12/02/12 3:25 PM ET
Plenty of work to be done at Meetings for Yanks
By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com
A starting catcher and a new right fielder are at the top of the shopping list for the Yankees, who identified pitching as their priority when the winter began and feel confident about the moves to retain Hiroki Kuroda, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera.
"I think we're having a successful early campaign to our winter, because we've been able to retain some real high-caliber, high-end starting pitching on one-year deals," Cashman said. "If you look at the marketplace -- and it's not a great marketplace -- I'm not sure if anybody is doing better than that right now, in terms of addressing some obvious needs."
But Nick Swisher is expected to depart, creating a vacancy in right field, and the Yankees weren't exactly caught off guard by catcher Russell Martin's decision to sign a two-year, $17 million deal with the Pirates.
In fact, while hammering out their agreements with Kuroda, Pettitte and Rivera, the Yankees hadn't made an offer to any position player. That could change soon.
Cashman said that he has already made contact with all 29 other teams, and between scheduled events -- including Thursday's Rule 5 Draft -- there will be plenty of opportunities to discuss trades or possible free-agent signings.
Agents, front-office types and reporters will swarm the lobby of the Opryland, where reports and rumors are sure to swirl. Yankees.com will have you covered for all the latest developments -- big or small -- concerning the Bombers.
"We're still capable of a lot," Cashman said. "People should still be leery of us and afraid of us, as if we're the stalking horse, and that's good. I want them to think that."
It is not clear whether the Yankees will have interest in selecting a player in this week's Rule 5 Draft. As things currently stand, New York's 40-man roster is at capacity, so a subsequent move would need to be made in order to clear room for a selection.
There has been a lot of talk about managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner's directive to reduce payroll below $189 million for the 2014 season, which is why the Yankees have seemed disinterested in multiyear contracts on the free-agent market.
Despite their stated need for a right fielder, the Yankees are steering clear of the big-ticket Josh Hamilton bidding and aren't considered to be players for the services of Michael Bourn.
They've heard about Ichiro Suzuki's preference to return, and it's still possible that the popular star could return for a full season in pinstripes; Cody Ross presents another option; and the Yankees could flirt with trades for the Rockies' Michael Cuddyer or the D-backs' Justin Upton.
Cashman said that right field is more of a priority than catcher, even with Martin's departure. It is likely, Cashman said, that the Yankees' Opening Day catcher is already on the roster in the form of Francisco Cervelli, Austin Romine, Chris Stewart or Eli Whiteside.
Free-agent catchers Mike Napoli and A.J. Pierzynski haven't drawn interest from New York, but Cashman said that the Yankees are still prepared to "strike and pounce" on any trade or signing that makes sense for them.
"I'm real happy with how our winter program is currently unfolding, but at the same time, [we are] recognizing that you can't have everything," Cashman said. "You can't have it all. We are going to be running out a very strong team, as we usually do."
Beyond daily coverage on yankees.com, the team's official site will also feature multimedia content to provide a closer look at the happenings in Nashville. Fans are also encouraged to join the discussions in the comments section below to address the various issues facing the club.