Sports

Inside Yankees’ busy trade deadline push: ‘Doubling down’

MIAMI — Brian Cashman watched the Yankees win a handful of series against some decent teams and still saw a flawed club.

“We were pushing ourselves into the arena of there’s no question we’re in this, so what do we do about it?” the general manager said before the Yankees’ 3-1 win over the Marlins. “Sit back and let it play out with what I think is an extremely talented roster already or acknowledge it’s not good enough despite the talent and needs more?”

He went with more talent — adding Joey Gallo and Anthony Rizzo, as well as left-hander Andrew Heaney and relievers Joely Rodriguez and Clay Holmes.

After the dust settled, Cashman said: “I know we’re better today than we were yesterday. But I also know everyone got better. It’s going to be fun to watch.”

For much of the season, the Yankees haven’t been fun to watch, trailing by a significant margin in the AL East and unable to get past the Athletics and Mariners for the second wild card.

Yankees
Greg Allen (l. to r.), Aaron Judge and new addition Joey Gallo celebrate the Yankees’ win on Friday.
AP

Cashman said he tried to acquire Gallo from the Rangers during spring training, but couldn’t find a fit.

The Yankees were unable to move Luke Voit, in the midst of a disappointing season due to several injuries and a lack of performance when he has been on the field. Both Cashman and manager Aaron Boone said they’ll wait to determine Voit’s role until he returns from the left knee inflammation that landed him on the IL.

“We know what Voit’s capable of when healthy,’’ Cashman said. “He swings a mean bat, gets on base. … Decisions like that will be made at a later date.”

Cashman pointed to the fact Rizzo will be a free agent after this season, while Voit will remain under team control.

“We added Rizzo for this stretch drive,’’ Cashman said. “This is all about the 2021 effort. We haven’t daydreamed into the future at all.”

They also didn’t go over the $210 million luxury tax threshold, as both the Cubs and Rangers paid down Rizzo and Gallo’s salaries, respectively.

Cashman acknowledged there was a “benefit” to staying under the threshold, but it wasn’t a “detriment” to him making a deal.

“Hal [Steinbrenner] was prepared to go over,’’ Cashman said.

That didn’t happen, but the Yankees were certainly more active at the deadline than they had been in years past — which Cashman said was due to the team’s underperformance throughout the first four months of the season.

“It’s up to me to do everything I can to fix it,’’ Cashman said. “We’ll see how it plays out.”

The new arrivals were optimistic about the Yankees’ chances.

“The expectations as a Yankee is ‘World Series or nothing,’ ’’ Rizzo said. “The best talent doesn’t always win. The best team wins.”

And he wasn’t shocked the Yankees went and got some big-name players.

“This is what the Yankees do and what they always do,’’ Rizzo said. “This team is doubling down again.”

From his time with the Cubs, with which he won a title in 2016 to end the franchise’s 108-year drought, Rizzo said he knows “get into the postseason and anything can happen.”

Gallo agreed, saying he knew it had been a “roller coaster” of a season in The Bronx.

“Hopefully, with a couple of additions, we can take off and make a run,’’ Gallo said. “I’m not familiar with the past. I’m here now to help this team make the playoffs.”

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