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Brett Gardner is drawing “significant” trade interest

Dec 7, 2013, 3:09 PM EDT

With last night’s signing of Carlos Beltran, the Yankees officially have a surplus of outfielders. And more than a few teams are wondering if they would consider cashing in on that depth in order to upgrade in other areas.

David Waldstein of the New York Times hears the same. Many have speculated that Gardner could potentially be moved as part of a deal for Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips, though it’s unclear whether there’s legitimate interest from either side. Still, ESPN’s Buster Olney believes that the Yankees are more likely to trade for infield help than pay a high price in the free agent market, possibly for someone like Omar Infante.

On a related note, Reds general manager Walt Jocketty told Mark Sheldon of MLB.com at RedsFest today that a Phillips-to-New York rumor earlier this offseason was leaked by the Yankees as part of a negotiating tactic with Robinson Cano. It could be a little awkward to have those conversations again now, but if their needs match up, why not? WFAN’s Sweeny Murti thinks that a Gardner-for-Homer Bailey deal could make more sense.

Gardner, 30, batted .273/.344/.416 with 51 extra base hits (including a career-high eight homers), 52 RBI and 24 stolen bases this past season and is slated to hit free agency next winter.

113 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. southofheaven81 - Dec 7, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    Boooo. I want to see Gardner Ichiro & Ellsbury killing it in the outfield this year.

    • genericcommenter - Dec 7, 2013 at 7:09 PM

      The 2nd guy is probably only capable of killing rallies at this point, or the past 3 years.

  2. Kevin S. - Dec 7, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    Again, no effing way the Yankees trade the better, younger, cheaper player without the Reds picking up a massive amount of Phillip’s remaining salary. Best bet for a Gardner trade would be a SP also in his last year (possibly last two years) of arbitration. That way, Yanks can get a similarly talented player for him. Much more control than that, and the Yanks are likely to have to take back an inferior player.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 7, 2013 at 3:40 PM

      Mind joining me as a charter member of the “Just Say Hell No to Brandon Phillips” Club?

      • Kevin S. - Dec 7, 2013 at 3:59 PM

        Sure. I mean, I’d take him if Cinci kicked in like 60% of his salary and the Yanks were only giving back a warm body, but I’m sure there are enough GMs who buy in on teh RBIz to give Jocketty a better offer than that.

      • Kevin S. - Dec 7, 2013 at 4:04 PM

        And besides, I think RAB already chartered that club.

      • spudchukar - Dec 7, 2013 at 4:18 PM

        Gardner is not going to garner Bailey. So perhaps the Yankees can include Nunez and someone else, and get Phillips too.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 7, 2013 at 4:24 PM

        Gardner is not going to garner Bailey. So perhaps the Yankees can include Nunez and someone else, and get Phillips too.

        DEAL!

      • Kevin S. - Dec 7, 2013 at 4:34 PM

        No, not a deal. Not at Phillips full contract value. Nunez is sub-replacement, but since he’s not making anything he doesn’t have negative value (he can always be benched/released). Gardner has slightly (but not insignificantly) more value than Bailey, and Phillips has negative value.

      • spudchukar - Dec 7, 2013 at 5:34 PM

        I just don’t know who the Yanks have as trade material to make the 3 for 2 deal work.

      • Kevin S. - Dec 7, 2013 at 6:01 PM

        Uh, the Yankees don’t have to kick in more, unless the Reds are eating gobs of money.

      • genericcommenter - Dec 7, 2013 at 7:10 PM

        I think everyone who doesn’t want to trade a cheap, valuable player for an expensive barely average player is already in the club. See you at the next meeting.

      • realitypolice - Dec 7, 2013 at 9:04 PM

        I’m in

    • thomas844 - Dec 7, 2013 at 3:45 PM

      It’s not a matter of who is better and cheaper between Gardner and Phillips, it’s a matter of need. The Yankees need a quality 2B but they have a surplus of OFs.

      • Kevin S. - Dec 7, 2013 at 3:53 PM

        You’re acting like Brandon Phillips is the only possible option for a Gardner trade. No, the Yankees are not about to take the Reds could-go-over-the-cliff-at-any-time second baseman and the $50 million he’s still owed off their hands. I wouldn’t sign Phillips to what’s left on his deal if he was a free agent with no draft pick compensation attached to him. Phillips is maybe a win better than Kelly Johnson. There just isn’t any need to surrender money and talent to acquire him.

        As for the Yanks’ surplus of outfielders, you’re implying Vernon Wells and Ichiro still have a pulse. One’s a fourth OF, the other’s DFA material. Absolutely no need to panic trade a four-win outfielder for pennies on the dollar.

      • thomas844 - Dec 7, 2013 at 4:05 PM

        Can’t argue with any of that.

      • paperlions - Dec 7, 2013 at 4:06 PM

        They also need quality starting pitchers, and Phillips is over-rated, expensive, and declining quickly with the bat. Trading Gardner for a pitcher of similar value and salary would allow the Yankees to sign Infante for much less than it would cost to get Phillips and they would get similar production with less mouth.

      • thomas844 - Dec 7, 2013 at 4:10 PM

        @paperlions I wouldn’t say Phillips is declining with the bat. His end numbers in 2013 don’t look good, but he wasn’t the same after being hit in the hand midseason. Before being hit, he had a .296/.347/.481 slash line and .241/.288/.349 after. If he fully recovers this offseason, he can still provide solid offense.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 7, 2013 at 4:26 PM

        @paperlions I wouldn’t say Phillips is declining with the bat.

        I would. Last three years (’11-’12′-’13)
        BB% – 6.5%, 4.5%, 5.9% (all awful)
        K% – 12.6%, 12.7%, 14.7%
        ISO – .157, .148, .135
        BABIP – .322, .298, .281
        wOBA – .353, .325, .307
        wRC+: 122, 101, 91

        notice a trend?

      • spudchukar - Dec 7, 2013 at 4:26 PM

        Sorry Kevin, but the “1 win better” is risible. You greatly under value Phillips defensive abilities. And I don’t even care for the dude, too much drama for me. And Phillips did drop off precipitously offensively after his hand injury.

      • Kevin S. - Dec 7, 2013 at 4:29 PM

        Not really, spuds. Johnson is a 1-1.5 win player with roughly a full season of PA. Phillips is a 2-2.5 win player. I don’t undervalue his defense, because his defense is basically the only reason he remains playable.

      • thomas844 - Dec 7, 2013 at 4:30 PM

        I see the trend, but the point I was making to paperlions is that that trend was moving upward the first half of the season if you look at his slash line before getting hit by a pitch in the hand. I believe as long as he fully recovers, he will put up much better overall offensive numbers than he did in 2013.

      • spudchukar - Dec 7, 2013 at 4:44 PM

        Plus, sometimes WAR becomes meaningless. You have to fill needs with surplus. And other teams are aware of the Yankee situation.

      • spudchukar - Dec 7, 2013 at 4:45 PM

        Kelly Johnson is not a plus WAR player.

      • Kevin S. - Dec 7, 2013 at 4:47 PM

        The Yankees do not have a surplus of outfielders. Ichiro is replacement level. Beltran and Soriano are not each wearing a glove every day. The Yankees *can* replace Gardner in FA, but the player will either cost a lot more or won’t be as good. Therefore, they shouldn’t trade him unless they get equal value.

      • Kevin S. - Dec 7, 2013 at 4:48 PM

        Really?

        http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=2234&position=2B
        http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/j/johnske05.shtml

      • spudchukar - Dec 7, 2013 at 6:04 PM

        They are both inaccurate.

      • Kevin S. - Dec 7, 2013 at 6:19 PM

        Please, show us the spudWAR calculations, then.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 7, 2013 at 6:26 PM

        I see the trend, but the point I was making to paperlions is that that trend was moving upward the first half of the season if you look at his slash line before getting hit by a pitch in the hand

        Ok, I’ll do ’11, ’12 and first half of ’13 (removing second half)

        BB% – 6.5%, 4.5%, 6.4% (all awful)
        K% – 12.6%, 12.7%, 13.7%
        ISO – .157, .148, .146
        BABIP – .322, .298, .278
        wOBA – .353, .325, .318
        wRC+: 122, 101, 99

        He’s still declining.

      • genericcommenter - Dec 7, 2013 at 7:22 PM

        They don’t have 3 OFs better than Gardner.

        Right now, with Cano’s departure, Gardner is the best player from 2013 still on the roster. And it’s not even close when it comes to position players. They added 2 guys, but they only had 1 starter in Gardner, maybe 2 if you count Soriano – who was completely worthless ages 33-35 and decent 36-37.

        They have a surplus of guys who shouldn’t be on MLB rosters or might be worth 4th OF roles strictly for nostalgia. They don’t have a surplus of starting OFs. Of course, Gardner will be the most valuable in a trade, because he’s the only one worth anything. If they are counting on 37 and 38 year-olds, they are going to miss time, and they are going to need to DH. Any lineup at all that has anyone like Vernon Wells starting a game at any point or Ichiro starting more than 1x per week is unacceptable.

      • Reflex - Dec 8, 2013 at 1:08 PM

        Kevin – Are you aware that an ‘average’ major league regular is a 2 WAR player? I say that because you linked to Kelly Johnson as a response to Spudchaker’s point that Kelly Johnson is not a plus player as ‘proof’ he was wrong. I’m certain Spud misunderstood how to read it, but Kelly came up as a 1.6WAR player, which is below average. Its not a negative WAR but its not one that a major league regular typically has.

        So the statement more accurately is that Johnson is a detriment as a regular player rather than a positive addition.

      • Kevin S. - Dec 8, 2013 at 1:56 PM

        The point with Johnson was that he wasn’t worthless. No, he’s not an average major league player, but he’s better than freely available replacements, and for only $3 million, that has value. When spud said he wasn’t a plus WAR player, I assumed he actually understood the terms he was using. My bad, I guess.

    • paperlions - Dec 7, 2013 at 4:10 PM

      The weird thing to me about trading Gardner is that he isn’t that much worse than Ellsbury. Both have problems staying on the field, and defensive metrics have likely Ellsbury’s defense a lot more lately. But they are similar base runners and similar offensive players, Ellsbury’s crazy HR season not withstanding.

      As BH pointed out in another thread, Gardner is not Ellsbury, but he’s way cheaper and not that much of a downgrade. Players that provide value at the plate, in the field, and on the bases (rather than guys that just hit HRs and suck at everything else) are horribly under rated by fans and remain so by many front offices as well. If they don’t get a solid mid-rotation starter or better in return for Gardner, he should stay put….because they are better with him than without him.

      • Kevin S. - Dec 7, 2013 at 4:17 PM

        All of this. Gardner’s current replacement is replacement-level. Honestly, the only reason to trade him is that it’s easier to get another outfielder in this market than it is to get the caliber pitcher he should bring back.

      • spudchukar - Dec 7, 2013 at 4:22 PM

        The Yanks have to trade Gardner. Nobody else will bring them what they need.

      • Kevin S. - Dec 7, 2013 at 4:26 PM

        No, they don’t because they also need Gardner. His 2014 replacement is not currently in the organization. It makes sense to trade a 4 WAR OF for a 4 WAR pitcher if you can buy another OF in FA. It doesn’t make sense to trade that 4 WAR OF for a 2 WAR pitcher, however. Yanks need to get equal value for it to make sense.

      • spudchukar - Dec 7, 2013 at 4:35 PM

        This just in Kevin you can only play 3 outfielders at a time. And having Soriano DH, means you subtract from McCann’s effectiveness, Texeira’s, Jeter’s, and Beltran’s,

      • Kevin S. - Dec 7, 2013 at 4:51 PM

        Jeter does not hit well enough to DH. Beltran and Soriano would rotate between DHing and playing right field. Playing first doesn’t really create any issues with Teixeira. None of the players listed are 150-game players.

        Soriano provides almost all of his value against LHP. He should be platooned.

      • spudchukar - Dec 7, 2013 at 5:12 PM

        Against certain lefties, Jeter could indeed DH, giving him some rest. But the biggest loser is McCann. Having him sitting on the bench, when he could DH against tough righties would be a blunder of enormous magnitude.

      • Kevin S. - Dec 7, 2013 at 5:18 PM

        “Tough righties”

        You mean the guys that Soriano would sit against? Got it.

        If there’s a LHP on the mound and Jeter’s scheduled for the day off at SS, then you can DH him and have Soriano give one of the outfielders a day off. I’m still not seeing an issue.

      • spudchukar - Dec 7, 2013 at 6:32 PM

        You don’t see a problem with starting 5 lead-off hitters in your line-up in a band box park. I would consider that a Huge Problem.

      • Kevin S. - Dec 7, 2013 at 6:52 PM

        Value is value. And it’s hitters without pop who get more value out of YSIII. A guy like Cano wasn’t hitting wallscrapers.

        And not that you were one of the knuckleheads saying this at the time, but the #toomanyhomers crowd from 2012 contrasts hilariously with what you’re claiming here.

      • Kevin S. - Dec 7, 2013 at 6:54 PM

        And wait, who are the five leadoff hitters? Jeter belongs at the bottom of the order against RHP, remains to be seen if he can still hit LHP. Ichiro does not belong in the starting lineup. The Yanks two leadoff-type hitters are Gardner and Ellsbury.

      • spudchukar - Dec 7, 2013 at 7:42 PM

        Come on man, Jeter has lead off almost all his career, and all you are saying is he is less of hitter than the lead-off guy. If Infante or a similar player is a second that makes 4, and if you don’t trade Gardner your third baseman will be in the same category, a guy like Nunez.

    • shawnuel - Dec 7, 2013 at 6:10 PM

      I agree. Conversley, there’s no way the Reds trade a blossoming, younger, cheaper player (Bailey) for Gardner without a little sweetener coming their way from the Yankees.

      • Kevin S. - Dec 7, 2013 at 6:22 PM

        Not cheaper. MLBTR projects Bailey at $9.3 million, Gardner at $4 million. Even if they’re off, they won’t be off by enough to change the basic idea that Bailey will cost more than Gardner. And while Bailey is younger, I don’t know how much that matters when each player has one year left before FA.

      • paperlions - Dec 7, 2013 at 7:36 PM

        Bailey isn’t really young. He is finally starting to live up to his potential. But he’ll be 28 early next year and will be a FA after 2014, and he’s highly unlikely to be retained by the Reds given what starting pitchers are getting in FA. Unless they offer him 6 years at close to $20M per, there is no reason for Bailey to not go to FA.

  3. slaugin - Dec 7, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    Could you imagine the slap singles these guys would produce? It be like watching T Ball

  4. bigharold - Dec 7, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    Unless they’re getting back Price, (not likely), I’d just as soon the Yankees eat half of the salaries of Well and Ichiro and keep Gardner.

    • kruegere - Dec 7, 2013 at 3:37 PM

      Yea, the Rays will probably trade Price for a 30 year old OF whose value is mainly defense.

      • shawnuel - Dec 7, 2013 at 6:12 PM

        Gardner has been a 6 WAR player. He carries solid value.

      • genericcommenter - Dec 7, 2013 at 7:27 PM

        They probably wouldn’t but that doesn’t mean it’s logical.

      • Kevin S. - Dec 7, 2013 at 7:32 PM

        The Rays would actually value Brett Gardner’s skillset, but A) he ain’t worth Price, and B) apparently the Rays don’t trade inside the division.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 7, 2013 at 3:43 PM

      Wells costs the Yanks zero dollars this year because they structured it so LAA takes all of the salary in ’14.

      • detectivejimmymcnulty - Dec 7, 2013 at 4:19 PM

        The Angels quickly became the model front office in baseball. ;)

      • spudchukar - Dec 7, 2013 at 4:59 PM

        That’s why I bet the Yankees, don’t release him.

      • genericcommenter - Dec 7, 2013 at 7:29 PM

        But he’s not even worth $1. I would play for the Yankees for free, but they aren’t going to carry me on the 40 man.

  5. thomas844 - Dec 7, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    Whether it is for Brandon Phillips or not, the Reds still need to pursue Gardner. While he was fantastic in September, I don’t think Billy Hamilton is ready for an everyday role yet. Since Jocketty basically ruled out signing Choo earlier because of his price tag, I think Gardner would make a lot of sense for Cincinnati. The guy handles the bat well and can get on base. The Reds were also one of the worst baserunning teams in the league in 2013 and could use his speed.

    • Kevin S. - Dec 7, 2013 at 3:56 PM

      The Reds are more than welcome to pursue Brett Gardner, but it’s going to cost either Bailey or Latos, and Bailey by himself probably isn’t quite enough. If it’s Latos, the extra year of team control means the Yankees would have to kick something back.

      • thomas844 - Dec 7, 2013 at 4:07 PM

        The Reds won’t trade Latos since he is now seen as their ace (rather than injury-prone Cueto). I can see a Bailey trade, and while it may take more than just him to get Gardner, the Yankees do have a need for pitching that may make Bailey more attractive to them than one might think. Perhaps another minor league or bullpen arm would do the trick.

      • Kevin S. - Dec 7, 2013 at 4:14 PM

        I don’t disagree with you on Latos, just describing it from the Yankees’ end. With Bailey, he hasn’t been at his established level as long as Gardner has, and because arbitration underrates Gardner’s skill set Bailey’ll cost more for this year, but fit does mean that Bailey plus a minor piece (bullpen arm, lottery ticket prospect, etc.) would work. Given how much everybody is drooling over Gardner apparently, I’d have to think the competition for Gardner’s services puts the Yankees in a stronger position than the ‘need’ to use him to fill another hole hurts them.

      • spudchukar - Dec 7, 2013 at 4:50 PM

        You are high, if you believe the Reds would trade Bailey for Gardner straight up. Will not happen.

      • Kevin S. - Dec 7, 2013 at 4:55 PM

        Homer Bailey has one year of being slightly above average and one year of being solidly above average. Gardner has established himself well above that level, with his last three healthy seasons being at or above Bailey’s best level. If Cinci doesn’t see it that way, somebody else will.

      • spudchukar - Dec 7, 2013 at 5:04 PM

        A GM would be nuts to value a player on an OK 4 year player for one who has increased his value in the past two years. Accumulative WAR is even more meaningless than single season WAR.

      • Kevin S. - Dec 7, 2013 at 5:20 PM

        “OK 4-year player.”

        And here’s your problem – you refuse to acknowledge Gardner’s talent level. He’s a plus defensive player with a solid OBP and excellent baserunning value. That’s not just an okay player.

      • spudchukar - Dec 7, 2013 at 5:39 PM

        I just don’t know who the Yanks have as trade material to make the 3 for 2 deal work.

      • spudchukar - Dec 7, 2013 at 5:49 PM

        You assume when I say Okay, that is a zero WAR player. That is what happens when your only evaluation of a player is statistical. I believe Gardner has value. But so much more goes into a trade evaluation than just matching WARs.

        The Yankees lose leverage, cause teams know that in order to plug gaping holes they have to move Gardner.

        Another issue is Gardner’s ability to play CF. He is okay, but not great. Particularly bad throwing arm, and at times is somewhat awkward.

      • Kevin S. - Dec 7, 2013 at 6:04 PM

        The Yankees gain more value from having multiple teams interested in Gardner’s services than they lose from any “need” to trade him. Even if they had absolutely nowhere to put him, any more than two teams interested and it doesn’t matter how stuck they are, teams aren’t going to let him go to somebody else for less than what they value him at.

      • spudchukar - Dec 7, 2013 at 6:10 PM

        That attitude won’t get a trade done. The Yankees will be hampered with 6 outfielders, no second baseman, no third baseman, only 3 worthwhile starters, and no closer. Either they explode the luxury tax, and approach a 250 mil 2014 salary level or they move Gardner for something of slightly less value, or they finish out of the play-offs. You make the decision, and then face the NY media and fan base.

      • Kevin S. - Dec 7, 2013 at 6:27 PM

        The Yankees do not have six outfielders. They have two everyday outfielders, an outfielder who needs heavy DH duty, an outfielder who should only play against LHP if the Yanks can help it, an outfielder who should be relegated to defensive replacement and pinch-running, and an outfielder who should be DFA’d. Soriano is replacement-level against RHP, Ichiro is replacement-level period. Lose Gardner, and the Yankees need to replace him externally. Pretending otherwise is disingenous.

      • spudchukar - Dec 7, 2013 at 6:51 PM

        Ideally, you are possibly correct. The issue is need. And the Yankees have other needs greater than playing Soriano in left. But due to their limited flexibility, available players, and little or no trade bait, it is what they are left with, unless they blow past $250 mil.

        You continue to argue theory. Please offer up some viable moves that would be reasonable. I don’t see them. No way the Reds move Bailey for Gardner straight up. They have Hamilton as an option, and that would be a better choice than losing Bailey.

      • Kevin S. - Dec 7, 2013 at 7:01 PM

        I’m not talking theory. I mean that, right now, the Yankees barely have positive value to replace Gardner if they trade him. His wins above theoretical replacement player are basically the same as his wins above actual current replacement on his team. Trading him is robbing Peter to pay Paul. *If* they get fair value for him in a trade, I’d say go for it because they can buy an outfield replacement easier than they can buy a pitching replacement (short of Tanaka, and who knows how long that takes to resolve itself), but if they don’t get full value, then they’re spending a lot more money to not really improve all that much.

      • spudchukar - Dec 7, 2013 at 7:51 PM

        You are still limiting your thinking to player worth vs player worth, and that isn’t how trades are made.

      • Kevin S. - Dec 7, 2013 at 8:15 PM

        And you’re insisting on making up a surplus of outfielders for the Yankees which is supposed to weaken their position while ignoring the fact that there are multiple teams who really, really, really could use a year of Brett Gardner at ~$4 million. Maybe the Reds value Bailey more than Gardner, don’t care about the salary difference and are cool rolling with Billy Hamilton in center. That’s fine. The Yankees have other teams they can trade Gardner to, they don’t have to throw in extra just to get Bailey.

  6. orangecisco - Dec 7, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    Gardy for Daniel Murphy. Done and done

    • Kevin S. - Dec 7, 2013 at 3:54 PM

      Let me guess… Met fan?

  7. sandrafluke2012 - Dec 7, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    How stupid is Trade Interest? Every player is tradable and has significant trade interest. Mike Trout is available. Washington offers Harper, Stras

  8. bigguy54 - Dec 7, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    Nick Franklin and Erasimo Raamirez NY gets a SP and 2nd bm Seattle gets OF help.

    • Kevin S. - Dec 7, 2013 at 4:03 PM

      That’s actually not bad value, but like I said in my original post, I think the Yankees are going to be looking for comparable talent on comparable contracts, not prospects. Franklin and Ramirez aren’t ready to really contribute yet.

      • shawnuel - Dec 7, 2013 at 6:19 PM

        I also think that is pretty good value but Franklin was up since May, had a great 1.5 months, then a poor 2 months then a great final 3 weeks. Erasmo has been in MLB for parts of two years. Both should be fine at the MLB level. Franklin can only benefit from Yankee Stadium on offense. Plus, he could slide over to SS when Jetes finally hangs it up.

      • Kevin S. - Dec 7, 2013 at 6:41 PM

        IIRC, there were serious questions about Franklin’s ability to handle short, which is why the Cano signing made him expendable. I don’t doubt his long-term viability, I just question his 2014 value. However it was distributed, he only hit .225/.303/.382, and it wasn’t a product of Safeco, as he was worse on the road. It’s a fair deal in a vacuum, I just think the Yankees are looking for 2014 talent if they deal Gardner, because losing him is a real hit to their outfield production.

  9. slartibartfast4242 - Dec 7, 2013 at 4:02 PM

    What I want to know is, why would that tweet receive 12 “favorites?”

  10. tigers182 - Dec 7, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    Who says Yankee fans overvalue their players?

    • sandrafluke2012 - Dec 7, 2013 at 5:42 PM

      Brenden Bosch? haha

  11. cackalackyank - Dec 7, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    I really do not want to see Gardner go. However, it seems that he may be the only real desirable player the NYY have to bargain with. I really think if he is traded it should be for rotation help, not the infield. Reason being I think the infield can be fixed by Infante through FA. Not trading for pitching means putting all the eggs in the Tanaka posting basket. That still feels risky to me.

    • greymares - Dec 7, 2013 at 4:58 PM

      then Infante will have to play 2nd ,3rd and short all at the same time because they have NOBODY at any of those spots

      • cackalackyank - Dec 7, 2013 at 5:45 PM

        A-rod is not likely to be gone the entire season…his tantrums not withstanding. Jeter will be at shortstop for @ half the season unless he has died. Johnson, Ryan, and Nunez will be there too. So, no, Infante will play 2nd most of the time if aquired. Offense is not the only thing it takes to win. Right now, even with the Kuroda re-signing the rotation is at least as iffy as the infield. Sabathia pitched like a #5 last year, Kuroda ran out of gas, Nova came on strong in the second half but has been up and down all career so far, then comes the inevitable mention of Phelps, Pineda, Warren, and Nuno.
        That foursome might produce a #5 for sure, but both a successful 4 and 5…unlikely. So In reality they need a trade and an FA surprise/recycle. Also, let’s not forget the bullpen does not have Mo anymore..in fact beyond Roberts, it is wide open…so yeah the bullpen is where there is NOBODY.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 7, 2013 at 6:29 PM

        then Infante will have to play 2nd ,3rd and short all at the same time because they have NOBODY at any of those spots

        Kelly Johnson, Eduardo Nunez, Brendan Ryan and a 4th player they just picked up on waivers whose name I can’t remember.

  12. 18thstreet - Dec 7, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    (1) Gardner is a better option in left field than anything else the Yankees have.
    (2) Soriano is a better option at DH than anything the Yankees have.
    (3) Beltran is a better option in right than anything the Yankees have.
    (4) No one wants Ichiro or Vernon Wells for any reason. Wells probably gets cut.
    (5) Ellsbury (like all human beings) might get injured, and Gardner can fill in in center if that occurs.
    (6) Gardner probably gets $4 million in arbitration this year, and only has one year left before hitting the free agent market.
    (7) Designated hitter is a real position. It makes no sense to use that slot in the lineup to give Jeter who is (no offense to His Calm Eyeness), the worst hitter in the Yankee lineup (other than whoever is playing third when A-Rod is out), extra at bats.
    (7a) Yes, I think Infante is going to New York. They need him.
    (8) Even if Ellsbury does not get hurt, someone will. It’s an old roster. The Yankees do not have extra players. Their backups will see significant playing time.

    As a long-time Yankee hater, I do not have the team’s best interests at heart. But Brett Gardner is not an extra outfielder, and the Yankees would be making mistake to trade him. I think they know that.

    • spudchukar - Dec 7, 2013 at 5:08 PM

      Your first 3 points are valid, but then it stops. If the Yanks insist on Soriano being a DH, it subtracts significantly from McCann, Texeira, and Jeter. The Yankees are a better team, with Soriano in LF, and using a Gardner trade to fill another position.

      • 18thstreet - Dec 7, 2013 at 5:34 PM

        I just have a hard time seeing why the Yankees would ever DH Jeter. The two projections for him (posted at fangraphs) say he’s either a .281/.339/.376 (Steamer) or a .252/.314/.331 (Oliver). Let’s split the difference and say he’ll have a 270 batting average, 320 OBP, and 360 slugging. In what environment are those acceptable numbers for a DH?

        If Teixeria DHs, someone else needs to play first. Who is that? Not being sarcastic. Brian McCann, as far as I can tell, has never played first. You can’t just stick a player over there and assume he can handle it.

        The best lineup the Yankees can put out
        Ellsbury, CF
        Jeter, SS
        McCann, C
        Soriano, DH
        Beltran, RF
        Teixeira, 1B
        Infante, 2B
        Someone, 3B
        Gardner, LF

        Ichiro to the bench, where he will rarely leave. Wells to retirement. There’s no extra players.

        If the Yankees want a pitcher, they should do what they do: buy the best one available. Matt Garza is still available. You can give him the Pavano.

      • Reflex - Dec 7, 2013 at 5:48 PM

        You keep saying that but have you actually looked up Soriano’s stats? He’s a terrible defender. His OBP is terrible. And aside from two months at the end of last season his last four years have been sub-average for his position, barely above replacement level. With both Gardner and Ellsbury in the OF the defense should be exceptional, even with Beltran’s knees, as he won’t have to cover much ground. With Beltran and Soriano the defense would likely be one of the worst in the league.

        Soriano should be a backup. He should not be a regular.

      • scyankee64 - Dec 7, 2013 at 7:03 PM

        Soriano, Wells, and Ichiro are gone after this year(if not sooner). Gardner will be good for at least 3-5 more years at a bargain price, even as a free agent next year. Yanks need to dump Wells and do everything they can to get rid of Ichiro.

    • spudchukar - Dec 7, 2013 at 5:57 PM

      He is worse than terrible. And I do not disagree that the Yanks would be just as good with Gardner in left than Soriano. But nobody else in the Yankee organization could bring the needs that Gardner can, and the Yankees will not make the play-offs if they don’t fill their needs.

      And most likely, they won’t get equal value for Gardner. They just aren’t in an enviable position, but they put themselves there.

  13. drewzducks - Dec 7, 2013 at 5:10 PM

    The unnecessary “stockpiling” of OFs, if anything, should decrease the value of Gardner. They’ve almost boxed themselves into a corner to the point where they almost HAVE to trade him. He’s also gonna be a FA in 2015. Unless the Yanks are concerned about having to pay him $150/7 seeing that he’s basically identical to the player that just signed for that amount, less the injuries. Total WAR for last 3 seasons each was healthy…JE 16.6…BG 15.5 and that includes Ellsbury’s 2011 which WON’T be repeated. With no Cano and possibly no Gardner, is there a SINGLE significant player or prospect on their roster that they’ve developed in the last 15 years other than possibly Robertson or Nova ?

    • spudchukar - Dec 7, 2013 at 5:59 PM

      Exactly. This has been my argument too.

      • drewzducks - Dec 7, 2013 at 6:16 PM

        Seriously. Some clown mentioned Latos ? Only way that would happen is if Costanza has photos of Walt Jocketty wearing one of Marge Schott’s old Nazi uniforms.

    • paperlions - Dec 7, 2013 at 7:46 PM

      If the Yankees signed Choo right now, it would have zero negative effect on Gardner’s value. That is like saying my house would be worth less if I bought another one. There are 29 other teams and a LOT of them don’t have a LFer or CFer as good as Garnder, as long as there is bidding and the player has value, there is no effect of “surplus” on a single roster….because the surplus would have to be at the league level (not the team level) for it to have an effect.

      That is like saying Wacha’s trade value is affected by the Cardinals having 10 viable starting pitchers.

  14. cackalackyank - Dec 7, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    You may have a point… but Gardner was out almost all of 2012 with injuries. Gardner comes with only one year of team control. It would seem there would need to be permission for the acquiring team to negotiate and buy out the last year of FA and sign him long term to get the most value in return. You are also correct in that the poor analysis and development going on in the NYY minors are really forcing the Yankees into a vicious circle of having to overpay for old FA. If there aren’t many options in FA then you have to trade for ready players. Pretty soon they are going to be out of tradable players. Plus free agent signings cost draft picks when they have been qo’d.

  15. redsoxchamp11 - Dec 7, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    1) why would tex be a dh? he is arguably the best defender the yanks have in the OF outside of Ryan who is on the bench. sure he has the wrist issue, but that won’t have any effect on his D, just his swing.

    2) Gardner isn’t an allstar and he isn’t a bum either, he is a hole filler until someone better comes along. if he didn’t play in NY he’d be a nobody.

    that said – he is the only trade piece that NY really has for value. That doesn’t mean its a good idea though considering the average age of NY OF is what 35….their best lineup is Gardner, ells, and beltran with keeping Soriano and ichiro in platoon for DH. good natural fit for both as you have the left/right combo and can then spell everyone in the OF and rotat DH duties.

    4) face it yankee fans you will have to continue to spend top $$$ on FAs because Cashman has done zero to.develop a decent minors…still. it would best to do spending this year and get them locked in for 3 yrs + so maybe over the next 3 years they can actually develop a minor league system, sign some cuban defectors, etc.

    5) rotation and pen need to be focus as well as they are glaringly void of talent. CC – better hope he can find 95 again. Nova’s inly good season was when he had 6+ runs of support and has stunk since that disappeared. kuroda fell off in the second half and is what 38ish…pineda…who knows what you will get. who is going to close and outside of Robertson its pretty ugly.

    6) I look forward to actually having some competition from NY this year. I see a McCann vs AJ brewhaha in the future.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 7, 2013 at 6:30 PM

      6) I look forward to actually having some competition from NY this year. I see a McCann vs AJ brewhaha in the future.

      Red Sox fans are starting to rival Phillies fans for the Johnny-come-lately crowd. For three years your team missed the playoffs, now you win the WS one year and act like you’ve been there every year.

      • drewzducks - Dec 7, 2013 at 6:49 PM

        I guess 3 titles in 10 years will do that.

    • Kevin S. - Dec 7, 2013 at 6:48 PM

      Nova had meh run support last season and posted a 3.10 ERA, good for a 130 ERA+. You were saying?

      Also, if Ichiro gets one DH PA this year that doesn’t involve him pinch running for the starting DH earlier in the game, Girardi should be fired on the spot.

  16. steincj36 - Dec 7, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    Soriano going back to 2nd makes a ton of options available.

    • Kevin S. - Dec 7, 2013 at 6:49 PM

      Soriano couldn’t play second a decade ago. What makes you think he can handle it now?

      • spudchukar - Dec 7, 2013 at 7:01 PM

        I’m almost 63. I have had a knee replacement. And I honestly believe, I would be a serious challenge to Soriano as a second baseman.

      • Kevin S. - Dec 7, 2013 at 7:02 PM

        On that, at least, we can agree.

  17. sportsfan69 - Dec 7, 2013 at 10:58 PM

    WOW! Some Yankee fans can be delusional. Kevin S., Brett Gardener is an OK 30 y/o player with a .273 ba. The Reds will NOT trade Bailey or Phillips for a fourth outfielder. LMAO. Bye the way, our Brett Gardener is Chris Heisey.

    • Kevin S. - Dec 8, 2013 at 8:19 AM

      I’ll take 1920′s baseball analysis for $800, Alex!

  18. jm91rs - Dec 7, 2013 at 11:26 PM

    No way the reds trade Phillips for a one year rental. They’ll ask for a much bigger package than what he’s worth if Phillips gets dealt. And a much much bigger package if it’s bailey. You don’t trade a top of the rotation pitcher for a one year rental unless that’s the only pc you need, and in the reds case it is not the only pc needed.

    • paperlions - Dec 8, 2013 at 12:15 AM

      Bailey is also a 1 year rental.

      Phillips may not even worth the remainder of his contract, and every year they hold onto him, he’ll be worth less in trade. They are repeating over and over that they have no money to spend. If so, the just getting rid of Phillips could help that situation. Otherwise, they’ll just have an old declining player and get to watch each of their young pitchers leave as they hit FA.

  19. mtsommer5 - Dec 9, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    The Yankees are better off with Gardner and Ellsbury with their speed in the outfield and on the basepaths. There’s a lot of ground to cover in Left and Center at Yankee Stadium, and getting having these two at the top of the lineup will get better pitches for the heart of the order. Suzuki, Soriano and Jeter (yes, Jeter) can platoon in rightfield, DH and provide spark off the bench. The Yankees have better minor league prospects than people think. Remember that lots of them played in the Bronx last year, and kept them in the pennant race for most of the season.

  20. jerseyjoehaven - Dec 11, 2013 at 12:00 AM

    First off Gardner is rated higher then bailey. Both are one year rentals. The trade if it goes down: Bailey and Phillips for Gardner and two high prospects. Fair value each team. The Reds one way or another are going to trade Phillips this off season. They are very interested in Gardner as a lead off batter and as a A++ outfielder. Watch if Bailey is traded it will end up being to the Yankees.

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