AL East Notes: Yankees, Hafner, Rays

If the Yankees don't acquire a hitter before the July 31st trade deadline, it won't necessarily be for a lack of trying.  "The phone calls are taking place, but nothing to show for it,” Cashman said. “I think if you’re looking for offense, Exhibit A is, name me the bat that’s moved already? It hasn’t. Exhibit B is, look at all the big rumors out there – they’re involving pitchers … It’s just an offensive offense market."  Here's the latest on the Yankees and other news out of the AL East..

  • Travis Hafner's inability to play the field could result in his release from the Yankees, explains Joel Sherman of the New York Post.  When/if Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez return to action, they'll need the respite of playing DH more than ever.  Hafner could save his job if he picks things up, but he hasn't hit with much power lately.
  • Rays team president Matt Silverman isn't a huge fan of MLB's competitive balance lottery, writes Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.  "The competitive balance lottery is a lot more lottery and a lot less competitive balance," Silverman said. "Perhaps one day these picks will make strides against the imbalance in our game. For now it is about competitive balance in name only."  The Rays got a Round B pick in the inaugural lottery (after Round 2) rather than the preferred Round A (after Round 1).
  • While the Yankees would like to count on an in-house boost rather than give something up via trade, they have to accept that guys like Jeter and Rodriguez are basically day-to-day for the rest of their careers and cannot plan to have them next week, next month, or next year, Sherman writes.

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