The Yankees are having fairly good news on the injury front in that it appears no one currently on the DL will be lost for the season. In fact, rehab stints are going better than expected for a couple of players, but heading into September there are question marks on the roster still, and there are concerns regarding whether or not some key players will be able to contribute to their projected levels. As such, Yankee general manager Brian Cashman is said to be eyeing one more bat to add to that team in case there are any hiccups, setbacks, or injuries that could derail a postseason push.
There isn’t anyone on the market right now that looks like a huge impact player, but that is actually okay according to Advance Media NJ. What Cashman needs more than anything is someone that is healthy and can play the outfield daily if needed for one month. The kicker is Cashman is rumored to have specific criteria to go along with that which he prefers including being in the walk year of a contract, affordable, someone still swinging the bat well, and a veteran that comes with no baggage, and playoff experience is preferred. That is quite a list of wants, but a few players out there fit the bill.
— Yankees.News ™ (@NYYTalks) August 20, 2018
The first name that ticks off every box on Cashman’s wish list is Curtis Granderson, who has been rumored for a return to the Yankees since early June as reported by Inquisitr. The “Grandyman” has already cleared waivers and can be had for a pair of low-end minor leaguers at this point of the game. Toronto wants the salary dump and anything in return, and it is thought Granderson might find new life joining his old squad for a playoff push. He is the most likely bat Cashman acquires.
Adam Jones has been floated around, and he has cleared waivers, but he’s already vetoed one trade away from Baltimore this year as a 5-and-10 man, and he still has a chunk of money due on his $17 million deal. Baltimore is rumored to have contacted Cashman about him, and some beat writers believe he may go to New York if asked, but it’s not quite the fit Cashman is looking for.
Andrew McCutcheon is available, and at 31 he’s a nice pickup who can play the field still and swings a good enough bat. The problem is whether he would be comfortable with a backup role for the rest of the season as players come back off the DL. The stumbling block to him is he’s owed about $3 million still, he hasn’t looked great this year, and San Francisco is going to want actual value in return.
Look on the bright side everyone: The most lucrative team in baseball will be able to stay under luxury tax threshold since they didn’t make any deals for outfielders (or catching)!!! #Yankees
— Max Wildstein (@MaxWildstein) August 28, 2018
The remainder of the names that are available sound good on paper, but have major question marks attached to them. There is no telling if Josh Donaldson is going to be healthy enough to contribute regularly this season as he’s been lost to injury for much of it. Derek Dietrich is nice and provides defensive flexibility, as does Donaldson, but the Yankees have little use for a third utility man, even if he is having a career year at the plate.
Danny Valencia is available and can hit, but not a single GM has inquired about him as he is seen as a bad clubhouse presence. He would be extremely cheap to acquire, but the rumor on him is that his juice isn’t worth the squeeze. Jose Bautista seems headed for Philly, leaving Justin Smoak, who a week ago would have made more sense to acquire as a first baseman, but Luke Voit has taken off, making a seasoned outfielder Cashman’s priority.
All trades need to be reported to the league office prior to midnight on Friday in order for players to be eligible for the playoffs. Yankee owner Hal Steinbrenner has stated he will not authorize any deals that force the team payroll over $197 million where the luxury tax kicks in, so Cashman may have to free up some money depending on who he pursues.