Yankees Target Pitching At Deadline, Deal for Big Bat Unlikely

felix-hernandezVia Joel Sherman of the NY Post:

“We are a championship-caliber-contending team with areas of need that I need to work on,” general manager Brian Cashman said in assessing the first third of the season. “We are going to have to continue to look for ways to improve our pitching.”

From all I have heard, the Yankees currently do not imagine pursuing a significant bat between now and July 31 (so we can close the Carlos Beltran rumors for a bit). Instead, they see signs of life up and down the order everywhere but from Jorge Posada. And they feel that if the DH ultimately has to be changed that could come internally from Eric Chavez getting healthy, Jesus Montero being promoted or Eduardo Nunez playing the field more to allow Alex Rodriguez, in particular, to DH more frequently.

Cashman badly wants to add a lefty reliever because the farm system does not have many (if any) options. But it could be the Yankees will just have to wait to see if [Pedro Feliciano] and, perhaps late in the year, Damaso Marte can return.

Thus, for the next third of the season Cashman will — as expected — be fixed on upgrading his rotation, although the Yankees currently are the only AL East team with four qualified starters (CC Sabathia, Bartolo Colon, Freddy Garcia and A.J. Burnett) with ERAs below 4.00.

“Overall, the pitching is going to be the defining thing for us,” Cashman said. “The pitching has excelled, but it is not wise or prudent to sit back and try not to reinforce and improve on it.”

The never ending quest for pitching is still on. It makes sense too, as good as the starters and bullpen have been to expect that to continue is to expect pitchers to continue to pitch above their heads. It could happened, but betting on it is not a wise move.

Conversely, the lineup has been quite strong with only Jorge Posada, Derek Jeter, and Nick Swisher under performing. Swisher has shown signs recently of breaking out of his season long slump and there is nothing that can be done about Jeter at this point. So that leaves the DH spot as the only one that needs to be addressed and like Sherman noted, they are capable of handling it in house (although I wouldn’t close to the door on a potential deal, it is unlikely).

Nothing is imminent and if a deal goes down it will be likely toward the end of July, but expect the Yankees to go after pitching when they do try for a trade.

Like during the offseason though, expect Cashman to preach patience. He won’t make a deal just for the sake of making a deal. He’s going to wait until the right offer comes along and will pounce on it. This could mean a big trade, a small one, or no trade at all.

The Yankees do have quite a few quality arms in the minor leagues that they could use to upgrade. It may turn out that Ivan Nova‘s replacement is Hector Noesi, or Adam Warren, or David Phelps.

It’s hard to predict this season, especially this early before the deadline, but the Yankees will make improvements. That’s what they do. They are currently in first place, it isn’t the Yankee way to sit back and be happy about that.

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6 Responses to Yankees Target Pitching At Deadline, Deal for Big Bat Unlikely

  1. Of couse that we'll need some trades. I have no doubt that we'll be in the playoffs.
    The real problem would be there, we're losing most of the games against good experienced pitchers
    Jered weaver Jun 3L 3-2
    Josh Beckett May 14L 6-0
    Apr 10L 4-0
    Felix Hdez May 28L 5-4
    David Price May 16vs L 6-5
    We have only won the games againts Justin Verlander
    I'm not writing games against young pitchers like Ogando, Pineda, Romero, etc: but even in those games we don't have very good numbers.

    If we want the 28 we'll need to win those kind of games during the playoffs and i hope they're not only thinking that we're in 1st place

    • Mike Sommer says:

      …and what do you see above? One -run losses. At present the Yanks are 6-10 in one-run games. .236 w/ RISP and 2 out. .234 late and close. Innings 7-9 a .215 batting average (which translates to few, if any comeback wins this year; "No pie for you!"). Three games worse than their Pythagorean record. A disturbing trend. Not finding ways to win those close games. You need look no further than the records of Colon/Garcia. Despite ERA's of 3.26 and 3.34, they are 3-3 and 4-4. The Pythagorean doesn't lie. They are three games or so worse than what they should be.

    • I cannot get upset at the Yankees for losing to those pitchers. Those are the only loses really that are acceptable.

  2. hardnose says:

    the problem with those 1 run loses is that the Yankees have not been hitting in the clutch…the Yankees have scored more runs than anyone in baseball and have the 4th best era in the AL…with those kinds of numbers they should be 15 games above .500…the Yankees have been playing .500 baseball over the past 7 weeks…something needs to change…

  3. NYYTRUEBLUE says:

    hardnose, you are right on the money! If the Yankees could score some runs by putting together a string of 5 or 6 hits in addition to the runs we score via the homerun we would be leading the division by 6 or 7 games.

  4. theboogiedown says:

    Uh, some guy named Carlos Zambrano just came available as far as I can see. NYY might represent the best fit for him, we have the $ and the best environment to shut a guy like that up and just play. A mouth like his would be muted instantly in that clubhouse. Unless of course the guy is TOTALLY bonkers. The rotation would be locked down with insurance. Bats are heating up, could be sweeeet!