Yankees aren’t sure if Robertson is Mo’s successor

Yankees GM Brian Cashman held court this afternoon here at the General Managers’ meetings in Orlando and said that he remains interested in all options to improve the club’s bullpen, including looking at closers.

Mariano Rivera obviously isn’t coming back (though it looks like we’ll see him next spring — more on that later), but Cashman indicated that the Yankees haven’t decided that David Robertson is a lock to elevate from the eighth inning to the ninth inning.

“I’m not sure if Robertson is capable yet. He’s never done that before,” Cashman said. “I think he’s earned the right to take a shot at it, and he very well may be the guy. But we’re not anointing him the guy. We’ll wait to see how our winter plays out and how Spring Training works out. Then Joe [Girardi] and Larry [Rothschild] will determine at some point at the end of Spring Training who our closer is.”

For what it’s worth, Robertson said at the end of the season that he wasn’t taking anything for granted:

“I don’t feel like any of the passing of the torch has been done, because I don’t know what’s going to happen next year,” Robertson said. “I haven’t been told anything.”

More quick hits from today’s session at the GM Meetings:

Cashman said that he has “whispered to a club here or there when I can” since arriving in Orlando. He plans to stay at the meetings until Thursday.

A source said that the Yankees have serious interest in outfielders Shin-Soo Choo and Carlos Beltran. Cashman said that he needs to explore adding an outfielder, but that likely falls behind piecing together 400 innings for the rotation on the priority list.

“If Granderson accepted [the qualifying offer], I would’ve been excited and happy and it would have been solved,” Cashman said. “I have more pressing needs than outfield. In terms of a priority list, that’s not as big a priority as some other aspects of the club. That doesn’t mean I won’t be talking to the outfielders either.”

As far as free agent catching: “We will explore if we can improve offensively at that position and see where that’ll take us. There’s some that interest us. Most don’t.” Cashman added that he’ll “absolutely” tender a contract to Francisco Cervelli.

As Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News first reported, the Yankees will be playing split-squad games against the Marlins in Panama on March 15 and 16.

The D-backs haven’t officially requested permission to speak with Mike Harkey about their pitching coach job, but they’re expected to. Cashman said he’ll grant permission, as it’s a promotion over Harkey’s current bullpen coach job.

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