After a mostly quiet offseason, the Yankees had a flurry of activity late this month with less than three weeks left until pitchers and catchers are due to report to Tampa.
And to listen to general manager Brian Cashman, this is pretty much the group he expects to try to win a title with.
“The roster’s not complete, ever,’’ Cashman said on a Zoom call Friday. “But at the same time, we’re ready to go with what we have.”
That includes the top priority of the offseason in retaining DJ LeMahieu, remaking their rotation with health-risks Corey Kluber and Jameson Taillon and getting cheaper in the bullpen by sending Adam Ottavino to the Red Sox.
“I think if you’re evaluating it, I’ve got quality at all positions,’’ Cashman said. “I’ve got depth in the starting rotation with the additions of Taillon and Kluber that’s pushed everybody, in theory, back.”
He also pointed to the return of Domingo German from domestic violence suspension, as well as Luis Severino, who Cashman said was due back from Tommy John rehab by “late summer.”
Asked if that’s enough to get the Yankees a title, Cashman said, “We’re about to find out.”
He also cautioned, “I wouldn’t say we’re a finished product. You never are. You’re always looking to improve yourself.”
A year ago, their championship quest ended in a loss to the Rays in the ALDS with a payroll roughly a third of where the Yankees’ stood.
Cashman acknowledged trading Ottavino to the Red Sox was made for financial reasons, and it is widely believed the Yankees intend to stay under the $210 million luxury-tax threshold.
“I’m not going to speak about budget or limitations or what our lack of limitations might be,’’ Cashman said. “I’m not here to say that I’m under a mandate we have to be under a tax threshold. … But I do know this: the Steinbrenner family has always been supportive.”
Now the Yankees are banking on Kluber and Taillon instead of Masahiro Tanaka — who will pitch in Japan this season — as well as Darren O’Day in the bullpen after agreeing to a deal with the 38-year-old.
“We tried to reconfigure the game plan appropriately and come up with a roster that’s maybe a little bit stronger, maybe a little bit more resilient,’’ Cashman said. “But that doesn’t mean that’s what going to play out.”
Their most significant investment of the offseason came in re-signing LeMahieu to a six-year, $90 million deal.
On Thursday, LeMahieu said he was “frustrated” by how long it took to strike a deal with the Yankees in free agency.
Cashman was less bothered by the delay, saying it took so long because “it’s a lot of money.’’
“It’s not easy in a pandemic crisis to be jumping into contract commitments probably of $100 million or more,’’ Cashman said. “We’re approaching that [with this contract].”
And he was pleased with the outcome.
“I don’t know if it matters the time frame it takes,’’ Cashman said. “I was very public about what our intent was. When a player becomes a free agent, you have no idea how that’s going to play out. If DJ wanted it to be over in two weeks, he should have just said yes to my first offer.”
Cashman laughed, but the actions he has made will go a long way in determining whether the Yankees can win their first title since 2009.
Asked if he was “satisfied” with where the team is, Cashman said he wouldn’t be able to answer until the season unfolded.
“I can’t tell you I’m satisfied because satisfaction only comes with success,’’ Cashman said. “Every move we make is intended to get us closer to accomplishing a world championship title again. We just won’t find out until later if the decisions we make now, which are intended to have that occur, [are] going to play that way.”