The New York Yankees and their general manager find themselves in a peculiar situation that is somewhat unfamiliar territory for a franchise that has seen the postseason each year but twice since 1995. Brian Cashman made a handful of moves that on the surface, have strengthened an injury-depleted roster once again in 2014.
The acquisitions of Brandon McCarthy, Chase Headley, Martin Prado and Stephen Drew appear to improve several areas of need on the Yankees’ roster. Add in picking up a solid? bullpen arm in Esmil Rogers, and the Bombers are hoping to make up some ground during the month of August in both the AL East standings and for the last Wild Card spot, currently held by the Toronto Blue Jays. The biggest remaining need for the Yankees, is to shore up their starting rotation, as David Phelps recently went on the 15-day disabled list, joining rotation mates Masahiro Tanaka, Ivan Nova, C.C. Sabathia, and Michael Pineda. McCarthy, and staff mainstay, Hiroki Kuroda has carried the burden of saving the bullpen from complete burnout.
“I’m open to anything that makes us better. I’m not shut down for business, whether it’s buying [or] whether it’s reshuffling the deck, as we’re doing today,”
By reshuffling the deck, Cashman is referring to placing lefty reliever Matt Thornton on waivers, and to allow the team that claimed him, the Washington Nationals, to simply eat the rest of his contract, for nothing but financial relief in return. Cashman believes that by saving the money, the Yankees could be involved in making other moves via the waiver wire that could help push the Yankees over the top.
Thornton move saves #Yankees about $4.5M. Rest of ’14 salary, plus $3.5M in ’15. NYY working on other things, could redirect money.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 5, 2014
Right now, the only players that have completely cleared revocable waivers, are Los Angeles Dodgers’ outfielders Matt Kemp and Andre Eithier, along with former Boston Red Sox’ ace and current scrap heap, past his prime starter, Josh Beckett. None of the options appear to be on the horizon for the Bombers, but they could use another impact bat, along with a starting arm or two.
The entire month of August can be viewed as a second bite of the apple for teams that weren’t highly active during the non-waiver trading deadline. The Yankees were active, but they didn’t make the “big splash” move such as the one Oakland made for Jon Lester, or the one Detroit made for David Price.
We don’t know who else has already been placed on waivers, and has yet to clear through both the American and National Leagues, but the fact that Brian Cashman is preparing payroll funds to make a run at someone, has to bode well for the Yankees during the final eight weeks of the regular season.