Will the New York Yankees retain Brett Gardner on a one-year deal?

Alexander Wilson
New York Yankees, Brett Gardner
USA Today

The New York Yankees are gearing up for an interesting off-season composed of many different variables that will affect their ability to spend freely in free agency. Of course, they will be losing three starting pitchers and will have to supplement those losses, but they do anticipate gaining back Luis Severino and possibly Domingo German. The starting rotation is and should be a focal point, considering it was a vulnerability for the Yankees this past season, along with their bullpen, which disappeared at times.

Ultimately, more continuity and consistency is essential, and general manager Brian Cashman will be utilizing some of his available salary to bolster the bullpen and starting rotation. With the $52 million saved from the departures of Paxton, Tabaka, and Happ, we can expect the Yankees to make a move on a number two starter behind Gerrit Cole.

They also have $21 million opening up from Jacoby Ellsbury’s contract, which will be extremely beneficial for their free agency hopes.

I fully expect the market to develop slowly this winter, but the Yankees won’t be entirely absent. There are a few easier deals they can manage to solidify early on, and one of them would be the retention of outfielder Brett Gardner.

Is re-signing Brett Gardner worth it for the New York Yankees?

Before the end of the 2020 season, Gardner stated that he wanted to play in front of his family one last time with fans in the stands. That indication convinces me that the Yankees will likely retain his services on a cheaper deal. Cashman elected to decline his club option for 2021, which would have paid him $10 million.

Instead, signing him on a one-year deal worth around $5 million would be more beneficial for the team considering his value at this point in his career.

The esteemed veteran OF will be 37 next year and is coming off a tumultuous campaign where he hit .223 with five homers and 15 RBIs.

Flashing back to 2019, Gardner secured career-highs in home runs with 28 and RBIs with 74. He surprisingly defeated all expectations, but retaining him would be more about having a healthy option with experience as a depth piece. The consensus is that the Yankees want to roll with Clint Frazier as their starter moving forward, but Gardner’s consistency and availability are major factors.

At this point, I believe Cashman will offer Brett a one-year deal, saving a bit of cash in the processing and granting his wish of playing another season in pinstripes with fans in the stands.