Bye-Bye Brackman

The Yankees closed the book, at least for now, on former first round pick Andrew Brackman today when they decided not to exercise their option on his contract. Considering that Brackman did his best to impersonate Nuke LaLoosh in the minors this year, it’s not a shock. Brackman pitched 96 innings and managed to walk 75 guys, the same number he struck out. He was moved from the rotation, to the bullpen, where he pitched better and he even made three appearances out of the big league pen in September, but it is hard to say he is a prospect anymore at 26 with no control.

I didn’t mind it then, so I won’t pretend to mind the risk the Yankees took on Brackman now. It was a huge miss on their part, but consider this quote from Brian Cashman about Brackman made shortly after the 2007 draft

“On our draft board, and I think on most people’s draft board before the season, he was No. 1 or No. 2 with David Price.”

We all know who David Price is and the Yankees are never going to have a shot at guys like him, unless they lose a lot more than they have. That requires them to take bigger risks in the draft to make up for poor draft position. Brackman was that type of risk.

Look at the guy they picked in the first round of 2008, Gerrit Cole. Does the name ring a bell? That’s probably because he was the #1 pick overall in the 2011 draft because he didn’t sign with the Yankees and became the best pitcher in the nation at UCLA. Unlike with Brackman, they were right about the talent, they just couldn’t execute the signing.

Where the Yankees have been very successful is with international signings. Montero, Banuelos, Betances, Sanchez, Cano, Soriano, Rivera…they have used their money well in this arena. But, if MLB creates a worldwide draft, as some have speculated, the Yankees won’t be able to do that anymore. Then we would really see a different approach from Brian Cashman and his lieutenants.