NEW YORK -- As if the Yankees didn't have enough to
announce, general manager Brian Cashman said Randy Johnson probably
will have surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back and
Jason Giambi likely will have an operation to repair a torn tendon in his
After owner George Steinbrenner decided to bring manager Joe
Torre back for 2007 and Cashman said the Yankees won't trade Alex Rodriguez, Cashman discussed the rest of the team Tuesday.
Backup first baseman Andy Phillips will have knee surgery to
repair torn cartilage. In addition, the Yankees intend to meet with
Carl Pavano and the players' association over his failure to
initially disclose an August car crash that resulted in broken
ribs. Before the team can discipline Pavano, who hasn't pitched
since June 2005 because of a string of injuries, it must hold the
"That will take place. I promise you that," Cashman said.
In addition, Pavano and the Yankees will work on a new
conditioning program for the pitcher, who has had shoulder, elbow,
back and buttocks injuries.
Johnson, who pitched in the playoffs after he was diagnosed with
the herniated disc, will be examined by Dr. Robert Watkins in Los
"I believe he'll probably have surgery, but we need to hear it
from Dr. Watkins," Cashman said.
If he has surgery, the 43-year-old left-hander might not be
ready for the start of spring training in mid-February.
"I suspect in theory he would be behind at least a very little
bit," Cashman said.
Watkins operated on Johnson's back on Sept. 12, 1996, and the
Big Unit made his first start the following year on April 5.
Giambi was hampered by the wrist in the final months of the
season, and had at least three injections.
"He'll have a consultation with a hand specialist," Cashman
Heading into the offseason, the Yankees must decide whether to
exercise options on pitcher Mike Mussina ($17 million or a $1.5 million
buyout), outfielder Gary Sheffield ($13 million) and pitcher Jaret Wright ($7 million or a $4 million buyout). The Yankees have until
Nov. 5 to decide on Sheffield, Nov. 12 on Wright and Nov. 15 on
It appears unlikely they would exercise options on Sheffield,
who probably won't be back, and Mussina, who could stay at a lower
Cashman feels badly for players who leave without a World Series
"They'll have the good memories, but they won't have that ring
that says the 'NY' on it, and that bothers me and it will continue
to bother me," he said.
He also took some blame for past deals of prospects that brought
the Yankees older players, saying the team had to show "restraint
on rushing into trades."
"Do I have regrets that are connected to this club from
decisions of the past I certainly was a part of? Yeah, I do.
There's some-second-guessing there, from years gone by," he said.
Jeff Karstens, who showed promise in six big league starts,
could wind up in the rotation next year. The top pitcher in the
farm system, Phil Hughes, was 10-3 with a 2.25 ERA and 138
strikeouts in 116 innings for the Double-A Trenton Thunder.
"The one thing I want to stress, I think the last
year-and-a-half we infused a lot of youth in this thing, and I
think we need to continue that," Cashman said,
Despite the lack of a World Series title since 2000 or an AL
pennant since 2003, the Yankees did win the AL East for the ninth
"Yes we fell short of our goals, but we still are a force to be
reckoned with," Cashman said. "We haven't fallen apart. We're not
a second-division club."