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Interesting tidbit about Yanks Rule 5 pick-up. Could Brett Gardner be leaving?

After acquiring Curtis Granderson in a trade and Jamie Hoffman in the Rule 5 Draft, the Yankees have an outfield logjam. Who will be the odd man out?

The Yankees currently have some what of a logjam in the outfield. Going into the winter meetings the outfielders on the Yankees roster were Melky Cabrera, Nick Swisher, and Brett Gardner. Then they acquired Curtis Granderson via trade and Jaime Hoffman in the Rule 5 Draft.

The Yankees are still determining if Johnny Damon is going to re-sign. By rule, because he was a Rule 5 pick, Hoffman must remain on the 25-man roster next season or he will be offered back to the LA Dodgers for just $25,000.

Hoffman is a right handed hitter that some people believe can eventually turn into an every day type player. He spent most of last season on the Dodgers Triple-A squad. In 97 minor league games last season, Hoffman hit .291 with 10 home runs and 64 RBI’s.

Judging by GM Brian Cashman’s comments, the Yankees are planning on Hoffman remaining with the team. “He’s a guy we’re hoping can be No. 25 on this roster and give Joe some choices as he matches up on a daily basis,” Cashman said. Hoffman did make his big league debut last season and played in 14 games for the Dodgers, going 4-22 with a home run.

The Yankees may feel they need to get rid of an outfielder. Obviously its possible that Hoffman does not stay with the team, however its also possible that he does. In that case, I would expect the Yankees will part ways with Brett Gardner. Gardner has great speed and range in centerfield, but he bats left handed. New centerfielder, Granderson, struggles against left handed pitching so the extra right handed bat on the bench might be better.

If Johnny Damon does re-sign, the logjam gets even bigger. How many outfielders do the Yankees want to carry?

I would not be surprised if none of this is decided until some time during spring training. The Yankees may let all of these players in and compete for the roster spots. We shall see. It is however being reported that the White Sox and Royals are interested in Gardner.

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