​Somehow, even sitting at an 84-50 record, it's been well over a month since the 2018 New York Yankees felt like a team the could win the World Series, even in our wildest dreams.


In fact, since Jakob Junis' inside pitch nicked the wrist of Aaron Judge, the flaws have opened up wide in this previously-vaunted roster. When the rotation takes a day off, the bats show up. When the starters are flawless, nobody hits. When everybody works well for eight standout innings, the ninth turns into a disaster.


For about six weeks now, the Yankees have been perfectly above-average, but a little unbalanced.


But if ​Andrew McCutchen arrives on Friday afternoon, that could change plenty.

​​Lost in all the Yankees' acceptable water-treading is the fact that their roster has been decidedly destroyed by injuries. While they're never an excuse, they probably should be for this bunch. The roster that raced out to a Wild Card lead definitely didn't include Austin Romine and Kyle Higashioka alternating starts behind the plate, Neil Walker playing right field, and Shane Robinson starting more games than virtually any other member of the roster.


And -- unpopular opinion alert -- god bless Aaron Boone for getting hit with 100 haymakers in his first big league managerial season and having this team 34 games over .500.


With the ​potential addition of McCutchen, that all changes this weekend. Gary Sanchez will finally be activated Saturday, looking every bit of the Gary Sanchez we're familiar with in Triple-A. Didi Gregorius is testing his heel and could be back for the Oakland series, if not slightly thereafter.


And Greg Bird will...uh...well, Luke Voit is still here mashing, I'm not sure what the problem is.

Nearly as important as the way McCutchen completes the roster is the way he completes the clubhouse. No Yankee fan wants to admit it, but the imperceptible things beyond the stat sheet that Todd Frazier brought to the 2017 club won't soon be forgotten. McCutchen, even as a faded MVP who won't hit .330 with 20 bombs in a month, is an all-time clubhouse presence.


And this is not to mention, of course, that his "down year" includes a .357 OBP that ranks third on the team behind Aaron Hicks and Aaron Judge, who, dirty secret, we might not be seeing again anytime soon.

Unless you guys want him to stand in the box with the bat on his shoulders without moving it, my hopes are quite low.


When thinking of McCutchen's impact, there's no reason to demand he take over the offense and pull an '08 Sabathia at the plate. He just needs to be an upgrade over Shane Robinson, and he'll be that with his eyes closed.


And who knows? His gelling persona may be the secret sauce to a world title. Even if the Yankees don't compete for a title -- hell, even if they flame out in the Wild Card -- this is now far closer to a World Series roster than it was yesterday. The team needed a bat to feel legitimate again, and Brian Cashman went out and got the best one on the market. 


Now, it's time to stop treading water and swim. After all, it's all about rhythm and balance. McCutchen certainly helps fix those scales.