By Brendan Kuty
With the Yankees set to return from the All-Star break Friday, assistant general manager Billy Eppler tempered expectations of what the club might be able to make happen before the July 31 trade deadline.
Speaking with Joe Beningo and Evan Roberts on WFAN radio, Eppler said it might be difficult for the Yankees to top via trades what they’ve gotten back from the disabled list.
Eppler added that general manager Brian Cashman has already engaged clubs in trade talks and that the organization’s scouts are staying alert.
Here’s the full text of what Eppler told the radio station when asked what might be the Yankees’ main focus in trade discussions:
“Hard to say from a specific standpoint. I know Cash has been having conversations with clubs, will continue to have conversations with clubs. We kind of check in. I’ll check in with some counterparts and our scouts out in the field will have some conversations here and there and just kind of keep their ears open. Our antennas are up. There will be some conversations. And Cashman will have those conversations regarding what we might be able to do. He’ll take those to ownership. But often times the seller is the one with the leverage and it’s generally a seller’s market with an extra wildcard added in. There’s less players. Less clubs that are out there. So that shrinks your player pool and raises the acquisition costs of guys. And a lot of time the opportunity just doesn’t present itself. …It’s hard to just sit here and say we’re going to be able to have more of an impact than we’ve gotten back than with (Jacoby) Ellsbury coming back, with miller coming back with (Ivan) Nova jumping into the rotation that pushed Adam Warren into the bullpen and that lengthens the bullpen there. So you sit here and you’ve added a (Adam) Warren and a (Andrew) Miller to your bullpen, you’ve put Ellsbury back into your outfield and you’ve put Nova in your starting rotation, you have players internally that are really close and they’re knocking on the door, whether it’s (Rob) Refsnyder who’s just came up whether it’s an Aaron Judge or a (Greg) Bird or a (Luis) Severino or a (Ramon) Flores or a (Slade) Heathcott or what have you, there’s internal options. Bryan Mitchell has made an impact out of the bullpen. Nick Rumbelow did well when he was up here. But getting those guys healthy, it’s just hard to say that the trade deadline is going to present as good of an opportunity.”