NEW YORK (AP) — Searching for starting pitching, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said it’s too early in the offseason to determine whether he’ll go for a big-name addition to his rotation.
“I certainly haven’t had one agent tell me what they want financially, so no one’s made any demands to me” he said Wednesday. “So I don’t know what these current free agents are looking for yet in terms of years or dollars.”
New York went into spring training uncertain who would start behind CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Phil Hughes. Rookie Ivan Nova and Freddy Garcia won jobs, and Bartolo Colon, like Garcia at spring training with a minor league contract, joined the rotation in April after Hughes went on the DL.
Garcia went 12-8 and Colon 8-10, combining to make 52 starts. Using an unusual description, Cashman said the Yankees again could sign low-cost veterans with uncertain value.
“Over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house you go, and you have no idea whether you’re going to get there or not other than letting the season play out,” he said. “Turned out that other way was a great way for us.”
Prospects such as Hector Noesi, David Phelps, Adam Warren and Dellin Betances also could be looked at during spring training.
“There’s obviously more developmental steps necessary for some of those guys,” Cashman said during an appearance at a Time Square restaurant as part of the New York Cares coat drive. “I believe it’s in our best interest if I can continue to reinforce the rotation to get a little more comfort level there. It might not be realistic, but we’ll see.”
Free agent pitchers include Mark Buehrle, Edwin Jackson, C.J. Wilson, Roy Oswalt and Hiroki Kuroda. Without identifying any, Cashman said he had asked agents for medical records as part of the early negotiating process.
New York was not involved in talks with San Francisco before the Giants traded left-hander Jonathan Sanchez to Kansas City on Monday for outfielder Melky Cabrera.
Two young Yankees catchers have attracted interest: 21-year-old Jesus Montero and 22-year-old Austin Romine. Montero hit .328 with four homers and 12 RBIs during a September callup. Romine is regarded as the superior defensive catcher.
“I’ve had a lot of teams express, ‘Hey, if you’re ever going to do something there, mark us down. That type of thing,'” Cashman said.
NOTES: RHP Nova’s strained right forearm, which forced him out of Game 5 of the AL division series against Detroit, was examined Tuesday by Dr. Christopher Ahmad, who determined it had healed. … Cashman said the team hopes for a summer return of RHP Joba Chamberlain, who had elbow-ligament replacement surgery on June 16. He said Chamberlain hopes to be back during the spring. “He wants it yesterday. He’s working his tail off,” Cashman said.
(Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.)