Cashman says Yanks still plan to be buyers

GM believes there's enough time before Trade Deadline for turnaround

Cashman says Yanks still plan to be buyers

NEW YORK -- There has been no directive from ownership to break up the Yankees' roster, according to general manager Brian Cashman, who suggested the club may instead attempt to add pieces over the next several weeks in order to help their chances at a postseason run.

"If anything right now, we'd be buyers, not sellers, and who's to say we can't be both buyers and sellers?" Cashman said. "But obviously the big focus everybody wants to know is, are we going to be in a position to sell? You've heard from ownership; that's not part of the vocabulary right now.

"There's enough schedule left to allow us time to see if this team is closer to what we thought it was capable of."

The Yankees (34-35) entered play on Tuesday in fourth place in the American League East, six games behind the division-leading Orioles. In New York on Monday evening, managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said that he had no intention of raising a white flag on the 2016 season.

"The last month has been promising," Steinbrenner said. "The offense up and down the line is starting to produce. [Chase] Headley certainly had a rough start; he's hitting now. And you're starting to see other guys contribute, too. I like what I've seen the last month. We just have to stay healthy."

Steinbrenner sees Yanks' path to postseason

Cashman said that he still believes the 2016 Yankees are a better team than the '15 squad, which won 87 games before losing to the Astros in the AL Wild Card Game, but they have not played to their capabilities.

"I think you're seeing examples of some guys now, putting the fog of some really bad performance -- especially in April -- behind them and playing more up to their abilities," Cashman said. "We're still trying to get everybody firing on all cylinders at the same time so we can show the team's true ability."

It has been suggested that the Yankees could shop some of their most attractive pieces prior to the Aug. 1 non-waiver Trade Deadline, including Carlos Beltran, Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller, but Cashman said that there are no such discussions underway.

"Listen, we're not going to be a seller unless ownership green lights that," Cashman said. "I'll have an honest dialogue with ownership every step of the way, as I always do. If we feel at a date in the future that that's a necessity, then trust me, I'll recommend it, and they'll make a decision based on their comfort level."

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that, to avoid that situation, he needs to see more consistency from the roster.

"The trading deadline is approximately six weeks away, and obviously you need to put yourself in a position to be in competition for those spots or some people are going to say, 'Sell,'" Girardi said. "There's a sense of urgency, because you start to run out of months. The way this team was constructed was to get a lead and turn it over to our bullpen. We have to get better at it."

Cashman said that he does not sense that Steinbrenner is receptive to unloading players in-season, sticking with the organizational mantra of putting a championship-caliber product on the field.

"We just don't do a lot of it because we're always trying to live for today," Cashman said. "That's the job description handed down from above." 

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.