Yanks reportedly eye Castro, but not for Gardner

Yanks reportedly eye Castro, but not for Gardner

CHICAGO -- The Cubs need a center fielder, and the Yankees are examining their infield options, but apparently the two teams aren't close to swapping players.

The New York Daily News reported Friday that the Yankees were open to trading Brett Gardner, and one option was to send the outfielder to the Cubs for infielder Starlin Castro. Gardner would help the Cubs cover the departure of free agent Dexter Fowler, and Castro could augment the Yankees' options at second base.

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But later Friday, New York Daily News reporter Mark Feinsand posted an update on Twitter, saying the Yankees were not interested in such a deal but may consider Castro at another price.

CBS Sports and MLB Network's Jon Heyman also posted on Twitter Friday that there had been no talk of Gardner for Castro at this point, saying the Yankees were seeking pitching.

Gardner, 32, was an American League All-Star in 2015 who finished the season with a .259/.343/.399 slash line in 151 games. He's played extensively in left and center field in his career.

Castro has been mentioned in trade rumors because of the Cubs' overload of middle infielders. Castro also is fairly affordable with four guaranteed years and $38 million remaining on the seven-year extension he signed with the Cubs in August 2012. Swapping Castro for Gardner would have been an even deal financially because Gardner has three guaranteed years and $38-$39 million left on his own front-loaded contract.

Castro, who turns 26 in late March, moved from shortstop to second base in early August to clear a starting spot for Addison Russell. Castro handled the switch to second well, and was ranked among baseball's best hitters in September, with a .369 average and 1.055 OPS.

The Yankees' in-house options at second base are Dustin Ackley and Rob Refsnyder, who could form a platoon. MLB.com's Bryan Hoch is among those who have reported New York GM Brian Cashman is open to an upgrade at the position.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.