Cashman plans out Yankees catching depth and offseason pursuits


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The Yankees boast an impressive six catchers on its 40-man roster. This diverse group, in no specific order, includes Jose Trevino, Austin Wells, Kyle Higashioka, Carlos Narvaez, Ben Rortvedt, and Agustin Ramírez.

Let’s not forget Ben Rice. Although not part of the 40-man roster yet, this prospect is fresh off a breakout offensive season.

With an abundance of catching talent, Brian Cashman revealed that the Yankees are attracting significant interest in their surplus of catchers.

The GM stated during Covenant House’s annual Sleep Out event, aimed at raising awareness for youth homelessness, that the catching position in baseball isn’t particularly robust or deep. He mentioned that numerous teams were expressing interest in their catching depth, emphasizing that it’s an area of strength for their team.

Among the mentioned names, only Trevino, Wells, Higashioka, and Rortvedt boast major league experience. Both Trevino and Higashioka, eligible for arbitration, are projected to earn $2.7 million and $2.3 million, respectively.

However, the looming non-tender deadline is set for Friday at 8 p.m. While Trevino is likely to receive a tender, Higashioka’s future is uncertain. The Yankees might opt to non-tender their longest-tenured player before the deadline. Alternatively, they could tender him and explore trade options, potentially parting ways with other catchers.

Nevertheless, it appears unlikely that Higashioka will don the Yankees uniform next season. The team is not expected to retain all six catchers on its 40-man roster come Opening Day.

Cashman on Yankees’ offseason targets

Cashman was questioned about the Yankees’ potential to acquire some of the notable names available this offseason. Among the free agents are outfielder Cody Bellinger and Japanese ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto. Additionally, there is speculation about the possibility of the Padres trading Juan Soto.

Cashman mentioned that their team consistently strives to explore potential opportunities. They engage in discussions and actively pursue various possibilities. He highlighted the Steinbrenner family’s approach, mentioning their readiness to facilitate worthwhile opportunities if they arise. Cashman emphasized the importance of the team dynamic and how well the collective operates together. He expressed that they will observe how this offseason unfolds, engaging in discussions both for significant and smaller opportunities.

When questioned about Bellinger as a potential fit, Cashman refrained from providing a direct response.

He expressed that currently, numerous free agents are available who might align well with their team. Additionally, there are several trade options that could also potentially suit their team’s needs.

Cashman mentioned that he believes his recent comments about Giancarlo Stanton would not hinder the Yankees’ efforts to acquire Yamamoto. Both players are represented by Joel Wolfe, who expressed concerns about Cashman’s statements. However, the GM has since resolved any issues with Stanton and Wolfe.


David Zalubowski / AP

The Yankees are currently in search of a bench coach following Carlos Mendoza’s departure to become the Mets’ manager. Cashman mentioned that the team conducted an interview on Thursday, though he did not delve into the details.

Cashman stated that he would speak with Aaron Boone the following day to assess the current candidates they’ve evaluated and compare them to the potentially available field.

He acknowledged the loss of Carlos Mendoza, emphasizing the Mets acquiring a valuable asset. The crucial factor is finding someone Boone desires alongside him on the bench, capable of efficiently managing spring training and, more importantly, in-game strategies. This individual is expected to provide support to the manager and handle various communication tasks, given the fast-paced nature of the game.

Cashman explained that the designated person serves as the collector of all information, organizing it for Boone, making it a challenging role. He further mentioned that Boone would be the one to “carry the weight on that decision.”

James Rowson, the hitting of Tigers in 2023.

The general manager expressed a similar sentiment regarding the decision-making process for the new hitting coach, James Rowson, in selecting his assistants. Casey Dykes and Brad Wilkerson occupied those roles in the previous season under Dillon Lawson and Sean Casey, but it remains uncertain whether they will be retained.

Cashman mentioned that Rowson is currently in discussions with both Dykes and Wilkerson, as well as considering candidates from outside the organization for the assistant positions.

Cashman mentioned that Rowson would provide his recommendations, and the team would then assess them. He emphasized that as the director of the department, Rowson’s input would carry significant weight in the decision-making process.

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