If you believe Brian Cashman’s assessment of the trade market, Alex Rodriguez just might be the Yankees best hope for a much-needed right-handed power hitter. Rodriguez is hardly a sure thing, but Cashman was painting a discouraging picture of the trade market yesterday.
“It’s a tough one,” Cashman said yesterday. “Certainly we’ve been actively busy making phone calls, worked through the break, but we have not completed anything. The phone calls were taking place, but nothing to show for it.”
Is that because he doesn’t have the pieces to make a deal?
“It has nothing to do with our system,” Cashman said. “I think if you’re looking for offense, Exhibit A is, name me the bat that’s moved already. It hasn’t. Exhibit B is, look at all the big rumors that are out there involving pitchers. It’s an offensive offense market.”
Cashman paused for a second.
“Then (again),” he said. “People could say they’re offended by my offense, too.”
The need for offense is widely acknowledged around the Yankees. Players and coaches might say all the right things about trusting the guys in the clubhouse, and they might point to that first month and a half as some sort of proof that these guys are capable, but there’s no denying that the Yankees lineup has been one of the worst in the American League.
Thomas Neal and Melky Mesa are on their way up to plug holes, but it’s hard to imagine either one as a game-changer.
If the market is unable to provide an upgrade — if Cashman isn’t simply blowing smoke — then Yankees have little choice but to wait and hope. They’ve tried relatively small acquisitions and a few call-ups, but the only potential game-changers on the horizon seem to be injured big leaguers like Rodriguez and Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson and Francisco Cervelli. And, of course, the player closest to a return from the disabled list is Rodriguez.
“I believe he’s capable of (providing an offensive boost),” Joe Girardi said. “I think you’d have to be foolish not to be hopeful he’d do it. I’m hoping Lillibridge makes a huge impact on our lineup. Anyone you put out there you hope makes a huge impact. For me, I expect him to be a very good player. Physically we’re going to have to see where he’s at playing every day, but I expect him to make an impact.”
Associated Press photo