The discussions were not characterized as far along or limited only to the Mariners, but Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has said he is open to talking about any player on his roster and there is sentiment that New York has similar type outfielders in Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury.
According to the report, Gardner has been a player new Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto has respected since his days in the Arizona and Los Angeles Angels organizations. Dipoto recently completed a six-player deal with the Tampa Bay Rays that landed outfielder Boog Powell, a prospect with a similar skillset as Gardner, but Powell is not expected to be ready for the major leagues next season.
With all of their starting pitchers outside of Luis Severino and Adam Warren eligible for free agency over the next two years, the Yankees are searching for young starting pitchers who are under team control for several years.
The Mariners have stockpiled several talented young starting pitchers, including left-hander James Paxton and right-hander Taijuan Walker, who both have spent significant time in Seattle's starting rotation. While the Mariners reportedly are not open to dealing Walker, The Post reported the team will discuss the 27-year-old Paxton, who has been injury plagued but reminds many of Andy Pettitte.
Gardner, 32, has three years and $39.5 million remaining on his contract and would fit the Mariners' desire to add higher on-base percentage hitters in the lineup ahead of Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager. Gardner's .343 on-base percentage last season was better than nine of 11 Mariners who had at least 200 plate appearances last season.
Hicks, 26, hit .256 with 11 home runs and 33 RBIs in 97 games with the Twins in 2015. The switch-hitter batted .307 with six home runs off left-handed pitching last season and has hit .272 with 10 homers in his career off left-handers.
Murphy, 24, hit .277 with three homers and 14 RBIs in 67 games (43 starts at catcher) for the Yankees in 2015, spending the entire season at the major league level for the first time in his career.
--In addition, the Yankees acquired right-hander Ronald Herrera from the San Diego Padres in exchange for infielder Jose Pirela.
Herrera, 20, was 8-7 with a 4.08 ERA in 145 2/3 innings pitched in 26 combined games (25 starts) between Class A Lake Elsinore and Double-A San Antonio in the Padres organization last season. Pirela, 25, hit .230 with one home run and five RBIs in 37 games with the Yankees last season. He missed the first month of the season with a concussion suffered during a spring training game.