BOSTON -- Brian Cashman patrolled the field during batting practice on Friday at Fenway Park, a cell phone pressed to his right ear. With the Trade Deadline five days away, and having witnessed his rotation complete its worst turn in recent memory, the Yankees general manager is open for business.
"I am fully engaged with every team except the Boston Red Sox," Cashman said.
Cashman said that his focus remains on improving his club's pitching, preferably by adding at least one starter. Cashman could also entertain bulking up the bullpen to shorten games, and he said he maintains confidence in the rotation, despite five consecutive games in which Yankees starters have permitted at least six runs.
"I think we've entered this process at the Deadline with a pretty good feel of what we'd like to do, what we're willing to pay for it, and also having the built-in discipline of walking away if we don't find the right matches under those circumstances," Cashman said. "That's regardless of what's happened last week."
The Yankees have been connected to almost every available starter in some form or fashion. The Blue Jays' Marcus Stroman has made little secret of his desire to pitch for a large-market contender, with the Medford, N.Y., product even "liking" and retweeting Twitter posts that linked him to the Yankees. New York recently dispatched special assistant Jim Hendry to scout the right-hander.
Toronto's asking price has been too high for Cashman's taste -- infielder Gleyber Torres has been requested, as has touted pitching prospect Deivi Garcia -- and so the Yankees have cast other irons into the fire by keeping tabs on the Tigers' Matthew Boyd, the Reds' Luis Castillo, the Rangers' Mike Minor and the D-backs' Robbie Ray, among others.
"I wouldn't say anybody is untouchable," Cashman said. "I would just say some are more realistic than others. If you are going to play in certain waters, there is going to be only a smaller category of legitimate options that I would be interested in with certain guys."
"It just comes down to, you match up or you don't," Cashman said. "You're willing to pay a certain price or you aren't, and if you aren't, you have to have good reasons for it."
"We have a lot of depth, some of which is coming back from the injured list at some point," Cashman said. "We have that as a safety net. It's not precluding me from being very busy on the phones to see if I match up."