Yankees GM Brian Cashman anticipates a quiet Trade Deadline

Yankees GM Brian Cashman was on the field this morning watching batting practice and checked in with his thoughts on a range of topics, including what he is expecting as the July 31 non-waivers Trade Deadline approaches:

On potential contract extensions for Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano:
“We don’t do stuff in season, but this winter we’ll be forced to look at some of those things. It doesn’t mean that anything will happen from it but we’ll be forced to look at it. Right now going into this year it’s two years away from free agency and it’ll be one year once you hit the winter. We’ll have our conversations with ownership but no one has initiated anything from their end or our end.”

On the Yankees’ policy of not negotiating in-season:
“We can do whatever we want when we want in terms of if we want to change our policy. I’m not even saying we’re changing it. But we did approach Russell Martin about an extension before the season started. Regardless there’s no game plan in place other than the fact we acknowledge we’re going to have to look at it regardless because they’ll be a year away from free agency. We’re just obviously happy that they’re here with us now.”

On the Trade Deadline — buyers or standing pat?
“I think we have a very strong roster. I think we have answers at every position. I really like what we have. I think it’s going to be very difficult to improve upon that roster. I go into the deadline very skeptical. The new Basic Agreement, when you trade players that are approaching free agency that are Type A quality free agents because they’re high end players, the new rules are that you wipe out the draft pick if they get traded. The asks in at least the beginning are along the lines of previous years; get the draft pick back, I think it’d be a marginal upgrade. We’re getting Pettitte back in theory, we’re getting Joba Chamberlain back in theory and Gardner back in theory. I’m not very optimistic that we’ll be needing to be active or should be active given the price tags associated with the players, what we need to do as we move forward to retain these assets, that compel us to get this payroll down. I’m very skeptical. That does not mean I’m saying we’re going to do nothing.”

On Brett Gardner:
“He’s faltered in his first game or two of playing in the rehab assignments. Everything before that is going to be fine. It’s what he actually does when the game starts with the bat. If he can get past that, then we should be fine. The doctors think we should be fine, but they’ve told us twice that.”

On the impact of getting Gardner back:
“Not as an insult to Brett Gardner, but we haven’t missed him. He’s a huge asset that we can use, but have we missed him? No. Have we missed Joba too. Is he a huge impact that we can use? Yes. So all these guys right now, they can only make us better and give us more choices. I don’t feel that if he doesn’t come back that I have to do something else because the other guys are doing such a great job for us in my opinion. Are there players out there that are better than what I have? I’m sure. But at the cost associated with acquiring those, that’s what’s going to turn me off, in my opinion.”

On Chamberlain:
“He’s got to do back-to-backs, he’s got another two-inning outing coming too. But being a reliever, he can come sooner. He’s coming off an extended period of time. We were talking about his rehab schedule yesterday and manipulating it as we go along. I think he can be ready sooner than the full 30 days, but we also have to make sure that he’s in the position that he can go back-to-back. When he’s here, the gloves are off. He looks good.”

On getting by with Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones:
“You do some gambling, to some degree. It doesn’t mean that we won’t do something small or have waiver claims or stuff like that. We popped Darnell McDonald off waivers. The price tags [stink], to be quite honest. I’d rather get away with it and bet on Gardner coming back. If I’m wrong, I’m wrong.”

On the 2012 Yankees:
“Do we have the best team? I wouldn’t say that. Do we have a championship caliber team? I think we have strengths in every aspect of the roster — bench, bullpen, rotation, everyday lineup. If we just focus on getting the guys on the DL healthy and maintaining what we’ve got, improving the runners in scoring position category, I’m not sure how much better we can make it to be honest. That’s not a boasting comment. At the cost to marginally upgrade, it’s pretty ugly. Once we get Pettitte back and CC, and what we have already here … I just don’t know if it’s going to be worth shooting all the bullets it’s going to take to get someone else in here and hope they can help us in the short term.”

On first-round pick Ty Hensley:
“We feel good about it because we signed him. At the same time we negotiated the way we negotiated. I’m really happy he accepted. We think we got a real plus arm and an asset to plug into that system. Hopefully over time he’s going to find his way here like all these guys’ dreams are. There’s only one guy who is picked No. 1 every year, so he gets to do the pregame with our guys.”

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