Brian Cashman contract by Halloween?

NEW YORK -- The New York Yankees and general manager Brian Cashman fully expect to have a new contract signed by Halloween.

"It will be done by Oct. 31," a team official said Tuesday.

Since the season ended, Cashman and Yankees officials have repeatedly stated they expect Cashman to return. It is just a matter of when it will be officially announced.

Cashman, whose contract expires at the end of the month, has been going about his offseason preparation.

There were published reports Tuesday saying that Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner met at Yankee Stadium.

Last week, Cashman had all of his professional scouts in for three days of meetings, going over every possible player who could be available via free agency or trades.

Later this week, he will head to Tampa for the team's organizational meetings.

Cashman may be staying, but two of his top lieutenants are candidates for the Los Angeles Angels' GM job. Both Billy Eppler, the head of pro scouting, and Damon Oppenheimer, the head of amateur scouting, are among the interviewees in Los Angeles.

When Cashman's contract is completed, his first order of business is to convince CC Sabathia to remain.

Sabathia, 31, can opt out of his contact three days after the World Series ends. Sabathia has four years and $92 million left on his current deal.

Andrew Marchand and Wallace Matthews cover the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com.