Gaping Holes the New York Yankees Chose to Ignore at the Trade Deadline
The New York Yankees have seen their once comfortable 10-game lead in the American League East quickly evaporate and now find themselves in an all-out sprint to the postseason.
Some of the bigger problems for the Bombers have reared their ugly heads down the stretch of the 2012 season, leaving many to wonder if the Yankees had done enough to set themselves up for another appearance in the playoffs.
Could the Yankees have filled some of their biggest voids through the trade market?
Let's take a look at some of the Yanks' biggest needs still, who they filled them with and who they could've potentially made a deal for that would've done a better job.
Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE
Offense was probably the least of the Yankees' concerns going into the trade deadline, but a concern nonetheless.
The Bombers had lost Alex Rodriguez to injury, and while he was scheduled to return, it wouldn't be for quite some time. The name Chase Headley was being floated around as a possible solution, but the price was thought to be too high for the Bombers.
Instead, the Yankees chose to stay with the backups they already had and dealt for Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Casey McGehee. It was clearly the smart decision at the time, but the Bombers didn't know how wrong they'd be.
Headley went on to hit .345 in the month of August with 10 homers and 31 RBI. Those numbers would've been useful when A-Rod and Mark Teixeira were on the shelf, and now that Tex is injured once again.
To make matters worse, Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson have struggled, unable to pick up the slack.
In all, you can't blame general manager Brian Cashman for not making this deal. Who could have guessed Headley would become NL Player of the Month and become one of the hottest hitters in baseball?
Who they needed: Chase Headley
Who they got: Casey McGehee
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At the start of the 2012 season, the Yankees looked like they were stacked in their bullpen. Mariano Rivera, David Robertson, Rafael Soriano and the soon-to-return Joba Chamberlain would lead the best bullpen in the MLB.
But it didn't quite happen like that.
The Bombers lost Rivera for the season, while Chamberlain's comeback was pushed back thanks to a trampoline accident. Joba, of course, returned to the mound in 2012 only to be unceremoniously hit around the park on a near nightly basis.
That leaves New York with two reliable relievers in Robertson and Soriano, but even they have seen their issues of late.
There wasn't much to do at the trade deadline.
In all, no reliever of much value was on the market that could make a big enough impact, mostly because teams with good relievers hold on to them as a result of the difficulty in finding a good reliever.
Makes sense, doesn't it?
Who they needed: Jonathan Broxton
Who they got: Derek Lowe
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The Yankees lineup is mostly filled with big-swing hitters who are looking to put the ball over the fence at any given time.
Brett Gardner's setbacks and eventual season-ending injury took an element of speed out of the team's batting order that it has sorely lacked all season. Derek Jeter has done a great job as the leadoff hitter for New York, but he is a prototypical No. 2 hitter.
At the deadline, the Yankees did address this need, or at least we thought.
But manager Joe Girardi has decided to keep Ichiro at the bottom of the order, and that has kept Ichiro's contributions to a minimum.
In August, Ichiro had his best month with a batting average of .297. So far in September, Ichiro is hitting .346. Those numbers could do much more if Ichiro was leading off a game and had a .324 hitter behind him.
Who they needed: Ichiro Suzuki
Who they got: Ichiro Suzuki
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Question marks surrounded the Bombers rotation heading into the season, but early on, it looked like the Yankees would be fine.
Andy Pettitte's return unexpectedly boosted the team's rotation, and along with CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda, New York was winning more than enough games.
But then injury struck the 40-year-old starter, and two stints on the disabled list took the Yanks ace out of the equation. All the Bombers were left with was an increasingly impressive Kuroda and two inconsistent starters in Ivan Nova and Phil Hughes.
Freddy Garcia and David Phelps have played the role of Band-Aid admirably, but they have shoes that are just too big to fill.
Right at the deadline, the Yanks were in the running for Chicago Cubs starter Ryan Dempster to bring him to the Bronx. However, the Texas Rangers swooped in and picked up Dempster instead, leaving the Yankees with the short rotation they had.
You can't blame the Yankees for not pulling off a deal at the deadline here, either. Yes, they knew Pettitte would be gone for a while, but the team already had plenty of arms and a big lead to work with in its division.
Who they needed: Ryan Dempster
Who they got: Nobody