Brian Cashman defends Yankees’ SS decision-making process

TAMPA — After a flurry of activity following the MLB lockout, the Yankees have a clearer picture of where their roster stands, and despite some criticism, general manager Brian Cashman assisted the Yankees’ decision-making process that led them to Isiah Kiner-Falefa at shortstop , with Carlos Correa in Minnesota and Trevor Story in Boston.

“We stayed in touch and evaluated all market availability: trade [and] free hand and then placed our bets,” Cashman said at Steinbrenner Field after the Yankees’ 5-2 win over the Phillies. “We could attack what was available to us and once we ripped those down, doors closed to other things. We had a certain amount of money to spend and once you meet those needs, keep moving.”

Cashman said he spoke to both Correa’s and Story’s camps.

“That’s the job: you involve everyone in the process and see if it fits and if it makes sense or not,” Cashman said.

Brian Cashman
Brian Cashman

The Yankees could add some starting pitch, but their roster seems pretty solid — even short where Kiner-Falefa looked solid at camp.

“I think he has a chance to be a good player for us,” Cashman said. “He’s going to get a chance to be this everyday guy [at short] and run with it. He doesn’t lack confidence and brings athleticism to defence.”

And Cashman was where the Yankees are now, both on the field and on the payroll.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa
Isiah Kiner-Falefa
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

“I am confident [Kiner-Falefa] and everyone else we have will do what we hope and we’ll see where it takes us,” the GM said. “We feel like we have a good team. And we’re running out of the highest payroll we’ve ever had in our history.”

Cashman declined to comment on whether other players have received the COVID vaccine.

Nestor Cortes Jr. stepped in to start the third inning and pulled back all six batters he faced. With spring training shortened, Aaron Boone said he could see some starters being used this way as they aren’t built up as heavily as usual.

“In the first two or three weeks of the season and the first couple of times we obviously have to get creative [through] the twist,” Boone said. “Right now we feel like we have the depth to do it.”

Nestor Cortes
Nestor Cortes retired all six Phillies batters he faced.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Cortes, who came off a season in which he pitched 108 innings — 93 in the majors — said he didn’t serve a winter ball in the offseason for the first time in four years to spare his arm.

Ben Rortvedt remains sidelined with an oblique injury and Cashman is unsure the catcher will be ready by opening day. Rortvedt, who was acquired in the trade that brought in Kiner-Falefa and Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson in exchange for Gary Sanchez and Gio Urshela, suffered the injury before the deal and the Yankees were well aware of that when they got it.

“He hasn’t injured himself again,” Cashman said, adding that if Rortvedt isn’t healthy enough to be on the Opening Day list, it’s yet to be decided who will take his place.

“We don’t have to make that decision yet,” Cashman said. Brian Cashman defends Yankees’ SS decision-making process


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