Robinson Cano strikes out in the 6th inning against the...

Robinson Cano strikes out in the 6th inning against the Angels at Yankee Stadium. (July 15, 2012) Credit: David Pokress

Might Yankees ownership be willing to alter a policy it wasn't willing to change for Jorge Posada, Joe Girardi, Brian Cashman -- even Derek Jeter?

Under managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner, the Yankees have had a fairly concrete policy of letting contracts expire before talking extensions. But with Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson due to become free agents after 2013, Cashman said he'd like to address both players' situations in the offseason.

"This winter, we'll be forced to look at some of these things," Cashman said Sunday. "It doesn't mean anything will happen from it, but we'll be forced to look at it. We'll have our conversations with the ownership. But no one's initiated anything."

Ownership, which has mandated a payroll of $189 million by 2014 to avoid steep luxury-tax penalties, did give him permission to alter the policy last offseason.

"We can do whatever we want when we want in terms of if we want to change our policy,'' Cashman said. "I'm not saying we're changing it, but we did approach Russell Martin about an extension before the season started. But regardless, there's no game plan in place other than acknowledging we're going to have to look at it because they'll be a year away from free agency come wintertime.''


Trade doingsSaying he already believes he has "a championship-caliber club'' and that the price of making a trade currently is prohibitive, Cashman said he's "not very optimistic we'll be needing to be active or should be active'' before the trade deadline.

"I'm very skeptical,'' he said. "But that does not mean I'm saying we're going to do nothing.''

With Joba Chamberlain (ankle) and Brett Gardner (elbow) likely returning within the month, Cashman said those could be all the reinforcements the Yankees need.

"Not as an insult to Brett Gardner, he's a huge asset that we can use, but have we missed him? No,'' Cashman said. "Have we missed Joba? No. All these guys, they can only make us better and give us more choices. But I don't feel if [they] don't come back, I have to do something because the other guys are doing such a great job for us.''


Donning the pinstripesYankees first-round draft pick Ty Hensley, who signed just before Friday's deadline, was in uniform before the game. The righthander played catch with Andy Pettitte and shagged flies during batting practice.

"I was looking forward to meeting Derek Jeter a lot,'' said Hensley, 18, the 30th overall pick. "I was looking forward to meeting him and finally got to today. Was pretty pumped up about that.''

What was termed an "abnormality'' showed up on Hensley's MRI a couple of weeks ago -- costing him about $400,000, as he signed for $1.2 million instead of the $1.6 million slotted for the 30th pick -- but the pitcher said there's no concern.

"I'm healthy and I plan on staying healthy,'' Hensley said. "I've never been sore, even after I've thrown. I'm going to be healthy for a long time.''

When the Yankees drafted Hensley, who will report to Tampa on Monday to start his career in the GCL, he said his goal is to be in the majors by age 21. Said Hensley, "I think it's definitely within reach.''


Extra basesPettitte had an X-ray Sunday and said the doctor declared his fractured left fibula "50 percent'' healed, or right on schedule. Pettitte, who threw on flat ground again, said the target date for his return remains Sept. 1 . . . Gardner had four at-bats in a three-inning simulated game in Tampa Sunday. "I think everything went OK,'' Girardi said.

With James Crepea

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