TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees have tough decisions coming up with stars Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson, but it is too early for general manager Brian Cashman to offer a call on their respective situations.
Cano and Granderson can test free agency after the 2013 season, carrying expensive club options for next year -- Cano's is for $15 million, while Granderson carries a $13 million club option.
The Yankees seem likely to pick both options, but Cashman wouldn't say if the club's financial parameters -- hoping to reduce payroll below $189 million in 2014 -- would allow them to keep both players on the roster beyond that.
"You just can't predict it," Cashman said. "Obviously we love what Robinson Cano does for us, we love what Curtis Granderson does for us. We gravitate to players that we feel can be champions and take us to the next level. I think we have a collection of those guys and we have some young guys coming."
Cashman said that the free-agent market often dictates such events, noting that the Cardinals made an effort to retain Albert Pujols but still watched him go to the Angels. Cashman also said that the Yankees may have a tough fight to retain catcher Russell Martin after this season.
"He's a year from free agency and we'd like to retain him," Cashman said. "Can we? I don't know. It doesn't change who he is as a player, but he's going to have opportunities, we're going to pursue retaining him in the future, but there's no guarantee we'll have him."
Lower payroll not changing Cashman's goal
TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees intend to lower their payroll to $189 million by 2014, looking to take advantage of luxury tax incentives in baseball's Collective Bargaining Agreement, but general manager Brian Cashman said that those parameters won't change the club's ultimate goals.
"We're still the Yankees. We're still going to outspend everybody else," Cashman said on Friday. "That's not going to change. We're still going to be there for our fan base and try to make sure every year that they have legitimate hope that this can be a special season. That's never going to change."
What is different, Cashman said, is that the Yankees are no longer afraid to trust their scouting assessments. As he put it, the organization is "trying to utilize every tool in the toolbox," and on a smaller level would like to whittle their payroll from its current level of $210 million and replicate some of the lower-budget success being enjoyed by teams like the Twins and Rays.
"Our payroll doesn't need to be at this level," Cashman said. "It's at a certain level because of massive commitments that we've already made -- I think most of which have been very functional and good investments."
Managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said on Thursday that he is counting on the team's young pitching to help the Yankees hit the $189 million milestone. Cashman expanded the group beyond the oft-mentioned prospect duo of Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances, naming Dan Burawa, Jose Campos, David Phelps and Adam Warren.
"We've got a lot of guys," Cashman said. "The bottom line, as [former general manager] Gene Michael told us years ago, 'You just collect as many nuggets as possible and sift through it.'"
The Yankees are already committed to paying Alex Rodriguez, CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira more than $72 million in 2014, plus Derek Jeter's $8 million player option; coming in under $189 million that season would save New York approximately $50 million in luxury tax and revenue sharing penalties.
"I'm very appreciative of the fact we have that level of commitment, whether its $210 or $189 [million]," Cashman said. "We're still the highest. We're still more than anybody else, so we're lucky to be in the position to be at that level."
Second baseman Robinson Cano will make his spring debut on Sunday, when the Yankees host the Phillies in a 1:05 p.m. ET contest -- which will air on MLB.TV -- at Steinbrenner Field. Cano missed three days to attend his great-grandmother's funeral in the Dominican Republic.
General manager Brian Cashman refuted a report that the Yankees had made a $16 million offer to Cuban third base and outfield prospect Adonis Garcia. "That's not true," Cashman said. "We haven't made an offer."
Catcher Kyle Higashioka (shoulder) was able to catch on Friday and will swing a bat on Monday, manager Joe Girardi said. Russell Branyan (back) is now day to day, while Manny Delcarmen (strained right lat), Austin Romine (back) and George Kontos (oblique) remain sidelined.