But something will have to separate these teams, sending one to a division series and the other to an instant elimination game. Dombrowski’s trade for Pearce — a first baseman and outfielder who mainly gives Boston a deeper bench — was simply the first strike. The Yankees’ general manager, Brian Cashman, will most likely be active, too.
“Our stated preference clearly is the pitching, and try to reinforce it, improve upon it,” Cashman said on the field Friday. “I doubt, positionally, I’ll be looking at much. But you never know.”
While Toronto’s J.A. Happ and the Texas Rangers’ Cole Hamels are available, the aces of the fizzling Mets — Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard, if he gets healthy — would be more alluring, and more costly. Without mentioning specific players, Cashman said he was in contact with his close friend, Omar Minaya, one of the officials running the Mets’ baseball operations during General Manager Sandy Alderson’s medical leave of absence.
“I’ve had a conversation following up with Omar,” Cashman said. “I’ll stay in touch with the Mets as well as everybody throughout. There’s no full-court press that I can do. It’s a dance that anybody’s willing to dance with you.”
Cashman can probably pick his dance partner, because no other contender — except, perhaps, the Atlanta Braves — can match his trove of prospects. Teams often ask for outfielder Clint Frazier, and though Cashman said he was not “easily accessible,” Frazier could headline an impressive offer.
“I have a lot of high-end talent that’s taken a long time to acquire or cultivate,” Cashman said. “But it’s going to cost something to get stuff.”
It stands to reason that the Yankees could also dangle a young fill-in starter — Jonathan Loaisiga or Domingo German — in a repeat of past deals. They got Aaron Boone for Brandon Claussen in July 2003, and Didi Gregorius for Shane Greene after the 2014 season, among other examples.