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Yankees, Mariners have discussed Brett Gardner trade

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The Seattle Mariners are staying active and have discussed acquiring Brett Gardner.

Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Mariners and New York Yankees have discussed a trade involving Brett Gardner according to a report from Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

After Jerry Dipoto and the Mariners made the first splash of the winter by making a six-player deal with the Tampa Bay Rays, it appears they would like to stay active. Similarly, Brian Cashman has been vocal about his willingness to listen to trade offers for anyone -- including Andrew Miller. It was just a matter of time then before these two general managers found themselves involved in the same rumor.

The Mariners, who are looking for anybody who can actually play outfield -- sorry Nelson Cruz -- could definitely use Gardner's services. Gardner's price however wouldn't be cheap. Since 2013, Gardner has been the 21st-best outfielder in baseball and is signed for a more-than-reasonable price. Over the next three seasons, Gardner will be due $37.5 million with a team option worth $12.5 million for a fourth year.

That being said, Gardner's defensive prowess has been in steady decline for the past few seasons. According to Defensive Runs Saved, Gardner only saved one run in his 1264.2 innings in the outfield. According to FanGraphs Ultimate Zone Rating, Gardner actually cost his team 2.7 runs. This probably relegates Gardner to corner outfield duties going into his age 32 season, and the Yankees' addition of Aaron Hicks gives the team some additional flexibility in manipulating their outfield situation in the coming weeks.

According to Sherman, the Yankees could be looking for cost-controlled pitchers in return which has led to speculation about James Paxton. Paxton, who has never pitched more than 100 innings in a single season, has had some injury troubles during his young career.