Oct
16

Mailbag: Gardner and the Nationals

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Aaron asks: There’s been some talk in Bill Ladson’s latest mailbag that the Nationals could make a run at trying to acquire Brett Gardner. I don’t see the Yankees being interested in dealing him, but if they were, who could they look to acquire from Washington?

The Nationals have been looking for a long-term solution in the leadoff spot and in center field pretty much all season, which is why they were connected to guys like Denard Span and B.J. Upton at the trade deadline. Gardner fits both criteria and on paper he’s a perfect fit for Washington, but the question is do they have the pitching to get the Yankees interested?

Just to get this out of the way, we can forget all about Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann. That’s not going to happen unless the Yankees really sweeten the pot. It would be a backwards move if the Yankees traded a starting center fielder with three years of team control left for a reliever or two, so forget about that as well. Their bullpen isn’t exactly a problem. Looking at Washington’s 40-man roster, there’s only two names that make any kind of sense for New York: John Lannan and Ross Detwiler.

Although both are reasonably the same age (Lannan just turned 27, Detwiler turns 26 in March) and are left-handed, the two are pretty different. Lannan is a classic ground ball/finesse southpaw, sitting right around 89 with his two- and four-seamers while mixing in a curve, a changeup, and a slider. His ground ball rates have consistently been above 51% (54.1% this year) and his strikeout rates have been consistently below 6.0 K/9 (5.2 this year) in his career. He’s good but not great at limiting walks (3.7 BB/9 this year, 3.4 career), and right-handers hit him hard both this year and last, though his career split is even.

Detwiler, the sixth overall pick in the 2007 draft, is much more interesting. His big league exposure is limited (172.1 IP across four seasons), in part because he underwent hip labrum surgery last year. Detwiler’s a tall and lanky drink of water (listed at 6-foot-5 and 185 lbs.), and he lives and dies with a two-seam fastball that averaged 92 mph this past season. He also throws a changeup and a curveball. His peripheral stats (career 5.3 K/9, 3.5 BB/9, 0.8 HR/9, and 43.3% grounders) are very similar to Lannan’s with the exception of the ground ball rate, but I think there’s a little more upside here because he throws harder and is getting further away from surgery. Maybe I’m just blinded by the high draft pick thing, though.

Lannan is a Super Two and is arbitration-eligible for the second time this year, so his team controls his rights for another three years like Gardner. Detwiler is still in his pre-arbitration years and is under team control for another four years by my unofficial count. Both guys are back-end starters in the NL right now, so I can’t imagine them being any better in the AL East. Larry Rothschild has a reputation of improving his pitchers’ strikeout abilities, but you can’t count on that. The Yankees need pitching, but I can’t imagine they’re desperate enough to trade Gardner, a valuable but still flawed player, for one of Lannan or Detwiler. A 2-for-1 deal would be a bit more interesting, but I still wouldn’t pull the trigger.

Categories : Mailbag

120 Comments»

  1. jaremy says:

    And if they pull the trigger then what? Not like the Yankees have anyone in the farm ready to take the role, and they’ll have the same issues finding a strong replacement on the open market too.

    I say pass, and reap the benefits of Gardner’s flaws to have a cheap, cost-controlled CF for the next 3 years while the other salaries spike.

    • Jerome S. says:

      If they were to do it I could see the Yankees handing Jones a few million dollars to stick around. He’s good – not as good as Gardner – but it’s all feasible.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        If they get more value from the Nats than they give up in Gardner… which I don’t see at all with the above scenario…

    • radnom says:


      and they’ll have the same issues finding a strong replacement on the open market too.

      No they wouldn’t. They could replace him with a corner outfielder. Washington is looking for a true CF.

  2. Donnie Pallante says:

    Trading gardy?! What?! This very udea is what represents the flaw in yankee thinking. Gardner brings speed and grit to a lineup definitevly lacking both. And we’re talkin about trading him for mediocre NL pitchers? C’mon man!

    • 28 this year says:

      In case you had a hard time reading, none of this was suggested from the Yankees side. The question and response say that the Nats are interested in Gardner, not the other way around. Also, Mike just speculated on whats reasonable to acquire and ends with the conclusion not worth it. Nothing suggests the Yankees even considered a trade.

    • Andy In Sunny Daytona says:

      Just because you mentioned “speed and grit”, I want the Yankees to trade him now.

  3. Jesse says:

    Don’t trade Gardy!

  4. gxpanos says:

    Gardner, Cano, Man-Ban for Strasburg?

    Who says no?

    For everyone: If the Nats said yes, would you pull the trigger?

    • UYF1950 says:

      Not in this or any other lifetime.

    • radnom says:

      No, and not even close. Nationals would jump on that deal.

      • gxpanos says:

        So what’s that deal look like, then?

        Robbie straight up for Strasburg? Or no way the Yanks part with him for Strasburg?

        Montero, Man-Ban, Gardner?

        Spitballing.

        • UYF1950 says:

          I don’t see the Yankees trading anyone at this point for Strasburg. He’s just come off TJS and has what 5 or 6 starts under his belt in limited innings.

          • Kevin says:

            Uh no, no and no. You don’t trade away the future and good players for one player, especially one who just came off TJ surgery.

          • Urban says:

            The Nats are not trading Strasburg for a 29-year-old player who is about to cost a ton of money in a couple years for a man who was regarded at his draft as the best pitching prospect since the modern amateur draft was created, and who has already shown he can dominate MLB hitters. The won’t trade him for Cano and Gardner, either. They are building and they can wait out SS’s 2012 as he’s on an innings count.

            The deal makes no sense for either team, but far less for the Nats.

    • Rcasi says:

      Not trading Cano, nope!
      I’d also like to see Man-Ban get his shot in Pinstripes.

    • Keith says:

      I think Gardner, Montero, and say Nova would be more plausible for both. The Yankess have Russell Martin left, with Romine and their other star prospect rising.

    • JAG says:

      There’s also the fact that Cano would realistically only be under the Nats’ control for 1 more year before needing an extraordinarily expensive extension. Not that the Nationals are a poor team, but there’s not even a reason for them to acquire such a player in the first place unless they think they’re only 1 bat away from contending…and then they have to realize that they’d be trading away their best pitcher.

      This deal doesn’t make sense for either side, really.

    • Spreadsheet Sam says:

      That would be insane for the Yankees. But how about Gardy and Banuelos for Zimmerman? Zimmerman is ready for a full workload and looks like at least a #3. Nats win on overall talent but need to wait to see the return on Man-Ban.

      As noted, Gardner should be fairly easy to replace… crazy idea, how about signing Reyes and moving Jeter to left?

  5. CMP says:

    The Yankees already have about a half dozen young pitchers who project to be at least as good as Detwiler and Lannan in Phelps, Warren, Noesi, ManBan, Betances and Nova.
    They really have no outfielders above A ball who can step in for Gardner.

    I know Gardner has flaws but he’s been 11.2 WAR over the last 2 seasons and should be their leadoff hitter and starting CFer next year so I wouldn’t trade him for anything less than a solid number 3 starter, not back of the rotation fodder like these 2 guys are.

    • UYF1950 says:

      CMP, I’m curious Gardner is the Yankees LF do you expect the Yankees to do something with Granderson who has been the starting CF for the Yankees for the last 2 seasons.

      • JAG says:

        He’s probably just expecting them to move him to LF, which, if you believe his UZR numbers, is warranted.

        • UYF1950 says:

          After seeing a couple of those plays against the Tigers in the LDS. I’d leave both Granderson and Gardner exactly where they currently are. Gardner’s a lights out defensive LF’er and Granderson I’m sure can hold his own now that he’s getting use to CF at Yankee stadium.

          • JAG says:

            I don’t think they will move Granderson either, nor do I think they should. But, I can understand the sentiment that Gardner may be the better outfielder, and the CF should be the best of the three, therefore Gardner, not Granderson, should be the CF.

          • jsbrendog says:

            except the only reason he had to make plays like that is because he took awful horrible jumps/angles/first moves on those two balls he caught in the one alds game. as he loses a step as he gets older he will not even be in a position ot make diving plays on those because he will take a bad first step and won’t be fast enough to get there anymore.

            speed covers a lot.

  6. Tim says:

    Crack dealers must be out on the streets early today.

    Lannon is a Siena grad. I think if Gardner is ever moved it will be as a piece in a larger trade.

    Neither of the two mentioned is worth it.

  7. yazman says:

    Mike, can you elaborate on “really sweeten the pot” for SS?

    BG and any prospect but Montero get it done?

    I love BG but SS sure could be a #1…

    • Dave203 says:

      If you didn’t include Montero, it would be a tough deal to get done. At a minimum, they’d ask for both Banuelos and Betances. Strasberg, regardless of his injury this year, is still a projected ace and they aren’t giving him up for peanuts.

  8. yazman says:

    Mike, can you elaborate on “really sweeten the pot” for SS?

    BG and any prospect but Montero get it done?

    I love BG but SS sure could be a #1.

    • Plank says:

      You can do it yourself. If you were the GM of the Nats and had visions of contending in 1-3 years, what would you have to get in order to give up a young ace with 5 years of team control that you just gave a huge signing bonus to?

      I’ll give you a hint: they aren’t trading him for anything unless their map of contending while he is still under team control gets redrawn.

  9. Jumpin' Jack Swisher (formerly Jorge) says:

    Starting a mini-thread as to what it would take to acquire Stephen Strasburg truly is putting the capital “F” on “Fantasy.”

    As for Gardner, I’ve liked Lannan ever since he looked good against the Yanks during the awful 2009 series, but Gardner is worth more to the Yankees than anyone he could be traded one-up for. Pass.

  10. jai Nitai says:

    Trade Brunette to the cubs for Zambrano. And If possible, include Noesi and 1 other for Garza. Zambrano is a competitor and goes nuts if he thinks others are slacking, but he’s younger, playing for a contract and still has good stuff(especially if he looses some weight). Win/Win situation. Garza is 4/5 starter good for 200 innings/yr, but now that they have Epstein, the cubs may not go for the Garza part, Unless its Noesi and a more valuable player.

    • Dave203 says:

      The Cubs are trading Garza. He is under team control with arbitration for the next 2 years. He’s not a 4/5 — he’s a solid #3. It would take a lot more than Noesi to get Garza.

      Burnett for Z would be fine with me, we’d have to throw in a ton of cash to account for AJ’s 2nd year. Quite frankly, I think they’ll both suck next year, but freeing up salary for a run on 2013 pitchers is where I see the value. Z is like the TO of baseball though and having him in the clubhouse may not be a good idea either. Screwed either way with AJ.

    • Mike Axisa says:

      Zambrano’s such a competitor that he literally walked out of the stadium in the middle of a game this year. He’s a wacko, there’s no reason to bring that nutcase to the Yankees. Also, he sucks.

      • Jesse says:

        This.
        All of this.

      • Dave203 says:

        He’s one guy I think AJ might be a better value than. Truly, the only value in that trade would be freeing up salary for 2013 since Z has only 2012 left and AJ is through 2013.

        At this point, I’m only hoping we can find some way of just salary dumping AJ somewhere, offering a year’s worth of salary in cash with him, and just get some bench players.

        • Mike Axisa says:

          What’s the point of paying Burnett to pitch elsewhere? Just keep him in that case.

          • Dave203 says:

            b/c it would save the Yanks 16.5 million that they could use to go after the 2013 FA pitchers. I still think if you turned AJ into a 8/million a year pitcher, he is still marketable to teams to get a respectable player in return.

        • Freddy Garcia's 86 mph Heat says:

          Zambrano and the NY media is a disaster waiting to happen.

          • Dave203 says:

            Eh, all of NY currently hates AJ so what’s the difference? Like I said, I think they both suck and the only positive would be saving 16.5 million for the 2013 FA pitching expo…

            • Freddy Garcia's 86 mph Heat says:

              Zambrano has numerous times gone crazy on his teammates when they don’t make a play, and he left the ballpark in the middle of a game after he got ejected and said that he was retiring. That’s not someone I want on the Yankees for even less than one year.

              • Dave203 says:

                Harkey will just beat his ass in the pen if he gets out of line — believe that. Harkey is huge!

                All points I already acknowledged though. The only value of the trade would be saving 16.5 million to go get a few FA pitchers in 2013.

            • B-Rando says:

              Which is funny because he gave better pitching performances than CC and Freddy in the playoffs.

    • Jumpin' Jack Swisher (formerly Jorge) says:

      Garza’s better than a 4/5. Let Boston get all the grit out of Zambrano. Trading people just because they’re brunette = just wrong.

    • Urban says:

      Okay, any Yankee fan above suggesting trading AJ Burnett for Zambrano, please immediately proceed to the exit and turn in your Yankee Universe fandom card.

      Both might be headcases, but not all headcases are created equal. AJ is a genearlly affable guy who seems very well liked by his teammates, and is viewed as a positive in the club house. Zambrano, on the other hand, is step away from being a felon who also quit on his team and is not liked by his teammates. Why would anyone want to bring a known cancerous personality into the Yankee clubhouse when he can’t even offset his personlity defects with talent? His best years as a pitcher are long behind him.

      Add in that Zambrano, like AJ, has been losing velocity. In AJ’s case that means he now throws 93. In Zambrano’s case he’s down to 90, and that can become even more of a problem in the AL East unless he develps Freddy Garcia pitching zen on the mound, which I’m pretty sure is not going to happen.

      AJ’s xFIP in 2011 was 3.88. Zambrano’s xFIP in 2011 was 4.34, and that doesn’t even adjust for league.

      Just say no to Zambrano. Even if the Cubs offer to pay his entire salary and want nothing back, just say no.

  11. Evan3457 says:

    Gardner?

    Zimmerman, the pitcher. Yanks can forget about that?

    Then the Nationals can forget about Gardner who’s a 4-5 WAR player, at a very cheap price, and under his team’s control for 3 more years.

  12. Brian S. says:

    Mark Teixeira for Jordan Zimmerman.

  13. Dave203 says:

    Well, I think the Yanks would take that, but doubt the Nationals are taking Tex’s contract.

  14. Tom T says:

    Gardner is flawed, sure, but I don’t understand why Mike/other fans are so reluctant to admit that he is a STAR player? Base running, plus elite D, plus good on base skills = star. You don’t have to hit .300 or jack homers.

    Point being — why trade Gardner for generic pitchers?

    • Mike Axisa says:

      I consider Gardner an above-average player but not a star. A run saved is the same as a run earned, but elite hitters are more valuable that elite defenders because you’re guaranteed at least three plate appearances in game. There’s no guarantee a defender will have a ball hit to them.

      Gardner came to the plate 1,157 times over the last two years, but only had 634 defensive chances.

      • Brian S. says:

        Gardner was also fucked by BABIP to end the season. He had a 120 wRC+ in early August.

      • Tom T says:

        So being +20 runs saved is less valuable than being +20 runs with the bat because you’re guaranteed to hit? That strikes me as very questionable. Not questionable enough for me to think of a thoughtful counter argument, but I’m skeptical that this is true.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        Certainly there are grounds to question fWAR as an omnipotent stat, but Gardner is 5th in OF fWAR and 13th in overall position player fWAR (19th with pitchers) over the past two seasons… if you accept fWAR as a strong stat it’s hard not to call Gardner a star.

        • Doug says:

          fWAR also ignores baserunning, which helps his case even more.

        • roadrider says:

          I don’t know enough about the defensive stats to argue them in detail but I recall that on Fangraphs, the fielding WAR elevated Gardner to something like 94% of Albert Pujols’ value in overall WAR. I like what Gardner brings to the team but I’m highly, highly skeptical of these calculations that put him in the company of guys like Pujols.

          I agree with Mike’s evaluation of Gardner as a valuable but flawed player. I would be willing to trade him (or anyone else) in the right deal but not for some retread NL back-of-the-rotation guys.

          • Ted Nelson says:

            You don’t know the details of the stat, so you’d rather just ignore it and go with your gut? As I say it might be wrong… but I don’t think the way to weight offensive contribution and defensive contribution is to simply go my how hyped a player is. There is definitely value in good defense.

    • Dave203 says:

      Nobody is advocating for trading Gardner for generic pitchers. Mike simply stated what he thought the Nats would give us for Gardner. Nowhere in the article or the thread did he say it would be a good deal for the Yanks.

      That said, Gardner is a above average OF, but I don’t see how you get calling him a STAR (all in caps). I’m not sure what being a “STAR” entails, but if it means being considered one of the best in your position, count Gardner out. Whether you look at him as a LF or as a CF (his true position on any other team), he’s not even top 10 OF (counting both AL + NL). Don’t get me wrong, I love Gardner, but I’m not call him an all-star or a “STAR” unless he gets his BA/OBP up. He doesn’t need to hit for power, but he can’t bat 260 without power and be called an all-star IMO.

    • David N says:

      IMO, in order to be a star you need to either hit .300 or jack homers. Gardner obviously isn’t a homer hitter, so he needs to get his average up if he wants to be considered on that level. Until then, he’s just a very good player. He’s still got time to do it in, though.

      • Brian S. says:

        Batting average does not mean anything.

        • FIPster Doofus says:

          BA goes into OBP, so it means something. It’s just grossly overrated.

        • Dave203 says:

          BA means nothing? Not even a reasonable statement…

          He bats 260 with an OBP around 340. If you are going to be a speed based hitter with no little to no power, you need to get on base more than that IMO. I’m not saying he must hit 300, but 260 isn’t cutting it for me.

          • Brian S. says:

            In 2010 he was .270/.380 and was fantastic. He had a down year offensively but he is still a well above average hitter.

          • Brian S. says:

            And it is a reasonable statement when people worship it as if it’s the only stat that counts. Slg and OBP>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>BA.

          • Ted Nelson says:

            You’re talking about OBP, so why mask it as if you’re talking about BA? If he had an OBP of .400, would you care if he hit .260 or .300?

            • Dave203 says:

              Nobody hits 260 with an OBP of 400 though. That’s why BA does actually matter. I don’t look at the stat by itself, but you can’t expect a 400 OBP with a BA of 260.

      • Tom T says:

        Gardner has been a top 5 AL OF for two years running by fWAR. Top 3 combining 2010 and 2011.

        I suppose “star” is subjective, but top 5 OF means all-star caliber for two consecutive seasons. If that’s not a star, we’re just splitting hairs.

  15. Jimmy McNulty says:

    Yeah I don’t like this deal, Gardner saves way too many runs with his awesome defense and he’s not too shabby with the bat either.

  16. David N says:

    Tweaking a proposal I heard a few days ago:

    Trade Gardner and Teixiera for Werth and a couple of pitchers, then go after Pujols.

    I don’t love it because of the contract it’s going to take to get Pujols, specifically the number of years involved, but it is at least an interesting thought. It also assumes that Tex would waive his no-trade clause to go to Washington, which seems unlikely to me.

    • Dave203 says:

      What’s the positive for the Yanks? Why would we want Jason Werth who is overhyped to begin with and got a ridiculous contract from the Nats. An average of 18+/yr for the next 6 years — aside from AROD’s absurd contract, that might just be the 2nd worst contract in the league.

    • FIPster Doofus says:

      So the Yankees would, at best, become marginally better – all while getting older and adding a significant amount of money to their payroll. Nice.

  17. Hardy says:

    I trade Gardner only for a starting pitcher who is The Solution for the rotation. Neither Lannan nor Detwiler (nor both) fit that description.

    • Dave203 says:

      The solution is another 1A/2 pitcher and Gardner is never going to get us that in a trade without being grouped with others.

      • FIPster Doofus says:

        Gardner has been worth 11.2 wins over the last two seasons according to FanGraphs. I can’t believe all the people here who swear by advanced stats but are still afraid to acknowledge Gardner’s value. I’d want Cashman’s head if he traded him for two nobodies like John Lannan and Ross Detwiler.

        • Dave203 says:

          Nobody here is arguing in favor of trading Gardner for either of those pitchers. The fact is, there is no good match with the Nats. Gardner, by himself, is not worth enough to get a prime pitching prospect like Zimmerman. You can argue all the advanced stats you want, when all the smoke clears, the Nats are trading a top pitching prospect for Gardner alone. You can complain that he deserves more respect all you want, you’re not convincing any GMs to trade a top pitching prospect for Gardner.

  18. Rey22 says:

    I think I’d do a Gardner + a couple of solid B level prospects for Zimmermann. Nats probably wouldn’t, but it’s not some incredibly lopsided proposal.

  19. Yazman says:

    Gardner was the AL’s #2 LF and #5 OF, and Yanks #3 player based on 2011 WAR…

  20. J says:

    Gardner + Phelps for Zimmermann would work for me.

  21. Xstar7 says:

    “Just to get this out of the way, we can all forget about Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmerman. That’s not going to happen unless the Yankees really sweeten the pot. [........] Looking at Washington’s 40 man roster, there’s only two names that make any kind of sense for New York: John Lannan and Ross Detwiler.”

    Pass and Pass. I wouldn’t give up Gardner for either if I were the Yankees. Not worth it and not what they need. I think I’ll file “the Nationals could make a run at acquiring Brett Gardner” under the same category as “the Yankees are the frontrunners for CJ Wilson” and “the Rangers are prepared to throw a boatload of money at CC”. Just pre-hot stove season fodder.

  22. Monteroisdinero says:

    Gardy and Montero for under 1M? Gotta be nuts to deal either of them. Gardy just needs to be fined or removed from a game if he slides into 1B (hear me Joe?) and he needs to steal earlier in counts. Don’t be afraid of a pitchout on an allout steal with a take sign. Man up Brett!

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Man up and get caught all the time? That’s exactly what he did early in the season and it worked terribly.

      • Xstar7 says:

        Nobody should be complaining about the base stealing skills of a player who’s led the American League in steals the last two seasons (albeit last year he was tied with Carl Crawford).

        • Ted Nelson says:

          I am not complaining. I am responding to Monteroisdinero’s assertion that Gardner should not worry about pitch-outs and just run-wild. There is a reason he doesn’t do this. And when he did… he kept getting pitched-out and picked-off, resulting in awful results for a short period.

      • Monteroisdinero says:

        I still have faith he’ll make it more often than not. Can’t I fall back on small sample size like everyone else does when they need it?

        • Ted Nelson says:

          It was a small sample, but early in the season he was consistently getting picked-off and pitched-out-then-thrown-out… So I can see calling for changes in his basestealing habits if you see room for improvement, but I can’t see just running with reckless abandon without worrying about pitch-outs. Especially with the line-up he has right after him as either the #9 or #1 hitter for the Yankees.

  23. Jankees27 says:

    I am definitely a proponent of keeping Gardner–I really like his game. i think the batting average will rebound a bit next year- his career stats, including minors, suggest that he should hit closer to .270 than .250. Meanwhile, he is a tremendous defensive left fielder (arguably the best in the majors), and can play center if needed. He draws walks (last year his OBP was 85 points higher than his BA), and makes pitchers nervous when he is on the bases. While the Yankees certainly aren’t a slow team by any means, having a guy like Brett with the kind of speed that he has is a very useful piece, and we’ve seen how many slow rollers to the left side Gardner beat out last year. He’s super cheap, and should be under team control for 3 more years. Gardner is a very valuable player in the sense that the ratio of cost to production is quite low, which is something not to take for granted, especially with so many expensive guys on this team. When you can find a more than capable starting OF for the price of Gardner, it’s usually a good deal.

    That being said, of course I would be open to trading him in the right package. I think the player that we’ve seen is the player that he is- quite useful, but not untouchable by any means. I know that Washington had interest in Denard Span at the trade deadline, and Gardner might be a better, more healthy option. However, I don’t quite think the Yankees and Nats match up particularly well on potential trades, mainly because we have guys in the upper minors (plus Noesi and Nova) who do not project to be significantly better or worse than Lannan or Detweiler. Lannan, while he did have a productive season last year, walks too many guys, something that you have a harder time getting away with in the AL East than the NL East. He also doesn’t miss enough bats to be successful in the AL East. Of the two, I am more intrigued by Detweiler, who has a higher ceiling, better control, and seemingly better stuff. However, there are definitely health concerns.

    I think with regards to this specific idea, the risk does not otweigh the reward. If Gardner ain’t broke, there’s no need to fix him, and the Yanks will be able to find bottom of the rotation pitching without giving up an asset like Brett.

    • Monteroisdinero says:

      Agree with all of this. Gardy is usually a pitch count machine which pitchers hate of course. Seems like he saw more strikes and less hitter’s counts this year than last. His bunting improved and can certainly improve further. The drag bunt against lefties is a nice weapon to have.

      In the non-stat category of team chemistry, he seems to be a well-liked teammate. No drama is good.

  24. Yazman says:

    I think WAR/PA gives a good sense of how much a player contributes when he’s given the chance.

    Gardner was #3 on the Yanks, even higher than Cano*. Only Granderson and Alex were better in 2011.

    If you did WAR/$ salary, no question who the Yanks’ MVP is by that measure…

    *Montero would be #3 if you included him, but obviously too small a sample size.

  25. bonestock94 says:

    Zimmermann seems like a fair deal for Gardner.

    • Dave203 says:

      For the Yanks absolutely, not for the Nats though. You can convince fans of Gardner’s brilliance, but you’re not getting a GM to trade one of their top pitchers for Brett Gardner.

      • bonestock94 says:

        Idk, apparently Gardner is a 5+ win player, which is pretty hard to reach as a pitcher. Not sure Zimmermann will be able to reach those levels. If you put stock in WAR (and in this case UZR) it’s not so lopsided. In the real world I doubt any GM would value defense that highly.

        • Dave203 says:

          Precisely. It the difference between fans using advanced stats to argue their point and managers using their past experience, etc. to back up their perspective. While one may think those two should align, they don’t. Gardner’s WAR is almost entirely based upon his defense. Not all GMs/owners care as much about defense as others. Pitching on the other hand is universally sought after and harder for any GM/owner to trade away — especially when you know what you have is good.

          • Ted Nelson says:

            You clearly have no idea what you’re talking about. Teams have an entire department devoted to statistical analysis. This is not some fanboy thing…

      • Ted Nelson says:

        If your top pitcher isn’t very good, sure you could. Zimmerman is solid and still young, but he’s not that great at this point.

        If you’re the Yankees, Zimmerman is about the only attractive piece the Nats can offer IMO. Otherwise the Nats can forget Gardner.

  26. Favrest says:

    You need role players to win, and although Gardner isn’t a .320 hitter, his defense, speed and attitude really provide us with skills that will not be easily replaced. Hanging on to Hughes and Chamberlain for too long has destroyed their value. Cashman is in love with his own farm system. The only way he fields a championship team next year if he finally admitts that in order to acquire a great player, you must give up value. I don’t want to trade Banuelos, or Betances, but it’s time to man up. Sh*t box pitchers that act like children are not going to be Yankees. Zambrano is not only crazy, he’s throwing 93 MPH. Colon can do that for us. Big deal.

  27. pete says:

    what about Ryan Zimmerman for Gardner and Montero? Make A-Rod DH and Zimmerman gives us a dynamite 3B. Might need to throw in Nunez to sweeten the deal, but I’d be down.

    • Dave203 says:

      There is no way the Yanks would be making that deal. Zimmerman only has 2 more years on his contract for 6 of Montero and 3 more of Gardner plus Nunez? Zimmerman is not crap, but seriously, he’s not good enough to dump all of that over.

      Not to mention, where the heck are the Nats playing Montero. I know there are arguments that Montero could catch, but hard to sell him in a trade as a catcher at the ML level. They already moved Harper to the OF for that reason. They have Morse over at 1B so they don’t need him there. Just again, one of those bad matchups for trading with.

  28. thenamestsam says:

    Honestly if the Nationals said forget about Zimmerman I hang up the phone right away. I’m not dealing Gardner for anything less, and I’m surprised with all the people saying they don’t think any GM would swing such a trade. In my opinion, the days of defense being way underrated are over.

    Last offseason Carl Crawford got a deal that was literally impossible to justify unless you believe in the value of defense, and it’s not like the Red Sox were a huge outlier there. Plenty of other teams were ready to give him a similar contract. I think Gardner is rightly perceived as a similar (if slightly inferior) player to Crawford after last year, and given his salary and years of control definitely gets you in the discussion for Zimmerman. Maybe chip in a B- type prospect and I think you have a pretty fair deal that helps both teams fill needs.

  29. Cuso says:

    Detwiler for Gardy? No thank you.

  30. David, Jr. says:

    No deal for me with Washington, or likely anybody, given his production and contract. The thing about Gardy is that his strengths round out the team with elements that the Yankees don’t otherwise have. Without Gardy: How much team speed would we have? Not much. How good would our outfield defense be? Not so good. Granderson would look completely different without Gardy next to him.

    As far as the base stealing, I believe that his problems stemmed from taking leads that were so large that his momentum was always “caught in between”. Once this was corrected, he was fine.

    I’d like to see him lead off against right handers and possibly switch to center field, although I am not certain about that idea.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      I would need fair value to be for a trade, but I feel you are exaggerating the impact of losing him.

      Granderson was a CF before he played next to Gardner… and he had his 2nd worst defensive season this year with Gardner next to him after a career +25 FLD entering the season. You say he’d look “completely different,” but he’s played most of his career without Gardner next to him. Swisher is a positive defensively on his career as well. And of course it depends who you replace Gardner with.

      Gardner carries the basestealing (49), but it’s not like he’s the only basestealer they have between Granderson (25… and rated as a better baserunner overall in 2011 than Gardner), Nunez (22 in roughly 1/2 a season), and Jeter (16). They could also replace him with a decent baserunner.

      • David, Jr. says:

        All excellent points. I just feel that he brings a lot of what they don’t have that much of elsewhere on the roster. I’m not so sure that you would want to rely on two of the others that you mention for speed, given that Nuney is a reserve and Jeter is approaching 40 years of age. As far as fielding, I look at it differently than you do. The overall outfield defense was a definite strength, and I have doubts that either Swisher or Grandy are considered to be even average fielders by scouts, regardless of what the numbers say.

        Of course anybody can be traded for excess value, but I find Gardy’s strengths to be an excellent fit with this roster.

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