We are about three weeks away from the trade deadline, and baseball writers are tripping over themselves to write about possible trade scenarios. The Yankees are high on that topic list, with their lackluster record. That, and the thought that one of the greatest sports franchises ever is having to jettison cargo to build for the future.
Anyway, it's gut-check time for Brian Cashman, and you don't need to see how the cards hold his eyes to know he's out of aces. (Yeah, I have Kenny Rogers lyrics on the brain...but back to the Yankees.)
On the one hand, the prevailing thought is that the Yankees aren't going to make the playoffs they have a couple of potentially high-octane players in their walk year, and might as well fold for this year. Trading one or more of them could bring in some serious future talent. The three most notable are Mark Teixeira, Carlos Beltran, and Aroldis Chapman. The first two have no-trade clauses, which would require the Yankees to spend even more to buy them out, but I'm getting ahead of myself. Chapman is the easiest to move, and there are more than a few suitors dying for a closer. A Beltran deal could happen as well, given that it's to the right team. Beltran has been to the postseason five times. His first three times he made it to the NLCS and lost in 7, 7, and 6 games respectively. The fourth time he made it to the World Series and lost in 6. Then there was last year's one-game wildcard loss. You don't get that close and not want to win it all badly. He can probably be tempted to go to a team with a realistic shot at the Series.
Of course, Cashman could go the other route and try to hold them and win now. In that case, he has to figure out how to put together a team to make a run in August and September. The one glimmer of hope is that since May 6, the Yankees' record is 33-26. That's a vast improvement over their 9-17 start. Being seven games over .500 is also on par with Boston's record over the same period, and would have put them right at the top of the leaderboard for the second wildcard spot. Maybe one or two acquisitions at the August 1st deadline might make them competitive enough to catch up and get in. The key for Cashman, of course, is what every gambler knows. That the secret to surviving is knowing what to throw away and knowing what to keep. (Okay, that was the last one.)
Cashman and the Yankees have three weeks to figure this out. As much as I'd like to take a guess, I doubt Cashman will tip his hand before the end of the month. After all, you never count your money when you're sitting at the table. (Okay, okay! I'm really done this time.)
--Ike Dimitriadis, BYB Senior Staff Writer