Yankees GM Brian Cashman having ‘simultaneous conversations’ at Winter Meetings


A front-line pitcher is obviously the Yankees No. 1 priority this offseason; however, GM Brian Cashman is still working to solidify other positions of need such as an extra outfielder, backup catcher and a mid-level reliever.

Despite a tweet from Bob Klapisch of the NY Times that the Yankees had offered Gerrit Cole a record seven-year, $245 million contract, both Jon Heyman and Mark Feinsand of MLB.com state that the offer is still being prepared and that nothing has formally been handed over to Cole’s agent, Scott Boras.

While it’s only a matter of time until a deal is presented to the top starting pitcher on the open market, you have to wonder if this leak of a specific dollar amount will help or hinder the Yanks’ pursuit of the Cole.

With an AAV of $35 million, which is also a record, breaking Zack Greinke’s $34.4M AAV, other interested parties such as the Angels and Dodgers could try to supersede the Yankees’ offer by offering the same amount of money in six years ($40.8M AAV).

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The wealthy Southern California-based clubs might even push the contract between 8-10 years, making the total dollar amount somewhere around $300M.

So as Day 2 of the MLB Winter Meetings takes place in San Diego, moving parts, there are a plenty.

In spite of all the articles and tweets being written that the Yanks’ No. 1 priority this offseason is the signing of Cole, general manager Brian Cashman recently told Dan Martin of the NY Post that “he is having simultaneous conversations,” regarding other players.

"“Everyone is focused on Gerrit Cole and Strasburg,” the GM said. “I understand that. But we’re having dialogues separate to that.”"

With decisions to made as to who will be the backup catcher to Gary Sanchez in 2020 (Austin Romine was spotted at the Winter Meetings), and whether or not to extend contracts to team free agents Brett Gardner, Cameron Maybin, Didi Gregorius or Dellin Betances, there are still a few holes to plug between now and the start of Spring Training.

Even still, Cashman, who never truly reveals his hand, says he won’t push the panic button because there’s plenty of time to make trades.

"“We go into it with our eyes wide open. We’re gonna make a strong effort to improve our club. We’ll see if we do. If we don’t, we know there’s a lot of time between now and pencils down on [at the trade deadlines on] July 31 and August 31.”"

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With a self-imposed spending limit of $248M — according to Bradford William Davis of the NY Daily News (resulting in the highest level of penalties under the luxury tax threshold), Brian Cashman will need to get downright creative with the construction of his roster should Cole inevitably land in the Bronx. As of today, the Yankees payroll sits at $214M.