New York Yankees News/Rumors: “Gardy” paved the way for Frazier, Torres on Torres, and more

New York Yankees, Clint Frazier

The New York Yankees have their first exhibition game today at 1:05 pm; it will be broadcast on the YES Network. Yankee players are excited to get to the season starter and super happy that there will be fans in the stands at George M. Steinbrenner Field in St Petersburg, Florida. The starter for today’s opening game will be Michael King, who was 1-2 last season, as announced by Yankee manager Aaron Boone on Thursday.

For the first time since March 12 of last year, fans will be allowed in the stands socially spaced. The tickets for today’s game were sold in pods of 2 – 3 and 4 seats. Those pods were sold with six feet between pods. So today, when you watch the game, the stadium will be 28% filled. That’s 3,000 fans in a stadium that normally holds 10,000.

It will be a perfect day for baseball in St. Pete, the weather forecast is for an 80-degree temperature throughout the game. It will be played under bright sunny skies with a few passing clouds, and with a nice light warm breeze from the south.

Gardner has paved the way for Clint Frazier

 

One year ago, Clint Frazier voiced a desire to play in the outfield and take over Brett Gardner’s job.  The New York Yankee’s Brett Gardner has been the veteran presence in both left and center fields, according to who was injured at the time. He has done that for the last eleven years. At the time, Frazier’s statement raised some eyebrows during spring training. Until last year Frazier had little hope of doing that as he mostly sat on the Yankee shuttle between Scranton and the Stadium.

All that changed last year when seemingly out of nowhere Frazier’s defense in the outfield took an amazing turn that eventually earned him a Gold Glove nomination and earned him a starting role in the lineup. One would think that Frazier’s comment a year earlier would not sit well with the veteran Gardner, but the opposite was true; he wanted the young man to succeed. Frazier, for his part, is happy to accept the challenge and even improve over last season.

“I think it starts with how Brett handled a young guy coming in that plays the same position as him and was vocal about wanting to win that job,” Frazier said. “Just how he treated me, he went about it in such a positive way that I felt like it was a big brother-little brother relationship. He’s such a good teammate.”

Over the past several springs, Frazier has tailed Gardner, frequently picking the veteran’s brain during drills and swapping good-natured smack talk. Those exchanges reminded Gardner of his own path toward playing time; he similarly chased Johnny Damon around Bombers camp beginning with his first spring in 2007. Gardner, for his play in 2009, won a World Series ring with the New York Yankees. Gardner has this to say about how last season ended:

“I didn’t want my career to end the way the season ended last year against the Rays,” Gardner said. “I wasn’t able to play in front of any fans all year for the most part, and my family wanted to see me play again. I went into the offseason fully expecting to be playing this season and expected it to be back here. This is where I want to be.”

Now Frazier has the golden opportunity of his career being named the starting left-fielder, it’s his time to shine, and no one is more thankful for Brett Gardner than Frazier himself.

“He’s such a jokester; he’s a little kid,” Frazier said. “I swear, he’s more immature than I am. He’s been a light that is shining really bright for me. I’d selfishly like to have this guy around until he’s like 50, just so I could finish my career with him.”

Gleyber Torres on the upcoming season

All will agree that Gleyber Torres had a very sub-par season last year, bot at shortstop and behind the plate. In 2019 the young shortstop, although not perfect at short, he did lead the team with 38 home runs and a nice batting average. Strangely that all changed in 2020. At one point, he had more errors at short than any other shortstop, and he finished the year hitting only three home runs. Manager Boone commented that Torres got screwed up with two spring training camps and didn’t come into the season ready to play.

Any criticisms from his New York Yankee 2020 season have been tucked away far back in Torre’s mind. It’s a new season, and Torres says it’s a new beginning for him, and he intends to embrace it. The now 24-year-old is coming into the exhibition slate intent upon rewriting his narrative from last year.

“I just want to feel my body really work again and get better and better,” Torres said. “I’ll be ready for the year and prepare myself really well. I’m working hard to be ready to win coming into the spring and the regular season.”

 

 

Yankees News: Brett Gardner indicates 2021 could be his last season

New York Yankees, Brett Gardner

There was a split second where the New York Yankees parting ways with Brett Gardner was a possibility, but of course, the veteran outfielder and his career club found a way to re-connect. Last week, the Yankees officially signed Gardner back on a one-year deal with a club option for 2022.

At 37 years old, Gardner will likely impact the team as a depth player, as skipper Aaron Boone has already stated that Clint Frazier will likely start in left field this season. While Gardy has a hard time believing he won’t be playing every day anymore, he will fight for reps regardless.

During the off-season, Brett waited patiently for the Yankees to offer him a new deal, but he was open to the idea of exploring free agency, despite the fact that he preferred to return to the Bronx.

“I wouldn’t say [I did] a lot of exploring,’’ Gardner said of his free agency. “Obviously, it took a long time for things to work out, but I was hopeful the whole time. I’ve never been shy about wanting to finish my career here. I was asked from the get-go to be patient and I was patient.”

Clearly, things worked out in his favor, as Gardner will earn $5.15 million for the 2021 season, a bit less than the $10 million he would’ve earned if the Yankees picked up his option for this year.

When Gardy was asked about his new two-year deal, and if it could be his last, he responded with:

“I’d say that’s pretty safe,” Gardner said.

“We’ve been talking about this for the last two to three years,” Gardner said of the end of his career. “I’ll obviously be 38 in August. There are no guarantees. You never know what’s around the corner, never know what to expect.”

If Gardy was to retire today, he will have played 13 straight years for the Yankees, with his inception coming in 2008. He has proven to be an elite defender and a consistent base runner, utilizing his speed. We hope Gardner has never been a slugger, he had a career-high 28 HRs in 2019.

Finishing his career in pinstripes has always been his dream, and it seems like it will come true sooner rather than later.

New York Yankees Player Profiles: Brett Gardner accepts his new role with the Yankees

After eleven years in the majors with the New York Yankees, Brett Gardner had one of his best seasons with the team in 2019.  He is already the veteran heart and soul of the New York Yankees. For those that think Brett is washed up, he had an above-average season. In 2019 he had 123 hits and 74 runs batted in, his third-best RBI record with the Yankees. He also hit a career-high 28 home runs, making him a power threat. Gardner was clutch in many of his hits. His speed on the bases and in the field was as good as ever.

Fast forward to the 2020 season. Brett’s performance dropped off considerably, as it happened with many players during the shortened coronavirus season. One difference was that it was the last year of his contract, and the New York Yankees would have to decide whether to exercise his $10 million option for the 2021 season. They did not and bought him out for $2.5 million, making him a free agent.

Gardner always said he wanted to come back to the Yankees and retire as a Yankee. After no fans in the stands, Gardner wanted to play another season so his family could see him play again. As the offseason lingered, no offer came from the Yankees. Gardner had to decide whether to investigate other interested teams or if he should retire. Gardner held fast to the idea he could return to the Yankees. Just before spring training, he got an offer from the Yankees that he accepted. After all, he is the defacto captain of the New York Yankees.

In the deal, Gardner gets a $1 million signing bonus payable within 30 days of approval by the commissioner’s office and a $1.85 million salary this year. His agreement includes a $2.3 million player option for 2022. If Gardner declines the option, the Yankees would have a $7.15 million option for 2022 with a $1.15 million buyout, making his 2021 contract worth $4 million.

At spring training at the George M. Steinbrenner training facility in St. Petersburg, Florida, Gardner is happy as a lark and excited to contribute to the 2021 season. However, this season will be like no other; he will not be in the starting lineup but playing from the bench. Clint Fraziers excellent play last season took his everyday outfield job away and threatened his return to the team.  He is happy for Frazier, but he holds no hard feelings:

“Whatever the team needs me to do to help on a daily basis, I’ll be ready. Whatever my role is, I accept it.”

For newer New York Yankees fans, let’s get to know Brett Gardner and what brought him to this 14th year with the Yankees. On a farm in Holly Hill, South Carolina a boy was born to Jerry and Faye Gardner on August 24, 1983. That son was Brett Gardner. Brett grew up on that farm in the shadow of his Dad, a minor league baseball player in the Philadelphia Phillies organization. So it was natural that Brett would play baseball for the local American Legion post and also play the game when he attended Holly Hill Academy. When he attended the College of Charleston in 2001, he decided to try out for their baseball team as a walk-on.

He ended up playing 3 years as a starter for the team. In his senior year, he batted .447, tied for the most hits in all of college baseball with 122, established a Cougars record with 85 runs scored, and led the Southern Conference with 38 stolen bases. After his senior year, the Yankees selected Brett in the third round of the draft.

From 2005 to 2006, he played for the New York Penn League and Florida State League. In 2007 he played for the Trenton Thunder; he broke a bone
in his hand but still managed to hit five triples and batted .300 with a
.392 OBP, before being promoted to the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
Yankees. On June 30, 2008, Gardner was called up and made his major league debut, batting leadoff and going 0-for-3 with a stolen base.

On September 21, 2008, Gardner scored the final run of Major League Baseball in old Yankee Stadium history as a pinch-runner for Jason Giambi, scoring on a sacrifice fly by Robinson Canó in the seventh inning of an eventual 7–3 win for the Yankees over the Baltimore Orioles.

Brett has spent most of his career in the left outfield and as a leadoff
batter due to his speed and ability to steal bases. When Curtis Granderson
suffered an injury in 2013, Brett moved to the center-field where he continued to excel. Although Brett will never be under consideration for the Hall of Fame, he has certainly excelled with the Yankees winning the Fielding Bible Award in 2010, 2011, and 2017. He was an All-Star in 2015, was AL Stolen base leader in 2011, AL triples leader in 2013, Gold Glove winner in 2016, and earned a World Series Champ ring in 2009.

Brett’s stats have been declining a bit in the last few years as he ages but is still the heart and soul of the New York Yankees. When Brett steps to the plate, he is going to run up pitches for whoever is pitching. He is the most disciplined Yankee at the plate, making contact on 93% of his swings. No player has played harder than Brett, and that continues to this day.

In 2019 he was instrumental in holding the New York Yankees injury-riddled and ragtag team together just by his presence and work ethic, teaching many minor leaguers playing for the first time in the stadium, what it means to be a Yankee, and inspiring them to play to their
best abilities. His efforts and that of all of the Yankees won them 103 games and a trip to the postseason. He was one of only two players that did not go on the IL.

During the offseason, the New York Yankees signed Brett to a one-year contract with a team option for the 2021 season. Brett, not having to worry about a long 162 game season, may go full strength from the start and have another excellent season for the Yankees. Strength was not an issue, but his hitting was; he finished the season playing in all but eleven games. He batted only .228 with five home runs, putting his return to the team in question.

Brett spends the offseason away from New York near his Dad’s 2,600-acre farm. Brett recently talked about spending the shutdown time helping out his Dad. Brett and his wife live in Summerville, South Carolina. Brett and his wife Jessica have two boys, Abraham, born in 2008, and Peter, born in 2010. At age 37, his playing years may be coming to an end, but he will always be remembered as a guy who put everything he had into every game.

Yankees’ Brett Gardner fires back at the idea of Clint Frazier stealing his starting position

New York Yankees, Brett Gardner

The New York Yankees added several outfielders to the mix this off-season, but the expectation is that they will roll with Clint Frazier and Brett Gardner, two familiar faces. Adding Jay Bruce and Derek Dietrich to compete during spring training indicated that the Yankees might have moved on from Gardner, but they recently signed him to a two-year deal with a club option for 2022.

Gardner has been an Iron Man for the Yankees over the course of his career, providing consistency and a healthy defender. Despite struggling in 2020 offensively, hosting a .223 average, he is an elite defender who can supplement injuries and offer value on an everyday basis. However, Gardy is under the impression that he will be competing for a starting job, while skipper Aaron Boone has indicated otherwise.

“I expect Clint to be our left fielder and to be in that starting lineup. … Obviously, a guy like Gardy is a guy that would play a lot, as do a lot of our guys that will, quote unquote, be bench players or whatever,” Boone said. “But Clint is going to be a regular player for us going into the season.”

It seems as if Boone and Gardy are on different pages, as the veteran outfielder is under the assumption that he will compete for a starting gig.

“I’m planning on playing every day,” he said. “Obviously, that’s not realistic. I know that’s not going to happen.

The Yankees might bring out the beast in Gardy:

Brett isn’t going to let Frazier walk into the sunset with his starting job, even if he knows the likelihood of him playing every day is low. That hasn’t deterred the veteran from playing like he’s 30 years old, despite the fact that he’s currently 37 and six months away from being 38.

“I’ll be ready and prepared,” Gardner said. “I love playing. I’ve never been shy about that. So I do love playing every day. … If (Boone) had told me I was going to play 162 (games), I would sign up for it. But I realized that’s not my role going into it. But I also have been around long enough how quickly roles can change. So, again, just get my work in down here in the spring and be ready for April 1.”

Gardner is making a good chunk of change this season to be a backup, specifically 5.15 million. A pretty good deal for a player who might have to play 50% of the time or less.

Nonetheless, the changing of the guards is an exciting prospect, and hopefully, Clint can lock it down for the foreseeable future after displaying much-improved defense in 2021.

Yankees News: Brett Gardner’s new contract is very interesting

New York Yankees, Brett Gardner

The saga of New York Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner continues, and at 37 years old, he earned a brand new two-year deal this off-season. They never seem to be a worry around the Yankees retaining the veteran, even when representatives hadn’t spoken to him in months. At one point, it was clear that Gardner wouldn’t be returning to the Bombers, but as always, in the final hour, general manager Brian Cashman struck a deal with his reps, and he will be back for the 2021 season.

When looking at Gardner, you find a player who consistently remains healthy and offers a lefty bad. Not only did he hit 28 homers and 74 RBIs in 2019, but he consistently offers elite defense in the outfield as a supplemental piece at this point in his career.

The Yankees seem confident that Clint Frazier will take over the left-field spot for the future, and Gardy will remain as a depth option and solve any injury issues. Considering how many injuries plagued the outfield in 2020, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Brett taking reps frequently in 2021.

This past year, though, Gardner had a rocky season, earning a .223 average with five homers and 15 RBIs. He did earn a career-high 16.5% walk rate but had his lowest WAR since 2012, and he played in just 16 games.

Nonetheless, Gardner seems to be ageless, always maintaining his speed and limited power. He still played 39 games in leftfield and one in DH last season, showing he can still play both sides of the ball adequately. His new contract attests to that, as the deal officially makes him a Yankee for the upcoming season but also gives him an opportunity to play in 2022.

As per Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Gardner’s new contract looks like this:

Brett Gardner’s deal with the Yankees is official. It’s a a two-year, $5.15 million contract. He will earn $1.85 million in 2021 with a $1 million signing bonus. He has a $2.3 million player option for 2022. If he declines, Yankees have a $7.15M option with a $1.15M buyout.

Essentially, this is a great contract for Gardner, who could decline the player option at $2.3 million and force the Yankees to either pay him $7.15 million to play next year or a buy-out at $1.15 million.

Considering the value he’s brought to the team all these years, this was the right thing to do by the Yankees, who will ultimately part ways with him in 2022 if he declines his option. At that price tag, the Yankees will likely feel confident with Clint Frazier in the outfield and end the era of Gardy.

New York Yankees: An interesting position battle is shaping up in the outfield

Mike Tauchman, New York Yankees

On Friday, the New York Yankees reportedly re-signed Brett Gardner to a one-year deal worth $4 million with a team and a player option for 2022. The signing wasn’t a huge surprise, but long-anticipated after waiting until mid-February to ink a deal.

With the Gardner signing, it jumbles up the outfield picture for 2021. Gardner will be the fourth outfielder this season, with Clint Frazier, Aaron Hicks, and Aaron Judge as the starters. Giancarlo Stanton will DH this season but can play outfield if absolutely neccessary.

This puts both Mike Tauchman and Greg Allen in a position battle for the “fifth outfielder” role. The Yankees will carry a three or four-man bench for most of the season with a back-up catcher, an infielder, and possibly two outfielders. Between Tauchman and Allen, whoever wins the position battle will likely be the second outfielder behind Gardner.

Mike Tauchman

Tauchman has been solid for the Yankees in his short tenure, playing in 130 games since the beginning of the 2019 season. He’s hit .268 with a .807 OPS and a 116 OPS+ in pinstripes. He provides lefty power, knocking 13 home runs as a Yankee. Additionally, Tauchman brings speed and a good glove to the table.

Greg Allen

The Yankees acquired Greg Allen in a trade from the San Diego Padres this off-season, and he has the potential to make an impact. Allen’s one of the quickest players in the league and a decent defender with a 0.4 dWAR. Offensively, he has just a .641 career OPS but is more of a contact hitter with a .251 career average.

Tauchman is overall the better player, but what could help Allen is that he’s a switch hitter. The Yankees need lefties, and even though Tauchman is a lefty, having switch hitters on the roster can go a long way for match-ups.

With position players reporting to Spring Training this week, it’ll be interesting to see how this outfield position battle plays out.

Yankees’ Aaron Boone details Brett Gardner’s impact after interesting extension

New York Yankees, Brett Gardner

It was only a matter of time before the New York Yankees signed veteran outfielder Brett Gardner to a new contract. General manager Brian Cashman hadn’t spoken to Gardner in weeks, but it didn’t take much time for them to settle on a deal. Gardy will stick with the Yankees for one more season at least, with $4 million guaranteed for 2021 and an option for the 2022 season.

Gardner’s influence is clear, especially with Clint Frazier taking over the starting job in left field. The veteran will likely be utilized in a depth role, mitigating fatigue in the outfield and presenting a healthy alternative in case injuries arise. Skipper Aaron Boone was excited about the attention of Brett, noting his impact on the squad.

“One of the things I look at is toughness, the ability to post, the ability to play through things,” Boone said. “The premium he puts on being ready to go each and every day. There is a blue-collar-ness to the way he goes about his business. I think that is infectious. He’s got a little bit of a chip on his shoulder that he plays with. I don’t even know how old he is now, but he’s got a young man’s body; he’s in great shape. He has aged very well. And I think you’ve seen him really adapt and apply information to continue to make himself in a lot of ways a better player, but certainly still a very relevant player.”

“First, we’re going to get elite defense, whether he’s been in left field for us or in center field,” Boone said. “A guy that, even when you consider him with our lineup, he’s been a guy that’s hit for power. He’s been a guy that, as we’ve been a little bit more of a right handed dominant team, he’s been a nice break in the lineup for us. I’ve kind of hit him everywhere. He’s hit lead off, he’s hit third. He’s hit sixth, he’s hit ninth for us. And he really has thrived at different times in all of those roles and, again, with us being very right handed, he’s been a guy that has given us a little bit of balance offensively on our lineup, which we like.”

Garder is still capable of producing for the Yankees:

This past season, Gardy finished with a .223 average, five homers, and 15 RBIs. He recorded a career-high 16.5% walk ride, indicating an evergreen eye. Gardner seems to be in tiptop shape, retaining his speed and quality defense. After all, he’s only two years removed from 28 homer season, indicating he might have a bit more gas left in the tank. Retaining him is a solid move, and at his price tag, it’s more about loyalty than anything else.

New York Yankees: Fan favorite Brett Gardner is back for a 14th year with the Yankees

New York Yankees, Brett Gardner

Per Ken Davidoff of the New York Post, Gardner and the New York Yankees came to terms on a new contract for 2021. Mark Feinsand reported that the veteran outfielder will return on a one-year deal guaranteeing him $4 million. There are also a player and team options for 2022 that could earn Gardner $11 million according to Jon Heyman.

The Yankees have waited until almost the last moment to sign the long-time Yankee back with the team with spring training already starting. Yankee fans couldn’t imagine the Yankees without their heart and soul in the clubhouse. But this offseason was all about the re-signing of batting champ DJ LeMahieu. That after a very long wait was accomplished just two weeks ago. The Yankees then signed two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber and traded for starter Jameson Taillon from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Meanwhile, Gardner waited on the sidelines while the Yankees tended to business.

With those moves accomplished the New York Yankees turned to the need for outfield depth and finally decided that Brett Gardner was the best option compared to other outfielders in free agency. Gardner is the last holdover from the 2009 World Series-winning team. If Gardner was not re-signed it would have been a huge downer for the fans and his teammates. “Gardy” was a motivator and leader in the clubhouse, especially for the “Baby Bombers.”

Brett has spent most of his career in the left outfield and as a leadoff
batter due to his speed and ability to steal bases. When Curtis Granderson
suffered an injury in 2013, Brett moved to the center-field where he continued to excel. Although Brett will never be under consideration for the Hall of Fame, he has certainly excelled with the Yankees winning the Fielding Bible Award in 2010, 2011, and 2017. He was an All-Star in 2015, was AL Stolen base leader in 2011, AL triples leader in 2013, Gold Glove winner in 2016, and earned a World Series Champ ring in 2009.

Brett’s stats have been declining a bit in the last few years as he ages but is still the heart and soul of the New York Yankees. You know when Brett steps to the plate that he is going to run up pitches for whoever is pitching. He is the most disciplined Yankee at the plate, making contact on 93% of his swings. No player has played harder than Brett, and that continues to this day.

In 2019 he was instrumental in holding the New York Yankees injury-riddled and ragtag team together just by his presence and work ethic, teaching many minor leaguers playing for the first time in the stadium, what it means to be a Yankee, and inspiring them to play to their
best abilities. His efforts and that of all of the Yankees won them 103 games and a trip to the postseason. He was one of only two players that did not go on the IL. He also had one of his best seasons with the Yankees hitting a career-high 28 home runs.

The shortened 2020 season was a down season for the veteran like it was for many players. It put his return into question. But now that question has been answered and the Yankees will still stay under their self-imposed budget of staying below the luxury tax threshold. This will likely be the last move the Yankees will make for players before reporting for spring training in Tampa, Florida. Gardner this season will likely play off the bench as batting champ DJ LeMahieu is cemented into the lead-off place in the lineup. He will probably only be used in case of injury or giving Clint Frazier or Aaron Hicks a day off.

 

 

 

New York Yankees re-sign Brett Gardner to interesting new deal

New York Yankees, Brett Gardner

The New York Yankees struck and deal with veteran outfielder Brett Gardner on Friday, according to John Heyman of MLB network.

The new deal comes as a surprise as manager Aaron Boone had stated he hadn’t spoken to Gardy in a couple of weeks, but as always, GM Brian Cashman finalized the deal before the rest of the team joined the pitchers and catchers down in Florida.

Gardner, who seems to be eternally healthy, will rejoin the Bombers at 37 years old. He has a bit of diversity with his lefty bat and offers a reserve option in the outfield behind Clint Frazier.

The deal is worth $4 million in guaranteed money over one year with an option for the 2022 season. This is an interesting contract, which would indicate that Brett can actually return for a second season at 38 years old. This past year with the Yankees, he finished with a .223 average, five homers, and 15 RBIs. He is two years removed from a 28 HR season, a career-high.

Whether or not you are pleased with the signing, Gardner is a constant in the outfield and offers a solid depth piece who understands what the Yankees need and desire on a daily basis. With Frazier unproven, Gardy can supplement any deficiencies if need be, giving him some rest over the course of a 162 game season.

 

 

Yankees reportedly interested in bringing back Gardner but “at their price”

New York Yankees, Brett Gardner

At this point in the year, with spring training having just started, most of the New York Yankees‘ roster is already set. There has been speculation about a potential Brett Gardner return, and the media appears to be divided on whether the team is interested in a reunion or not.

The latest report, coming from MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, says that the New York Yankees are indeed looking to bring back their longtime outfielder. However, the money is, at this point, an important issue.

The Yankees, earlier in the offseason, declined to exercise Gardner’s $10 million team option, instead paying him a $2.5 million buyout and making him a free agent.

The Bombers recently brought Jay Bruce, a veteran left-handed bat with power, which is basically Gardner’s hitting profile, except Gardy has less raw power, more speed and superior defense.

Bruce came in a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training. Gardner, surely, will be more expensive than that.

The Yankees don’t have much money left

Heyman writes that “the Yankees have interest in bringing back Brett Gardner, but at their price it seems. And that is likely around $3M, which could enable them to stay under the $210M threshold. Gardy prefers to return but would have outside interest if he feels forced to look.”

There are surely teams interested in Brett Gardner at a little higher salary than $3 million, but at this point, it’s hard to see him get much more, with spring training already up and running.

For what it’s worth, the veteran outfielder hit .223/.354/.392 with a .332 wOBA and a 110 wRC, but started to find his rhythm late in the season and during the playoffs. For his career, he holds a .259/.343/.401 line, with a 104 wRC+.