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Yankees have more money to pursue Aroldis Chapman after dealing Brian McCann

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman answers questions from

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman answers questions from the media during an end-of-season press conference at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Brian Cashman showed up for the “Sleep Out” outside of Covenant House in Manhattan Thursday night to raise funds and awareness with about 180 other executives for the benefit of homeless kids. But this was more about the “Out” than the “Sleep” overnight for the Yankees’ general manager.

“I’m not going to sleep,” Cashman said, now a six-year veteran of an event in which more than 1,000 executives sleep outside in 18 cities in the U.S. and Canada. “You can’t sleep on the street. No one should have to go through what these kids go through. So I’ll be up. If anyone on the West Coast wants to deal with me after normal East Coast hours, I’ll be ready for it.”

After trading Brian McCann to Houston for two lower-level, power-armed pitching prospects a few hours earlier and saving $11.5 million each of the next two years, Cashman said he hoped “to reallocate that money that we just saved and put it to good use that better balances this club.”

He admittedly wouldn’t mind putting money into a reunion with Aroldis Chapman, although it’s going to take a whole lot more than $23 million. Cashman expressed his interest in bringing back the free-agent closer after trading him to the Cubs for righty Adam Warren and three prospects on July 25.

“Chapman did a terrific job . . . in the short time he was here,” Cashman said. “He did prove he could handle New York. He’s someone that we would be interested in bringing back. But I think there’s a lot of teams interested in doing that with him.”

The 28-year-old Cuban lefty figures to shatter the $50-million record for closer contracts after going 4-1 with 36 saves and a 1.55 ERA in 59 games for the Yankees and Chicago. Chapman also won two and saved four in the postseason to help the Cubs claim their first World Series title in 108 long years.

“It doesn’t guarantee that he will be here,” Cashman said, “but he’s certainly heard from us and knows we’d like to have him back.”

Hal Steinbrenner also gave off positive vibes about Chapman Wednesday at the owners’ meetings in Chicago, speaking about that proven-in-New York value. And Steinbrenner said beefing up the bullpen is “my probable priority.”

When those words were repeated to Cashman, he responded with the words “pitching, pitching, pitching. I’m open whether it’s bullpen, starting, all of the above. I just want to improve upon whatever we have. I want to get better. I’m open-minded to all of it. So if I can find something that’s better than the current starters, I’m all interested if we can match up. The same with the bullpen.”

Cashman wouldn’t comment directly about the prospect of acquiring White Sox ace Chris Sale because the lefty starter is under contract.

But Cashman did speak in general terms to downplay the possibility, saying that the Yankees have “acquired a lot of talent that’s knocking on the door, and in most cases, we’d like to see that talent translate to Yankee impact by promotion. I’d say if there’s a massive under-control contract player out there, it’s not likely for us to back a truck up at this moment in time to try pull down one player.

“We’re in a position to do that because we have the talent to do that. But I wouldn’t recommend us doing something like that because I feel like we have too many areas that are still unsettled that that wouldn’t make much sense.”


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