The trade deadline has come and gone, and the Yankees ended up making just one trade. It was somewhat underwhelming to see nothing happen yesterday, compared to last year's trade deadline frenzy in which the Yankees acquired the likes of Brandon McCarthy, Chase Headley, Martin Prado, Stephen Drew and Chris Capuano. The areas where the Yankees need the most help are the rotation and the infield, specifically second base. Although the team was certainly the topic of many rumors as the deadline winded down, nothing came of any of those. If nothing else, at least the team avoided giving up top prospects for short-term rentals, but should the Yankees have done anything differently?
It's no secret that the Yankees' rotation has a lot of question marks attached to it. Nearly every starting pitcher has an injury history, not to mention the fact that CC Sabathia in particular has been terrible. When the news broke that Michael Pineda was going on the disabled list with a forearm strain earlier in the week, most of the top starting pitchers (Johnny Cueto, David Price, Cole Hamels) had already found a new home. However, there was still time for Brian Cashman to make some kind of trade for a starting pitcher. After the trade deadline, the Yankees announced that they were calling up top prospect Luis Severino, and he will take Pineda's place in the rotation. That helps to explain why they didn't make a move for a pitcher, but it still would have been nice to gain a little more depth in that area. At this point it seems like the Yankees are going to bury their heads in the sand regarding Sabathia, as there has reportedly been no talk of removing him from the rotation. Depending on how Severino does while Pineda is on the DL, if he's even remotely better than Sabathia, he should keep his spot in the rotation. At least on paper, a rotation of Pineda and Severino is better than one with Sabathia.
The other major area of concern is second base. Stephen Drew has now been with the Yankees for a whole season, and aside from hitting the occasional home run, he's been of very little use to the team. Joe Girardi has defended Drew countless times, even going so far as to say that Drew has helped the Yankees to first place, but after months of waiting he hasn't shown any improvement and he has no business being the team's starting second baseman. In their one and only move, the Yankees acquired Dustin Ackley from the Mariners. Ackley primarily played second base when he broke with the Mariners in 2012, but for the past few seasons he's spent almost all of his time in the outfield, though he has first base experience too. It was too good to be true to hope that Ackley would be replacing Drew, since the Yankees designated Garrett Jones for assignment yesterday and Ackley appears to be taking his spot as a backup utility guy. Even if Ackley had replaced Drew, Ackley's hitting about the same as Drew this season, so it might not be an upgrade. They can try to pick someone up off of waivers, but it looks like the team will have to use an internal option if they plan on replacing Drew. Rob Refsnyder was given a very brief chance around the All-Star break, and despite possible concerns about his defense, it's hard to imagine him playing worse than Drew.
Curiously, the rumors that circulated yesterday involved the Yankees being in talks for closers Craig Kimbrel and Aroldis Chapman. Obviously nothing came of that, but it wouldn't have made sense to add another reliever unless it was a really good deal. It's perfectly fine that the Yankees didn't make any big moves for starters or second basemen at the trade deadline, but only if they plan to use their internal options to improve the team. There's no reason that Sabathia should stay in the rotation. It doesn't matter how much money he's owed through 2017, he's still going to get paid regardless of his role on the team, so the goal should be to limit the damage that he can do. Meanwhile, the presence of both Drew and Brendan Ryan is redundant, so they should cut one of them and give Refsnyder a real chance. Cashman talked a lot about holding onto prospects at the trade deadline, so the Yankees better plan on using them.
What do you think the Yankees should have done at the trade deadline?