NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Brian Cashman left the Winter Meetings in San Diego on Thursday without needed pieces for his baseball team, but that doesn’t mean the Yankees are a finished product for 2015.
Speaking to the New York Post, the Bombers’ general manager said he tried to improve his club in a number of areas, but just struggled to find the ideal matches.
“I threw a lot of different ideas a lot of different ways. There is a long way between now and Opening Day. I will keep conversations alive,” Cashman said.
Having dealt young right-hander Shane Greene to Arizona last week in the three-way trade that brought back shortstop Didi Gregorius, the idea was for the Yankees to find another starting pitcher. But then, Brandon McCarthy, the one hurler many figured the Bombers were certain to lock up, decided to agree to a four-year, $48 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Like when the Yankees lost closer David Robertson to the Chicago White Sox earlier in the week, they inexplicably never made an offer to McCarthy.
So now the Yankees, who are coming off their second straight season without a playoff appearance, are down a few starters and may need another reliever to complement the signing of left-hander Andrew Miller. Cashman said he targeted both Wade Miley and Rick Porcello, who were instead traded by the Diamondbacks and Tigers, respectively, to the Boston Red Sox.
“Did I call Arizona? Yes,’’ Cashman said. “Did I call Detroit? Yes. I didn’t have (Yoenis) Cespedes to send to Detroit. We are waiting for something we are comfortable with.’’
Currently, the Yankees’ rotation is a mish-mash of pitchers either injured or perhaps one bad pitch away from being sidelined. CC Sabathia is coming off a knee injury that cut his 2014 season short. Ivan Nova likely won’t be available until June as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery. Ace Masahiro Tanaka will remain a question mark due to his troublesome right elbow. Michael Pineda was forced to deal with back and shoulder injuries that limited him to just 13 starts last season.
It is believed Hiroki Kuroda, who will be 40 in February, will either retire or return to Japan. David Phelps and Adam Warren are currently expected to work out as starters during spring training.
The question now is whether the Yankees are willing to spend big bucks on former Cy Young winner Max Scherzer in free agency or perhaps ship some prospects away for a mid-rotation arm or two. Their behavior so far this offseason suggests caution and a deliberate approach will continue to rule the day.
As for position player help, the Yankees are believed to still be in contention for Chase Headley’s services, which if they sign the veteran third baseman would allow versatile Martin Prado to stay at second base, where he is more comfortable.
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