The MLB playoffs have just begun, but the New York Yankees are looking ahead to the 2017 season and beyond.
On Wednesday afternoon, general manager Brian Cashman held his season ending “State of the Yankees” press conference. Cashman spoke for about an hour, as he reviewed the 2016 season and spoke a bit about the team’s plans moving forward.
Cashman stated that the 2016 season “was a series of twists and turns.” The team had high hopes, but the season didn’t play out the way they had planned.
Did you miss Cashman’s press conference? Here’s some of the main topics that Cashman discussed:
When asked what was the 2016 Yankees’ biggest issue, Cashman stated that the offense and middle relief pitching were the team’s major problems.
Right field and first base competitions? Cashman made it known that those two positions will have competitions next spring. The Yankees are hoping to address those holes from within the organization.
It’s almost certain that the Yankees will look to bolster their pitching staff, but most likely won’t be looking to trade for a front-line starting pitcher. Cashman feels that trading for a ace is a “dangerous approach,” as the team is more than a piece away and is hesitant on parting with some of their young talent.
Dellin Betances is still viewed as the team’s closer, but Cashman didn’t rule out the possibility of signing another closer. The Yankees could have interest in bringing back Aroldis Chapman, who they traded to the Chicago Cubs during the season.
In regards to the team’s young talent, Cashman is excited about the future. He feels the team has an exciting, young nucleus, and some of the talent hasn’t even arrived in the Bronx yet.
Cashman doesn’t expect top prospect Clint Frazier to be in the mix for the Opening Day roster, but feels a player of his talent could move fast through the organization.
The organization wants to reach a new deal with pitching coach Larry Rothschild, who is the only Yankees coach who had his contract expire after this season.
Gary Sanchez has clearly taken over as the team’s starting catcher, but Cashman feels there is still a role for veteran Brian McCann. He envisions a backup catcher/designated hitter role for McCann, but won’t rule out a potential trade.
After a rough sophomore campaign, the Yankees still view Luis Severino as a potential starting pitcher. Cashman is hopeful that Severino can get back to form in 2017.
CC Sabathia is set to have a “routine clean-up” procedure on his right knee. He’ll undergo the surgery within the next week, and the Yankees expected him to have this procedure done. The veteran left-hander should be ready for the start of Spring Training.
Along with Cashman, manager Joe Girardi is in the final year of his current contract. It’s not expected that either will be offered new deals until after the 2017 season.
Cashman stated that there is no extra urgency being that he’s in the final year of his contract. He noted that there is urgency and importance in every decision he makes, as he works to put the Yankees in the best position to win ball games.
Want to watch the press conference in it’s entirety? You can listen to Cashman’s entire press conference here: