Brian Cashman spoke to media from the Winter Meetings this afternoon to answer questions about his plans for the team. A few notable things were discussed, like the fact that the Yankees never intended to sign David Robertson after inking Andrew Miller to a four-year deal on Friday. That jives with the comments from early this morning that suggested the team never made an offer to Robertson's camp before he agreed to a four-year deal with the White Sox. Cashman says he told media that the Yankees were still interested in Robertson after the Miller signing so that it wouldn't hurt Robertson's market. That's kind of nice, I guess. The team decided that Miller and the draft pick was a better way to allocate their resources.
The Yankee GM also said he had contact with the Oakland Athletics about Jeff Samardzija, who is heading to the White Sox after being traded earlier today. Cashman said there just wasn't a match to be found between the two teams that could get a deal done. On the topic of the big free agent pitchers still on the market, Cashman said that it wasn't in his best interest to say whether or not he was interested. With a glaring need (or two) in the rotation at this point, it would be pretty stunning if the team wasn't in on at least one of Max Scherzer or Jon Lester.
It was reported last week that the Yankees had hired former Yankee and Trenton Thunder hitting coach Marcus Thames to be assistant hitting coach in the Bronx, but Cashman says that report was false. He has to hire a hitting coach before worrying about an assistant hitting coach. That makes sense, and it wouldn't be surprising to see Thames possibly brought in once a main hitting coach is decided upon. It's been a while since we've heard of any real leads on that front, though.
Joe Girardi also spoke to the media and said that he hadn't decided whether or not he'd name a closer between Miller and Dellin Betances or go with a situational type method. Ultimately it will probably come down to which guys make the bullpen out of spring training and there are plenty of people in the mix for that, including last year's top draft pick Jacob Lindgren.
In no-brainer news, Girardi says that the team expects Masahiro Tanaka to make his 32 starts next season after suffering from a partially torn UCL in 2014. Girardi also states the obvious that Ivan Nova won't be ready to pitch by Opening Day after recovering from Tommy John surgery. On the topic of the newly acquired Didi Gregorius, Girardi thinks that the young shortstop has a chance to really blossom in New York. He also pointed to the rotation as a place he thinks the team should view as a priority right now. Get it done, Cashman. Bring us Scherzer or Lester. Or both. And Brandon McCarthy. Thanks!