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Grading the Yankees’ deadline activity – or lack thereof

Last weekend, I decided that for this week, I would write a piece grading the Yankees’ trade deadline deals. Yeah, that’s not happening. Otherwise, it would be a very short article. So how about I give the team a general deadline grade?

I want to preface the following by saying I love Brian Cashman. He’s been the GM of the team for 21 years and has made a lot of good moves. Sure, he has made his fair share of bad (and some horrible) moves, but all in all, I think he is one of the best in the game. However, his performance this past week has been anything but stellar.

On the surface, I’m going to have to give him a big fat D. That’s simply by judging what transpired – or didn’t transpire, rather. For weeks, we have been seeing articles citing sources who were certain the Yankees were going to land some starter. And if worse comes to worst? They’ll simply add to the bullpen. Yet neither of those things happened. There was one move, however: acquiring left-hander Alfredo Garcia from Colorado for Joe Harvey. I’m sorry, but that move doesn’t matter. It doesn’t affect the 2019 championship pursuit.

We all know there is a “Yankees tax”: other teams simply ask for more from Cashman. And we know that over the past handful of years, Cashman has been rather reluctant to trade the organization’s top prospects. In other words, we used to overpay; now it seems like to we want to underpay.

Look, we were never getting Noah Syndergaard, or even Zack Wheeler. To pull off something like that with the Mets, you would have to apply the Yankees tax times ten. In my opinion, if what it took to get a Madison Bumgarner or Trevor Bauer was an extra prospect (or even two) in the lower levels of the system, you have to do it. We’ve seen flashes of magic this year. This team, when healthy, is good enough to win the World Series. But for that to happen, you would have to hope that our bats can come alive against Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, and now Zack Greinke. On that topic, it would have been some sort of consolation if teams like the Twins, Red Sox, Rays, and Astros struck out. It looked like the Astros may have been in the same boat as the Yankees yesterday as the four o’clock hour approached, but somehow Houston ended up not only with Greinke, but also with Aaron Sanchez and Joe Biagini to strengthen their bullpen. That staff won’t be fun to face in a seven-game series in October. So that’s why the Yankees standing pat stings even more.

Again, this is just judging based on the inactivity on the surface. That’s why I can’t call the situation a complete failure. It was rumored that the Diamondbacks wanted Clint Frazier plus three other prospects for Robbie Ray. You can’t do that. If the Giants came calling asking for Frazier, Deivi Garcia, Estevan Florial, Aaron Judge, and the rights to Aroldis Chapman’s car collection for Bumgarner, you hang up. We just don’t know exactly how these negotiations went down – and likely never will.

So if that’s the case, then I would ease up on my grade. But this was not a fun deadline for Yankees fans. Hopefully getting healthy is what this team needs to get them through October and over to the Canyon of Heroes.