NEW YORK -- As Brian Cashman finally unpinned the cellphone from his right ear on Tuesday afternoon, marking the expiration of the non-waiver Trade Deadline, the Yankees' general manager expressed satisfaction with a midseason makeover that has strengthened the organization for its stretch drive as well as the future.Cashman was
NEW YORK -- As Brian Cashman finally unpinned the cellphone from his right ear on Tuesday afternoon, marking the expiration of the non-waiver Trade Deadline, the Yankees' general manager expressed satisfaction with a midseason makeover that has strengthened the organization for its stretch drive as well as the future.
Cashman was one of the more active GMs over the past week, beginning with the July 24 acquisition of Zach Britton from the Orioles. J.A. Happ was then imported from the Blue Jays, followed by a swap for the Twins' Lance Lynn and a trio of swaps that swelled the Yankees' international bonus pool stash to $3.75 million.
"We've been really extremely busy," Cashman said. "Britton and Lynn and Happ and international slot money; we did a lot of different things for a lot of different reasons. Ultimately, all we want to do is win, and win as many games as we possibly can obviously between now and when it's over. It doesn't have to be splashy, it just has to work."
Cashman said the Yankees "checked every color of the rainbow" in the trade market, volleying proposals for star players who were dealt elsewhere, like Chris Archer and Manny Machado. New York also looked into outfield bats to assist while Aaron Judge and Clint Frazier return from injuries but ultimately decided that those prices were too high.
"I feel like Cash and the front office went out and got us some significant pieces to kind of finish off our club, and put us in a position to finish off what has been the start of a really good season for us," manager Aaron Boone said.
Britton's arrival bolstered what was already rated as one of the Majors' most lethal bullpens, with the left-handed sinkerballer expected to fill a variety of roles leading to closer Albertin Chapman. New York shipped pitchers Dillon Tate, Cody Carroll and Josh Rogers to the Orioles for the 30-year-old Britton, pivoting after the Machado talks fizzled earlier in the month.
"I was with the Orioles for 12 years, so coming into a new clubhouse where you're the new guy, it's like the first day of school," Britton said. "You're not sure where you go or what you should do, but these guys have been really welcoming."
Cashman has been trying to upgrade the rotation since the winter, and the GM believed he succeeded by obtaining the 31-year-old Happ from Toronto, at the cost of infielder Brandon Drury and outfielder Billy McKinney.
"I think all players, if they're being honest, they have the question in the back of their head: 'What would it be like to put the pinstripes on?'" Happ said. "So it's definitely special. It feels good already."
Happ pitched six strong innings in his Yankees debut on Sunday against the Royals, but was sent home from Yankee Stadium prior to Tuesday's game after being diagnosed with a mild case of hand, foot and mouth disease. Happ remains listed as Saturday's probable starter against the Red Sox.
Following the second game of a July 28 doubleheader, the Yankees announced that they acquired first baseman Luke Voit and international signing bonus pool money from the Cardinals for left-hander Chasen Shreve and right-hander Giovanny Gallegos. Shreve was emotional in his parting remarks, saying that he would miss New York but knew he would get an opportunity in St. Louis.
Cashman opened the week with a Sunday trade, shipping left-hander Caleb Frare to the White Sox for more bonus pool money, then moved right-hander Adam Warren to the Mariners on Monday afternoon for the same purpose.
"I told Adam, it's not easy to do the job I have to do," Cashman said. "I've traded him twice now, both times not wanting to trade him."
Though Cashman's calls continued on Tuesday, the last pre-Deadline move was consummated early on Monday evening, as Lynn was acquired from the Twins in exchange for infielder Christopher Austin and Minor League right-hander Luis Rijo.
Minnesota will pay approximately $2 million of the $4.5 million remaining on the 31-year-old Lynn's contract. Cashman said Lynn will provide protection for an elite bullpen populated mostly by high leverage pitchers, as well as a rotation that has not provided considerable depth.
"We think he's pitched better, obviously, than how he got out of the gate," Cashman said. "Clearly he was a late sign with the way the winter played out. He's a great competitor. The makeup is extremely good. We feel he'll fit really well in that clubhouse."
Cashman said the Yankees believe they have sufficiently reinforced their club for a run at closing the six-game American League East gap behind the Red Sox.
"I don't like our position. I want to be where they're sitting right now," Cashman said. "I'm watching them; they made obviously a lot of improvements as well. All these teams have been improving obviously right in front of us. They're the team we're chasing; they're the team we want to pass."
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and Facebook.