TAMPA, Fla. — This business with Joe Torre is getting kind of bizarre.

After two days of much-hyped meetings, owner George Steinbrenner and the New York Yankees still won't say whether they plan to bring back Torre for a 13th season as their manager.

"We hold Joe Torre in the highest regard and, obviously, that's why we're taking the time ... to determine what's best for us as we move forward and whether he's a part of that or not," general manager Brian Cashman said Wednesday outside Legends Field, the team's spring training home.

A person familiar with the meetings, speaking on condition of anonymity because the Yankees aren't making details public, said it was possible a decision would be made today or Friday.

Cashman returned to New York, along with chief operating officer Lonn Trost and assistant GM Jean Afterman. Team president Randy Levine remained in Florida.

Steinbrenner, who has the final say, also was in Florida, along with sons Hal and Hank and son-in-law Felix Lopez.

Cashman wouldn't give any timing for a final say on Torre, whose $19.2 million, three-year contract expires Oct. 31. He said that if the decision is made to keep Torre, "then there's a negotiation. ... And that takes time. It's as simple as that."

"As long as it takes," Cashman said, "So give it the time it needs."

KRANTIZ JOINS ORIOLES: Rick Kranitz was hired as the Baltimore Orioles pitching coach Wednesday, replacing Leo Mazzone.