Cashman continues holiday rappelling tradition

December 9th, 2019

STAMFORD, Conn. -- It’s Sunday evening. One would have thought that Yankees general manager Brian Cashman was in San Diego, preparing himself for baseball's Winter Meetings, which officially start the next day. But he was 3,000 miles away from the baseball action, playing an elf at the Landmark Building and making his daredevil descent down 22 stories with Santa and Mrs. Claus, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Grinch.

This is Cashman’s 10th year doing his Spider-Man impersonation. The stunt was part of Stamford's Heights & Lights celebration that culminates in the lighting of the Christmas tree.

“I’m used to it now. I’ve done it I don’t know how many times. Hopefully, it was a good show. Hopefully, it was fun to watch,” Cashman said. “It’s a blast. It’s really a cool event for kids. You hear them from the street when you come down, having a blast, and seeing the parents holding their little ones and seeing how they react to Santa or Rudolph when [they] are coming through the street. It’s awesome. I don’t know why they don’t do it in different cities.”

But that didn’t stop Cashman from thinking about improving the 2020 Yankees. He is still taking calls from opposing GMs, and he will arrive in San Diego at 11 a.m. PT on Monday.

In fact, before rappelling down the building during a practice run Friday morning, Cashman couldn’t believe he was getting a text at 7:30 from an opposing GM. Before arriving at the Landmark Building on Sunday, Cashman was doing baseball business.

“If it leads to anything or not -- again it’s a high bar to try to improve upon what you already got,” Cashman said. “We’ve had a lot of great players that we are really proud of. The job is to try to make it better. … If we don’t, there is a lot of time between now and July 31 and Aug. 31.”

Cashman declined to talk about his team’s chances of acquiring an ace pitcher. It’s not a secret that the Yankees have interest in free agents and . As a source put it, “there is a chance” the Yankees could acquire Gole, but the source wasn’t sure about Strasburg. According to a source, the Yankees have had meetings with Cole and Strasburg this past week.

The question is, will the Yankees go all in to sign those high-profile aces? The Yankees selected Cole in the first round of the 2008 MLB Draft out of high school, but he chose to attend UCLA instead. Cole could be the more likely option, as there are reports saying that the Nationals may be the front-runners to re-sign Strasburg.

Another priority is for the Yankees is to acquire a center fielder to replace Aaron Hicks, who will miss the first half of the season because of Tommy John surgery. They are hoping to bring back free-agent outfielder Brett Gardner, who is coming off one of his best seasons, hitting .251 with 28 home runs, a career-high 74 RBIs and a 4.0 WAR for New York.

"I would like to shore up the outfield at the same time [we improve the starting pitching],” Cashman said. “We are not waiting for one particular thing. We are sharing our information and seeing how the people we share it with react. If it’s a positive reaction, it means you are closer to lining up with something.”