The New York Yankees were the best team in baseball for the first two-and-a-half months of the 2024 MLB season. Since then, they've been the worst, and with the MLB trade deadline approaching, Brian Cashman has seen enough.

The Yankees' general manager is in Tampa to assist the front office with preparation for the upcoming MLB Draft. He took time to visit Tropicana Field to watch his team play the Rays and to speak with the media.

“It’s been a struggle, obviously,” Cashman said. “Thankfully, we got out of the gates really strong. Hopefully that cushion will allow us to work through this, hopefully sooner than later, because it’s gone on long enough. It’s been a tough stretch for us.”

“You can hit some rough spots, and we’re certainly as rough as they come right now,” he added.

Over a 162-game season, every team is going to go through rough patches. For the Yankees, however, that patch has lasted almost a month. In their past seven series, New York is 0-6-1, and underperforming in every aspect of the game.

With a league-worst 5-15 record over their past 20 games, the Yankees have given up 130 runs, second only to the Rockies (131). They're also hitting .224 (26th) and have not stolen a single base in their last 20 games. Every other team has at least six steals over that time.

The Yankees' bullpen has also been a problem since mid-June with a 5.24 ERA. That's nothing, however, compared to their starters who have a league-worst 6.96 ERA.

“We’ve got to be playing better than we currently are right now, as an entire unit,” Cashman said.

Yankees trade deadline priorities

New York Yankees starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (0) reacts after giving up a home run against the Atlanta Braves in the seventh inning at Yankee Stadium.
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Even with their woeful last month, the Yankees are in great playoff position. With three weeks remaining before the MLB trade deadline, however, the holes in their roster are suddenly glaring.

Cashman declined to comment on specific areas of need, but at minimum, they need help in the bullpen and infield.

The Yankees' season-long bullpen numbers are strong, buoyed by an All-Star first couple months from Clay Holmes, but they rank 17th in baseball in strikeouts per nine innings (8.67). They also lack a consistent lefty, with Caleb Ferguson saddled to a 5.46 ERA.

Tanner Scott, Mason Miller, and Michael Kopech are all potential trade targets that would make sense for the Yankees to pursue in the coming weeks.

As for the infield, DJ LeMahieu has been ineffective in his return from injury and Gleyber Torres is enduring the worst season of his career. Cashman commented on Torres specifically, speculating that he may be pressing due to his upcoming free agency.

“Sometimes those free-agent walk years can come back and haunt you,” Cashman said. “I’m not sure if that added pressure might be weighing him down or holding him back. We just went through that with [Luis Severino] and [Harrison] Bader last year. He’s close to the finish line on going to free agency. … Last year, he was our second-best hitter behind Aaron Judge. We’re anxiously hoping and waiting on that, because I know he could have a really positive impact.”

The Angels' Luis Rengifo could be the best player available on the infield market, but he's currently on the Injured List with wrist inflammation. Additionally, if the Blue Jays look to sell, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette could be available, but a more realistic option could be old friend Isiah Kiner-Falefa.