With three games left before the All-Star break, the Yankees sit at 61-31 with a .663 winning percentage. That record is good for second best in all of baseball. Their most immediate need is starting pitcher. So why should the Yankees target [VIDEO] an impact bat, like Manny Machado?

The division is slipping away

Sure I'm probably overreacting because the Red Sox are impossibly hot right now, but the division is slipping away from New York. Yes, it's only mid-July. There are still around 70 games left to be played. Mind you, the Yankees made up a 7.5 game deficit in the span of April 20 to May 16, only 26 days. Granted, it's not quite as bad as it was then, and the Yankees are playing much better now, obviously.

However, the Red Sox simply don't lose. If the Yankees were in any other division, they'd be leading that division by as much as 11 games if they played in the AL Central. However, they don't. They're in the vaunted (albeit top heavy) AL East. If you're a betting man, the safest bet would be on one of the two AL East powerhouses to win the World Series.

As I said earlier, the Red Sox just don't lose. Recency bias is definitely in play here, but it's mind-boggling that they have 29 losses. They've won 10 straight, and with three more against the middling Blue Jays, followed by the All-Star Break, then three against the tanking Tigers, followed by a three-game set with the abysmal (unless they're playing the Yankees) Orioles, then a four-game set with the underwhelming Twins. Then they play some real competition in the Phillies.

It's entirely possible that they will win 23 games in a row at least.

However, despite the current schedule for the Sox being somewhat of a cakewalk, they do have a brutal second half ahead of them. They still have four games against the Phillies, 10 against New York, four against Cleveland, three against Houston and three against the Braves. Sure, on paper Boston is better than all of those teams, but you can't predict baseball. I mean, the Sox could (but unfortunately won't) lose to the Tigers or Orioles or Blue Jays. The point is, there's no real end in sight to Boston's hot streak.

With all that being said, the Yankees are 61-31 and are legitimately the second best team in baseball. The only problem? The best team in baseball plays in their division and is running away with it. It almost feels wrong to say that a 61 win team is in desperation mode, but the Sox schedule remains easy and they just aren't losing. The Yankees almost need to make a move in order to get back above water.

Injuries

So how does a preseason World Series favorite find itself in halfway desperation mode? A rash of injuries, to start. They lost a starter earlier in the year, Jordan Montgomery, and haven't quite been able to replace him. Sure, Jonathan Loaisiga pitched fairly well and posted a 3.00 ERA in his four starts, but he only averaged 4.5 innings in those starts. Domingo German has been very up and down posting a 5.06 ERA despite showing flashes and having some very good starts.

All-Star catcher Gary Sanchez, despite batting under .200, was heating up and still had plenty of home runs and RBI before hitting the DL. Austin Romine and Kyle Higiashoka have tried to replace him. In 15 games since the injury, Romine is batting .188. Higiashoka is batting .208.

Gleyber Torres, the frontrunner for Rookie of the Year, was lost just recently to a hip strain. Neil Walker, in his absence, is batting .250 with two RBI over seven games. Tyler Wade is batting .400, but with much less production.

Sure, once the All-Star break passes, the Yanks will be healthy again. But how big will Boston's division lead be by then? The Yankees have three more against the tough Indians, while Boston has three against the basement-dwelling Blue Jays. For all intents and purposes, let's say the Sox sweep, and the Yankees split. That puts the Yankees 5.5 games back. They haven't been that far behind since April.

Point blank, the Yankees almost have to make a move if they want to avoid a one-game-do-or-die against Seattle, Houston or the like.

Rumors

The Yankees do need a frontline ace, such as Jacob DeGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Madison Bumgarner or Blake Snell. However, those pitchers haven't been made available as of yet, and the available pitchers don't really help the Yankees. Chris Archer would be the best option, but is declining and wouldn't be a top three starter on the Yankees and thus wouldn't help in the playoffs. Michael Fulmer is controllable, but he has a 4.11 ERA and also wouldn't help in the playoffs. I dare say Sonny Gray would be better. Cole Hamels has postseason experience, but also probably wouldn't help the postseason rotation and would cost more than the others. J.A. Happ has decent splits against the AL playoff teas, but seemingly gets worse with each start and wouldn't crack the top three. Pass.

The Yankees have a vaunted bullpen. Since June 1, the Yankees bullpen has posted a 1.64 ERA. Put in Layman's terms, they don't need a reliever. So, why are the Yankees looking at adding the Orioles Zach Britton? None of the starters available are worth any Yankee prospects. But Britton, despite a down year, would make the already unhittable Yankee bullpen even more daunting. The Yankees would now need fewer innings out of their starter as they would have so many All-Star level relievers ready to come in and shut it down.

The Yankees would not even need five innings from a starter, giving Aaron Boone the ability to pull them at the first sight of trouble and get it snuffed out. The Yankees bullpen would be unstoppable.

The Yankees also (when healthy) have the deepest lineup in the league. Top to bottom, there are almost no easy outs. Everyone is a threat. A dilemma pondered by Kevin Kernan of The New York Post - why do the Yankees need to acquire Manny Machado [VIDEO]? They can slug their way to a championship, despite their pitching struggles. A lineup featuring Aaron Judge, Manny Machado, Giancarlo Stanton, Gary Sanchez, and company would be one of the most prolific we've ever seen. Sure, Miguel Andùjar is exceeding expectations and if not for teammate Gleyber Torres would be the Rookie of the Year. But he's no Manny Machado. Manny would put them over the top and most likely get them past Boston. So, like Kevin Kernan said, "Whatever it takes."

However, many teams, including the rival Red Sox are interested in Manny Machado, according to Mike Axisa of CBS Sports. The Orioles will, of course, take the best offer, which will drive the Yankees to offer higher if they want to acquire Machado.

Of course, trading for Manny Machado relegates Miguel Andùjar to the bench. However, if an ace like the aforementioned ones becomes available, Andùjar would be a very tantalizing centerpiece. So, the Yankees get an impact bat to overstock their lineup and then grab a frontline starter to complete the roster and cement them as the most well-rounded team in baseball.