If New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has anything cooking on the Hot Stove during the 2013 Baseball Winter Meetings, he’s keeping that information close to his vest. Day #3 of the annual meetings are winding down, and the Yankees have yet to make any type of impact moves. Despite having glaring needs at second base with the departure of Robinson Cano, third base with the impending suspension of Alex Rodriguez, along with the starting rotation and bullpen, the Bombers have stood pat.
What does this mean for Yankees fans who were hoping that from Day #1 forward, Cashman would open the checkbook and simply sign everyone and everything he needed to fill out his 2013 roster? It means fans and free agents alike are going to have to be patient. One major reason for the Yankees moving at the pace of a slug, is because they are waiting to find out if Masahiro Tanaka is going to be posted for bidding by the Rakuten Golden Eagles. Once that situation plays out, expect to see the domestic free agent options of Ubaldo Jimenez, Matt Garza, and Ervin Santana figure out where they are going in a hurry.
As soon as the announcement was made of the signings of both Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran late last week, rumors have continually circulated about Brett Gardner and Ichiro Suzuki immediately becoming trade chips for the Yankees to use to acquire starting pitching. The biggest rumors of Day #3 for the Yankees involved possible trade winds blowing for the team to acquire Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Justin Masterson, and the Cincinnati Reds making it known that second baseman Brandon Phillips will be shopped.
After Cashman spent the past three weeks preparing for Cano to leave, and addressing some needs in his everyday lineup, he is now focused on adding the right starting pitcher, and useful pieces to the bullpen. It was reported earlier today that talks with free agent second baseman Omar Infante hit a snag because he is requesting a 4-year deal, and the Yankees won’t go past three. Fans have heard that before with Carlos Beltran, but we are talking apples and oranges in comparing the players. There was also talk about the Yankees expressing interest in Mets free agent pitcher Johan Santana, but it was later reported those talks were highly exaggerated.
Knowing how Brian Cashman works, he is not sitting on his laurels and simply enjoying the weather in Orlando. He is most likely making the rounds, talking to his contemporaries and planting seeds for possible deals that could come to fruition later in the winter. He could also be exploring an approach with his bullpen and starting pitching that would keep the team under the $189 million dollar payroll limit, which would set the stage for a run at Clayton Kershaw next winter.