To say the New York Yankeesare on a roll would be an understatement.
Currently the Bombers are on a nine game winning streak having steamrolled over the Mets, Braves and this past weekend the Washington Nationals.
The Yankees are 9-1 in their last 10 games; and have won 19 of their last 23. They are 40-25 on the season, which is the best in the AL; and second only to the LA Dodgers (42-25) overall.
Still, Yankee fans have to keep things in perspective, as just less than a month ago (May 21st) this same team was 21-21, and were sitting at the bottom of the AL East.
And as GM Brian Cashman recently told fans in an MLB.com Chatting Cage, “Patience has to be a part of this game of baseball. It’s 162 games; it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.”
Now with the July 31st trade deadline creeping up, the million-dollar question is will Cashman & Co. be consumers or just window shoppers?
Well, before even focusing on availability and asking price, the Yankees need to weigh out their options to see if they even want to get involved in the first place.
Here are four questions that popped in my head pretending I wore the Yankees GM’s shoes:
1) With Brett Gardner still on the DL with no timetable on when he will return, can veterans Raul Ibanez (41) and Andruw Jones (35) man the outfield on an everyday basis for the rest of the 2012 season?
2) After being terrible over the first two months of season, the starting pitching has been much better. They are topping all of MLB with a 1.97 ERA in June; but is it good enough?
3) Is the total lack of speed on the base paths going to prove to detrimental down the stretch?
4) Can relying on home-runs this much get this team into, and win in October?
And here are my four conclusions thus far:
1) To sum it up the Gardner situation, Cashman told Dan Martin of the NY Post via phone on July 16th that:
“I’m not looking to do anything with the outfield. If someone is out-righted or becomes a free agent or looks to do something in a minor-league deal, I’ll look at it if it makes sense. I don’t want to give up anything to get an outfielder.”
Also, give skipper Joe Girardi some credit as he does a good job of resting the veterans. He can throw Nix and Wise in there as well. The Yankees should be able to survive until Gardner returns unless his injury gets worse, so keep crossing your fingers.
And what about Chris Dickerson?
2) The pitching has turned a huge corner going 11-1 with a 1.97 ERA in June, but it happened uncomfortably fast so a trade is TBD. My sentiments were also confirmed four days ago via an ESPN Buster Only tweet:
Some recent trade stuff: Right now, Boston’s complete focus is on starting pitching. LAA, Yankees still waiting for needs to be defined.
The Yankees have been rumored to be interested in two Cubs, Matt Garza and Ryan Demptster. MLB Trade Rumors did confirm that Yankees sent scouts to watch 33-year Ben Sheets throw earlier in the week but it is risky with his injury history.
3) Please refer to answer #1.
4) Hitting is contagious so you have to expect prolonged slumps when relaying heavily on the home-run. The Yankees won their first game in 2012 without hitting one this past weekend vs. the Nationals, which is at least a baby step. Also they are getting clutch hits in games, which they couldn’t do to save a life about four weeks ago.
Overall the Yankee bats have 99 homers on the season, and I believe if the Bombers continue to rake like that they can overcome almost anything.