MLB rumors: Yankees, Brett Gardner a possible fit; Phillies near deal with Brad Miller; Justin Turner update

We are fast approaching the start of spring training, and almost all of the big-name free agents are spoken for. That said, it’s still the offseason, and that means rumors can be found. We have found them and rounded them up for Friday. Here they are, those rumors that we spoke of just now …

Phillies close to signing Miller

The Phillies are moving toward a deal with free-agent infielder Brad Miller that will be a one-year pact worth between $3 million and $3.5 million, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Miller, 31, is coming off a solid abbreviated 2020 season with the Cardinals. In 48 games, Miller batted .232/.357/.451 (120 OPS+) with seven home runs and eight doubles. For his career, he owns an OPS+ of 103 across parts of eight seasons, but he’s been at a higher level with the bat since the start of the 2019 campaign. Miller’s best suited to the infield corners these days, but he can get by up the middle as long as it’s spot duty. As a left-handed hitter, Miller would pair well on occasion with Alec Bohm at third and Rhys Hoskins at first, who are both right-handed hitters. Jean Segura at second base also bats righty. 

Yankees have had talks with Gardner

CBS Sports HQ‘s Jim Bowden has this on the Yankees and free agent outfielder Brett Gardner

Gardner, 37, hit .223/.353/.392 (108 OPS+) last season and has played his entire professional career with the Yankees. It’s worth noting that the Yankees have about $10 million sparing them from the luxury-tax line, which for some reason they’re worried about. Gardner made exactly $10 million last season.

Brewers still in on Turner

Despite the recent addition of Kolten Wong to the infield mix, the Brewers maintain interest in free agent third baseman Justin Turner, Robert Murray of FanSided reports. Right now, Milwaukee likely is in line to give Luis Urias primary duty at the hot corner, and Turner would indeed constitute a substantial upgrade. 

Coming into the offseason, we ranked Turner No. 7 among the top 60 free agents, and he’s the highest ranked player left on the board. Here’s part of what our R.J. Anderson wrote about him: 

“It’s a shame Turner made the irresponsible and potentially harmful decision to return to the field after learning that he had tested positive for COVID-19 during Game 6 of the World Series, because this was as good of an opportunity as any for him to receive his flowers for an impressive seven-year run out west. He hits the ball hard, he commands the zone, and he’s homered at least 20 times in three of the last five seasons. He’s an All-Star caliber player with a lovely backstory.”

Turner’s 36, but he figures to remain an asset with the bat and the glove, at least in the near-term. He’d significantly help the Brewers’ chances in the NL Central. 

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