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Brian Cashman: Yankees ‘about to find out’ if team is ready to compete for title

New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman on Friday expressed optimism that the team can contend for a World Series title in 2021. That said, Cashman is balancing his optimistic outlook with a dose of pragmatism.

Speaking to reporters virtually, Cashman stated “we’re about to find out” whether the Yankees have what it takes to make a run at a championship.

Cashman expanded upon his outlook in subsequent comments.

“Clearly I wouldn’t say we’re a finished product, but you never are,” Cashman said, as transcribed by SNY. “You’re always looking to improve yourself. …We’ve had championship-caliber teams, including last year, we were championship-caliber and a contender, and if we performed better we could’ve been representing our league in the World Series, but we didn’t perform well enough and got sent home prematurely. 

“And so therefore, we’re back at it. We’re trying to reconfigure, game plan appropriately and come up with a roster that’s maybe a little bit stronger, maybe a little bit more resilient. …We certainly are excited by the current crew that we have.”

The Yankees have taken a measured, patient approach to their offseason dealings thus far. The Yankees’ moves have been highlighted by finally coming to terms with DJ LeMahieu on a six-year, $90 million pact. New York also signed two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber to a one-year, $11 million deal this week as well and acquired pitcher Jameson Taillon in a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Cashman stressed that while he conceivably is ready to roll with the roster in its current form, that does not mean additional changes could be made.

“The roster is not complete ever,” Cashman said. “But at the same time… we’re ready to go with what we have. If you’re evaluating it and you look at it and say ‘alright, I’ve got quality at all the positions, I’ve got depth in the starting rotation with some of the additions that we’ve had with Taillon and now with Kluber….'”

The Yankees will enter the 2021 season as one of the favorites to represent the American League in the World Series for the first time since 2009 and stinging over some postseason heartbreakers over the past several seasons.

Whether the Yankees will realize their title aspirations of course remains to be seen. One things is certain, though: Cashman will explore every opportunity to improve the ball club and put it in the best position to realize the iconic franchise’s year-in, year-out goal of winning championships.