In the end, the Yankees stood pat.
Though wanting to add rotation and/or bullpen depth – as well an extra outfield bat with the uncertainty surrounding Aaron Judge – general manager Brian Cashman failed to pull the trigger on any moves before Monday’s 4 p.m. trade deadline.
Ultimately, the combination of the Yankees finding price tags sky high, a desire not to add significantly to the payroll with little to no revenue coming in and the assumption help will be arriving in the coming weeks with the return of several of their big names – Judge included – from a crowded injured list, caused Cashman to stick with what he has.
But it was mostly the asking prices.
“That's certainly part of the equation,” Cashman said of the money. “But I can tell you, forgetting the dollars, the matches were as problematic. Or, I'd say, more problematic than the money.”
Cashman spoke early Monday evening before his 19-13 team started a critical three-game series against the AL East-leading Rays at the Stadium. The Yankees, winners of three straight but losers of seven in a row before that modest winning streak, entered the night 3 ½ games behind Tampa Bay.
“You'd love to import something else to make that ride easier,” Cashman said of the finishing stretch. “But, again, I really value what we do have here. We hope to get the players that are due to come back at some point off the IL to be back to what they are capable of and make this team full capacity when it counts. And I look forward to the players that we retained, that we chose not to move, to impact this team as early as 2020 in some cases and beyond as well.”
In other words, to land some of the big-ticket names that were available – such as Cleveland’s Mike Clevinger, who went to the Padres, or Texas’ Lance Lynn or the Brewers Jash Hader, both of whom stayed put – Cashman would have had to part with at least one of the top young players in the organization, if not more. In other words, teams were asking for the likes of Clint Frazier, Miguel Andujar, Clark Schmidt or Deivi Garcia – and that’s just naming a handful of the highly regarded talent opposing teams have long been interested in – and not buckling.
“Without a doubt the effort was to try to get, whether it was a controllable starter moving forward or even a short-term starter to continue to give ourselves a better chance,” Cashman said. “But the price tags associated on it was usually a subtraction of some impactful player that's currently playing a role or is anticipated to play a very important role for this franchise in the present or the immediate future.”