“I have made no phone calls to any general managers about making an acquisition,” Cashman said. “I’d prefer to ride what we’ve got.”
Those were the words of Brian Cashman, who spoke to Jack Curry on Wednesday about the state of the team and how the “panic” of the early season has given way to mid-season success.
But as Curry even says, those words were uttered before the team found out that Brett Gardner will in fact be out until after the All-Star break, the bone bruise and muscle strain in his right elbow needing at least three more weeks or rest.
In the same interview, though, Cashman said that “You can’t make moves until you know what you don’t have,” and added that “I expect Gardner to come back.”
Expectation aside, what the Yankees “don’t have” is their left fielder for another few weeks, meaning that if the status quo remains, at least another 25-30 games of Raul Ibanez or Andruw Jones in left field.
That, unfortunately, also likely means another four weeks of Curtis Granderson playing every inning of every game in center field – and could mean that if no moves are made, then there could be three players who are as less than ideal “freshness” come the stretch run.
Cashman also said last week that he didn’t want to “overexpose” Ibanez and Jones, and should worry about Granderson as well. So, while there’s no need to “panic,” or even make a trade as of yet, it may be time to at least come up with some kind of plan.
Dewayne Wise, who played the only two innings Granderson didn’t in center field, may only be hitting .160 right now, but he does have five steals and is a great defensive outfielder, so he could match at part of Gardner’s game on a limited basis. Meanwhile, down in Triple-A, the Yankees also have Chris Dickerson and Colin Curtis, both of whom are lefties with good speed, solid defensive tools, Major League experience, and the ability to be capable hitters.
By having Joe Girardi deploy whichever one of those three fits best on a “full-time” basis, the Yankees could at least try to stay true to all of Cashman’s ideals while keeping with Girardi’s desire to rest all of the older stars (Jeter and A-Rod included) on a regular basis.
And then, come the All-Star break, if Gardner still isn’t close, the team can then look to see if a trade deadline acquisition might be the best idea to replace the speedy left fielder.
With the Yankees in first place, it is hard to argue with the status quo, but as Cashman also has said in the past, just because something works doesn’t mean it can’t be made better.