NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Will the New York Yankees shake things up on Thursday?
Maybe, but don’t expect a blockbuster. So far, general manager Brian Cashman — no stranger to wheeling and dealing — hasn’t been linked to anyone of the big-splash variety.
The team has had discussions with the Phillies about outfielder Marlon Byrd, though there was little traction as of Wednesday night, according to WFAN and CBSSports.com baseball insider Jon Heyman. The veteran, batting .270 with 20 home runs and 60 RBIs, has been one of the few bright spots in Philadelphia.
The offensively challenged Bombers have also been linked to Minnesota outfielder Josh Willingham.
Alex Rios is available, too. But the Yankees “do not appear to be in” on him, Heyman reported.
According to the New York Post, Cashman has been in talks with the White Sox since February, and Chicago has recently been scouting the Yankees’ farm club in Double-A. The paper speculated that left-hander John Danks or outfielder Dayen Viciedo could be a fit.
The Yankees have also reportedly have interest in Padres reliever Joaquin Benoit.
The non-waiver deadline is 4 p.m. Thursday.
“There’s less than 24 hours if something’s going to happen,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Wednesday. “You do expect that there’s going to be some movement in baseball. A lot of times, there’s more talked about than actually done. We’ll wait to see what happens.”
The Yankees also desperately need some arms, with starters CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova out for the season, the possibility of Tommy John surgery looming over Masahiro Tanaka, and Michael Pineda still on the disabled list.
Big-ticket pitchers like Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee are being dangled, but the Yankees are focused instead on improving their sputtering offense, the New York Times reported.
Right on cue, the Yankees’ lineup couldn’t get anything going on Wednesday night in a 3-2 loss to the Rangers.
“It’s surprising,” said outfielder Brett Gardner, who is swinging one of the few hot bats. “We’ve got plenty of time left to turn it around, but it’s almost August, and we’ve got to get it going soon.”
The Yankees (55-52) are 5.5 games behind AL East-leading Baltimore and three games out of a wild-card spot. Their chances of making the playoffs sit at 21.4 percent, according to Baseball Prospectus.
The Yankees have already made upgrades, acquiring veteran right-hander Brandon McCarthy, third baseman Chase Headley and left-hander Chris Capuano in separate deals.
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