Yankees GM Brian Cassman spoke with reporters at the GM Meetings in Las Vegas on Tuesday night to discuss the organization’s plans to improve the roster, the team’s budget and his own contract.
Here are some key takeaways…
Is there a timeline for Cashman’s contract to be completed?
“No,” said Casman. “First work, then contract. I haven’t had a chance to be honest since then [Hal Steinbrenner] last spoke It’s something we’ll sit down and get to, but there are some bigger things of need to take care of first, hopefully. And that does some heavy lifting on some of the free agents, like one Aaron Judge it is there.”
What if Aaron Judge doesn’t re-sign?
“Ultimately, we got through our pro scouting meetings, so we got them done,” Cashman said. “And now start contacting the agents and getting some of their medical information that helps us start to gather information on ourselves about how this board would be looking for us. Well. And then we’ll just react as we winter is directing, from discussions with both agents and clubs. And hopefully there will be some opportunities, including keeping our superstar.”
Has Steinbrenner given a budget for the 2023 season?
“We’re having a lot of conversations right now,” Cashman said. “Like every year, there will be a lot of engagements regardless. I don’t have a firm number yet, but I also think we’ll get a lot more information over the next few weeks from our free agent engagements.”
What is the biggest area that needs improvement?
“Well, obviously, right now we don’t have a right fielder, we don’t have a left fielder,” Cassman said. “I always like to improve the pitches. And I said in my press conference in New York that we have some guys pushing in the infield, so there will be, I think there will probably be a lot of exciting opportunities that they could play next spring in the middle infield category.We have to wait and see how all the discussions go.
“Again when you start talking to clubs, you start talking to agents and free agents, you have a better, clearer picture of the options that are there that you didn’t think about early on. We’re definitely going to approach everything with a very open mind , even if that means we already have something in that position or something expected to be in that position. As opposed to simplistic, here is an empty position, we need to attack this area. We will hopefully be agile and able to bounce around as our conversations take us.”
Do internal SS picks take the team out of the free agent market?
“I can’t say it is, because again, I think we’ll be open-minded,” Cashman said. “There could be a lot of conversations that lead us down paths that we wouldn’t expect. I’m not saying we’re going to trade any of our guys, but it just depends on how things play out. There’s obviously a lot of great talent available on the market through trade and free agency, some of which are playing positions we already have placeholders for or waiting for people to fill. This time of year I think you have to stay flexible and open-minded to evaluate all the real opportunities and how it could possibly to fit”.
Cashman added: “I think we’ve got guys who can handle the position and I think we’ve got guys who are pushing up who want an opportunity to be ready for the next step. Obviously, we’ve got a little bit of a stop at [Isiah] Kiner-Falefa that helped us win 99 games last year with the crew we put together last year and win the American League East, which was second in share. I think we already have coverage and now it’s just being explored, like any position, can we be better, are there better options? Whether it’s at shortstop or any other position on the field, as well as in the rotation and the bullpen.”
Is top prospect Anthony Volpe ready for MLB?
“I mean he has to play in spring training next year,” Cashman said. “He’s had an amazing, so far, run in his professional career, which has been all the minor leagues so far. So Volpe, with me [Oswald] I was passing through and [Oswaldo] Cabrera, those guys are expected to be in spring training and competing for daily reps with everyone else still standing. This is the nature of the beast and we will attract those who seem like they could be the best version of us moving forward. Or we’ll evaluate in a way that someone might need more time and hopefully everyone stays healthy, so we’ll see.
“He’s done what it takes to push him to the occasion and see where it takes him.”
Cashman added: “Oh, I think it’s close [Volpe]. Near Volpe, near Peraza. I mean Peraza stood up here at the end. I think everyone is close to competing for an everyday spot.”