12/04/11 4:00 PM EST
Hurlers head Yankees' Meetings wish list
With formidable roster largely set, club can afford to tweak
By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com
Baseball's annual Winter Meetings kick off at the Hilton Anatole on Monday, and you can count on Yankees.com to be on top of all the essentials as the Bronx Bombers look for opportunities to improve what they feel is already a very formidable roster.
Writers, general managers, agents, managers and hundreds of other front-office personnel have gathered in Texas, where they will remain for the next four days. There are luncheons, industry meetings and, on Thursday, the Rule 5 Draft.
But of primary interest to fans are the trades and free-agent activity that inevitably come from so many baseball minds being under the same roof.
"We're having our conversations," Cashman told reporters in advance of the Winter Meetings. "We're talking to other clubs. We've got prospects people like, but we like them too. If it makes sense, we're ready to rock and roll."
MLB.com will have you covered here each day -- all day -- with pertinent rumors, impending signings and any news that breaks. The main site will host rapid updates, with the blog and Twitter serving as complements to the main coverage.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi will meet with the media on Wednesday, offering his thoughts as he chats with reporters en masse for the first time since a Yankee Stadium press conference following the club's elimination in the American League Division Series.
As of now, Girardi's roster looks much the same as it did on the last lineup card he filled out in October, and that doesn't seem to be much of a concern to Cashman.
"We're set in a lot of places, we really are," Cashman said. "Could it be better? It's my job to try to find ways to make it better."
News reports will be complemented by a nightly recap of each day's event. The Rule 5 Draft, which begins at 9 a.m. ET on Thursday, should present the Yankees with an opportunity to add a low-risk player to their organization; New York has taken three players in the last two Rule 5 Drafts, though none have been able to crack the big league roster out of camp.
While Cashman has confidence in the roster he has assembled, largely secure after making certain CC Sabathia will head the rotation, the Yankees do have items on their shopping list as they go to Texas.
Pitching is the priority, especially if they can upgrade over their projected starting five, but retaining Sabathia -- and to a lesser extent, Freddy Garcia -- has diminished some of that urgency, especially with Hector Noesi being touted as the next Ivan Nova-type rookie on the way.
With Phil Hughes and A.J. Burnett also in the fold, they don't seem especially enthralled with C.J. Wilson, reluctant to dig deep in their wallets for the lefty. But it's expected they will keep an eye on the situations with the likes of Mark Buehrle, Edwin Jackson, Roy Oswalt and Yu Darvish, just in case something presents itself.
New York's bullpen seems largely set with David Robertson, Rafael Soriano and eventually Joba Chamberlain lining up behind Mariano Rivera, though they would be interested in a second left-hander to supplement or challenge Boone Logan in the relief crew.
And while they need some bench pieces, figuring out who will fill the roles that Eric Chavez and Andruw Jones had in '11 (if those players do not, in fact, wind up returning), Cashman said that he feels absolutely set at all his starting positions and that offense is not a problem with his club.
"There's not a primary, obvious, stated target that everybody knows about," Cashman said.
As the GMs begin their discussions, go ahead and start yours in the comments section. Should the Yankees be heading to Dallas looking to make a bigger splash this winter, or is Cashman's steady stance the right play at this time in the marketplace?