LOS ANGELES -- Help is not on the way.
The New York Yankees, who have dropped to just four games above .500 and 8 1/2 games behind the first-place Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East, were unable to complete a deal by the conclusion of Major League Baseball’s non-waiver trade deadline, meaning they are likely to play out the remainder of the 2013 season with the players already on their aging and injury-depleted roster.
"We’ll have to contend with what we have right now unless we find ways to improve it," Cashman said on a conference call with Yankee beat writers Wednesday afternoon. "It wasn’t a deep market at all, and obviously what I was offering wasn’t enough."
Instead, Cashman said, the Yankees would attempt to piece together a competitive roster with the expected return of centerfielder Curtis Granderson, perhaps as early as Friday night, and the possible return of Kevin Youkilis, who is recovering from back surgery but could return in late September. Alex Rodriguez's status is, of course, uncertain.
"Once we get all of these guys back, we certainly will be a team that has a chance to take a run at this thing," Cashman said.
As the 4 p.m. ET deadline approached, there were reports that Philadelphia Phillies infielder Michael Young, who has a no-trade clause in his contract, had agreed to allow a trade to the Yankees and that the two teams were talking.
But it did not come together, and Cashman would not provide specifics about any potential trades.
"We had a lot of conversations with a lot of organizations," Cashman said. "But we didn’t get anything that would lead us to deal."
Cashman did say the Yankees might revisit the possibility of acquiring some of the players they had been interested in throughout August, when players will be required to clear waivers before they can be traded.
In the meantime, Cashman pointed to the Yankees' recent acquisition of Alfonso Soriano as "the big bat we got," and to the expected return of Granderson, who hit 84 home runs in his previous two seasons with the Yankees, to provide a lift to his struggling offense.
As for Rodriguez, he is scheduled for a simulated game in Tampa on Thursday, but after that, his future is decidedly unsettled; he is widely expected to be suspended, and perhaps even facing a lifetime ban, when baseball announces it discipline for players involved with Biogenesis, an announcement that could come at any time.
Cashman refused comment on any question regarding MLB’s pending actions regarding A-Rod, and when asked if he was frustrated by his inability to improve the Yankees through a trade, said, "Not at all. You can’t push for something that isn’t there."
And clearly, the Yankees' GM seemed to be focusing on the possibility that the Yankees could rally to attain the second AL Wild Card berth; they are currently 3 1/2 games out and behind three other teams for that spot.
"I didn’t say we couldn’t win the division, but you have to walk before you can run," Cashman said.
And in addition to his failure to complete a deal, Cashman offered one more nugget of bad news -- Francisco Cervelli, who was expected to be the Yankees’ starting catcher after an excellent spring training, is now unlikely to play again this season due to lingering pain in his broken right thumb, as well as soreness in his throwing elbow.
Cervelli will be examined by Dr. James Andrews for the problem in his elbow, which cropped up during his rehab from the broken finger, suffered on a foul tip back in April.
"None of this information is positive," Cashman said of Cervelli. "We’re running out of time and it’s looking like he’s done for the year."
You might say the same about the Yankees.