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Cashman comfortable as meetings end

12/06/2012 2:59 PM ET
By Mike Axisa

Brian Cashman left Nashville with no activity, but there's plenty of time to get something done.(AP)
NASHVILLE – Brian Cashman and the rest of the Yankees’ regime left the Winter Meetings on Thursday with more questions than when they came. It was announced that Alex Rodriguez would miss the start of the next season following left hip surgery, and potential replacements like Jeff Keppinger and Eric Chavez have already signed elsewhere. There are still holes in right field, at designated hitter, and behind the plate as well.

“The things that have come off the board this week, I’m very comfortable with (having passed on),” said Cashman to reporters prior to leaving the Gaylord Opryland. “I like those players, and those players could help us, but at the same time I’m comfortable with the direction we’re currently headed.”

The Yankees have offered free agent Kevin Youkilis a one-year contract worth $12 million. The 33-year-old corner infielder hit .235/.336/.409 with 19 homers in 438 at-bats for the Red Sox and White Sox last season, and he would step in at third base during A-Rod’s absence. The Indians, who are managed by former Red Sox skipper Terry Francona, are in the mix as well. MLB.com first reported the offer.

“After the fact, you run into people who are like ‘Man, I didn’t want to do that, but I had no choice,’” added Cashman. “They’re getting a problem solved, but they’re not happy with their solution and what they had to do to solve it.

“I don’t want to be in that position. I’d rather feel good about what we’re doing. I don’t feel good yet that we haven’t solved all our problems -- don’t misunderstand me -- but I’d rather not think, ‘Alright, at least I got somebody to put in here but I don’t like the term. The player’s okay, but I don’t like the term or the dollars, but what was I going to do?’ I don’t want to be in that position.”

Cashman came to the Winter Meetings without the authority to make contract offers to free agents according to the Wall Street Journal. Potential offers and contract terms must first be approved by ownership, possibly due to the team’s plan to get under the $189 million luxury tax threshold in 2014. The Yankees have been fixated on one-year contracts this offseason. While an announcement about Youkilis’ next team could come soon – the Indians have offered him a two-year deal – the Yankees head into the rest of the offseason with four holes in the regular lineup and seemingly few options to fill them.

More from Nashville …

* The Yankees did not select or lose any players in either the Major League or Minor League portion of the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday. Left-hander Cesar Cabral, who the Yankees selected in the Rule 5 Draft last year, will be with the team in Spring Training after missing all of 2012 with a fractured elbow.

* According to the New York Daily News, the Yankees and Mets briefly discussed a trade involving reigning NL Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey. The Mets did not feel their crosstown rivals had the right pieces though, so talks didn’t progress much.

* Although the Yankees had been considered the favorites to sign him on Wednesday, outfielder Nate Schierholtz instead took a one-year deal with the Cubs. The 28-year-old will earn $2.25 million plus incentives.

Mike Axisa is Editor-in-Chief of RiverAveBlues.com.

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