MLB rumors: Yankees, Brett Gardner likely to reunite; Cole Hamels open to returning to Phillies
Here are the latest rumors from the MLB hot stove
As for what else is out there on this Thursday....
Yankees, Gardner to reunite?
Gardner, 36, is a free agent but never seemed likely to leave the only organization he's ever played with. Last season, he hit .251/.325/.503 (117 OPS+) with a career-high 28 home runs and 10 stolen bases.
The Yankees could use the outfield help -- Giancarlo Stanton had an injury-plagued season and Aaron Hicks recently underwent Tommy John surgery, limiting his availability for at least the first few months of the 2020 season.
Gardner signed a one-year deal worth $7.5 million last winter. He'll presumably receive a similar deal this go around.
Sabathia recruiting Cole?
Here's a fun note courtesy of MLB.com. Recently retired Yankees pitcher (and former highly sought after free agent) CC Sabathia has talked to free-agent starter Gerrit Cole about pitching for New York.
"Me and Gerrit Cole have spoken at length many times about me pitching as a Yankee as a West Coast Guy," Sabathia said as part of a preview for an upcoming episode of his podcast. "If you give [him] enough money, he's going to want to come here. I am speaking from experience."
The Yankees are expected to be in on Cole. They are not who the league considers the front-runner, however. Executives with other teams have told CBS Sports that the Los Angeles Angels are believed to be the likeliest landing spot for Cole -- due in part to his predilection for the west coast, and their willingness to make a monster offer to land him.
As Sabathia suggests, that could all change if the Yankees make the best offer.
Hamels, Phillies have mutual interest
Of course, it takes two to tango, and It's worth noting that Zolecki adds there "are indications" the Phillies would have interest in bringing back Hamels, who would fit in as part of a remade rotation.
Hamels, 35, is coming off a season in which he posted a 3.81 ERA (117 ERA+) over 27 starts. His numbers dropped off after seemingly coming back too soon from an oblique injury. Provided he's hearty and hale, he figures to pitch like a No. 3 or 4.
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