Once again, Yankees GM Brian Cashman refrained from pulling the trigger on deals at the deadline. But only half of his reasoning makes sense.
The Yankees, as has been their recent practice, did not pull the trigger on any trades before yesterday’s 4 PM deadline.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman did not waste time before meeting directly with the media to give his annual Yankees State Of The Union Address, as well as to provide the team’s fan base with the method behind his madness (doing nothing).
One of the reasons why Cashman will soon celebrate his 25th year as the Yankees General Manager is that he’s a straight shooter who answers all comers with forthrightness and conviction.
Last week, for instance, Cashman fired back at J.A. Happ, who went public with charges the Yankees were “holding back” to keep him from reaching an innings pitched mark this season, which if attained, calls for a $17 million option to kick in for the 2021 season.
The Yankees World According To Brian Cashman
Cashman offered up two reasons for the Yankees standing by at the deadline. One makes perfect sense, the other not so much.
First, let’s take a look at the concrete ground Cashman stands on for staying idle. In the weeks leading up to the trade deadline, the Yankees made no secret of their desire to add a quality starter to their rotation.
Mike Clevinger (Indians) (right), Mike Minor (Rangers), and Lance Lynn (Rangers) were widely mentioned as Yankee targets. Both Clevinger and Minor were dealt yesterday, while the Rangers pulled Lynn back at the last minute.
To better understand Cashman’s thinking, take a glance at the haul, the Cleveland Indians received when they traded Clevinger to the San Diego Padres.
Padres get RHP Mike Clevinger, OF Greg Allen, Player to be named.
Indians get: C Austin Hedges, 1B/OF Josh Naylor, RHP Cal Quantrill, SS Gabriel Arias (No. 7 Padres prospect), INF Owen Miller (No. 11), LHP Joey Cantillo (No. 9)
For the Padres, who made six trades involving 26 players yesterday, the transaction can be justified as a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2006, and as the Padres All-Planet Shortstop said, “We’re aiming for the big cake, and why not? Let’s go win the World Series.” (mlb.com)
For the Yankees, who are a cinch to make the playoffs this year and almost every season, Cashman saw no sense in giving up prospects like Deivi Garcia, Clarke Schmidt, and Clint Frazier, all of whom were mentioned as prerequisites by other teams in deals discussed.
Cashman explains: “Without a doubt, the effort was to try to get a controllable starter moving forward, or even a short-term starter to continue to give ourselves a better chance,” Cashman said.
“But the price tags associated on (sic) it usually was a subtraction of some impactful player that’s currently playing a role or was anticipated to play a very important role for this franchise or the immediate future. So that was the difficulty of trying to navigate the deadline”.
Yankees Cashman: A Wish And A Prayer (Reason Two)
When it comes to Cashman’s second reason why the Yankees stood still yesterday, the ground beneath him appears to be a bit shaky.
Brian Cashman believes the Yankees will be at full strength for the playoffs.
This means Aaron Boone can count on writing in the names of Aaron Judge, Kyle Higashioka, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, Aaron Hicks, Zack Britton, and James Paxton as he chooses into the Yankees lineup.
Cashman believes this, or maybe he’s just saying a prayer, despite that each player has injuries (quads, hamstrings, obliques, etc.) that have excellent odds of recurring once the player returns to action.
Aaron Judge, for instance, lasted one day on the field before suffering the same injury, causing a new trip to the Injured List, and the prognosis is saying he’s out a minimum of two weeks.
Cashman’s favorable prognosis for the Yankees contains, of course, another wish and a prayer that other players do not withstand an injury over the next four weeks, adding to the list of currently injured Yankees.
Cashman: We’re Good Enough To Win
Brian Cashman staunchly believes the Yankees are good enough to win as they stand.
He also recognizes that this year’s expanded playoff format is a crapshoot like no other.
There are no byes, and regardless of where the Yankees finish, they will be playing a competitive team in a first-round best of three series to advance.
Gerrit Cole has proven he’s not (yet) God with two consecutive defeats, and all it takes is a bad day on any given day during the postseason by any of the Yankees top three starters – and it’s pack your bags – the Yankees are heading home.
So why, Cashman reasons, should I mortgage the Yankees future during a cock-eyed season that has no assurance of being completed.
It’s a gamble, it’s always a gamble in baseball.
But aside from Cashman’s pie-in-the-sky belief, the Yankees will be at full strength in time for the postseason, as always, Brian Cashman has the pulse of the team financially in hand.
We’ll see how it plays out.