Cashman on state of the Yankees following 2013 season

NEW YORK -- In an end-of-season conversation with managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said that he received a reminder of how large the tasks ahead of the organization will be this winter.

"We have a lot of work to do," Cashman said. "He hasn't given me anything specific other than, 'Here are the issues in front of us, and we've got to tackle them.' Everybody is disappointed that we're not where we want to be, but you've got to be in it to win it and we didn't qualify to be in it."

Cashman said that the Yankees will look at their starting rotation and have to deal with questions at three of their four infield positions, as Robinson Cano prepares to test free agency, Alex Rodriguez handles his appeal of a 211-game suspension and Derek Jeter tries to return from injuries.

The Yankees will start their professional scouting meetings on Monday, which will create the chess board to determine which players they will pursue. Cashman also said that the Yankees have been evaluating the decision making of their player development staff for the last two months.

"We're going through that process," Cashman said. "We haven't had as fruitful results from the Draft here recently as we had hoped and anticipated."

At some point in the near future, the Yankees will also learn how much money they have to spend to assemble the 2014 roster. Steinbrenner has been consistent in stating that he would like the payroll to dip beneath $189 million to take advantage of tax-related incentives.

"The only thing I can confidently tell you is, when the last name is Steinbrenner, the effort is going to be there in terms of making a full push for having the best team on the field you can possibly have," Cashman said.

Cashman reiterated Steinbrenner's position that the figure represents a goal and not an absolute mandate.

"It's a goal that we have and if it's possible, there's a lot of benefits to staying under that," Cashman said. "But it's not a mandate if it's at the expense of a championship."

Girardi speaks with Cashman, considers return

NYY@HOU: Girardi on ending 2013 on positive note

NEW YORK -- The Yankees hope to retain Joe Girardi as their manager and are set to open negotiations on a new contract, general manager Brian Cashman said on Tuesday.

Cashman said that he met for coffee with Girardi on Monday and has scheduled a meeting for Wednesday with Girardi's agent, Steve Mandell. Girardi's three-year, $9 million pact is set to expire in November.

"I'm not speaking for Joe, but I think if you're good at what you do, you'll have opportunities to stay," Cashman said. "He's definitely going to have that. We're going to give him a real good reason to stay. He's earned that."

The 2013 season marked Girardi's sixth at the helm of the Yankees. Over that span, Girardi has compiled a 564-408 regular-season record, winning one World Series, but also missing the playoffs twice.

Girardi said during the Yankees' season-ending series in Houston that he has loved his time with the organization, but that he has not made up his mind about managing in 2014.

"It comes down to family," Girardi said on Sunday. "They are first, and whatever is best for the group of us -- not one individual, not me or just my wife or just one of my children -- whatever is best for us as a group, that's what we'll decide to do.

"And that's something I've put some thought into and I'm going to have to think about a lot of the next few days. But that's a decision that we'll sit down and make and decide what's best."

He has been mentioned in media reports as a candidate for the Cubs' managerial vacancy, as Chicago parted ways with Dale Sveum this week, but Girardi said on Sunday that his connections to the Windy City are not as strong as they once were.

Asked if he would grant the Cubs permission to speak with Girardi, Cashman declined to comment.

"We can't control what other options or interests may be out there," Cashman said. "If you're good at what you do, people are going to have some interest. You can't predict the future on that; you can only control your side of it. I feel we hired a good one.

"He's been a world-champion player for us, a coach, a broadcaster, and obviously a world-champion manager. We've benefited from having him and we'd like to do that going forward. We'll have to stay tuned and see how it plays out."

Cashman said that if Girardi returns, the Yankees would also be interested in retaining the entire coaching staff: bench coach Tony Pena, hitting coach Kevin Long, pitching coach Larry Rothschild, infield coach Mick Kelleher and outfield coach Rob Thomson.

"They're not technically free agents until Oct. 31," Cashman said. "If Girardi comes back, I would like to have our coaches back, and I think Girardi feels the same way. But ultimately, because of the way the process needs to work, the manager has to be decided first and then you can focus on the coaches."

Though the Yankees posted only 85 victories in 2013, their lowest total in a full 162-game season since 1992, Cashman said that Girardi has been "consistently tremendous" in making the most of his roster and keeping the club motivated.

"This year was unique in a lot of different ways and he was able to still maintain that leadership, keep these guys hungry and motivated and not give up," Cashman said. "They never did. I never saw that. Thumbs up. I thought he did a great job, him and his staff."

'Homegrown' Cano in Yankees' long-term plans

Brian and Mike debate Cano's $300 million request

NEW YORK -- The Yankees have consistently stated that they would like to retain second baseman Robinson Cano, who is set for his first crack at free agency, and general manager Brian Cashman has said that the club has already made the five-time All-Star one "significant offer" to stay in pinstripes.

Another is likely to follow in the near future, though a quick resolution to Cano's contract status seems unlikely. Through his representative at Jay-Z's Roc Nation Sports, CAA's Brodie Van Wagenen, Cano has reportedly asked the Yankees for a 10-year, $305 million deal.

"We'd love to have Robbie back," Cashman said. "There's not much more for me to say about that, but our intention is to have him back if we can. He'll receive without question, or has received, a significant offer to stay. He'll have something legitimately to ponder."

The Yankees' offers were reportedly in the arenas of eight years at $138 million and six years at $144 million. The requested $305 million pact would be the richest in history.

"He's been a great Yankee," Cashman said. "I think if he stays, he'll have a legitimate chance to experience what you just saw, for instance, for Mariano [Rivera]. Maybe he has the chance to be the first Dominican-born player in Monument Park; a homegrown Yankee.

"But at the same time, it's a business. He has comported himself in a tremendous way both on and off the field for the New York Yankees and we've been extremely happy to have him. We hope to extend that relationship."

Cashman said that Cano and his representatives "certainly" will be in a position to entertain offers from other clubs, a process that can begin after the World Series.

Bombers bits

• A position change is not in the works for Yankees captain Derek Jeter. Cashman said that the only options for Jeter will be shortstop and designated hitter.

• Yankees right-hander Michael Pineda completed the 2013 season healthy and was shut down only for prescribed rest coming off right shoulder surgery, according to Cashman.

The Yankees envision Pineda competing for a rotation spot next spring, but Cashman noted that Pineda can also be optioned to the Minors. Pineda has not thrown one big league pitch for the Yankees since being acquired from the Mariners prior to the 2012 season.

• Though he acknowledged the possibility that Hiroki Kuroda could retire, play in Japan or even seek a contract from another club in free agency, Cashman said that the Yankees have interest in keeping the veteran right-hander.

"Of course we'd love to have him back, but I don't know what's going to happen," Cashman said. "He did a great job. Obviously, he was our ace this year and regardless, we were really happy we were able to acquire him and hope that we can maintain a relationship with him as a player on this roster next year."