Yankees GM Brian Cashman spoke to the press at the general manager meetings in Arizona last night and said “of course we’re gonna have to talk to Strasburg, we’ll talk to Cole, we’ll talk to the higher-end guys, clearly.”
That’s certainly something Yankees fans want to hear, but given how the Yankees have been uncharacteristically loathe to go after the biggest names in free agency over the past couple of offseasons, I feel like the club’s actions will need to speak louder than Brian Cashman’s words.
Not that some of his words weren’t unwelcome: Cashman said that he has not been given a directive by ownership to stay under the Competitive Balance Tax threshold. Which is somewhat surprising given that they did exceed it this past season and people who cover the club seem to think they’ll try to get under it in 2020.
All of which sets some pretty high expectations for Cashman, no? I mean, what happens if it’s reported that the club did not seriously engage Cole and/or Strasburg? What happens if they simply get outbid? What happens if, despite the apparent lack of a mandate to stay below the CBT, Cashman chooses to anyway?
Which is to say that while, in the past, the Yankees being broadly connected to top free agents like this might’ve moved the needle a little bit, they’re going to have to do better than say “we’ll have to talk” to top free agents to keep their fans happy winter.