The non-waiver trade deadline occurs in a little over two weeks and though general manager Brian Cashman does not feel he needs to a make a significant deal to help the roster that has the best record in the game, he offered a grim outlook at the current price tags.
“The price tag sucks to be honest,” Cashman said.
The high price tag is what prevented Cashman from making a major move last year when Ubaldo Jimenez was among the centerpieces of the deadline. Jimenez ultimately went to Cleveland and at the time Cashman felt that Jesus Montero was not worth trading.
Cashman did trade Montero to Seattle for injured pitcher Michael Pineda and is confident that his current group can perform adequately enough until the DL stints for Andy Pettitte and Brett Gardner are over.
“I’m not very optimistic that we’ll be needing to be active or should be active given the price tag associated with the players and what we need to do as we move forward to retain these assets that compel us to get the payroll down,” Cashman said. “So I’m very skeptical on a lot of it.
“That does not mean I’m saying we’re going to nothing, but since you guys are really the conduits to our fan base that you are, it’s important for me to communicate that I’m not really sure what’s going to happen -- if anything -- unless further injuries hit, which I hope they don’t.”
Though reports have linked the Yankees to being among the 10 teams interested in Cubs right-hander Ryan Dempster, Cashman’s tone indicated that at the present time the only moves could be waiver-wire transactions such as the recent move to claim outfielder Darnell McDonald from the Red Sox.
“I think we have a very strong roster,” Cashman said. “I think we have answers. I really like what we have. Not as an insult to Brett Gardner, but we haven’t missed him. He’s a huge asset that we can use but have we missed him? No. Have we missed Joba? No. All of these guys right now they can only make us better and give us more choices.
“But I don’t feel that if he doesn’t come back that I have to do something because the other guys are doing such a great job for us in my opinion. Are there players out there that are better than what I have? I’m sure, but at the costs associated with acquiring those, that’s what’s going to turn me off in my opinion.”
Hensley gets Stadium experience
After right-handed pitcher Ty Hensley was drafted by the Yankees, he said his goal to appear in Yankee Stadium by the time he was 21.
“It’s definitely still my goal,” Hensley said. “That’s what I plan on doing. I got a good group of people behind me and I think it’s definitely within reach.”
Hensley has two years and 15 days to go and since he just agreed to contract terms with the Yankees on Friday, he settled for the next best thing at this point in his career.
That meant appearing at the Stadium, meeting the current Yankees, playing catch with Andy Pettitte and inquiring about the life of a major leaguer.
Hensley was the No. 30 pick, which carries a slot value of $1.6 million. However, an MRI revealed a right-shoulder abnormality and Hensley signed for $1.2 million.
“All I can tell you is that I’m healthy,” Hensley said. “I plan on staying healthy. I’ve never been sore after I’ve thrown. I’m going to be healthy for a long time. I prepare myself and do my body right.”
Besides the MRI delaying the decision, Hensley said he wanted to take his time with a significant decision. But even with less than slotted money, the lure of the Yankees won out.
“I took my time just like I did with my college decision because I wanted to be sure what I did because there’s no turning back after you make your choice,” Hensley said. “I wanted to be really sure, so that’s why I took my time.
“It’s a different opportunity than any other team. There’s so much history and tradition here and that factored into the decision and just the fact that it was the Yankees really helped.”
The next stop for Hensley is to fly to Tampa. He will join the Gulf Coast League Yankees, who have won 17 of their first 24 games.
Joba, Gardner getting closer
Joba Chamberlain’s recovery from last year’s Tommy John surgery and his spring ankle injury seems to be progressing well.
He pitched two hitless innings Saturday in a rehab game for the Gulf Coast League Yankees. Perhaps more importantly, he threw 19-of-28 pitches for strikes and even topped out at 97 mph on the radar gun.
“He went the two innings,” manager Joe Girard said. “His stuff was good. I think he went 3-0 on the first hitter and then really locked in after that and threw strikes. He’ll have two days off, at least.”
As for Brett Gardner, he was scheduled to play a three-inning simulated game Sunday.
Follow Yankees beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher for live updates from games and all your off-field news.