Tomorrow will mark the one month anniversary of the Yankees capturing their 27th World Championship, but today Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi will meet with ownership in Tampa to discuss their proposed offseason plan and the 2010 budget in advance of next week’s winter meetings. Cashman, Girardi, and basically anyone with a voice in the front office met a few weeks ago to hammer out the details, and the first step of their plan was to decline to offer arbitration to all of their free agents.
“We’ll talk about some more things and gear up for the winter meetings,” Girardi said of today’s meeting with the Steinbrenners. “You want to know what you’re going to have when you go into spring training. As we saw last year, a lot of guys didn’t sign until real late, so I know it’s going to take time.”
Unlike last season, when starting pitching was priority number one, two, and three, the Yankees don’t seem to have placed much urgency on filling any of their holes. By this time last year, they had already offered CC Sabathia a massive contract and stolen Nick Swisher out from under Kenny Williams’ nose, but this year we haven’t had any actual non-rumor news at all. Being the defending World Champs allows to the team to be patient, and that’s going to be the theme of the offseason of the Yanks: patience.
Even though leftfield and designated hitter are legitimate concerns, free agent and trade options are plentiful enough that the team doesn’t have to go out and make a big splash early. Scott Boras won’t take accept any contract offer for Matt Holliday or Johnny Damon before giving Cashman a call. Arn Tellem will likely do the same with Hideki Matsui, and frankly any agent with half a brain would give the Yankees a chance to top any offer for their clients. Roy Halladay set a Spring Training deadline to be traded? Good, that gives Cashman three months to wait out Alex Antopoulos.
Aside: Here’s my mental image of Cashman during trade negotiations.
Despite their aggressiveness last winter, the Yankees have put themselves in a position to let the offseason come to them. I want to see free agent signings and big trades as much as the next guy, but the Yanks aren’t in such dire straits that they need to go out and declare that they’re the biggest kid in the playground like they did last offseason. Just be patient. The moves will come when they come, and they will be glorious.