Yanks look toward waiver market as Deadline passes
For now, club satisfied with Soriano acquisition as late trade talk yields no results
LOS ANGELES -- The Yankees had lots of late conversations leading up to Wednesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline, according to general manager Brian Cashman, but were unable to cross the finish line with any announcements.
Thus, last week's acquisition of outfielder Alfonso Soriano from the Cubs stands as the Yankees' big July move. Cashman said the Yankees will now turn their attention to the waiver market for potential upgrades as they battle to make the playoffs for what would be the 18th time in 19 seasons.
"I received a lot of different ideas over the course of this Deadline, most of which wouldn't work, but some had some initial traction," Cashman said. "We didn't get anything to lead us to a deal, that's the bottom line, but we certainly explored it enough. Soriano was the big bat we got, and after that, we were not able to push through anything else."
Cashman would not confirm reports that the Yankees spoke to the Phillies about infielder Michael Young, who could fill a need at the infield corners, especially with Alex Rodriguez facing a heavy ban from Major League Baseball.
Young may still be an option that the Yankees revisit in August through waivers. The New York Daily News reported on Wednesday that Young told the Phillies he would approve a trade to the Yankees, after previously only agreeing to be sent to the Rangers or Red Sox.
"We were focusing on improving our club in a lot of different ways, and based on the available players that we could try to secure," Cashman said. "I wouldn't say specifically where, but we were hoping to improve our club in a lot of ways and any which way possible, actually. Offensively, it's been our biggest bugaboo all year and an area to focus on in terms of need, but we were open to anything."
The Yankees were rumored to have had trade nibbles about right-hander Phil Hughes and would have listened had anyone pitched a legitimate deal for right-hander Joba Chamberlain, but clearly there was not enough interest to pull the trigger on any deals. Cashman said that the marketplace did not seem particularly appealing as the 4 p.m. ET Deadline approached.
"What I was offering obviously wasn't good enough for the opposing teams, and what the teams were offering me wasn't good enough from my perspective," Cashman said. "It's a little bit of all aspects of it. No good matchup with what the Yankees were offering, the Yankees were unwilling to match up with what teams were suggesting, and the pool of talent that was available in this market wasn't a deep pool to swim in."
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he was not disappointed with fielding the same roster on Wednesday that he left Dodger Stadium with after Tuesday's game.
"I told you, I don't ever count on anything," Girardi said. "I think about the guys that we have in the room and how we're going to win with those guys. That's what we have to go do."
Cashman said that the lack of activity was not frustrating from his perspective since the Yankees expect to make additions from their own disabled list.
He said the team plans to activate outfielder Curtis Granderson on Friday in San Diego, and expressed hope that Rodriguez would return "shortly thereafter." The Yankees have also added Derek Jeter, Soriano and Jayson Nix to the roster in recent days. Cashman even expressed hope that Kevin Youkilis might return from back surgery before season's end.
"It's almost like making a trade if you get [Granderson] back; we're kind of expecting him to be here, probably this weekend," Girardi said. "And hopefully you get Alex back.
"The big thing is, we've got to get our guys back. I think that's a big part of it. That's something that we've had a problem doing this year, and I feel like if we do that, we can contend."
The Yankees entered play on Wednesday 8 1/2 games behind the division-leading Rays in the American League East, but Cashman said that did not influence his thinking in not making a deal, instead pointing to their 3 1/2-game deficit behind the Orioles to be in position for the second Wild Card spot.
"You have to walk before you can run," Cashman said. "Right now, obviously we're closer to the Wild Card than the division. I didn't say we can't win the division, but right now, if somebody says 8 1/2, I'll say 3 1/2."