Closer Miller likely staying in pinstripes
Yankees receiving offers, but not compelled to break up 1-2 punch with Betances
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Yankees traded a left-handed reliever on Wednesday, but not the one general manager Brian Cashman has been receiving the most calls about.
Justin Wilson will be shoring up the Tigers' bullpen in 2016, having been shipped to Detroit for two starting pitching prospects, but the Yankees still have Andrew Miller slotted in their closer's role. Cashman again said that it is more likely than not to stay that way.
The Yankees continue to field inquiries on both Miller and outfielder Brett Gardner, but thus far nothing has matched up with their asking price. USA Today reported on Wednesday that the Astros and Dodgers remain interested in Miller, who secured 36 saves in 38 opportunities and posted a 2.04 ERA for New York this past season. Later on Wednesday, Houston agreed to a trade with Philadelphia for closer Ken Giles.
"We set a high standard on the assets that we have, and he's a big one," Cashman said of Miller. "That's the arena that we would be talking about in a conversation involving him. I expect him to be a part of our team -- that's why we signed him -- but it doesn't hurt to go through a process to make sure that there aren't opportunities that are worth exploring for us."
Miller, 30, has three years and $27 million remaining on his Yankees contract. Cashman said that his asking price has not escalated in the wake of the Dodgers' stalled pursuit of the Reds' Aroldis Chapman.
"I don't know what the Dodgers were willing to give," Cashman said. "I don't really care how they value, what they value. It doesn't matter to me. It's just how we value and evaluate it."
Cashman said that the emergence of All-Star right-hander Dellin Betances allows the Yankees to seriously entertain offers for Miller, but they are in no hurry to break up that 1-2 punch.
"Most teams don't have Dellin Betances sitting there waiting in the wings," Cashman said. "I restate that it's more likely than not that, because of the high tags I've put out there, we will have the same dynamic duo at the back end as we had before."
• The Yankees reached out to free-agent catcher Tyler Flowers after he was non-tendered by the White Sox last week, but they offered only a non-roster invitation to Spring Training.
Flowers instead signed a two-year, $5.3 million deal with the Braves, and Cashman said that his hope is that power-hitting prospect Gary Sanchez will take hold of the backup catcher job.
"We face so many left-handers, it's nice to have that type of power bat," Cashman said. "I'd like to unleash the 'Kraken,' which is Gary Sanchez, on our roster in 2016 if I can, and see if he can do some real positive damage for us."