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Yankees president says team has “absolutely no intention” of trading Brett Gardner

Dec 15, 2013, 4:31 PM EDT

brett gardner yankees getty Getty Images

It’s a fact by now that the Yankees have explored a Brett Gardner trade, but it sounds like they’re ready to pull him off the block for the rest of the winter.

Yankees president Randy Levine had a radio interview Sunday morning with Ian O’Connor of ESPN New York and discussed the still-swirling Gardner rumors. “We think he’s going to be on the roster,” Levine told O’Connor. “One of the reasons the baseball people signed Jacoby Ellsbury is the two of them together present a tremendous dynamic one-two or nine-one, whatever Joe Girardi decides to write in at the top of the lineup. … One will play left, one will play center, and it’s a tremendous defensive situation. So no there’s absolutely no intention to move Brett Gardner.”

Ichiro Suzuki could be the one to go to free up the Yankees’ outfield logjam.

Gardner, 30, hit .273/.344/.416 with 24 stolen bases in 145 games this summer for New York.

  1. flickflint - Dec 15, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    Why notttttttttt

    • fanofevilempire - Dec 16, 2013 at 7:52 AM

      Randy Levine STFU, WTF do you know about baseball!

  2. spudchukar - Dec 15, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    Does that relegate Jeter to the #9 hole?

    • southofheaven81 - Dec 15, 2013 at 4:58 PM

      If we get 2013 disaster Jeter it might. If we get 2012 leading MLB in hits Jeter, absolutely not. I’m betting somewhere in the middle, and Jeter hits somewhere in the 6-7 spot.

      • davidbrentfan - Dec 15, 2013 at 8:22 PM

        Speaking of Jeter, I wonder whether he will retire when it is obviously time to do so (could very well be this year), or if he will continue to say that he wants to keep playing (he said recently that he wants to play for 2 or 3 more years). It could turn into a public relations nightmare for the Yankees if they end up having to force the issue. I could see him retiring with dignity, but I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if he refuses to step aside when it’s obviously time to do so.

      • miceder21 - Dec 15, 2013 at 11:50 PM

        Everyone is forgetting that this is Derek Jeter we’re talking about. The man and athlete that Ozzie Guillen once called “God” during an ESPN interview. He has one bad injury and everyone is throwing in the towel for him. He’s a professional and knows what he’s doing. Andy Pettitte came back from a similar fracture and was great. Derek Jeter has had more than enough time to rest and get things right. He didn’t need to rush the process this time. And he will be back in the #2 slot. Hes a contact hitter, one of the best in baseball for putting the ball in play. I’m betting the lineup will look something like this:
        1) Jacoby Ellsbury
        2) Derek Jeter
        3) Mark Texeira
        4) Carlos Beltran
        5) Brian McCann
        6) Alfonso Soriano
        7) Kelly Johnson
        8) third base
        9) Brett Gardner

        That is unless A rod comes back this year which is doubtful. In that case he would slide into the 4 or 5 hole and everyone else would move up a spot.

      • davidbrentfan - Dec 16, 2013 at 1:33 AM

        “Everyone is forgetting that this is Derek Jeter we’re talking about.”

        The people talking about Derek Jeter are “forgetting” that they are talking about Derek Jeter. Ok…

        “The man and athlete that Ozzie Guillen once called “God” during an ESPN interview.”

        An idiot called him ‘God’. Wow, that really adds a lot of credibility to your position…

        ” He has one bad injury and everyone is throwing in the towel for him.”

        No. His defense is atrocious, but he is still possibly a major league caliber player because of his hitting. At best, his hitting barely makes up for his defense at this point, and it flat out fell short of making up for it in 2010 and 2011. 2012 was a big time rebound season. He just had a severe injury, and it’s perfectly legitimate to question whether, at age 40 and coming off a terrible injury, he will still be good enough with the bat to make up for his atrocious fielding.

        ” He’s a professional and knows what he’s doing.”

        Absolutely meaningless statement.

        “Andy Pettitte came back from a similar fracture and was great. ”

        Pettitte wasn’t an everyday player and he wasn’t a hitter. And he wasn’t great.

        “Derek Jeter has had more than enough time to rest and get things right.”

        He’s nearly 40; If he were 30, maybe you could say this.

        ” Hes a contact hitter, one of the best in baseball for putting the ball in play.”

        What is the relevance of this?

      • uyf1950 - Dec 16, 2013 at 6:51 AM

        @ miceder21, just curious what happened to the #8 hitter in your list? You jump from 7 to 9.

        I agree with Jeter starting out in the #2 slot but I think how he hits will depend if he stay there. My guess is he’s going to need to keep his BA at least in the .260 area and keep out of hitting into DP’s otherwise the Yankees could ask him to move down to possibly the 6th spot or worse yet give him extra time off. Whether or not he’ll be willing to do that is the question.

  3. southofheaven81 - Dec 15, 2013 at 4:56 PM


  4. papacrick - Dec 15, 2013 at 5:16 PM

    They must not be getting serious offers. This is a ploy to gain leverage and get a better player than what teams are currently offering

    • yournuts - Dec 15, 2013 at 6:02 PM

      Brett can win a game with his feet and his glove. Steal a base, take an extra base and a very good outfielder. I also like his bat against right handed pitchers. He is getting much better against left handed pitchers too. I would love t see Ichiro stay a Yankee too and play less or as a defensive replacement for Carlos Beltran. Ichiro has a great arm.

      • realitycheck75 - Dec 15, 2013 at 9:53 PM

        What I’m missing with keeping Gardner is, explain to me how he at all profiles as a corner outfielder?
        And when you describe him, it’s not the most promising description. He’s definitely a very good defensive outfielder. But he has an awful arm, has absolutely no power, and isn’t a guy who drives in runs. And when you said, he’s a guy who can steal a base, that’s not good enough.
        Gardner is a guy with lightning speed who has only stolen over 30 bases twice in his career, 48 & 49 in back to back season’s. He played in 142 games last year and only stole 24 bases, that’s horrible for a guy with his speed. And how many times have you seen him get on base in a close game late & he just stands on first base? Almost all the time.

        Gardners value to the Yankees is by trading him. This team has enough Outfielders, we need pitching.
        Do I actually think they’ll trade him, no I don’t. But his career thus far has been avg, at best. He’s not even a 270 lifetime hitter.

        I get the love affair with keeping him. People see all this potential he has. Problem is, he hasn’t lived up to his potential at all. At least not what he was supposed to do.

  5. sisisisisisisi - Dec 15, 2013 at 5:21 PM

    They definitely will keep him so they can give out another 10-year-deal in a couple of years.

    • miceder21 - Dec 16, 2013 at 12:02 AM

      Brett Gardner’s speed is something the Yankees desperately need. If he’s on first base and lets say Ellsbury hits a single into the outfield, Gardner will be at 3rd were another player will most likely be at 2nd. Its not about power. Its about playing the game and having two unfairly fast guys on base and in the outfield can win games for the Yankees by themselves. You will never hear a manager or a hitting coach tell their players “we have to hit homeruns” but you constantly hear them say “its all about going station to station” with guys like Gardner and Ellsbury you will get to the station a lot sooner. Hes also a clutch hitter. Hes great in high pressure situations. There is no higher pressure situation than playing on the Yankees. Hes a great fit for tge team and the dynamic they are trying to create.

      • miceder21 - Dec 16, 2013 at 12:11 AM

        With last years Yankees Gardner didn’t have an opportunity to steal a lot of bases. If you’re down by 1 run in the 9th inning you dont try to steal bases. You keep your ass at first and run on contact unless you get the sign to fo otherwise. In the event you get thrown out you look like an asshole, especially if the guy at the plate ends up getting a hit after you get thrown out. The Yankees last year did no favors to their base runners with their poor hitting and even less of a favor for their pitchers for the same reason. Its not all about just one guy stealing a base, its about the whole team being able to perform and the Yankees did not do that last year. You cant risk wasting outs if your team is under performing. And most steals are signaled by the bench. Gardner didnt get a lot of signs last year because the team was playing poorly.

  6. kylecleric - Dec 15, 2013 at 5:32 PM

    He’s better than any other option they have. Unless they get good value, he should be their left fielder.

    • 18thstreet - Dec 15, 2013 at 6:50 PM

      He’s the best option in left, and Soriano is the best option in right.

      Injuries happen, and keeping all of their OFs (except for Wells, who seems pointless to me) (though I’m sure he’s a fine human being) is a necessity. I don’t see a surplus. I see big holes at second base, probably third, and throughout the bullpen. Trading Gardner would only create a new problem.

      • 18thstreet - Dec 15, 2013 at 6:52 PM

        ARGH! EDIT FUNCTION!!! Soriano is the best option at DH.

        Good grief.

        On the plus side, I really enjoyed the holiday party I just attended. Great booze.

  7. uyf1950 - Dec 15, 2013 at 5:39 PM

    Last time I checked the GM makes the decision(s) on who gets traded and for what. Not bean counters like Randy Levine. Now Gardner may or may not be traded at some point but I seriously doubt that Levine will be the one to ultimately make the call.

  8. lazlosother - Dec 15, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    I don’t see why the Yanks would trade him at this point. It seems he is worth more than he would return. His value isn’t obvious. He gets on base, fields well and hits for no power. If I were NY’s general manager I’d keep him.

  9. pisano - Dec 15, 2013 at 6:37 PM

    uyf1950… I see it the same way. I still say he’ll be gone before the season starts, but it’ll be for a pitcher.

    • uyf1950 - Dec 15, 2013 at 6:56 PM

      My friend just an observation but I can see the Yankees packaging Gardner with “prospect” potentially one of the excess catchers. Right now the Yankees have 5 catchers on their 40 man roster: McCann/Cervelli/Romine/Sanchez and J.R. Murphy. With McCann signed for the next 5 years I have to believe one of the other catchers is expendable. And both Sanchez and Murphy are very highly regarded. One or the other packaged with Gardner if it comes to that should be able to garner a “quality” starter.

      Not to change the subject but if you will allow me and putting what happens to Gardner aside I think the Yankees are going to look to sign either Reynolds OR Eric Chavez for 3rd base as insurance against whatever might happen with A-Rod. My personal preference would be Chavez because he tends to have a better OBP and is better defensively. While Reynolds provides more power and does provide additional RH’ed hitting but isn’t as good defensively. If they sign one of those 2 guys for 3rd, I can see the see the Yankees starting the season with a combination of Johnson/Nunez offensively and Ryan as the super utility infield defensively specialist.

      We’ll see still over 3 months till the regular season starts.

  10. davidbrentfan - Dec 15, 2013 at 8:25 PM

    Brett Gardner: One of the most underrated players in baseball.
    The Yankees just spent $153 million on a slightly better version of Brett Gardner.

    • scyankee64 - Dec 16, 2013 at 10:29 AM

      After Cano, Gardner was the Yankees second most valuable everyday player.

  11. drewzducks - Dec 15, 2013 at 8:26 PM

    Straight from the horses’ ass.

  12. jcrileyesq - Dec 15, 2013 at 9:39 PM

    so soriano at 2nd base?

  13. sidelineshot - Dec 15, 2013 at 10:00 PM

    Gardner will be playing lots of CF while Ellsbury takes the NY disabled list for frequent test drives.

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