Just got back from the Brian McCann press conference, which was more of a Yankees-in-general media event than a McCann-specific situation. McCann was the star of a show — he did a press conference, then a lengthy sit-down session with print media — but Hal Steinbrenner, Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi were asked a lot of questions that had little to do with the Yankees new catcher.
Predictably, very little news came out of those questions.
Steinbrenner said the Yankees still have a lot of money to spend and every intention to spend it. I’m not sure he used the exact words “goal not a mandate,” but he certainly stuck with that stance regarding the $189-million plan.
Girardi spoke fairly openly about Jacoby Ellsbury, though Cashman refused to confirm that the Yankees have signed the center fielder. Girardi said he likes the idea of having both Ellsbury and Brett Gardner in the same outfield and in the same lineup. He likes having such an overwhelming speed element, but acknowledged that he’s still not sure who will play right field. It’s possible Alfonso Soriano will be there, but Girardi indicated that the Yankees aren’t positive Soriano can play the position.
McCann seemed like a good guy. He said he was overwhelmed during a visit to Yankee Stadium earlier this winter. He met with several members of the front office, had a lengthy get-to-know-you dinner, and spoke on the phone with Mark Teixeira. McCann said it was important for him to stay on the East Coast, and he was sold on the Yankees commitment to winning and family. His wife, children, brothers, parents and in-laws were all at the press conference.
As for actual news, the most significant news was probably something I’ve already mentioned: Cashman gave every indication that he’s expecting to re-sign Hiroki Kuroda.
“We have a need for starting pitching, and I would love to retain Kuroda,” Cashman said. “I have maintained dialogue with Steve Hilliard, his agent. We’ve had a great relationship and healthy dialogue so far. I believe he wants to come back, and we’re trying to make that happen, but I have nothing to show for that yet.”
So, Kuroda definitely wants to come back?
“Yes, he wants to come back,” Cashman said. “He’s going to pitch, but whether he’s going to pitch here or Japan or somewhere else here (in the United States), I don’t know yet, but all indications are he is definitely interested in coming back to the Yankees. That’s the indication, but there’s no guarantee.”
Associated Press photo