Mark Feinsand of the NY Daily News has some quotes from Brian Cashman at the winter meetings, where he was asked a series of questions about his off season plans. Here they are:
On his meeting with Braunecker: “We’ll keep taking advantage of the fact that we’re in the same area. I’m going to try to meet with him as much as I possibly can.”
On the rest of his day: “I had one meeting with Darek today. The rest of it, my whole day has been on a number of different players, either from the clubs perspective trade-wise or free agents on various positions – some you probably wouldn’t think would be on our radar. We covered a lot of ground today to assess expected value and see if it matches up with something we’re trying to do.”
On Boston’s acquisition of Adrian Gonzalez: “It makes them a great team. He’s a heck of a hitter. That’s a huge addition for Boston. They improved themselves in a significant way.”
On the pitching options beyond Lee: “I wouldn’t say. My job is to make sure I line up all of my choices, then try to act accordingly and inform ownership that this is what’s available, this is what we can do and this is the price tag associated with it. I’m lining it all up.”
On Andy Pettitte: “He told me personally (at the end of the season) he was leaning toward retirement; he’s not officially retired. I talked to his agent about a week to 10 days ago and he told me his position hadn’t changed. … Recognizing that Andy has gone through that before, I wouldn’t be surprised if he decided to play, too.”
On whether he needs to sign a catcher: “I think we have the catching answers from within, but it doesn’t mean you don’t explore any potential opportunities that are available at the same time, whether it’s the catching position, the starting pitching or what have you. There might be some things out there that, if I told you who I talked to with some of the positions they play, you might be surprised.”
On the need for outfield depth, such as Matt Diaz: “That’s an area that we can upgrade on, as well. Especially because our backup situation isn’t as strong as our everyday situation.”
On whether he thinks Kerry Wood will get an offer to close for another team: “If he does, obviously he won’t pitch here because I won’t compete with closer money.”
On Jorge Posada’s status as the DH: “If he handles it, yeah. If he produces, yeah. He’s certainly going to get enough at-bats. That’s the game plan. He’s our DH. That’s what he is. Unless he plays himself off of it or something like that.”
On non-tendering Dustin Moseley: “We offered Moseley a major league opportunity, a major league job, but they wanted to pursue something greater. I wasn’t going to tender him if I was going to be put in an arbitration arena. I need to control our costs and know what exactly what I’m paying. I offered something that we felt was fair value and above that, I wasn’t going to go there.”
The full Posada quote jumps out at me right away. It’s clear to me that they don’t view him as a Catcher anymore, and have doubts about whether he’ll take to the DH role. I had a similar take in a piece I posted about a month ago, where I looked at his track record as a DH/PH. At this point they’re looking at Jorge as either a DH or bench player. On Matt Diaz, that’s about as close to a “Yes” as you’ll ever get out of Cashman, so expect the Yanks to be strong players for his services.
Wood’s case is an interesting one. The Yanks are clearly interested in him as a setup man. Will he get Closer money somewhere else? I’m not so sure, don’t forget how disastrous his 2 year/20 million deal was with the Indians, and his long track record of being unable to stay healthy. He’s the type of pitcher most teams will want to go year to year with. He’s 34 and has made just under 70 million over the course of his career. Will he want to play for a winner for setup man money (5 mil per) or would he go for an extra year or few bucks to be on a bad team? Time will tell, but I’m keeping an open mind on his return. If a good team offers him that second year or Closer money, it will make his decision easy.
Andy Pettitte’s situation is tricky. As Brian said, we’ve all seen him go through this dance before. But the longer he waits, the less likely his return will be unless he takes a low base/incentive laden deal like he did in 2009. When the off season began and the Yanks said they didn’t expect to expand their payroll, we all wondered how the Yanks are supposed to sign Lee, Jeter, Mo, fill out the bench and come in around last year’s budget. Turns out that Andy made his feelings clear to them after the season ended, so that might explain things. Pettitte retiring doesn’t bother me so much. He’s been a terrific Yankee, has hinted at it for years so it can’t come as much shock. If staying home makes him happy at this point of his life, then God bless him and I wish him well. The only part that bugs me is that we really didn’t get a chance to say goodbye. Roger Clemens (who meant about 1/10th to the franchise Andy did) got a long, drawn out goodbye. Moose said goodbye. We all remember ‘Paul O’Nie-el, Paul O’Nie-el, Paul O’Nie-el’. Unlike when Bernie left, there won’t be any harsh feelings on Andy’s side. I guess we’ll have to settle for an Opening Day first pitch where fans will get to salute Andy for all he’s meant to the team. Here’s to hoping we get to delay that tribute for at least one more year.
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