Just a week after some Major League GM’s claimed Brett Gardner wouldn’t have a large trade market, other teams are beginning to chime in and call about the Yankees eft fielder.
According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the 33-year-old veteran outfielder is beginning to gain a market since there are plenty of teams interested in a left-handed lead-off hitter. Gardner hit .261/.351/.362 with 16 stolen bases, 80 runs scored and 22 doubles last season, most of it being in the leadoff spot after manager Joe Girardi flip-flopped Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury in the lineup.
However, just because there’s a market for Gardner, doesn’t mean Brian Cashman will trade him. Cashman has proven to be very fond of Gardner’s work ethic and professionalism in the clubhouse. And while he will listen to offers for everyone on the roster, he’s unusually apprehensive about parting with his homegrown left fielder.
“I’ve been approached on Gardner for years, and he has not gone anywhere,” Cashman said last week at the GM meetings. “I think that shows you we like him and value him. That’s why we signed him… Have I had people express interest in him? Yes, I have. Have I had more than one team? Yes, I have. Is he a New York Yankee? Yes, he is.”
Another reason the Yankees might be holding onto Gardner is because there is no one readily available to take over his job. The player closest to the Major Leagues, Clint Frazier, still needs at least a year in Triple-A before he can officially compete for a job in Spring Training. And in 2017, the Yankees are going to be in “win-now” mode.
With that said, the Yankees are heavily leaning towards staying with Gardner, especially since other teams will have to pay a hefty price for him.