Brian Cashman looked like a quarterback calling a game on Friday in a cluster of reporters, not far from the Yankees' house about two hours before the first place.
For more than 11 minutes, Cashman gave his estate to the Yankees, who at this time of the year commented a lot on the director-general's assessment and plans for the closing trade. That meant assessing the beginning pitching market, especially if the Yankees and Mets could ever arrange a mammoth deal for a Jacob de Grom.
It's what tempts when the calendar turns from June to July. It lures on, because if the teams could ever make such a deal – somewhere between unlikely and impossible – it would be one of New York's biggest baseball stories of all time and would affect the balance of power in the majors.
But here's a dirty little secret to the game: The Trade Deadline is tempting. It is a graduation school, though the candidates are trying to be even more. In the first four months, the recipe has been greatly increased and mainly contains internal solutions.
You may recall the biggest transaction Red Sox made last year near the deadline to avoid Addison Reed or Eduardo Nunez. Rafael Devers was promoted on July 25th. At this time, Boston had the lowest OPS of the third-base majors. Devers changed that by, among other things, drilling a memorable homer by Aroldis Chapman and helping Red Sox fend off Yankees to win the AL East.
The Yankees shot earlier this year during the in-season calendar with Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres. But it could only have more impact than anything they do to expand their roster this year. Like Gary Sanchez (AL Rookie of the Year 201
"The first thing you do is have the opportunity to see what you need to see if it can help you," Cashman said in a phone call on Friday. "They look at what's already in the system first, Andujar and Torres have strengthened our infield and our lineup."
A few hours later, Andujar and Torres highlighted their influence during perhaps the best game of the season for the Yankees: a crisp, methodical, thorough round of sixteen Red Sox, who created a tie on the AL East between the rivals.
"It was unfair to expect too much production from them, but they took opportunity and ran with it," said Brett Gardner.
Torres tripled the andro off-off wall to open the second, and Andujar followed with a bloop RBI single to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead. In the fourth, Torres picked up a sacrificial fly and Andujar launched a two-run homer two games later and the Yankees led 4-0. Together, Andujar and Torres were 5-for-7 with four RBIs and played in a well-executed double match in support of Commander CC Sabathia.
"I'm no longer surprised," said Aaron Boone
Torres is now the star of the AL Rookie of the Year with an injury to Shohei Ohtani and Andujar is not far away. Andujar came to replace an injured Brandon Drury, and when Drury returned to the majors on Friday, it was a backup. Andujar has a .830 OPS, 12 homers, and 37 extra base hits – the same as Manny Machado in 72 fewer platinum pads.
Torres has recovered from a source in which he struggles too hard to create and fight the team. He has a .893 OPS and is slowly working his way up from the ninth in the middle to probably the best position in the sport.
Neither Andujar nor Torres have in the majors in New York who endure in rivalry or a poor game or two. The most-valued compliment for the two is how well they can adapt early in their careers.
"Both should be seriously considered to make the All-Star team," Gardner said. "They are talented children, they have a bright future."
The presence of the Yankees is greatly enhanced by their presence. One reason to add deGrom or any other important starter will be so important that Andujar and Torres already appeared in the current season and helped to make an already good Yankees team even better.