NEW YORK — Yankees general manager Brian Cashman stood firmly behind his organization’s inactivity during Wednesday’s trade deadline, saying that despite his best efforts, he had trouble finding fair offers with the potential trade partners he spoke to in recent weeks.
“We didn’t get close to anything,” Cashman said a couple hours after the deadline passed. “But we certainly knocked on all doors, and had a lot of ideas and exchange of ideas with clubs in our effort to improve.”
He didn’t specify just what the differences were on many of those offers, but he pointed out the asking prices teams had on pitchers they were shopping were typically much steeper than the return he was willing to give up.
“As a buyer, it has to hurt. I get that,” Cashman said. “But I was not willing to do what was available, and what was being presented. And clearly, my counterparts were unwilling to do what I was willing to do in my offers.
“Maybe my counterparts felt my offers were underwhelming, and certainly I felt their offers were overwhelming. We just never matched up.”
Cashman reaffirmed that he spoke to every team but the Boston Red Sox, adding that he had multiple conversations with New York Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen. It was Van Wagenen who authored one of the biggest early deadline deals, bringing starting pitcher Marcus Stroman to Queens from Toronto.
Stroman (both while with Toronto and New York) and other Mets pitchers were thought to be possible pieces moved to the Yankees by the deadline.
As he tried to address his team’s biggest need, starting pitching, Cashman ran into other road blocks, too. He said that several pitchers who had been speculated about in the public sphere were, in actuality, unavailable. That also complicated matters, making it hard to find the types of deals his team was willing to pull off.
He pointed out that there were other pitchers who the Yankees didn’t have evaluated in quite the same highly valued way as other teams. Those pitchers also weren’t options.
“The best play was we did nothing. And we did nothing for a very good reason, because we felt everything that was in front of me was really not obtainable on the associated costs,” Cashman said. “And that’s with understanding that as a buyer you have to step up and pay. But these were prices that were making things way out of reach; way out of reach and way out of line.”
Cashman felt “disappointed” he wasn’t able to add to his team, but he feels comforted in knowing the group the Yankees have assembled this season still can be a World Series contender.
“The fallback is to look in that [locker] room and the players we have, and I feel really good about those guys, and hope that the ones that we have that are coming off the [IL] at some point come back and join the party and keep this thing rolling,” Cashman said. “You fall back and look at the roster you have and feel like, ‘This is a damn good roster,’ and we can compete with anybody in the game.”
That echoed similar statements uttered by other Yankees following Wednesday afternoon’s 7-5 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
“Was just in there celebrating a win with those guys, and looking around the room and knowing that we’ve got everything we need to be a championship club,” manager Aaron Boone said. “That doesn’t change. I have total faith in Brian and their staff that they’re going to always do what’s best for this organization as far as whether that’s short-term, long-term, all those things.”
Boone’s players also believe this current Yankees roster has real World Series potential.
“If someone comes in [from a trade] then one of our guys goes out,” starter Masahiro Tanaka said through an interpreter. “So just go out and do what we need to do. That’s kind of the bottom line for us.
“Of course we can [still] compete. It’s baseball. You don’t know what’s going to happen, but I definitely think we can compete.”
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