Brian Cashman didn’t quite get everything he desired before the trade deadline.
With Aaron Judge on the DL for the next three weeks at least, for example, the Yankees GM would have liked to add an outfielder if possible.
Still, after a whirlwind of a week leading up to Tuesday’s 4 p.m. deadline, Cashman feels poised to make a run at the AL East-leading Red Sox, who entering the day held a six-game lead.
“Do I like our position where we’re at? No, I don’t like our position, I want to be where they’re sitting right now,” Cashman said Tuesday. “They’re the team we’re chasing, they’re the team we want to pass. They’ve imported a lot of high-end talent that’s going to make them better and that much more difficult to chase but stay tuned. Let’s see where it takes us.”
Cashman, who made six deals in the previous seven days before Tuesday, brought J.A. Happ, Lance Lynn and Zach Britton in to bolster his pitching staff and added $3.75 million in international signing money in other deals.
“We kicked the tires on a lot of different things,” Cashman.
He kicked off his post-deadline news conference Tuesday addressing the oddity of Happ being questionable for Saturday night’s start against the Red Sox having just been diagnosed earlier in the day Tuesday with hand, foot and mouth disease.
If Happ can’t pitch in that game, Luis Cessa could be an option, as could Lynn, set to arrive Wednesday.
“One of the efforts we had was to determine if we could import someone that could be available if we needed more starting pitching or could pitch out of the ‘pen with more length,” Cashman said. “Lance Lynn checks those boxes.”
Lynn, 31, was 7-8 with a 5.10 ERA in his first season with the Twins but is 6-4 with a 3.74 ERA in his previous 12 starts. Included is two outings against the Red Sox in which he’s allowed a combined one earned run in 11 innings.
“He’s a competitor and the makeup’s really good so we feel he’ll fit really well in that clubhouse,” Cashman said.
It was important, Cashman said, to “get some more protection in the starting rotation” because Jonathan Loaisiga, who started four games for the Bombers, and Domingo German, who started 13, are both on the minor-league DL. After that in terms of starting pitching depth, it’s Cessa and untested prospects Justus Sheffield and Chance Adams.
While his club hasn’t always produced against the lower-echelon teams so far this season, Cashman is looking forward to the 10 remaining games the Yankees have against the Red Sox, against whom they’re 5-4.
“We have some highly competitive, talented people in that clubhouse and they’ve matched so far with them head to head very well,” Cashman said.
He smiled while talking about the 75-33 Red Sox (entering Tuesday).
“You wonder what their record would be if they weren’t playing us because I know when we go head to head we’ve done some damage against them,” Cashman said. “I tip my cap to them, a lot of respect that way, but we’re doing everything we can to reinforce what we’ve got and take our shot.”