Brian Cashman set for team-building after annual rappelling

General Manager Brian Cashman looks on during Carlos Beltran's introductory press conference at Yankee Stadium on Dec. 20, 2013 in the Bronx.
General Manager Brian Cashman looks on during Carlos Beltran’s introductory press conference at Yankee Stadium on Dec. 20, 2013 in the Bronx. Photo Credit: One More Folded Sunset

STAMFORD, Conn. — Men and women and boys and girls stared up at the 22-story Landmark Building from down on Broad Street. Spotlights were shining through the darkness. “Cash the Elf” was rappelling down the side to fight off the Grinch before high-fiving “Mrs. Santa” — all in midair.

Cash the Elf, aka Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, did have a rope attached to a bag of “gifts” that he retrieved up there get tangled with his other ropes, slamming him into the building — not that anyone could tell. He was entertaining and arrived safely back on Earth. So did Mrs. Santa, aka Lindsay Berra, Yogi’s granddaughter, and the Grinch, Rudolph and Santa characters at this city’s “Heights and Lights” holiday gathering Sunday night.

Cashman practiced several times Friday and yesterday. He has rappelled at this event for several Decembers now. It scared him the first few years.

“Now I’ve got no problem,” Cashman said after heading over a few blocks to the Christmas tree lighting.

Soon he was off to head up in the air again, this time on a plane bound for Nashville, Tennessee, and the start of the winter meetings on Monday.

The indications have been that “Cash the Elf” doesn’t have big cash to spend this year to acquire new characters for the team.

“I feel like there’s a lot of different ways to skin the cat,” Cashman said. “Because we’ve had prior commitments that we’ve made, there’s a certain way we have to go about our business right now.”

So the trade front has been front and center for him. Cashman said it’s hard to predict if he will pull off a deal. He doesn’t feel compelled.

“There’s nothing to force,” Cashman said. “ . . . If the waves break the right way, we’re going to ride it. If they don’t, we’ll just wait for another wave to come. And if it doesn’t come, it doesn’t come.

“We’ve had dialogue. There are things that are percolating. I just don’t know if they’re going to get to a level that we’re going to be able to complete something to our satisfaction.”

There has been talk about Brett Gardner being trade bait, possibly for a young starting pitcher. That goes for Andrew Miller and Ivan Nova, too. Asked if he wants another young, cost-controlled starter, Cashman said, “I want young, cost-controlled everything. It doesn’t matter what position it is.”

A position that comes with a “?” next to it is second base. Dustin Ackley and Rob Refsnyder currently are the candidates. Cashman said he’s comfortable with them platooning or with one winning the job. He also said that if something comes up that makes the Yankees better there, “we’ll do it.”

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