It's hard to believe it, but we're less than a week away from July, and we're even closer to the half way point of the season. The Yankees have a number of needs, both short term and long term, and this trade deadline could be the busiest we've seen in a long time.
We've already started to hear some trade rumblings. Apparently the Yankees have interest in Ricky Nolasco, which I outlined last week, Cashman is actively searching the trade market, and Randy Levine says the team has cash to burn. So there's nothing substantial or detailed yet, but all indications point to the Yankees being buyers this trade deadline, especially so considering that they're only one game behind the Red Sox in the AL East loss column.
But balancing the roster's needs with the organization's long term strategy could be a complicated act. Most teams are looking to dump money in July, and the budgeting Yankees will be unwilling to pick that up for the 2014 season. That doesn't necessarily mean they can't pick up big contracts though, as the Yankees showed with their financial ingenuity during the Vernon Wells trade. Not only did the Yankees avoid paying any money in 2014 for Wells, but the bill for 2013 was mostly paid for by the World Baseball Classic, who covered the team's salary to the injured Teixeira. If Teixeira's season ends due to wrist surgery, the WBC will still be on the hook for his salary, and another Wells-type front-loaded trade could occur.
The organization also has bigger needs than a half-year stop gap. The roster will be riddled with holes this offseason, and sending away top prospects will only occur if the team can add a core piece for the future. This type of move makes the most sense in the long term, but outside of catching, the biggest immediate need for this team could very well be a corner infielder. With Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira under contract until 2017 and 2016 respectively, the current needs don't necessarily mesh with the future needs, and if the organization wants to make a big splash, they'll have to do so on someone with positional versatility.
This trade season should be a busy one with no perfect plan for attack, so prepare to hear ad nauseam some awful trade proposals and rumors. The Internet has bred a baseball rumor machine that will publish anything and everything, take what you read with a grain of salt. Regardless, it's always fun to dream about potential rosters.