Two days after the New York Post reported that Chicago is scouting the Bronx Bombers for possible trade targets in a Quintana deal, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said he’s always looking to upgrade the team’s talent — and conceded that starting pitching has the most room for improvement.
“I tell our players: ‘My job is to find players better than you at all times,’ whether it’s in A-ball, all the way through the big-league level,” Cashman told Rickie Ricardo, the Spanish radio play-by-play voice of the Yankees, on Friday. “And so the challenge to our players is don’t let me do that.
“It’s easy to find players you want. It’s hard to actually acquire them. But we’ll stay engaged with everybody and anybody. I can’t speak to anybody specifically, but, listen, it’s no secret if you’re looking for areas of weakness in the current roster, it would be the rotation. And if we can shore it up and improve it, so be it. If not, we’ll rely on what we have.”
Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia and Michael Pineda are penicled as the Yankees’ top three starters. Luis Severino, Luis Cessa, Chad Green, Adam Warren and Bryan Mitchell are batting it out for the final two spots.
Cashman said it’s still too early to say how that competition might shake out.
“All of them possess various levels of talent, and towards the end of camp, we’re going to have to make some decisions,” he said.
Reports of the Yankees’ interest in Quintana first surfaced in December.
The 29-year-old left-hander was 13-12 with a 3.20 ERA and 181 strikeouts in an All-Star season last year.
The Colombian pitcher played in the Yankees’ farm system from 2008-11. He signed with the White Sox as a minor-league free agent before the 2012 season.