The New York Yankees’ 2013 season has been one of injury and disappointment. Somehow, the Yankees are 52-46 and are still within striking distance of first place in the AL East, just seven games behind the Boston Red Sox with a lot of baseball left to play. The Yankees are also just 3.5 games out of a wild card spot and both spots are held by teams within their division, the Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays. The Yankees can easily fight their way into a wild card spot. However, GM Brian Cashman has to make a decision with the non-waiver trade deadline just over a week away, should the Yankees go all out and add a bat or should the Yankees sell and restock for next season?
Cashman has been burning the phone lines and recently called the offensive market “offensive” in an interview. There just aren’t any big bats to be had at the moment. The Chicago White Sox are one team that is willing to trade but they have few players who match-up to Yankee needs. Ideally, Cashman would love to add a right-handed bat to split time at first base with Lyle Overbay. Adam Dunn can be had from the White Sox but he is a lefty and is a true three-outcome player with a strikeout, walk or home run being the result. He could turn Yankee Stadium into a launching pad with his lefty swing but he makes a lot of money, makes little contact and is under contract through next year and Cashman isn’t keen on adding another contract for next season since he hopes to try to get under the $189 million luxury tax threshold.
Right now, the Yankees are stuck between a rock and a hard place. There is no impact bat that fits the Yankees need and there might not be one before the deadline. Alex Rios is another White Sox bat that is available but the Yankees don’t need another expensive outfielder.
Waiting for injured players to return is absolutely not an option at this point. Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Kevin Youkilis and Francisco Cervelli were all expected to come back from their injuries but suffered setbacks related to their previous injuries. Curtis Granderson came back for eight games before he suffered another broken bone. Granderson should return in another couple of weeks and his injuries have been the result of bad luck but the other players cannot be counted on at all at this point. Cashman must treat Rodriguez, Jeter and Cervelli as out for the season. Anything they can contribute is a bonus.
If a bat doesn’t become available the Yankees should consider becoming limited sellers at the deadline. Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain and Lyle Overbay might be able to at least bring in a prospect or two who can help the Yankees moving forward. Cashman should consider any and all offers on just about every player moving forward.