When you spend 12 seasons with any given team, you pick up a few tendencies and traditional values along the way. New York Yankees veteran outfielder Brett Gardner has been a staple in the organization for over a decade, playing through the tough days and watching the development of younger players while being productive on his own.
This off-season, the Yankees have a decision to make on the outfielder. Re-signing Gardner on a one-year deal makes the most sense, considering his efficiency last year.
The New York Yankees made the right move one year ago, will they make it again?
General manager Brian Cashman inked him for a one year, $7.5 million contract which ended up being the right move in 2019. With Aaron Hicks scheduled to miss 8 to 10 months after having Tommy John surgery in late October, bringing back Gardner is justifiable. His numbers only help his case, as he had career highs in home runs with 28, 74 RBIs, and a .829 OPS.
MLB insider Jon Heyman stated that several other teams are interested in Gardner’s services, but the veteran is keen on remaining with the Yankees for a 13th season.
A couple teams are interested in Brett Gardner on a multiyear deal but Gardy, a Yankee since 2009, prefers to remain a Yankee. So still talking.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 9, 2019
With owner Hal Steinbrenner giving Cashman the green light to offer star pitcher of Gerrit Cole a record-breaking contract, it takes away from how much they can offer Gardner on a one year deal. Considering his production last season, he could earn upwards of $7.5 million. I estimate he will land in the $8.5-9 million range, which is undoubtedly deserved after his increase in power.
Alternatively, the Yankees could offer him a multi-year deal as a utility outfield, similar to the role he played in 2019, shuffling around to compensate for injuries. The Yankees must be cautious with players like Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, which makes keeping Brett, a leader in the clubhouse and the epitome of Yankee baseball, a necessity.