STAMFORD, Conn. - A friend brought Brian Cashman a present concealed in a cardboard box early Friday morning, and the Yankees GM jokingly asked if a shortstop was inside.
A few hours later, the Yankees announced a three-team deal that yielded them Arizona's Didi Gregorius.
Cashman was practicing for Sunday's Heights and Lights Christmas event, where he will be rappelling down the side of the Landmark Building. He did not bring up Gregorius but did say he was not sure if the Yanks would make a big free-agent signing, even though, "Toronto and Boston have made some big moves."
"I don't think I'm allowed to say, and I wouldn't be comfortable saying," Cashman said. "The winter's a long winter, so even if I felt one thing today, doesn't mean it's the same thing tomorrow. I think we legitimately have to walk through and consider all avenues."
One area Cashman hopes to address is the bullpen. David Robertson rejected the Yankees' qualifying offer in November and became a free agent. The Yankees have been in talks with him as well as former Baltimore and Boston reliever Andrew Miller.
"I would say we are looking for every which way to improve the club," Cashman said when asked if the Yankees would consider signing both Robertson and Miller. "That depends on a lot of other things as well. I'm open."
Cashman also spoke about addressing the starting rotation spots vacated by Hiroki Kuroda and Brandon McCarthy, as well as the concerns over Masahiro Tanaka and CC Sabathia's health.
Tanaka is not rehabbing anymore. Sabathia has been rehabbing at Yankee Stadium this offseason, and Cashman expects him to be ready for spring training.
Cashman rejected the idea that the high-risk, high-reward nature of a rotation that currently features four all-star caliber pitchers who dealt with injuries last season in Tanaka, Sabathia, Ivan Nova and Michael Pineda would influence a fortifying of the bullpen.
"I wouldn't say that would be the reason to push," Cashman said. "I would say one has nothing to do with the other, but I do want to improve our pitching staff regardless."
As for the offense, Cashman reiterated his openness to negotiating with players and other organizations.
"If something presents itself by our design, by pursuing it or if something presents itself by somebody else's suggestion and it looks like it makes us better, obviously we're going to gravitate to it," Cashman said.
He added that he expects Carlos Beltran to perform better in 2015.
"None of our fans had a chance to enjoy him last year because he was playing through an injury, so we expect Carlos to be what he has always been," Cashman said. "We're excited about his health."?
-- With Marc Carig