Did the Yankees do enough at the non-waiver deadline?
It’s August 2nd, and the New York Yankees have 56 games to go until the start of the postseason. They are currently 5.5 games behind their hated rival, the Boston Red Sox. The chase is on and based on what fans have witnessed this year, the team clearly looks to have the talent to play October baseball. The pressure is on to avoid the one-game wild card game and not have an outstanding regular season come down to 9 innings where all fans know that anything can happen.
Did Brian Cashman upgrade the roster enough to win a world series? The answer is no. But, there are two ways to examine Yankees GM Brian Cashman deadline strategy and coinciding moves.
- He did not blindly and unreasonably mortgage the future and make a panic move that the organization would regret for years to come
- The moves were not enough to make the Yankees clear favorites in the American League
Trade Deadline Grade: B
Acquired for: INF Brandon Drury and OF Billy McKinney.
It is obvious that the Houston Astros have a rotation that every contender is trying to emulate. The Yankees front office searched far and wide for any type of dynamic move that could improve their starting rotation. The former Blue Jay JA Happ, is a low-risk move that will provide the team with much needed consistency. With injuries, and an inconsistent Sonny Gray, the lefty will be a welcome sight when he takes the hill every five days. The veteran has masterful command with his fastball, sinker and slider and works deep into games to efficiently get the ball to the dominant bullpen. With what the market displayed, Happ was the ideal man for the Yankees and comes at a good value. The real question becomes whether the acquisition will be enough to come out on top in October. A foursome of Severino, Tanaka, Happ, and Sabathia seem to be the likely starters to open up any postseason series.
Acquired for: SP Dillon Tate, SP Josh Rogers and RP Cody Carroll
Yankees GM Brian Cashman made a devastating bullpen even tougher to square off against with the acquisition of Zach Britton. The veteran finally looks healthy, has playoff experience and will be the perfect fit to manage the 7thand 8th innings while also spelling Aroldis Chapman in the ninth inning. Britton’s versatility will be key down the stretch as manager Aaron Boone will deploy him in a few different roles. The addition of Britton makes the Yanks pen comparable with recent great bullpens of the 2017 Cleveland Indians, 2016 Chicago Cubs, and 2015 Kansas City Royals. Do you notice a trend here? Cashman did, and did not hesitate in making a formidable bullpen move to stay with the top dogs in the American League.
Acquired For: 1B Tyler Austin
This trade was the most questionable one by the Yankees front office. It is one that I still cannot fully understand. Lance Lynn is essentially replacing the recently departed Adam Warren in the long-relief role for this club. Warren was not splashy but he did get the job done consistently this season. In comparison, Lance Lynn looks to be a shadow of his former self and has struggled to get outs all year in Minnesota. He currently owns a 5.5 walk rate per 9 innings and is not a likely candidate for a bounce back second half. This move is the only one where the Yankees did not improve. The hope here is that the right-hander can benefit from a change of scenery and provide the Yankees with quality innings down the stretch.
International signing bonus money
Chasen Shreve and Giovanny Gallegos were shipped off to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for minor leaguer Luke Voit and international signing bonus money. RHP Warren was also traded to the Seattle Mariners for international signing bonus money. This move was a questionable one in improving the team but it has the Yankees well positioned to continue to sign and develop international players. 15 out of the organizations top 30 prospects have been signed through this international pool.
Result: Top International starting pitcher Osiel Rodriquez was signed by the Yankees one day later.
Did Cashman do enough?
The general manager did not fail in his strategy to address the team’s needs. He failed to move the needle enough to put the Yankees over the top in a crowded American League. Most will be content with his moves, and happy that he did not sacrifice too much of the future in making them. But, when the game gravitates to a new level in October, it could be said that a more impactful player would have done the trick against these other great teams. Only time will tell. In Cashman we trust.