George Steinbrenner said through his spokesman that “it’s in Joe Torre’s lap” when asked about the Yankees’ recent run of erratic play, but that doesn’t mean The Boss isn’t actively seeking answers. Steinbrenner has called for a total evaluation of the organization by his executives over the next few days, with potential trades being one of the key issues up for discussion.
As the trading deadline draws nearer, there are always a handful of teams who are described as being “one move away” from legitimacy. The Yankees are not one of those teams.
They believe they need more than that.
“We feel like we’d like to make a few moves,” Cashman said. “Obviously you have to look at one thing at a time, but we feel like there are several areas that can be addressed.”
Although the bullpen might seem like the least of their concerns, there has been discussion about moving Tanyon Sturtze back into the rotation, particularly since Kevin Brown’s balky back is unpredictable and no one is certain when he will return. Torre has said he does not want to use Sturtze as a spot starter, but the righthander could be a viable long-term solution if the Yanks find it easier to deal for a reliever.
As for a bigger deal, names like Oakland outfielder Mark Kotsay and Giants pitcher Jason Schmidt have been floating around, and while Cashman has said numerous times he wouldn’t favor trading either Chien-Ming Wang or Robinson Cano, anyone who has been around the Yankees knows that potential doesn’t mean much if the situation gets dire enough.
Given the Yankees’ reluctance to part with prospects, you’d think they’ve considered bringing in some talent from the indie leagues. John Rocker can ride the 4 train and take Sturze’s spot in the pen, and Rickey Henderson can be the new starting center fielder. With Kevin Brown and Jaret Wright both on the DL, why not take a flyer on Oil Can Boyd and Bobby M. Jones (just signed this past weekend by the Newark Bears)? We all know how much George loves a reclamation project, and if nothing else, bringing some or all of the above names into the Yankee clubhouse would add even more veteran leadership to a team that can’t possibly have too much of it.