The Yankees didn't get Cliff Lee. They didn't get Dan Haren. They didn't even land Ted Lilly. In years past, there would have been an outcry from the fans for Brian Cashman's head. There may have even been a Patton-esque decree from the Boss himself (may he rest in peace) about how he shared in the fans disappointment that the Yankees hadn't landed a "warrior" like Lee, and how he would hold "management" (i.e. Cashman and Joe Torre) responsible for the outcome of the season.
Not this year.
Brian Cashman and the rest of the Yankee brain trust made four smart, solid moves at the trading deadline. Not incredible, blockbuster moves, but solid, baseball-logical moves.
Landing Lance Berkman from the Astros for virtually nothing (minor leaguers Mark Melancon and Jimmy Paredes) gives the Yankees a switch hitting 1B/DH with some pop who can play decent defense if Mark Teixeira needs a day off down the stretch. Berkman may not win you any games with his glove (as Teixeira will) but he's serviceable at first base. He can, however, win you games with his bat.
The acquisition of OF Austin Kearns on July 30 gives added depth to the bench and hopefully will help against left handed pitching, which Yankee outfielders have had a tough time hitting this season. The "player to be named later" price tag makes this move a good one.
Kerry Wood was acquired from the Cleveland Indians for 'future considerations' at the deadline, as well. Although Wood just came off the disabled list, and injuries have derailed his career, he still had good stuff when healthy. He can step into the setup role immediately, freeing us from the maddening inconsistency and ineffectiveness of Joba Chamberlain. The price tag makes this deal a steal, even if Wood's long term health is a concern.
Finally, there is the release of Chan Ho Park, which is tailor made for the phrase "addition by subtraction." Park's 5.60 ERA and 40 hits in 35 innings pitched is something I'm glad to see go. Not since Eric Plunk has a Yankee reliever so enraged me whenever I saw him coming out of the bullpen.
Not glamorous trades. Not sexy, headline-making moves. Brian Cashman has not guaranteed Yankee fans a title with the trade deadline activity, but he has taken us one step closer to a repeat.