The New York Yankees Universe was somewhat shocked when the Major League Baseball trade deadline passed and nothing was done to improve the starting rotation. That shouldn't come as much of a surprise to anyone considering what general manager Brian Cashman's options were.
The top starters on the market, Tampa Bays Rays' David Price, Boston Red Sox' Jon Lester and Philadelphia Phillies' Cole Hamels, seemed to be nearly unattainable for any team, let alone the Yankees who don't have the deepest farm system or major league roster to have pulled off any such deal.
The Rays and Red Sox never had any plans of trading their respective aces to a division rival as Cashman noted after the deadline, and Hamels ended up staying put as there was never really much drive to deal him from the standpoint of Philly's GM Ruben Amaro Jr.—at least not for a reasonable enough price.
Cashman said his sense was Sox/Rays wouldn't trade Lester or Price to the Yankees
— Andrew Marchand (@AndrewMarchand) July 31, 2014
Even if any of those teams were willing to deal their pitchers to the Yankees, it would have cost an arm, a leg and quite possibly an internal organ to get it done. Cashman has become more and more hesitant to trade the team's top prospects in recent years, which is what it would have taken in order to land those starters.
So, that left the secondary market being Cashman's only option. Most of the good to decent middle-of-the-road starters weren't available, and those that were able to be had were questionable at best.
Guys like John Danks of the Chicago White Sox, Edwin Jackson of the Chicago Cubs and Cliff Lee of the Philadelphia Phillies were some of the names tossed out there. The only problem was that none of those options were an upgrade over what New York already had, thus it made no sense to deal away young talent for such risky propositions.
— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) August 1, 2014
Instead, Cashman wisely stuck with what he has now and will continue to look to make deals in the waiver market over the course of the next month. Granted, his options likely won't open up anymore than they are now, but it doesn't hurt to look and he could find another diamond in the rough like Brandon McCarthy.
Besides, Cashman addressed what is arguably the team's biggest problem in 2014: offense.
Combined, those three will make this team slightly better and while it isn't an exciting time for the Bronx Bombers post trade deadline, they are better than they were on July 30 and didn't need to mortgage the future in order to get it done. Not to mention, the Yanks are perfectly positioned to pick up a top starter in free agency after not taking on any big contracts.
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Tags: Baseball, Chase Headley, Cliff Lee, martin prado, MLB, New York, New York Yankees, Stephen Drew