Yankees general manager Brian Cashman once again indicated Wednesday that re-signing free-agent second baseman DJ LeMahieu is the team’s No. 1 offseason priority, Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News relays. The Yankees are “certainly not dipping our toes in various waters until we get a feel for how declares himself,” Cashman said of LeMahieu. The club is at least keeping an eye on the free-agent and trade markets as it waits for an answer from LeMahieu, but Cashman seems fairly optimistic New York will be able to retain the 2020 AL batting champion and MVP finalist. “The atmosphere is good, the fact that he wants to stay and we’d like to keep him,” Cashman said. “But that doesn’t guarantee anything because in free agency, you know, anything can happen. So, you know, we’ll see what happens over the course of time but our intent is to try to find a way to make it happen.”
- Also from Ackert’s piece, Cashman stated he’s “confident” the Yankees will again boast the majors’ top payroll in 2021. There has been speculation that the Yankees will try to get under the $210MM luxury-tax threshold, which would mean a significant cut compared to last year’s budget, though Cashman declined to go into detail on how much the team will spend.
- The Yankees have gotten “a lot of calls” from teams on outfielder Mike Tauchman, according to Cashman (via Bryan Hoch of MLB.com). It seems unlikely the Yankees will part with Tauchman, though, especially with Brett Gardner currently in free agency. Tauchman’s under affordable control through 2024 and could be an important reserve for the Yankees next season, considering he’s capable of playing all three outfield positions. Of course, it’s worth noting that Tauchman’s offensive production plummeted last season after a terrific showing in 2019. The 30-year-old hit just .242/.342/.305 and went without a home run in 111 plate appearances.
- The team has shown interest in free-agent reliever Ryne Stanek, Bryan Hoch of MLB.com tweets. The Yankees are familiar with Stanek from his time as a member of the division-rival Rays, with whom he pitched from 2017-19. The hard-throwing Stanek held his own in a couple of those years, but he fell apart after the Rays sent him to the Marlins at the 2019 trade deadline. Stanek put up such poor production last season that the Marlins non-tendered him earlier this month.