Much has been made of the shocking and disappointing start for the Yankees this year. What was supposed to be one of the league’s juggernauts has meandered to a modest 37-33 record. They’ve floundered and at times looked like they’d never win again.
As it stands, they’re 5.5 games behind the Rays for the division, and that gap has often seemed insurmountable. However, the Yankees are still in it. 5.5 is not an insurmountable deficit, both teams’ performances thus far notwithstanding. 5.5 games with 90+ games left are not even close to a done deal.
The Yankees offense has been the biggest disappointment, even with the starting rotation losing Corey Kluber and still not seeing anything from Luis Severino due to injuries. The rotation has been solid and at times has carried the Yankees and has definitely kept them afloat. The offense is in desperate need of a shot in the arm, though. Aside from Aaron Judge, the Yankees haven’t had a consistent offensive threat all year.
D.J. LeMahieu has been missing the entire season, disappointing fans with a well below average stat line thus far. Gio Urshela and Gary Sanchez have apparently come alive recently and are hitting well, but they’ve also spent long periods of the season without producing anything. Gleyber Torres has been up and down. Giancarlo Stanton has been blisteringly hot- and bone-chillingly cold. The offense desperately needs help if the Yankees want to make it to October, but are they close enough to be buyers rather than sellers?
According to Brian Cashman, the answer is yes. While the Yankees haven’t performed up to standard at all and are missing some big players, Cashman believes that the Yankees are better than they’ve shown (hint: they are). While they’ve limped to this point, the offense does seem to be turning around a little bit. They’ve scored 5.6 runs a game over their last ten, good for a 6-4 record. Still, they can’t figure out what to do in center field and could really use some infield depth and starting pitchers.
The position the Yankees are in right now and the number of glaring holes on the roster might indicate that the Yankees would either stand pat or sell at the deadline. Most Yankees teams aren’t out of it at any point, but this year, the Yankees have felt worse than most Yankees teams. The price will be high because teams know how desperately the Yankees need help. And if they want to really address these problems, it’s going to require high price acquisitions.
Trevor Story and Ketel Marte are two names that have been linked to the Yankees, and both are going to cost a pretty penny. They also won’t be the only team in on these stars, driving the price up. The Yankees don’t have the deep farm system they once did, and may not be able to outbid other teams.
Still, Cashman is insistent on being buyers at the deadline. The Yankees should and seem to be improving. Adding players at the deadline might just get them over the hump, and that’s what Cashman is intending to do.
Some fans are insistent that this is a lost season and that it needs to be torn down and rebuilt. The GM and the front office disagree, evidenced by their stated intent to buy at the deadline. The season is not lost, and the Yankees shouldn’t act like it is.