Early in December it was reported that the Yankees had checked in on the availability of Reds starter Homer Bailey. At the time, Brett Gardner was the name thrown out most as a return trade piece and it was easy to see how that trade would benefit both clubs. Nothing ever came of it, and the Reds aren't exactly flush with capable replacements, yet the trade talk surrounding Bailey continues. Over the weekend, the latest rumor had the Reds moving him to free up payroll so they could sign another free agent hitter.
If this is the case, the Yankees should definitely call Cincy back and see what they're looking for. I know they've said they aren't interested in trading Brett Gardner, but they're probably going to lose him anyway after this season and Bailey would be a better player to try to re-sign anyway. Like I said in my December post on this, Bailey is young (27), proven, and improving in the right areas of his game. A rotation that includes him and possibly Tanaka would go a longer way towards a better Yankee future than Gardner in the outfield, and this is coming from one of the biggest Gardner fans out there.
If for some reason the Reds aren't interested in Gardner, even better. The Yanks should be willing to part with a prospect package for a pitcher like Bailey, within reason of course, and the possibility of Bailey, Tanaka, and Gardner all being on next year's roster would make the Yankees a serious playoff contender again. Whatever the Reds are interested in, the Yankees should be interested in going after Bailey while he's available.
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