The trading deadline is closing in. So far, Brian Cashman has made one significant deal, one that he didn’t even want to do. Barring any miraculous move in the next 72 hours, the current cast and anyone that happens to be on the DL are what we’re stuck with for the rest of the season.
Eight games separate the Yankees and first place in the AL East, a hurdle that’s beginning to look unsurmountable. If this sinking ship has any chance of even sailing into a wild card port, the following need to come out of their slumbers:
- DEREK JETER: OK, it’s not his fault that he’s been out, but if we’re to go anywhere, St. Derek must, at the very least, awaken enough to hit in the .270 to .280 range and get a few of those clutch hits that he’s known and loved for. He got off to a great start with his leadoff homer today. Just his presence counts for a lot;
- CC SABATHIA: The big man is costing us dearly. Lately, he’s looked more like a left-handed Kyle Farnsworth than anything else. As impressive as Hiroki Kuroda has been, he’s taken over the ace role by default; even Ivan Nova has proven to be more reliable than Sabathia over the last month. If the big fella is indeed breaking down as many feared he would, that’s a big hole to fill for this season, and many more to come;
- ALFONSO SORIANO: We all know about Sori’s highs and lows, and his return to New York so far has been through the cellar door. Basically, he’s picked up where he left off in a Yankee uniform in 2003 — completely non-productive. Should he awaken and get hot, he can carry a team for a month, but time is short with this experiment;
- CURTIS GRANDERSON: Similar to Soriano. He needs to return, and then get hot quickly — another guy that can carry a team with a hot bat. The last time we saw the Grandyman, the Siberian deep freeze had set in;
- ANDY PETTITTE: Have we seen the last of the elite Andy Pettitte? He’s been defying the odds over the last few years, but the last two months have shown us a aging pitcher who is in decline. The Yankees need one more 3-month burst of energy from him, but the question now is how much is left in the tank?
The remainder of the team — they are what they are — elite (Rivera, Cano), pretty damn good (Robertson, Gardner), horribly inconsistent (Hughes, Joba), still occasionally functioning beyond the expiration date (Wells, Ichiro) and role players who are in over their heads (Overbay, Stewart, whoever plays third). A-Rod? Not even a consideration.
The motto for the remainder of the season has become “Hope for the Best” — a far cry from what we’ve all come to expect from this franchise.