Hal Steinbrenner, principal owner of the Yankees, talks with reporters...

Hal Steinbrenner, principal owner of the Yankees, talks with reporters during MLB owners meetings on Feb. 5, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. Credit: AP/John Raoux

The Yankees, super-quiet before the just-ended 99-day lockout, continued down that path on Day 1 after Major League Baseball officially reopened for business.

That, of course, is an oversimplification. After all, just because nothing official got done Friday, it doesn't mean nothing was happening.

Behind the scenes Friday — and on Thursday night as soon as the new collective bargaining agreement was signed by both parties — Yankees general manager Brian Cashman was touching base with agents and teams on potential upgrades for his roster.

It's a roster that, relatively speaking, is fairly strong. Still, as no Yankees fan needs reminding, there is important work to be done — but work that doesn’t have to get done before Sunday’s first full-squad workout at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida.

The Yankees’ needs entering this 3 ½-week version of spring training — trimmed from the typical six weeks because of the lockout — are the same as before the stoppage began Dec. 2.

The top priority continues to be shortstop. Those who got excited about a report earlier in the week stating that the Yankees had, before the lockout, requested medicals on a group of players that included star shortstop Carlos Correa — the top player on the market entering the offseason — should keep two things in mind:

First, it is not uncommon for clubs to request medicals for a slew of players, many of whom there’s little to no chance those teams will go after, let alone sign. The Yankees, for instance, also requested medicals but never got seriously involved with lefty Carlos Rodon, who agreed to a two-year, $44 million deal with the Giants on Friday.

Requesting medicals are part of the due diligence many teams do in the off-season, and agents often leak that information in order to create the appearance of a robust market (sometimes there is and sometimes there isn’t). In general, better to be overprepared than underprepared.

Second, and most significant, before the lockout, there were no indications that managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner planned to throw open his vault for any of the top free agents on the market, Correa included. Current signs indicate that remains the case.

"Wouldn’t count on it," one club insider said late Thursday night of a potential Yankees spending spree.

Steinbrenner, of course, can change his mind, as he did in December 2019 when he eventually was convinced to give a nine-year, $324 million contract to Gerrit Cole.

When it comes to shortstop, the pursuit of a one- or two-year stopgap is far more likely as the Yankees wait for touted shortstop prospects such as Oswald Peraza, who probably will start the season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and Anthony Volpe, headed to Double-A Somerset to continue his development.

Andrelton Simmons was of interest to the Yankees, but he reportedly agreed to a one-year, $4 million deal with the Cubs on Friday night.

So while Correa is all but certain to sign elsewhere — and the same can be said for Trevor Story, another top shortstop on the free-agent market — the Yankees making a run at first baseman Freddie Freeman can’t be ruled out. Freeman still is expected to re-sign with Atlanta, which drafted and developed him, and the Yankees could balk about investing too much — in dollars and years — in a player who will turn 33 in September. But they could pivot back to Freeman if they can’t work out a trade for A’s first baseman Matt Olson, high on their wish list at the moment, or sign free agent Anthony Rizzo, who was an instant fit in the Bronx after the Yankees acquired him at the 2021 trade deadline.

Other areas of need for the Yankees include bolstering the rotation and bullpen with another arm or two and perhaps looking for an outfielder because of the uncertainty surrounding Aaron Hicks, coming off season-ending surgery in May 2021 to repair a torn tendon sheath in his left wrist.

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