Yankees: Goal is world title, not division
The Rays have made it very clear their goal is to win the AL East title.
The Yankees, not so much.
GM Brian Cashman told Newsday they will rest players and use their bullpen cautiously over the remaining 2 1/2 weeks - including, apparently, next week's four-game series with the Rays - with more of an eye on being prepared for the playoffs than fending off the Rays for the AL East championship.
"We don't have to win these series at all costs," Cashman said. "We're in this thing to win a World Series. Our focus is a World Series, not 10 years from now being known as division champions. If you're not World Series champions, nothing else matters. Nobody really remembers."
Also, he said: "We do care about winning [the division]. But do you want to run your bullpen into the ground for games this week or do you want to make sure guys are healthy for the entire run? I'd rather be where we're currently sitting and be healthy for the entire run."
Cashman also said he had no issue with manager Joe Girardi not using his top relievers during the series with the Rays at the Trop.
"For this series in Baltimore we're better equipped than we were going into (last weekend in Texas) because the manager made decisions with the big picture in mind," Cashman said. "That doesn't mean we're conceding anything. We could have swept the whole series but we didn't. Tampa won those games and you have to give them credit. We'll live to fight another day."