The Major League Baseball non-waiver trade deadline is July 31. With that in mind, the trade rumor mill is beginning to churn at full speed and, as usual, the New York Yankees are right in the middle of many of the rumors.
Question is, what do the Yankees really need to do at the deadline to supplement their 25-man roster? Or, do they really need to do anything at all?
The Yankees are 41-25 as of this writing, have a 10-game winning streak, have won 20 of their last 24, lead the American League East and possess the second-best record in the American League.
After a rocky beginning to the season the Yankees starting pitching has been superb for the last month. Ivan Nova, Andy Pettitte, Phil Hughes and Hiroki Kuroda have all been solid behind ace CC Sabathia. If something should happen the Yankees have veteran Freddy Garcia in the bullpen and rookie David Phelps at AA, both of whom could step in capably.
Despite the loss of great closer Mariano Rivera for the season, and the lengthy absence of 2011 All-Star David Robertson, the bullpen has been spectacular. Rafael Soriano has emerged as the closer. Boone Logan, Cory Wade, Clay Rapada and Cody Eppley has been solid situation pitchers. Robertson is now back. Joba Chamberlain seems likely to return before the end of the season, and veteran right-hander David Aardsma (rehabbing in the minor leagues) may also join the bullpen.
The lineup is star-studded and the bench is deep and filled with capable veteran players.
The only chink could be if Brett Gardner, the only real speedster on the roster, cannot return from an elbow injury that has kept him out since early April. Gardner hopes to be back after the All-Star break, but he has tried to rehab twice this season and suffered setbacks.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has gone on record saying he would prefer not to make any deals. It seems only the Gardner situation could compel him to actively seek a move.
The Yankees have been rumored to be interested in Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Ryan Dempster, but have denied that. Teams may also approach the Yankees about catcher Francisco Cervelli, the backup for two seasons who has spent this year at AAA.
In the end this could pass a quiet deadline for the Yankees. That, however, does not mean there won't be a gazillion rumors. We will do our best to keep you up to date on them as the deadline approaches.