STAMFORD, Conn. — Expect an announcement shortly of some new Yankees arrivals.
To their coaching staff.
With Major League Baseball in a lockdown, Brian Cashman faces serious limits on what he can do (and say) to improve the Yankees. There can be no communication of any kind regarding clubs’ 40-man rosters.
What the Yankees’ general manager can do, among other select activities, is complete the coaching staff he shook up following the team’s American League wild-card game loss to the Red Sox. That should occur shortly, Cashman said Friday, not long before rappelling down the Landmark Building here as part of this city’s “Downtown Heights & Lights” festivities.
“I feel like we are down the tracks with our major-league coaching staff. We’re dotting I’s and crossing T’s,” Cashman said. “That’s something that will be revealed here if it’s permissible at some point.”
As with the Mets’ search for their manager, MLB will be delighted to deliver some non-labor news to its fans.
To this point, Cashman and the Yankees have done fine work in keeping quiet the names of the people they are considering to coach their hitters (replacing the fired Marcus Thames and P.J. Pilittere) as well as a first-base coach (replacing the departed Reggie Willits). Last month, they introduced former Mets manager Luis Rojas as their third-base coach.
Besides the coaching search, Cashman’s baseball operations group is working on the minor-league phase of next week’s Rule 5 draft (the major-league portion will occur after the players and owners sign off on a new collective bargaining agreement) as well as replacing some coaches on the minor-league side.
Cashman pointedly if politely declined to engage on any questions regarding the team’s slow start to the offseason. While many teams regarded the Dec. 1 expiration of the CBA as an impetus to sign free agents, with over $1 billion spent in the week prior to the shutdown, the Yankees did little besides tender contracts to all of their arbitration-eligible players, including polarizing catcher Gary Sanchez. They re-signed reliever Joely Rodriguez in mid-November and still face holes and/or questions at shortstop, first base, centerfield and catcher as well the desire to add a starting pitcher and further strengthen their bullpen.
“Because of the current circumstances, I can’t really comment on anything regarding the major-league roster,” Cashman said, following the mandate established by commissioner Rob Manfred and MLB’s attorneys.