Sweeny Murti interviewed a few Yankees this morning, including Mark Teixeira, Kevin Long, and David Robertson. They all had something to say about the offseason and the organization’s plans going forward.
Teixeira- I’ve found that for as uninteresting as Teixeira usually is on Twitter and the locker room interviews, his radio and booth interviews are always well thought-out and detailed. Murti spent most of the interview asking Teixeira questions about his wrist and the recovery process, but also got a handful of interesting tidbits from the first baseman. When asked about Brian McCann, Teixeira called him one of the best teammates he’s ever had, he mentioned that Cashman recognizes the rarity of such a catcher becoming available, and that Teixeira wants to see him in pinstripes.
He went on to then talk about how he’ll recruit anyone that Cashman asks him to, but reserves the right to be honest about how tough it is to play in New York. When asked about Carlos Beltran, he said that any questions about embracing New York have been answered due to his time with the Mets. Teixeira sees value in Beltran’s ability to switch hit, which he believes was one key reason that opposing pitchers couldn’t slow down the 2009 team.
Finally, he said that he would be shocked if Robinson Cano does not re-sign with the Yankees. He called the team’s relationship with the second baseman a love-affair, as well as Cano one of the best teammates in the clubhouse. Teixeira also said that Cano’s glove has an effect on himself, where it allows him to play the line better and trust his second baseman to get to ground balls in the hole.
Long– Though Long’s contract expired this offseason, he says that there is mutual interest on both sides. Both him and Cashman have talked and the next step is to figure out the contract.
After talking about the duties of a hitting coach, Long spoke specifically about Jeter and Rodriguez. Jeter, he said, relies on his legs when he swings, and needs to come back fully healthy this offseason. Meanwhile, assuming Rodriguez plays the entire 2014 season, Long believes the third baseman is capable of a .270 average and 20 or more home runs.
Murti also asked Long about his days coaching in the minor leagues. In 1998, Long coached the Wilmington Blue Rocks for the Royals. His center fielder was a 21 year old Carlos Beltran, who he still stays in touch with today. When asked about the possibility of him being a Yankee, Long said that Beltran definitely has something left in the tank and something to offer the Yankees, and that he’s willing to recruit the outfielder if asked by Cashman.
Robertson- Of course Robertson was asked about his future with the club, which he was uncertain about, as we all are. He has one year left with the team until free agency, but he’s unsure if that one year will be as the set up man or closer for the Yankees. He did mention that Girardi has asked him to come back strong in 2014, but no one has called him the closer yet.
He also said that he’s spent the last couple of years working on pitching to contact. Instead of trying to strike out every batter, he worked with Mariano Rivera and Larry Rothschild on throwing quality pitches and emulating Rivera’s style of attacking the zone. You can see the similarities in mechanics below.
Finally, Robertson said that watching Rivera and Andy Pettitte retire in style has made him envious. He wants the same future for himself, which could help the organization extend or re-sign him by next offseason.