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Yanks Trade for Reyes? No Way Jose, Says Cashman

Don’t worry, Mets fans: Jose Reyes isn’t making the transfer from the 7 train to the 4 train, according to Yankees general manager Brian Cashman.  In fact, Cashman claims there is no reason for Yankee fans to fret despite the fact that superstar shortstop Derek Jeter, six hits away from the immortal milestone of 3,000, is on the disabled list.  While accepting an award for Sportsman of the Year at the Waldorf-Astoria for the CYO Club of Champions, Cashman spoke to the media and dispelled any rumors that have been circulating about a blockbuster deal between the cross-town rivals.

“That’s just not going to happen,” he announced concisely.  “We have an everyday shortstop in Derek Jeter.  And I think we have an everyday shortstop that would be playing for a lot of clubs in Eduardo Nunez.  The Yankees don’t have a need now or in the future for a shortstop.”

Nunez has been an adequate replacement for Jeter, currently batting .241 and coming up with a big hit or RBI every so often.  Defensively, however, he is anything but automatic; in 24 games at shortstop he has committed seven errors.  Despite having speed, he is also erratic on the base path.  However, with the right experience and guidance, Cashman seems to think he could blossom and is well on his way to becoming the face of the Yankees’ shortstop future.

Cashman’s refusal to entertain thoughts of acquiring Reyes is refreshing.  As Yankee fans, we have grown accustomed to seeing our prospects and rookies traded away in pursuit of greener pastures, often not pausing to think about if the latest big star can handle the pressure in New York.  (Go to the Baseball Almanac and look up Kevin Brown.)  Granted, Reyes already plays in New York and has proven himself.  But what is disconcerting is that Brett Gardner’s name keeps appearing in trade rumors.

If the Yankees were to trade away Gardner, it would be a mistake.  Gardner has provided the Yankees with a viable lead-off hitter in the midst of Jeter’s DL stint, hitting .286 with an on-base percentage of .363.  His speed is known throughout the league, and he has stolen 14 bases this season so far.  Often he is an integral part of a Yankee rally.  While his arm is average, he has made countless running catches that a slower, injury-plagued player like, say, Carlos Beltran, wouldn’t have a prayer of making.  Gardner is scrappy and tenacious as well as being groomed in the Yankee system.  If they got rid of him, they would be losing a lot.

During the press conference, Cashman mentioned what the Yankees did need: a setup man.  Both Joba Chamberlain and Rafael Soriano are on the DL.  Cashman has been looking into beefing up the injury-laden bullpen, but has yet to find any real leads.

The Yankees are 43-30, a half game behind the first-place Red Sox in the competitive American League East.  They open up a three-game series against the Colorado Rockies tonight.

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