BOSTON -- Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has characterized his club as "buyers" ahead of the July 30 Trade Deadline. That stance has not changed, though finding matches has been more difficult than in previous years -- an observation he shared behind the batting cage at Fenway Park on Saturday.
"We’ve had a lot of conversations, but I wouldn’t say there’s any momentum,” Cashman said. “I don’t get a sense that there’s a feeling of action right now from the industry. That doesn’t mean that people can’t make a deal, or won’t make a deal, but it doesn’t feel like there’s a lot of heavy activity ready to burst.”
According to Cashman, Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom also mentioned during an on-field chat on Saturday that teams have been reluctant to wade too deeply into trade chat. Cashman believes that moving the MLB Draft from June to July has influenced clubs to stand pat for longer.
Even so, Cashman said that he and assistant GM Michael Fishman have touched base via phone calls or text messages with representatives from each of the other 29 teams, seeking a potential trade match.
“The closer you get to the [July 11-13] Draft, the less likely people will be engaged during that timeframe because they’re really going to be focused upon nailing the Draft,” Cashman said. “Clearly we have areas that we want to try to improve upon, and we’re open to a lot of ideas. We’re ready to win.”
The Yankees are in the market for a center fielder and a starting pitcher, among their most pressing needs. Switch-hitter Aaron Hicks is out for the season, which has forced manager Aaron Boone to rely heavily on Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge in center field.
In a rotation viewed as shaky entering the season, right-hander Corey Kluber has been lost to injury -- likely until September, Cashman said. Right-hander Luis Severino’s expected return has been pushed back approximately four to six weeks due to a right groin strain.
“Trying to make trades is always difficult, no matter who your targets are,” Cashman said. “I just hope whatever we can run into, it’s going to be beneficial to us.”
Fun at the Fens
Friday’s sold-out crowd of 36,869 was the third-largest that the Yankees have played before this season, behind only the two-game series at Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park on June 12-13. Final score aside, Cashman said that the electricity of experiencing Yankees vs. Red Sox in a sold-out Fenway Park was “awesome.”
“That was a Yankees-Red Sox game at Fenway Park like we used to remember,” Cashman said. “The music was exceptionally good and loud. If anybody questions peoples’ love of the game of baseball, if you had a chance to parachute in here last night, you wouldn’t question that our game is really strong and healthy.”
Yankees right-hander Gerrit Cole, who will start the series finale on Sunday, compared the energy to his start at Fenway for the Pirates on Opening Day 2017 -- when Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski of the reigning Super Bowl champion Patriots were running pass routes in a surprise pregame ceremony.
“I'm so glad to see everybody back in the ballpark,” Cole said. “It's been a long time since we've had a kind of electric atmosphere like that. I'm grateful that we're back to a place as a society where we can we can celebrate the national pastime like it should be celebrated.”
Two years ago, the Yankees were confident that Gleyber Torres would be a perennial All-Star, having mashed 38 home runs while torturing Orioles announcer Gary Thorne on a regular basis.
That version of Torres has been absent through much of 2021; the shortstop entered Saturday with one hit in his last 30 at-bats, and hitless in his last 16. Boone said that he believes Torres’ issues are mechanical and not physical or injury-related.
“For a young player that’s had a ton of success in his career, he’s facing a little bit of adversity and going through some struggles,” Boone said. “You’ve got to be able to kind of work through it. He is certainly grinding through that right now.
Right-hander Deivi García has pitched to a 1-3 record and a 8.80 ERA in nine starts at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Boone said that he reviewed video of García’s most recent start at Lehigh Valley, observing that the 22-year-old is having trouble with his command and appears to be going through “growing pains in finding your delivery and finding yourself.”
This date in Yankees history
June 26, 1974: Derek Sanderson Jeter was born in Pequannock Township, N.J. A five-time World Series champion and 14-time All-Star, Jeter went on to collect 3,465 hits during a 20-year career with the Yankees from 1995-2014, earning first-ballot selection to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2020.