The New York Yankees have one of the highest payrolls in the MLB this season, but they are far from contending for the World Series plum. Even if they are in the best division in baseball, the Yankees are still several games behind the Toronto Blue Jays for the third wildcard spot in the American League. Aaron Judge was rushed back from his turf toe injury, but the trade deadline performance of Brian Cashman and the rest of the crew was an underwhelming one.
A bevy of names was floated as legitimate targets for the struggling Yankees, especially in the batting department, but there was nothing that materialized. Guys like Cody Bellinger and Dylan Carlson were linked to the Bombers, but the market for hitters was bleak. The Yankees acquired relievers Kenyan Middleton and Spencer Howard as their only trade deadline moves.
Standing pat and rolling with the same guys is a head-scratcher for the New York fanbase, but there's nothing else they can do with the disappointing performance of their team. Looking forward to these roster moves will be a silver lining for the diehard Yankee fans.
Activate Nestor Cortes Jr.
The starting rotation of the squad relies heavily on the talent and stuff of ace Gerrit Cole. The other starters like Luis Severino and Carlos Rodon have been abysmal in their 2023 campaign, so there are a slew of holes in the pitching staff of the Yankees. Nestor Cortes Jr. was a vital piece in their ALCS run last year, so he will need to be healthy if the franchise has any aspirations of squeaking through the postseason.
After two rehab starts, New York will start Cortes Jr. on Saturday against the star-studded lineup of the Houston Astros. A left rotator cuff strain took two full months of recovery, which could have been the primary reason why his ERA elevated to a concerning level. Cortes Jr. has been on the shelf for too long, and the Yankees need his strikeout and ground balls to be executed tremendously.
Domingo German is arguably the second-best starting pitcher of the Bombers, but he will be sidelined for the rest of the season, so Cortes' Jr. return cannot come at a better time.
Activate Jonathan Loaisiga
The bullpen of New York is one of the most formidable, so it is questionable on why Cashman added two relievers before the trade deadline. The most plausible reason why he wanted Middleton and Howard is because their relievers like Michael King and Albert Abreu have been overworked due to the struggles of their starting pitching. Thus, the Yankees will be ecstatic when superb reliever Jonathan Loaisiga returns to the bullpen by next week.
The target is for Loaisiga to pitch during their series against the Chicago White Sox, which starts early next week. During the past couple of seasons, his role has been vital as the setup man to Aroldis Chapman, then now moving on to the elite prowess of Clay Holmes. Loaisiga is a piece who will supplement the tired arms of the Yankees as he has mitigated his struggles from last season.
Cashman had the vision of bolstering the facet of their team wherein they are known to excel. The prospects of the Yankees do not seem ready to contribute by September or October, so the nucleus will be relied upon immensely in the last couple of months. Furthermore, the New York Yankees have no other moves to execute but bank on the current iteration to create some magic.
An opening series win against the powerhouse Houston Astros is a pleasing sight as the Blue Jays' wildcard lead has been cut down to 2.5 games.