We're a month away from baseball's trading deadline, and for the first time in several years the Yankees don't have a desperate need to fill as July winds down. That doesn't mean the roster couldn't use a tweak or two, but G.M. Brian Cashman doesn't sound like a man who is spending his summer nights burning up his cellphone minutes in search of an outside fix.
Cashman sat in the visitors' dugout at Citi Field and turned questions about potential trades into a discussion of the players already on his roster.
"We've got the pieces in place," he said. Does that mean he isn't interested in a trade? "I wouldn't say." Is he actively monitoring the trade market? "Of course. This is the busy season."
If the Yankees did make a trade, it would likely be for a relief pitcher or for an outfielder. Even though the bullpen has been a bigger issue than the offense this season, the wiser move is to address the outfield issue.
Phil Hughes can and should be used in a more aggressive bullpen role, which would push Brian Bruney a bit further down and you've still got Phil Coke and David Robertson. If someone fell into their laps, by all means they should make a deal but when you read rumors about pitchers like Huston Street you have to wonder about the price tag. The Yankees have made deals like this many times in the past, and their hit rate is quite low for the number of players they've dealt elsewhere.
The outfielder, though, would address several issues at once. Nick Swisher's power and patience make him an important lineup cog, but he's also weak defensively and streaky offensively. It would be nice to have an alternative option to send out there from time to time, and to have a pinch hitter who could step in for Brett Gardner or Melky Cabrera at other times. I
It would be more of a "want" move than a need move, perhaps, but it would be one that helped the team now and, especially, in the postseason. You don't need both Ramiro Pena and Cody Ransom on the bench if you can upgrade the offense through an extra outfielder.