This ought to tide everyone over until the overnight…
PeteAbe has a few tidbits from Brian Cashman at the GM meetings. The relevant parts:
1. He does not consider center field a priority. With Brett Gardner, Johnny Damon and Melky Cabrera around and Austin Jackson on the way, the Yankees are deep there.
2. The Yankees are out to acquire two starters. “We won’t be one and done,” Cashman said. You can interpret that in a few ways. It could be one new player and Andy Pettitte, two new players or maybe two new players and Pettitte. Cashman said that right, Wang and Joba are the only starters he has.
3. Joba will start the 2009 season as a starter and they’ll come up with a plan to protect him as best they can.
4. Ian Kennedy will pitch winter ball in Puerto Rico. He is Tampa throwing now and is scheduled to start his first game on Friday.
Pete also believes that Bobby Abreu will be elsewhere next season, and I agree.
I have a few random notes about these rumors before I open the floor. If the Yanks are set on acquiring two starters, they should make sure one of them is Sabathia. They don’t need A.J. Burnett and Ryan Dempster or Derek Lowe. They need Sabathia and either Burnett or Ben Sheets. There’s no reason to overpay for someone who won’t be that good.
Center field will be whatever it is next season. But keep in mind that, three years ago, the Yankees said they were content with Bubba Crosby in center field before landing Johnny Damon in December. Cashman is not about to overplay his center field hand if he has sights set on some trade targets. The Yankees would clearly lose their negotiating position that way.
Finally, Ian Kennedy in Puerto Rico will either be an effort to reign in his control after a disappointing 2008 or an effort to showcase him. As he was last year, Ian Kennedy remains the pitcher I’d least object to seeing included in a trade, and if the Yankees can fill one of their holes via a Kennedy trade, I am less inclined to oppose it. Remember: The Santana deal didn’t happen because the Yanks weren’t keen on trading Kennedy; the Santana deal — if it wasn’t ever on the table — didn’t happen because the Twins wanted way more than just Kennedy. For better or worse, Kennedy remains the pitching prospect most likely to be on a different team come Spring Training.
OK, readers. The floor is yours.