Trade Market for Brett Gardner Getting Smaller
While I still believe the Yankees will end up trading Brett Gardner before the start of the 2016 season, it appears that one possible trade destination appears less likely.
During the 2015 General Manager Meetings we learned the Mariners and Yankees had discussed the possibility of a Brett Gardner trade. However, with the Mariners striking a deal on Monday to acquire Texas Rangers center fielder Leonys Martin in a five-player trade, the Brett Gardner to the Seattle Mariners door has just about closed.
Gardner would have been a perfect fit for a Seattle team that desperately needed a solid center fielder who can set the table from the lead off role for their big guns Nelson Cruz and Robinson Cano, but now Leonys Martin will looks to fill that role instead.
While some might insist the Yankees should keep Brett Gardner, even with their recent acquisition of Aaron Hicks from the Minnesota Twins, a Brett Gardner trade is probably inevitable. The Yankees are looking to get younger in general, and Brett Gardner is the only easy veteran trade chip. Jacoby Ellsbury is blocked by his lucrative contract, which includes a full no-trade clause. No one will pick up Carlos Beltran and the $15 MM he’s owed over one year and having the aging Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira under contract through next season and beyond means that the 32-year old Brett Gardner is more expendable than ever.
According to Joel Sherman, the Yankees were looking to trade Brett Gardner for a young left-handed pitcher. The most obvious candidate was southpaw James Paxton from the Seattle Mariners, but the Yankees will need to look elsewhere.
There may not be a ton of young left-handed pitching available, but there are a ton of young right-handed arms being shopped around the league. For starters, 28-year old Jeremy Hellickson was just traded to the Philadelphia Phillies. Other notable young arms being talked about throughout the league are Zack Wheeler, Shelby Miller and Andrew Cashner amongst others. One left-handed pitcher that could be on the block is Chicago White Sox southpaw Jose Quintana.
The only tricky part is finding a trade partner for Brett Gardner similar to the Seattle Mariners.
What do you think Yankee fans? Let us know in the comments below.
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