Cashman not afraid to trade within AL East

O's one of several teams to reportedly express interest in Gardner

Cashman not afraid to trade within AL East

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Though Orioles manager Buck Showalter doesn't seem to believe that the Yankees would dare trade outfielder Brett Gardner within the American League East, general manager Brian Cashman nudged the door open to a possible match on Wednesday, saying that isn't necessarily the case.

The Yankees have been receiving interest in Gardner from several teams this offseason, and while Cashman said that there has not been a proposal enticing enough to make a move on, he would have no hesitation dealing a player of that caliber within the division.

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"First of all, I love Gardy. I really am a big fan of Gardy," Cashman said. "I think I've demonstrated that I am not afraid to trade with anybody. I think there are teams -- within the division, mostly -- that have been afraid to deal with us or unwilling to deal with us."

Gardner, 33, is appealing to several clubs because he is guaranteed a relatively affordable $25 million over the next two seasons. Even so, MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reported that the Orioles are asking the Yankees to pay down more of Gardner's salary to reach a potential deal.

"I haven't heard that one at all," Showalter said. "They wouldn't trade with us, unless it was somebody they wanted to pass off on us. Tried that before."

The Yanks' last deal with Baltimore was in June 2012, when the O's acquired infielder-outfielder Steve Pearce for cash considerations. More recently, Cashman revealed that he shopped right-hander Ivan Nova to the Orioles in advance of the Trade Deadline this past year.

"They chose to go in a different direction, but I wasn't unwilling to trade Nova to the Orioles," Cashman said. "My trade history, I assume I've traded with every team in the game."

Cashman noted that he made a July 2014 deal with the Red Sox, acquiring infielder Stephen Drew for infielder Kelly Johnson, and has dealt several times with the Mets, including a December 2001 deal that swapped David Justice across town for Robin Ventura.

"If I can trade with the Red Sox and the Mets, I can trade with the Orioles. I can trade with anybody," Cashman said. "If it's in our best interest, whether it's short- or long-term, it doesn't matter what the other teams get. Does it make sense for us? If it happens to be them, I don't really care."

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.