<
>

Cashman plays down big moves

The trade deadline for the Yankees may just be a matter of adding players who are on the disabled list.

Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman reiterated Thursday morning at a HOPE Week event in Staten Island that he does not think he can upgrade the roster more than the addition of injured Yankees.

"I think it's going to be hard pressed for us to improve upon getting (Bartolo) Colon and (Phil) Hughes off the DL as starters, getting (Rafael) Soriano off the DL as a reliever, getting (Eric) Chavez off the DL as a player on the bench and we're eventually going to get A-Rod back as a middle-of-the-lineup bat," Cashman said. "I can't imagine us being able to run into something but you still have to go through the motions and have the conversations."

While there may be players out there who could help the Yankees that are acquirable, as the team has been linked to the Rockies' Ubaldo Jimenez and Dodgers' Hiroki Kuroda, Cashman said that if there is a player that is an incremental upgrade, he has to gauge if that that player will be worth the price that it would take for a trade to occurr. Cashman said he goes into the trade market not wanting to trade certain guys.

“I go into the market place with a team that is a championship caliber team as we sit with a lot of depth,” Cashman said. “It’s hard to upgrade on that.”

Most of the questions pressed at Cashman Thursday focused on his pitching rotation and the general manager expressed his faith in this staff. While CC Sabathia has been the unquestioned ace of the staff, there are question marks about each of the other four members of the staff and the question remains whether any of the starters can be a legit No. 2 starter in the rotation behind Sabathia.

Cashman said that Colon, who is 7-6 with a 3.29 ERA, has been a tremendous No. 2 starting pitcher and has been outstanding for the Yankees. While Cashman said there is the unknown with Colon of how long he will keep this up, as he has not pitched over 100 innings in MLB since 2005, he said Colon has earned a No. 2 status in the rotation with his results to date.

The general manager wasn’t as high on Hughes, the righty who has been inconsistent since his return off the disabled list, but still said he believes the younster is going to help the Yankees over the remainder of the season. While there is belief that Hughes could be battling Ivan Nova for the final spot in the rotation, Cashman does not think Hughes needs that motivation to help him.

“This is a man who is a world champion, he’s a competitor, he knows what to do, he knows how to do it,” Cashman said. “You take the ball every five days with the New York Yankees, it’s a competition with not just our farm system, but the rest of baseball, as my conversations go on. Phil Hughes is wired right. I don’t worry about his commitment level.”

With the bullpen, Cashman said that as long as Soriano is healthy, as he could be activated from the disabled list at any moment, he does not see why the Yankees’ big off-season acquisition can’t pitch like he’s supposed to. He also also has no problem with Boone Logan being the lone lefty in the bullpen.

“He’s done a nice job,” Cashman said. “He struggled early in the season, but now he’s done well. If I can get someone to assist, great, but if it’s not going to happen, I’m going to be comfortable with what we got.”