Well, the Yankees now have two center fielders. The easy thing to do would be to move Brett Gardner to a corner outfield position. But, a year away from free agency, I think he becomes perhaps the Yankees best trade chip. Keith Law, as he applauds the overall deal, is thinking the same thing.
Ellsbury is a clear upgrade over Gardner, and while the Yankees could move Gardner to left field, they may find more value in exploring the trade market for him given how few center fielders there are with his kind of defensive ability. Gardner's a fringy offensive player whose production is mostly in his ability to get on base, especially against right-handed pitchers, all the product of a tremendous ability to foul off pitches he can't square up; he actually saw as many pitches per plate appearance as Shin-Soo Choo, and more than guys like Mike Trout, Joey Votto, and Paul Goldschmidt.
The Yankees only have two starters right now. They have an offer out to Hiroki Kuroda and are saving money up for Masahiro Tanaka, if he is posted. So could Gardner go in a deal for a pitcher or could he help fill possible holes at second or third?
Question: Would you trade Gardner?