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Yanks must prioritize their needs

7/29/2014
The Yanks need a corner outfielder, a backup for Tex and a pitcher. Who should they go after first? Getty Images

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Yankees need, in no particular order, a starting pitcher, a corner outfielder, a backup first baseman and a boatload of wins.

GM Brian Cashman can't trade for the last item on that list, but he can do something about the other three.

The question: What does he go after first?

It's an almost impossible question to answer without knowing precisely who is available and at what cost, but it would seem to me that the order should be: outfielder, first baseman and pitcher.

Obviously, those first two can be flip-flopped, because the odds are Mark Teixeira is not going to make it through the last 57 games of the season unscathed, and we've already seen that replacing a major league first baseman is not like stashing your portly uncle at first base in a family picnic softball game.

But the Yankees do not hit enough, as we've seen all season and saw again in Monday night's 4-2 loss to the Texas Rangers.

So I'm thinking corner outfielder with some power first. Josh Willingham, maybe? That's Cashman's job to figure out.

Then, the Yankees need a legitimate backup for Teixeira, because if there's one true mistake you can point to this offseason, it was the judgment that somehow a 34-year-old player with a recent history of nagging injuries would be able to bounce back from a serious wrist surgery, and a season limited to just 15 games, to put in a full workload this year. The failure to sign an insurance policy behind Teixeira has haunted the Yankees all season.

Then comes pitching, because truthfully, the rotation they have cobbled together after losing four of their five starters has been OK, given the proper run support. Which, of course, it hasn't received.

I don't propose to know who the Yankees will trade for or pursue through waiver claims, and even if I were to guess, Cashman's history with surprise deals probably means the guesses would be wrong anyway. And I get tired of being wrong.

So to kick off this non-waiver trade deadline week -- it's all over by 4 p.m. Thursday -- I throw it out to you:

In what order should the Yankees pursue late-season help between outfield, first base and starting pitching? (Maybe second base, too, although I'm not as down on Brian Roberts as many of you.)

Anyway, let us know where you would like the shopping spree to begin. Later in the week, we'll get into some specific names.

Up now: The Rapid Reaction from Monday night's loss, as well as my postgame blog on the Yankees' frustrating habit of never making any real progress this season.

On deck: Game 2 of this three-game series, Brandon McCarthy (2-0, 1.45 as a Yankee) vs. RHP Nick Martinez (1-6, 4.73), first pitch at 8:05 p.m. Clubhouse opens at 4:35 p.m., lineups and pregame news and notes to follow shortly thereafter. As always, thanks for reading.