The New York Yankees are always involved in MLB rumors. Usually it is just GM Brian Cashman doing his due diligence or opposing GM’s dragging the Yankees into trade negotiations to up the return, or agents doing the same for free agents they represent. Most of the time, it is pure hype perpetrated by a media that is used to mentioning the Yankees with every potential player available at the deadline.
Last year the Yankees stood pat. Cashman felt the price being asked in return for marginal players was too much. He was probably right. Instead, Cashman was content adding pieces through the waiver wire last season like relief pitcher Cory Wade. There was no reason to part with top prospects for a marginal starting pitcher or combustible reliever.
This season, Cashman is doing his due diligence. But why tinker with a team that has the best record in baseball despite losing their Hall of Fame closer, Mariano Rivera, for the season, an All-Star set-up man in David Robertson for a couple of weeks, and not getting a single inning out of Joba Chamberlain yet while losing C.C. Sabathia and Andy Pettitte right before the All-Star break? The Yankees don’t have to do anything just for the sake of doing something. The Yankees have gotten quality contributions from Cody Eppley and Clay Rapada out of the bullpen. They have seen Freddy Garcia and David Phelps step up in the rotation. None of those guys were acquired in blockbuster deals. None were signed to huge free agent contracts. Yet they are helping the Yankees win.
I don’t expect the Yankees to go crazy at the deadline this year. If anything, the Yankees might add some minor league catching depth depending on the prognosis of Austin Romine once he gets more involved in baseball related activities. There is also the chance that Cashman will look around for a utility infielder, someone who represents an upgrade over Jayson Nix. Nix has done a decent job of filling in when needed but the Yankees might desire someone more like Jerry Hairston, Jr., whom they acquired in 2009. Perhaps a Marco Scutaro of the Colorado Rockies makes some sense although Brian Cashman is peeved at Rockies GM Dan O’Dowd for going to the Boston Red Sox to drive up the price on Franklin Morales last May. Jed Lowrie of the Houston Astros would also be a good fit but the Astros would want too much in return and the Yankees won’t part with important prospects.
Cashman could put in a phone call to some teams that might have an extra outfielder around, like the Chicago Cubs who might be willing to part with David DeJesus. Brett Gardner has been out with an injured elbow since April 17th and has suffered a couple of setbacks already. Cashman might decide to look for some insurance in that department. Right now, the Yankees are getting some production from Dewayne Wise and recently claimed Darnell McDonald off of waivers from the Boston Red Sox. But, an upgrade isn’t out of the question depending on the asking price. Cashman will not be held hostage because he doesn’t have to be.
If David Aardsma’s recent setback in his Tommy John surgery rehab is nothing major, the Yankees could be looking at bullpen additions of Joba Chamberlain and David Aardsma in August or September. That is a huge boost. There is also an outside shot that Pedro Feliciano returns to a mound by September. So, the Yankees will not seek bullpen help. In fact, the Yankees might be faced with an abundance of pitching as the playoffs get set to begin.
Yes, these are not the George M. Steinbrenner Yankees anymore. These are the Hal Steinbrenner Yanks, run by Brian Cashman, an astute general manager that is content sticking with a ballclub that has the best record in Major League Baseball. These are the Yankees. Don’t expect much of anything from them at the deadline.