Photo Courtesy of NoMaas
That was Brian Cashman’s answer when he was asked by WFAN’s Mike Francesa if he feels like he has enough starting pitching on the roster right now. I transcribed that portion of the questions and answers (Someone tell Mo to double my salary!) for our readers. They are as follows:
Mike Francesa-”Do you have enough on your current roster to go to Spring Training right now, as far as Starting Pitching goes, or in your mind do you have to add a Starting Pitching component?”
Brian Cashman-”I think I’d like to add if I could. It’s just that the prices on some of these (free agents) are prohibitive, and it’s a very limited list as well, the list that we would have an interest in. It goes from a comfort level of knowing this will help, versus the choices of players that you want to take flyers on, and hey, you might get lucky and catch lightning in a bottle like we’ve done in years past with certain guys. That’s kind of where it’s at right now. If we go that route (the latter) we’ll obviously pour more money into a position player addition or so. Or if we want to go with more certainty, we play on one of the more obvious players that are out there. That’s the wrestling match, it all depends on the conversations (with agents) and how they go. That can push it one way or the other. ”
Mike Francesa-”So you could be a player for one of the prominent guys out there? It’s not out of the question.”
Brian Cashman-”I wouldn’t rule anything out, but some things are harder than others. “
Sounds like Lackey is someone who’d have to come way down on his price for the Yanks to have any interest. A ‘lightning in a bottle’ guy could be a Kelvim Escobar or even a Chien Ming Wang in the spring, once they’ve had a chance to see him pitch. Even Ben Sheets at 7-8 mil (plus incentives) sounds like it could be difficult, but I wouldn’t rule it out from what Brian said. He clearly would like to add a pitcher, but spending that kind of money would mean he’s pretty much done for the off season. With the Damon talks breaking down, the 9 mil they offered Johnny could go to bolstering their rotation with a player like Sheets. When he said “it all depends on the conversations” with agents, it’s fair to assume that since the Damon talks didn’t go well, Cash will now be pursuing his Plan B. If that means Sheets, that would also mean one of Joba or Hughes would likely go to the bullpen, according to Brian. He said later in the interview that getting a “killer” pitcher could very well change one of their roles as starters. It remains to be seen if Ben Sheets would qualify in that regard, coming off elbow surgery.
If he misses out on adding some pitching, the position player he was referring to could be a Mike Cameron (who’d be a perfect fit in every way) or a Nick Johnson or a few bench players. Toward the end of the interview, he reiterated that the he has a firm, set payroll for 2010, and it will be lower than the 2009 payroll was. He’d have to get approval from Hal Steinbrenner to exceed that number, and he made clear that is something Hal doesn’t do lightly, the way his father did.
To listen to the interview in its entirety, click here.