Brian Cashman decides to stay out of trade market
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LOS ANGELES - The Yankees weren't shut out in advance of Wednesday's 4 p.m. nonwaiver trade deadline, general manager Brian Cashman was quick to point out.
It was a case, he said, that they made their significant pre-deadline deal last week, when they addressed the major need of a righthanded bat by acquiring outfielder Alfonso Soriano.
Otherwise, Cashman said on a conference call shortly after not being able to pull the trigger on another deal before the deadline, the "pool" of available talent in the marketplace "wasn't a deep pool to swim in."
The question now, of course, is whether the Yankees, 31/2 games out of the second AL wild card going into Wednesday night's game against the Dodgers, are sunk.
And Cashman, who had last-minute talks with the Phillies regarding third baseman/first baseman Michael Young, didn't offer the most reassuring answer to fans concerned that very well may be the case for the 2013 season.
"We will have to contend with what we have right now unless we can find ways to improve it," Cashman said. "And obviously right now that'll come from within and off the disabled list."
That would be players like Derek Jeter and Jayson Nix, both of whom have recently returned from the disabled list, and Curtis Granderson, who is likely to by Friday. Cashman also mentioned Alex Rodriguez, though the expectation industry-wide is the third baseman, scheduled to play in a simulated game Tjursday and a minor-league game Friday, soon will be suspended by MLB.
Cashman would not say how close he came on any one deal, nor would he say what areas of need he was trying to address, though it's widely known the Yankees have been in the market for infield help, particularly at third base. And, given the inconsistency of the rotation, there was a push from some in the organization to attain depth there as well.
The club received feelers regarding Phil Hughes but nothing much came of those talks, and though the Yankees wanted to move Joba Chamberlain, they found no takers. Hughes and Chamberlain are free agents at season's end.
Before Wednesday night's game, Joe Girardi said he would not characterize himself as disappointed that no further deals were done.
"I don't ever count on anything," Girardi said. "I think about the guys that we have in the room and how we're going to win with those guys and that's what we have to go do."
Even though Cashman wasn't able to swing any more deals before 4 p.m. Wednesday, that doesn't preclude him from making a trade in August, though that is a more complex process as players must pass through waivers.
"Some players clearly will get through and others obviously won't, so we'll have a chance to work through the August trade period now that's more complicated with the waivers, but that's certainly not impossible," Cashman said.
The Yankees entered Wednesday 8½ games out of first in the AL East, but Cashman said the number he's concentrating on is 31/2.
"You have to walk before you can run and right now we're closer to the wild card than the division," Cashman said. "I didn't say we can't win the division but right now if somebody says 8½, I'll say 31/2."
And can his team close that gap with what it has?
"I think we have, once we get all these guys back," Cashman said, "we certainly will have a team that has a chance to take a run at this thing."