Via Joel Sherman today -
The Yankees have the best record in the American League and the worst record against the Red Sox.
Which carries the most influence with the trade deadline a month away?
Organizations generally try to build a team good enough to reach the playoffs, and, at this moment, the two AL teams with the best postseason chances are the Yankees and Red Sox: Baseball Prospectus’ playoff odds calibration had Boston with a 94.2 percent chance of playing into October and the Yankees at 87.1 percent.
“My job is to reduce that 13 percent risk that we won’t make the playoffs,” general manager Brian Cashman said.
To do that, however, should the Yankees keep the Red Sox specifically in mind? Because it does feel as if the Canyon of Heroes goes through Boston. The Yankees have at least nine and potentially as many as 16 games left against the Red Sox. They were 1-8 in the first half against Boston and repeating such failure in the second half would further open a door for a team such as Tampa Bay to overtake the Yankees.
Yes, there is a lot of season left for all kinds of twists and turns and, yes, the playoffs are fickle, but today what do you think the odds are of a Red Sox-Yankees ALCS? Twenty-five percent? Thirty? Forty? And if the teams are on a collision course, do the Yankees have to pay attention that Boston’s OPS against righty pitching is 24 points higher than any other team’s?
There was a moment when the Yankees imagined a 2011 roster that would include Cliff Lee, Andy Pettitte and Pedro Feliciano, which would have made them armed — left-armed, in fact — to deal with Boston’s lefty-leaning might. But now all the Yankees have is CC Sabathia’s brilliance and Boone Logan’s undependability.
“One of our areas of weakness is the left side, but I can’t force it,” Cashman said. “I can’t make it happen if it is not there.”
Boone Logan, Damaso Marte, Pedro Feliciano, Mike Myers, Ron Villone, Buddy Groom, Kei Igawa, Wayne Franklin, Billy Traber, Alan Embree, Royce Ring, Darrell May…
Yeah, that Cashman. He knows a LOOGY when it’s there for the taking.