organization — and not because the Yankees felt they might have become too data-driven.

“Whatever decisions are being made, from ownership to my department to the manager, they have to be made with access to all information,’’ Cashman said. “If we’re making decisions without all of it, you’re gonna be caught short. I feel like that’s how we’ve been doing business for quite some time and that’s how we’ll continue to do business.

San Francisco Giants general manager Brian Sabean watches the team work out during the 2010 MLB playoffs.
Brian Sabean worked in player development with the Yankees in the 1990s before winning three World Series as GM of the Giants.
San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images
New York Mets assistant general manager Omar Minaya shakes hands with Todd Frazier at Citi Field on February 7, 2018.
Longtime GM Omar Minaya, with former Mets and Yankees infielder Todd Frazier
Corey Sipkin

“This was just an opportunity to grab two people that I think will benefit us and we’re excited [about], but it’s not a representation of anything out of balance. I feel like the balance exists and there’s a false narrative that it doesn’t, and I’m not gonna be able to counter that.”

Minaya, for his part, noted he believes there’s a human element to the game that’s slipped into the background throughout the sport. He and Sabean bring a lot of that to the Yankees.

Cashman called Minaya “an amazing people person. He’s a great scout, his connections are vast both here domestically as well as his international reach.” 

Of Sabean, one of Cashman’s mentors in his early years with the Yankees organization, Cashman said, “He’s one of the best scouts I’ve ever known, first and foremost.” Cashman added that Sabean, like Minaya, has been involved in nearly every aspect of the game in different places over the course of his career.

“My job is to gather all information and filter it because information is the key to the kingdom in any industry,’’ Cashman said. “I think these guys are adding to what is already a really strong crew, and we’ll continue to do business as we always have, now with two more voices.”

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