Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner looks to have suffered yet another setback in his rehab as he experienced soreness in his elbow after playing in a simulated game on Sunday.
“It’s a concern because it’s happened before,” Joe Girardi told Bryan Hoch of MLB.com. “Hopefully he can get through this and continue to play, but we’ll have to wait and see. We expected that he would get through this, and our hope is still that he’ll get through this, but today he was a little sore. I can’t tell you what’s going to happen. I can’t tell you what’s next. We’ll have to see what tomorrow brings.”
The Yankees didn’t initially think that Gardner’s sore elbow was bad, however it appears that his season may be in jeopardy as this is his third rehab that is not going well now. The Yankees will of course try to downplay this as there is still technically time left for him to give rehab another shot and they don’t want to lose all leverage during trade talks. But if this latest rehab doesn’t take, Gardner may need more than two to four weeks off.
Brian Cashman told reporters on Sunday that even if the Yankees didn’t get Gardner back that he would bite the bullet with Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones. However, saying that hypothetically and actually being faced with the possibility that Gardner might not return are two totally different things and he may look a little more closely at the trade market now.
Upton, 24, might be a good fit for the Yankees. He is young, talented, and on a relatively cheap contract. He could not only replace Gardner this season, but Nick Swisher next year as well. The biggest obstacle would be his price tag which will be cheap. The D-Backs are also looking for prospects that are close to Major League ready which is something the Yankees are lacking a bit.
Victorino, 31, seems like a much more likely fit. He is in the final year of his three-year deal with the Phillies, who have no hope of making the playoffs this year. Victorino can fill in in left this season and won’t create nearly as big a logjam if Gardner could actually manage to return at some point.
Another big name outfielder expected to be traded this year is Carlos Quentin, but early reports said the Yankees would prefer somebody more like Gardner who can provide them with speed and defense in left aside from the bat.