STAMFORD, Conn. -- While the Yankees continue to attempt to shake up their roster and the upcoming Winter Meetings with a significant swap, general manager Brian Cashman said Friday that the club will probably hold on to Brett Gardner and Andrew Miller, two of their most appealing trade chips.
"I think it'd be more likely that we keep them than move them," Cashman said. "I say that recognizing that if somebody wants to ring a bell that I've put out there, then that could happen as early as tomorrow. But if I'm predicting anything, I'd predict that they would be here, not somewhere else."
Cashman spoke between rappels down the side of Stamford's 22-story Landmark Building, joined by MLB.com correspondent Lindsay Berra, FOX 5 sports anchor Duke Castiglione and FOX News meteorologist Rick Reichmuth as they prepared for Sunday's "Heights and Lights" winter celebration.
The Yankees would like to upgrade their roster in the starting pitching, bullpen and second base departments, but Cashman said that the club's financial limits are "significant" as it rides out long-term commitments to veterans like Carlos Beltran, Alex Rodriguez, CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira.
Because of that, plus the 50 percent competitive balance tack that would be figured into any deal, the Yankees were not involved in negotiations for free-agent pitchers Jordan Zimmermann or David Price.
"I don't have the money to be a piece away [from a championship] that way," Cashman said. "Our money has been directed and committed already."
Cashman recognized that landing Price has made the Red Sox "a significantly stronger opponent," and he said that he was not surprised by the signing, having heard that Boston intended to land the left-hander at any cost.
"Where they're currently at, where their franchise happens to be sitting, vs. where we happen to be sitting, they have the ability to do certain things more so than we do," Cashman said.
Clearing salary space with a move involving Gardner ($39.5 million remaining through 2018) or Miller ($27 million remaining through 2018) has been suggested as an avenue to free New York to pursue players on the open market, and Cashman said that the trade market has seemed "very, very, very busy with conversations."
The Yankees are said to be monitoring the situations with free-agent pitchers Wei-Yin Chen and Jeff Samardzija, but Cashman indicated that there is a greater chance that he would complete a trade or leave the Meetings in Nashville, Tenn., empty-handed.
"I think in terms of any significant, newsworthy type of acquisition, it'd be more likely to be on the trade front than a free-agent signing," Cashman said. "That doesn't mean there won't be something out of a free-agent signing. But if you're playing the odds, the odds are more likely for us to either make a trade, or not do anything. But we'll see."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.