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Where does Brian Cashman stand on DJ LeMahieu and Gleyber Torres as trade deadline nears?

ST. PETERSBURG — With the Yankees struggling and the July 30 trade deadline nearing, Brian Cashman said that he’s going to be “open-minded to a lot of different things” when it comes to improving his club.

“I’m not going to point out anything specific, but we definitely have areas to improve upon, and we’ll do our best to do so,” the general manager continued on Tuesday.

While the bullpen is an obvious need, the Yankees also have a few concerns in their infield. DJ LeMahieu is by far the biggest.

The third baseman’s return from a broken foot, suffered in spring training, has hardly been a positive for the team. LeMahieu, 35, is hitting .206/.295/.234 with three doubles, zero home runs, 11 RBI and a 60 wRC+ over 33 games after going 2-for-4 with two singles in Tuesday’s series-opening loss to the Rays.

A two-time batting champ, LeMahieu has five hits in his last three games. However, well-struck balls to the outfield have become notable for him, as he has a 57.1 groundball rate this season. Still, Cashman is holding out hope that LeMahieu can still be a productive player.

“It’d be great to get DJ going again,” the executive said while declining to say if third base is a need. “He looked good in the spring before that injury, and coming out of the gates, knocking the rust out, we’re trying to get him going. I know he’s trying to get going, too.”

Added LeMahieu on Sunday: “It’s been frustrating. But just no other thing to do but dig in and keep going, keep competing and doing everything I can to help this team win.”

In addition to poor surface numbers, some of LeMahieu’s metrics, including, his average exit velocity, Hard-Hit% and Chase%, haven’t left much room for encouragement.

When asked why he’s confident LeMahieu can click, Cashman initially said “we’ll see” before adding “the back of the baseball card, the history of the player,” and injuries over the last few years.

“At some point, hopefully, the version of DJ LeMahieu that we’re used to seeing will be back,” Cashman said.

Cashman sounded a little more confident in Gleyber Torres’ ability to contribute more, something he’s started to do lately while battling a nagging groin injury.

Torres is hitting .223/.296/.343 with eight home runs, 34 RBI and an 85 wRC+ this season. After going 1-for-4 with an RBI single on Tuesday, he’s 9-for-30 (.300) over his last eight games.

Still, Torres is far from his previous All-Star form. Cashman wondered if the second baseman’s impending free agency has had an impact while praising the 27-year-old’s capabilities.

“It’s been a struggle for him,” Cashman said. “Sometimes those free agent walk years can come back and haunt you. I’m not sure if that’s the added pressure that might be weighing him down or holding him back or not.

“He’s a really talented player. Last year, he was our second-best hitter behind Aaron Judge and our best hitter, obviously, once Judge went down. So you know what caliber player he is. So we’re anxiously and hopefully waiting on that because I know he could have a really positive impact on that lineup.”


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