Cashman signed a three-year contract worth about $9 million Tuesday, a day after his previous deal expired. The announcement came less than 24 hours after Sabathia chose not to become a free agent and instead agreed to a contract that gave him an additional $30 million guaranteed for 2016.
“He’s certainly the most important piece as we entered this process,” Cashman said during a conference call. “CC provides us a lot of security, and that’s obviously why he makes what he makes.”
A weak free-agent class for pitchers is headed by Edwin Jackson, C.J. Wilson, Mark Buehrle and Hiroki Kuroda. Bats are more plentiful, with Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran on the market.
“Pitching, pitching, pitching. That will be the main thrust,” Cashman said, a sign the Yankees could explore trades involving low-priced players such as Jesus Montero and Brett Gardner. “I don’t anticipate a bat being of need at all. I anticipate people knocking on our door about the current bats we have.”
• Pitcher Andrew Brackman was released, four years after signing a contract for a $3.35 million bonus.
New York drafted Brackman in the first round with the 30th pick in 2007.
TIGERS: When Detroit general manager Dave Dombrowski looks back at the Tigers winning the AL Central title for the first time since 1987 and ahead to 2012, he can envision the franchise ending its World Series championship drought that has lasted almost three decades.
“We think we have a chance to win, sure, if we make the right moves,” Dombrowski said Tuesday.
Those moves don’t include re-signing longtime Tigers Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen.
“We had pretty much told Magglio and Carlos during last month, that we would doubt they’d be back,” Dombrowski said.
CUBS: Jed Hoyer made it clear he’s no yes man for Theo Epstein, despite their very successful working relationship from years past.
Hoyer took over as the Chicago Cubs’ general manager Tuesday, reuniting with Epstein to try and end a championship drought that has reached 103 years.
“We do a good job of arguing and presenting our points. … We’re going to disagree for sure and we’re going to have great debates,” Hoyer said at his introductory news conference.
“We’ll eventually reach a consensus,” he added.
Hoyer left the San Diego Padres after two years as their GM. Also coming to the Cubs from the Padres was assistant GM Jason McLeod, who also worked with Hoyer and Epstein in Boston where they helped the Red Sox win titles in 2004 and 2007.
Epstein, now the Cubs president of baseball operations, worked eight years with Hoyer and 13 years with McLeod. McLeod will be in charge of scouting and player development for the Cubs.
RANGERS: The two-time American League champions made their first offseason move, picking up the 2012 club option for right-hander Colby Lewis.
Lewis will get $3.25 million next season, which will be his third back with the Rangers since returning from Japan.
Lewis was 14-10 with a 4.40 ERA in the regular season and 1-1 with a 3.04 ERA in the postseason.
Texas also exercised a $1 million option on right-handed reliever Yoshinori Tateyama, who was 2-0 with a 4.50 ERA in 39 appearances this season.
MARINERS: Seattle hired Chris Gwynn as director of player development.
Gwynn previously worked as the director of player personnel for the San Diego Padres. He is the younger brother of Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn.