A big splash would have been nice. You expect that from the Yankees.
Yes, they are a better team, now that the non-waiver trade deadline has passed — especially with the addition of reliever Zach Britton, that deal checks off an important box — but the Yankees did not get their Justin Verlander.
They added starters J.A. Happ and Lance Lynn, but neither is a top-of-the-rotation starter. Happ is suffering from hand, foot and mouth disease and probably will miss his next start. The Mets and Noah Syndergaard have company.
Luis Severino and Masahiro Tanaka are at the top of the rotation, and the 68-37 Yankees are fine with that. Yes, they have the second-best record in the game, but remember October is a much different game.
There are no Orioles or Royals playing in October.
The Red Sox had to place ace Chris Sale on the disabled list Tuesday with shoulder inflammation, and that is never a good thing, but you have to think that the Red Sox are giving Sale this time off so he can reset. If Sale gets back to being himself by the time the postseason rolls around the Red Sox will have an ace advantage.
Chris Archer would have been a solid addition, but the Pirates anted up, sending Tylor Glasgow and Austin Meadows to the Rays.
Britton will help, especially in a wild-card game. That is a plus, but now the pressure reverts back to Severino and Tanaka to step up their games. Severino has been on a slide, and Tanaka, who beat the dreadful Orioles 6-3 Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium, going six shutout innings, has not allowed a run over his past 17¹/₃ innings.
Since his double hamstring injury, Tanaka appears to be in better shape.
General manager Brian Cashman was happy to deepen the rotation while adding the benefit of $3.7 million in international slot money. Lynn can start or work out of the bullpen, but his ERA is 5.10.
But players get an emotional lift putting on pinstripes.
“We think he has pitched better and he is a great competitor,’’ Cashman said of Lynn.
“Everybody that’s in it is trying to win it,’’ he said of all the deals made.
The Yankees did not add an outfield bat with Aaron Judge down and out and with a chip fracture in his wrist.
“The price tags, whatever they are out there for the category of potentially importing somebody when Judge is down when Clint Frazier is down,’’ Cashman said, “right now things stay as they are, you’re looking for someone to spot-start. … So what do you pay for that? We were not able to match up.’’
In other words, teams were looking for way too much back in return — like a Miguel Andujar according to one source. Andujar lashed a three-run home run in the fifth.
“We kicked the tires on so many things,’’ Cashman said.
The best starting pitchers were on the Mets, of course, and they weren’t dealing.
Asked if he was disappointed he did not get the chance to make a big splash, that No. 1-type starter or another big bat like a Manny Machado who went to the Dodgers, Cashman countered, saying, “I thought we’ve been extremely busy. You know Britton and Lynn and Happ and international slot money, I think we kind of did a lot of different things for a lot of different reasons. So I don’t need something splashy sometimes. Ultimately all we want to do is win and win as many games as we possibly can between now and when and if it’s over. So it doesn’t have to be splashy. It just has to work.’’
All that is true. Splashy raises the excitement level. The Yankees have made solid additions, we’ll see if they work out.
“We checked every color of the rainbow so to speak,’’ Cashman said of his search.
The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is that 28th world championship. Do the Yankees have enough to get there? They are better. They have improved. Still, a big splash would have been nice.
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