Brian Cashman said he has not spoken directly to Andy Pettitte, but it’s his understanding that Pettitte wants to pitch next year under “the right circumstances.” Those right circumstances mean, the right contract.
But Pettitte is not the only starting pitcher the Yankees are discussing. Cashman flew to the winter meetings with agents Seth and Sam Levinson and discussed free agent pitcher Jason Marquis.
Cashman would not say whether the Yankees have made any contract offers, but he did say that “starting pitching is the first priority.” He also said last year’s incentive based Pettitte contract had more to do with timing than health concerns. The Yankees were at their budget limit, and convincing ownership to spend more meant an incentive contract. Worries about Pettitte’s health were not an issue then and surely won’t be now.
• Cashman’s list of priorities: “Pitching, pitching, pitching. And then obviously left field.” Finding a DH, he said, is a secondary concern with multiple options — including in-house options — as candidates.
• Making a bullpen move isn’t off the table, but Cashman acknowledged that relievers are “volatile” and it might be better to stay in-house with “people you believe in, who can do the job.”
• On needing a backup catcher: “Cervelli can do that job. Right now, I’m not focused on backup catcher. We have Posada. We have Cervelli. That doesn’t mean I won’t look at it.”
• The entire major league coaching staff either has been or will be offered a job for next year.
• A decision on what to do with Chien-Ming Wang hasn’t been made and Cashman said he will get the latest medical information before setting anything in stone. That said, it seems difficult at best, impossible at worst, to predict how effective Wang will be next season. “I can’t predict because he’s not pitching right now,” Cashman said.
• Not sure I ever saw or read this officially: “It was going to cost us Austin Jackson to get Washburn (last year) so we didn’t do it.”