Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Upgrades on Yanks' To-Do List

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Upgrades on Yanks' To-Do List

Article excerpt

ORLANDO, Fla. - Re-signing Robinson Cano and adding Masahiro Tanaka are the Yankees' primary off-season objectives, but there are plenty of other boxes to check.

Along with retaining their All-Star second baseman and acquiring the star Japanese right-hander, the Yankees want to add another starting pitcher, while ideally upgrading at catcher, the outfield, the bullpen and the left side of the infield.

"This is not as strong of a free agent market as other years, so prices may be higher. We're just at the very beginning," said Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner, who arrived for the quarterly owners meetings that follow the general managers summit.

Depending on how the winter shakes out, general manager Brian Cashman might ask Steinbrenner if he's comfortable with a multi- year commitment to Carlos Beltran - said to be a serious Yankee target.

"We have an outfield in place, but that's an area I can explore on improving," Cashman said without naming any specific players.

The Yanks are attracted to Shin-Soo Choo's high on-base percentage and overall game, but his free agent price tag could get near $100 million and there are other pressing Yankee needs.

A yearlong MLB ban of Alex Rodriguez stemming from the Biogenesis case would give the Yanks another $25 million (Rodriguez's 2014 salary) to spend in this expensive market.

"Even with Alex as our third baseman, we've got a fair amount of money to start spending to try to fill the holes," Steinbrenner said, repeating that the goal is to get under the $189 million luxury tax threshold. "But not at the expense of fielding a championship-caliber team."

INFIELD: One Yankee official was engaged in a lengthy conversation Tuesday with a representative for Juan Uribe, who could bolster the infield's left side. In a bounce-back 2013 season, the 33-year-old Uribe batted . …

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