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Cashman heading home after quiet Winter Meetings

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The Rule 5 draft is over, and executives from every team are heading home. No one sticks around too long after the Rule 5 draft, and the Yankees group won’t linger.

“The things that have come off the board this week, I’m very comfortable with (letting them go),” Brian Cashman said. “I like those players, and those players could help us, but at the same time I’m comfortable with the direction we’re currently headed.”

As he always does, Cashman has talked a lot about patience during these meetings. I talked to executives from two other teams after the Rule 5, and they said a lot of the same things Cashman has been saying: So far, to get involved in this market, teams have been forced to overpay. One executive even acknowledged that his team was among those who overpaid, but there was a sense that a deal had to be done.

“After the fact, you run into people who are like, ‘Man, I didn’t want to do that, but I had no choice,’” Cashman said. “They’re getting a problem solved, but they’re not happy with their solution and what they had to do to solve it. I don’t want to be in that position. I’d rather feel good about what we’re doing. I don’t feel good yet that we haven’t solved all our problems — don’t misunderstand me — but I’d rather not think, ‘Alright, at least I got somebody to put in here but I don’t like the term. The player’s OK, but I don’t like the term or the dollars, but what was I going to do?’ I don’t want to be in that position.”

So, the Yankees wait. Cashman said he’s talked about a lot of ideas — “More so on the trade side than on the free agent side,” he said — and my friend Bryan Hoch had the story this morning that the Yankees have a $12 million offer out to Kevin Youkilis. News of that offer came one day after Jeff Keppinger and Eric Chavez came off the market with deals elsewhere.

“There’s a lot of signings right now on the marketplace,” Cashman said. “And they’re above what I think…”

His voice trailed off, not quite finishing that thought before Cashman settled on this:

“It’s not something we can’t do, but a number of these things I wouldn’t do.”

Associated Press photo