Brian Cashman’s two latest moves are more examples of his recognition that relievers are unpredictable and interchangeable, and it’s the best place to go cheap. Why he pulled an Ed Wade and signed Damaso Marte to a 3-year deal, we have no idea — but, outside of that instance, Cashman knows what he’s doing when it comes to the bullpen construction. Case in point, the minor signings of Andy Sisco and Brian Anderson…

1) Andy Sisco

The Sisco Kid is a towering (6’10″, 270 lbs) lefty reliever who put up a monster rookie year for the Royals in 2005. He pitched 75 1/3 innings that year with a 3.11 ERA (142 ERA+). He couldn’t repeat that success, having an awful year in 2006. However, he was likely impeded by an arm that was wearing down, because he went on to have Tommy John surgery in 2008. At 28-years old and a couple of years removed from TJS, the Yankees will give Sisco a chance to compete for a LOOGY role in 2011.

2) Brian Anderson

This name might sound familiar to you. If you google “Brian Anderson”, the search brings up a former OF for the White Sox, once ranked as the 37th best prospect in baseball, whom Ozzie Guillen kept running out there despite a below replacement level bat (career .285 wOBA!). Well, guess what? Same guy.

After the Kansas City Royals told him he couldn’t even make their team as an OF, Anderson wisely decided on a new career path: pitcher. While Anderson struck out as a hitter (over and over again), there’s some reason for guarded optimism about his new endeavor. Anderson is an elite athlete, as evidenced by his first-round draft pedigree and ability to field a decent OF (per UZR & TotalZone). Also, in his brief pitching debut in 2010 (17 IP), the right-hander put up a 2.08 ERA with 17/5 K/BB ratio (split between Rookie Ball, Single A, and AAA Omaha).

Obviously, Sisco and Anderson don’t figure into the Yankees immediate plans. Yet, it will be exciting if either of these players can blaze a comeback trail on the Yankees’ dime. Instead of shelling out multi-year contracts to average middle relievers (a la Ed Wade and Dave Dombrowski), Cashman spreads the chump change around to longer-odds guys with high-end potential. It’s a prudent and creative way to maximize the organization’s immense resources.