ORLANDO, Fla. (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman concedes that they could be outbid for free agent second baseman Robinson Cano.
“I think he loves the money but I think we’re going to have a substantial offer, but somebody might come in and have a much more substantial offer,” Cashman said Tuesday at the gathering of baseball’s general managers. “That’s just the way it works.”
“He’s in free agency and that’s the feeling I get,” Cashman added. “Doesn’t make it wrong at all. That’s what makes the U.S. the greatest place in the world. We just have to compete for that. I feel very comfortable that we’ll firmly compete for the player, but the value we put on him, the value someone else puts on him could be vastly different, and if it is we’ll lose him.”
Cano is seeking a 10-year deal in excess of $300 million.
“The best way to go about this process is to put your best foot forward and live with it, and if it’s not good enough I’m comfortable with it. And whatever that foot is, from my end, is going to be very good, as it should be to retain the player,” Cashman said. “We obviously have a strong interest in retaining him. There’s nothing better … he’s has a chance to be the first Dominican born player to have his number there in monument park and that’s a big deal. A real big deal. But it’s going to take a big deal I’m sure to make that happen.”
Cashman doesn’t expect Cano to make a quick decision.
Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said negotions with Cano would resume soon.
“We haven’t really had any communication regarding any specifics yet, but it’s the beginning of the process,” he said. “We’re going to start the process.”
Cashman has not ruled out signing players connected with the Biogenesis scandal that resulted in Major League Baseball suspending 14 players last season for violating the league’s drug policy.
“We have a lot of holes to fill, so we’re just going to have to explore every option that’s available to us,” Cashman said. “Obviously, everything in their background is relevant. But we’ll certainly have to be open-minded.”
Cashman plans to tender a contract to catcher Francisco Cervelli, who was suspended 50 games as part of the Biogenesis investigation.
The Yankees want to bring in two starting pitchers, adding to a rotation that has holdovers CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova. Hiroki Kuroda has not announced if he will return next season.
Other needs include the left side of the infield, where shortstop Derek Jeter is coming off an injury-marred season due to a broken ankle. Third baseman Alex Rodriguez is appealing his 211-game suspension.
Cashman expects Jeter will be healthy for the start of next season.
With the retirement of career saves leader Mariano Rivera, setup man David Robertson is in the mix to be the new closer, but he is not guaranteed the role.
“I’m not sure that Robertson is capable yet. He’s never done that before,” Cashman said. “I think he’s earned the right to take a shot at it and may very well be the guy. We’ll wait and see how it plays out.”
NOTE: The Yankees are nearing an agreement to play two exhibition games next March in Panama, the home country of Rivera.
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