Maybe I’ll try to get some of the longer quotes posted a little later. For now, here are the takeaway notes from Brian Cashman’s afternoon session with the beat writers.
• Does Cashman expect to leave Orlando with another new player either on the roster or with a new contract in place? “I don’t know,” Cashman said. “I’d like to be able to leave with a number of players. I just don’t know if that will happen or not yet.”
• The Carlos Beltran signing is still not official, so Cashman would not talk about it. Wouldn’t say when he’s scheduled to take the physical, or whether Beltran has passed a physical.
• As he’s said all along, Cashman said he’s not shopping Brett Gardner, but he’s listening when other teams ask about Gardner. “We have an obligation to hear what anybody’s interest happens to be,” Cashman said. Teams have also called to ask about Ivan Nova, J.R. Murphy and Gary Sanchez (presumably among others). Cashman obviously did not go into detail about what teams are offering in exchange.
• Cashman said he has talked to the agents for Mark Reynolds and Boone Logan. Did not indicate whether he’s close to a deal with either. “But we’re talking to a lot of people,” Cashman said.
Plans for the lineup
• Cashman said he doesn’t envision an everyday designated hitter, and — if the outfield stays like it is — no regular outfield alignment either. “I think that Joe will utilize the DH category to give everybody a rest,” Cashman said.
• Kelly Johnson is a legitimate option at either second or third, especially in a platoon situation. The Yankees could pair him with a right-handed hitter at either position. “He’s more of a bat than a defender,” Cashman said. “… But there’s a comfort level knowing that we have an improved depth situation there that gives us some flexibility.” Cashman said he’d still like to add even more depth-type moves, but some of those might have to wait until late in the offseason or even in spring training.
• Although the Yankees have added quite a few hitters this season, and presumably gotten Mark Teixeira healthy, Cashman said he’s not satisfied with the offense. He wants one of the two or three best lineups in baseball, and the Yankees aren’t there year. It’s not simply a matter of plugging holes at second and third, Cashman wants more legitimate offense. “We need more work there,” he said. “We need to keep going.”
Thoughts on the pitching staff
• The Yankees still want another starting pitcher, but neither the trade nor free agent market is great at the moment. “We certainly could sign a free agent starter,” Cashman said. “Signing one might be easier than trading for one, we’re just trying to find the right one.” Cashman said he’s heard no updates on the Masahiro Tanaka situation. Hasn’t even heard officially that there’s a new posting system in place.
• Michael Pineda is healthy and will come to big league camp looking for a rotation spot. Manny Banuelos is also healthy, but the chances of him breaking camp on the big league roster are pretty slim. “Our expectation would be that he would be in Triple-A,” Cashman said.
• Although he’s not necessarily in the market for a closer, Cashman acknowledged that he’s looking for bullpen help. He specifically said he’d like a left-hander to upgrade on the current lefty options. Right now, Cesar Cabral and David Huff look like the best bets on the current roster.
Other random stuff
• So far, so good in terms of freak accidents this winter. Cashman said no one has been hurt this offseason, no surprise surgeries scheduled or anything like that.
• The Yankees will absolutely retire Joe Torre’s number at some point. “We haven’t given it out for a reason,” Cashman said. “It’s been tucked away for quite some time. At some point, that’ll happen, not doubt about it. Clearly it’s has already unofficially happened.”
Associated Press photo