Yankees GM Brian Cashman told Michael Kay Wednesday afternoon that the team's season-long offensive woes have him in a place where he wants to trade for a hitter more than a pitcher. Despite the fact that Hiroki Kuroda is the lone member of the rotation out of spring training still standing, Cashman believes that the team would be better suited for a playoff push if he was able to acquire some offense before next week's trade deadline.
So far this year Cashman has made a trade on both sides of the ball. He flipped Vidal Nuno for Brandon McCarthy in the hopes that some regression for the better was headed his way, and traded Rafael De Paula and Yangervis Solarte for Padres third baseman Chase Headley. Headley was the walk-off hero in his first game as a Yankee, but also provides some much-needed infield defense. Brian Roberts and Ichiro Suzuki are two every day players who are currently just not getting the job done with their bats. Roberts enters the game today with an 86 wRC+, which looks quite impressive when matched up with Ichiro's dismal 78 wRC+. That mark is only higher than Brendan Ryan's 44 wRC+ among Yankees with at least 50 plate appearances. Carlos Beltran's inability to play the field has forced Ichiro into an every day role. If the Yankees feel like his elbow problems will keep him from regularly manning right field, an outfield upgrade seems like a logical move. Maybe for a player like Alex Rios, as it has been rumored that the Texas Rangers are shopping him around.
Second baseman Rob Refsnyder has been tearing up the minors all season, but it seems as though Cashman and company are reluctant to turn the position over to the rookie, despite all of Roberts' shortcomings. It doesn't make a lot of sense to trade for a second baseman when you have one waiting in the wings at Triple-A with a red hot season under his belt to this point. That's assuming that the Yankees even feel that Roberts is one of their main problems. Hopefully all the talk of keeping Refsnyder down for the rest of the year is just a smoke screen until August 1st.
Or maybe not...
Brian Cashman told @RealMichaelKay that Rob Refsnyder would not be a significant upgrade over Brian Roberts. Said he's in AAA for a reason.— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) July 23, 2014
Aside from the outfield or second base, considering the fact that Derek Jeter's struggles at shortstop are not going anywhere, where would you like to see the Yankees make an upgrade if they are going for hitting over pitching? Do you think it's a mistake on Cashman's part to pursue hitting when the rotation is still held together with the likes of Chase Whitley pitching meaningful innings until the hopeful return of Michael Pineda?