The Yankees have finished playing baseball, but that doesn’t mean that their season is over as the Hot Stove season is just getting started and the Bombers more than any other team seem to be involved in nearly every free agent or player on the trading block.
It is Joe Girardi and the team that dominate during the season, but starting around November it becomes Brian Cashman’s game. He’s the man in charge of putting another team together so what he says is more important than anything Jon Heyman, Ken Rosenthal, Buster Olney, Mike Axisa, or even Tim Dierkes.
Chad Jennings of the Journal News caught up with Cashman at the premiere of the Yankees World Series DVD tonight and he provided us with some good quotes. Let’s take a look:
Where the Yankees are at right now: “I’ve had my pro scouting meetings, now I’m talking to ownership about budgets,” Cashman said. “Obviously we’re working through every level on that. We haven’t game planned yet. We’re obviously going through everything that transpired from the meetings, but at the same time, now we’re meeting with ownership. Once I get confirmed numbers, then we can start putting together some ideas. I have not reached out to any agents really yet. I’ll talk to our guys first, and after I have conversations with our guys, I’ll be full blown into the market place.”
The Yankees have talked to agents, but the the focus is on their own free agents first: “I’ve had a number of agents call me,” Cashman said. “I don’t want to make the mistake of having a conversation with somebody else’s agent and then it plays out as if I’m pursuing that guy and someone misinterprets that and thinks we’re not pursuing our guys. We’re not even at that stage right. I’m going to try to be very careful and respectful to our players first, make sure they’re aware of where they are in the process.”
Cash said there are no big priorities, but admits the rotation is probably the most important: “Is that an area of obvious need? No,” Cashman said. “I think you have to look more at the rotation. You have to look obviously at left field. Our discussion will have to be whether you retain a Johnny Damon, whether you promote an Austin Jackson or you look elsewhere altogether. The rotation, you never have enough starting pitching. What are you going to do with DH? I think all of those situations are a little bit more of a obvious priority than the bullpen at this point.”
So as of right now it seems like it is too early to say the Yankees are in or out on anybody. They’re going to deal with Damon, Pettitte, and Matsui first and then move from there. My guess is the Yankees are going to take their time this offseason. They’ll be in on some guys, but are going to be laid back as they have no huge needs.