Will the New York Yankees be buyers or sellers at the deadline?

New York Yankees, Brian Cashman

The New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman was blunt yesterday in saying that the team sucked. To be quite honest, it was honestly refreshing to get away from Aaron Boone’s optimism speeches and here someone say it like it is; this team sucks right now.

Now, I will say, I didn’t like how Cashman refused to blame anything on Boone. His inability to get anything out of this roster should be called out along with the rest of the coaches. That said, there are so many problems with the Yankees that it’s hard to pinpoint the blame.

The Yankees did respond yesterday by pummeling the Angels 11-5. The win snapped a four-game losing streak which included a sweep by the Boston Red Sox. Today is the last day of June and the trade deadline is just around the corner.

The Yankees find themselves in an interesting position. Heading into the season, many pegged The Bombers as a threat to win the World Series. However, now, it’s hard to even imagine this fourth-place team making the playoffs.

The team has the pieces to make a huge second-half run, but it’s hard to even imagine at this point with the way they look. With the deadline coming up, the question will shift from ‘Who will the Yankees get?’ to ‘Are they going to buy or sell?’

Will the Yankees buy?

Brian Cashman didn’t rule out the possibility that the Yankees would be sellers when speaking to the media yesterday. I think the GM is keeping all of his options open at this point and the next couple of weeks will really dictate the rest of the season.

If the Yankees decide to buy, they need to look at centerfield and they need to look at starters. We really don’t know what were going to get out of Corey Kluber and Luis Severino the rest of the way.

If both guys come back and pitch to their potential, that’s huge for the Yankees. However, should the bombers bank on that? Absolutely not. If they want to contend, they need to go out and get another starting pitcher they can rely on to pitch behind Gerrit Cole.

Obviously centerfield has been a disaster with Hicks out and the Yankees need someone of quality patrolling the middle. Perhaps someone like a Starling Marte or Joey Gallo could be in the cards. Ketel Marte would be the ideal target, but it’s hard to see that happening.

Hybrid approach?

If the Yankees completely fall apart in the coming weeks, I definitely see a scenario well they decide to sell. However, it won’t be a sell in the traditional sense. Instead, I could see them selling to build towards a WS run in 2022.

What could that entail? Well, trading Gleyber Torres or Clint Frazier could very well be in the cards. Also trading away some relievers could be in the cards as well. Now, you might ask how trading Gleyber Torres could help in 2022?

Well, I think it’s obvious at this point that Gleyber Torres is not a shortstop. If a team in contention needs a really solid second base option Torres could be the guy. With his potential, the Yankees could still get a good haul for him and they’d be in a position to sign one of the star free agent shortstops in the offseason to replace him.

The situation in The Bronx is extremely fluid at the moment. I still believe that this team has the pieces to make a run, but were at the point where I have to see it to believe it will actually happen. There’s a lot of pressure on Brian Cashman and I’ll be very curious to see the strategy unfold over the next month.

What should the Yankees do at the deadline? Buy to try and win this year or sell to build towards next year?

Yankees News, 6/30: Brian Cashman throws players under the bus, team rallies in response

New York Yankees, Aaron Boone, Brian Cashman

The Yankees have been one of the most polarizing teams in baseball this year, enduring lengthy losing streaks but clawing their way back into the AL East standings with all hope seemed to be lost.

Most recently, the Yankees lost four consecutive games, being swept by the Boston Red Sox for the second time this season and falling to the sub .500 Los Angeles Angels in Game 1 of a four-game series. However, it wasn’t until general manager Brian Cashman absolved manager Aaron Boone of any liability that the team seemed to break out. On Tuesday evening, the Yankees surged past the Angels, scoring 11 runs, most of which came before the sixth inning.

However, it was interesting to see Cashman throw the players under the bus and salvage the names of the coaches. From experience, when you have the highest payroll in baseball, there is no question that talent is available, and they can only perform as well as the coaching staff prepares them. Of course, confidence and the mental side of the game do play a significant part when enduring struggles, but it’s the manager’s job to motivate his team and deliver inspiration when they need it most.

Brian Cashman said: “This isn’t an Aaron Boone problem. This isn’t a coaching staff problem.”

Currently, the Yankees are 41-38 on the season and remain 7.5 games back from the Boston Red Sox in first place. Finding their way to a postseason appearance is not going to be easy, and the Yankees must win the majority of their future games. They have two games left against the Angels before taking on the Mets in a subway Series at Yankee Stadium.

The Mets have played solid baseball this year and currently reside in first place in the NL East, so they represent a formidable opponent. Finishing off the Angels with two more wins might give the Bombers some momentum headed into an important series at home before embarking on a six-game road trip on the West Coast.

Yankees News, 6/27: Brian Cashman opens up about trade talks, moves could be made in coming weeks

New York Yankees, Brian Cashman

There was a moment last week where the Yankees had won seven of their last nine games, and since, they have lost two consecutive competitive contests against the Boston Red Sox. The Yankees have yet to beat Boston this season and will be looking for their first victory on Sunday with Gerrit Cole on the mound, but a significant portion of the damage has already been done.

Heading into the three-game series at Fenway Park, the Yankees were 4.0 games back in the AL East and just 3.5 behind Boston. Currently, they have dropped back down to six games back, with a +3 run differential, showcasing a serious lack of offensive production.

With that being said, general manager Brian Cashman needs to activate his connections ASAP, as the Yankees desperately need help putting runs on the board.

The Yankees’ struggles on offense demoralize the starting pitching:

Starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery picked up the loss, as the Yankees couldn’t provide him any spark or cushion. Down 3-0, it took the Bombers until the 8th inning to get anything going, as DJ LeMahieu hit a solo homer to right field. In the ninth inning, LeMahieu struck once again, driving in Rougned Odor on a single to centerfield. While DJ had four hits on the evening, Luke Voit struggled in big moments, striking out with two runners on base and grounding out to shortstop late in the game with a similar scenario.

Reports have indicated that the Yankees are interested in trading for a player who can offer production on offense, potentially someone like Ketel Marte from the Arizona Diamondbacks. However, it all depends on what they’re asking for in return as the Yankees are trying to stay beneath the $210 million luxury tax threshold.

“We certainly have reached out, between myself and [assistant GM] Mike Fishman, to all parties [in] both leagues,” Brian Cashman said on Friday, at Fenway Park. “We’ve had a lot of conversations but … I wouldn’t say there’s any momentum. I don’t get a sense that there’s a feeling of action right now from the industry. It doesn’t mean that people can’t make a deal or won’t make a deal, but it doesn’t feel like there’s a lot of heavy activity ready to burst.”

With Aaron Hicks missing the remainder of the season with a wrist injury, Corey Kluber not expected to return till September, and Luis Severino suffering an injury setback with his groin, the Yankees are fighting to stay above water and need support quickly if they want to remain in the playoff hunt.

Will the New York Yankees talk potential trade deals with the Royals this week?

New York Yankees, Brian Cashman

The New York Yankees are feeling pretty decent right now after their recent 5-1 stretch. That stretch was much needed as the bombers looked horrendous for much of the last month. Fans began to grow increasingly frustrated with the struggling team who fell to fourth place for a time.

The Yankees recent stretch has everyone feeling a little better, but there’s still a ways to go before we start feeling good about this ballclub. As of this morning, the bombers are still in 3rd place in the division. If the season ended today, they’d be going home.

Starting tonight, The Kansas City Royals are coming to New York for a three-game series. The Royals are currently 32-38 so this looks like it could be another great opportunity for the Yankees to pickup another series victory as they try to chip away at the division.

While a focus will certainly be on the games against the Royals, I can’t help but think that Brian Cashman and his team might do some scouting this week. Perhaps, the Yankees could also do a little talking with Dayton Moore and the Royals front office.

Is a Yankees and Royals trade in the cards?

It’s no secret that there are holes with this Yankees team. The club needs a little help as they gear up towards the second half of the season. There are still big questions in the outfield and the starting rotation.

There are also questions at first base with Luke Voit’s inability to stay on the field this season. The Royals do not look like a team that will make a run for the playoffs. You could see them sell off some pieces at the deadline as they prep for the future.

With that, the Yankees could take advantage. A couple of names that were being whispered about earlier in the season were Danny Duffy and Andrew Benintendi. Duffy is having a career season on the mound with a 1.94 ERA. However, recent injuries have given teams pause on acquiring him.

Duffy is set to be a free agent after the season so if he can come back healthy, he could be an option for the Yankees before the deadline. Benintendi would help the Yankees in the outfield and on the left side of the plate. However, a recent crack to his rib also might take him off the table.

Other trade options

Another name being floated around is Michael Taylor. Taylor is also set to be a free agent after the season and would by far be the cheapest acquisition the Yankees could make from Kansas City.

Taylor could help the bombers out in the outfield given all the issues the team has had there. A name that has been floated around for the last couple of years is Whit Merrifield. Merrifield can play all around the infield and the outfield.

He’s led the majors in hits a couple of times and would be a major acquisition for the Yankees. However, Dayton Moore has said over the last couple of years that he doesn’t want to part with Merrifield as he sees Whit as a guy to build around for the future.

Mike Minor could be a guy the Yankees look at for the rotation and Carlos Santana could be another name to watch. There’s no smoke around any of these players right now, but these are all potential targets depending on what Brian Cashman decides

Yankees News, 6/16: Cashman guarantees reinforcements, Luke Voit injury update

New York Yankees, Luke Voit

The New York Yankees might’ve walked away with a victory on Tuesday against the Toronto Blue Jays, but they are still struggling to find their form as they sit just two games above .500.

The team is currently eight games behind the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East and six behind the Boston Red Sox. They stole back third place from Toronto by just half a game and are looking to string together a few wins to put themselves back in the conversation. The Yankees need to finish the season strong if they want to earn a Wild Card appearance, giving them a shot at the postseason.

However, with the trade deadline creeping up, the Yankees must use this victory over Toronto as momentum, thanks to six runs, including three homers in the game, courtesy of Gary Sanchez, Chris Gittens, and Brett Gardner.

General manager Brian Cashman made it apparent that the team would be active at the deadline, using the word “buying” to indicate their aggressiveness.

The question is, who will the Yankees target to improve their roster, and what position is in the most trouble? They could use a bit of support in the pitching department and a lefty bat with some utility flexibility. Someone like Ketel Marte of the Arizona Diamondbacks stands out as a contact hitting lefty, or switch hitter would be ideal after the loss of Aaron Hicks.

Luke Voit update:

Somerset manager Julio Mosquera commented on Voit’s performance Tuesday:

“He looks healthy to me,” Mosquera said. “I don’t worry too much about those (major league) guys coming over here and taking at-bats because the main thing is for them is to see some pitching and get some swings and make sure they feel good.

Voit is quickly working his way back from injury, featuring with Somerset this week. He will likely be available to join the Yankees at first base in the coming days, having only played 12 games this year, enjoying 50 plate appearances. They desperately need a bit more support in the offensive category, and considering Voit lead the MLB with 22 homers during an abbreviated 2020 season; we know what type of production he can offer.
Health remains a priority for the Yankees. They can’t afford to lose any more players, whether it be in the batting order or pitching. That is a primary reason Cashman stated the team would-be buyers have a deadline, and with minimal funds to spend, it will be interesting to see who they target.

Cashman confident in Yankees and Boone: ‘We made this bed, and we’re going to sleep in it’

New York Yankees, Aaron Boone, Brian Cashman

The New York Yankees have lost seven of their last ten games, and had been losing ground in the competition with AL East foes before last night’s win against the Toronto Blue Jays. The bad streak, and their 33-32 record (now 34-32) prompted a media appearance from general manager Brian Cashman.

The executive didn’t hide his frustration about the team’s sluggish recent performance, but remains confident that manager Aaron Boone and his coaching staff are the right men for the job.

“Losing invites the scrutiny on us all,” Cashman said, as published by MLB.com. “I’d best answer that as we’re in this together. We made this bed, and we’re going to sleep in it, and we’re going to make sure that we find a way to fix this together.”

The Yankees boss explained that during his tenure as GM, he has never made an in-season managerial or coaching change, and he doesn’t intend to change that now.

“It is frustrating to watch. I get it,” Cashman said. “And it’s frustrating to watch because we’re better than this. It’s not because Aaron Boone doesn’t know what he’s doing. It’s not because any of the coaching staff aren’t doing the job to the best of their abilities. We are dealing with it; I promise you that.”

The Yankees’ cold streak

Entering Tuesday’s game, the Yankees had dropped 11 of 15 games. Boone admitted he felt pressure to change the course of the season.

“It’s been a hard year,” Boone said. “We got off to a very difficult start the first couple of weeks of the season, then righted the ship for a week. These last couple of weeks have been tough. I wear that. I feel that. I’m invested in this job.”

The Yankees are hoping that Wednesday’s narrow victory over the Jays is the start of a hot streak that helps them recover some of the lost ground in the division.

 

Yankees News, 6/14: Is Brian Cashman or Aaron Boone on the hot-seat?

New York Yankees, Aaron Boone, Brian Cashman

The New York Yankees fell to the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday by a score of 7-0. The Yankees have given themselves a small cushion above the .500 mark in the AL East this year but have lost seven of their last nine games, including a three-game losing streak where nothing seems to be going right.

Against Philadelphia in their most recent defeat, the Yankees recorded four hits and struck out 11 times, allowing 12 hits to their opposition. DJ LeMahieu accounted for 50% of the team’s hits, as Domingo German gave up 10 hits and seven runs in 4.1 innings. The starting pitching seems to be falling apart at the seams as the Yankees have tumbled to 8.5 games back in the AL East standings, falling behind the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday.

This begs the question, should Brian Cashman or Aaron Boone be on the hot seat?

Ultimately, when you have the highest payroll in baseball, your team should be a bit more successful than just one game over .500. Ultimately, the squad has struggled considerably to get going on offense, and the starting pitching has been inconsistent. Injuries continue to take their toll, which seems to be a year-old adage for a team spending over $200 million on their current roster.

Of course, there is the narrative that Boone simply doesn’t know how to use the assets Cashman has provided him with, but at some point, somebody needs to take the fall for harmonious losing.

Ranging from poor managerial decisions in-game to a lack of functional, healthy players, there are excuses for everyone, but the analytics department might play a factor too. Ever since changing the Yankees’ makeup to fit a homerun-centric approach, the team has experienced injuries at an astronomical rate. In addition, the starting pitchers have also gone down like flies, as Luis Severino suffered a groin injury during a rehab assignment in Brooklyn two days ago. It could just be bad luck for a team that hasn’t made a World Series appearance in over a decade. However — fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me!

At some point, Cashman or Boone will have to take the fall for the team’s issues, it is just a matter of when and what sparks the change. Interestingly, I wonder why Steinbrenner has remained quiet, despite the issues. The Yankees will need to finish the rest of the season strong if they want to land home-field advantage, let alone earn a Wild Card game.

The New York Yankees can’t repeat history at the 2021 deadline

New York Yankees, Aaron Boone, Brian Cashman

The New York Yankees bats came alive last night and they finally picked up a win. The bombers defeated the Twins 8-4 in a night where we saw the offense collect 14 hits and they slugged two home runs.

It was a much needed boost for the Yankees who came into the game limping after losing four straight. Not too mention the drama involving Gerrit Cole and sticky stuff that came around yesterday.

Simply put, this year for the Yankees has been a disaster. They entered the year on the shortlist of favorites to contend for a World Series. Now, they are sitting 6.5 games back of first place in the division just three games over 500.

If the season ended today, the Yankees would miss the playoffs. Aaron Boone has been a complete nightmare, the offense has been non-existent, and the pitching has been very up and down. There is no consistency with this team.

The Yankees need a boost in the worst way right now. With that in mind, a lot of people have been talking about the approaching trade deadline. Will Brian Cashman make any moves to upgrade the club? Well, if this team wants to contend, the Yankees cannot repeat recent history in 2021.

Yankees Must Do Something

The trade deadline brings excitement to the game of baseball in the month of July. Fans across the nation gather around the hot stove as they wonder whether or not their team will make that move that pushes them over the top.

However, for Yankees fans, the trade deadline has provided more annoyance than anything else over the past couple of seasons. Back in 2018, Brian Cashman made some moves to try and upgrade the pitching staff. This involved acquiring JA Happ, Lance Lynn, and Zach Britton. 

Obviously, the moves didn’t help as the Yankees were sent home in the first round of the playoffs. The last two seasons, the Yankees needed to make some moves to improve the roster for their postseason push, yet Brian Cashman did nothing outside of acquiring a pitcher named Alfredo.

Shockingly, the Yankees didn’t win anything either of the last two seasons. Now more than ever, the Yankees need to do something. They’ve been atrocious offensively from the left side of the plate. There are a ton of question marks surrounding the rotation and this team is awful at baseball fundamentals.

The bombers have to make a deal at the deadline. This is not a recommendation of something they should do, I’m saying they need to. If Brian Cashman sits on his hands like he has the last two deadlines, you might as well kiss the season goodbye.

The Yankees have been too complacent in depending on their current resources. This team cannot afford to hope the rotation stays in tact or hope the offense picks up. If things are slow, they must move. Enough of the hope, it’s time for action.

Should the New York Yankees try to acquire Trevor Story?

The New York Yankees picked up a massive win last night that snapped a four-game losing streak. The bombers defeated the Rays in extras when Clint Frazier walked it off with a two-run bomb to give them a 5-3 victory.

The win last night had to be a confidence boost for the Yankees who had been playing God awful. If you think of any aspect of baseball since the final week of May, the Yankees have been awful at it. Well, maybe not pitching in a couple of games.

The one area the Yankees have struggled in the most is the fundamentals. Defense, base running, making contact to move runners and manufacture runs. Maybe I’m in the minority, but it almost doesn’t feel real that the Yankees are sitting at 30-25 in third place. It feels so much worse than that.

Trouble at Short

Arguably the most disappointing player has been Gleyber Torres. The Yankees shortstop has struggled with the bat and the glove this year. Now, his glove has improved by the numbers from last season, but that’s not saying much.

Last week, Torres had a game where he had two errors in a single inning. His power at the plate has completely disappeared over the last season as he now just has five home runs in his last 88 regular season games. Between 2018 and 2019, Torres averaged 20.4 home runs over the course of 88 games.

Now, Gleyber Torres is still young with a ton of promise. The Yankees shortstop doesn’t turn 25 until December, but it still appears clear to me that Torres is not a long-term solution at shortstop. He just doesn’t seem comfortable there and it translates to the rest of his game.

Should the Yankees call the Rockies?

With Torres’ continued struggles, many have speculated whether or not the Yankees should pursue another shortstop. There just so happens to be an all-star shortstop who will be available to acquire at this year’s deadline.

That shortstop is Trevor Story. Now, Story hasn’t had a fantastic year himself and he’s recently been on the IL win an elbow injury, but despite those two things, he’s still considered to be one of the best shortstops in the game.

The Yankees have been linked to him in the past and those talks could turn up again. I love Gleyber Torres, but I don’t think anyone would argue the fact that Trevor Story would be an upgrade at shortstop.

Story is a free agent at the end of the year. There’s no guarantee that the Yankees would resign him if they go out and acquire him. Would that scare them away from a potential deal? Well, it’s certainly a hurdle.

Another thing standing in the way would be the asking price. Considering the current state of the infield, the Yankees might have to offer Gleyber Torres to get the deal done. Jeff Passan alluded to this on ESPN recently. 

Would Brian Cashman give up on Gleyber Torres to acquire Trevor Story? I personally think he wouldn’t, but maybe he should. The next month will tell us a lot, but if Torres continues to struggle in the field and with power, don’t be shocked to see Story linked to the bombers more and more.

New York Yankees: Learning more about the Yankees’ Covid outbreak

The New York Yankees have been the center of attention in and out of the baseball world as they deal with eight cases of “breakthrough” Covid 19. Breakthrough cases are rare but more common among fully vaccinated individuals in congregate situations. What is so unusual about the Yankee situation is that it spread from one to eight staff in just four days. Yesterday was the first day since the traveling party arrived in Tampa, Florida, that the Yankees did not report a new case.

Here is what we’ve learned:

  • The New York Yankees arrived in Tampa on Sunday night to prepare the 3 games set against the Rays. Shortly after arriving it was discovered that third base coach Phil Nevin had contracted the virus.
  • On Monday, the first base coach Reggie Willits and four support staff also tested positive for Covid 19. Willits was replaced by the player development coach in Monday night’s game, and bench coach Carlos Mendoza replaced Nevin.
  • Yankee shortstop Glyber Torres played in Monday night’s game at Tropicana Field.
  • Aaron Boone gave a possible scenario that could have caused the spread. He suggested that it could have been caused by the two and half hour rain delay during the last series at Yankee Stadium. Players in the wait, he expansive space to spread out in the clubhouse. Support staff did not have that luxury.
  • Tuesday, it was reported that pitching coach Matt Blake had been tested positive for the disease. Gleyber Torres was held out of Tuesday’s game in “an abundance of caution.”
  • It was also announced that of the seven then infected that 6 in the party were asymptomatic. (infected but not feeling any symptoms).
  • Wednesday’s game had Torres off the lineup again due to waiting for tests to be completed. It was announced on Thursday morning that Torres did, in fact, test positive for Covid.
  • We learned that all the infected parties were giving the J&J vaccine on April 7th.
  • Today it was announced that all infected parties had remained quarantined in Tampa as the Yankee flew to Baltimore for a three-game set at Camden Yards.
  • The remaining staff left in Tampa would remain at the team hotel or those who have offseason homes, at their homes in the area.
  • Yankee general manager Brian Cashman announced that Gleyber Torres was on the 10 day Covid IL. He also added that he didn’t know when he could come off, but it could be as soon as he remains asymptomatic and tests negative three days in a row.

First, it’s important to know what a “breakthrough case is. It’s when a person has been fully vaccinated (1 shot of the J&J or 2 shots of the Pfizer or Maderna) and has passed the two-week mark for full protection and then contracts the Covid 19 virus. These cases are extremely rare. There have only been 9,220 cases among 92 million that were fully vaccinated. Of those, there were 835 hospitalizations and 132 deaths.

General manager Cashman said:

Everyone in the Yankees’ traveling party of 50 to 60 people is being tested three times a day using polymerase chain reaction, saliva and rapid tests. Thursday was the first day of no new positive test results since the outbreak began, Cashman said. “Maybe it’s slowing down,” he said.

“I believe the variant that we’re dealing with has been pretty aggressive,” Cashman said, without identifying the variant.

The New York Yankees were the first team to reach an 85% vaccination rate, and at this point, several of the health protocols were relaxed per an agreement with MLB and the players union. Some of those related rules are that those in the dugout would no longer be mandated to wear masks, players could sit in the sauna together, with several other restrictions being lifted.

Some players at taking this situation with more intensity than others. A good example is that Jameson Taillon, who normally works out before a start in the weight room, chose to do his workouts masked far out in the right field at Tropicana Field. Last night he did not have that luxury when he joined about 50 others in the traveling party when they boarded their Delta flight to Baltimore. It is assumed they were all masked and keeping as much distance from each other as possible.

The New York Yankees, MLB, the New York Board of Health, and the CDC alike are watching the Yankees’ situation closely to see what they can learn moving forward. As of this writing, there are no plans to change the Yankee schedule in Baltimore. After the Baltimore series, the Yankees are scheduled to have a 4 game set at Globe Life Park, home of the Texas Rangers. It will be the first time they will play in a 100% occupancy park since 2019.