Wait a second because at first look the Yankees are in playoff position and this was supposed to be the season of rebuilding and looking at next year, or the year after. But the youngsters have put them in this position and it has been more than Aaron Judge that make them buyers and not sellers before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
And with the unexpected injuries to a starting rotation, Michael Pineda out and with Tommy John Surgery, there is a need to reinforce the roster. GM Brian Cashman is known to never sit still as a buyer or seller, but this time the Yankees are going for it because they are in a division race with the Red Sox and Tampa bay.
The wildcard is also up for grabs, and a right race in the American League. So, Cashman did his thing Tuesday evening and the Yankees reinforced a bullpen in need. They gained another closer, David Robertson, back in Yankees pinstripes, thus a three-headed monster returns in the bullpen with Robertson, Dellin Betances, and Aroldis Chapman.
Cashman needed the reinforcement at first and third base. In comes a veteran,Todd Frazier, a perfect home run hitter for Yankee Stadium, though his production as an overall hitter has some questions with an average hovering around .200.
But the Yankees needed that flexibility at the corners and Frazier will provide that option. Tommy Kahnle is the other righthander obtained from the White Sox that provides that cushion out of the bullpen, one that has not performed in the last month that has contributed to the Yankees losing first place to the Red Sox and not winning a series since the beginning of last month.
Here is the explanation, and it is simple to understand from the GM about the trade that makes the Yankees better. And it certainly leaves room before the deadline for Cashman to do more wheeling and dealing before the deadline as the Yankees are in need for a frontline starting pitcher.
The plan is for Frazier to play third and Chase Headley will platoon when a righthander opposes the Yankees on the mound. Headley will also be platooned with Garrett Cooper at first base, so this is an upgrade and flexibility for manager Joe Girardi at positions where the Yankees were in need.
Said Cashman about the struggles since that losing series in Anaheim that propelled Boston to first place,“The bullpen has become a little bit of an issue the last month. It’s almost like we’ve been playing catch-up ever since.We do believe clearly this adds some significant weapons to the high caliber pieces we possess in the bullpen. We also hope Todd Frazier can stabilize the infield as well.”
The bullpen was a priority and manager Joe Girardi has that flexibility. Robertson. Betances, and Chapman, the backend or closer roles as it was last season with Andrew Miller, But then, the Yankees were losing and it was time to sell and get younger, and that three-headed monster was elsewhere.
Cashman got Chapman to return with a lucrative deal via free agency. So what is this resentment about a trade that makes the Yankees better and when Cashman got the reinforcements as this team is in it to win?
Youngsters, the Yankees trademark, and many for sure were a part of the deal. But it did not cut into the core of youngsters that are part of this promising future for the Yankees in the years ahead. Those prospects that went to the White Sox were not a major core that will cost the Yankees.
Lefthanded pitcher Ian Clarkin and outfielders Blake Rutherford and Tito Polo, touted prospects but a long way from playing in the Bronx, and the main reason is the Yankees future is present and more to come and almost ready down in Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton.
Rutherford was the key player going to Chicago, a number one draft choice and outfielder.
But the Yankees are set in the outfield, and we all know about Aaron Judge and Clint Frazier as as a part of that future, along with Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury the veterans. Soon, Aaron Hicks will return from the DL, the switch hitter with versatility who was having a comeback year before going down with a strain to his right oblique.
“Maximize the present and careful of the future,” said Cashman. He did that and the Yankees made the proper moves now because it was available and needed. The wheeling and dealing is not over and that starter for the rotation is on the radar before that deadline.
The Yankees are in it to win. Cashman made that statement certain with a major trade before the deadline.
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