NEW YORK -- The July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline is still about a month away, but Yankees general manager Brian Cashman does not want to wait.
"I'm ready to rock and roll," Cashman said prior to Monday's game against the Rays. "But again, I think those who have [trade pieces] are taking their time. Certain pieces, it's been communicated that if they get what they want, which would be an extreme haul, they're ready to move sooner than later."
Cashman's comments reiterated his point from Saturday that he was actively trying to improve the Yankees, and the reason the team has not executed a trade yet is "not because a lack of phone calls."
Monday's game against the Rays is the Yankees' 81st game this season, officially the halfway point in the schedule. The Yankees (41-39), two games out of first place in the American League East, were tied with the Blue Jays and Orioles in the loss column entering Monday.
"We're fortunate to be two games out with poor performance and injuries," Cashman said.
That has especially hindered the starting rotation. Ivan Nova was lost for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, Michael Pineda is not projected back until sometime in August and CC Sabathia just completed his first Minor League rehab start and is expected to return in the next few weeks.
And their replacements in the rotation have offered mostly mixed results. Vidal Nuno is 2-4 with a 5.42 ERA, David Phelps was 3-4 with a 4.35 ERA entering Monday and rookie Chase Whitley has dropped his last two starts, allowing 13 runs in his last 7 1/3 innings.
Cubs right-hander Jeff Samardzija and Rays left-hander David Price, who is scheduled to start against the Yankees on Tuesday, are two of the top targets around the Majors, but both teams are expected to have a high asking price in exchange. Other starters such as Jason Hammel (Cubs), Cliff Lee (Phillies) and Ian Kennedy (Padres) are expected to be more in the Yankees' price range.
"I just think it's always difficult to acquire anything that's impactful and significant," Cashman said. "Those are tough conversations to have, and they usually hurt a great deal to do so. That's my experience and it seems like it gets harder, rather than easier. But you've got to go through it. You've got to figure it out and find a way if you can run into something that's going to impact you."
Asked if other clubs have been requesting right-hander Dellin Betances in trade talks, the GM declined to comment, but added: "I wouldn't say who gets asked a lot about. But I do know that we have personnel that are very attractive to other clubs -- personnel that I typically wouldn't want to part with. But we'll go through the walk and see where it takes me."
Jamal Collier is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.