NEW YORK -- As his team continues to tread water near the midway point of their season, general manager Brian Cashman offered his most blunt assessment yet of the fourth-place Yankees: "We suck right now. As bad as we can be."
"Trying to knock ourselves out of that is obviously the effort," Cashman said. "Until we get online and start flying high again, it's going to look bad. It plays bad and it stinks to the high heavens. Right now, we've got to own that."
For the third time this year, Cashman offered votes of confidence for manager Aaron Boone and his coaching staff, saying that he will not recommend any changes to managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner. The Yankees' GM since February 1998, Cashman has yet to dismiss a manager or coach during a season.
"This is not an Aaron Boone problem and this is not a coaching staff problem," Cashman said. "That’s my opinion. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. They’re doing what they need to do, but we’re not getting the results that we need. They've got my support. We're in this together.”
So are the players in the clubhouse, apparently. While outfielder Trey Amburgey, infielder/outfielder Derek Dietrich and infielder/outfielder Hoy Jun Park have been hitting well at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Cashman does not “feel like right now I have definitive obvious upgrades that I can promote.”
Cashman said that he believes the current 26-man roster is the best that the Yankees can internally assemble, though he added: “The players that are here are on notice that they’ve got to get better, or there’s going to be changes.”
In recent weeks, Cashman has said that he considers the Yankees to be buyers in advance of the non-waiver Trade Deadline on July 30, with a center fielder and a starting pitcher thought to be on the club’s wish list.
“If I can import some outside stuff to help it, I will do so,” Cashman said. “But those things don’t present themselves easily.”
But Cashman said that the trade market has been “very slow,” anticipating that clubs might not become more active until the week ahead of July 30. Cashman did not rule out the Yankees shifting into “seller” mode -- as they did in 2016, rebuilding on the fly by cashing in tradeable assets like pitchers Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller.
“If we fall like a stone, then obviously you have to regroup and reassess,” Cashman said. “We’re trying to self-correct what we have and add to it. But if it’s unworthy at some point, obviously you have to have different conversations. I don’t think we’re at that point yet.”