Last last night, in the hours after the Yankees were eliminated from the posteason, Brian Cashman said he not begun thinking about the offseason. He wasn’t thinking about Derek Jeter’s expiring contract, he had not explored the free agent and trade markets, and he had yet to set a plan of action with ownership.
But that day is coming, and it’s coming soon.
“It’s not something that’s on my mind right now,” Cashman said. “We’ll deal with that stuff this winter, and winter is upon us. Now we’ll start that whole process of assessing what our needs are, begin negotiating with the guys to try to bring those guys back, and then look at the trade and free agent market.”
Obviously, one seven-game series can define a postseason, but it hardly defines a team. Cashman said the events of the past week and a half are “not going to affect anything” this winter. The Yankees didn’t play well in the ALCS. There’s not much more to read into it.
“Our team has areas of weakness that we have to tackle,” Cashman said. “I think we have a great team, but Texas just proved they’re better. It’s as simple as that. Obviously the job is to attack areas of weakness and hope that your current strengths remain strengths.”
There is a lot for the Yankees to do this winter. They have to figure out what to do with their manager. They have three cornerstone players facing free agency. They have obvious holes to fill on the pitching staff. They have an injured DH, a rental DH and a platoon DH with expiring contracts. They have to determine the potential impact of young but possibly ready players like Jesus Montero.
A year ago, Cashman went into the offseason with a championship and a weak free agent market. He tried to patch over area’s of weakness. This winter could see more significant changes.
Two changes Cashman doesn’t expect: Derek Jeter at shortstop and Mariano Rivera at closer.
“This is where they belong,” Cashman said.
Here’s Cashman after last night’s game.
Associated Press photo of Cashman with Joe Girardi