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Brian Cashman: 'I don't have anybody who's untouchable'

General Manager Brian Cashman speaks at a press

General Manager Brian Cashman speaks at a press conference where former Yankee Bernie Williams formally signed his retirement papers before a baseball game between the New York Yankees and the New York Mets at Yankee Stadium on Friday, April 24, 2015. Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

BOCA RATON, Fla. - They were quickly dubbed "the untouchables" in advance of last year's trade deadline when Brian Cashman publicly declared prospects Luis Severino, Greg Bird and Aaron Judge were not for sale under any circumstance.

But that was then, the context being the Yankees general manager wouldn't part with any of those players for a mere rental, a big-name player such as a David Price, who would become a free agent after the season.

Now that the Yankees are in the offseason, though not looking to move any of the three, Cashman said there is no one on his 40-man roster who couldn't be had for the right price.

"I don't have anybody who's untouchable," Cashman said Tuesday, the second day of the annual GM meetings. "You've heard me say it before, some guys are more touchable than others, but at the end of the day, I am legitimately open to any idea."

Cashman arrived at these meetings Monday saying he already had plenty of trade dialogue this offseason. But that doesn't mean anything is close.

"I've had a lot of bad ones [ideas], either thrown by me or on the receiving end from somebody else to me," Cashman said. "But that's what we're here for, to . . . see what sticks."

With payroll commitments for 2016 already above $180 million, all indications continue to be that the Yankees, who have need for a second baseman, outfield depth and in the rotation, won't be addressing those areas by going after the top free agents on the market. If a "big name" is coming, it is likely to come via trade. Holes could also be plugged by mid- to lower-level free agents.

It is a far cry from 10 to 15 years ago, when the Yankees would target their free agents of choice and simply outspend everyone. Sure, there have been big expenditures in recent years -- before the 2009 and 2014 seasons -- but that corresponded with significant money coming off the books. Very little is coming off this year, compared to a good deal after next season.

"The fact that we do have rather large commitments that we're tied into currently will affect the ability to strategize," Cashman said.

Former commissioner Bud Selig made parity a goal of his tenure and certainly achieved it, with a severe luxury tax impacting top-spending teams such as the Yankees, other teams landing huge local media deals and clubs across the landscape figuring out alternative ways of winning.

"My favorite fun fact about the World Series is we had a small market [Kansas City] against a big market [Mets] and the small market had a higher payroll than the big market," commissioner Rob Manfred said. "That's all good from my perspective."

Cashman said he has not felt frustrated by those new realities, which really aren't that new anymore.

"There's parity," he said. "The next great whatever that becomes available, even though it constantly gets written that the Yankees are on him or will be on him, that narrative is not accurate. And it's not because of our ownership change, because George Steinbrenner's no longer with us; it's because the rules and the guidelines of the game have changed. There's a lot of restrictions that have changed the dynamics. And we're working through those. We're not afraid of them."


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