Cashman: “We do have a team. A lot of people think we don’t.”
There has been a lot of talk about the quiet winter that the Yankees are having, and it’s justified in many respects. It’s difficult to look at the roster on paper and make the case that the team is now better than the one that was swept by the Tigers in last year’s American League Championship Series.
But while some are already picking the Blue Jays as the team to beat in the American League East, general manager Brian Cashman isn’t buying the suggestion that the Yankees won’t be competitive this season, as he told reporters last night at an event for Joe Torre’s Safe at Home Foundation dinner in New York.
Here’s a quick transcript of Cashman’s meeting with the media (thanks to MLB.com’s Mark Newman for passing it along):
On looking forward to Spring Training: “I am, especially in this kind of weather. It’s nice to get out there, and now we can actually show you that we do have a team. A lot of people think we don’t.”
On proving those people wrong: “That comes in the course of the season. I have until now and the Trade Deadline to solve all issues, and everybody usually has some area of vulnerability. We obviously have some that we need to shore up. I think the pitching staff’s not one of them at this stage, and we have a lot of quality players we are going to be running out there. So I’ll have some time between Opening Day and May 21 or whatever to continue to look for ways to shore up and improve those areas, such as the bench and right-handed bat for the outfield, that currently stand out.”
On the Yankees being better in 2013: “It’s too early to say whether we’ll be better. It’s hard to be better than a 95-win team anyway, it’s hard to squeeze out an extra win from 95 wins to 96 or 97 or whatever. It’s too early to say. It’s still evolving. We’ve got players who are getting healthy. We’ve just got to have more time to reinforce some areas but also see where we are with Jeter, Mariano and CC — all are expected to be fine, but until they’re out there doing what you’re consistently used to seeing, you’ve got to wait it out.”
On the offseason: “I’m in the marketplace both with free agent and trade, and I’ll stay that way, with available players and have conversations, whether it’s a non-roster invite or actually a Major League acquisition in some form or fashion. I mean, I’m open for it. Clearly, everything that’s taken place so far, either we passed on or they passed on us. We just keep working on it and see where it takes us.”
On feeling comfortable with this roster: “My job is never to feel comfortable. I never do. We had the ’98 world championship team, and I wasn’t comfortable. So I’ve never been comfortable — and that team was 125 wins and 50 losses. So I think it’s best to never feel comfortable.”
On former D-back and current Brave Justin Upton: “Did I ever have a conversation with Arizona about him? Yeah, but they weren’t focusing on us.”