It has been a very interesting month for the Yankees. A confusing, jumbled mix of bad, good, and injuries to put it lightly. July is usually the month of change for the majority of baseball teams, and this year was no exception. Many teams see where they stand for this year and what can be done for the future. The trade deadline has now passed by. Brian Cashman and the Yankees have made their moves. It's August 1st, and the Yankees plan is the same as it's always been; improve now, compete now, and worry about the future tomorrow.
This is not to say that the Yankees aren't preparing for the future. There are three key points to remember about this July:
- They're still in the race and they're making a push for the playoffs via minor transactions
- They have not gutted the farm or the future for said push
- They bolstered their farm system with international talent, rather than tanking or trading for pieces they cannot acquire
There was really no big move the Yankees could have made to give them that extra budge into AL East dominance. It will be a hard fought battle to the end of September. It's August and there is still no supreme AL East team. AL dominance looks like it has been reserved for the Tigers and Athletics this year. The Yankees can still make it and moves like this were the only real option. Nothing major, just fix some pieces and get rid of a couple pieces of garbage. Stephen Drew is an improvement over Brian Roberts. Chase Headley is an improvement over Kelly Johnson. Martin Prado put Ichiro Suzuki back on the bench where he really belongs. Again, minor moves. Hopefully they will be effective moves.
The second point should make most Yankee fans happy. Whether you believe the Yankees can make the playoffs or not, the only two prospects the Yankees really gave up this trade season was Rafael DePaula and Peter O'Brien. No Luis Severino or Rob Refsnyder prospects were harmed in the making of this trade season film. While it is sad that the Yankees did not have the pieces to land a David Price or Jon Lester, odds are those two pitchers were never coming to the rival Yankees anyway. The important thing is that they didn't compensate by trading these pieces for a Jason Hammel in order to make up for that fact.
Finally, the Yankees showed that they can acquire talent without tanking to draft in the early first round. Again, they do not have the pieces to net another team's top prospects via a trade. Therefore, the Yankees went on an international spending spree, possibly buying entire countries in the process. What July showed is what many have been saying all along; the Yankees can compete and try and improve at the same time, even if the improvements are minimal. They still might not make it, but even if they don't there was no need to tank and have a fire sale like the Red Sox. They had fire to sell. The Yankees did not.
Now that it's August, what do you think about the Yankees month of July? Did they do enough to give them that push to the playoffs? Are you happy with the international signings and the trades? If so, whom?