Yesterday, we read a bit about the Yankees and Royals not necessarily being good trade partners when it comes to Zack Greinke.
As the article states, this makes sense. Aside from Jesus Montero, the Yankees don’t have much in the way of up-the-middle talent, save for someone like David Adams, but he’s far from a package headliner. Eduardo Nunez could also be considered up the middle “talent” but he’s a throw in at best.
This does, however, sell Brett Gardner a bit short. He can most definitely play center field, and his name, according to Jerry Crasnick, came up in trade talks between the Yankees and Royals. Obviously, for a guy like Greinke, Gardner’s not going to be the headliner. But, let’s forget specific deals for a moment. Would you include Brett Gardner in a trade?
Because I would. Gardner definitely has value to the Yankees. He’s cheap and can provide good production which gives him good value. However, there’s a chance we never see a season quite this good out of Gardner ever again. I’m always a proponent of letting a guy go a year early rather than a year late. Granted, this strategy works more when discussing free agents. I guess we could call the trade version of this selling high.
Replacing Gardner could be an issue since there’s no one in line to simply take his job. The Yankees could opt to run a platoon for LF if Gardner left via trade, but there doesn’t seem to be much of a point to that. Unless you’re getting something great in a Gardner-inclusive package, you might as well just keep Gardner and sign a platoon partner for him/Curtis Granderson.
In a package for Greinke, I’d include Gardner because that could lessen the prospect load. However, if we’re trading Gardner straight up for someone or as a headliner, I wouldn’t do that. If Gardner is the headliner, chances are he’d more valuable to the Yankees than the player he’d be traded for would. Of course, if the Cardinals really want to turn Colby Rasmus into Brett Gardner, I’d be happy to do that swap, and drive Brett to the airport.
The chances that Brett Gardner gets traded are very small and there are two fundamental questions: Would you trade Brett Gardner? Yeah, sure. I’d definitely explore the option. Will Brett Gardner be traded? Probably not. And if he isn’t traded, I won’t be mad.
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