Brian Cashman joked that he walked into a sword fight without a sword.
Standing in a room filled with media, Cashman didn’t want to talk about the details of today’s meetings, didn’t want to give his opinion on expanded playoffs and wouldn’t get into specifics about potential player moves. He talked quite a bit more about the search for a pitching coach, but wouldn’t say who or even how many will be interviewed.
The only juicy bit of information he provided was nothing but a tease.
“I’ve got a small player move that I’m working on that might get done at some point this week,” he said. “But it’s small.”
In the course of nearly a half hour, though, Cashman did drop a few little notes of information. Nothing huge, just a few nuggets to keep in mind.
• The starter-or-reliever questions are official finished for Joba Chamberlain. “Joba to the pen,” Cashman said. “We made that decision after spring training. We’re not looking to put it back. We told him in the spring, you’re a reliever now. That’s it.”
• Alfredo Aceves is healthy enough that he’s expected to pitch in Mexico this winter. “His rehab resolved,” Cashman said. “He was throwing bullpens (and) felt fine. We’re probably going to be talking about winter ball here at some point. He was trying to make it. He would have been a potential guy, believe it or not, to our surprise, if we got to the World Series.”
• Aceves never had surgery.
• Cashman is moving forward with the assumption that Damaso Marte will not pitch at all next season. “Whether (a lefty reliever) is available in this particular marketplace is what I don’t know,” Cashman said. “It’s certainly an area that I would like to have two lefties in the bullpen. I just don’t know if I’ll be successful or not.”
• That said, Cashman has no plans to dump Marte from the 40-man roster. He doesn’t think he’ll need that spot to protect anyone from the Rule 5. “You don’t just release a guy,” he said. “With our Rule 5 protection, I don’t feel like I have a roster crunch.”
• Cashman said he only way he could imagine a roster crunch would be if the Yankees made a trade in which they acquired multiple players, but he doesn’t expect that sort of trade to happen.
• Cashman said he has “zero” indication whether Andy Pettitte will be back next year. Pettitte told Cashman the same thing he’s said publicly: That if he had to make a decision right now, it would probably be retirement, but he’s not planning to make a decision right now.
• The Yankees consider Ivan Nova a legitimate rotation candidate for next year.
• Last year was the final year of Juan Miranda’s four-year contract, but he doesn’t have enough service time to become a free agent, so he’s still under the Yankees control. They don’t have to offer him arbitration, he will simply come into spring training as a 40-man player who’s out of options.
• Cashman listed Miranda, Ramiro Pena, Eduardo Nunez and Brandon Laird as players who could play a bench role next season.
Associated Press photos