SAN DIEGO — While Gerrit Cole has been front and center in the Yankees’ universe since free-agency season opened, there was a chance on Monday the club and Brett Gardner could move toward finalizing a deal that would keep the outfielder in The Bronx.
GM Brian Cashman arrived at the Winter Meetings late Monday morning and Joe Bick, Gardner’s agent, was spotted in the Manchester Grand Hyatt after arriving Sunday night.
The sides have spoken on the phone and have the opportunity to speak face to face.
Gardner, 36, spoke of wanting to remain a Yankee at the end of the season and Hal Steinbrenner says Gardner “checks all the boxes.”
Gardner is the longest tenured Yankee and very much needed since center fielder Aaron Hicks is expected to miss at least the first two months of the 2020 season due to Tommy John surgery on his right (throwing) elbow.
After posting career highs in homers (28), RBIs (74) and OPS (.829) and supplying solid defense in center, Gardner is expected to get a bump from the $9.5 million he earned last season when he was slated to play left field at the beginning of the year.
The Yankees are among several…