Brian Cashman: Yankees will not trade Brett Gardner

This entire offseason–as well as every other offseason since he made an impression on the Yankees–Brett Gardner has been in the middle of trade speculation. Teams make their trade proposals and the Yankees decide whether they’re going to cash in on them.

This offseason, trading Gardner actually seemed like a possibility. But the Yankees have ultimately decided to remove the left fielder from the trade market and Gardner will begin his ninth season in the Majors with the Yankees.

Cashman added that the Yankees had recieved offers for the left fielder, but he declined every single proposal. The fact the Yankees declined every proposal indicates just how much the Yankees value Gardner. Cashman also believes the teams that asked about Gardner won’t alter their proposals to acquire the left fielder.

“I think the teams that had the interest took their best shot.” Cashman said to reporters on Tuesday.

Unless the Yankees were blown away, there was no logical reason to part with Gardner. The outfield depth hasn’t proven themselves at the Major League level, Clint Frazier is at least a year away from making an impact in the Major Leagues, and if the Yankees traded Gardner, their lone option would have been Aaron Hicks, who is clearly a downgrade.

Now that it’s set and stone Gardner will remain a Yankee, Cashman revealed he was planning on splitting him and Jacoby Ellsbury in the batting order. However, numbers indicate that Ellsbury would be the one batting lower in the order while Gardner keeps the coveted lead-off spot.

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39 Responses to Brian Cashman: Yankees will not trade Brett Gardner

  1. Jerry says:

    I would love to know what other teams are offering. It can't be much and they probably want the Yankees to eat some or all of his contract. If the Yankees can't move him, I'm assuming that this will be his last year with the team , but then again he has another year after this one. Maybe a 4th outfielder at that point. We need to move him, I don't want him blocking any of the young players coming up.

  2. I have to imagine that the reason a trade didn't happen was because teams insisted that the Yankees pay some or all of his salary. Otherwise there is no reason to keep him.

    Gardner is clearly in decline at this point and the Yankees have plenty of outfielders either ready from April 1st or will be by the trade deadline. Aside from Gardner and Ellsbury, they also have Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, and Tyler Austin who could all start on this mediocre team from Day 1. Mason Williams is another option and Clint Frazier will be knocking on the door soon. That's 7 options for 3 spots — again — the Yankees don't need Gardner.

  3. Bomber4life says:

    Gardner is a proven and consistent player. He also brings leadership skills and he is always motivated. A homegrown New York Yankee.

  4. Dennis Cole says:

    Gardner is not obviously in decline. He improved last season in on base percentage, got his gold glove because he was his best yet at saving runs. He also decreased his strikeouts. He can realistically have his best year ever this season. Why not? Change just to change is reactive and that's bad business. This guy is a leader and knows ' the ropes' in Yankeedom. This kind of inside knowledge will be vital to the team making post season.

    • Celerino says:

      He improved his obp by .008. His slugging was down much more than that and he ran way less than usual. Realistically, 33 year olds don't have their best seasons ever. I like him too, but he's at the stage of his career where players start to decline. The best we can hope for is a season like last year.

    • Mikey Mike says:

      I agree, Dennis. I think he needs to get his bat happening more, he's an excellent fielder and a leader in the clubhouse. I think Gardy is important to the team as a whole. Although we all think these guys (regardless of team) get paid too much, they are human. Can't produce at 100% all the time. Keep switching to the person that can at the moment, and there will never be cohesiveness as a team. No one, in anything, is ever on top of their game 100% of the time. When they aren't "replace him" isn't always the best option. Work with him to get his bat going! As a fielder, he's one of the best. He physically gives 100% every time he's on the field.

  5. Howard says:

    Gardner brings value to this team with his leadership and Golden Glove in LF.
    However, we need to make room for Frazier and unfortunately Gardner will have to go at some point.
    Ellsbury is the one we need to move but he will not be traded or released at any point in the near or far future.
    Unless he becomes the All Star we thought we were getting and then maybe we can get some team foolish enough to take on at least half his remaining salary thru the year 2020.
    As far as Headley goes, he is my least favorite Yankee and we can not get rid of him quick enough.
    He killed us in the field in 2015 and with the lack of a bat in the Spring and Fall of 2016.
    Now we have to give him a short rope, perhaps his issues last year were tied to the issues with his child's health.
    But, if he does not show improvement bring up Andujar and trade Headley for a box of tissues for all I care.

    In my opinion, there should be a major change in the way we approach hitting.
    We need to teach these young and old guys to hit to the opposite field.
    Headley, Castro never adjusted to shifts, nor did Mccann or Tex, and thankfully they are both gone.
    Every batter with the possible exception of Bird should be trying to hit the ball the opposite way against the shift, especially Headley.

    • Mikey Mike says:

      Ya know, I think most people forget that level of play has a lot of psychological aspects to it. Just because anyone isn't producing as much as in the past doesn't mean they are in physical decline. When Torres started playing 3rd more often, Headley started hitting better. Why is that? When the team around you is playing mediocre, for a whole bunch of reasons, the stars have trouble shining, as well. The vets started playing better when the kids came up. Their focus changed, and they were more engaged. I like Headley, but I'd prefer Miguel Cabrera to be playing 3rd. I like Ellsbury, but agree that he's not producing (not in decline…not producing). The Yankees traded McCann with a no trade clause, they can do the same with Ellsbury to make room for Frazier. Way back in the day, my Dad…who was not a Yankee fan…said that the Yankees were perfection. They had a starting players AND they had second string players that we're almost as good, if not as good as the starters! Yankees are positioning themselves to do this again. Cashman is going to being the team into contention and then they are going to collect players. 2ith the Scranton Express, or whatever they're calling it, they almost have two sets of players at all times. Hell, you can have 16 position players (2 teams) for depth and then have room for 24 pitchers, eventually, on just the 40 man roster AND THEN players from the Rail Riders! Getting close!!

  6. Dennis Cole says:

    You are so right about the shifts. I remember one year when Graig Nettles was hitting the opposite way. He still had power numbers but his average was very high. By the way Nettles is an example of players actually improving well into their 30s. It's not a given a player will automatically decline. Not having a no trade us a good incentive for the spirited hard working Gardner to improve in 2017. Frazier and the others will come along but will not be what the Yanks gave in their own home grown Gardner for some time. Jesus says" don't worry about tomorrow each day has enough trouble of its own"

  7. uyf1950 says:

    Lets take the headline of this article at face value "The Yankees will not trade Brett Gardner". Ok so they don't trade him this year, they will have no choice but to trade him at some point after this coming season and before the 2018 trade deadline. I'm pretty confident the Yankees have no intention of exercising his 2019 option with all the OF prospects chomping at the bit to join the club and also getting under the tax threshold. So whether it's today, tomorrow or next season sometime Gardner will be traded and not for anything close to a young, cost controlled mid rotation starter or elite prospects from another team.

  8. Balt Yank says:

    Gardner is a good player and not in decline. To say his hustle, effort, gold glove, 350 OBA, 268 average can be easily replaced is to overlook that Aaron Hicks was an automatic out except for maybe three weeks. Gardner will never be Tim Raines. He is still good. He's the best position player on the team right now.

    • uyf1950 says:

      Actually that's not true. once Hicks started getting regular playing time, after the trade deadline, when Beltran was traded Hicks performed at a very respectable level.
      From August 1st on for example for Aaron Hicks: BA: .271, OBP: .333, SLG%: .424, wRC: 105 with 5 HR's and 12 RBI's.
      Versus a FULL season for example of Brett Gardner: BA: .261, OBP: .351, SLG%: .362, wRC: 97 with 7 HR's and 41 RBI's.

      The numbers are not that much different in fact Hicks's numbers are slightly better. Factor in Hicks is 6 years younger and considerable less expensive and a case could certainly be made that Hick's would be an adequate replacement, at the very least short term until one of the highly regarded prospects like Clint Frazier or Dustin Fowler is ready to join the club.

      • mosc says:

        You're both completely right. uyf is cherry picking Hick's good few weeks, Balt is correctly observing that Gardner's performance in 2016 was pretty in line with his career norms and in general a .350 OBP and a gold glove makes you an all-star not an expendable piece.

        • Celerino says:

          His numbers weren't in line with his career, his power and speed were way down. His 350 obp and gold glove made him an all-star exactly once in 9 years. I like him too, but if he was on another team nobody here would give him a second thought.

          • Jerry says:

            Nail right on the head, Celerino. The Yankees are trying to trade Gardner and there isn't a team out there that's willing to ante up . Maybe a bag of balls, what do you think mosc?

        • uyf1950 says:

          Actually I was pointing out the difference between Hicks performance when he wasn't getting bats on a regular basis versus getting regular and consistent playing time. As well as pointing out Hicks was better than the posted inferred when he said "Hicks was an automatic out except for maybe three weeks."
          Mosc, I must confess I do like that you never mentioned Gardners… wRC, WAR, HR's, RBI's and Stolen Bases were all at 4 year lows, he missed most of the 2012 season injured. Most of those categories pretty much in steady decline each year. I guess we all "cherry pick" one way or another.
          BTW, what makes Gardner expendable/replaceable is that he doesn't fit into the Yankees long range plans and there are "OTHER" options available to the Yankees as I said previously…cheaper, younger and perhaps even more capable.

  9. Eric says:

    Has anyone ever heard a great line from an old GM (Branch Ricky). "better to trade a player a year early than a year too late". Assuming that Ellsbury can't be moved then Gardner must go as soon as possible. Let's play out this scenario, suppose Frazier is tearing up Triple A in Scranton
    and the fans and media want this kid called up and their is no place for him tp play. This is not what everyone wants and the time to move Gardner is now. If they wait too long then they will have to dump him with zero return. Gardner has been a good and loyal Yankee, but the team put themselves in this position with the Ellsbury contract. Rebuilding can sometimes be painful but the long term reward is worth the risk.

    • uyf1950 says:

      I think the exact quote is: "Trade a player a year too early rather than a year too late". And in my opinion he is 100% correct. I think most everyone would agree that Gardner is still a very capable player but he unfortunately at this point does not fit into the long range plans of the Yankees. And yes it would be more desirable to trade Ellsbury but that ain't gonna happen for reasons we all know.
      Eric you are wise beyond your years and right on target with "time to move Gardner is now. If they wait too long then they will have to dump him with zero return." The one fly in the ointment so to speak with that is the Yankees are valuing Gardner much more so than other teams right now.

  10. Olie says:

    Not trading Gardner is delaying the Yankee rebuild another year. They are not contenders yet no matter what Cashman wants to tell ticket holders. Gardner or for that matter Ellsbury are taking at bats away from the young outfielders in waiting!

    • Howard says:


      I think the plan is to start Frazier in AAA and Mateo and Rutherford High A/ low A.
      Frazier could be ready sooner rather than later, pending any injuries that will be the deciding factor in moving Gardner.
      The best time to move Gardner will probably be before the deadline, however it goes without saying if Gardner ups his game he won't go.
      Gardner should stop trying to pull the ball and start slapping hits to right center.
      Hitting homers was the worst thing that happened to him, now he strikes out like a homer hitter without the results of one.
      Also what happened to his speed? We need the 2015 Gardner not the Gardner of the last 2 years.


      Great article in today's NY Post about Clint Frazier, it is a great read.

      • Olie says:

        Agreed, Hitting homers was the worst thing that happened to him by far. He stopped running although he never did seem to confident to run when game on line and he gave up even trying to bunt which should have been his strength, We will never know how good he could have been. Trade deadline may get best returns!

    • Celerino says:

      Nothing is being delayed. It's a fantasy to think that they would get any kind of serious prospect for him. Even though he is on the decline, he is still a useful player, and their best option in left until Frazier is ready.

  11. mosc says:

    The yankees can still trade him at the deadline or even after the 2017 season. He doesn't get 5 and 10 no-trade rights until just prior to the deadline 2018.

  12. tom says:

    I just returned from break and found out that Brett Gardner is still the hot commodity. Seriously?

  13. Not unloading him is the biggest mistake that Cashman has made in a while. I feel like its warranted. I mean…at this point Hicks is nearly as good. Then Ellsbury plays center, Judge and Austin battle it out in right. Then Frazier should be ready by midseason. Then you have Mason Williams or Dustin Fowler as the 4th outfielder. At this point Gardner is a luxury on a rebuilding team and he's an expensive on at that at $13 million. If they could have offloaded him they might have been able to stay under the luxury tax.

    • mosc says:

      Williams is little more than a lottery card and Fowler hasn't even seen AAA (or a walk). You shouldn't count on either for 2017. Frazier's AAA experience is minimal and not inspiring. He's also pretty young so you want to give him more AAA time as well. Refsnyder would be above those guys in outfield depth and that's not saying much.

      The Yankees could compete in 2017, there is potential. It could be a sub-500 year for the first time in decades but they have just as good a shot as a lot of teams do at the wild card IMHO. They can trade Gardner mid-season when contenders lose outfielders easier than they can right now if it comes to that. They can even trade him after the 2017 season if the need to. I think the guy who's going to push Gardner off is Austin. If Austin, Judge, and Bird all produce you're going to sit Gardner AND Ellsbury against left handed pitching and view them even more as overlapping. That's optimistic though because the Yankees are counting on at least 2 of those guys to make it so it seems safe to wait and see.

  14. Balt Yank says:

    I like Gardner and don't buy the trade him now chant despite some of the points made here. Hicks to me is less than impressive, though yes the last month of the season in the seven spot, indeed, he hit. He's got "talent" such as speed but doesn't make good jumps and seems idle in the field and basepaths. Austin and Judge hit 150 last year, Williams (who seems promising) had three total excellent weeks in the last two weeks at the MLB level. Gardner is a gold glove LF with 350 OBA.

  15. Balt Yank says:

    Williams = last two years.

    • Eric says:

      You may like Gardner but you are missing many peoples opinions. The reason to trade him now is that they have the flexibility to bring up Frazier at some point this season. This kid will need to play when called up and he IS their future. They can get by with Hicks, Williams, and Austin in a year that they are rebuilding. As mentioned before, the Yankees put themselves in this position with the Ellsbury contract.

      • Jerry says:

        I personally would love to see Austin get some kind of chance. I was impressed with his play and fire he possessed last year, a little swagger and clutch. 2017 is a good year to find out what we have moving forward. Why is that so hard for people to see. We have all these young players coming up and all they want to talk about how great Gardner is. Gardner is a gritty tough player who is decent, not a player we can't live without. He's an average player, that's all. No longer a threat on the bases , very little extra base power. His exit velo is below average, his time is over.

  16. hotdog says:

    I do not believe the Brett Gardner will be the reason why a rookie who is ready for the majors, doesn’t get his shot…Gardner is a Yankee until the end of the 2018 season…there’s a team option for 2019 but if the rookies pan out, i don’t see the Yankees exercising that option…i believe everything should fall into place…injuries are part of the game and our prospects will get their opportunities…i think it will be about who is the best outfielder for the job but i do hope they lean towards a focus on giving our young outfielders a very good and long look…

  17. Dan M says:

    I'm going to assume that Cashman didn't receive any possible offers that were good enough in his opinion that justified trading Gardner. If Gardner puts together a strong first half of the season and can stay healthy he may be more tradeable at the deadline if theirs a contending team that needs outfield help defensively or additional speed in their line-up. I don't know if it would ever happen but I feel like Gardner would thrive in San Francisco, a big out field like AT&T Park would be perfect for Gardner and his line drive style of hitting. His legs may not be what they were and their only going to get worse with time but he would still be dangerous in San Fran if he can just slap a ball into the gaps, not to mention that deep corner in Right-Center field. N like many have said we are gonna need space in the outfield for when Frazier is ready and the rest of the Yankees talented OF prospects.

  18. enter42 says:

    Gardner is a perfect fit for right now. If Clint Frazier is the heir apparent then consider Gardner an above average place holder. The youth movement is great but you need some veteran leadership on the field. They just said goodbye to a ton of veteran leadership in Arod, Tex, McCann, Beltran. Ellsbury and Headley may be a vets but don't come off as leaders, CC leads the pitching staff in that regard but they still need Brett to lead the position players. He is not a liability. Lets not talk about him like he's in Arod decline, its just not true. It's not like Brett is the difference between contending or not….that would be the starting pitching. Quintana seemed attainable….how many future outfielders do the Yanks need? They could've packaged some that weren't named Frazier and got the deal done. Let's not overrate the youth movement, veterans and starting pitching are still required.

    • Jerry says:

      We did add Holliday, who is known as a clubhouse leader. As for starting pitching, we don't have much and without it , it won't make a difference what kind of leadership we have.
      … This whole team is operating on the youth movement coming forward, if we are overrating it, we are in a whole lot of trouble. That's one of the reasons to find out what we have, we know we are not going anywhere in 2017, and Gardner is not part of the FUTURE. So play the youth.
      … I would also love to pick up Quintana, but it sounds like the Sox were just asking for way too much.

  19. billy joe howiwitz says:

    those who do not realize garners importance are just ignorant homer happy people who have no idea how a winning team is built

    • Or people who see that he doesn't steal bases anymore, is hitting the ball weaker than ever before, and his only value is in his decent, but not great OBP and defense. It's not like defense and a few walks are irreplaceable.

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