Brett Gardner is one of the hotter names on the trade market this winter, and a new suitor has emerged. The Yankees have talked to the Cubs about a deal that would send Gardner to Chicago in exchange for second baseman Starlin Castro, according to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News.
Castro was moved to second base to make room for Addison Russell, and with the Yankees having Didi Gregorius at shortstop, they would also use him at second.
The Yankees have shopped Gardner around, talking with many teams about the outfielder. They acquired Aaron Hicks last week from the Twins, giving them another option in the outfield and potentially making Gardner expendable. The 32-year-old has three years and $38 million left on his contract.
It's surprising to see the Cubs talking about Castro is deal that doesn't involve a pitcher. While they do have a hole in center field, most of the rumors surrounding Castro had to do with a starting pitcher. They attempted to get a big name starter at the deadline, and floated Castro's name out there.
From the Yankees perspective, this deal makes a lot of a sense. They have a hole at second base, only having a platoon of Dustin Ackley and Rob Refsnyder as a potential solution at the position. Castro will be 26 in March and is coming off of a tough 2015 season, hitting .265/.296/.375 with 11 home runs and 69 RBIs. He is under contract for the next four years at the low price of $38 million.
Gardner also has drawn interest from the Indians, with Carlos Carrasco as part of a potential deal. Seattle has also been engaged in discussions about Gardner.
While these two teams talked about this deal, the Cubs seem more hard-pressed to address their pitching needs and using Castro as a piece to get that starting pitcher. The Yankees have also received a ton of interest on Gardner, and they aren't boxed in to trading with the Cubs, allowing them to weigh a number of offers.