Brian Cashman won't meet with the Steinbrenner family until next week to discuss what the team's 2010 payroll is going to be, but regardless of what they tell him, he won't make the same splash he did a year ago.
"We spent a lot of money last year," said Cashman, who dumped a combined $429 million on Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Andy Pettitte and watched the quartet play a big part in the Yankees winning the World Series . "We're not going to spend as much this year."
But spend they will since there are holes in the rotation, outfield and at designated hitter.
"I'm real pleased with the financial commitment we were able to make last year," said Cashman, who was at the premiere of the Yankees Official 2009 World Series Film last night at the Ziegfeld Theatre in midtown. "It puts us in a much better position as we move forward."
As for building a team to try to repeat, Cashman said that he had not made overtures toward any free agents -- or even answered any agents' calls. Later in the evening a Yankees official said there was nothing to the talk that the club had a serious interest in free agent outfielder/DH Jermaine Dye, whom the White Sox declined a $12 million option on for next season.
"We haven't game-planned yet," Cashman said. "That's what we're going through. Once I get firm numbers, then I can go ahead and start putting ideas together."
Those ideas include: Figuring out who will play left field, whether to bring back Hideki Matsui and/or Johnny Damon and filling out the starting rotation.
When asked about the state of the bullpen, Cashman said: "Do I feel it's an area of obvious need? No. You've got to look at the rotation, look at left field and do you retain Johnny Damon, promote an Austin Jackson or look elsewhere."
As for Matsui, Cashman said: "I don't know what he wants."
The Yanks are also waiting on Pettitte, whom Joe Girardi has spoken to in recent days, although he hasn't gotten a read as to whether the left-hander will want to return.
"Knowing he's healthy exiting the year, that's one thing he doesn't have to worry about," manager Joe Girardi said.