At 36-yeard-old, Brett Gardner’s 12 years with the New York Yankees has been filled with ups and downs, but the 2019 season spelled an early exit in the postseason at the hands of the Houston Astros. Gardner signed a one-year, $7.5 million contract before the 2019 season, and there are hopes that he will return next year.
Gardner had one of his best slugging seasons to date, logging 28 homers with a .251 batting average, essentially turning back the clock a few years after seeing his numbers plummeted in 2018. He has proven he still holds value as an offensive player, but he’s also a solid outfielder and leader in the clubhouse. He epitomizes the Yankees way.
Yankees and Brett Gardner are already talking about trying to stay together contractually. Why not? It’s been a fantastic marriage for both. Longest tenured Yankee had career highs in HR (28) and OPS (.829) in 2019.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 7, 2019
Will the New York Yankees reunite with Brett Gardner once again?
The continued relationship between the two makes complete sense considering his success last year and familiarity with the organization. He’s loved by the fan-base and can fill multiple outfield roles as a utility option.
Last season, there were concerns that manager Aaron Boone wouldn’t use Gardner much as a featured player. He quickly flipped that chapter and earned significant playing time due to injuries, and he took full advantage. With Aaron Hicks, Giancarlo Stanton, and Aaron Judge missed big chunks of time last season, Gardner filled in valiantly.
Heyman commented on the potential for a new deal with the New York Yankees:
“I would think so, just because it’s Brett Gardner, and he’s been loyal forever,” said Heyman. “He had a great year. They want to bring him back. Last I heard, they weren’t close, they didn’t have anything really that was ready to go. But they did it quickly last year … I think they’ll figure it out.”
It makes sense for Gardner to start and finish his career with the Yankees. He still holds value and can act as either a starter or a reserve option. However, the Bombers would prefer to have a full outfield in Judge, Stanton, and Hicks.