NEW YORK (WFAN) — Brian Cashman has two job titles these days: Yankees general manager and tightrope walker.
Two days after pulling off a blockbuster trade with the White Sox, Cashman discussed with WFAN’s Mike Francesa the balancing act of trying to acquire at least one more player — a starting pitcher — while not sacrificing the organization’s top prospects.
“The road we’re traveling is we’re trying to improve the present as well as the future, simultaneously,” Cashman said. “That’s the effort. If we’re doing any short-term on a rental, we don’t want it to cost much. But the best approach for us would be if we can run into anything that has controllable years attached to it and, obviously, as much impact as possible.”
On Tuesday night, the Yankees acquired relief pitchers David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle and third baseman Todd Frazier from the White Sox in exchange for reliever Tyler Clippard and three prospects, most notably 2016 first-round draft pick Blake Rutherford. Of the three new Yankees, only Frazier is set to become a free agent after this season.
While that deal plugged some of the Yankees’ holes, Cashman called the No. 5 spot in the rotation an “area of worry.” He said Luis Cessa or Bryan Mitchell could handle the role if they pitched to their capabilities, but “I’d rather import something if I could to give ourselves more depth and some more choices and protect ourselves from injury.”
“If my conversations force me to go that route and stay with what we’ve got, so be it, and, yeah, I’ll be forced to be comfortable with it,” Cashman said of sticking with Cessa or Mitchell. “But I think, if I’m doing my job to the best of my abilities on behalf of this ownership and fan base, then I’ve got to approach this as I’m not comfortable enough. So that’s why I stay engaged.
“There’s definitely choices (available for trades). Some are bad choices. Some are really good choices, and clearly the rub is the really good choices are really difficult conversations because they’re going to involve parting with some serious assets.”
When asked if there was a pitcher in the minors who could potentially help, Cashman mentioned Chance Adams, but he said the 22-year-old right-hander is more likely to be used as a reliever than as a starter this season.
“We’re just not sure just yet,” he said. “Again, he’s still got areas of development to finish off, but someone that we’re real excited about.”
Later Thursday, manager Joe Girardi told Francesa he has a gut feeling the Yankees are about to snap out of their funk.
“I just think we’ve been pitching better, and our bullpen seems to be getting on a role. Our starters have pitched better. I just think offensively, we’re going to start scoring some runs. We’re starting to get everyone back healthy. And I just feel good about it.”
To listen to the full interviews with Cashman and Girardi, click on the audio players above.