Did Yankees' trade deadline fall apart after misguided Domingo Germán-Jhony Brito trick?

The Yankees got too cute, and it blew up on them? You don't say!

Jul 31, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Jhony Brito (76) delivers a
Jul 31, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Jhony Brito (76) delivers a / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Even by recent Yankees standards, Monday night's Yankees loss was extremely weird.

The Yanks didn't hit -- that was standard. They didn't pitch -- also becoming standard by the day. But the Yankees' scheduled starter, Domingo Germán, dipped out about three hours before first pitch. That was worth examining further.

Jhony Brito got the call from Triple-A, Ron Marinaccio was sent to Scranton as a corresponding move, and Germán was shelved. According to Aaron Boone, he'd suffered an injury the previous day, and was suffering from discomfort in the armpit area that prevented him from throwing. Also according to Boone, it wasn't an IL situation.

So ... he couldn't throw whatsoever, but they'd ruled out a trip to the injured list? If you're an experienced Yankee fan, your conspiracy theory feelers are already dancing through the air. If the Yankees know this much about a mysterious injury already (they never do), said injury might not exist. Was Germán being held out for a trade? Was he being protected a little extra carefully? The mystery only deepened when he entered the game in relief of Brito and hurled five shutout innings after Brito's stinker.

Well, wonder no more ... maybe? Ahead of the trade deadline, the Yankees were heavily linked, once again, to Cardinals outfielder Dylan Carlson. In exchange, the Cardinals coveted "young MLB starting pitchers." Huh. It certainly sounds like the Yankees wanted to showcase Brito one last time, but he bombed on short notice and the Cardinals began to walk away from the bargaining table.

Yankees tried to pull a fast one on Cardinals with Jhony Brito start and got owned maybe?

Sorry, but you're not allowed to not have your conspiracy theory hat on these days. Absolutely nothing the Yankees do makes any sense without wearing the hat.

Now ... it would be very insane for the Cardinals to base their entire assessment of a potential trade package on a single start against a playoff team (albeit a scuffling one) in the Tampa Bay Rays. It would also be very insane for the Yankees to rush a player, a human being, unprepared into a critical start with a, "Hey, no pressure, your entire future could be at stake!" nudge. Which is more insane? The Cardinals acting in an ill-advised manner, or the Yankees being unthinking/unfeeling? Probably the first one, right?

Nothing the Yankees do that feels like a self-own can be ruled out as an intentional flub. They've never been more directionless than they are in this moment, having handled the most important pivot point trade deadline of Brian Cashman's tenure like a hide-and-seek game until 6:00 PM. If you believe they wrecked their plans and messed with Brito's head/purposefully lied to the media, they probably did.