|Trade Deadline: Yankees suddenly become prospective buyers after Brett Gardner surgery||07.20.12 at 3:45 pm ET|
Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner, who has not played since April 17, is likely to miss the rest of the season after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his elbow next week.
“They made it sound like we probably won’t have him the rest of this year,” manager Joe Girardi told reporters Thursday night. “Let’s get it cleaned up and get him healthy.”
Veterans Andruw Jones and Raul Ibanez have been helping to fill the hole in the New York outfield. But since the 35-year-old Jones and 40-year-old Ibanez have a lot of mileage on them, the Yankees might try to acquire another player to help patrol the outfield before the trade deadline.
Available outfielders include Philadelphia’s Shane Victorino, Arizona’s Justin Upton and Rick Ankiel, who on Thursday was designated for assignment by the Nationals.
Gardner hasn’t played since April 17, when he sustained his injury by making a diving catch. The Yankees have played all but nine games without the 28-year-old and have the league’s best record.
“I just talked to him on the phone. It’s a big deal,” teammate Nick Swisher said. “Gardy was kind of that little spark plug, you know? That guy’s got the ability to lead the league in stolen bases. You lose out on a guy like that, but you know, we’ve been hit with the injury bug pretty hard this year. For us, we’ve just got to pull it all together. Keep doing what we’re doing, keep fighting and just throw our thoughts and prayers out there that it’ll be OK. From what I’ve heard, no one even knows what happened.”
Gardner, 28, has played for the Yankees since 2008. He was hitting .321 with three RBIs and two steals through nine games at the time of his injury this season. Last year he led the league with 49 steals, hitting .259 with a .345 on-base percentage and .369 slugging mark to go along with seven home runs and 36 RBIs.
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