Less than three weeks before the trade deadline, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman does not sound like a man preparing to make a splash.
“I think we have quality players at every starting position,” Cashman said. “I think we have quality players at every spot in the rotation and every spot in the bullpen. There are guys who are coming off the DL. I think we have a quality bench. I think the only question you could ask is, do you want to take on the payroll and more importantly distribute future assets for what might be considered marginal upgrades.”
Russell Martin is struggling, but how many can’t-miss, two-way catchers are out there, much less available? Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira have underperformed, but they’re not going anywhere. The outfield is due for a boost when Brett Gardner comes back, and the Yankees should know by the deadline whether that’s going to happen. They can adjust their plans accordingly if he has another setback.
“We’re going to have to evaluate regardless,” Cashman said. “We’re going to walk through that process. I’ll have to keep ownership advised, and we’ll make decisions accordingly. But as we sit right now, that would be the circumstances that we find ourselves in, which is good.”
Clearly the Yankees could improve the roster, but they’re pretty deep as it is, and they believe that acquiring a clear upgrade would come at a massive cost. A solid, middle-of-the-rotation starter isn’t necessarily going to help this team. Neither would a middle-innings reliever or a bottom-of-the-lineup bat. They could make a small depth move, but there is little urgency to go after an impact player.
“I like the talent we have,” Cashman said. “I like the team we have. You’d have to put the pedal to the metal to overpay or significantly pay to find something that everybody says, ‘This just significantly upgraded this aspect of the club.’ If you do that, it’s going to come at a hell of a cost.”