Yankees GM Brian Cashman recently spoke to MLB Network Radio (audio link; some transcribed quotes are also available via Chad Jennings at the Journal News) about his team’s strategy heading toward the non-waiver trade deadline. The Yankees are currently 44-45 and 5 1/2 games back in the Wild Card race. Cashman notes that the team’s ultimate approach could be dictated in part by how the team performs in the next few series. For now, the Yankees are “having both conversations,” meaning that they’re considering both buying and selling. He lists the starting rotation and the front end of the bullpen as areas he’s already tried to improve, although offensive upgrades appear unlikely. Here are more notes from the East divisions.
- The Phillies have Jeremy Hellickson’s turns in the rotation lined up with those of prospect Jake Thompson’s starts with Triple-A Lehigh Valley, as CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury notes. That’s potentially significant in that Thompson could slide into the big-league rotation if the Phillies deal Hellickson in the next couple weeks. Thompson, one of the prospects the Phillies acquired in last year’s Cole Hamels deal, has posted a 2.42 ERA and 2.6 BB/9, albeit with just 6.2 K/9, in 111 2/3 innings with Lehigh Valley this year. Hellickson, for his part, says he isn’t focused on the trade rumors surrounding him. “I’d love to be here the rest of the year, but obviously I’ve been through it before and know that side of the game,” he says. “But, yeah, my focus is on here and my next start right now.”
- The Rays are attracting plenty of interest in their starting pitchers, as SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo tweets — the Cubs, Rangers, Dodgers, Pirates, Yankees, Astros, Blue Jays, Orioles and Tigers have all inquired. Representatives from the Pirates and Dodgers, along with the Nationals, Red Sox and Marlins, were all on hand yesterday to watch Chris Archer’s start against the Orioles, according to the Tampa Bay Times’ Marc Topkin (Twitter links). (It is perhaps worth noting that those teams might have been scouting the game for other reasons, not purely to watch Archer.) Archer seems perhaps less likely to be dealt than fellow Rays starters Matt Moore or Jake Odorizzi. Various recent reports have indicated that the Rays aren’t currently interested in trading Archer, who has struggled a bit this year and is under control for the next several seasons.