Yankees’ Brian Cashman hints at possible trade deadline moves

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Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

This is the team. This is the team that Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman needs to go all out for at the trade deadline to reinforce, in hopes of making a push for a World Series appearance. Wasting another MVP-caliber season from Aaron Judge and a stellar campaign from Juan Soto is simply unacceptable. It should be considered a firing offense if the Bombers don’t make the necessary adjustments in a few weeks.

No Room for Excuses with the Yankees’ Best Players

It’s simple. The Yankees have the reigning Cy Young award-winning pitcher in Gerrit Cole, who’s working his way back up to his usual self, and two of the best hitters in baseball; there’s no excuse for this team to be as volatile as they’ve been over the past few weeks.

MLB: Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees
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Challenges Ahead: Cashman’s Midseason Review

However, Cashman finally addressed the media on Tuesday ahead of a series opener against the Tampa Bay Rays down south. The Yankees, of course, lost 5–3, with Carlos Rodon giving up four runs in the first inning to set the Yankees back considerably.

Cashman mentioned that the team needs to be better across the board, specifically noting second baseman Gleyber Torres, who is in a contract year and looking to capitalize on a long-term extension. Cashman threw him a bone, suggesting that the added pressure could be weighing down on his shoulders. Regression to his current numbers is difficult to comprehend.

The Decline of Gleyber Torres

Torres went from hitting .273/.347/.453 to .223/.296/.343. He’s dropped astronomically across the board, not to mention his home run-hitting qualities have regressed, and his defense is equally as horrible. He has a .967 percentage with 11 errors and -3 defensive runs saved this season. This is his worst offensive season to date, and it’s not particularly close. If the Yankees don’t turn things around at second base soon, Cashman may have no choice but to consider alternative options at the deadline, given an opportunity presents itself.

MLB: New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles, gleyber torres
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“Sometimes those free-agent walk years can come back and haunt you,” Cashman said. “I’m not sure if that added pressure might be weighing him down or holding him back. We just went through that with [Luis Severino] and [Harrison] Bader last year. He’s close to the finish line on going to free agency. … Last year, he was our second-best hitter behind Aaron Judge. We’re anxiously hoping and waiting on that, because I know he could have a really positive impact.”

Cashman’s Open Strategy as Deadline Approaches

Cashman said that the Yankees will be “open-minded to a lot of different things” at the July 30 deadline. They need bullpen support and are suffering through DJ LeMahieu’s tough start of the season. They need another bat on the corner, but that is easier said than done with a thin trade market. DJ is hitting .206/.295/.234, including 11 RBIs and a 60 wRC+. His walk rate and strike-out rates are solid, but his 56.7% ground ball rate is a detriment to the team’s production — he is hitting .308 with runners in scoring position, which is the only silver lining.

Spotlight on Ben Rice and Pitching Prospects

Ben Rice has been excellent at first base and has actually put together some decent defensive reps. He’s hitting .260 with a .348 OBP, including five homers and 14 RBIs over 19 games. In fact, in less than two months, he’s on pace to blow past Gleyber’s home run total (8).

MLB: New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays, ben rice
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Reinforcements and Creative Solutions

The Yankees could get creative with their pitching, especially with the hopes of getting Clarke Schmidt, Cody Poteet, and Ian Hamilton back over the next few months. They’re also expecting Scott Effross to return from a rehab assignment in the next few weeks, currently situated with Triple-A Scranton. Schmidt can move back into rotation once he’s fully healthy, allowing the Yankees to be a bit more creative with how they deploy some of their more experienced arms in relief.

Preparing for a Deep Postseason Run

The Yankees will get reinforcements back at some point, but they need to make the right improvements to prepare for a deep postseason run. There’s no guarantee they will be healthy when the playoffs roll around. Hence, they need to find a solid infielder who can smooth things over in the meantime, especially with several key starters regressing to their historical averages.

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