The Baltimore Orioles have expressed their interest in trading for New York Yankees’ left fielder Brett Gardner.
Although Baltimore is obviously a division rival, Brian Cashman said in the report that he “wouldn’t hesitate to deal Gardner within the division if he felt it was the best move for the Yankees.”
Their quest to improve defense also suggests that they’d rather not have Kim (-13 Rds) or Trumbo (-9 Rds) struggle out there in left. Gardner (12 Rds) would be an improvement in that respect while also giving their lineup a different look.
According to FanGraphs, Orioles’ left fielders maintained a .338 on-base percentage which led to a mere win probability added of -0.57. Gardner had a team-leading .351 OBP and in 2016, owned a 1.24 WPA, his highest since 2013.
As for what Baltimore could offer in return, things get tricky. Obviously, it’s ideal for Cashman to endeavor a young but ready starting pitcher.
Since 2008, Gardner also has the fifth-highest on-base percentage among AL outfielders, has just won a gold glove award, and led the Yankees in runs created this past season.
Unfortunately, he is not the future. Clint Frazier, the organization’s No. 1 prospect, is knocking on the door and it should be in general manager Brian Cashman’s best interest to strike a deal.
The 33-year-old left fielder has two years and $25 million dwelling on what’s considered to be a decently fair contract which includes a club option of $12.5 million for 2019 and a $2 million buyout.
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