So far, the New York Yankees have made a couple of significant moves this offseason to help the roster in 2017.
They would like to make a few more moves to help the team, but in order to make those moves, they need to cut salary from the payroll, which is why two current veterans are being actively shopped.
Both Brett Gardner and Chase Headley are being actively shopped by the Yankees, according to reports, as the team is gauging interest around the league for their starting left fielder and third baseman.
Headley is entering the third year of a four-year, $52 million deal he signed before the 2015 season and is owed another $26 million over the next two seasons. Gardner, who is also signed to a four-year, $52 million deal and in the third year of his contract, is due $23 million over the next two seasons, so their deals aren’t pricey given what the market has dictated for free agent players in recent time.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has said that he’s received multiple offers for Gardner over the years, but because he’s not inclined to trade him, he’s not going to unless he gets an offer he can’t refuse. Cashman also confirmed while at the Winter Meetings he’s received multiple offers for Headley as well, but he’s not simply handing him over and wants decent value in return for him.
Both are contracts that the Yankees would like to part with as they are trying to move forward with the team’s youth movement and look to get younger in the lineup, both Gardner and Headley are over 30 and don’t exactly fit the Yankees plans for the future, but could fit a possible contending team who need a veteran player in the lineup.
For Gardner, he is the elder statesman on the Yankees, as he is the player with the longest tenure on the team, coming into the league and debuting with the Yankees back in the 2008 season, so he represents the veteran leadership and voice in the locker room, which is a big reason Cashman doesn’t want to simply give him up in trade talks.
Teams like the Baltimore Orioles have recently asked the Yankees for Gardner, but talks haven’t gotten far because Baltimore wanted the Yankees to take on a significant part of his salary and they weren’t doing so, especially to a division rival.
The San Francisco Giants have been listed as a team who could use both Gardner and Headley, but especially Gardner as he would be an upgrade in the outfield over their current options. Earlier in the offseason, the Giants were tied to trade talks involving Pablo Sandoval to play third base, but the Boston Red Sox are likely going to keep him after they traded away Travis Shaw, thus, why the Giants could be a possible suitor for Headley if they are looking to upgrade at third base.
Trading both Gardner and Headley would give the Yankees the flexibility needed this winter to make additional moves; such as for another bullpen arm. But it also would give them flexibility in the future for future off-seasons, like after the 2018 season when guys like Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are free agents.
Again, welcome to the new way the Yankees are doing business these days. Ultimately, it’s for the better.