Once the 2020 World Series concludes, it won’t take very long for the New York Yankees to make their first major decisions. The squad has two team options to decide on, and they only have five days to decide after the Fall Classic.
Brett Gardner and Zack Britton have team options this offseason. Gardner’s is just a generic team-option clause, while Britton’s is a bit more confusing.
Britton is through two years of a three-year, $39 million contract. However, the Yankees need to decide this year if they will pick up a $14 million option in 2022. If the team chooses to not pick up on the option, Britton can hit the open market this offseason.
With a 1.89 ERA and a 1.000 WHIP in 2020, Britton is making a strong case for his option to be picked up. But Gardner on the other hand, 2020 was by no means his best season.
In 130 at-bats, Gardner hit .223 with five home runs and 15 runs batted in. He had a .747 OPS with a 108 OPS+. As great as Gardner has been with the Yankees over the years, he seems to be running out of gas a bit. His offense just isn’t the same, and we saw it in action this season.
It’s really hard to say what the Yankees will do about Gardner. His option is worth $10 million next season, but that’s a lot for a player who doesn’t have a starting role guaranteed. The squad has young guns like Clint Frazier and Mike Tauchman who want to start and have shown their potential before.
It’d be tough to see a loyal veteran in Brett Gardner walk away from the team, but his performance this season didn’t really cut it. Maybe they can renegotiate a deal to keep him on the bench next season if they don’t think he can be the starter.
But as for Zack Britton, it’s highly unlikely the Yankees let him walk. He’s too valuable to the team, and the bullpen won’t be the same without him.