Last weekend, the New York Yankees took three of four games from the Boston Red Sox, winning the series by a combined score of 21-9. After another Yankees win and Red Sox loss Monday night, Boston’s division lead has been cut down to 2.5 games before Tuesday.
The Yankees went under .500 in the month of August, but they now have a legitimate chance at winning the American League East and avoiding the dreaded Wild Card Game.
Thank you, Brian Cashman.
Because of Cashman’s decision to buy at the trade deadline, the Yankees are in a great position to make an unexpected playoff run. Critics said that Cashman, the longtime Yankees’ General Manager, should’ve stood pat at the deadline and kept his prospects, and that winning this year wasn’t as important as winning in the future.
Well, the Yankees are set up for both.
The addition of 27-year-old Sonny Gray bolstered the starting rotation that looks even better with Masahiro Tanaka returning to form and winning his last three starts.
The highly-regarded bullpen has been able to survive a slump from Aroldis Chapman, largely because of a deadline deal for David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle.
Todd Frazier, who was also acquired in the Robertson-Kahnle trade, is an everyday starter at third base and Chase Headley, a player many fans wanted out of New York, just terrorized the Red Sox by going 8-15 in this weekend’s series.
All of this is great for the Yankees’ hopes of making the playoffs this year. But the best part of Cashman’s moves? He managed to get all of that help for this year’s team and only gave up one top-50 prospect (Blake Rutherford).
Beyond this year, the Yankees get Sonny Gray for two more years in the prime of his career and can continue their “Baby Bombers” rebuilding process while competing for a World Series every year.
Cashman somehow managed to perfectly balance winning now and rebuilding for the future.
Rewind to last year’s trade deadline when Cashman played with a completely different strategy with the same end goal in mind. He realized the Yankees were going nowhere last season and decided to sell some of his assets to build one of the best farm systems in the MLB.
A three-month rental of Aroldis Chapman helped the Cubs win a World Series, but it gave the Yankees Gleyber Torres, Adam Warren and a few other prospects, while still ending up with Chapman in free agency. The Yanks didn’t need Chapman last year and, although he’s struggling back in the Bronx this season, Warren has been a key middle reliever and Torres is projected to make it to The Show very soon.
Add in similar deals selling Andrew Miller and Carlos Beltran, and Cashman once again played the trade deadline perfectly.
While he’ll always get criticism from the notorious New York market, Cashman has turned the Yankees around much faster than anybody could have hoped, with the past two trade deadlines being a crucial part of his success. Trust the process, Yankees fans. Praise Brian Cashman.
Josh Buser is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.