Brian Cashman Takes Yankees Out of Rafael Soriano Running
The Yankees general manager was asked about rumors linking his team with free-agent reliever Rafael Soriano. Those rumors have ebbed and flowed in recent days, with the latest being that the former Rays closer, who is willing to be a setup man, would have to lower his price tag to be of interest to the Bronx Bombers. The same is reportedly true of the White Sox.
According to Cashman, though, it isn't a question of Soriano's salary. It's the fact that he would cost the Yankees a first-round draft pick because he is a Type A free agent.
"I will not lose our No. 1 draft pick," Cashman told Chad Jennings of the Journal News. "I would have for Cliff Lee. I won't lose our No. 1 draft pick for anyone else."
That also takes the Yankees out of the running for Grant Balfour and Carl Pavano, although there are certainly factors beyond draft picks keeping the Yankees from drinking from that particular well.
It could just be posturing, but that was what we said about Cashman's assertion that the team could go to spring training with Ivan Nova and Sergio Mitre holding down spots in the rotation. We are five weeks away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Tampa, though, and, unless Mark Prior has found some kind of magical healing tonic, those two guys are still the best choices for those spots.
That could well mean the Yankees wind up with Pedro Feliciano being the biggest thing they have to show for this offseason. Their existing roster is good enough that the failure to make any bold additions doesn't mean the Yankees are out of the running for anything in 2011. There are plenty of people in New York who would disagree with that point of view, however, and Cashman's patience could turn against him if things don't go the way he's hoping.