New York Yankees Trades: Grading Brian Cashman's Trade Season

Joe AcampadoCorrespondent IAugust 7, 2012

New York Yankees Trades: Grading Brian Cashman's Trade Season

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    It's been a week since the trade deadline.  Brian Cashman stayed relatively quiet this season, and we're seeing the immediate results of his decisions.

    The New York Yankees have been on a bit of a slide lately, losing 10 of their last 17.  Of course, a lot of this has to do with the flow of the MLB season, as teams are bound to have bad stretches every now and then.

    A good portion of this also has to do with the insane amount of injuries the Yankees have been dealing with.  Alex Rodriguez was the latest player to join the long list of Yankee players on the DL.

    A lot of people were expecting Cashman to address those injuries by acquiring players who could act as replacements.  Cashman did that, sort of.  

    It's like that Walmart commercial:  People came in expecting steakhouse quality steaks and ended up getting Walmart.  A lot of Yankee fans were expecting Cashman to deliver at least one high-quality steak, but he ended up going for the Walmart brand.

    Cashman did what he could, but it's starting to show that he probably should've done better.  Hopefully Cashman's Walmart approach will work out in the end.

Chad Qualls: D

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    Chad Qualls was Cashman's first acquisition, and it didn't really work out too well.  Qualls was brought in to help out the bullpen with the injuries it was experiencing.

    So Qualls came in and gave up five runs in eight games.  Not exactly what Cashman was expecting when he traded for him.

    Qualls was a decent enough reliever for the Houston Astros and Arizona Diamondbacks.  He even posted a 2.81 for the Diamondbacks in 2008.  But that was then, and this is now.

    With an ERA of 6.14, WHIP of 1.77 and 10 hits in 7.1 innings, it's a surprise that anyone took him off Cashman's hands.  That's exactly what happened when the Pittsburgh Pirates traded Casey McGehee for him.

    It seemed like every time Qualls pitched when he was a Yankee, he was going to give up a run.  This isn't Cashman's best trade, but at least it wasn't for anything important, just money.  Well, then again...

Ichiro Suzuki: B

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    It's kind of hard to complain when a future Hall of Famer, former MVP, 10 time All-Star and Gold Glover comes to the team, but that's what happens with players who are no longer at the top of their game.

    Brian Cashman traded D.J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar for Ichiro to help the Yankees' outfield troubles with Brett Gardner on the DL for who knows when.  The Yankees miss Gardner's speed, defense and ability to get on base.  Ichiro has those skills, or maybe it's had.

    This isn't 2004, when Ichiro batted .372 with an OBP of .414.  He's also no longer capable of stealing over 40 bases.

    Ichiro's not as fast as he used to be, and his on-base skills have diminished, but he's still an excellent outfielder.  Add to the fact that Ichiro has a quiet 12-game streak going of getting exactly one hit, and it's not a bad trade all things considered.

    Going back to that delicious steak analogy, Ichiro is no Ruth's Chris steak, but he's no Walmart brand either.  I like to think of him as an Outback steak: still good, but there's better stuff out there.

    With the Seattle Mariners, Ichiro had no chance of obtaining a ring in the near future.  Now that he's with the Yankees, at least he'll have a shot of finally getting that ring.  That's something a player like Ichiro deserves this late in his career.

Casey McGehee: C

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    The Yankees traded Chad Qualls for Casey McGehee.  They needed space for Joba Chamberlain in the bullpen and were going to designate him for assignment anyway, so it makes sense that they traded him.

    Of course, you trade value for value, and in this case, Casey McGehee isn't an A-lister by any means.

    McGehee gives the Yankees a right-handed bat they were coveting.  He also gives them some power, that is, if he can find go Marty McFly on the Yankees and bring his 2010 form to the present.

    Back in 2010, McGehee hit 23 homers, with 104 RBI and an average of .285 in 157 games.  That's the Casey McGehee Cashman was hoping for when he acquired him.

    With the Pittsburgh Pirates McGehee batted .230/.297/.377 in 92 games.  With the Yankees, he walked twice and had an RBI in one game.  That's really all there is at this point, so it's hard to grade him any higher or lower than a C.

    It remains to be seen if McGehee will be able to turn his season around with the Yankees.  He isn't stellar defensively, and his bat has seen better days, but at least it's something.  

Overall: C+

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    A C+ deserves a high-five, considering it could've been much worse.

    Brian Cashman has had better trade seasons and has pulled off more remarkable trades to bring in help for the Yankees.  This year, Cashman continued his wait approach at the trade deadline by making small moves to cover up holes in the Yankees.

    Cashman could've done more, which would've meant giving up someone valuable.  I applaud him for not wrecking the Yankees' future just to win now, but still, the Yankees can't hold on to all of their prospects.

    With the right situation and for the right player, I would gladly part with one of the Yankees' prospects.  Maybe not Dellin Betances or Manny Banuelos, but someone on a lower tier definitely if it means bringing someone who can help the Yankees contend.

    The Yankees' rivals in the American League have beefed up their rosters.  The Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels are better after the trade deadline.  The same goes for the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers.  Then there are the teams in the National League, but the Yankees need to win the AL first.

    There some problems that needed fixing, and Cashman went out and fixed them—maybe not permanently, but it's better than before.  The Yankees didn't really need top of the line help, but they needed something.

What's Next...

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    August means waiver trades month, which doesn't have the fanfare of the July trades, but these trades can still help a team win.

    During this time, the Yankees and Brian Cashman will need to decide if this team is capable of making it to the World Series.  Chances are they'll say yes but only because they're banking on Alex Rodriguez and Andy Pettitte to return healthy.

    Don't expect the Yankees to go after any of the big names on the waiver wire.  After all, they did pass on Cliff Lee after the Philadelphia Phillies waived him.  

    The Yankees seem content with their pitching staff and seem to have their outfield all set.  The bullpen is in solid shape, surprisingly, without Mariano Rivera.

    Vernon Wells, Justin Morneau, Heath Bell and Carl Crawford all sound attractive, as long as most of their salary stays with the other team.  I don't see the Yankees pursuing any of those players hard, however.

    So the Yankees will likely stand pat, content with their Walmart steaks and hoping that no more injuries happen.  If the Yankees can get back to the form they were in during June, they should be able to make a run at the World Series.