The buyer-seller debate was muted as the Yankees won four straight games, three against the Orioles. But the volume could rise again as the NL West-leading Giants come to Yankee Stadium for three games starting Friday.
The countdown to the Aug. 1 non-waiver trade deadline will gain steam by the end of the weekend, when the Yankees conclude their 10-game homestand. They are 4-3 after Thursday’s 4-1 loss to the Orioles. The Yankees (48-47) are seven games out of first place in the AL East and 5 1⁄2 behind in the wild-card race.
“It’s huge, man,’’ Carlos Beltran said of the series against the Giants (57-38), losers of five in a row. The Yankees will go up against Madison Bumgarner (10-5, 2.12 ERA), Jeff Samardzija (9-5, 4.05) and Johnny Cueto (13-2, 2.64).
“We’re facing good pitchers,’’ Beltran said. “They have a good team, so we need to try and play the same kind of game we played against Baltimore. We took three out of four. It would have been great to take this one, but we’re happy that we were able to pull that off.’’
Beltran, 39, is among those most likely to be traded if the front office determines a postseason berth is not within reach. “Honestly, I don’t worry about it,’’ he said. “You have to focus on playing the game.’’
Asked if he thinks he’s on the way out, Beltran said, “I don’t know. We know that we have to win. That’s the mentality here, so we’re all on the same page. It’s going to be another tough series.’’
Nathan Eovaldi, who will start Sunday against Cueto, also has heard his name mentioned in trade talks.
“I’ve told my family I don’t want to hear about it just because it’s a distraction,’’ he said. “The only people I hear about it from is the media or other players. They ask if I heard about it. Why put my focus into something I can’t control?
“If I get traded, I get traded. It’s still the same game. I don’t pay any attention to it. I don’t have any control if it happens or it’s doesn’t, so that kind of takes my attention away from what I need to do here.’’
Andrew Miller also has grown weary of the speculation, saying he’s “tired of it. I’ve answered the same questions since spring training. As long as I’m a Yankee I’m going to pitch well for the Yankees and do everything I can to set myself up for that.’’
Miller likes it here, but will not ask to remain.
“No, that’s not my style, it’s not my job,’’ he said. “My job is to live up to my contract. The contract doesn’t give me a no- trade clause. It doesn’t give me leverage. The Yankees structure it that way on purpose in case the situation arises and they do want to trade me, so that’s the reality of the business. I’m paid pretty well for what I do. I’m going to go out and do it as well as I can.’’
Free-agent-to-be Aroldis Chapman likely would go before Miller. If both were dealt, the back end of the bullpen would have to be reconfigured.
“That’s for (Brian) Cashman to determine,’’ Miller said. “I’m not a GM, never have been. If they decide they’re getting more in return than they’re giving up, then it’s their right to make that move.’’