MLB roundup: Yankees decline Brandon Phillips for Brett Gardner

The Star-Ledger-US PRESSWIRE

Yankees decline swap for Brandon Phillips and other news from around the league

With a surplus of outfielders and a recent opening at the keystone, it might have made sense to some for the Yankees to swap one year of Brett Gardner for two years of Brandon Phillips. It didn't make sense to the Yankees per CBS Sports' Jon Heyman.

Prior to the Yankees turning down the offer, Phillips reportedly asked for his deal to be re-opened in order for him to agree to any trade. Phillips has a 10-team no-trade clause in his contract that could make trading him away a bit harder on the Reds, on top of his declining play and oversized contract.

For their part, the Yankees should find it easier to move Gardner and his projected $4 million salary in arbitration (per MLB Trade Rumors) after Gardner recorded a .273/.344/.416 slash line to go with eight home runs and 24 stolen bases.

Walden avoids arbitration with Atlanta

The Atlanta Braves and Jordan Walden have avoided arbitration, instead settling on a one year, $1.49 million deal, according to Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500 in Minnesota.

More from Talking Chop: The evolution of Jordan Walden

The agreement is a nice step up for Walden, who earned $541,500 while throwing 47 innings of 3.45 ERA ball, striking out 54 batters against only 14 walks.

Interest in Axford

With Chris Perez on his way out of town, it appears the Cleveland Indians are interested in John Axford and his closing experience, per Heyman.

More from Let's Go Tribe: What will Indians' 2014 bullpen look like?

Axford was disappointing in his time in Milwaukee, compiling a 4.45 ERA prior to his trade to division rival St. Louis. Once there, however, Axford righted the ship, recording a 1.74 ERA in 13 innings with 11 strikeouts against three walks.

This performance has attracted more suitors than just the Indians; the Orioles have shown some interest as well, per Fox Sports' Jon Paul Morosi.

Jays to sign Ohka

Former MLB pitcher Tomo Ohka has reached a verbal agreement with the Toronto Blue Jays, according to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.

More from Bluebird Banter: Look at me! I'm Tomokazu Ohka

Last seen with Cleveland, Ohka has since reinvented himself as a knuckleballer and could be assigned to Double-A New Hampshire. If he does crack the Blue Jays' big league rotation, he would give them two pitchers who rely primarily on the knuckleball.

His most recent time in the majors was a stint in 2009 for Cleveland, where he struggled to the tune of a 5.96 ERA in 71 innings. Of course, given the change in repertoire, it's not necessarily instructive to look to the past to get a grip on the 37-year old's future.

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