Via Sam Borden -
With the Yankees, it’s different. They have struggled as well this season (and are actually further from first place than the Mets right now), yet their needs are minimal. About an hour after Manuel delivered his (not-so-veiled) plea, Yankees GM Brian Cashman sat in the visitors’ dugout at Citi Field [Sunday] and turned questions about potential trades into a discussion of the players already on his roster.
“We’ve got the pieces in place,” he said.
Does that mean he isn’t interested in a trade?
“I wouldn’t say.”
Is he actively monitoring the trade market?
“Of course. This is the busy season.”
These were typical Cashman riposts but there are no glaring gaps for him to fill as the July 31 trade deadline draws closer. The Yankees could afford to add a bullpen arm, if one were available, to firm up their eighth inning situation, and names like Colorado closer Huston Street have been floating around for weeks.
Call me crazy – and I know that some will! – but, in addition to a reliable and proven arm in the pen, I would love to see the Yankees acquire someone to play right field and provide some consistent offensive contribution along with some above-average defense. This would allow Joe Girardi to use Nick Swisher as a back-up to Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui (and, when needed, Mark Teixeira). And, then, General Joe could use Melky Cabrera to spell Brett Gardner against tough lefties and use him as a defensive caddy for whomever plays left field.
Don’t get me wrong. I know that Swisher works counts and gets walks. And, when he’s hot, Swisher can hit the ball out of the park. But, when he’s cold, he’s beyond ice cold. And, at times, Swisher takes some curious routes on fly balls. Basically, when he’s bad, the Swish Hawk is “T-Long Like.”
At the worst, maybe it would make sense for the Yankees to pick up a player like the Rockies Seth Smith – assuming they could get him for a couple of Grade B- or C+ pitching prospects – only to have another option in right field, instead of just Swisher or Cabrera – if needed?