Baseball’s trade deadline is a little more than seven hours away, and if Brian Cashman has another trick up his sleeve, he’s keeping it well hidden.
“A big day where we’ll do nothing, most likely,” he said.
Cashman said before last night’s game that he was “not at all” optimistic about making a move before today’s 4 p.m. deadline. It’s typical of Cashman to downplay his activity, but he rarely issues an absolute denial when he really has something cooking. Yesterday he sounded like a man who had already made his mid-season splash with the Ichiro trade.
“It’s gotten really quiet,” he said. “Things have just gotten quiet all of a sudden. There have been a lot of moves before (the deadline) so I’m not going to count anything out. … There are some very motivated buyers that you’ve seen, and some very reluctant sellers. It’s always difficult to agree on price regardless. I’m very comfortable that I know we’re getting our guys back from the DL. It’s just trying to maintain health, stay healthy and get healthy, and keep going with what you’ve got.”
Of course, all of this was said before Mark Teixeira’s injury. Teixeira is going for an MRI today, and it’s hard to say whether the Yankees will have those results in time to react within the trade market. It’s also unclear whether they would even be interested in reacting within the trade market, given they have some guys who could fill-in temporarily at first base. Cashman did make it very clear that he was satisfied at the other infield corner even without Alex Rodriguez.
“I’m comfortable with my current alternatives, with Chavez and Nix,” Cashman said. “They’ve both done a really nice job for us. We need Alex back, especially that power right-handed balance in the lineup. A consistent threat you can run out there, we miss that. I think in the Boston series you saw that because they threw a bunch of lefties at us. Joe’s choices aren’t as obvious as they would be if we were at full strength, trying to match up against lefty and righty starters. But I’m very comfortable with what we have. I just hope we can stay healthy there.”
Staying healthy is the key, and even if Teixeira’s injury is significant, the Yankees are clearly not planning to add significant long-term payroll. If they take on much money, the payments would have to stop short of 2014. That, Cashman said, is the reason he’s not at all in the mix for Cliff Lee.
“I’m not allowed to speak about another team’s player,” he said. “But if there was a hypothetical mythical beast that makes like $25 million a year for the next X amount of years that became hitting the market, we certainly could not participate in that type of level financial talent.”
And so, Cashman has — for now — set the stage for a quiet Yankees deadline. Things change in a hurry around here, but last night, Cashman certainly didn’t speak like a man on the verge of making a move.
“It’s possible,” he said. “But I highly doubt it.”
Associated Press photo