The Yankees have inked the steady left fielder to a 1-year, $12.5 million deal. There is a $10 million option for 2021 as well, with a $2.5 million buyout, meaning Gardner is guaranteed $12.5 million but can make up to $20 million.
Last year, Gardner had one of the most productive years of his career, slashing .251/.325/.503, good for a 115 wRC+ while bringing his usual above average defense. Per DRS, he saved 5 total runs between left and center last year. He amassed 3.6 WAR, and once again flew under the radar as one of the best left fielders in the league. He was second only to Michael Brantley in WAR in the American League last year. Bet you didn’t know that.
Outlook for 2020
This is a move that simply had to happen. Aaron Hicks is out for at least half the season, and the Yankees only had one option for center field in Mike Tauchman. Brett will probably play the majority of his time in left field, while spelling Tauchman in center a few times a week.
Chances are, Gardner will probably not slug .500 again, however I think he’s a solid bet to put up around 3.0 WAR and contribute to the team in a big way. Every year pundits say that he is over the hill, and every year he proves everyone wrong. Hopefully he gets his second ring this year. LET. BRETT. BANG.