Between now and the July 31 trade deadline, expect to hear Yankees general manager Brian Cashman say something to the effect of, “We’re open to anything and everything” when it comes to dealing with other teams.
Two reasons: One, it’s a way for Cashman to deflect pointed questions from reporters and not tip his hand. Two, he means it. It would make no sense for the Yankees — or any team — to immediately shut down any trade consideration because who knows what might come of it.
With that in mind, let’s rank what the Yankees need the most:
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New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has said he's already started searching for help via trade with the July 31 deadline looming.
1. Starting pitching: The Yankees need at least one, if not two, high-level arms. They expect to get back ace Luis Severino (right lat strain, right rotator cuff inflammation) after the All-Star break, so expect the Yankees to count him as an addition. But they can’t expect their current rotation options to function as top-level pitchers — and each of them comes with serious injury red flags, save for J.A. Happ. James Paxton’s cranky left knee could still be a problem and he’s underwhelmed since returning from the injured list. Masahiro Tanaka’s splitter has seemed to abandon him. CC Sabathia might need another two IL stints for his balky right knee. And Domingo German (hip tightness) just hit the IL. They have been linked to the best pitchers thought to be on the trade block: the Giants’ Madison Bumgarner, the Blue Jays’ Marcus Stroman and the Rangers’ Mike Minor.
2. Bullpen: The Yankees bullpen has, for the most part, been great this season. Adding to the relief corp would be like giving steroids to the incredible Hulk. But they did expect to have Dellin Betances in the late innings this year. Who knows if he’ll pitch in 2019. The Yankees shut Betances down again Tuesday, this time with right lat soreness. He hadn’t pitched all year thanks to a right shoulder impingement. If Betances can’t come back, Cashman might want to look at another back-end arm, especially considering his most trusted non-closers (Adam Ottavino, Zack Britton, Tommy Kahnle) have racked up considerable workloads.
3. That’s about it: You could hope for more production out of the Yankees’ backup catcher, Austin Romine, but he’s not going anywhere because the team feels he’s too valuable in very other way besides at the plate. There isn’t any room in the infield, plus talented young shortstops Thairo Estrada and Tyler Wade are at Triple-A. And the outfield will be full once again when Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton each return from the IL. They’re expected back next homestand.