I think Brett Gardner is under valued right now despite his recent gold glove nomination. He has speed, the fifth highest on base percentage for outfielders in the American league and he is a veteran.
He has a lot to offer a team looking for some outfield help and with the Yankees starting to phase out these veterans I have to wonder…..is Brett Gardner next?
It could happen. The Yankees have plenty of outfield options for this year and especially the future. This year we got to see Aaron Judge and we can’t forget that Clint Frazier is considered the Yankees number one prospect and he is knocking on the door. Sure, we may not see him this coming season but 2018 is very likely. So why not look at cashing in on Brett Gardner while his stock is high? I can think of two teams that would be very interested and would be a great trade partner for the Yankees.
Back at the trade deadline it was rumored that Brian Cashman and Seattle’s GM Jerry Dipoto were in talks to trade Gardner for some pitching. The Yankees were holding out for Taijuan Walker but Seattle said no. They were willing to trade James Paxton but said no to Walker and talks fizzled.
Now it looks like the Yankees may have missed out. After the deadline Paxton pitched to a 3.26 ERA with 56 strikeouts in his last nine starts. Paxton also found success in a new sinker pitch topping out at 97 miles an hour and freakishly cannot be explained. Paxton has had some injury issues in the past but he be another valuable left hander if he can stay healthy and has found a new weapon with this pitch then Cashman should consider calling Dipoto again.
I have always been a Gio Gonzalez fan and I had always hoped that the Yankees were going to get him before he went to the Nationals. Gonzalez is coming off a down year with an 11-11 record and a 4.57 ERA but it may be a fluke. Since 2011 he has racked up over 1000 strikeouts and 80 wins.
This time last year the Nationals were in trade talks with the Arizona Diamondbacks but an agreement could not be reached after the Diamondbacks refused to give up any of their top position players. Washington is a good trade partner because they are looking for a speedy lead-off man and that on base percentage certainly proves he can give the Nationals what they need. There is also some injury risk with Gonzalez but he doesn’t become a free agent until 2018 but he has a vesting option that requires him to pitch 180 innings in 2017 and if he doesn’t the Yankees will not have to keep him.
It’s always nice to have another left hander, and Cashman has made it clear that pitching is a priority. With so much outfield talent I think the Yankees should at least put some feelers out there for Gardner because he would be a nice addition on any team and the free agent pitching choices are very uninspiring. Just because you initiate a deal it doesn’t mean you have to pull the trigger, right?
–Jeana Bellezza, BYB Senior Writer & Editor
Follow me on Twitter: @NYPrincessJ