Brett Gardner has suffered another setback in his rehab from an elbow injury.
The elbow injury has landed Gardner on the disabled list since the middle of April, which has caused the Yankees to go with an older platoon of Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones in left field.
Gardner was expected to come off the disabled list around July 27, but he will be shut down again after experiencing some elbow soreness in a simulated game, according to George King of the New York Post.
Each and every day that Gardner is out, the growing opinion leans closer to the notion that Gardner may not play baseball again in 2012. And given that the Yankees don't want to tire out Ibanez and Jones, it might force them to make a trade before July 31.
According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Yankees have engaged in discussions with the Phillies about Shane Victorino and the Diamondbacks regarding Justin Upton. Heyman said that landing Upton would be a major long shot and the price tag for Victorino is still very high, but of the two, the Phillies' center fielder is the more realistic option.
Victorino is set to become a free agent after the 2012 season and has been mentioned in trade rumors, as the Phillies are likely to be in selling mode this month. Upton, however, is locked up through the 2015 season, and Arizona doesn't necessarily feel compelled to trade him now.
However, given New York's situation with Gardner, it might cause Yankees general manager Brian Cashman to swallow his pride and pull the trigger on a deal.
In 2012, Victorino is hitting just .245 with eight home runs, 38 RBI and 19 stolen bases. Upton is hitting .264 with seven home runs, 37 RBI and 10 stolen bases. Victorino would assume more of a temporary role given his pending free agency, while Upton would be more of a long-term commitment.
As it is, Cashman does not want to make a trade before July 31 and would prefer to move forward with the team as is, but the Gardner setback may change things.
I'd personally like to have Upton, but I know Arizona will ask for a lot in return for the 24-year-old right fielder. I feel that if the Yankees really want Victorino, then they should wait until he's a free agent and not trade away prospects for a rental.
This situation will be a very interesting one for Yankees fans to follow, considering the trade deadline is just about two weeks away. Will Cashman swallow his pride and make a deal for an outfielder? Or does he keep the roster intact heading into the second half?
Stay tuned, Yankees Universe.