The Yankees (46-39), winners of four straight games, sit five games behind the Red Sox in the AL East. The 2013 Yankees have been decimated by injuries and continue to rely on mediocre, fill-in players. During this week, the Yankees added shortstop, Luis Cruz and thus far, this addition has not paid off. Cruz has two errors in two games with the Bombers. The Yankees sorely miss the production vacated by Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson, and Derek Jeter. While A-Rod, Granderson, and Jeter should return this season, their time tables are unknown. With July 30th trade deadline just three weeks away, should the Yankees look to add help or wait until their stars return?
The Yankees brass keeps insisting that Granderson, A-Rod, and Jeter should all return by the end of the month. This thinking indicates that the Bombers will not buy aggressively at the trade deadline. The Yankee brass can continue to remain optimistic, but even if its star trio does not return by the end of the month, the Yankees may not know which positions they’ll need to fill. The AL East has also been extremely competitive, so the Yankee brass may decide its better to hang onto their prospects and build towards 2014. MLB Futures lines list the Yankees odds as +1,200 to win the AL East, so most people aren’t expecting a big run by the Bombers. We’ll see if the Yankee brass agrees with this sentiment.
Because of the impending future of Michael Pineda, the Yankees are likely to field trade offers for free-agent-to-be, Phil Hughes. Hughes’ fly ball tendencies do not translate well within the small confines of Yankee Stadium, so expect the San Francisco Giants or Los Angeles Dodgers to make offers. Joba Chamberlain is also slated to hit free agency and a trade to either the Atlanta Braves or Detroit Tigers seems likely.
As the second half unfolds, keep an eye on the Yankees’ record. Their progress over the next two weeks will dictate whether they make any moves. Given the state of the AL East, the Yankees may decide to keep their young pieces and build towards 2014.