Gardner Garnering Interest From White Sox, Royals

With the Yankees suddenly flush with outfielders and likely to add another bat before the end of the offseason, clubs are moving in on Brett Gardner as a cheap, reasonably productive option for their open center field jobs. From MLBTR:

Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times hears from a scout familiar with the situation that the White Sox covet Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner. The Yankees, who just acquired Curtis Granderson, have extra outfielders so the White Sox and Royals have inquired on Gardner.

I’m not sure about the Royals, but I do have one name picked out on the White Sox. Lefty reliever Matt Thornton had a stellar year, his second consecutive good year after muddling through his first 4 seasons in the majors. He is 32, so the Yankees would be trading a young CF’er for a guy on the wrong side of 30, but Thornton is a better fit for the Yankees over the next two seasons, as he would fit nicely in the slot held by Phil Hughes in 2009. Thornton was worth 2.5 WAR this past season, while Gardner came in at 2.1 in part time duty. Money-wise, the White Sox have options on Thornton for 2010 and 2011, both coming in under 3 million dollars.

So what is the catch? Word out of Chicago is that the White Sox have soured on closer Bobby Jenks. If that is true, I would not be surprised to see Jenks be moved while they hand the ball to Thornton for the 9th inning. Jenks had a poor year in 2009, has attitude issues, and has apparently lost some velocity. I would be hesitant to give Gardner up for a bad body pitcher with injury issues.

What about you? Anyone on either club that intrigues you?

0 thoughts on “Gardner Garnering Interest From White Sox, Royals

  1. leftylarry

    I believe Melky is more likely to be traded.
    He’s out of options and if Hoffman makes it, he and Gardner combined are a better player, more versatile and cheaper than Melky.
    Of course Cano could go into a depression and no longer be a clutch hitter if his a-hole buddy Melky were to be traded.LOL

    • Moshe Mandel

      I think it depends on what they do in LF. If they just bring in a DH (matsui, Damon, etc) and that is it, I think Melky is a better everyday option in LF and they will trade Gardner. If they fill both LF and Dh, then Gardner is a better bench option and they trade Melky.

      • Who would bring back more? I think the league looks at Gardner and with his speed project him to be an everyday CF more likely than Melky with his switch hitting, the only problem is that Melky is terrible hitting off the bench and doesn’t have real base running steal speed while Gardner is the magic weapon off the bench!

    • OldFan

      I, too, am concerned about breaking up the comaraderie between Melky, Cano, and, most important, Arod.

      But, the way things are unfolding this offseason,the writing is on the wall that Melky, someday soon, may leave us. I hope someone with knowledge of the clubhouse chemistry is considering this. As highly paid professionals you’d think they can handle the way baseball works (trades, FA), but they are human beings too, some with fragile egos.

      I would also hope that Cashman would husband his Gardner and Melky chips for something significant, like Halladay, and not just fritter them away on something frivolous.

      • I think bringing in Granderson is a chemistry move as well, since they know most likely they are not retaining Damon and may in fact be letting Melky go bringing in a guy with a good reputation as a good and cheerful guy like Granderson could be the start of replacing those personalities in the club house.

  2. OldFan

    I sort of like keeping Gardner for his speed. When he was inserted as a pinch runner late in games, he seemed to turn the game flow around, and sometimes, good things happened. He was a very nice option “tool”.
    Of course we could always get another young speedster for this role, but sometimes the right guy is hard to find–ie Gardner seemed to be a lot better than that pinch runner we got for the ALDS.

    Kenny Williams of the WSox seems to be staffing up their team for a run in 2010, or 2011. I think that it would be hard to get a “deal” from them, as they wouldn’t be in dump mode.They do have outstanding ML starting pitching talent. Perhaps, they have a good AAA or AA pitcher who is blocked?
    I can imagine us facing them in the playoffs soon, and I wouldn’t want to see Gardner trying to score the winning run on us in the 9th inning.

    • Moshe Mandel

      I like Gardner as well, but as a 4th outfielder. I think that he might have some value to some teams as a starter right now, and he unlikely to play much CF for the Yanks this year, so his value has a decent shot of going down. Now that he unlikely to ever start in CF for the Yanks, it might make sense to cash in that chip.

      • Mo is right, if the White Sox or another team value Gardner as a starter then it may be smart to trade him now and see if you can’t get a starter or something in a deal involving Gardner.

      • OldFan

        OK, i can see it, we just need to make sure that we get a very useful piece in return.

        • I would trade Gardner 1-1 for a bullpen piece with some potential to setup or a in a trade to receive a starter, trading either one for more offense if we are signing either Cameron or Holliday for LF doesn’t make sense.

          • I was reading the Tweets on the side of TYU and I don’t know who said it but someone was talking about Matt Thornton from the White Sox, if he was involved in a deal for Gardner I think the Yankees would have to take a good look at it. He may be 33 but I saw him mowing down the Yankee lineup a few times last year and he has good enough stuff he could serve as a setup man in the 8th and allow Marte to be the first lefty out of the pen in lefty on lefty situations… If Thornton could make last years Yankee lineup look silly he could pitch in the AL East as a setup man for sure.

          • Moshe Mandel

            It was me. if you read through this post you will notice that I bring him up in detail. I think Thornton would be a good fit and make for a pretty fair trade. I asked Sky from BTB about it, and he said that the Yankees would be giving up more value, but it would fill a need for both clubs. It makes sense.

          • Yeah I went up and read the main outline after posting…. I really planned to read some of the other posts and not actually post myself so I decided not to read it but as usual when I try that plan I end up getting sucked into all the Yankees chatter myself haha.

            It’s trading away youth for need and if you think that Gardner will never be anything more than a pinch runner and 4th outfielder on our team team (which with the addition of Granderson I do) then trading what is essentially a pinch runner and defensive backup for a setup man who more than handled the best lineup in the league last year and has plenty of AL experience is a pretty good move, and if the White Sox think he can be a starter for them it works out well for us, The White Sox and Gardner.

            As I state below if the team brought back Matsui, signed Sheets and traded Gardner for Thornton I think we would head into this season a better team than the one who won the World Series. Agree or Disagree?

          • I would like to add to that and say I would probably pass on Bobby Jenks, if we were going that route we could just make a Jenks with Chamberlain and be done with him in the rotation instead of trading Gardner.

            If you could sign Matsui to DH, bring in Sheets to start and trade Gardner for Thornton you could have a pretty good team heading into next year one that I would venture to say might be better than last years model. Of course starting Melky in LF and trading Gardner for a reliever makes Pena the pinch runner and 4th outfielder but would it really matter?

            Rivera (CL)
            Thornton (SU)
            Robertson
            Marte
            Aceves
            Gaudin

            Sabathia
            Burnett
            Pettitte
            Sheets
            Hughes/Joba

            Jeter, SS
            Granderson, CF
            Tex, 1B
            Arod, 3B
            Matsui, DH
            Posada, C
            Cano, 2B
            Swisher, RF
            Melky, LF

          • The Scout

            I think you have a “pretty good team” already!

          • With the White Sox signing of JJ Putz today that could open the White Sox up to trading Thornton a little more since they may have someone who can step into the 8th inning for them and be the setup man.

  3. Save Brett Gardner!

    • Moshe Mandel

      I know you like him, Greg, but don’t you think he loses a lot of value now that they have Granderson? If he isn’t seeing regular time in CF, I’m not sure he is worth holding onto if you could get a solid piece for next year’s club.

  4. Moshe Mandel: I think it depends on what they do in LF. If they just bring in a DH (matsui, Damon, etc) and that is it, I think Melky is a better everyday option in LF and they will trade Gardner. If they fill both LF and Dh, then Gardner is a better bench option and they trade Melky.  

    Can they really fill LF, DH and a starting pitcher and cut payroll? Can they even sign a DH and LF and cut payroll?

    At some point either the rotation or pen needs to be upgraded from what it is right now and I think all the Holliday in LF love while understood is based on the assumption that Burnett and Pettitte will both pitch 200+ innings next year and on the assumption that a 3 man rotation will work in the playoffs again but this time with a 33 year old Burnett and a 38 year old Pettitte.

    If they were going to sign anyone for LF I would rather them sign Cameron for LF since he would come cheap and on a 1 year deal but can you really bring back Matsui to DH, add Cameron to LF and address the rotation? Cameron makes Melky or Gardner one expendable and you could upgrade the pen that way I suppose but the rotation would still need to be addressed and could you really afford Matsui, Sheets and Cameron?

    • Moshe Mandel

      Probably not. If they fill both Dh and LF they will need to either focus on relievers rather than starters, or go for the real injury cases like Escobar and Duchsherer, who should be much cheaper.

      • Duchsherer I say absolutley not too! We basically already have that in Gaudin and at least Chad has proven he can pitch in NY under the bright lights… Not to mention Duchsherer has been light up in his career by left handed pitching including giving up 10 HRs to LHB in 2008.

        Option A. The way I see it you can either go after the big dog in LF with Holliday and start Swisher at DH and Melky in RF and use that scenario to do the rotating DH idea where when one of the group (Jeter, Tex, Arod, Posada) need to DH then Melky goes to the bench and Swisher goes out to RF.

        Option B. The other option you have is to sign Matsui to DH and bring in Sheets to start and give him 7 or 8 million with incentives that can bring it up to 11-12 million and in this scenario Melky plays LF, either way you are left with Melky having a starting role or semi starting role on the team and Gardner as the 4th outfielder and Pena as the super sub first off the bench for infield and 5th outfielder.

        To me these two are the closest to solving the problems at hand with number 2 being the much more reasonable idea since I don’t believe Holliday to be necessary and I do believe adding a starter of Sheets level to be a need since he can be the 4th starter in a playoff series and you wouldn’t worry about him at all! In fact Sheets is the kind of guy who could start a game 2 if need be in the WS if the ALCS went to 7.

  5. leftylarry

    Under the RIGHT circumstances, I’d rather see Gardner/Hoffman in CF and Granderson in the cavernous Yankee LF.
    Gardner looks just awful when he’s going bad but before he broke his thumb, he was hitting plenty well enough with his speed and his fielding was superb.Same deal the year before when he returned from the minors and hit well over .300 from there on in.
    With Gardner in CF, GRanderson in Left and the much improved Swisher, awkward but effective in RF, Yankees would have a very, very good defensive OF and Hoffman could spell Swisher in RF.
    Gardner looked like he could hit .275 to me with lot’s of triples and a few inside the park jobs when they play too close in the outfield.He also has the base running speed to make a huge difference in close games, playing every inning, not by Girardi forcing it by putting him just to try to steal when the entire Ball Park knows it.Again, when Gardner is bad, he’s terrible but a lot of that is inexperience and lack of confidence where he gets 2 strikes not swinging at good pitches and then goes after the low inside breaking pitch that he just can’t handle yet.

    • Under no circumstance would I want Hoffman to become a semi everyday player especially when his D in CF will probably be worse than Granderson! there is no way the Yankee traded for the guy to put him in LF!

    • Moshe Mandel

      If they dont sign a LF, Gardner in CF and Grandy in LF might make as much or more sense than Grandy in CF and Melky in LF, bit it is never going to happen. As Chris said, there is no way they traded for Granderson to put him in LF.

      • Melky’s arm in LF makes a lot of sense though!

        Just the threat of the power in Melky’s arm in LF will make guys hesitant to turn first and try to sneak out a double and he will slow down the amount of runners scoring from 2nd on balls hit to LF and sac fly’s to LF become almost non existent. Gardner may have more speed than Melky but in LF I believe that Melky’s arm or at least the threat of it makes him more valuable in LF with Granderson in CF than Granderson in LF and Gardner in CF.

        • Moshe Mandel

          I think that is fair. I can see it either way, but gun to my head, I too would take Melky in LF.

          • I think just the fact that we have had to deal with such a terrible arm in LF for a few years now it would be a major plus to the stopping the other teams running game if they had to fear an arm in LF again.

            I like Gardner and all but when you consider all involved including trading for Granderson as CFer it makes the most sense for Melky to go to LF.

  6. leftylarry

    Melky has little upside, he is what he is..Mediocre and frankly, not a highly motivated person.He sucked again when Gardner was injured and got hot when Gardner was ready to return.

    • Somebody forgot their Caps Lock was on.

    • Moshe Mandel

      Melky is 24. He is younger than Gardner, and had his best season last year. I’m not sure why he would be different than most players who improve as they enter the 26-30 years. Also, you know nothing about his motivation.

      Please try to avoid all caps comments, thanks.

    • If he has the exact same year ths year offensively as he did last year he will be more valuable this year than he was last year because in LF his defense will be improved and he will take away more runs than he did last year… If we can win the World Series with Melky in CF and Damon in LF we can definitely win with [Melky] in LF and Granderson in CF.

  7. I really don’t see why Melky gets so much heat from Yankee fans… How many dead last lineup hitters have as good a year as Melky had last year? IF Melky Cabrera is the worst player on your team I think you are doing pretty good!

    • Moshe Mandel

      Yankee fans are impatient. We keep waiting for him to take a step forward, and when improvements come slowly (a bit more patient last year, a bit more willing to go the other way) we cant take it.

      • I think he is pretty close to figuring things out… Towards the end of the season his slumps started to be less and less lengthy and he would get out of his pull swing habit a lot faster than I have seen him do before, so showing patients and development at the plate is something that could bode well for his future.

        Jeter, SS
        Granderson, CF
        Tex, 1B
        Arod, 3B
        Matsui, DH
        Posada, C
        Cano, 2B
        Swisher, RF
        Melky, LF

        I would be more than happy with that lineup! It’s just as offensively powerful as last years if not more so with Granderson having more real power than Damon and it’s a defensive upgrade from last years model, just add a little pitching and you could easily repeat.

  8. leftylarry

    Moshe Mandel: Melky is 24. He is younger than Gardner, and had his best season last year. I’m not sure why he would be different than most players who improve as they enter the 26-30 years. Also, you know nothing about his motivation.
    Please try to avoid all caps comments, thanks.  

    I know what I see.He coasts until Yankees bench him or a replacement is nipping at his heels.Let’s not forget Gardner actually beat him out in Spring training too.
    On teams where he wasn’t in walk-off situations with better hitters coming up after him and men on base he’d be a very, very mediocre player and many of his big hits have been of the dink and dunk variety.Additionally, I don’t think he’s a good influence on Cano who needs to continue growing up also.

    • I’m glad you have met both Cano and Melky and keep in contact with them all the time to check in on their moods and maturity levels.

      • Moshe Mandel

        Lol. Chris, i wanted to ask you. You referenced the Twitter feed before. Do you read it on the site itself, or from the main twitter page? I was wondering whether to keep that entire contraption on the page when we move sites.

        • I actually don’t have twitter or do anything with it at all but when I am on this site I read it on the side of the page once through before I get off just because it usually does have something here or there I either didn’t know about or it led to something getting expanded on.

          I would definitely say keep it…

          • Moshe Mandel

            Great to know. We will keep it.

    • woopwoop

      I always get a kick out of the racial undertones that creep into the Gardner/Melky discussions. Lazy, unmotivated, immature…..things which wouldn’t be said to an identical player who wasn’t Dominican.

  9. I was going to look at a trade but with the Royals being involved and not the White Sox and I got to tell you I don’t think they have anyone I would trade 1-1 for Gardner that they would deal 1-1 for Gardner.

    Basically if you are looking at there pen they only have 2 guys I would want and they plugged one of them into the rotation last year and I wouldn’t want him as a starter. Obviously the first is Joakim Soria who the Royals wouldn’t trade for Gardner and the second is Robinson Tejeda who I wouldn’t trade Gardner for.

    In the rotation the only 2 starters who interest me (besides Zack) are Bannister and Davies and between the 2 Davies is younger and better against left handed pitching but I am not sure how well his fastball will play in Yankee stadium and against AL East lineups. In the end I don’t think I would trade Gardner for either one of them when you consider that Gardner is a much better plan B in the outfield than Ramiro Pena is.

    Gardner had a 2.1 WAR in 2009 while Bannister had a 2.8 and Davies had a 0.8 (coming off of 1.9 in 2008) so maybe Bannister would be far more valuable as the 4th starter in the rotation than Gardner would be as the 4th outfielder/pinch runner.

    With that said it looks like the best 1-1 match up with the Royals is Brett Gardner for Brian Bannister (5.73 K/9, 2.92 BB/9, 1.96 K/BB, 0.88 HR/9, .270 OBA, 1.37 WHIP, .299 BABIP, 4.44 FIP with the Royals in 2009) would you do it?

    Sabathia
    Burnett
    Pettitte
    Bannister?
    Hughes/Joba

    • leftylarry

      Not in Yankee Stadium.He’d give up 35 HR’S there.

      • He gave up 15 HRs this year 9 to right handed hitter and 6 to left handed hitters, what proof do you have that Yankee stadium more than doubles your HRs allowed? I know the royals home park is big but he gave up 7 at home this year and 8 on the road so I don’t see a huge split there if anything it is closer than I thought it would be.

        This year Bannister had a .266/.313/.365/.678 to LHB and a .270/.331/.415/.747 to RHB so he takes care of lefties better than righties so there is no huge red flags anywhere in his numbers that would say he would come close to 35 HRs allowed.

  10. Peter

    The time to move on Gardie is now. His speed is only useful to us at the top of the order or as a PH. We know theres no room at the top of the lineup, and his value can be doubled in a trade (we can find another pinch runner)

    I’ve also been THINKING that maybe 2010 is the year that Cano really could and should step up to the plate and bat behind Alex. If he can just temper his swing a little more and be even more selective than he was in 2009, it could really be a dominant option to be able to have our 2B protecting our cleanup hitter.

    If Cano can do this, we can save the 1 year money that we would throw at Matsui. Make do with Melky, Swish in the OF, give Sheets the 1 year 8 mil w incentives, and maybe go sign a cheaper 1 year option DH to come off the bench. Remember the market is flooded with DH options who could come cheap (Thome? perhaps). Championships are won with pitching (quote:DJ), I’d rather have too much of it than not enough going into the season and wasting money on Damon and Matsui.

  11. LeftyLarry

    woopwoop: I always get a kick out of the racial undertones that creep into the Gardner/Melky discussions. Lazy, unmotivated, immature…..things which wouldn’t be said to an identical player who wasn’t Dominican.  (Quote)

    Racial overtones?
    Guy goes into a funk and Yankees read him and Cano the riot act (Cano’s father did the same)2 seasons back and Yankees further tried to motivate him with Gardner and the competition in Spring Training.
    I didn’t know dark skinned Hispanic players weren’t allowed ot be criticised for making more money than they could have ever imagined and not taking thier careers seriously enough.
    Brian Bruney was cut by his first team for doing the exact same thing.Staying out late, partying and not being motived to play baseball and get better nad he threw the ball 96-97 MPH.
    Anybody who doesn’t think both Cano (he of the occasional ridicuous brain fart) and Melky could be more focused both on and off the field but somewhow thinks it’s a a RACIAl thing IMO is a politcally correct dope.
    Curtis Granderson is obviously a person of color and obviously a great guy who I think will appreciate what he has and will focus on baseball and thrive in NY.
    Immature types like Melky better hit like his partner Cano does.

  12. LeftyLarry

    LeftyLarry: Racial overtones?Guy goes into a funk and Yankees read him and Cano the riot act (Cano’s father did the same)2 seasons back and Yankees further tried to motivate him with Gardner and the competition in Spring Training.I didn’t know dark skinned Hispanic players weren’t allowed ot be criticised for making more money than they could have ever imagined and not taking their careers seriously enough.Brian Bruney was cut by his first team for doing the exact same thing.Staying out late, partying and not being motived to play baseball and get better nad he threw the ball 96-97 MPH.Anybody who doesn’t think both Cano (he of the occasional ridicuous brain fart) and Melky could be more focused both on and off the field but somewhow thinks it’s a a RACIAl thing IMO is a politcally correct dope.Curtis Granderson is obviously a person of color and obviously a great guy who I think will appreciate what he has and will focus on baseball and thrive in NY.Immature types like Melky better hit like his partner Cano does.  (Quote)

  13. The Scout: I think you have a “pretty good team” already!  

    It’s a good but A team with no DH, 3 starters that are playoff worthy and a bullpen with a 40 year old closer and no setup man need some work! We can’t repeat with the team we have right now I fully believe that, you add Sheets to the rotation, Thornton to the pen and bring Matsui back and you have a better team than the one that won the WS.

    to get complacent with where we are now is not a good thing at all, we lived and died last year with 3 starting pitchers 2 of them will be 33+ years old this year I really don’t think we can go into the playoffs with a 3 man rotation and expect the same results, and if you thought Hughes looked terrified coming out of the pen in the playoffs try giving him a start and see what happens.

  14. EJ Fagan

    The Royals are also rumored to be interested in trading David DeJesus. He would look really good in left field.

    Gardner + someone like Wilkins De La Rosa?

    • I wouldn’t do that!

      He hit .281/.347/.434/.781 with 13 HRs last year in 558 ABs
      Melky hit .274/.336/.416/.752 with 13 HRs last year in 485 ABs

      DeJesus is better than Melky defensively but I think Melky has the stronger arm and I really don’t see it as much of an upgrade over Melky in LF and you have to give up Gardner and a future left handed pitcher out of the pen to do so.

      IMO it’s giving up to much to not upgrade that much… I would rather have Melky in LF and Gardner as the pinch runner and 4th outfielder with De La Rosa as an option late in the season out of the pen than just have DeJesus for LF.

      If I was going to trade him to the Royals I would go for Brian Bannister… To trade Gardner for offense doesn’t make sense to me when we need pitching… If Melky or Gardner gets traded it should be for a reliever like Thornton (who I would rather have over DeJesus) or a starter.

      I would much rather have Melky in LF and Thornton setting up rather than have just DeJesus in LF.

      • EJ Fagan

        Let’s remember that Dejesus was not just a good defensive player – he was one of the best left fielders in the game. He was worth about 1.5 wins on defense alone, and hit about the same as Melky.

        He’s cost controlled and under contract for 2 more seasons. He was a 3 win player last season according to Fangraphs.

        Melky would be a great 4th outfielder. Jamie would be our 5th outfielder. Gardner becomes unnecessary. While its nice to have Gardner as a pinch runner, that role is relatively unimportant during the regular season, and plenty of guys can fill it if need be.

        • I really doubt Melky is the 4th outfielder in that situation… Gardner is better off the bench than Melky so if you are only going to keep one and the one you keep is going to the bench than you trade Melky and keep Gardner but the problem is you can’t get as much for Melky.

          I don’t want to trade Gardner+ for a defensive LFer when we have someone who will hit close to the same and play above average D in LF even though it’s not as good as DeJesus and we can trade Gardner 1-1 for Thornton.

          As I said I would much rather have Melky in LF and Thornton setting up than just have DeJesus in LF. a LFer, a setup man and a future lefty reliever or just a LFer who can’t hit that much better than Melky.