The Yankees have shown many holes through the first two and a half months of the season, from center field to first base and the collective baserunning woes. Add it all up, and you have a team barely above .500 and nine games back in the divisional race.
But despite the team’s dwindling playoff odds, Brian Cashman plans on adding at the trade deadline, believing his group will start to play to its track record and climb back into the AL East hunt.
“We’re fully engaged and in a buying mode in terms of attempting to add to what we’ve got,” Cashman told reporters on Tuesday. “I am open to anything and everything that I don’t think of that has entered the conversation. If someone presents something that is radical, we’re in a spot that we didn’t expect to be in, and I’m open to all ideas to improve the situation.”
The trade deadline is roughly six weeks away, and Cashman noted that trade opportunities will likely begin to “open up” in the near future, and the Yanks have been active in recent years. In 2017, Sonny Gray was the big acquisition just before the deadline, to go along with Tommy Kahnle, Todd Frazier and David Robertson. In 2018, Zack Britton, J.A. Happ and Lance Lynn joined the pitching staff, while Andrew McCutchen was added to the lineup.
So far, those deadline moves haven’t resulted in parades, but Cashman intends to keep looking for areas to improve as July approaches.
“I promise our fanbase we’re going to do everything in our power to right this ship,” Cashman said. “We have to find a way to figure out our way through it. Roster cleanup, fixes, or whatever. I’m on the doors and having my phone calls…if we can find some matches to improve what we’ve got, we’ll take our shot at that.”
Of course, it’s difficult to discuss the Yankees and trades without bringing up the luxury tax, which the team has appeared to be set on avoiding in recent years. Teams like the Red Sox and Dodgers have blown past the luxury tax threshold in recent years and won championships, but the Yanks have avoided it, though Cashman insisted that that could change this summer if the right opportunity presents itself.
“The ownership here has poured great resources into this roster already,” Cashman said. “They’re not getting what they deserve with what they’re paying this roster so far. But ultimately, I’ll bring to Hal Steinbrenner and his family all recommendations. We’re going to have opportunities that present themselves that are money related, and ultimately, decisions will get made then.”
Superstar shortstops like Trevor Story could be available, and Max Scherzer could also be on the block for a team looking for a major boost to their rotation. According to Cashman, all options will be considered and brought to ownership, regardless of the financial implications.
“I know what our preferences are and what we’re trying to accomplish, but I know we’ll always have conversations, and they’ve always been open to conversations,” Cashman said. “I have to find something that’s going to improve us, and if it’s costly, that will factor into our decision making…I’m going to bring anything and everything to them, and that’s what they want.”
Follow Ryan Chichester on Twitter: @ryanchichester1