The New York Yankees were silent for much of MLB trade deadline day, leaving many to wonder what Brian Cashman was going to do, if anything. Then in the final hour before the trade deadline, he made two deals that will certainly help bolster up some offensive and defensive needs for the team.
First, he worked out a deal for the first time since 1997 with longtime arch rival the Boston Red Sox on acquiring shortstop Stephen Drew, who they quickly said will be their everyday second baseman and then went on to designating Brian Roberts for assignment. Then in the final minutes they worked out a deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks in acquiring utility player Martin Prado. Prado is typically an infielder, but the Yankees will use him as much-needed depth to their outfield for the remainder of the season.
The Yankees wanted Drew before the start of the season and essentially got away with a steal of a trade, only having to give up Kelly Johnson and some cash. His use will certainly give them an upgrade over Roberts with the bat, but the glove will have to come with time. Drew has never played second base, but Roberts is in a tie with the most errors by an American League second baseman. Drew should bring more to the team than Roberts did. Cashman said highly touted and fan favorite prospect Rob Refsnyder will still need time to develop his skills at second base while in the minors. For now, Drew will have to do.
Prado was once part of the blockbuster deal that the Atlanta Braves used with the Diamondbacks in acquiring All-Star outfielder Justin Upton. Yesterday, he was dealt for an up-and-coming prospect who has some power in Peter O’ Brien, and that will certainly help the Yankees out not only for the remainder of the 2014 season but for next year as well. Prado has proven he can play most positions on the diamond, and for a team like the Yankees that is committed to older veterans at many positions, it does not hurt to have a utility man who can play any given day.
In the short term of things, Cashman and the Yankees feel they did what was necessary to keep the team in the American League playoff chase. With the additions of Prado and Drew to go along with Chase Headley, Brandon McCarthy and Chris Capuano, it is easy to see Cashman is doing what he can with what little he has available for others teams. However, in the final hours of the trade deadline, the two quick moves he did make should help the team out in the last two months.