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Brian Cashman on Zach Britton, trade deadline, and more

Brian Cashman was kind enough to jump on a conference call Wednesday morning with members of the media to discuss the Zach Britton trade, Gary Sanchez’s DL stint, and everything else that’s currently going on with the Yankees’ trade deadline.  The below is an overview of the topics discussed, and Cashman’s responses to said topics.

On the reasons for acquiring Zach Britton

“We weren’t looking at a reliever specifically.  We have evaluated every player on the market and assessed whether they could help the team out immediately.  Zach is a great player and great clubhouse guy.  He has a power sinker, and we’d like to see him get back to his All-Star form.  He’s had an amazing career so far, has great ability, lots of success, has a great work ethic and is a great teammate.  We picked him up because these are all the attributes you want on a team.  They all give each other cover now because we already have so many amazing guys on the team.  When someone’s struggling, someone can pick them up.”

On how trade conspired, if move was made to spite Red Sox/Astros

“We did it to help our team out, and that’s all we’re looking for right now.  The best way to do business is put a price tag on something.  If someone asks for too much, you pull it back.  We felt we were in a great position to grab a quality guy, so it didn’t matter what other teams were in it.  It definitely helped a lot that we were talking to Duq (Dan Duquette) about Manny Machado.  It helped a lot.  We built rapport that way, but it looked like they wanted to take care of the Manny situation first.  Once they took care of the Manny situation, then we were able to talk and eventually hit the ground running about the possibility of acquiring Zach. “

On how Britton will be used, if he is in backup for closer role

“I’ll let Aaron Boone and Larry Rothschild decide what his role is.  You can never have too many bullpen arms.  You saw that in the Wild Card game last year.  Sevy had a rough go of it in the first inning and I think we got eight innings out of our bullpen.  You don’t use strategy for that, it just kind of happens.  The bullpen allowed us to win that game.  Chapman was not a factor in acquiring Zach Britton.  He’s had these knee issues and he’s worked through them.  He’s been successful despite the issues and it’s more of a maintenance thing.  However it didn’t factor into getting Britton.  We got him because he has high end ability, ability to mesh with the clubhouse, and is always a legitimate choice to navigate the opposing offensive waters.”

On potentially acquiring starting pitching at deadline

“We just need to do whatever we can to punch our ticket to the postseason.  Our goal is always the same;  Win the division.  We’ve continued to evaluate starting pitchers, both in and outside the organization.  We love the young guys, so there are plenty of pitching options if the right deal doesn’t come along.  We’re really looking forward to seeing Sheffield, Adams, and Loaisiga in the future.  They haven’t even really been deployed at the major league level.”

On losing Gary Sanchez to DL, potential trade targets at catcher

“It always isn’t a good thing when you lose a player of Gary’s caliber, especially at catcher.  That position is always thin with insurance, and even more so now.  Romine has done a great job all season, and Hig has been great since he’s come up.  His last stint was excellent, and he’s always been known as one of the best framers.  We have protection to some degree but we always need to look at our options.  We need to look at all aspects and see what’s out there.  It’s hard seeing how other clubs deal with it too because it’s already a thin position and hard to solve.”

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