BOSTON — If nothing else, the past week has reinforced the Yankees’ need for starting-pitching help, as each starter was smacked around over the last turn of the rotation.
General manager Brian Cashman acknowledged Friday the Yankees have hit “a bad stretch,” but added it wouldn’t force him into making any moves prior to Wednesday’s trade deadline, though he would like to.
“We’ve entered this process and the deadline with a pretty good feel of what we’d like to do, what we’re willing to pay for it and also having the built-in discipline of walking away if we don’t find the right matches under those circumstances,’’ Cashman said before the Yankees faced the Red Sox at Fenway Park, a day after Masahiro Tanaka allowed 12 runs. “That’s regardless of what’s happened in the last week.’’
The Yankees still have a comfortable lead in the AL East, which gives Cashman the ability to not force a trade. Nevertheless, they remain open to talks with nearly every team — including the Mets.
“I’m fully engaged with every team except the Boston Red Sox,’’ Cashman said of whether he had any restrictions about dealing with the Mets. “That’s about it.”
Either Zack Wheeler or Noah Syndergaard would give the Yankees’ rotation a boost and the teams have scouted each other, but there remains skepticism about whether the Mets would make a significant trade with their crosstown rivals, especially when it could help Cashman’s club in the postseason.
The Blue Jays’ Marcus Stroman, the Tigers’ Matthew Boyd and the Rangers’ Mike Minor are among the other candidates the Yankees could land. They also could turn to bullpen help if the asking price for quality starting pitching is deemed too steep.
“I’d certainly like to reinforce our club and add to it if possible,’’ Cashman said.
As of Friday, no matches had been found.
“We fully expect a number of teams competing for a postseason berth to do everything in their power to improve,’’ Cashman said. “We’ve done a lot of work to get ourselves here already. We’ve got a lot of depth, some of which is coming back from the [injured] list at some point. We have that as a safety net, but it’s not precluding me from being very busy on the phone to see if I match up regardless.”
And if nothing changes by Wednesday, Cashman said he would be OK with that.
“Our fallback is to maintain what we currently have on the active roster and hopefully we finish off rehabs well with [Luis Severino] and [Dellin] Betances and [Jonathan] Loaisiga and utilize the system we have to augment in September and beyond.’’
Severino would be a significant addition to the rotation, if there’s enough time to get him built up as a starter. That could depend on whether the Yankees are able to stay far enough ahead in the division.
“I think we’ll be able to stretch him out to some degree,’’ Cashman said. “To what level that is … remains to be seen.”
It could be 45 pitches or it could be 100, depending on Severino’s progress from the lat strain that has sidelined him.
“We’re gonna continue to look, whether it’s pen or rotation,’’ Cashman said. “And if we can, great. And if we can’t, then we’ll go with what we’ve got.”