Brett Gardner will be back in pinstripes for 2021.
According to Ken Davidoff, the Yankees and Gardner have a deal in place, pending a physical.
The #Yankees and Brett Gardner have agreed on a deal pending physical, etc, according to a source.
— Ken Davidoff (@KenDavidoff) February 19, 2021
Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports that it’s for one year, $4 million with an option for 2022 that could bring the total contract to $11 million. The Yankees have made it known that they want to stay under the luxury tax threshold this season, and this signing likely brings them just below it with very little room to spare.
Brett Gardner can make close to $11M over 2 years if the Yankees pick up the 2nd year option
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 19, 2021
Gardner, 37, is of course the longest tenured Yankee on the roster; this season will be his 14th in pinstripes. A fan favorite, Gardner provides tremendous veteran leadership, solid defense, and a good bat against right-handed pitching.
Earlier this week, Aaron Boone said that Clint Frazier will be the starting left fielder, so Gardner will be in the mix as a fourth outfielder, rotating around to give guys rest. However, with the Yankees’ injury history, especially in the outfield, don’t be surprised if Gardner is called into action for an extended period of time at some point this year.
Brett Gardner is this generations Roy White. Not the kind of non-superstar you think will spend his whole career with the transient #Yankees, but he probably will becasue the people who run the team value his varied skills/leadership/steadiness.
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) February 19, 2021
It’s also worth noting that this move brings up questions about how Mike Tauchman or Miguel Andujar fit into the roster. Keep an eye on any future moves as the Yankees go through spring training.