Brett Gardner to begin rehab assignment Friday

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The Yankees originally hoped to have Brett Gardner available this weekend for an interleague series against the Mets. That seems unlikely to happen now, but he is moving closer to returning from a strained right elbow.

According to Chad Jennings of the Journal News, Gardner will begin a minor league rehab assignment tomorrow with Low-A Charleston. He was originally scheduled to play yesterday, but the plan was scrapped after he experienced some soreness in his elbow. However, he was able to make it through batting practice today without any issues.

Gardner has already had a couple starts and stops with his rehab, but assuming he can avoid any further setbacks, it’s realistic he’ll be back in the Yankees’ lineup by early next week. The speedy left fielder has been sidelined since April 17.

Miles Mikolas open to extension with Cardinals

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Though he has only accumulated just over two years of service time in the major leagues, Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas can become a free agent after the 2019 season due to language in his current two-year, $15.5 million contract. He is open to signing a contract extension with the Cardinals, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

Mikolas said, “It’s something that the Cardinals and my agency have to work out – if the numbers work out and everything turns out to be it’s absolutely something that could happen.” His agent, from Octagon, has had discussions with the Cardinals about a framework for an extension.

Mikolas, 30, spent the 2015-17 seasons pitching for the Yomiuri Giants in the Japan Central League. He had great results, which he was able to leverage into a contract back in the U.S. Last season, his first in the majors since 2014, he finished sixth in NL Cy Young balloting and earned a spot on the NL All-Star roster. The right-hander went 18-4 with a 2.83 ERA and a 146/29 K/BB ratio in 200 2/3 innings.

This coming season, Mikolas will be part of a starting rotation that also includes Carlos Martínez, Jack Flaherty, Michael Wacha, and Adam Wainwright.