During a conference call to discuss the Michael Pineda trade, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman acknowledged his opening at designated hitter but said the free agent market is a “secondary” focus in trying to fill that vacancy. He will “first and foremost” look at the trade market to find a hitter.
“Maybe I use our excess pitching to find a bat,” Cashman said. “That’s a possibility.”
Without using Hiroki Kuroda’s name, Cashman said there’s another pitching addition that’s almost finalized, and the Yankees “stretched the payroll to get that done.” He indicated that signing Kuroda has left little to spend on a hitter.
Cashman wouldn’t speculate on an Opening Day rotation, and he wouldn’t say whether he considers Freddy Garcia, A.J. Burnett or Phil Hughes to be options for the bullpen. It’s clear, though, that he’s willing to deal one of his extra arms to find a bat.
“I just know we’re deeper,” he said. “And that means we’re better.”
UPDATE, 5:36 p.m.: The Yankees have passed along a quote from Pineda.
“I’m feeling great and I’m beyond excited. I never thought I would become a New York Yankee so early into my career. This is the best thing in the world. Pitching alongside CC Sabathia, I’m speechless. And playing alongside players such as Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter is unbelievable.”