Amid speculation about the pursuit John Lackey, the viability Chien-Ming Wang and the desire to bring back Andy Pettitte, there remains one ever-present question about the Yankees starting rotation. What will be done with the starters-turned-relievers? For the most part, general manager Brian Cashman has left all of next year’s questions unanswered until the organizaton’s internal meetings take place, but this afternoon he gave his opinion on Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain.
“I look at them as starters that can relieve,” he said. “But I look at them as starters.”
Again, Cashman stressed that nothing is set in stone until he meets with his pro scouts, but it seems a good bet that the two young right handers will at least enter spring training as rotation candidates. Any innings limits, Cashman said, would not be significant.
“I would anticipate going into spring training with as much starting depth as possible,” Cashman said. “Plan on having a whole list of guys.”
That list of rotation candidates would include Alfredo Aceves and could include both Chad Gaudin and Sergio Mitre, each of whom is still under the Yankees control if they decide to bring them back.
Other notes from this afternoon…
• Another name to keep in mind is Ian Kennedy, who’s pitching pretty well in the Arizona Fall League while making his way back from aneurysm surgery. “(Other teams) are asking about him,” Cashman said. “He’s a good, young, under-control starter that’s cheap, that we need. Not surprisingly, a lot of people would like to have the same opportunity. I’m not volunteering him, teams are asking about him, which is a good thing. They see the same thing that we see.”
• The Yankees have fourth options on both Juan Miranda and Edwar Ramirez, meaning both can be optioned to the minor leagues next season. Mark Newman had previously said he didn’t think Miranda had a fourth, but Cashman confirmed today that both can be optioned a fourth time next year. That’s not great news for those two.
• Cashman on speculation that the Yankees are going after John Lackey: “Anybody who says we’re on any player right now would be false because we have not met. We have not met about anybody.”
• Because I can’t help myself, I asked about the long line of minor league middle infielders who need to be protected from the Rule 5. Ramiro Pena is already on the roster, plus Kevin Russo, Eduardo Nunez and Reegie Corona are Rule 5 eligible. That’s a lot of 40-man spots to commit to middle infielders. “Something will give,” Cashman said. “Last year I had too many guys to protect and we did that three-for-one for Nick Swisher. We made the right calls. We had decisions to make about who we should protect and who we felt like, alright, we’re not going to protect but we think we’ll get them back.”