Standing at the top of the Landmark Building in Stamford this morning, Brian Cashman talked about more than his catching situation. These are a few of the miscellaneous notes.
• Cashman said he’s actively looking for additional infield depth. “It’s an area that I will focus on, but whether anything materializes from that area (is impossible to say). We have people on the roster currently. It’s just, what’s the ability to upgrade on it? What’s the availability in terms of what’s in the marketplace, both free agent and trade? Does any of that make sense with the cost associated with it, whether it’s your assets as a player or a dollar amount? And if you do anything in that capacity, how does it take away from all the other areas on the field that we need to address as well?”
• With Mariano Rivera’s new contract about to become official, Cashman said he feels no need to add another late-inning reliever. “On top of Mariano?” Cashman said. “I don’t think that’s necessary. I’m not opposed to it, but it’s not on the need list. If we get something added to the bullpen, it would be something that presented itself that made too much sense in the marketplace, whether it’s trade or free agency or what have you. It wouldn’t make much sense given the team needs and the remaining dollars that we have.”
• Cashman indicated that he has not had any — or at least not very many — conversations with Eric Chavez. He’s not even sure whether Chavez wants to play another season. “That I’m not aware of either way,” he said.
• Derek Jeter’s recovery is going well, Cashman said, and the Yankees still expect Jeter to be ready for Opening Day. “Actually very good,” Cashman said. “He had a checkup a couple of weeks ago in North Carolina and everything is going very well, so he’s going to be ready for us by Opening Day. He’ll be a restricted player early in camp, but all indications are very strong for a full and healthy recovery. He just has to wait it out, that’s all.”
• Of course, today’s New York Post including a not-so-flattering photo of Jeter looking out of shape. “The one thing you don’t have to worry about is Derek Jeter,” Cashman said. “Bottom line is, the most important thing Derek can do right now is rest. … I saw that the picture said he’s heavy. I can’t tell you he’s heavy. Even if he was, I’m not worried about Derek Jeter in that capacity in any way because you’re not going to find anybody more committed to being the best that he can be than Derek Jeter.”
• Cashman said none of Jeter’s checkups have indicated anything about him being out of shape.
• Cashman being predictably vague on the trade market: “I’m engaged. I’ve talked to everybody on several occasions to make sure that there’s no opportunities that we’re going to miss out on. If there’s a chance to match up, you explore those options, but matching up is difficult.”
• Big picture look at the Yankees offseason going forward: “We obviously have more work to do,” Cashman said. “The priority has been pitching, and step by step, we’re getting that piece back together again. I think we’ll feel really good about the staff as we start. There’s two sides of the ball, you’ve got to do defense and an offense. The defensive side, I think is getting addressed pretty strongly, and the offensive side we’re going to have to start focusing on.”
Associated Press photo