For the Yankees, the last log on the hot stove has turned to ash. The team appears completely set as players begin reporting to the Tampa camp. We’ve reflected on the 2009 season, reflected on the moves the Yankees made in an attempt to repeat, and even reflected on the moves they didn’t make. There doesn’t seem much left to do before spring training begins.
Still, we can find some tidbits about the off-season to fill the gap. For instance, when Brian Cashman spoke at the University of New Haven last Thursday he revealed something about his pursuit of Curtis Granderson. The conversations that led to the Yankees acquiring the All-Star center fielder actually began before they won the World Series — began, in fact, just before the first pitch of Game 1. It might sound like odd timing to you and me, but not to Brian Cashman.
“I said, ‘Dave, we set our roster, so there’s nothing left for me to do now except for turning the page and talk about next year.’ That’s when he first mentioned Curtis Granderson might become available.”
At that point, 28 general managers had nothing to worry about except rebuilding their teams for 2010. It’s nice to hear that Cashman started working on the 2010 Yankees once his obligations to the 2009 team ceased. In that type of competitive landscape, he can’t really afford to fall behind.
After the jump, as to hide it from everyone who’s sick of the story, a bit about Damon.
Here’s Cashman on the endgame with Damon. He’s talking about the one-year, $6 million contract the Yankees floated in January.
“I told (Damon and Boras), ‘I don’t know if Hal (Steinbrenner, the team’s part owner) would approve it, but I’m not going to fight for it unless we know you will do it,” Cashman said. “Scott Boras said, “Bobby Abreu’s (new) contract is $9 million a year right now on the table so why would we do that? So I expect to see a Bobby Abreu contract.’ … I hope he does not sign for something less than our offer. That means he should have been a Yankee and that’s not our fault.”