Upgrades could be in store for Yanks at Winter Meetings
New York may look to add starter, bolster bullpen, improve at second
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Yankees continue to have ongoing dialogue regarding several of their players, believing that the trade market is the most realistic way to upgrade their roster. Yet general manager Brian Cashman says that his phone will be charged and ready to chat with free agents as well.
The Winter Meetings are officially set to begin on Monday morning in Music City, running through Thursday's Rule 5 Draft. While Cashman said that most of the Yankees' 2016 payroll has already been directed and committed, he isn't ruling out the chance that there could be noise developing out of his team's suite.
"It's hard to say when the dam breaks and the flood of transactions occurs," Cashman said. "We'll see. I think everybody would prefer to do what they want, yesterday. But we all want different things."
MLB.com and MLB Network will have wall-to-wall coverage of the 2015 Winter Meetings from the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, with the Network launching 35 hours of live Winter Meetings coverage. Fans can also catch live streaming of all news conferences and manager availability on MLB.com, as well as the announcement of the Hall of Fame Pre-Integration Era Committee inductees on Monday at 11 a.m. ET and the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday at 10 a.m.
The Yankees would love to add a starting pitcher, supplement their strong bullpen and seek a possible upgrade at second base, but thus far their only offseason move of significance has been to acquire switch-hitting outfielder Aaron Hicks from the Twins in exchange for backup catcher John Ryan Murphy.
That move, they hope, will slot alongside last winter's acquisitions of shortstop Didi Gregorius and right-hander Nathan Eovaldi as swaps that paid near-immediate dividends. Cashman said that the overriding philosophy is to obtain younger talent and allow the farm system time to grow while they wait for significant long-term contracts to expire.
"Essentially, we've been acquiring cost-controlled, young players that we can mix in with the promotions of [players like] Dellin Betances and, if you want to turn the clock back, Brett Gardner," Cashman said. "You saw [Greg] Bird and [Luis] Severino last year, and we're going to continue those efforts if we possibly can."
Plenty of additional action will also take place in and around the Opryland Hotel. When manager Joe Girardi addresses the media at 5:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, he will discuss how he views the state of the club's starting rotation, the construction of the Yanks' lineup and the chances of seeing top prospects like outfielder Aaron Judge and right-hander James Kaprielian bubble to the big league surface.
"We're not in a position right now to take a shot at anything that comes along, but I'm pleased with the shots we have taken, and I'm proud of those results," Cashman said. "We're hoping to continue to pile up a collection of those type of acquisitions that will benefit this place as we move forward."