New York Yankees: 5 Trade Options If Brett Gardner's Injury Gets Worse in 2012

Doug Rush@Doug_RushSenior Analyst IMay 11, 2012

New York Yankees: 5 Trade Options If Brett Gardner's Injury Gets Worse in 2012

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    The New York Yankees were hoping to get Brett Gardner back this week off the disabled list.

    But after a setback that forced Gardner to get an MRI, it's been determined that Gardner re-aggravated the muscle in his right elbow and will be out "15-25" days, according to Marc Carig of the Newark-Star Ledger.


    RT @BryanHoch: Yankees won't have Brett Gardner backin left field for about 15 to 25 days, best case.

    — Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) May 11, 2012




    The Yankees have been going with Dewayne Wise, Andruw Jones and Raul Ibanez out in left, but Joe Girardi can't keep running them out there.

    Ibanez is the primary designated hitter and should not be playing in the outfield that often.

    Jones and Wise are not everyday players and utilizing them in expanded roles weakens the Yankees lineup by cutting into their depth.

    If Gardner's injury gets worse and he is forced to miss more time than the 15-25 days that was originally brought up, Yankees GM Brian Cashman needs to find reinforcements.

    Here are five potential trading options that Cashman could bring in for depth in 2012.

Melky Cabrera

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    The Yankees sent Melky Cabrera to the Atlanta Braves after the 2009 season in exchange for Javier Vazquez and Boone Logan.

    The Yankees really never envisioned Cabrera as an everyday outfielder, but as a fourth outfielder, he's a decent option.

    Now as a member of the San Francisco Giants, Melky is hitting .315 with one home run, 10 RBI, 18 runs scored and five stolen bases.

    The 27-year-old Cabrera will be a free agent after this season. He's currently making about $6 million for the year, so adding him back on wouldn't be too costly of a rental.

    Plus, Cabrera knows the team, the field and the city given that he spent the first five seasons of his career in the Bronx.

Xavier Nady

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    Another former Yankee who had some success in the Bronx.

    The Yankees acquired Nady along with Damaso Marte right before the 2008 trade deadline from the Pittsburgh Pirates.

    Nady was supposed to be the everyday right fielder in 2009, but a season-ending elbow injury led to Nick Swisher taking over the job.

    Nady has bounced around with the Cubs, Diamondbacks and now the Nationals.

    With the injury to Jayson Werth, Nady may see some more playing time and increase his value, as he's only hitting .129 with one home run and two RBI.

    Nady could be an option because he had some success hitting in the Yankees lineup before.

Mark Kotsay

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    Mark Kotsay is one of the more well-traveled players who has had experience in both leagues.

    In his career, Kotsay has played for the Marlins, A's, Braves, Red Sox, White Sox, Brewers and the Padres—his current team in 2012.

    Kotsay brings versatility to a lineup as he can play first base and the entire outfield.

    In 2012, Kotsay is hitting .303 with one home run and six RBI in his part-time role with San Diego.

    The 36-year-old Kotsay is only making $1.2 million and is very affordable if the Yankees want to add his bat to the lineup.

    Brian Cashman always likes adding players who give the Yankees lineup versatility and Kotsay could provide just that.

Juan Pierre

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    I never thought I would ever utter these words, but the Phillies may become sellers in the near future.

    In fact, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. said in an interview that the Phillies could become sellers by July.

    Ever since they won the World Series in 2008, they have been the heavyweight of the National League, and it's crazy to think that Amaro would blow up the team.

    However, if he does, the Yankees could see what it would cost to get Juan Pierre for 2012.

    Pierre has been one of the best at stealing bases for a very long time with 559 career swipes.

    Yankees fans will remember the fits that Pierre gave them in the 2003 World Series as the leadoff hitter of the Florida Marlins.

    Pierre is currently hitting .341 with no home runs, five RBI, 12 runs and five stolen bases so far for the Phillies.

    He's a very inexpensive option for the Yankees, as he's only making $800,000 in Philly.

    He'll be a free agent after this season, another player the Yankees don't have to hold onto for that long if they choose to trade for him.

Jonny Gomes

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    Jonny Gomes is having a decent start to his 2012 year in Oakland, hitting .263 with five home runs,11 RBI and 11 runs scored.

    Gomes' good start will increase his trade value if Oakland drops out of the A.L. West race during the summer. He can play left and right field, plus be the designated hitter if needed.

    He's also another cheap option for the Yankees since he's only making $1 million with the Athletics this year.

    An additional benefit is his experience in the AL East, playing the first six years of his career with the Tampa Bay Rays.

    Gomes averages around 20 home runs and could be a nice addition to have in left if the Yankees decide to call up Billy Beane and see what his asking price is.