The New York Yankees were riding high last week after beating the Toronto Blue Jays four times in three days. Now, after losing two out of three to the Tampa Bay Rays and losing the series opener to the Blue Jays, the good vibes have once again been replaced with panicked shivers.
There is good reason to start panicking in the halls of Yankee Stadium. The Yankees are now 7.5 games out of first place in the AL East with three teams in front of them. They are also 4.5 games out of a Wild Card spot with the Baltimore Orioles and Cleveland Indians standing between them and either the Rays or the Oakland Athletics who hold down the two Wild Card spots.
The Yankees had already made a commitment to making the playoffs this year by going out and acquiring Alfonso Soriano before the trade deadline. Now, the Yankees have to decide if they need reinforcements to make the final push with 31 games to play with the August 31st trade deadline fast approaching.
There have already been a couple of players that have passed through waivers like Minnesota Twins first baseman Justin Morneau who could have an impact on the race moving forward. The Seattle Mariners have also placed Kendrys Morales on waivers and Jon Heyman has reported he has been claimed by an unknown team. There is a good chance that the Yankees were the team that placed a claim on Morales if for no other reason than to keep him away from the Orioles.
Morales would be a good fit for the Yankees in the DH/OF role even if his defense is three steps ahead of stationary. He can also play some first base and platoon with Lyle Overbay while allowing Mark Reynolds to platoon with Alex Rodriguez at third when A-Rod needs a rest and be a power bat off the bench.
If the Yankees hope to make the playoffs they will need help. Morales or Morneau could be that help. Neither would cost much, especially Morneau who doesn’t figure into the Twins’ plans moving forward. If the Yankees are willing to take on the salary and give up a lower level prospect it might be enough to get something done.