Cash­man: Not wav­ing the white flag

The Trentonian (Trenton, NJ) - - SPORTS - By Mark Didtler

TAMPA, FLA. >> Brian Cash­man says the Yan­kees are “not wav­ing any white flag while tran­si­tion­ing” to a younger team.

“We have the po­ten­tial to be a cham­pi­onship-cal­iber team,” the New York gen­eral man­ager said Thurs­day. “Lis­ten, if we stay healthy and per­form up to ex­pec­ta­tions, then I think with­out ques­tion we can be a team to be reck­oned with and not to be taken lightly.”

The Yan­kees have made just one playoff ap­pear­ance over the last four years, get­ting shut out in the 2015 AL wild-card game to Hous­ton. New York has put its fu­ture in young play­ers like catcher Gary Sanchez, first base­man Greg Bird, in­fielder/ out­fielder Tyler Austin and out­fielder Aaron Judge.

“I think we have a lot of ex­cit­ing, hun­gry, tal­ented peo­ple that ob­vi­ously have a lot to prove, re-prove or ac­tu­ally start their ca­reer by prov­ing they be­long,” Cash­man said.” I think that gives a lot of un­cer­tainty but ex­cite­ment.”

“So, that’s the bal­anc­ing act we’re tak­ing,” Cash­man added. “We’ll see where it takes us. 2017 has a chance to be a pretty in­ter­est­ing year for us.” Man­ager Joe Gi­rardi agrees: “We are in tran­si­tion, I thought it started at the end of July,” Gi­rardi said. “I’m ex­cited about it. I think there’s a lot of tal­ent. We’re go­ing to get a chance to see it play out. Our goal is to win here, that’s the bot­tom line. For me, let’s go win.”

To be suc­cess­ful this sea­son, the Yan­kees will need con­tri­bu­tions from veterans like out­fielder Ja­coby Ells­bury, who has hit just .264 — 33 points below his seven-year av­er­age while with Bos­ton — over his three sea­sons in pin­stripes.

“I just think he’s got a lot of abil­ity that we cer­tainly have seen in the past,” Cash­man said. “I still think that there’s more in the tank. Hope­fully we’ll see in 2017 more of that.”

When asked about look­ing ahead to­ward the next few sea­sons, Cash­man smiled and said “I’m hop­ing to be here next year.”

Cash­man is in the fi­nal year of his con­tract.

Carter’s ca­reer-high 41 home runs last sea­son matched Colorado’s Nolan Are­nado for tops in the NL. He be­came a free agent in De­cem­ber when Mil­wau­kee failed to of­fer a 2017 con­tract.

“The Chris Carter pur­suit was more of, all right, it gives us pro­tec­tion and in­sur­ance if cer­tain things don’t go the right way,” Cash­man said.

A first base­man, the 30-yearold Carter is likely to see time at des­ig­nated hit­ter.


New York Yan­kees pitcher CC Sa­bathia works out Tues­day in Tampa, Fla.

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