Not much excitement in the Yankees universe this past week.
There was some early speculation that Brian Cashman might hammer out a contract, but that speculation was quickly replaced by reports that Cashman and the Yankees had not even begun negotiations. Now we know those conversations will begin this week.
Everything seems to be heading toward a Cashman return.
When that’s done, the priorities will remain the same: Pitching, pitching, pitching. There will be inevitable discussion and speculation about hitters who could fit the lineup or the bench, but the Yankees offseason truly begins with CC Sabathia. That’s the first noise that truly matters.*
Is there any chance he’ll decide not to opt out? Can the Yankees get him re-signed before he hits the open market? Will another team push his demands and force the Yankees to give more years and more money? At what point would the Yankees have to turn away and begin desperately looking for a Plan B?
This offseason will become truly interesting once the Yankees start answering those questions. Until then, a quiet offseason is probably a good offseason.
Here’s all we’ve learned so far:
• Sabathia isn’t giving any indication about what he’ll do with his contract, but he’s still dropping hints about how much he enjoys New York.
• Cashman and Joe Girardi both agree that pitching should be the Yankees focus, with little indication that there will be a significant lineup change.
• Two of Cashman’s top advisors — Billy Eppler and Damon Oppenheimer — are possibilities for GM openings. This is nothing especially new, but the chance of losing one of them does feel more significant this time.
• Aaron Laffey, Raul Valdes and Scott Proctor are gone.
• Reegie Corona is off the 40-man roster, but still in the minor league system.
• Justin Maxwell has been taken off the 60-day disabled list, and it looks like the Yankees are — at least for now — going to try to hold onto him.
• No matter what happens, it’s hard to imagine the Yankees offseason generating nearly as much noise as Boston’s.
Associated Press photo
* Obviously, if these Cashman negotiations get messy, the situation will be a little different than expected. A quick, easy contract for Cashman will be quiet and expected. An ugly, lengthy back-and-forth will be exactly the kind of offseason noise the Yankees want to avoid.