Brian Cashman just spoke to the media. Surprisingly, the signing of Russell Martin wasn’t the main topic of conversation. That kid from Arkansas who can’t hack the Big Apple was. No, not Burnett. The other one.
Cashman’s remarks included a lot of expected spin. Spin designed, it would seem, to disabuse other teams out there of the notion that he’s all panicky and is now willing to grossly overpay for a starting pitcher. Stuff like:
I do stress Plan B is patience. It’s not like we’re in a rush to do anything … We have a great team … It would be a rare situation for me to include Montero in a deal … I don’t think we have a lot of holes ..
With respect to plugging those holes, Cashman said “it doesn’t have to happen in the winter time,” suggesting that the Yankees could wait until the trade deadline next year. He also talked up his current rotation, saying that Ivan Nova “has taken the next step” and that he likes his team as it is, even if it can stand some improvement. All of which are smart things for him to say, even if all of his statements could be made more truthful by adding the phrase “but we really, really would like to add a top-flight pitcher.”
As for Lee himself, Cashman echoed what many people had already suspected. When the delay in an answer from the Lee camp occurred over the weekend, he knew it could be trouble. That the Yankees did everything they could do to sign him. That there are no hard feelings with Lee and no sense that Lee’s agent was jerking anyone around. It was a negotiation like any other. All in the game, yo. [Cashman did not actually say “all in the game, yo.”]
So the air is now cleared from the Yankees side of things. It won’t stop a half dozen columnists from writing about how this was a death blow for the Bombers, both competitively speaking and in terms of that Yankee Brand we keep hearing about. But hey, we need something to get us through the rest of the week, right?