Here's the other new story I alluded to in the previous recap post. According to Joel Sherman, the Yankees and Mariners have "discussed" a potential trade involving Brett Gardner. This comes as the latest example of the "Brian Cashman is open to anything" storyline that's been gaining strength over the last week or so. Sherman's report is quick to state that the discussions are in the early stages and no specifics have been mentioned by either side, but there is a good fit and logical reason for both sides to pursue this. The Mariners need to be competitive now and Gardner is the perfect type of top-of-the-order table setter they need in front of their big hitters. Jerry DiPoto is the new GM in Seattle and has always liked Gardner. From the Yankees' side, Gardner is arguably their most trade-able main roster piece as an above-average player with a reasonable contract. With Ellsbury locked in, Beltran coming off the books after next season, prospects waiting in the wings, and some intriguing FA outfield options, Gardner is the best chance for them to move a piece while also helping another area of roster need.
The report mentions "high-end starting pitching" with team control as the desired return for the Yankees, and while Seattle is unwilling to discuss right-hander Taijuan Walker, the same does not hold true for lefty James Paxton. The 27-year-old pitched to a 3.90 ERA/4.31 FIP split in 67.0 MLB innings in 2015, but has battled injury problems on and off for the past few years.
Stove's gettin' hotter. It's definitely worth watching where this rumor goes over the rest of this week and in the weeks to come leading up to the Winter Meetings. Gardner is one of the core members of the Yankees now and a well-known leader in the clubhouse. Losing him would be tough, but it would also create more opportunities for young players to step in and could bring a good return to bolster the rest of the roster.