The trade deadline is quickly approaching, and it is time for another Brian Cashman approval poll. Although PSA readers were satisfied with the job that Cashman did over the offseason, his approval rating has plummeted from 76% near the start of April all the way down to 34% during the middle of June.
Over the offseason, the Yankees avoided signing any free agents, opting to improve the team through trades instead. They brought in notable players such as Starlin Castro, Aaron Hicks, and Aroldis Chapman, while giving away the likes of John Ryan Murphy, Adam Warren, and Justin Wilson. Cashman was put in a position where he had to make the best of what he had, since the front office was trying to avoid adding on any substantial salary.
Those trades all were pretty good deals at the time, then the season started. April was a disaster, and the Yankees finished the month 8-14. The Yankees have finished May and June with winning records, going 16-13, and 15-12, respectively, but the team is simply not very good. Even though they have been using the "Scranton Shuttle" to shuffle around the middle relievers in the bullpen, they’ve failed to find any relievers consistently decent outside of Andrew Miller, Dellin Betances, and Chapman. Masahiro Tanaka has been one of the few bright spots in the rotation (outside of CC Sabathia’s first two months), and the Yankees are getting just about nothing out of two of last year’s best hitters, Mark Teixiera and Alex Rodriguez.
The Yankees started July with a 5-5 record and were sitting at .500 heading into the All-Star break. They wrapped up the series against the Giants today with a win, and have gone 6-4 since games resumed on July 15th. Aside from a particularly bad April, the Yankees have shown themselves to be a .500 team. Yet there is still very little clarity or agreement about what the team intends to do before the trade deadline.
Reports have indicated that the front office is divided on what they should do. Brian Cashman thinks that the Yankees should sell and look to the future, while Randy Levine and Hal Steinbrenner think that they should hold onto what they have because the team could still be in contention. In recent days, it has seemed like maybe Steinbrenner and Levine have softened their opinion on selling since rumors have ramped up about the Yankees aggressively pushing Chapman and hearing offers from numerous teams. However, Jack Curry has said that although the team is fielding offers, "ownership hasn’t said ‘sell’ yet."
If the front office can’t reach a united decision, then the Yankees may fail to do anything before the deadline passes. Last year, the Yankees followed a similar plan when their only move was to acquire Dustin Ackley from the Mariners in exchange for Ramon Flores and Jose Ramirez. Then again, the 2015 Yankees were sitting in first place in the AL East with a six game lead over Orioles and Blue Jays on July 31st. The only thing the 2016 Yankees have going for them is that they are not quite as bad as the Rays.
There is still plenty of time for Cashman to convince ownership to sell, and to work a few of the Ninja Cash trades that he is known for. However, there is a chance that the Yankees will stand pat. If you are a fan of Cashman and the Yankees don't sell, would you still approve of the job Cashman has been doing? If you are anti-Cashman, would buying or selling change your opinion? Let us know and vote in the poll below.