Brian Cashman is a wizard. He’s a ninja, he’s a genius, he’s a magician, he’s a master of his craft. He is everything. You can describe it anyway you want, the Yankees are better for having Brian Cashman as their general manager. Last year, Cashman began a full-scale rebuild of the team and exactly one year later he’s “buying” at the trade deadline and making his team a legitimate contender.
That’s not to say the Yankees are a complete team—there’s still room to improve and the process is far from over—but the Yankees showed that they can compete this year and that there was no reason not to go for it. The best part is that many of the biggest pieces the Yankees got aren’t rentals, so Cashman has assembled a team that will contend for the next few years.
While Tanya Bondurant has a full recap of all the Yankees’ moves, here’s a quick look at everything Brian Cashman did this trade season:
Last night, the @Yankees acquired LHP Jaime García and cash considerations from MIN in exchange for LHP Dietrich Enns and RHP Zack Littell.— Yankees PR Dept. (@YankeesPR) July 30, 2017
Today, the @Yankees have traded RHP Yefry Ramírez to Baltimore in exchange for international signing bonus pool money.— Yankees PR Dept. (@YankeesPR) July 31, 2017
The @yankees have acquired RHP Sonny Gray & int'l signing bonus pool money from Oakland for Dustin Fowler, James Kaprielian & Jorge Mateo.— Yankees PR Dept. (@YankeesPR) July 31, 2017
The Yankees did actually make another trade when they sent Rob Refsnyder to the Blue Jays for Ryan McBroom, but that was more about clearing Refsnyder than it was an actual deadline move. All in all, Brian Cashman has assembled a pretty good team.
They have four pitchers who could legitimately close in Aroldis Chapman, Tommy Kahnle, Dellin Betances, and David Robertson. They have actually decent middle relievers in Adam Warren and Chad Green. The offense is strong and could get stronger if Greg Bird and Starlin Castro can return healthy and if Matt Holliday can resurrect from his slump. Now the rotation is set as well with Gray and Garcia.
Because the Yankees were buyers, they were endlessly linked to almost any and every player that was available. Outside of the players they actually traded for, these are all the players the team was supposedly looking into: Yu Darvish, Jose Quintana, Giancarlo Stanton, David Phelps, Pat Neshek, Lucas Duda, Yonder Alonso, Justin Wilson, Brad Hand, Dan Straily, and Lance Lynn.
That list doesn’t even include the crazy number of ridiculous trade proposals that linked the Yankees to Justin Verlander, Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija, and others. Suffice it to say, it was a long trade deadline. There’s a reason the Yankees being good is good for baseball.
At the end of the trade deadline, however, the Yankees seem to have come out on top. They didn’t take on any bad contracts, they made the team better not just this year but for the next couple years, and they didn’t give up too much.
Yankees add Todd Frazier, David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle, Jaime Garcia, Sonny Gray ....— Katie Sharp (@ktsharp) July 31, 2017
and give up only 1 top-50 prospect (B. Rutherford)
That’s incredible. Brian Cashman basically has “force trades” on in his real-life version of MLB The Show.
It’s really hard to see what Cashman could have done differently at the deadline that would have been better. The Yankees got one of the best starters available on the market and added two elite arms in the bullpen. The Yankees made all the right moves to buy without mortgaging the future to do it. The only move that could have made this better would have been if Cashman also got Lucas Duda from the Mets.
Sure, the Yankees weren’t supposed to contend this year. It wasn’t their year. That doesn’t mean it can’t be. There were those that wanted the Yankees to stand pat, but that just didn’t make sense. The Yankees survived a 10-22 stretch and still sat in first place in the division on July 31st. The future is now.
The Red Sox are falling, the Rays are there, the Orioles are confused, and the Blue Jays traded FOR Rob Refsnyder. If things break right, the Yankees could even run away with the division. At the very least, the AL East is within reach and there’s no reason the Yankees shouldn’t try and go for it just because success came a year early.
All they have to do is make the playoffs and the Yankees are as strong a team as any out there. The Astros and the Dodgers are probably better teams, but the Yankees might just be the best built for the playoffs. They have a formidable rotation, a powerful offense that can score in many ways, and enough can’t be said about the bullpen.
How do you think the Yankees did overall? Should they have done things differently?
Should the Yankees have handled the trade deadline differently?
This poll is closed
They should have done more
They gave up too much
They should have stood pat
They played it perfectly