TAMPA — Until Manny Machado and Bryce Harper are wearing big league uniforms, the stud free agents will never stop being linked to the Yankees.
After talking about Luis Severino and CC Sabathia and before addressing why Jacoby Ellsbury was rehabbing a foot problem in Arizona instead of at spring-training camp, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman spoke about always being open for business and to concepts in the never-ending search to improve the team.
That led to Cashman being asked if he had made calls to or received calls from Machado’s and Harper’s camps.
“I wouldn’t say specifically but I would reinforce I am doing my job,’’ Cashman said. “Whether it is those two players or other players. The job at hand is to constantly be open-minded to ways to make this work.’’
The Yankees — who have added lefty James Paxton, brought back Sabathia and J.A. Happ, signed free-agent infielders DJ LeMahieu and Troy Tulowitzki and inked relievers Zack Britton and Adam Ottavino — believe they improved the club after finishing second to the Red Sox in the AL East and getting punished by the eventual World Series champions in the ALDS last season.
That doesn’t mean, however, that the Yankees have removed their nets from the water.
“We like what we have done to this point, but we are never a finished product until at least Aug. 31,’’ Cashman said.