Yankees Reportedly Aggressive with August Waiver Claims
According to rival executives, the New York Yankees have been very aggressive claiming players on waivers during the month of August.
Although they remain committed to playing their homegrown youngsters, the New York Yankees seem to be trying to patch up roster holes on the fly this month after a recent winning streak propelled them right back into the American League Wild Card race.
As long as the kids get their playing time, there seems to be no harm in upgrading the supporting cast of veterans that surround them. The pitching staff especially stands out as an area of weakness. Would anyone be that torn up if Blake Parker, Tommy Layne, or Kirby Yates got replaced?
An extra starter would also provide insurance against a total collapse from Luis Cessa or Chad Green, one of whom will probably come crashing back to Earth at some point (my money’s on Green for the record).
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The fact that the Yankees currently sit behind most of the AL clubs chasing a Wild Card spot means that they have priority over their rivals in making waiver claims. Buster Olney of ESPN reports that the front office has been taking full advantage of this (Insider subscription required).
Olney cites “execs with other teams” who say that “New York has again been aggressive in making claims.” General manager Brian Cashman has historically gone on the offensive during the August waiver period. Even if he’s not looking for upgrades, he’s in an excellent position to block the AL clubs ahead of him in the playoff race from making upgrades.
The Baltimore Orioles in particular stand out as a team desperately in need of upgrades if they’re going to hang onto their fading postseason hopes. They’ve had a losing record in both July and August, going 24-28 over the past two months. Their rotation is easily the worst out of any contender in baseball. Unfortunately for them, Olney says the Yankees have played spoiler on a number of potential deals for Dan Duquette and Co.
One of the more notable names who the Yankees could claim is 25-year-old Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig, who was reportedly placed on August trade waivers Sunday. Although Puig’s numbers have declined for the fourth straight year and he’s apparently a nightmare for team chemistry, the opportunity to acquire a potential young superstar in his prime for pennies on the dollar could be enticing for Cashman.
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Even if the Yankees don’t make a blockbuster or even complete any August trades, it’s nice to hear they’re trying to make things happen both on and off the field this month.