Both of them will open the season in the Minors, but both are on the cusp of being ready to contribute.
"It's a testament to the way the organization has been doing things," Gardner said. "They all have a chance to be great players."
The Yankees haven't done a teardown. For one thing, they intend to remain competitive. What happened last season was an acknowledgement that the Yanks weren't going to win their next championship without change.
So Cashman made the toughest decision someone in his position, someone accustomed to winning, could make. He traded his two most coveted players -- relievers Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman. Cashman got young talent in both deals and then re-signed Chapman in the offseason.
"Four guys who've accomplished a lot in their careers," Gardner said. "That gives this spring a different feel."
And a future as bright as any in baseball. The Yanks have seven of MLB.com's Top 100 Prospects, tied with the Braves for the most in baseball. Among them is 20-year-old infielder Gleyber Torres, acquired from the Cubs for Chapman and rated No. 3 overall.
Spring numbers mean nothing. On the other hand, there's no other measuring stick. At 15-5, the Yankees have the best record in the Majors. They lead the Majors with 33 home runs and have the American League's best ERA at 3.65.
OK, take a deep breath. As Cashman said, "The reward will come when the games count."
But the young guys offer a different kind of hope for New York. Even if they struggle at times, there's the potential for vast improvement, and the Yanks haven't had that in a while.
"They're really good," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "They're going to be kids we can count on."
Girardi points to an instance on Wednesday, when outfielder Dustin Fowler, a 22-year-old who hasn't played above Double-A, fought off a tough curveball for a sacrifice fly that got a run home from third.
"[The pitcher] got a breaking ball up, and [Dustin] doesn't miss it," Girardi said. "Those are little things that show you they're becoming more consistent, better players."
This group of players may not have the ride the Derek Jeter/Bernie Williams generation had, but the Yanks are excited about the possibilities.
In that way, having veterans -- for instance, newly signed designated hitter Matt Holliday -- is vital to setting a tone and leading by example.
"I'm so appreciative of them as people and players," Bird said. "They go about everything the right way. They're people I look up to."
Sanchez gave Yankees fans a taste of what could be ahead by homering 20 times in 53 games last season. Judge got his feet wet, too, playing 27 games, and Bird played 46 games in 2015 before undergoing shoulder surgery that sidelined him for the entire 2016 season.
"It's very exciting to see all the young players," Sanchez said. "What I see is the combination of veterans and young players working very good for us right now."
Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. You can follow him on Twitter @richardjustice. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.