Cashman will listen to offers for A-Rod
Cashman, speaking on "Sunday Morning with Ian O'Connor" on ESPNNewYork 98.7 FM, said there's "no doubt" in his mind that Rodriguez will be the Yanks' starting third baseman in 2013. But, he said, "It's not like I'm going to hang phones up on anybody who wants to make any overtures about anything."
"You're talking about realistic stuff and unrealistic stuff. I don't think it's realistic at all for us to be moving forward with anything but Alex Rodriguez at third base," Cashman told O'Connor.
"He's still an above-average third baseman. ... That means despite the contract that we had committed to him, that he's an asset at this stage still. I don't see us doing anything there. I don't anticipate it. If someone wants to make phone calls, we're more than willing to do all that stuff with any of our players, and that's fine. You can run into something that way.
"But listen, the sooner we put to bed any expectation or anticipation that the Yankees are going to be solely focused on trying to move Alex Rodriguez. ... I think that would be false. And it would be just a lot of wasted energy on anybody's part to be thinking."
Rodriguez was 3 for 25 during the postseason and benched during the ALCS. He still has five years and $114 million remaining on his contract.
"Do I expect him to return to the MVP-caliber type Alex Rodriguez? No," Cashman said. "Obviously you decline with age, and he's getting up there in his age. ... So no, that would be very unrealistic to think as well. But despite the age where he's at, he's still an above-average player at that position.
"Is he a superstar at that position? No. But I think when anybody signed that (10-year, $275 million) contract (in 2007), expecting him to be at that level at that age would be unrealistic also."
Cashman said the Yankees will have to be very careful about handing out long-term contracts, bringing into question the future of All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano and other players looking to cash in. Managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner has said he wants to cut payroll to $189 million by 2014.
Cashman also said Andy Pettitte is "great at what he does" and "can keep doing it if he so chooses," but didn't know if Pettitte wants to pitch in 2013 and didn't say that the Yankees wanted him back.