During this rebuilding process it has been hard to hammer New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman. However, this season is literally on the edge right now and most of the blame can be leveled at Cashman and all of it is deserving.
The Yankees entered the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline knowing that Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez were hurt and would still be missing significant time for their wrist and groin injuries respectively. Both injuries are kind of serious. Wrist injuries are nothing to play around with and can take months to properly heal. Groin injuries, especially for a catcher who spends most his day squatting behind home plate, can be a major issue as well. We have already seen Sanchez come back from his earlier injury then play a game so badly that almost everyone, including me, thought he was just not hustling.
Cashman knew Sanchez and Judge, two huge bats, would be out of the lineup. His deadline dealing, however, focused only on pitching while dealing most of the upper level bat depth away in Billy McKinney and Tyler Austin. Dealing them shouldn’t have been an issue in reality. But dealing Adam Warren, a useful piece in the bullpen, for international bonus money, and less money at that than Caleb Frare got in a separate trade, is baffling. Cashman couldn’t trade another prospect for that money? He needed to send Warren to Seattle for that money instead of finding a bat to bring into the mix?
It has been over two weeks now since the deadline. Judge and Sanchez are still out. Judge played catch and said his wrist still hurt. Sanchez is slowly making his way back to playing in a rehab game but who knows when that exactly will be. Shane Robinson and Luke Voit have still gotten the lion’s share of playing time, though Voit was finally sent to AAA after posting a .188/.235/.188 line in 16 at bats. Robinson has appeared in 16 games and hit to just a .129/.229/.226 line. That simply can’t be allowed in a playoff race. Cashman has to own this.
If Clint Frazier had been healthy and not dealing with concussion symptoms all of that playing time would have gone to him. But he is hurt and it isn’t known when he will be back. Cashman has to go out and find a bat to plug into the mix. There are several names that make sense and many of whom passed through waivers. Instead, Cashman hasn’t done anything and the Yankees are moving through August like a horse on two legs.
There is no doubt that Brian Cashman has mostly done a phenomenal job. He held onto the right prospects, made astute trades and helped get the Yankees into being a playoff team one year into a rebuild. However, he can’t get the team this close and not acquire someone to give a floundering lineup a shot in the arm. Without another bat the Yankees very well might be on the playoff bubble.
The lineup without Judge and Sanchez is just not deep. It is Giancarlo Stanton and Miguel Andujar supported by Didi Gregorious, Neil Walker, and Aaron Hicks. Gleyber Torres is in the middle of a massive slump ever since he came back from the disabled list and is batting .210/.286/.390 in his last 30 games and just .107/.107/.143 in his last seven games. This is getting beyond just being a slump and a trip to the minors, while their seasons are still going on, might be a huge boost to Torres down the road. Getting another bat would allow the Yankees to move Walker back to second base and send Torres down to Triple-A where he can work on things. Getting another bat would allow the Yankees some flexibility, something that once allowed them to match up so well in different situations that they were an analytic nerd’s wet dream. Those days are gone, allowed to slip away by a general manager who seems to be more worried about the future than the present. How else does one explain trading Warren to a contender for nothing more than money to sign international prospects? He couldn’t get a bat for Warren? Just two years ago Warren was good enough, with Brendan Ryan, to land Starlin Castro. Now he can only net international signing bonus money, and less than Caleb Frare brought in from the Chicago White Sox? Something isn’t right in the Bronx.
There was a time not long ago where there was too much talent to get into the lineup every day. That is not the case after trades and injuries. It is time for Cashman to deal some of his coveted pitching and get a bat in this lineup before the season literally slips away.