Yankees general Manager Brian Cashman holds a press conference at...

Yankees general Manager Brian Cashman holds a press conference at Yankee stadium where he discussed the state of the team. (Oct 1, 2013) Credit: Bruce Gilbert

With Robinson Cano's defection to the Mariners, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has been outspoken about the pressing need to acquire a second baseman.

But almost as important is the acquisition of a third baseman, and the Yankees are in full pursuit of that end, too.

That's because, while not having any knowledge of how arbitrator Fredric Horowitz will rule on Alex Rodriguez's appeal of a 211-game suspension, the Yankees are preparing for a season without him.

Horowitz isn't expected to render a decision until January, but the Yankees are proceeding as if enough of the suspension will be upheld to cost A-Rod most, if not all, of the 2014 season.

An added benefit of that, of course, would be the money -- in the range of $30 million -- that would be freed up if Rodriguez is suspended the entire season.

Even if A-Rod is completely exonerated, which is unlikely, the Yankees will pursue depth at the position because of the concern about his ability to remain healthy.

Who are the candidates to play third?

A source with knowledge of the team's thinking said Monday that the Yankees are very much interested in Michael Young. He primarily has been a shortstop in his career but has played plenty of third and second and has drawn interest from the Yankees in the past.

Young, 37, has played 793 games at short, 465 at third and 448 at second.

Another upside is the 111 games he has played at first, making him an option to give Mark Teixeira, coming off a wrist injury that cost him most of the 2013 season, an occasional day off.

The Yankees have spoken with the agent for Juan Uribe and have expressed some interest in Eric Chavez, though there is concern about the 36-year-old's vast injury history, which the Yankees experienced firsthand in 2011-12.

Omar Infante remains a target as a replacement for Cano. The 31-year-old also has played shortstop and third base.

Because of the uncertainty surrounding Derek Jeter's left ankle, many of the infield options the Yankees are looking at can play multiple positions.

Kelly Johnson, signed last week to a one-year deal, can play second and third.

Among the trade options are the Reds' Brandon Phillips and the Angels' Howie Kendrick. Another name to keep an eye on is Asdrubal Cabrera, a player the Yankees like. The Indians are very much willing to listen to offers for the 27-year-old, who has played mostly at shortstop but has some experience at second.

Pitching remains a priority for Cashman, who arrived here early Monday afternoon but did not speak with reporters. The club is in a holding pattern as it waits for a resolution on a new posting process that will affect their chase of Japanese righthander Masahiro Tanaka. His status is expected to be resolved sometime during these meetings.

The Yankees have looked at some of the starting pitchers on the free-agent market, including Matt Garza and Ubaldo Jimenez, but a source said Monday that as of now, they aren't in serious talks with any of them.

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