"Absolutely not," a source told Wallace Matthews. "The whole idea is to put the two of them at the top of the lineup. The would be an electric duo."
Sources told ESPN New York that the Yankees are not out on Shin-Soo Choo, Scott Boras' other free-agent outfield client. One of the sources said he wouldn't expect it but thought the Yankees would have to make a move with Gardner for that to happen.
My gut is Choo won't land in the Bronx unless the Yankees are just going to sign every top free agent and blow away any chance of the $189 million threshold. (That's a joke, I think.)
ABOUT THAT $189 MILLION: The Yankees still believe they can fall under $189 million, but I think it may depend on Alex Rodriguez's suspension. They have said all along that they are budgeting as if A-Rod's $27.5 million will be part of next year's equation.
Still, the Yankees could go over the $189 million mark, and then if A-Rod is suspended for the entire season, the savings could push them under it. That seems to me the most likely route for them to get under the cap the way they are suspending and not stopping.
KELLY'S HERO: One scout called the expected signing of Kelly Johnson a good move for an "undervalued" guy. Ultimately, he is insurance for Robinson Cano at second and possibly A-Rod at third. Ideally, he can move all over the place from infield to the outfield when the Yankees have injuries. The Yankees think his left-handed bat could play well in the Bronx.
TRIPLE-A EDUARDO? With Johnson and Brendan Ryan receiving million-dollar contracts, Eduardo Nunez could be headed to Triple-A as depth.
"Based on what he has done, that is sort of where he deserves to be," one baseball official said.
The official noted Nunez is a great guy and could be helpful, especially if Derek Jeter is not able to overcome his injury problems. If the Captain went down, Ryan would move to short and Nunez would back him up.
MAC TIME: The Brian McCann news conference will be at 2 p.m. on Thursday.
THAT TIME OF YEAR: Brian Cashman will be rappelling in Stamford, Conn., on Friday.