Hope is a beautiful thing, but not a legitimate strategy. Just ask Steve Cohen and the Mets.
Hal Steinbrenner, Brian Cashman, and the rest of the New York Yankees brass did not do much at this season’s trade deadline, and instead decided to rely on better days ahead. The Yanks are now 11-19 in the second half of the season, and it's apparent that even the most optimistic mentality won’t save their season.
The front office “hoped” that Anthony Rizzo, Aaron Judge, and other key veterans would lead the lineup back to relevance, but Rizzo is now out due to a concussion that was poorly handled and Judge is playing compromised on his injured toe.
Meanwhile, New York’s rotation is in shambles. Outside of Gerrit Cole and Clarke Schmidt, the Bombers have been at massive disadvantage in that department.
Luis Severino has been atrocious and Domingo German is now a non-factor after seeking treatment for alcohol abuse. Even though Nestor Cortes is back on the injured list, as is Carlos Rodón, who went down with a strained hamstring.
The bleak reality is that without a strong rotation or adequate lineup, the addition of a singular bullpen arm (Keynan Middleton) will not make much of a difference. Further, without either of those areas of the roster making an impact, a Yankees bullpen that ranks first in bullpen ERA will not be given the proper leverage to help cement wins.
The Yankees are hopeless without a plan and Brian Cashman isn't helping
It could be said that teams with championship aspirations have two potential strategies before the annual deadline: They could either pad their strengths or look to refurbish parts of their club that desperately need help.
Some reports indicated that New York originally attempted to acquire a slugger like Jeimer Candelario or Cody Bellinger, but ultimately those plans did not come to fruition, and the Yankees half-heartedly pivoted towards strengthening their ‘pen.
Keynan Middleton was the only addition, and his play alone will not be enough to bolster a bullpen that has been taxed all season due to poor rotational depth. If the Yankees were going to pad their "strengths,” they should have added more pieces ... everywhere.
It's also important to note that they didn't add another bat. The Bombers have the fifth-worst OBP in baseball on the year and rank toward the bottom of the league in hits during the second half of the season.
After the deadline, Cashman made it clear he and the rest of the club’s brass felt as though they had enough to compete when it was determined the kinds of deals they were hoping to make weren't available to them.
Evidently, Cashman believes that the 2023 Yankees will revert to some form of the first-half 2022 team, which, as we all know, came crashing down very quickly.
Can "hope" even be part of this organization's plan? Because there's been a significant lack of it ever since the 2019 postseason crushed fans to pieces. It's been nearly four years now the Yankees have been banking on some sort of turnaround that's never arrived. Perhaps it's time to shift strategies the second the curtain falls on 2023.