Like every other GM, Cashman’s goal is to put a World Series caliber team on the field but the pressure he is under is much greater, as this franchise and its fan-base expect to win their 28th championship; or the season is considered a bust.
The only difference for Cashman is his resources are not longer limitless, like when the Boss was still alive. As even though the Yankees still spend the most money, Hank and Hal have been and plan to be more conservative than their father.
Before Cashman even thinks of free agents the Yankees might like to pursue, he has to deal with resigning players from within, as the list is longer than usual.
So, as the MLB Hot Stove season is just a World Series away, Cashman’s first order of business is dealing internally.
Here is the list of Yankee players who are free agents, and ones with contract options but with my notes added in of what promises to be a busy Yankees off-season.
Nick Swisher - My guess is Swish will not be back, as Yankees might throw him a one-year bone but Swish can get a multi-year deal elsewhere. And according to the NY Post the Yankees are sick of Swish’s act; and I have to agree.
Russell Martin - My guess is Martin will ink a 2-year, at $14-$17 million with a third-year team option.
Hiroki Kuroda - Offer him the same deal as 2012, one-year at $10 million, as Kuroda was great.
Andy Pettitte - Up to Andy, and his family. So my guess is the southpaw will be back.
Mariano Rivera - Does Rivera want to come back? He says he does and the Yankees want him, but it might cost them a pretty penny. And will Soriano go back to setting up for Mo for one season, knowing he is the future?
Ichiro Suzuki - Yankees would be stupid not to ink Ichiro to a one-year deal. He can still rake, as he went 6-for-17 (.353) in the ALCS and was reinvented in the Bronx to being a singles-hitting machine.
Derek Lowe - This is a 50-50 guess, as Lowe is always good when he arrives at a new club but once comfy can get sloppy. He was better than I expected, but Lowe turns 40 next June and the Yankees should look to get younger in some spots. Lowe threw 24-innings in pinstripes and posted a 3.02 ERA.
Eric Chavez - My guess is Chavez will officially retire; or find a new home.
Andruw Jones - Thank you for coming.
Freddy Garcia – Adios Freddy.
Robinson Cano ($15 million or $2 million buyout) – Joel Sherman of the NY Post reports that Cano wants a 10-year, big money contract but will the Yankees offer that type of long-term deal now? Well at the very least the Yankees will exercise the $15 million option for 2013, so Cano will be in pinstripes next season no matter what.
Curtis Granderson (was $13 million but now $15 million due to 4th place finish in last season’s MVP voting; or $2 million buyout) – confirmed by CBS Jon Heyman via twitter that the Yankees will exercise the option for 2013.)
Rafael Soriano (owed $14 million for 2013, or can take $1.5 million buyout and become a free agent). – Over on the best website for all off-season baseball news, MLBTradeRumors.com the word via his agent Scott Boras is that Soriano will most likely opt-out of his contract, which I think is a no-brainer. Soriano was a closing stud in the Bronx this season, and the Yankees would never have finished 2012 with 95-wins if he had not saved 42 games. Soriano finished the season with a 2.26 ERA, with 69 strikeouts, allowing just six homers, 17 earned runs over just shy of 68-innings pitched. Soriano is 32-years old and the Yankees would be making a huge mistake not offering him 3-years at 50-million as he excelled at the job already, which is not easy in New York.