TAMPA, Fla. -- Yankees GM Brian Cashman was an interested spectator at Jacoby Ellsbury's minor league game today, watching his $153 million center fielder's five innings of work from a stand behind home plate with assistant GM Billy Eppler and a scout.
It has been a good spring for Cashman. His prize acquisition of two years ago, Michael Pineda, performed the way he was supposed to in 2012, and with just three days left in camp, the Yankees have avoided the type of serious injuries that devastated their roster last spring.
But most important, Cashman said, was that the Yankees don't need to scrounge up discarded players in the final week of spring training just to fill out a roster, as they did last year.
"We’re always looking at the waiver wire. We’re always looking at released players. We’re always looking at who's available," Cashman said. "Last year, we were living off that. This year, we really have some people we can look at right in front of us at least. We’re not desperate right now, like we were last year, and I hope it stays that way."
There are still decisions left to be made, such as filling out the bullpen and adding a second backup infielder now that it appears certain Brendan Ryan is headed for the disabled list. But the major roles have been filled, either through free agency (Masahiro Tanaka, Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran, Ellsbury) or return from injury (Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira).
"I think so far we’ve had a really collective, healthy camp, and almost everybody that’s come in has performed well," Cashman said.
As usual, the GM would not offer specifics about whom the Yankees might be interested in or whom they might be shopping, but he did say that Kelly Johnson, who struggled at third base Tuesday night, would be the Yankees' every-day third baseman and that teams have been calling looking to deal for either Austin Romine or John Ryan Murphy, both of whom were optioned to Triple-A when Francisco Cervelli was named the backup catcher.
"We’re certainly hearing from a lot of people about these guys," Cashman said. "They’re assets. We’re not in any position where we have to do anything, but if something made sense, we’d consider it. But right now, we’re happy with what we’ve got."
QUESTION: Are you satisfied with the job Cashman did this offseason?