Brett Gardner downplays talk of missing season, seeks second opinion on elbow

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After his latest setback wiped out another planned minor-league rehab assignment Brett Gardner is getting a pair of opinions on his injured elbow from Dr. James Andrews and Dr. Tim Kremchek.

Marc Carig of the Newark Star Ledger reports that the Yankees “refused to fully divulge what doctors have learned” and “declined to share details about the condition of his elbow” until after hearing from both doctors.

In the meantime manager Joe Girardi ruled out a torn ligament and Tommy John surgery, which would have ended Gardner’s season.

For his part Gardner insisted to reporters that he’ll play again this year, saying: “It really doesn’t matter what [Dr. Andrews] said. I think I’m going to play.” Of course, that’s not really how elbow injuries and doctors work, and the fact that missing the remainder of the season is now even in the discussion seems like a pretty discouraging sign.

Gardner has already missed two months with an injury initially described as an elbow strain.

Report: Padres interested in Maikel Franco

Philadelphia Phillies v Washington Nationals
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The Padres may have some interest in acquiring Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco, according to a recent report from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. It seems unlikely that the team would deal their starting third baseman with J.P. Crawford (fractured left hand) sidelined through July; to that end, however, they signed infielder Danny Espinosa as minor league depth on Friday and have reportedly been eying the Rangers’ Adrian Beltre, among other veteran options.

Franco, 25, entered Sunday batting .255/.297/.425 with nine home runs and a .721 OPS in 229 plate appearances this season. While he has yet to live up to the .280+ average, 1.9+ fWAR he posted during his rookie campaign, he’s been a solid 20+ home run producer over the last few years and shown some stability at the hot corner. He’s also under team control for the next three years and could provide some much-needed insurance behind the Padres’ current third base option, 27-year-old Christian Villanueva.

Rosenthal notes that the Phillies could strike a deal for one of San Diego’s relievers, though no one specific has been connected to the team yet — and the club probably wouldn’t be able to finesse a one-for-one deal given the quality of the Padres’ pitchers. The Phillies’ bullpen has looked downright abysmal over the last month, placing 11th-worst in the league with a collective 5.34 ERA and 0.3 fWAR. Their failure to procure a viable reliever beyond Seranthony Dominguez, Victor Arano and Edubray Ramos lends a certain urgency to any potential deal they make over the next few weeks, though the official trade deadline is still over a month away.