The New York Yankees (like 99 percent of the league) were quiet on July 31, choosing to make no trades by the deadline and instead wait until the waiver period to make moves.
Players can be acquired through waivers for the remainder of the season, though they won't be eligible for postseason rosters if acquired on (or after) September 1. This makes it all the more important for teams like the Yankees to make moves sooner rather than later.
There really hasn't been much waiver news on the Yankee front. Joey Nowak of MLB.com reports general manager Brian Cashman expects Alex Rodriguez to finish the season at third base if healthy, so trading for an everyday third baseman might not be in the cards.
Cashman will be scanning the waiver wire for the next several weeks in hopes of striking a deal, but those deals could have little impact if made too late. The Yankees need help now, and waiting too long could jeopardize their season.
Many names the team has been linked to are also from the July 31 deadline, though not every rumor has roots in that deadline.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe believes that shortstop Alexei Ramirez of the Chicago White Sox could be a fit for the Yankees, as he doesn't trust Derek Jeter's ability to be the everyday shortstop in 2014. Jeter will likely be the designated hitter for a good portion of the season.
Ramirez, a very strong defender, could be made available by the struggling White Sox—even though they just swept the Yankees a few days ago.
The Yankees would need to offer Chicago some decent prospects, though, and Brian Cashman may be unwilling to do so. Pitcher Jose Ramirez and maybe even an outfielder like Ramon Flores would have to be sent to Chicago in order to complete a deal.
A free agent after the 2016 season, Ramirez's controllability is what brings the price up. He's an average hitter and great defender, but really isn't an impact player. He'd be a nice piece for the stretch run and beyond if the Yankees can grab him off waivers, though.
Placido Polanco would actually be a great addition to the Yankees. For those claiming that his 37-year-old body is the last thing the Yankees need, keep in mind that he's only under contract for the remainder of the season and owed but a portion of the $2.75 million salary he signed for.
Throwing his right-handed bat into the lineup, even in a platoon-like manner, would represent a nice upgrade offensively. Entering play on Thursday, August 8, Polanco sports a lofty .349 batting average against lefty pitchers. He's a liability against righties, though, as his .218 average against them leaves much to be desired.
The Miami Marlins could look to acquire a low-level prospect in return, or could simply ask for the Yankees to pick up the rest of his salary. Either option is a good move for the Bombers.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe also cites the fact that Seattle Mariners slugger Michael Morse could be made available, and that the Yankees, Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles could have interest. The division crown may not be the only thing the three teams compete for before the season comes to a close, as all three have a legitimate need for Morse's services.
Morse's powerful bat from the right side would be a welcome addition to the Yankee lineup. He has 12 homers on the season, is only 31 and is a free agent come season's end. Morse is the type of player that could look to re-sign on a one-year deal and possibly look to reestablish some of his value. It was just two seasons ago that he hit 31 home runs with the Washington Nationals.
To acquire him, the Yankees may have to put together a similar package to the one that would acquire Placido Polanco. A low-level minor leaguer could be enough, but throwing in some financial help would sweeten the deal.
Morse doesn't appear to be in Seattle's long-term plans, so dealing him now would be the smartest move.
With Alex Rodriguez back and, according to Brian Cashman, here to play third for the rest of the season, that leaves the lone hole on offense at catcher. Chris Stewart has been just okay, as he is a true backup catcher. Austin Romine has not impressed in the reserve role.
Ruiz was a target of the Yankees at the July 31 deadline, but Philadelphia Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro clearly wasn't impressed enough with Cashman's trade proposals. The Yankees could use his bat in the lineup, though, so it wouldn't hurt to revisit a possible trade if they can claim him off waivers. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe thinks they could have interest.
Even though Ruiz hasn't been great this season, he put together a fantastic year in 2012. He hit .325/.394/.540 with a career-high 16 home runs and a career-high 68 RBI. That's the type of production that could make him an option for the Yankees beyond the rest of 2013.
Gary Sanchez may be a few years away, but there's no sense in throwing guys like Stewart and Romine out there daily while we wait. Bringing in Ruiz and signing him for two or three more years is a fine idea.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that Giants general manager Brian Sabean was only planning on dealing his outfielder if he was blown away by a deal. This gives the Yankees almost no chance of acquiring him.
Even if the Yankees had the prospects to make a trade, there's basically no chance Brian Cashman would pony up the prospects for a rental player that could potentially leave via free agency. Plus, the Yankees already have entirely too many outfielders on the roster. Throwing another one into the mix would be ridiculous.
Don't expect Pence to be a Yankee anytime soon, and definitely don't be surprised if he isn't moved at all. He'll likely be a Giant for the rest of the season.