Is Cashman handcuffed? According to this Wall St. Journal article, it sure seems like it:

In a situation that highlights how much has changed for the big-budget Yankees, Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman came to the winter meetings in Nashville with his hands so fully tied that he lacked the authority to make offers to free agents.

The situation was first brought to light by agent Scott Boras, who quietly suggested Wednesday that Cashman lacked the power to make offers.

“He had indicated that right now, he’s working with ownership on getting advance authority. He really is not involved in a lot of dealing right now, but is doing due diligence to go back and meet with them about that,” Boras said Wednesday.

On Thursday, people within the Yankees organization confirmed that this was in fact true: Cashman arrived in Nashville unable to make offers to players, and without that power, targets like Jeff Keppinger and Eric Chavez took deals elsewhere.

But then, the Yankees GM makes comments like this and toes the company line:

The things that have come off the board this week, I’m very comfortable with (letting them go),” Brian Cashman said. “I like those players, and those players could help us, but at the same time I’m comfortable with the direction we’re currently headed.”

“There’s a lot of signings right now on the marketplace,” Cashman said. “And they’re above what I think…”

“It’s not something we can’t do, but a number of these things I wouldn’t do.”

If he handcuffed or not?