Brett Gardner to have elbow surgery next week, likely done for season

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Brett Gardner has been trying to come back from a right elbow injury for three months. And now he’ll likely have to wait until 2013 to play another major league game.

According to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, the Yankees announced this evening that Gardner will undergo surgery next week to remove inflamed tissue from the elbow and is likely to miss the rest of the season. The surgery will be performed by Yankees team doctor Christopher Ahmad.

Gardner hasn’t played since April 17 due to the injury. He tried to ramp things up multiple times, even going on two rehab assignments, but the discomfort in the elbow lingered. His latest setback came after he faced live pitching over the weekend.

The Yankees have relied on a combination of 40-year-old Raul Ibanez and 35-year-old Andruw Jones in left field during Gardner’s absence. While that certainly isn’t the way Yankees general manager Brian Cashman drew it up during the offseason, they seem to be doing just fine. Heck, even Dewayne Wise has played well in a small sample. Still, Cashman figures to keep an eye out for improvements in the coming days.

Report: The White Sox and Diamondbacks are in on Manny Machado

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Buster Olney of ESPN reports that the White Sox and Diamondbacks have emerged as two of the strongest contenders for Orioles third baseman Manny Machado. It seems like a foregone conclusion that Baltimore will deal their superstar infielder this winter, but nothing appears imminent just yet. While both the White Sox and D-backs have reportedly made serious offers, Orioles owner Peter Angelos is wary of any non-contending team that might be incentivized to flip Machado to the rival Yankees next season.

The White Sox, for their part, have assured the Orioles that they view Machado more as a solid one-year rental than the new face of their franchise, with no immediate plans to deal him elsewhere. Given their current rebuilding status and the unlikelihood that they would contend in 2018, it makes their offer a bit of a head-scratcher — and, as USA Today Sports’ Bob Nightengale points out, they’ve been reluctant to put any top-5 prospects on the table in preliminary negotiations.

The Diamondbacks, on the other hand, are far better positioned to enter the postseason in 2018, though that doesn’t automatically make them the perfect landing spot for Machado. They already have Jake Lamb stationed at third base, and while it’s not inconceivable that they could jettison the Ketel Marte/Chris Owings/Nick Ahmed shortstop platoon for someone of Machado’s talent, his $17 million salary appears to be more than the D-backs are currently capable of absorbing.

The White Sox and D-backs may have exhibited the most interest in Machado so far, but they’re hardly the only contenders here. MASN Sports’ Roch Kubatko maintains that the Cardinals and Yankees remain in discussions for the 25-year-old, with Cardinals’ RHP Jordan Hicks and catcher Carson Kelly drawing interest, as well as Yankees’ top prospect Gleyber Torres. Any deal involving the Yankees still feels like a long shot, however; as Craig mentioned on Wednesday, it makes sense that the club wouldn’t want to see their star player hanging around their division rivals in 2018, and the Yankees should be well prepared to make a run at him in free agency next winter.