ORLANDO, Fla. — Brian Cashman arrived at the annual general managers meetings not in a hurry and left the same way.
“Given our circumstance right now and where our current roster sits compared to previous Novembers, we’re in a better place,” the Yankees general manager said late Wednesday morning. “We have the ability to be patient because we feel we have pieces in almost all places. Now it’s more about, do you trade from areas of strength rather than being desperate to fill areas of weakness. It’s a strong position to be in.”
Which isn’t to say Cashman, who would like to add at least one starter to the rotation, isn’t planning to stand pat this winter. It’s just he’s not going to make a move just to make one.
“I’m not really desperate in rushing against time and competition,” he said. “We might not be crazy busy in terms of results, but we’ll still be aggressively engaging other clubs to make sure we don’t miss opportunities. Just have to determine what those real opportunities are.”
Any major additions are likely to come via trade as Cashman is under a mandate from managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner to get payroll under the $197 million luxury tax threshold.
For now, Cashman returns to New York for his most immediate priority, though that also is without a time frame.
Interviews for the vacant manager’s job resume Thursday and Friday when Aaron Boone and Hensley Meulens are expected to interview in some order. Chris Woodward, the Dodgers third base coach, has also emerged as a candidate.
To this point, only bench coach Rob Thomson and Eric Wedge, formerly manager of the Indians and Mariners, have interviewed.
“You’re just looking for an open-minded, collaborative person, which I thought Joe Girardi was and I thought Joe Torre prior to that was,” Cashman said. “So our process is going to be looking for somebody that has a number of areas that check most of those boxes, but there’s no perfect candidate out there.”
And, with the Yankees the only team looking for a manager, Cashman isn’t rushing the process.
“I’d like to have something done when I’m comfortable with a recommendation and then ownership gets the same comfort level after we present to them who we think would be the right person,” he said. “Time is not an enemy here because there’s no competition.”