New York Yankees to Re-sign Outfielder Brett Gardner
Reports indicate that the New York Yankees will re-sign their longest-tenured player. According to Mark Feinsand, outfielder Brett Gardner will get a one-year, $12.5 million deal, although the team has yet to release anything official. It apparently includes a $10 million option for 2021 with a $2.5 million buyout. He is the only player left from their last pennant winner and World Series champion (2009).
Yankees and Brett Gardner agree to a one-year, $12.5M deal, source confirms. Includes a $10M option for 2021 with a $2.5M buyout. @GeorgeAKingIII 1st.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) December 12, 2019
Career of Brett Gardner
Brett Gardner played his first game for the Yankees in 2008 and has spent his entire career there. Two-thirds of his games have come in left field, with the bulk of the remainders coming in center. The Yankees drafted the South Carolinian out of the College of Charleston in the third round of the 2005 draft. With the retirement of C.C. Sabathia, he is the last current Yankee who played for the team while George Steinbrenner was still alive.
The 36-year-old Gardner has played in 1499 games, slashing .260 (1355 for 5220)/.329/.416 in that span. He also has 230 doubles, 68 triples, 124 home runs, 524 RBI, 267 stolen bases in 328 attempts, 613 walks, and a .327 wOBA. In 2011, he led the American League with 49 stolen bases. His only All-Star appearance came in 2015, while his only Gold Glove came in 2016. In 2019, he slashed .251 (123 for 491)/.325/.503 with 26 doubles, seven triples, 28 home runs, 74 RBI, and a .344 wOBA in 141 games.
Gardner has played in 16 playoff series during the eight times the Yankees made the postseason during his tenure. His batting was not nearly as good as his regular season career, as he has slashed .196 (32 for 163)/.260/.252. However, he had a monster performance in the 2011 ALDS against the Detroit Tigers, slashing .412 (7 for 17)/.444/.471 in the five-game series.
The signing of high-priced free agent pitcher Gerrit Cole to a monster deal will certainly overshadow this move. However, the value of a long-time veteran – especially one who can still be effective – cannot be overstated. This is especially true with a team like the Yankees – one who embraces their well-decorated history. As someone who has spent his entire career there, his clubhouse presence should boost the team’s chances of success, especially when considering the number of players they have who came via blockbuster trade or free agency.
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