Sunday, December 15, 2013

Yankees have 'absolutely no intention' of trading Brett Gardner

Despite speculation suggesting the New York Yankees have explored the idea of trading outfielder Brett Gardner, team president Randy Levine went on the radio with Ian O'Connor of ESPN New York on Sunday and said the Yankees have "absolutely no intention" of dealing the 30-year-old Gardner this offseason.

Levine declined to comment on the proposed Brandon Phillips-for-Gardner trade that New York reportedly rejected Wednesday night, however, he did convey that he expects Gardner to be in pinstripes come 2014.


"We think he's going to be on the roster," Levine said. "One of the reasons the baseball people signed Jacoby Ellsbury is the two of them together present a tremendous dynamic one-two or nine-one, whatever Joe Girardi decides to write in at the top of the lineup.

"One will play left, one will play center, and it's a tremendous defensive situation. So no there's absolutely no intention to move Brett Gardner. We get inquiries about every single one of our players all the time, [GM Brian Cashman] listens, but there's no attempt here to trade or move Brett Gardner."

So there you have it. This could simply be some sugarcoated talk by the front office to avoid upsetting Gardner and/or maintaining leverage with other teams interested in a trade, but it sounds as though the Yankees are totally content with keeping the speedy outfielder around. If so, it gives the Reds one less option to turn to if they aren't yet comfortable with handing the everyday centerfield job to Billy Hamilton.

Gardner batted .273/.344/.416 with 33 doubles and 24 stolen bases this summer. He is eligible to hit the free agent market at the conclusion of next season.

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