WARNING: Trading Brett Gardner may be detrimental to your team dynamic.
You’ve heard the talks about trading Brett Gardner. The Yankees already got rid of Jose Pirela and dropped a surprise trade of John Ryan Murphy for the rising star that is Aaron Hicks.
With the acquisition of Hicks, it almost seems like the lights on the Gardner era are dimming. It would seem to be an addition that will set up a trade for Gardner.
Gardner was in talks last year as trade bait because he has good value. He has speed and strong defensive skills. His bat was hot in the beginning of the season and has potential to be a solid leadoff hitter for another team. He was an All-Star and is a World Series Champion.
The problem is that Gardner is good trade bait…but he is also a piece that is difficult to lose.
Gardner not only is a strong player, but is a leader in the clubhouse and dugout. He hustles and works hard and plays the game the right way…he is everything a team wants in a player.
So why don’t the Yankees want him?
Technically, they do. So if they use him for a trade, they’ll get something in return but they will not have Gardner to rely on.
Sure, people bring up his lousy second half of the 2015 season, where he was inconsistent at the plate and played through a lingering injury. And yes, during this time frame he did not do much to help the Yankees in the playoff race.
However, he consistently showed up every day and worked to improve. Pretty soon, it got in his head and he did not come through. But he was not the reason the Yankees didn’t coast to the World Series…the entire offense ended up going mute at the same time.
Without Brett Gardner, the Yankees rely on Carlos Beltran in right field, Jacoby Ellsbury in center field and Hicks in left. With a young Hicks out there, he still need to learn from veterans. So that leaves him to rely on Ellsbury, who is one of the most injury-prone players on the squad, and Beltran, who’s age has caught up with him enough that his outfield play is nothing short of embarrassing.
Hicks and Gardner would make a good team in the outfield. And with a healthy Ellsbury, the trio of outfielders could be the fastest in the league. That is something you don’t want to lose.
Could the Yankees replace Gardner? I’m sure they could replace him with someone who bats a solid .290 or higher and cranks over 30 home runs. However, they can’t replace attitude.
Gardner has the attitude it takes to be in New York. He has kept the media at bay and has found a sense of comfort in the Big Apple.
Yankees fans love Brett Gardner. He has a likeable spirit and an infectious attitude on the field. At 32, Gardner is a reliable outfielder, which is something to say with all of the injuries sustained by New York last season.
You want a guy that will stick around all season and be out there day in and day out? Want a guy who lifts teammates up and works hard every day on the field? Want a guy who is a role model?
That guy is Gardner.
Gardner is everything a team could want in a player. And the Yankees have that. So is it worth it to throw that away for a decent pitcher?
Time to think, Cashman, not about what is best for you but what is best for the team.