The Yankees likely didn’t expect to be in a position for games to matter as the calendar flips to September, but a resurgent August has left them just 3.5 games back of the second Wild Card. With a chance to make the playoffs within their grasp, the Yankees have been looking to the waiver wire for reinforcements.
Buster Olney of ESPN notes that MLB executives say the Yankees have been aggressive on the waiver wire so far, potentially trying to land some upgrades for their roster or attempting to block rival teams from finding upgrades themselves. The Yankees could certainly stand to upgrade their rotation or bullpen if help is available, as well as benefitting from keeping teams like the Orioles from landing extra talent before the waiver deadline.
If the Yankees feel like the playoffs are unattainable this year, they can still use their position to block teams like the Red Sox, Orioles, and Blue Jays from landing any players available through waivers. Otherwise, they would be in a fortuitous position to land players ahead of their division rivals if they think a late season push could get them over the hump and into the Wild Card.
A few names who have cleared waivers that the Yankees could potentially pursue a trade for include Scott Kazmir, James Shields, and Ervin Santana, among others. The Dodgers also reportedly placed Yasiel Puig on waivers, signaling that they might be ready to move the outfielder if the right offer came along.
It’s unlikely that the Yankees would be looking to make moves for position players instead of pitching. The offense is clicking right now and there isn’t a lot of room for additions. It is, of course, possible that the Yankees believe their upgrades could be found, particularly within the bullpen, in September call ups. If that is the case, they may utilize their spot on waivers just to create headaches for rival teams.
Is there anyone out on the waiver wire that you’d like to see the Yankees seriously pursue? Do you think they are better off going for the Wild Card or simply blocking moves that could be made by other AL East teams?