Cashman’s Press Conference Recap: Girardi, Cano, A-Rod, Sabathia, Luxury Tax, More

Jagielo ranks sixth on Baseball America's top NYPL prospects list
Jeter has not yet made decision about player option
Not from today. Presswire)
Not from today. (Presswire)

Brian Cashman held his annual end-of-season press conference on Tuesday afternoon and, unsurprisingly, there were no announcements made. Not even a minor one. He fielded questions for about an hour and in typical YankeeSpeak, the GM said a lot of words that had little substance. The team’s higher-ups have a knack for dodging questions and giving vague answers while talking a whole bunch. Anyway, let’s recap the presser:

On Joe Girardi

  • Cashman confirmed he met with Girardi “for a while” yesterday and will meet with agent Steve Mandell tomorrow to continue talks. “After tomorrow, I think I’ll get a real good feel for where we’re at,” he said. “I think he likes it here. We’re going to give [Girardi] a real good reason to stay.”
  • “His effort and his efforts in pre-game preparation for each series and how he runs Major League Spring Training … he’s been consistently tremendously at it,” said the GM while also crediting Girardi for working with such a poor roster this season. “[His] job as a manager is to make sure these guys compete on a daily basis … I thought he did a great job, him and his staff.”
  • Cashman would not comment when asked if the Cubs (or any other team, for that matter) had contacted the team to ask for permission to speak to Girardi. His contract expires November 1st.
  • Cashman closed the press conference with a preemptive “no comment” about how things go (went?) with Mandell tomorrow. He told the media not to bother to reach out for an update because he won’t give one. It was kinda funny.

On Robinson Cano

  • “We’d love to have Robbie back,” said Cashman “Not much more for me to say about that … He has received — or will receive — a significant offer to stay. He’s been a great Yankee. If he stays I think he has a legitimate chance to experience what we saw with Mariano Rivera [last week].”
  • Interesting point: Cashman mentioned Cano could be the first player born in the Dominican Republic to wind up in Monument Park. Wonder if that is on Robbie’s mind at all.

On Alex Rodriguez

  • “I’m not in position to talk about the Alex stuff,” said the GM. “Not much to say about it … I’m not a participant in any of it. It’s not something that’s in our control, I’m not focused on it … I have Alex plugged in unless I’m told something different.”
  • The appeal hearing for A-Rod’s 211-game suspension started yesterday and will continue this week.

On Derek Jeter

  • “I certainly hope to get Derek to the Derek we’re all used to,” said Cashman. “He’ll have some time to back off, get some rest, get some more flexibility back, and get every aspect of that ankle in line as far as the kinetic chain … He’ll be in a position to have a typical offseason.”
  • Cashman said they consider shortstop and DH the only options for Jeter — they aren’t considering asking him to change positions. No surprise there. They plan to rotate Jeter and others through the DH spot.

On CC Sabathia

  • “Based on the year he just had velocity-wise, I’m going to assume he’s going to pitch at the current velocity he settled into,” said Cashman. He basically said he doesn’t anticipate the big left-hander coming to camp with some more oomph on his fastball.
  • Cashman said the team hopes Sabathia’s homer problems “were an aberration,” and he noted his strikeout and walk rates were in line with the last few years. “The pitchability is still there,” said the GM. “The hope and expectation is that he can pitch to the front of that rotation.”

On the 2013 season in general

  • “We got derailed this year by decision-making as much as injuries,” said Cashman. “This was a tough year. This year was my responsibility as General Manager and I take full responsibility for that.”
  • Did ownership give the Cashman and his staff enough resources? “Yes,” he replied, very flatly.
  • “We didn’t get to where we wanted to be,” Cashman added. “Obviously it was a struggle all year. A lot of disappointments … We didn’t get to where we needed to be and there are a lot of reasons for it. I appreciated the effort [of the players and staff] … I never saw that being an issue.”
  • Cashman joked that, despite all the waiver claims this year, he would have had a lot more “if teams with higher priority hadn’t popped some guys we claimed.”

On the upcoming offseason

  • “We have a lot of work to do,” said Cashman, stating the obvious. “We’ve got a lot of problems that we need to attack. Starting rotation is an area that we need to look at. There’s questions on the left side of the infield — three of the four spots on the infield really because of the free agency of Cano.”
  • Cashman added: “There’s a lot of areas to focus on, this winter more than previous winters … We will attack [the problem areas] … None of the people here are afraid of that reality … It’s going to take some time. Some of it might be fixed sooner than later, some might take some time.”
  • Meetings with the pro scouting staff will begin on Monday, which is when the team will “line up the wish list.” Cashman said they will be careful not to put all their eggs in one basket, meaning they want to have plenty of options this winter.
  • “It’s our responsibility to always look for better than what we have,” he added.

On ownership and the plan to get under the $189M luxury tax threshold

  • “The intent is there, the ownership interest [in being competitive] is there,” said Cashman. “Their intent is always compete for a championship. What took place this year — it could have been easy to give up — they had no interest in doing that. They have every interest in keeping us relevant.”
  • The plan to get under the $189M luxury tax threshold next year is “certainly a goal, it’s not a mandate.” He must have said “it’s a goal, not a mandate” a dozen times. “We’ll operate as we look at the goal, but every option, every opportunity that comes my way, I will always present to my owners and team president for evaluation.”
  • As for the exact benefits, Cashman said: “I don’t focus on that aspect of the business, so I’m not necessarily the best person to answer that … There’s significant benefits but I’m not focused on what they are.”
  • “No, it’s the same,” said the GM when asked if the whole championship-or-bust mantra has changed.

On the farm system and player development staff

  • “In terms of changes, we’re always looking at that type of stuff. If we have changes to make, we’ll make them and deal with them,” said Cashman, who confirmed they started to evaluate their decision-making process “two months ago.”
  • “We have struggled [to produce players],” he added. “We’re going through that process [of internal evaluation]. We haven’t had as fruitful results from the draft as we hoped and anticipated.”
  • Cashman also acknowledged that “in terms of development … [the] last two years our players have gotten injured or gone backwards.”

On injuries

  • “We’ve been really fortunate for a long time to avoid what happened this year,” said Cashman. “We’ve stayed relatively healthy [over the years]. What happened this year has happened to other clubs.”
  • Michael Pineda was healthy when he was shut down late in the season. He had been pitching and rehabbing for more than a year straight and he simply time to rest. Cashman confirmed he will complete for a rotation spot in camp, and if that doesn’t work out, “he has options” to go to the minors.
  • Mark Teixeira is expected to be fully healthy for Spring Training.
  • Ty Hensley, the team’s first round pick last year, had “double hip surgery” earlier this year. We heard he had a bone impingement and a torn (hip) labrum repaired earlier this year, and I guess the injuries were in two different hips. Hensley is on a throwing program and recently completely physical therapy.


  • On the drop in homeruns: “Definitely significantly affected by injuries … It’s not easy to find power out there, especially [during the season].”
  • Cashman reiterated that he prefers power hitters — “I love the big long ball,” he said with a straight face — and high on-base guys. They knew power would be down coming into the season, but the Teixeira and Curtis Granderson injuries were too much.
  • Cashman confirmed that Dellin Betances, who will be out of minor league options next year, will come to camp and compete for a bullpen job. Not a surprise. Betances can’t go back to the minors without passing through waivers, which wouldn’t happen. Someone would grab him.
  • The rest of the coaching will become free agents on October 31st. “I would like to have our coaches back if Girardi comes back,” said Cashman. “Manager has to get decided first.”
  • A member of the Japanese media asked Cashman to evaluate Ichiro Suzuki, and he said: “Tremendous defender. Singles hitter, great athlete, steals bases, he can certainly disrupt the defense.” Pretty much the nicest possible way to say “he sucks.”
  • On Hiroki Kuroda: “He’s a free agent … I don’t what’s going to happen. Of course we’d love to have him back. He was our ace.”
  • On getting younger: “You’d love to have as much young [talent] as you can … as long as it’s good.”
Jagielo ranks sixth on Baseball America's top NYPL prospects list
Jeter has not yet made decision about player option
  • Andrew Brotherton

    What I like about Cashman’s press conferences is that he is always straight to the point, he doesn’t really mince words.
    I’m very glad to hear that 189 is only a goal.

    • Mike Axisa

      Trust me, he said a lot more than this. I cut out all he rambling.

      • Daniel

        Anything about whether he plans to address closer position in free agency or internally?

        • Mike Axisa

          Nope. Would have added it if he did.

  • Joey

    Outside of what he said about Ichiro, everything was pretty straight forward.

  • LarryM Fl

    I understood Cashman’s words. I will wait to see the results of the Hot Stove and ST.
    He should drop his GMship for politics.

    • RetroRob

      …or perhaps some politicians (I’m talking about you Anthony Weiner!)might want to take lessons from Cashman (or Jeter). There is skill in talking and not saying anything. Very few can master it because it requires intelligence, confidence and self-awareness of yourself and the audience. A-Rod, for example, has the first two elements, but totally lacks the third.

  • Mikhel

    Funny how Axisa can always find a way to say Ichiro sucks yet when Cashman said “we got derailed this year by decision-making as much as injuries” fails to acknowledge that Brian blamed both JoeG’s and himself for poor decisions in acquiring players and managing them.

    • Farewell Mo

      I think any reasonable person realizes the problem this year was far more than Ichiro or injuries and Cashman bears plenty of the blame himself.

    • Ken

      No way did Ichiro “suck” this year. Sure, he got off to a slow start, but didn’t he bat around .260? He can get hits that wouldn’t exist otherwise and still fields well. I am sorry to see him get slammed here.

  • JGYank

    Cash knows that in addition to the injuries the bad offseason caused the team to fall out of a playoff spot. Hopefully he’ll prepare the team better this time.

  • Farewell Mo

    I don’t really think $189 is such a big issue this year because the FA crop is pretty damn weak this year. Besides resigning Cano, Tanaka and Brain McMann are the only guys I’d really be excited to sign. Maybe Beltran on a short term deal to bridge the gap for a year or 2.

    Can’t see breaking the bank for guys like Choo, Garza, Ervin Santana, Nalasco, Nelson Cruz, etc. I’d rather accept that next year is a likely a transitional year where they very well might be a .500 team and hope to be back in 2015 instead of giving money to questionable players that will hamstring the team down the road.

  • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals


    it’s a goal, not a mandate

    read: I’m not going to comment on that any further when Robbie’s agent is watching this on his iPhone salivating over $300,000,000 dollars.

    Who is the Yankee’s doctor?

  • Darren

    I love Robbie, but you gotta be shitting me if you think he’s gonna get a Mo-level reception when he retires. Definitely not from the other teams. And while he has been an excellenet Yankee so far, he would need to produce a hell of a lot more magical moments AND World Series wins to even approach the way people feel about Mo, Bernie, et. al.

    • JGYank

      I think that’s just the FO trying to give him incentive to stay and maybe soften his demands a bit.

      • Robinson Tilapia


        It was effective. I re-signed for next year already. I want to be the first Cuban in Monument Park.

        • Caballo Sin Nombre

          I had a ham and cheese sandwich there once; but an actual Cuban, no.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            They were selling Cuban sandwiches in 2009 in one small section. Never saw that again.

            Not that I thought they’d ever be any good.

    • John

      +1. Mattingly basically carried a mediocre Yankee franchise during lean years only to come up short of a World Series. Cano going to hustle like #23 and provide enough leadership once Jeter is gone?

  • jobasphatstache

    So that’s it for Hughes? Didn’t even have the decency to give him a courtesy reacharound? Yet, he’ll talk about Pineda, even though he’s nary thrown a pitch in pinstripes yet? Yes, a change in direction would be a real good idea.

    • BeanTooth

      Seems about right to me.

  • viridiana

    “Barren” seems a wholly off-base judgment. Actually, fairly impressive depth of talent in system. Somewhat thin in top-tier talent but that could be because three recent first round picks and top pitching prospect going into 2012 essentially were out last year.

  • viridiana

    Whoa…wound up in wrong thread. Sorry, all…

  • Mister D

    That’s a very ugly polo shirt. Cashman should dress nicer.

    • Mike Axisa

      That photo is from the Winter Meetings, when he was talking about A-Rod’s hip. It’s a RailRiders polo, right after the Triple-A team changed their name.

    • Preston

      It’s a Rail Riders shirt, he’s supporting the affiliates.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        That’s a very ugly polo shirt. The Rail Riders should dress nicer.

    • Mister D

      Yeah, I get that its a team shirt, but its a very ugly team shirt. My company gives out ugly attire too and I don’t wear it.

      • Mister D

        (I could have just said “and I don’t work in IT”. Either one.)

  • stuart a

    Ichiro stinks not real complicated..

    • JGYank

      You could tell Cash was struggling to find positive things about him.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        “He tells great jokes.”
        “He can really wear that uniform well.”

        • JGYank

          “He’s a good clubhouse guy.”
          “He’s a vet with a lot experience in big spots.”
          “He has a cool translator.”
          “He doesn’t get injured for the entire year like some other guys I know.”

          • Robinson Tilapia

            “He’s not Vernon Wells.”
            “He’s not Phil Hughes.”
            “He’s not Ichi….aw, fuck.”

            • JGYank


              But seriously I could go on and on complaining about Ichiro offensively. The terrible mechanics, bad plate discipline, little power, singles/slap hitter, doesn’t walk or get on base, doesn’t get XBH, etc… Still trying to figure out why they signed him to start.

              • The Big City of Dreams

                Still trying to figure out why they signed him to start.


                4,000 hits

                • JGYank

                  Unlikely to get there. It was a long shot to begin with.

                  • JGYank

                    Woops. Thought you wrote 3000. He got to 4000 like a month ago.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    I’ll admit it, to the dismay of that one guy posting under 30 “I hate Cashman” aliases: I love the way the man talks. Always in control. Gives you exactly as much information as he wants to give. Could give a fuck whether you want more or how it came out.

    Not anything groundbreaking, but enough nuance to get people wondering what he meant by goal versus mandate, etc.

  • Kenny

    There’s no problem distinguishing a “goal” from a “mandate.” The problem is whether that’s really what the owners intend.

    • RetroRob

      That is their mandated goal.

  • Pee Wee Herman Ruth

    Cashman reiterated that he prefers power hitters — “I love the big long ball,” he said with a straight face — and high on-base guys.

    Chicks dig the long ball is so 90’s…

    • Caballo Sin Nombre

      “I love the big long ball,” and wearing a Railrider shirt. Hmmm…

      • Pee Wee Herman Ruth

        You know what I love….I love big long innings that put stress on defenders and wear down pitchers

      • The Big City of Dreams

        He also said this:

        I could have an interest in Chad Jennings to a certain level.

        He’s not shy about it.

    • JGYank

      He also said he liked on base guys and plate discipline which I liked. I wish he stuck to that last offseason but instead got Ichiro and Wells. But I feel like gap power and line drive hitters are overlooked not just by the Yanks but in general. He also said that he goes after strikeout and grounder ball pitchers which I also liked but ironically has Hughes on the team who doesn’t have a strikeout pitch and constantly give up homers and fly balls.

      • Pee Wee Herman Ruth

        I liked it too…I hope they emphasize on base guys and plate discipline more in the future.

        And more ground ball pitchers would be good…since…you know the Yanks play 1/2 their games in YS.

        • JGYank

          Yeah I normally emphasize contact hitting but in YS you have to take advantage of the small dimensions in right and plate discipline is always important especially in working the count of a good SP to get him out of the game, getting ahead in the count, and walking to get on base. Lefty power hitters just fit this park perfectly and it helps to get righties that can hit the ball the other way or at least find the gaps often.

          Hopefully we get more strikeout guys to reduce the number of fly balls hit and to stop the declining range of older guys like Jeter and Arod from playing a big role in how many outs our pitchers get. I would advocate getting sinker ballers to get more grounders but right now the range on the left side of the infield is pretty bad so a lot of the grounders will get through the infield. Maybe for the future though.

      • Cool Lester Smooth

        I mean, we really didn’t have any options other than Wells at the time.

        • Cool Lester Smooth

          And Hughes has been about league average or better in regards to strikeouts every year except 2011.

          • JGYank

            Also true but he is definitely a fly ball pitcher that’s for sure.

        • JGYank

          True. I just don’t like the fact that outside of Cano there aren’t any OBP machines in our lineup. I remember in 09 we had a couple of guys around .400 and several others around or above .350. It was an impressive lineup that get on base through discipline and BA, smashed homers, and was clutch. Good combo right there. Only thing missing is SB and good base runners. The lineup this year lacked all of that except from one guy who has improved his walk rate but still can’t help but swing the bat (Cano).

  • Cool Lester Smooth

    Good to hear about Pineda.

    He’ll be at least a 3, Mike!

    We just have to get all the children of the worlds to clap their hands and say “I do believe in Pinedas!”

  • Cool Lester Smooth

    Good to hear about Pineda.

    He’ll be at least a 3, Mike!

    We just have to get all the children of the world to clap their hands and say “I do believe in Pinedas!”

    • Cool Lester Smooth

      Fahck. Dubblepost

  • Isaac

    For someone that seems so in control of what he gives to the media, I still cant believe he told A-Rod to “Shut the F*ck Up”, how angry must he have been?

  • Dick M

    It’s good to know that Cash likes high on base guys cause I was beginning to wonder.