Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |
The Yankees were genuine in their pursuit of Manny Machado, but never willing to sacrifice a top prospect to land the Baltimore shortstop, who is set to become a Dodger when play resumes Friday. Brian Cashman has preserved his farm system, but his team is still 4.5 games behind Boston in the American League East.
The Yankees face a real possibility of being a championship-caliber club, but facing elimination in a one-game wild card playoff. Cashman would like to avoid this, of course, and he will be active over the next days and weeks in an effort to improve.
The GM is surely engaged in talks with teams that have remained secret, but here's what we've been able to smoke out so far, through major league sources. Cashman could quickly pivot to any one of these options, now that he is done pursuing Machado...
He has been in touch with Detroit about starter Michael Fulmer
According to sources, the Yankees have checked in several times about Fulmer, but haven't yet shown serious interest. The Tigers are seeking a major haul of high-end prospects, and would prefer position players over pitchers.
He has been hoping that the Mets will make Jacob deGrom available after all
The Yankees are highly skeptical that the Mets will make an impactful trade with them. The Mets have no intention of moving deGrom in-season, even after the ace and his agent made a pay me or trade me play at All-Star media day. But that doesn't mean Cashman can't hope. He has also been in touch with the Mets about Zack Wheeler, who is far more likely to be traded.
He is deciding if J.A. Happ, Cole Hamels, Wheeler, and other mid-rotation options are worth the price
So far, in his talks with teams, the answer has been no. The Yankees like Happ more than the others, and could pounce if the ask comes down.
He wants a reliever, too
The Yanks' bullpen lacks an effective lefty. San Diego's Brad Hand would be perfect, but would cost Cashman several prospects. Baltimore's Zach Britton, a rental, would be cheaper. Cashman was pursuing Britton as he was chasing Machado, and has laid groundwork there already.
He has expressed at least some willingness to move Miguel Andujar for high-end pitching
This is perhaps less likely with Machado no longer an option, but the Yanks would still have Brandon Drury and Neil Walker to play third. Other teams believe that Cashman would move Andujar in a deal for a top pitcher like Fulmer or deGrom, but not a mid-rotation rental.