The New York Yankees have been trying to make a move this offseason, and have been listening to offers for a few of their superstars. Names like Andrew Miller and Brett Gardner have been thrown out there, two of the Yankees best players from 2015. While hearing offers for Miller is understandable because Dellin Betances can take over if Miller is traded, the idea of trading Gardner surprised many fans due to his consistent offensive output, and the fact that the Yankees just signed him until 2018 before last season.
Brett Gardner was drafted by the Yankees in the 2005 draft, and quickly rose through the minors to make his Major League Debut on June of 2008. Gardner has always been a consistent top of the order guy for the Yankees since his debut. While his career average is a bit low (.264), his OBP has consistently been almost 100 points higher than his batting average. He has traded some of his average for more power numbers recently, hitting 17 home runs in 2014 and 16 in 2015 after just 23 in his first six years of his career. He has also stolen at least 20 bases in every full year he has played, including an American League leading 49 in 2011. Gardner is one of those scrappy, old school outfielders that the game just doesn’t see anymore, and is a rare talent.
Gardner split time in centerfield with Melky Cabrera in 2009, but became an everyday starter following the 2009 season. Gardner became a key part in the Yankees winning the World Series in 2009, appearing in all but two postseason games. Since becoming a regular in the outfield, Gardner has tallied between 132-148 hits, leading to an average between .256-.277, while his lowest OBP during that span being .343.
Gardner is one of a few players, and the only veteran, to originally be drafted by the Yankees and still be playing for them. The Yankees need a guy to work his way through their system and eventually lead the team. Gardner has been noted as a hard-working guy who pushes his teammates on and off the field, and is a great clubhouse leader. If the Yankees trade away Gardner, they also trade away one of their leaders.
Brett Gardner has been a fan favorite ever since he made his Major League Debut. He has won a World Series, as well as the All-Star team for the first time in 2015. The Yankees would be crazy to trade away such a valuable player that they’ve spent so much time on. A trade for Gardner most likely would give the Yankees another older player or two that they don’t need, and would give them a year of production tops. Gardner is one of the game’s best left fielders, and should be a Yankee for life. The Yankees should be building around a consistent player, not trading him off a year into his contract.