LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- In a way, the Yankees aren't much different than the scores of tourists who find their way to the "Most Magical Place on Earth" every year:.They've brought money to spend, want to create some memories and do not intend to head home empty-handed.
General manager Brian Cashman and his decision-making team figure to be among the biggest movers and shakers at the Winter Meetings, which kick off Monday at the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort.
Instead of Mickey Mouse tchotchkes, the Yankees are hunting for the remaining items on their shopping list, having already written huge checks to outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran, catcher Brian McCann and right-hander Hiroki Kuroda. They promise that there is more to come.
"We have more work to do. There's no doubt," Cashman said on Sunday in Stamford, Conn. "I need some pitching, I need some infield work. I've got more work to do before Opening Day."
The Yankees would still like to import 200 innings for their starting rotation, upgrade the bullpen, reinforce the left side of the infield and, of course, find a replacement for second baseman Robinson Cano, who left town last week to accept a 10-year, $240 million deal with the Mariners.
"I think everybody in the game recognizes what kind of player he is," Cashman said. "He's a great player, so he's a tough one to lose. Unfortunately, that's the way the game has been working for years. We had done to us what we have been doing to others for a long time.
"I am excited about the additions like Brian McCann at catcher, and obviously Ellsbury, and Kuroda coming back and Kelly Johnson's addition. You know there's more to come, so collectively I've just got to take this team to a higher level than obviously where we finished last year."
MLB.com will have it all covered, with all 30 beat reporters working the resort from the moment the hotel begins filling up on Sunday night through the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday.
Besides the usual mix of news and rumors, Major League Baseball will announce a significant charitable initiative, MLB.com will hand out its Greatness in Baseball Yearly (GIBBY) Awards and baseball's managers will meet with the media to give their take on baseball's shopping season.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi's session is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday.
Can the Yankees fill all of their needs while staying under their goal of a $189 million payroll, or will managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner give the go-ahead to exceed that number in pursuit of a championship-caliber club?
That is just one of many questions that will demand answers this week. The Yankees have touched base with free-agent second baseman Omar Infante, and are considering him as an option to replace Cano. It is also possible that they could deal an outfielder to help fill a need, and Cashman said that he has received trade interest in Brett Gardner.
"I'm getting a lot of phone calls on a lot of different guys," Cashman said. "But I'd be hard pressed to move a guy like Gardner, there's no doubt about that. He's really a tremendous player, so I could only move him if we can somehow make ourselves better. And that's hard to do, because Gardy is that good of player."
Cashman said that the Yankees currently envision having Gardner, Ellsbury and Beltran in the outfield from left to right, with Alfonso Soriano as a designated hitter "and everybody else assisting." But as we've seen time and time again, plans can change quickly in the Bronx.
What's your take? Fans are encouraged to take part by filling the comments section at yankees.com this week with their own suggestions for getting the club back to the postseason.