• Andy McCullough reports that the Yankees are receiving “significant interest” in Brett Gardner. While they’re willing to trade him, they’re not necessarily shopping him. The Yankees could keep Gardner in left field, put Carlos Beltran in right and make Alfonso Soriano a regular designated hitter. That’s not ideal largely because it keeps the DH spot occupied when guys like Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Brian McCann might need it from time to time, but Gardner isn’t going to be so expensive that the Yankees truly need to get rid of his salary.
• Speaking of trade possibilities, San Francisco columnist John Shea writes that he believes the Giants should try to trade for Ichiro Suzuki. Brian Cashman did not shoot down the idea of trading Ichiro, and if the Yankees can find someone who wants him, I can’t imagine them being against the idea. Ichiro would probably prefer to play where he’s going to actually get at-bats. With the Yankees, his at-bats seem to have disappeared unless the team trades Gardner.
• In case it wasn’t becoming pretty obvious, David Waldstein I believe is the first to report that Hal Steinbrenner has given the green light to go over $189 million if necessary. Might still be a goal, but the Yankees are clearly spending in a way that suggests getting below the luxury tax isn’t a necessity.
• Interesting tidbit from George King, who reports that Robinson Cano wasn’t happy playing for Joe Girardi, partially because Girardi hit him second several times. At one point this season, there was a story about the fact several teams were beginning to hit their best players second for various reasons. Apparently Cano didn’t like it.
• Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker reports that Marahiro Tanaka’s team is “really balking” at the $20 million posting fee limit. That change to the posting system could keep Tanaka off the market this winter.
• If you’re interested, here’s my story in today’s paper about the Cano decision and the Yankees reluctance to sign another Alex Rodriguez contract.
Associated Press photo