Do not pencil Noah Syndergaard or Jacob deGrom into the Yankees’ rotation quite yet, but general manager Brian Cashman acknowledged on Thursday that he has been in contact with Mets executives as part of his due diligence.
Speaking two days after Mets general manager Sandy Alderson took a leave of absence and one day after assistant GM John Ricco said the Mets will be trade deadline sellers, Cashman said this at an event in Manhattan to launch New York Sports Tours:
“I’ve been engaged with all clubs, including the Mets. It’s the job, and if you can, you match up your ownership recommendations on both ends and see if it takes you anywhere. I have been talking with Sandy. I’ve also been talking with [special assistant] Omar Minaya.
“I texted with Sandy yesterday given what was going on [with his cancer recurrence] and obviously everybody is wishing him a speedy recovery and good health moving forward. I’m sorry to see what he’s going through and praying for a quick recovery because he’s a good man and a good baseball man and obviously good at what he does.
“But I’ll stay engaged with the Mets along with every other club and see where it takes us. I don’t think I’ll have any dialogue with the Boston Red Sox. I’ll take them off the call list. But other than that we’ll be very busy trying to improve ourselves.”
Cashman confirmed the obvious, which is that whether or not the Mets become plausible trading partners — and the smart money is on “not” — pitching will be the primary focus in July.
“It’s very difficult to pick up an impact starter no matter what,” he said. “But the job is to try to improve the club, so no question about it, I think pitching is the area of focus. The main focus would be the rotation, and if not you fall back maybe and see if you can improve the pen.
“But in the meantime obviously we lost [Jordan] Montgomery for the year and [Masahiro] Tanaka close to the All-Star break — we might get him back before then at some point — but we’ve learned a lot about [Domingo] German and [Jonathan] Loaisiga, which is that we’ve been forced to turn to our depth and see how it plays out, and there’s been some encouraging signs from that.
“So it gives us comfort as we continue to navigate our efforts to try to upgrade our pitching between now and July 31. We’ll see. It’s hard to predict if it’s going to happen, if it can happen, how much it’s going to cost. But usually it’s pricey.”
Cashman appeared alongside Mary Carillo, John Starks and Shep Messing to promote New York Sports Tours, a bus tour of midtown Manhattan that visits historical, sports-related sites paired with documentary videos narrated by Carillo. It has been in previews since last autumn, but the first official public tour is set for July 8.