SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Brian Cashman left the annual general managers’ meetings empty-handed in that no deals had been completed.
But that isn’t unusual for this time of year. It also doesn’t mean the meetings, which wrapped up early Thursday morning, were unproductive for the Yankees.
“Talks will continue with teams and agents,” Cashman said before flying home. “It’s a necessary evil. Fly out here, meeting with everybody as much as you possibly can.”
Free-agent closer Aroldis Chapman, whom the Yankees dealt to the Cubs before the Aug. 1 deadline, is a top target, followed by Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen. Cashman spoke with the agents of both players during the meetings.
Cashman also has received plenty of interest in catcher Brian McCann. He has a full no-trade clause, so he would have to OK any deal.
Cashman would not say whether he was leaving the meetings closer to reaching a deal for the catcher than before he arrived in Scottsdale.
“It doesn’t matter how close I do come or not, because he had a full no-trade,” Cashman said. “I can have a lot of dialogue and a lot of conversations, which is my job to be doing, but at the end of the day, Brian will have the final say, as he deserves. Regardless, he’s a productive member of our club and provides a great deal of flexibility and protection by retaining him. And if we found it advantageous to move on trade opportunities, then so be it. But either way, I think we’re in a good spot.”
Some uncertainty hovers over this offseason, at least the beginning stages of it, because the collective-bargaining agreement is set to expire Dec. 1. Commissioner Rob Manfred said he remains optimistic that a new agreement will be done before the old one expires, and MLBPA executive director Tony Clark also has expressed optimism.
Regardless, Cashman said that hasn’t come up in discussions with representatives of free agents or with other teams in trade discussions.
“No one’s mentioned, ‘I have to wait for this or I’ve got to wait for that’ and stuff,” Cashman said. “We’ve expressed interest in players from other clubs and I get interest expressed on our players, and then you just go through the parameters trying to match up.”
Cashman said no matter what happens with the CBA, “I already have exactly what my owner’s willing to do,” meaning a budget received from managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner.