Cashman: No realistic, or necessary, trade options
Yankees' GM likes roster, doesn't see making additions at this time
NEW YORK -- The month of July always pushes Brian Cashman's cell phone usage into overdrive -- in fact, he said that his battery was completely drained as he watched batting practice on Sunday morning, unable to make or receive any more calls for the moment.
Still, as the Yankees' general manager keeps in contact with the marketplace in advance of baseball's July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, Cashman said that he isn't so sure that his team will be a major mover and shaker over the next couple of weeks.
"I think we have a very strong roster," Cashman said. "I think we have answers at every position. I really like what we have. I think it's going to be very difficult to improve upon that roster. I go into the Deadline very skeptical."
In fact, Cashman seemed more outspoken on Sunday in rolling the clock forward to winter, acknowledging that the Yankees will entertain contract extensions for Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson in the near future.
"We don't do stuff in-season, but this winter we'll be forced to look at some of those things," Cashman said. "It doesn't mean that anything will happen from it, but we'll be forced to look at it. We'll have our conversations with ownership, but no one has initiated anything from their end or our end."
At 54-33 entering play on Sunday, the Yankees hold the best record in the Major Leagues, sitting a season-high 21 games over .500. Cashman said that he believes what would be available for the Yankees to tweak their roster at the Deadline would represent just "a marginal upgrade."
The Yankees have been linked to various starting pitchers, and most recently were reported to have touched base with the Cubs regarding Ryan Dempster, but with CC Sabathia set to come off the disabled list on Tuesday and Andy Pettitte progressing, Cashman's finger isn't hovering near any triggers.
"At the cost to marginally upgrade, it's pretty ugly," Cashman said. "Once we get Pettitte back and CC, and what we have already here ... I just don't know if it's going to be worth shooting all the bullets it's going to take to get someone else in here and hope they can help us in the short term."
Cashman said that his obligation is to stay involved with the market and that he can be overruled by ownership, pointing out that "the price tags on July 15 are going to be a lot higher than they are on July 30."
Still, Cashman said the Yankees may be more likely to pop a waiver claim for a minor tweak -- as they did with outfielder Darnell McDonald -- than pull off a blockbuster July deal.
"Are there players out there that are better than what I have? I'm sure," Cashman said. "But at the cost associated with acquiring those, that's what's going to turn me off, in my opinion."
Cashman said that he would prefer to wager that outfielder Brett Gardner, who played three innings of a simulated game on Sunday, will return to augment an outfield mix that has asked more than expected from Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones.
"The price tags [stink], to be quite honest," Cashman said. "I'd rather get away with it and bet on Gardner coming back. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong."
He is also banking that right-hander Joba Chamberlain will return to the club -- as will Pettitte -- within the next two months to provide internal late-season boosts to a winning roster.
"Do we have the best team? I wouldn't say that," Cashman said. "Do we have a championship-caliber team? I think we have strengths in every aspect of the roster -- bench, bullpen, rotation, everyday lineup.
"If we just focus on getting the guys on the DL healthy and maintaining what we've got, improving the runners in scoring position category -- I'm not sure how much better we can make it, to be honest."