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Joel Sherman writes today about the importance of Cashman's performance leading up to the trade deadline. Once again we see how good our past prospects are:

"In no way will I force something," Cashman summed it up. "Sometimes the right trade is no trade."

Cashman knows there is a real price involved in these transactions. He would do the David Justice deal from 2000 over again because it was central to the Yanks winning it all and he would repeat the Shawn Chacon deal from last July, which keyed an AL East title. But it sure would look nice today to have Jake Westbrook (who went in the Justice deal) eating quality rotation innings and Ramon Ramirez (who went for Chacon) in the pen. Ramirez has a 2.92 ERA and .201 batting average against for Colorado.

Ruben Sierra helped the Yanks off the bench the past few years, but the seemingly innocuous price in June 2002 was Marcus Thames, who's exactly what the Yanks need now with Hideki Matsui and Gary Sheffield disabled. Detroit's Thames is third among AL outfielders in OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage) at 1.006.