Yankees general manager Brian Cashman spoke to reporters on Tuesday at the GM Meetings in Carlsbad, CA and addressed a number of offseason questions.
Here are some key takeaways…
Main offseason objectives
“I talked about it in our post season presser, obviously looking at shortstop, maybe center field,” Cashman said. “We’ll evaluate all potential opportunities regardless. I’d say everything and anything, job is to be open minded too. Always pitching, pitching, pitching, even though our pitching was a good thing for us this year it’s always good to reinforce it and add to it if you can. Just kind of asses what’s available over the course of these coming weeks and then deal with the agents on the free agents and see where it takes us.”
Going after a shortstop
Cashman discussed the Yankees desire to go after a shortstop in either free agency or through a trade, and added that he’s already talked to two separate players’ agents.
“I started, slowly because we are dealing with coaching stuff,” Cashman said. “I’ve already had two separate conversations with two separate agents that represent shortstops.”
“We’ll asses what’s available in the trade market, you know what’s available in the free agent market. I don’t know what the price points are and how it potentially fits with everything we already got. That’s currently what I’m going through to see what’s realistic, what’s not realistic. From the free agents, what are their hopes and dreams. Obviously not just financial but in terms of landing spots and comfort zones for them and their families. And then obviously price point clearly will come in play.
“And then deal with what’s available on the trade front, obviously we have two young kids coming too, that aren’t ready yet but we have high hopes for them in the future too. How does that factor into things, just trying to get together more information so we can try strategize better in the coming weeks.”
The Yankees paid $25.29 million in 2020 for going above the luxury tax threshold, but after having a 40-man payroll of over $137 million and luxury tax payroll of over $208 million in 2021, they didn’t have a luxury tax bill. Cashman was asked if he’s spoken to Hal Steinbrenner about a budget for the 2022 season.
“We’ve had conversations about it,” Cashman said. “Do I have a set budget, no. But do I have what I feel some direction, yes. And clearly it was mission accomplished from last year getting under the CBT.”
“Well it’s gonna have to be, we don’t have a lot of stuff coming off,” Cashman said. “Obviously, I have some latitude.”
It’s been reported that former Mets manager Luis Rojas has interviewed for the Yankees third base coach position, and it’s likely that he accepts. It was also reported on Nov. 9 that former Yankee Eric Chavez has been contacted to gauge interest for one of the coaching positions.
Cashman confirmed that Rojas has interviewed and that Chavez has been contacted, but wouldn’t express his thoughts about either until something is official.
“I’ll speak to it when I have something to speak to.”
“Eric Chavez has been interviewed as well.”
On the possibility of re-signing Anthony Rizzo
“Just had a conversation with his agent expressing the possibility of bringing him back,” Cashman said. “He obviously was really good for us, we feel, both on the offensive side and on the defensive side and the leadership side, so he brings a lot of good things to the table. Now he’s on the open market as a free agent so I’m there’s going to be a lot of people talking to him. I’ve have one conversation with the agent. I know he liked it here, I know we liked having him here, but nothing has gone past that.
“Obviously our internal candidate currently is Luke Voit, who’s finishing off the healthy side of it with the knee. Clearly, Rizzo was someone that did a really nice job for us as an in-season acquisition. So we’ll look at whether we remain with Luke Voit, whether we explore free agent options, whether we explore trade option, remains to be seen.”
Thoughts on the pitching rotation and the possibility of improving it
“I think if we can stay healthy,” Cashman said. “Obviously, we got Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon, although we have to wait on Taillon, but I thought he was a real nice addition for us last year. We have to wait on about a four and a half, five month rehab process from his foot surgery. Between him, Sevy [Luis Severino] coming back. [Jordan] Montgomery who I thought took a good step forward for us again, as he’s continued to do so. Along with the cast of characters we have behind him, depth in the system wise.
“I do think that we got a good rotation side of this thing, but adding to it would be a benefit. Just like adding to our bullpen would be a benefit. Just comes down to what’s attainable and how we make that fit with maybe all our other needs at the same time.”