Cashman: Travis Hafner will be a Yankee
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman dropped a little bit of news during an appearance on ESPN 98.7 FM this afternoon, confirming to hosts Ryan Ruocco and Stephen A. Smith that Travis Hafner will indeed be in pinstripes this season.
Hafner is expected to receive a one-year, $2 million deal that includes incentives, and he’ll serve as the Yankees’ DH against right-handed pitching. The deal has not been officially announced by the Yankees, pending the completion of contract language and a physical.
Most of Cashman’s interview, however, revolved around the Alex Rodriguez situation — and there is little Cashman is permitted to say at this time concerning the issue.
Here’s a brief summary (you can listen to the entire 13-minute interview here) –
Initial response to the allegations: Cashman said that the Yankees’ media relations department received a letter last Friday from the Miami New Times, seeking a comment from A-Rod. The Yankees turned the issue over to MLB and the Commissioner’s Office, and have not commented further since then. Cashman said that the Yankees had no knowledge of the situation before receiving the letter, and the team is in full cooperation with MLB. Cashman later said he hasn’t spoken to A-Rod, and wouldn’t comment when asked if he would.
On potentially voiding A-Rod’s contract as a result of this: “Those type of suggestions and speculation are all premature until you have facts. You can’t act on anything, you can’t pursue anything, unless you have verifiable facts. That’s what Major League Baseball is determining. They have an office that handles these things and are very serious about these circumstances. We’ll just have to wait until there are facts, and see how it relates to every individual team and player if everything is verified. Obviously we have a very bad story that Major League Baseball is looking into right now.”
A-Rod in 2013: Cashman said that the Yankees continue to expect A-Rod to come back from his hip surgery in 2013, but his stance is that they’re not counting on it, and that’s why they gave $12 million to Kevin Youkilis. It’s a similar situation to that of rehabbing right-hander Michael Pineda, who is scheduled to help at the big league level in May or June, but Cashman said he can’t plan on it. Pineda has been throwing from a half-mound down in Tampa this week and it does not sound like he’s had any setbacks.
Derek Jeter update: Jeter is healthy and cleared for action, and the Yankees are taking him slowly because they have time. The goal is to have him at shortstop on Opening Day vs. Boston and Cashman said, “There’s no reason that’s not going to happen. he’s really 100 percent healthy and he’s now knocking the rust off.”
Jeter has been hitting off a tee and taking ground balls hit directly at him. Cashman said that the Yankees could clear him to run right now, but they’ll hold off out of caution. “His recovery is very predictable,” Cashman said.