Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Trade Brett Gardner or Chase Headley?

Over the weekend, reports surfaced that the Toronto Blue Jays may be interested in Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner.  Not that I really expect the Yankees to trade with a division rival, but it did make me wonder if I’d prefer to see Gardner or the other speculated trade possibility third baseman Chase Headley go.

Ideally, the team should keep both but from a financial standpoint and for a team that is potentially posturing for a major free agent signing after the 2018 season while looking for luxury tax relief, it makes too much sense to move one of the higher priced veterans.

As a Yankees fan, my immediate preference is to keep Gardner.  However, that does not necessarily make the most sense.  With the nearest third base prospect, Miguel Andujar, still a few years away, there are more options for left field.

Any way you slice it, the Yankees are stuck with centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury…whether you like it or not.  Durability-wise, moving Ellsbury to left field is not a bad idea.  It would then open center field for a young, nearly ready prospect like Mason Williams or Dustin Fowler (for some reason, I always want to call him Dexter but it would just be a slip of the tongue or rather finger as I do not have any desire for the Cardinals new centerfielder).   It is inevitable that top prospect Clint Frazier will make an appearance in the Bronx at some point in the 2017 season so if neither Williams nor Fowler prove capable, Frazier will have his first opportunity at the main stage. 

If Ellsbury stays in center, then Aaron Hicks should be given every opportunity to take the left field job.  I know it is tough given the uncertainty of Aaron Judge in right and whether or not he’ll be able to make the necessary adjustments at this level, but the Yankees have no shortage of outfield prospects.  Plus, you can still pencil in Matt Holliday’s name for occasional outfield start or two.  Tyler Austin will also be in the mix assuming that Greg Bird takes first base as expected.  It would be fun to see a dark horse like Jake Cave have a tremendous Spring to claim a spot.

The Yankees enter the 2017 season with expectations that place them no higher than third place in the rejuvenated AL East.  It is the time to take chances on the young guys.  It’s why I am not a proponent for packaging a few of the top prospects for someone like Chicago White Sox newly anointed ace Jose Quintana.  Some will fail but it is very possible that a few can succeed.  But we’ll never know if they are not given the opportunity.


Brett Gardner has been a good Yankee but his trade value will never be greater than what it is today.  He should be the one to go, especially if it provides help for the back end of the starting rotation.

4 comments:

  1. Being stuck with Ellsbury is a big problem. He has proven how "fragile" he can be and whether he can play the whole season remains to be seen.

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  2. The Ellsbury Solution :

    I have seen photographs of Ellsbury, doing some form of
    Navajo Indian dance, wearing feathers and fringe leather.
    In his youth, or during his wedding, what difference ?

    There must be other images of him with the medicine man, or
    some poor ranchers farm animal. Unearth them ! My money is on
    the medicine man.
    Sit him down, and make the offer.....accept a one way ticket
    back to Boston, or the images pop up at every at bat....
    on the Jumbo-Tron.

    Our luck....he, and the medicine man, will appear 4-5 times
    a game for the next four years.

    Just one guy's thoughts on this leaden gray day in January.

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  3. Trade both their asses even for a used bag of balls

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  4. Peter O'Brien......off the menu.

    Peter O'Brien is 26 years old, and does not have a position. But he hits.
    He needed a chance, because he hits like a monster.

    Ex-Yankee Peter O'Brien was signed today by the Royals, in exchange for
    a young pitcher you will never know. Never.
    Peter O'Brien hits balls 460+ feet. But he can't field.
    Judge can field, but has forgotten how to hit.

    So lads, what is so wrong with at 26 yr old, DH, that can really rake.
    As we move forward into the baseball darkness ?

    Answer...You should'a grabbed him up. Sad.

    ReplyDelete