The Yankees are exactly three months from their Grapefruit League opener. They play the Phillies on March 3, and have plenty of time to change their roster between now and then.
With the Winter Meetings two days away, the Yankees to-do list hasn’t changed all that much. They’ve taken care of their top priority by assuring CC Sabathia will be back at the top of the rotation, and they’ve taken care of their greatest need by adding rotation depth with Freddy Garcia’s new contract.
Even so, pitching remains their focus.
“We’re going to continue to look for ways to reinforce it,” Brian Cashman said yesterday. “But we’re proud of what we’ve got and have high hopes for what’s coming.”
Still on the shopping list three months before the Grapefruit League opener:
Cashman always says you can never have enough. Right now, the Yankees have a five-man rotation in place, with plenty of young arms ready to help if/when needed. But you can bet Cash & Co. will keep shopping for starters to add depth. Worst-case scenario, they find a long man in the process.
After back-to-back debacles with Damaso Marte and Pedro Feliciano, the Yankees might not be high on the idea of overspending or overcommitting for a lefty specialist. They have Boone Logan already, but clearly they’d like to have a second left-handed option in the pen.
Chris Dickerson can play at the big league level, but the Yankees don’t really need another lefty in the outfield. What they need is a right-handed bat like Andruw Jones who can fill in at the corners and hit home runs against left-handed pitchers. You know who they might look at to fill that role? Andruw Jones.
Backup third baseman
Given Alex Rodriguez’s recent health problems, the Yankees need someone to fill some time at third base. Eduardo Nunez can do it, this roster spot seems custom-made for an Eric Chavez-type veteran who can handle the defense and provide a steady bat whenever Rodriguez needs a breather. Chavez might make sense again if the Yankees believe he can stay healthy.
No. 2 starter
Hard to say whether this is a priority or a luxury. At the right price, you can bet the Yankees would love to have a dominant No. 2 to slide behind Sabathia at the top of the rotation, but Cashman is certainly creating the impression that it’s not willing to give up the farm to make that happen. The Yankees will shop, but it will have to make sense to buy.
Associated Press photo